Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Giant Board of Questions

I often get lots of questions on my big board of questions. I got this idea from the kids looking around my room and trying to translate EVERY little word on my walls. Hmmm, I thought. What if I could get them speaking Spanish and conversing. So, I took to the computer. I just created lots and lots of questions! 

I used all kinds of cute fonts and made them really big so I could cut them out and they can be seen. 

It's one of the top favorite things about my classroom. I can't tell you how many kids look and start seeing if they can figure out the questions/answer the question, ask others...It's such an awesome tool! 

But, I have used these questions for one than just one big board. 

Here is list below of what GIANT questions can serve (haha) ;) 

1. Big Display Board - Yep, I think you got that! lol 

2. Station Writing - I put several big questions on a table (get the kids in groups) and they rotate and answer the questions at the table, then rotate to a new one. Seriously? Engagement ;) 

3. Circle up and talk. I love this one! I get the kids in a giant circle. I go around and give a kid each # (usually all the way up to 38! ;) Yep- big classes! I tell the kids if you are EVEN, you are the leaders and will be working with the student to your right. We play music - kind of like, hot potato. While playing music, they pass the big questions. Yes, lamination is a GOOD thing! ;) When the music stops, if the odds are holding the question, they hand it to their leader. They must STOP and CONVERSE over that big ol' question! It's so genius and so much better than giving them a worksheet and saying "Habla" 

4. QUIZZES - Yep, I stand in the front, they have a blank sheet of paper. I hold up the question, say it, and they must write the answer! Easy peesy!

5. Conversation Show DOWN - I use this for a day where field trips, clubs, where's my class at?!?! I set up various games/activities and this is one of them. They can be in a group, partnership, whatever and they get a timer and must try to answer all the questions between the buzzer goes off (they can use their phones as a buzzer). 

6. Find Me the Question: I clip all the questions to my board. I say the answer. The teams run up and try to grab the correct question. 

7. No, You May NOT Pack Up - Hate the kids packing up early but you're done? Keep these by your board/door & grab them when a couple of minutes are left to go. 

There are sooo many other things I use this for. I usually try to make 4 copies for the year, and get one laminated for sure!

Feel free to create your own questions, or you may buy mine if you don't want to create them. I believe mine is $1.75 on tpt and it includes over 20 questions.

Happy Teaching and guess what day it is?!?! HUMP DAY!!!!

-Britt B. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Conjugation Race

Got a little time to spare? My kids this week have been kicking butt in class! They have read, wrote, taken so many notes, created sentences, and so much more. I thought it was time to have a little fun and to honestly get them off their feet. 

Conjugation is STILL something my kids struggle with yes in Spanish 2! After trimester classes, switching teachers within Spanish 1, and long summers...sometimes it is just one of those things that slip the mind. 

We have been practicing a lot in class here lately and I copied this game from my KTIP teacher and made slight adjustments to pep it up. 

Okay here's the game steps: 
1. Count how many people are in your class. You'll be dividing by two so that is how many people will be on each team. 

2. Ask for 2 team captains. I have them come up and stand by me. I have learned it's really embarrassing when the kids are calling their friends up one by one to be on their team. Usually the unpopular kid, shy kid, or not as intelligent kid gets left out so I made some adjustments. 

3. Instead of letting them pick, you say things like "Okay, Timmy (one of the leaders) what is your favorite class?" Timmy answers "Math" I say "Who also likes Math?" Hands go up. I simply pick just a random person who raised their hand, the closest, or someone who I think Timmy wouldn't USUALLY work with. Bam, you're on Timmy's team. Then I ask for Maddie "Okay, Maddie...what is your favorite subject?" She says "Spanish" (what a doll). Then hands go up in the air of everyone who also likes Spanish. Once again, I just simply pick a person (make it simple). 

4. Continue to ask questions like this (Birthday Month, Favorite Sport, Color, Food, Hobby, Class, etc) Eventually the teams are divided. 

5. Now give the kids 30 seconds to pick up their stuff (I usually do this more towards the end of class) and to move to the side of their captain. 

6. Now # the kids 1 to whatever. Do the same with the other side. 

7. Then show the kids how each team will get a small white board and a marker. 

8. Call random #'s up (5) and tell them they are to get in a straight line. Those 5 people are going to represent Yo, Tu, El/Ella, Nosotros, Ellos/Ustedes (sorry can't get accents to work). So essentially you'll have 10 people up in front of the class (5 from each team). I let them get in ANY order they want. I tell them to put their strongest for the Yo and Ellos/Ustedes. 

9. I write down a verb on the board (this week we are focusing on stem changers) and GO, CONJUGATE!

10. ONE PERSON CAN ONLY WRITE ONE CONJUGATION. So the person representing the YO can only write for YO, 2nd person can only write for Tu, and so on. When done, they run and place it in my hand. If there are errors, the other team can steal. If they're wrong, it can go back to the other team until someone has it right. 

Shew, we played it today and it was SOOOO much fun! The kids got into it and had a blast. I didn't realize how competitive my Spanish 2 kids were!

