Mano Nerviosa: Awesome Game to Learn the Numbers in Spanish

Mano Nerviosa: Awesome Game to Learn the Numbers in Spanish

Inside: Learn the numbers in Spanish with the game Mano Nerviosa.

Sometimes games waste time. They’re fun, but not necessarily efficient with every student on task.

And then some games have single person engaged, practicing exactly what you want them to practice. Mano Nerviosa is one of those game, and my students beg for it! Once everyone has the hang of it, use it as a brain break, class reward, or for Spanish club.

I learned Mano Nerviosa in Peru, just as a normal card game. When I started teaching, I realized it was perfect for learning numbers 1-13– and actually knowing them. Most students come to me being able to count, or learn 1-10 fairly quickly. If you ask them what seven is, though, they can only get there by counting. This game fixes all that, and works for any topic students learn by chanting or recitation (months, days, ABC’s– you would just need the cards for it).

 

How to Play Mano Nerviosa:

Divide the students into groups of 4-6. (Can be played with 2-3 if needed.)
Ace = 1
2 – 10 = 2 – 10
Jack = 11
Queen = 12
King = 13
(Optional- use the Jokers and write 14 on them)

Divide all of the cards evenly among the players, and use two decks if possible. One person starts by laying a card face up, in the middle, and saying uno (or one— any language works!). The play continues clockwise, laying down cards and counting. When everyone counts to 13, they start back at 1 and count up again. Anytime a number is placed in the middle that matches the number spoken, the players can slap the pile. The first person to hit the card gets the entire pile to keep. The first person to get all the cards in the game wins.

Here’s a video showing the game being played:

 

 

Also, if anyone loses all their cards, they can still slap in. Everyone is involved and engaged with a chance to win, right until the end!

**Give a strict lecture about losing turns, being out of the game, etc. by being too rough. They REALLY get into this one! If you have super-shy, sensitive kids, make sure they are in a less competitive group.**

**Once everyone gets the hang of it, you can choose to play the original way: if anyone incorrectly slaps, they put ten cards back into the pile.**

Here’s my Games in Spanish Pinterest board:

Follow Spanish Mama’s board Spanish Games on Pinterest.

 

.Like it? Pin it!

mano-nerviosa

 

 

 

 

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Conversation Jenga for Language Classes

Conversation Jenga for Language Classes

Inside: Conversation Jenga for the language class.

When I put my students in a speaking situation, I like to make it low-pressure and fun. We’ve really enjoyed conversation Jenga lately– which is obviously better than a worksheet with questions to ask each other. In a sense, conversation Jenga is an authentic speaking situation because it’s a an actual game people would set up at parties as a get-to-know-you sort of thing.

 

Conversation jenga for Spanish class

 

I’ve learned to be more realistic about speaking activities, over the years. Language is acquired through input, and speaking activities aren’t the most effective way to get language in. Still, there’s a place to become comfortable speaking the target language. The key is to pick appropriate questions with the students’ proficiency levels in mind. For novice-mid levels, you will still want questions with yes-no or one-word answers. It’s also helpful to choose questions that genuinely interest the students.

To make this more versatile, simply number the blocks. Then, you can create an endless supply of questions or tasks that correspond to the numbers. This makes a fun class reward, station, or an activity for fast finishers.

For more fun activities, check out my Spanish classroom games page

  Follow Spanish Mama’s board Games for the Spanish Classroom on Pinterest.

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Los animales – Ideas and  Freebie!

Los animales – Ideas and Freebie!

animals freebie square

Los Animales Freebie

I have been busy updating my look on my TpT store, and just made a new 41-page game pack for learning animals. Here on the blog, I’m making a few pages of that available for free! I love games for introducing vocabulary. This pack includes games for Go Fish, Yo Tengo (beginner’s and intermediate), Old Maid, Concentration, and a board game. One of the sets also doubles as a flashcard set, which can be used for many other activities. (more…)

Printable Conversation Euro Tickets

Printable Conversation Euro Tickets


For the coming school year, I am determined to focus more on CONVERSATION. We all know the drill: take several years of a foreign language, in which one or two students will excel and go on to speak and use the language, while 95% of the class forgets everything after ¿Cómo estás?. Well, this year I am upping the participation grade to at least 25% of their grade, if not more. My goal is less content, with more usage and practice.

The participation grade has always been a bit nebulous and a weak area of mine. I like starting students with a 100, because I do lots of direct questioning and games that force everyone to use the target language. It seems too complicated to start at 0 and track everyone’s participation until they earn 100 points. BUT– I found myself saying “Hablen español” frequently, which meant that the students were speaking English more often than not.  I would deduct points but it wasn’t a concrete thing, and anytime teachers find themselves making threats, it’s likely because they haven’t delivered palpable consequences. Eek. I know. Also, we have pretty cramped classrooms and sometimes I would forget to write down all the points I was supposed to deduct by the time I actually made it back around to my desk.

But this is a new year! New years, new semesters, fresh starts: this is the glorious part of teaching. And here is where my newest printable comes in. On the first day of school, I will hand this sheet out to my students and have them cut out the euros and write their name on the back of each one. Then they can use a paper clip or whatever to attach them all securely to their notebook. Whenever we are doing a “Spanish-only” activity, or if it’s a Spanish-only class, and I hear English, I’ll simply ask for 50 or 100 euros, depending on how off-topic it was. Then later in the day when I enter in that day’s participation grade, or the participation grade for a certain activity, I’ll know who got full credit and who lost points. The points deducted might vary for different levels. The cool thing is that with something physical like tickets, they can potentially earn them back before class ends by showing me they are really making an effort to speak lots of Spanish. It also eliminates any threats or scolding. I can just say “cincuenta euros, por favor” and go on with the discussion without missing a beat. The next class they get all their tickets back and get a fresh start.

What do you all think? Would this be an effective strategy for your classes?

Download:

Euro Conversation Tickets

Euro Tickets

 

Zoo Animals Yo Tengo Game

Zoo Animals Yo Tengo Game

Zoo Animals I Have, Who Has Game

1

To play:

¿Yo Tengo, Quién Tiene? (Groups of 18 or less)

Print, cut out,and laminate the cards. Pass out the cards to students. Any student you choose may begin. The student reads his or her card aloud, naming the object in the picture. The student who has the card asked for by the first student goes next. Simple, but effective!

I have a Zoo Animals games packet available at on my TpT store as well if you are interested in more first-week resources!

About Me

Spanish Mama

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Elisabeth Alvarado is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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