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…)
I am a Johnny-come-lately to the Fall/Winter blog hop for Spanish teachers, but better late than never, right?! There is only one day left, but be sure to check out the sale on TpT! I found some great deals for my interactive notebooks and already used them this week. Use the hashtag #fallwinterspanishsale for some great deals!
Thankfulness is such an important concept for our students. For my older students, I’m planning a “Doy gracias por…” display, where they each include what they’re thankful for. As much as it’s important to remind them to BE thankful, I think exposure to the world around them is a more lasting method. Good books, videos or the news can give us those kind of personal connections and highlight all the things we take for granted. My printable is for younger students and is a mini-book for elementary students to trace, color, and read.
As we raise children who are aware of the world around them, geography will be important. When I travel, I am always impressed when people recognize where I’m from. It makes me feel valued and connected, that my tiny part of the world matters to them. (more…)
Don’t miss my first guest post at www.multiculturalblogs.com! I wrote about raising kids who love and appreciate their Hispanic Heritage, and included a printable All About Peru Mini-Book as well, in Spanish and English. There are tons of wonderful resources at MKB– make sure to stop by and take a look around.
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?