Monday, November 28, 2016

My New FAVORITE Game...Double Down Dice Game

Fellow Readers...I am LOVING this new game I created over the break! As you all know if you have been following me for a while, I am DEFINITELY not a worksheet teacher. Yuck! I love teaching OUTSIDE the box! :) I was browsing FaceBook and came across this "Oven Mitt Christmas Present Unwrap Game" Check out this fun (and hilarious) game on YouTube. We WILL be playing this at my family Christmas this year (the Oven Mitt one, not the foreign language one) haha! 




Anyways...back to how this game can benefit you guys...I saw this game & modified it for the classroom. I decided to call it the "Double Down Dice Game" because the game centers around "Rolling Doubles" (If you are running short on dice, you can tell them they have to roll a 6). 

It's so easy to get going because it literally only involves the game sheet (one per group), dice, and a pencil. After you play the game "ONCE" with your kiddos, they'll remember it forever...and want to play it all the time as well. :) Another wonderful thing I love is that you can easily monitor your kiddos and see who can do the task and who can't. No grading, no charting, no data (unless you want to maybe mark notes on your clipboard of who needs extra help or...) just watch them play the game! Also, nobody is "left out" everyone must play & participate! 

Side Note: If you have your kiddos already in groups, this would be a great "practice activity" after teaching a new verb, concept, vocabulary, etc. 







Also, this is the perfect activity if you have a sub or really want the classroom to be "Student-Led" that day! 

(Confession: I have been working on creating MORE student-led activities that I can facilitate but not have to run!) 

Anyways, this game can be played with any "listing concepts" For my Spanish class, we played this with creating conjugated verbs. We first practiced in the Present, and then moved to the Preterite. I plan on using this for practicing category vocabulary such as jobs, places, people, etc. 

I am definitely going to use this for my "Creating Questions" unit in Spanish 2A. 
video


To really push reflection & correction, after the kids played the game...I made them tell the ENGLISH of what they created but it had to be the other team's answers. It was kind of funny when they went back and saw some of the conjugations were totally off and one student randomly put "perro & libro" (yeah, that's NOT a verb)! 

So in all: Be ready for some loudness, intensity, but overall fun. Also, it makes the class pass by really quick...win! And to be honest...I kind of wanted to sit down & play with the kiddos myself :/ LOL 



video


If you would like to purchase my game sheet along with student-friendly instructions, see below: 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Double-Down-Dice-Game-Engaging-Competitive-Activity-for-Any-Subject-2899651






Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hold Them Accountable to Speak Spanish with...a Clothespin!

So I can't take credit for this idea because I have seen SEVERAL teachers use this technique. I have even seen teachers use this technique in other subject areas, but let's just say in a foreign language classroom...it's wonderful. 

So in my class I design SEVERAL activities that design around speaking Spanish & just PURE trust that the students are doing it. I try to be as active as possible in their activities when they get up and walk around the room, completing the speaking assessments BUT let's face it...36 students in a class, one me...they are sometimes going to get away with not speaking Spanish :( Boo, it sucks! 

I saw this idea in several other foreign language classes & instantly knew I was stealing this idea. It's as simple as 1, 2, 3, and it's the use of a.........drum roll, please.........clothespin. 



Yep, a simple clothespin! But for my students, they receive THREE clothespins. 

Here's how it works: 

1. I tell the kids what activity we are doing. Getting up & sharing our birthdays, asking others theirs, writing it down, getting phone numbers, etc. 

2. Next, every student receives three clothespins they put on their sleeve. It must be where others can get to them. 

3. Lastly, I tell the kids every time you hear someone NOT speaking Spanish...you can take one of their clothespins and add to your own sleeve. 

4. Lastly, once everyone returns to their seat & the activity is over...the option is truly yours to WHAT you want to do with it...you can make it a "fun competition, give a grade of 1, 2, 3, be intense or even give a small punishment (warning: this might backfire on you). For me, I try reward the biggest collector with a piece of candy, and will tell the kids that I am going to surprise them with participation grade or NOT. 

I also tell the kids that IF they don't know what to say, to come find me, and allow me to help! I was really surprised how many took me up on this offer than before the clothespins. 