Anyways, try it out! I think it will be a blast!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Letting the Music Speak

So I am sure many of you use music in your classrooms. If not, I highly recommend it! I use to just find a Spanish song, play it in the beginning, and that was it. The kids never asked any questions, I didn't provide them any info...I just thought hey, I'm a SPANISH teacher so I'm going to play some tunes. 

It wasn't until one day, I had a kid ask a question that totally got my attention on how MUSIC is such an important tool in a language.

So one day I played Charlie Rodd - Historia. Love the song! I had one kid say "This is MEXICAN music?!" I could have shot fire out of my eyes because the kids KNOW how much I hate to hear "Mexican, Mexican, Mexican---there are SOOOO many countries that speak SPanish, not everything is MEXICAN"

I literally stopped what I was using, went to the front of the room, addressed the class, and began a mini lesson on music. 

I said "Hey, who likes country music?" Hands went up...I responsed, "Guess what...there is COUNTY music in Spanish speaking countries!" I then said, "Who likes pop music?" Hands up again. "Guess what again...there is pop!" and I continued "Who likes rap music?" Once again, hands went up (and a lot of them). 

I then went into this "Preaching" of how just like here in the United States we have our favorite genres, and they "SOMETIMES" match who we are in style, and this ALSO happens in the Spanish Speaking Countries! 

You would have thought I had 3 heads...seriously?!

One kid replies "Soooo there are like Boho Hipsters in Mexico?" I screamed, "Yes, yes, yes and in Bolivia and Colombia and Venezuela!" 

You would have thought I just told them you could make ice cream just green beans...they were amazed and a little dumb-founded. So now, I started a new trend. I have a comment box in my room where the kids can randomly write messages to me to communicate. I told the kids if you want to hear a certain style, just write it on a piece of paper and I'll play that style in the next week. I also NOW always open class up with a little "Spanish Immersion Full Speaking Practice" of information about the artist and song they are hearing! 

This broke SOOO many barriers. They are starting to see that Spanish speaking teenagers have the same genres and styles as the American teenagers here. That they are NOT all wearing Ponchos, Sombreros, and singing the "Cucaracha Song" (Who would have thought!) It has made Spanish more "practical" and "real-life" and more than anything, they are seeing it's a big big world out there but sometimes we're still the same! 

So I say again...USE music! Talk about the artist, tell where they are from, how did they get famous, what do they like to sing about, how popular is the artist ---give a comparison to someone who sings in the United States. 

Update: Since using this in my classroom, my students are downloading Spanish they know all the words? No, not yet (Keywords yes) but they love the rhythm and beats! Not complaining, they are taking it ALL in! :) 

Coming Soon: Spanish 3 class - Lyric Translations to Popular Songs! 

God Bless,
Brittany B. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Total Review for Spanish 2 is UP!!!

It's here, It's here!!!

The "Total Review for Spanish 2" is hot off the press on my TPT site. :) 



Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Hola Chicos y Chicas,

So I have spent the majority of my summer working on a review that I hope is going to be LIFE CHANGING (okay, maybe not LIFE changing but LEARNING changing) for my Spanish 2 kiddos! 

I am sick and tired and tired and sick and SO-OVER my kids saying "My teacher didn't teach me that" or "I never mastered that" or "I don't remember this" We have amazing teachers in our department who I KNOW are teaching this content, doing projects, giving homework, blah, blah, blah. It's the fact the kid probably just doesn't remember it, simple as that. 

And you know what? That's totally and completely OKAY! A good review never hurt anyone so yes, I went to work this summer on a review that I hope is going to be totally awesome for my Spanish 2 kiddos!

Here's MY strategy of reviewing: 
-We are only doing a few concepts a day. 
-We are taking our time. 
-We are going to use some type of "Did you get it?" check for understanding...anyone heard of Plickers? (Had a tech PD over them last year & LOVE LOVE LOVE!) 
-I have performance based tasks embedded into every concept. 
-I am also going to be teaching their new content as well. 

I am so excited to release my review as I have had many of you message me asking what I gave as a review and to be honest, I had a few little things here and there but NOTHING to this caliber! 

I will be posting this on my TPT account with a Back to School Discount Price. I will also be posting the PowerPoint that has the performance embedded tasks with it too for a Back to School discount price! 

Here is what is covered in the review:
-All conjugations (AR, ER, IR)
-Basic Conversations Greetings & Questions
-Subject Pronouns
-Dating Writing (Days of Week, Months, Etc)
-Ser Verb
-Tener, Jugar, Venir, and Ir Verbs)
-Popular Places to visit vocabulary 
-Age & Birthday
-Description Vocabulary
-Lots and Lots of Infinitives
-Gustar Verb
-Family Member Vocabulary
-School Vocabulary 

and much much more!

Also, everything can be edited to add/reduce for your own liking!

This will release TOMORROW on TPT! :)
I, myself am so excited to use it in my own class!

God Bless,
Britt B.