Saturday, October 3, 2015

Kagan Structures in Spanish

I went through Day 1 of Kagan training this summer before school starts and it's amazing how much more my students are engaged. They can't hide! If you haven't used Kagan structures before I highly recommend googling cooperative learning strategies or Rally Robin, Rally Coach, and Mix, Pair, Share. They are not subject specific and can easily be adapted for the World Language classroom.

For example, I love to use Rally Robin for a bellringer. Students come in and take turns practicing what we are working on. Here are some samples of what I have on the board for kids when they come in my room.

With your face partner Rally Robin foods that you like. Below is an example.
A - Me gusta el chocolate.
B - Me gusta la pizza.
A - Me gusta el sushi.
B - Me gusta ______.

With your shoulder partner Rally Robin parts of the body. Below is an example.
A - cabeza
B - brazos
A - piernas
B - ojos

Because I literally have one class leaving through one door and another class coming in another door, this helps them come in and get right into speaking Spanish and lets me get the other class out or change my set up if I need to.

Mix, Pair, and Share is something I've used for years - I play music, the students walk around, when the music stops they find a partner and have a conversation. Sometimes I mix it up and shout out a number and they have to make a group with that many kids, or I say a vocab word and they have to give me the gesture that goes with it. The music starts and we do it again.

And Because I like to keep to the 90% target language as much as I can I wanted partner mats in Spanish.

On the carpet my students sit looking at each other with me to the side (so red sits looking at green and green looking at red) - that way they can quickly interact with their face or shoulder partner but can also see me and my white board. 

Do you use Kagan at your school? What is your favorite structure for the elementary school World Language classroom? Share in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #earlylang.

Get the partner mats here!


  1. I looooooove Kagan structures! I considered myself a cooperative learning teacher before switching to TCI. Now, I still do lots of cooperative learning, I just majorly frontload the input. Thanks for sharing--I was not familiar with Rally Robin!

  2. My school uses Kagan structures a lot. Do you have any Kagan resources in Spanish? I have found that hard..

    1. Other than the partner mat that I linked to I usually have to make my own resources. Such is the life of a FLES teacher... :-(

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Nice blog!! I attended to a Kagan Workshop and was really interesting. It's a pitty they don't have up to date resources for Spanish. I bought a book from them but it's from 2002. It's still helpful, you can take some ideas from it.

  4. Can you share the name of the book!