It kind of reminds me of the wedding/baby shower game where every time someone says wedding, bride, baby, etc. you can collect their clothespin, but we have altered it to Spanish. 

Let me just say folks...oh my dear, how this has CHANGED everything! You still have to monitor, you still have to circulate but guess what? You're collecting too BUT it definitely puts a lot more pressure on the kiddos but positive pressure. 

Before, I would tell the kids to go around and ask each other their birthdays and I know in my heart of hearts SOME of them were just saying the English & quickly passing the information. What? Not our little lovelies. Yes, even the best of the best does it. 

This activity makes it a competition, and sort of positively "turns" everyone on each other! haha! 

So there you have it...go to the Dollar Store and buy some cheap packs of clothespins, find you a ziploc baggie, or mini bucket and dump them in...put them in a cabinet, desk area (I suggest a hidden spot) and next time you have a speaking activity...tell everyone to attach them on. 

Hope this activity helps & your students have fun with it!!! 

God Bless,
Brittany B. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Friday Fun Free Write

So today I'm going to share a simple, simple "fun" technique/event to get your kids writing...I call it "Friday Fun Free Write" Don't know about you all but here in KY there is a push for student growth goals.

This is where the teachers set a standard goal for the whole class, takes pre-data through various tasks, work on teaching the goal, the students do samples tackling the goal, the teachers take those samples, charts evidence, evaluate if the students "met" the goal, and then go back and offer interventions.



Now, no offense against SGG and the "highers" that need to see this data in our yearly summative evaluation...but...isn't that the whole point of TEACHING and what we are doing EVERYDAY?



Everyday, we have a goal! We teach the content. We work towards the goal. And then we evaluate whether the kids met it or not. If not, we go back & try again. Teaching Purpose in a Paragraph!

Well, anyways, I digress. Every year I focus on "writing" as my goal. Why writing? My thought process is...if the kids can put it together on paper with a bit of a time increase and patience, they could "probably" verbally speak it. Writing is a great way to "combine the masses"....the masses of content and grammatical info we must teach. It's also their personality, their thoughts, their interest, and their words. I always say I can figure out a student's personality by reading their papers. For example, I have a student who loves food. If I want him to write...I tell him to write about "food prompts" He especially loves to write about "queso"????

So on I saw on Pinterest several pins of "Flashlight Friday." This is a really neat idea that is being done at the elementary level but can totally can be transformed into high school level. I love seeing my kids break down the barriers of pressures of writing in Spanish.



THEY LOVED IT!!!!!!!! The 20 minutes were up & they wanted to keep going! I was blown away! Fine, sure, okay! :)



I am now making "Friday Fun Free Write" a Friday routine. I honestly did NOT check every SINGLE word on their writings. I glanced through them, made a few minimal corrections, and moved on.

Here is a sample of a student's free write. 

I made sure to tell them I DID NOT check every word, or else I would probably never get their papers back to grown off of. I wanted to focus on one or two errors and let them expand from there.

Friday already has a perfect atmosphere to do this. Feel free to try it in your class. I would love to hear how it went.

Also, my kiddos forgot their blankets and pillows on the first day of doing it, and said they were definitely going to bring them on Friday.

I know this is lame but I actually think the kids just enjoy the "quiet, no talking, no pressure" opportunity!

God Bless & I would love to hear how it goes in your own classroom!!!

Britt B. 


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Reviewing Infinitives & Present Tense

I am a huge fan of infinitives. I truly believe students should be well-equipped with lots of infinitives. Once, they learn how to conjugate and learn the pattern, you can teach them ANY infinitive and they should know exactly what to do with it. It gives them confidence, it allows them to be versatile with the language, and let's face it...you can't speak without VERBS! 

In Spanish 1 we teach a certain # of specific verbs, but sadly, by the time summer passes and classes restart, they have forgot a few of them...or all of them.


I use this list of 25 verbs to review present tense. These verbs are common, popular, and highly used. I like to do various tasks that will help them remember the verbs. I always give a quiz with the 25 verbs to hold the kids accountable. 


Here are some things I do to get our "Verb Review" started: 


1. I give the master list and have the kids repeat each verb. I ask them to flip their sheets over & I yell out the English or Spanish, and make them say aloud the verb. 


