Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teach Them What You Want to Hear...

So it would be a foreign language teacher's dream to hear the beauty of the classroom target language flowing from the students mouth every time they attempted to speak, right? But let's be honest. We may start strong but how many of us ACTUALLY have a classroom that is achieving 80% target language coming from the STUDENTS' mouths? IF you do have this, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell us all your dirty little secret because we're dying to know! In reality, we may start off strong at the beginning of the year but we get a little "too nice" allowing our kids to speak English just a little too much! I'm guilty...what's my punishment? A nap...BRUTAL *but I'll take it* 

So I decided to examine this problem a little more deeply and I realized you know what...what if we started small? Giving the kids the EXACT words we MUST hear (FREQUENTLY USED WORDS), giving them activities to practice, and then ENFORCING (BIG OL' MEAN TEACHER) them to use them. When the kids master this set, I'll pass on some more words. 

I created this special packet I plan on giving ALL my levels (1, 2, and 3). The packet can be done all in one class period OR you can do a page a day spreading it out over a week's time. Your choice. 

I start off with giving them the words, we'll repeat and word on pronunciation. This 1st page is for me to be able to teach the kids. The 2nd page is a "Find Someone Who" where the kids will get to get up and interact with one another. Of course, I will play too. My favorite is probably the charades activity where they must act out the phrases and the other person has to guess the world. Other activities include unscramble, matching, and a scenario/riddles games. 

I think that kids hear so much Spanish that to them is seems like a billion words. I think we have to put it back on them that we want THEM to be able to give it back to us. This year I'm starting off small in little chunks with highly frequent used words and then expanding.

What do you guys do to get the kids speaking Spanish in your classroom?

I have included the link to my "Lucky 13" Packet if you are interested in using mine, or you can make your own with special words for your classroom. 


God Bless,
Brittany B. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

A paragraph a day, gets the Spanish underway...

I'm always trying to figure out the perfect that is going to allow my Spanish 1 kids to walk out at the end of the year learning such a high amount of Spanish and taking it with them to Spanish 2. I am always trying to implement new things that will give my students a ton of practice with using words and phrases they will see and need all the time. 

I was blessed to have the opportunity to go to AP Spanish training, and I met some really cool individuals and rockstar teachers while I was there. While I was there, I met an awesome teacher who had been teaching AP for years along with the basic Spanish one, Spanish two, and three and four.The number one thing he told us was get your kids reading every day! Considering he had a high pass rate for the AP exam, and has been doing this for years... I took his advice to heart and tried to figure out how could I get my kids reading on a daily basis or at least every other day. 

I finally realized this past year that my kids have to be reading at least every other day. I created these paragraphs that emphasize the Spanish 1 material, but they are also great for Spanish two review. 
I told the kids they would get 30 to 45 seconds to read the paragraph in their head, then I would draw a name out of a stick and if they could translate it into perfect English then they would get some pesos (extra credit system I use). 

The kids started to see all the words in context and were so confident when they were able to translate the paragraph into perfect English. This is something they wanted to do every day and would ask "Are we getting a paragraph today?"I would even have kids asking at the door if they could translate the paragraph that day! 

My administrators were amazed by how the students wanted to read and how well they did it. Instead of using old traditional methods like making the kids write the words over and over, worksheets or book work, they quickly learned from seeing everything in context. Also, I was even able to include words that I wasn't going to introduce until later that year into the paragraphs and by the time the kids got to when I was supposed to teach it...they already knew it! 

So I'm sure you are interested in what my AP pass rate was using this system?!? Using this system...All my kids passed! I had one get a five, a lot get a four, and the rest got threes! 

To purchase my pre-made paragraphs...(So you don't have to write them your self... Believe me it takes time.) Click the link below to purchase from my teachers pay teachers account. 


These paragraphs can be used in Spanish 1 and are great for Spanish 2 review. They are edible so you can mix up the details and even include your own students name. They come in PowerPoint form, but you may also take them and put them on any document you like. You may use them in a reading folder, stations, or like I am doing with a daily reading time. 

Hope this works for you as well as it has for me :) 

God Bless, 
Brittany B.