Friday, May 9, 2014

Culture in Music

One of the best classroom management strategies I have is using music. Everyday I play an artist that represents a Spanish singer. I mix it up with Country, Rap, Salsa, Cumbia, and more.  Instead of just playing the music...I like to introduce the artist on Monday and give some information over the artist (where they are from, how old, languages they speak). Throughout the week I will play songs of that singer. 

Here's my classroom management tip: I am always playing music while the students are switching classes. I am out in the hall welcoming my students in and using this time to ask Spanish questions. My students usually love to talk to me and try to answer Spanish questions. My rule is...when the bell rings I am IMMEDIATELY coming into my room and shutting the door. I am then making my way to my desk to turn off the music. IF you are not in your seat by the time I turn off the music, you are considered tardy and points will be deducted from your weekly participation grade. 

AMAZING!!!!!! It works! You HAVE HAVE HAVE to stay consistent with it and do it everyday. There have been a few days where I got side-tracked and didn't get the music going and it made a huge difference. It broke their routine, their stability. From now on, I keep a loaded you-tube page up on computer with the daily song ready to go. 

Here's a list of popular artists I play that the kids 

1. Shakira
2. Ricky Martin
3. J-LO
4. Prince Royce
5. Fanny Lu
6. Enrique Iglesias
7. Santana
8. Paulina
9. Celia Cruz
10. Marc Anthony
11. Alejandre Pires
12. Juanes 

They Took Their Test...Now What?

So I teach AP Spanish and anyone who teaches this knows that we usually take our AP Spanish test very very early (May 6th to be exact). After taking the tests...try telling SENIORS that we are going to continue class "and learn"...ha, (hold up shield for the tomatoes thrown at face).

This year I didn't want to just "quit" after the test...with the snow and lovely KY weather this year...we're here to June. (Swallow Valium) So I was thinking what can I do that will be fun but not intense that will challenge the kids but not overwhelm them and just be "FUN LEARNING" So I have come up with a mini-idea list...enjoy!!!

(Some of these activities were actually done in Spanish 3 and AP but are great repeats because you can switch them up.)

1. Mock Court Cases - Let the kids create their own crazy trial, organize the positions, allow them time to work on what they will say and ask, present and enjoy!

2. Bizarre News Reports - Let the kids organize "fake" news reports. We actually do this in Spanish 3 and it's always really fun to watch. Put them in small groups and have them create at least 3 stories: You can do top news, sports, weather, etc. Always fun to watch. You can also give them cameras and let them record their reports!!!

3. Helping Out Lower Levels - Let them be the "teacher" and prepare a mini-lesson for the lower levels. Let them pick a topic, organize a level. It's cool if you can actually pull them out of class to teach this lesson. If not, just record and show lower level classes. 

4. Create a song and dance - There are so many grammar topics that are just easier with a little tune and a little jig. Give the groups a topic and let them prepare this. Record and show your lower levels (if they let you) ;-) 

Hope these activities will keep your Spanish mojo flowing and allow the kids to have a little fun with Spanish being the center :)

God Bless,