2. We (as a class) match an action to each verb. I let them help create the action (even if I know what I have done in the past). It puts the ownership on them & adds their personality to it. 


3. We run through the daily action verbs - everyday for like a week!!! Once they know them, it only takes a 2 minutes to do. 




4. We play Simon Says with the actions - they love this! This is a fun game to do after they take the quiz and we need to eat up some time. 


5. I do all their bell ringers with these verbs and have them practice conjugating, building sentences, and writing with the infinitives & conjugating.


6. I do a "Silent- Sit Where You Want" WRITING CHALLENGE. They are allowed to sit anywhere (even in the floor), take one sheet of paper, something hard to write on, pen/pencil, and create as MANY sentences with the verbs that they can. They turn this in at the end of this activity. They enjoy this because of the atmosphere I create - we usually turn the lights down except for the lamps, and I put on the crackling fire on YouTube. I have even told them in the past, they can bring a blanket on this day. The only stipulation is that they can't use their phones for assistance (they can listen to music) and they can't TALK! This isn't a group or partner activity, solo! 


7. I also give a little packet that has to be turned in & I give this right after I give out the master list. It includes riddles, unscramble, sentence conjugation, and the quiz. I give them a copy of the quiz so they know exactly what it will look like & we even do a practice quiz before the "actual" one. 

8. I also use "Quizlet" I have the vocabulary words on Quizlet & the kids can join my "class" on quizlet to practice their vocabulary at anytime. They can do flashcards, play games, take a quiz...and it ALL can be done on their precious, precious phones! LOL 

Here is the link to the Master Verb List Vocabulary on Quizlet: 
https://quizlet.com/146413181/starter-verb-list-flash-cards/

9. Last but not least, we do the quiz! By the end, I can EASILY tell who knows the 25 verbs. 99% of my kiddos know THEM PERFECTLY! 

I give these activities about 3 to 5 days depending on how well the class is doing with everything. We are also working on the Ultimate Review for Spanish 2 while doing this so we're not spending the WHOLE time just doing infinitives. 

So there you have it, that's how I review infinitives and make sure we all get on the same track. Feel free to create your own infinitive list & do any of the above activities. :) It works for me! 

If you would like to purchase any of my resources used in these lessons, links are below: 

Master Verb List with Practice Activities & Quiz: 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spanish-Starter-Infinitive-List-Activities-2762053

Ultimate Review for Spanish 2: 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Total-Review-for-Spanish-2-2024060





Friday, August 26, 2016

Finally....Extra Episode Watch Guides are Available!

Shew, I need a nap! I worked and worked during my plan period to knock this out and did it. I'm so excited for next week & presenting this to my kiddos. 



Now, I can make SURE every student is held accountable & is fully engaged during the episodes. I'm so excited to have them do a little MORE after the episode ends with the Quotes Activity! 

Ugh, I'm such a nerd but I love it! 



If you would like to purchase the watch guides, visit below: 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Extra-Episode-Watch-Guides-Spanish-1-6-2753216


***Episodes 7 - 13 coming soon :) 

God Bless You All! 

Britt B. 


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Get Ready for Extra!

NOTE: French teachers, don't leave. They make the French Version of Extra. Read below & find out how to access. :) 

So if you haven't had the opportunity to use "Extra" in your Spanish classroom, you are missing out. I learned about Extra my second year of teaching and it's a huge huge part of my instruction, assessment, and I use it to "fulfill" authentic listening components. 

So what is Extra? Extra is a Spanish learning series that uses episodes like a TV show. It's perfect for classrooms because it's engaging, age-appropriate, and hilarious. The kids will love it and probably want to watch an episode everyday. I try to show an episode about once or twice a week. The episodes are about 25 minutes long, and the possibilities are endless with what you can do with them. 

For years, I did nothing except had my students watch. This summer I got really inspired and wanted to create some watch guides with an additional activity that allowed them to reflect and practice their listening skills. 

So, that is where I am right now with my "watch guides" I have been asked a ton if I will share these and allow them to be bought. And like I promised this summer, of course. My goal is to have them up by this weekend. (Not going to lie...I might have underestimated the workload it would take to get these ready...oh my geez is all!) 

If you don't want your students to do anything, except watch, then no big at all. 

Okay, so how do you get to Extra? I have been "told" that some of the episodes "might" be on YouTube. I never use this option but by all means, go for it. 

Update: all episodes ARE on YouTube. 

The safer way is to call your librarian and ask if your school has a KET Encyclomedia/Discovery Education user code. Schools SHOULD have one. If not, you can easily register and you can go online and watch all the episodes on the website. This is safer because YouTube could pull them any time if they wanted. 

Easy steps: 
Google "KET Encyclomedia" 
Click the first option 
Find the area that says "Discovery Education" & log in (if you have user name) 
At the top, type in "Extra Spanish" 
Scroll down and you'll see lots of videos. Find episode #1 "The Arrival of Sam" 
Click the episode & play for your class :) 

French teachers, do the same except type in French instead of SPANISH :) 

Hope you all can get it working & give it a try!!! It's so awesome and so much fun! 

Episodes 1 - 6 watch guide/activity sheets coming asap (by Sunday for sure) :) 

God Bless & Thank You all For your awesomeness! 

Britt B. 








Friday, August 19, 2016

The Bang Cup - The Game of Ultimate Engagement & Proficiency

My Spanish 2A kiddos have been working so hard this week. I ALWAYS ALWAYS like to review, review, review because it could have more than 7 months since they LAST had a Spanish class with the way our scheduling works at school. 

Honestly, even after the summer coming from Spanish 1...my kiddos have forgot A LOT! I so hate this, but it gives me the opportunity to see what they really know, my chance to reteach, and an opportunity to stick it back in their mind (maybe stronger this time). 

I always like to "reteach" the Present Tense because this is a HUGE concept taught in IB, but there is also a HUGE chance...they forgot it ALL! 

This week I have been working these kids to the bone. We have wrote, spoke, conjugated, listened, read, and when they come in today (Friday)...I could tell they wanted something...different. Luckily for them, I had a fun little game planned out that would give them a bit of a break from the traditional classwork they have been doing. 

It's called "The Bang Cup" (I will get to why it's the "BANG" cup later). Anyways this game is pretty easy...teams, points, practicing whatever concept you are practicing. But it's also alliances, enemies, taking, giving, and even some back-stabbing! hehe! 



What makes this game fun is the fact you can steal points if you get a certain color, you can GIVE points to your alliances, or you risk your whole livelihood and lose everything...hence "BANG". When this happens, it's a very sad moment...or funny...and the kids will yell "Bang" (it's kind of like ha-ha).

The best part about this game is that it can be played with any concept, with any class, with any subject, and any level. All you have to do is switch the game sheets out. The games sheets are number 1 - 18 (determined by dice rolls) and each number is a "task" (I can statement, verb conjugation, #, something to do/say, ask, etc.) You could always give your kiddos more die (4 instead of 3) and bump the tasks up to 24. Make sense?



I have literally created a whole folder on my computer called "Bang Cup Game Sheets" which focus on different vocabulary concepts: colors, #'s, adjectives, family members. (I had someone ask if I would be willing to put that on TPT, and yes, I can do that). You can do this too with your classes with whatever you teach. If you teach science, and you are studying photosynthesis...think of all the different questions you could ask. The possibilities are endless. Also, you can MAKE your review the game sheets (# each task) and have the students go find  the answers (alone, partner, with their group...up to you). Then, post the review as the game sheet which a number by each task. 



It's not the content that makes the game fun, but the fact the kids are getting to be evil (or kind) to each other in the game. It's also kind of funny when they negotiate with each other, make bribes, etc. 

Each color represents what will happen if they pull the stick: red, green, blue, and even pulling a blank stick all mean something! 

(Check out my student's face below when he pulled the RED!)



I had one kid give a whole pack of Spearmint gum to his buddy for giving him points!!! 

It's minimum prep (get the supplies together), clean up after quickly, and everything between that is just fun - hands on proficiency. 

Hope you guys enjoy & feel free to add this to your classroom. 

If you would like to purchase the game already completed with the rules, procedures, supply list, color-code keys that can be given to your teams, the link is below. BY THE WAY, the product comes with two editable Present Tense practice game sheets for Spanish teachers. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Bang-Cup-Game-Perfect-for-all-HS-Classes-2740087

God Bless & You All Take Care! 

 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Boost the Confidence Level of Spanish on Day 1

So...we all get those kids...who, let's face it...they don't want to take Spanish. They don't see the point. They're incredibly nervous. Their parents may even be a little hesitant about them taking a language. Or...they.simply.don't.care! Why do I have to learn Spanish? We all hear it, we've all been there.

A lot of the times I have noticed with my own kiddos that it's not that they HATE Spanish, it's simply they are totally UNAWARE. They are unaware of the possibilities, they are unaware of how similar it is to their English language, and they are unaware of they great they can be with the language.

I LOVE seeing my kiddos when they get it. Let's face it...we all do or we wouldn't be doing this for the crappy pay we get, right?! We all love seeing our kids become confident in their subject, the light bulb come on, and even maybe leaning towards LIKING what you teach! Wow, that feels great!

I learned quickly you have to take a Psychological Perspective being the teacher. You have to BOOST their confidence & this can be done on Day 1 (actually Day 2 for me because I do go over my syllabus on Day 1) :)



First, teach them what a COGNATE is...I just LOVE cognates. I have attached some fun little Powerpoints and they are free! Feel free to use them to your preference:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/SpanishEnglish-Cognates-Powerpoint-Activity-2723770

Next, pronunciation is fun to practice when there is no pressure. Just seeing the word, guessing what it is, and then trying to say it will open up a ton of doors. The kids will probably laugh at a few because they will totally butcher them but oh well, it's fun trying!

Here are a couple free Powerpoints to use with pronunciation & you can even continue practicing cognates:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Two-Spanish-Pronunciations-PowerPoints-2723777

So how else do we do it? READING! What? Reading? But they don't know any Spanish words? It doesn't matter...there are SO many words that LOOK like the English that they already know them. The wonderful little cognates...oh, how they hold the power!

Context Clues & Basic level reading is how you do it! I have prepared basic little paragraphs that have so many cognates, they have no choice but to fully understand the Spanish in front of them & you know what...it makes them feel pretty darn good because...it's a WHOLE paragraph! haha!  So there you have it, put together some simple little paragraphs. Make sure to use "I" conjugations" and lots of vocabulary that allow them to know the meaning. You can do this on a word document or on a PPT & have fun with it!



I have prepared a fun mini packet that has 3 exercises of reading, writing, and cognates. Feel free to buy mine (link below) for 0.99 OR you can create your own exercises:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spanish-Confidence-Booster-Mini-Packet-First-Day-Exercises-2723738


Friday, July 22, 2016

My Top 5 Favorite Reflexive Verb YouTube Vids!!!

I love teaching reflexive verbs...there is so much content and so many FUN things you can do! 

I try to ALWAYS show a few youtube videos with EVERY concept I teach. I always, FIRST, teach it myself, and then I have a few videos to "back me up" It's like my teaching squad...and it's engagement for the classroom. 

Here are my TOP 5 YouTube Videos for teaching Reflexive Verbs. Under each link, I'll try to give you some advice of "when" to show it to your kiddos & what each video is...if you don't want to read my paragraphs, just skip it, and check them out yourself :) 



1. Reflex Your Verby - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KATBgZ5oyIg

This fun little song video, which has A TON of views, is perfect to show immediately after you teach HOW TO CONJUGATE the reflexive verb. It's catchy, it's simple, and it's entertaining. Plus. it's to the tune of a song the kids will relate it. It's a must watch. 

2. Reflexive Verbs Made Easy With a Song! (Spanish Lesson) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYFCwIfZ-s4

This video is of Senor Jordan (who is AWESOME). I will be gone on maternity leave halfway in the year & you better bet, if I don't get a Spanish speaking sub, Senor Jordan will be reinforcing EVERY lesson. He is so to the point, has a great teaching personality, and usually puts EVERYTHING to a song. If you are out, or need reinforcements to teach reflexive verbs, this video is perfect. I usually like to show it just because the song he uses is so catchy! It's to the tune of if "If You're Happy & You Know It" (and yes, my high schoolers like it...and they clap!) hehe! 

The next 3 videos (in my opinion) need to be shown later on when the kids understand the basics of conjugating a reflexive verb. It's not so much about "teaching" the basics of a reflexive verb but showing daily routine. After my kiddos KNOW how to conjugate reflexive verbs, my BIG OVERALL goal is that they can talk about their own daily routine. Conjugating is the skill, talking about their day is the overall goal! 

3. Verbos Reflexivos con Frida Kahlo - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmWsaZCmpw0

I am obsessed with Frida! So when I saw this video, I almost died of excitement. Of course this is a homemade mock video of Frida (she's dead but you can visit her home museum in Mexico) but this woman is so awesome & entertaining. I like that it puts the sub-titles! So not only does she say & do her daily routine but the students get to see the Spanish on the screen. I love teaching culture so I always give a 5 minute little lecture of WHO Frida was. The kids are amazed with Frida because she was such a different character! Two birds with one stone: culture & grammar! :) 

4. Mi Rutina Diaria - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSblebrx6ng

This video is of a little boy getting ready & it takes you through his daily routine. He is ADORABLE! Your girls will go "awwww" He goes through his daily routine and the sub-titles are on the screen (double cha-ching)! It does a great job of showing a completed "Mi Rutina Diaria" Like I said, make sure the kids are very familiar with the reflexive verbs (they know lavarse, ducharse, blah blah) and they know how to conjugate well before you show this video. 

5. Mi Rutina Diaria Subtitles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IV2xTA5QHU

This song is sooooo catchy! I like to show this when the kids are walking in to class before the bell rings. It's to a known song & the kids will be dancing (well, they will WANT to). Make sure, your kiddos know the basics: know reflexive verbs, how to conjugate, and they are "starting" to understand their overall goal of creating a daily routine. I would say this video definitely shows the most skill but after watching it, your kids will know what is expected of them. Plus, they can sing along! 

Happy YouTube Watching! Hope these videos help you out in the classroom!

God Bless!
~Britt B. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thank You for the Connections!

(Warning: this is kind of a sappy post...let's blame pregnancy!!!) 

This post is nothing more than a big fat thank you! This summer has been the biggest blessing to sit back and get to connect with my readers. Many of you find me via Pinterest, get on the blog, see the Facebook Group Page (which you can like), and from there...we're forever teacher friends! I want you  all to know that you have become a resource to me as much as I can be to you (Becca Lynn - you know exactly what I'm talking about: this girl has GREAT ideas!)

 I can't begin to tell you how awesome it has been to get a message, and get to meet (via messenger) someone reading on the other side. 

I started this blog...I think 4 years ago, WOW! I'm not a writer, blogger, or anything special with ENGLISH (hence, Spanish Teacher and all the many grammatical mistakes in my posts-oops), but it was simply an outlet to get my ideas from my brain to where someone could read them & maybe use them!

I love people. From the time I was little, I have always been a "people person". Hence the note home on my report card in the third grade: "Brittany is smart but is too much of a social butterfly!" Well sorry Mrs. C but that's just who I am. ;) I love meeting new people from all different walks of life & I think the BEST way to learn is basic human interaction. It has shaped me into who I am today, it has given me compassion for other people, and it has developed a want to always share & make each other's day easier. I truly believe that's what life is all about: having each other's backs! 

So from the bottom of my teacher heart: Thank You! I pray each one of us (as we are preparing to go back here in the next few weeks-maybe some of you have a month left) that we have the best teaching year yet! I hope anything you read from this blog, even if it's the tiniest tidbit, can help you with sanity, inspiration, and passion....I promise I will keep dishing it out & letting my rambling continue if it's helping! LOL 

Don't feel shy to ever chat or connect! Feel free to always message me if you have a question about anything as far as ideas, curriculum, organization. I can't promise I have the answers but in this process I have made some pretty awesome connections! 

I love that we all have common ground & "get each other" (My husband often makes jokes that teachers can connect better than any other professionals out there---I believe this with all my heart!) 

I'm so excited to start my 2016-2017 school year blog entries & together, we're going to enlighten our kids on the many advantages of being bilingual, meeting new cultures, and being Global Thinking Worldly Individuals! 

God Bless Each One of You & Let's Rock This School Year!!! 
~Britt 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Circle Up Activity

Tis the time of year for distractions...EOC's, AP Exams, Finals, Field Trips, College Visits, you name it...it's that time of year. 

Today, I want to share an activity that I use when class numbers are small & the kids have little to no motivation...best news: you get to sit...Yes, sit! :) And...NO PLANNING! Say what?!?! 

I call it: Circle Up! Give the kids a break from the pen & paper and bring in some fun, interaction, and a no pressure review. Have every kid grab a chair, move the desks if needed (especially if you plan to do this all day with your classes), and make a big circle. You get to bring your nice comfy rolling chair over to the circle too (if you have one - mine is a $200 Staples Office Chair but purchased for $30 at yard sale). Sorry, I have a problem bragging about my bargains! Anyways...

Once everyone is in the circle if you have a large or rowdy class, you want to set some expectations right there. Probably not a bad idea to just do it anyways no matter what type of class you have! 

I tell my kiddos: 
First, do not be chatting with your friend beside you. I tell my kids everyone today will get 15 points participation grade IF you are doing the activities and paying attention. If you are talking or off task, that will come off your personal grade. 

Next, tell them everyone is expected to try. None of that "Do we have to play?!" Yep, you do and if you don't, it's your participation grade. Once the kids get playing, they will bug you all the time to "Circle Up" 

Finally, no screaming the answers UNLESS the teacher says so. 

So what are you doing in this circle? Well, you can do all kinds of things & here are some ideas: 

1. Verb Conjugation Circles - Teacher picks a verb, and the students must go around in the circle and conjugate it. Want to make it harder? Tell them to make a sentence out of it. 

Example) 1st student - Yo como pollo, next: tu comes mucho, next: ella come en la clase, next: nosotros comemos pizza, etc. 

You can even set a timer and see if the class can beat the timer around the room but warning: go on and write down some planned infinitives on a note card or they'll get mad at you for taking up thinking time (yes, I speak from experience). 

2. Keep the conversation going - This is a fun one. One student starts the conversation and the next must reply and keep it going, then the next, and next. So yes, it can be a conversation intended for 2 people but 10 people reply to it, and keep it going. Imagine below in a circle: 

Example) Hola Bob - Buenas tardes Johnny - Como estas hoy? - Estoy muy bien, y tu - Estoy mal - por que - tengo examen en mi clase - lo siento - si es muy dificil. 

(Sorry no accents - that drives me a little crazy) but anyways this is a really fun one and puts a lot of pressure (but fun pressure) to keep it going. I told the kids if they could keep it going around the whole class one day, I would bring them candy the next day. Yes, they did it and I bought Jolly Ranchers for everyone! 

3. Pasa el sombrero - Get a cheap straw sombrero (Dollar Tree) or ball, or any item really and play some music. I usually use a dock (I found a cheap one at a yard sale for $2 - BARGAIN) and I use my phone since I don't want to get up and keep running to my computer. Once the music stops, whoever is holding the hat, ball, whatever...must answer a review question (feel free to prepare them beforehand, use your review already made, or pull them from the top of your head) or have them answer a Spanish question. 

Example) Cuantos anos (oops) tienes? - I mean years, years, years...not the other word LOL 

Anyways, they must answer or they get another question. 

4. Rojo VS. Azul - Make it competitive and assign each kid a color. Go in order & make them say it - rojo, azul, rojo, azul, rojo, azul, etc. You can now make it a competition whether it's answering a questions, keeping the conversation going, etc. 

5. Listening Challenge - Speak in Spanish telling a mini story then attach a question to the story & the kids must answer the question that went along with your story. I usually like to do about 5 questions for each little story. This is a good idea to go on and prepare the listening stories beforehand or you'll be scratching your head in that moment. If you're playing team games if the person does not know the answer, they can use a "Ask a friend" lifeline...this allows to get the "other" side of the circle involved. 

6. Numbers Challenge - Need a number practice day? Tell the kids the range of numbers 1- 100 and counting by 10's or 1 - 30 counting by 1's, the 100's...etc. 

Example) uno - dos - tres, cuatro - cinco, etc. 


Whoever forgets their number is out - I make the kids sit on the back of their chairs or on the floor in front of their chair when they are out. You should have two kids left battling it out for the ultimate victory.

7. Infinitive Blast - Did your kiddos learn lots of verbs this year? Put them to the test with Infinitive Blast. Circle up, first kid says an infinitive "Comer" and the next kid must do a conjugation of the infinitive "ellos comen" then the third kid would say another infinitive "bailar" and the fourth kid would say a conjugation of bailar "yo bailo" and so one. 

The possibilities are endless with Circle Up & like I said...you get to sit, enjoy your kiddos, and NO planning. Have an idea of which activities you would like to do and depending on the personalities of your class...it can get REALLY fun! 

Either way, it makes for an easy day & lots of learning and also it's great to show YOU what your kids know!!! :) 

Have a great rest of the year readers! 

God Bless Each of You, 
Britt B. 

SIDE NOTE: If you made it all the way down here, congratulations because that was a huge post but I didn't want to seem lazy saying "Hey, you get to sit all day" Sitting for me is amazing because well, I will be welcoming baby #2 in December!!!

Sorry, not being lazy, just being comfortable! But some days...it's nice to be able to rest our feet :) 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Free End of Day Checklist

Hey Guys,

I created an "End of Day" Checklist to help me get out of the building, but also feel confident I have done what I need to do before heading out. 

I don't know about you all but with end of the year, at the end of the day...I have almost been numb in the brain, and really can't see what is SUPER important that must be done. 

Also, confession: I feel like some things I skip & say "I'll get it tomorrow." But yet hate myself walking into my classroom the next day and having to pick up from yesterday. 

I wrote a generic one and make a few copies and realized...I am wasting paper. So I made a "cuter" version and just put it on TPT. You can put this in a clear pocket sheet and use a dry erase marker daily. 

If you would like a copy, feel free to visit:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/End-of-Day-Checklist-2541082

It's free!!! 

Hang in There, guys....we've almost knocked it out! 

Much Love, 
BB 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Here I come..out of MIA...

So first of all I wasn't kidnapped, I didn't get fired, and I didn't give up...I simply have been...swamped :( 

We go on Spring Break in 41 hours and 20 minutes or 8 classes (if you don't count plan periods)...but I mean, who's counting?! 

I absolutely love my job but Lord knows I need a little break. 

So one of the reasons I have stepped away from my blog is I am doing what I do EVERY year...I am already starting to see what I need to change for next year, what needs to be modified, kept, etc. 

I absolutely love my job but when it comes to my advanced program...if the class makes or not, is sort of unpredictable. It is not out of the ordinary to one year have 25 Spanish 3 students and then the next year have 9 who are independent studies placed in other classes. 

I have been ALL ABOUT personalized customization for each class...trying to meet them where they are and go from there but as the years go by...I am exhausted & I feel like I am constantly recreating and recreating and recreating the wheel. Sometimes, I forget which activities I have made from the year before (and then I get really mad when I figure out a month later that I forgot to do an awesome activity that I put my blood, sweat, and tears into the year before). 

I have decided that I am ready for some consistency and even though creating new sources are great to add differentiation, creative style, and flair...sometimes I feel like I am doing more harm by being "too personalized" because I forget other aspects that are important. The problem is I have WAY.TOO.MUCH! 

I want to apologize that I was MIA...working on each curriculum and what MUST be present, which activities, how to assess, and making everything readable (maybe for a future maternity) is extremely time-consuming but I am hoping with all this chaos and MIAness, I will be able to share my curriculum & what I have marked as important and MUST TEACH! 

For now, take care, God Bless, and I shall return! 

Gracias as always, 
BB

Friday, February 26, 2016

Ice Breaker Game (Yes, in Spanish) Idea

Hello All Hardworking Fellow Teachers, 

It's Friday and I don't know about you all but shew...that's all I can say! We just rounded up another trimester at my school, and we'll start a new one on Monday! I know with a new trimester brings new lovelies, and new relationships. One thing I LOVE to do is a few ice breaker games but here's my dilemma......I need them IN Spanish! 

Haha, duh! While I love doing ice breaker games since we are on the trimester, I need them to be in Spanish! I love playing "team" games and I can tell my kiddos love it. I created a fun little game called "Find your Family - Identity Game" 

Best news:  This can be played in ANY language and yes, ANY subject! 

I make my kids use ALL Spanish but you could play this in a 7th grade English class, a french class, or even like a business class. 

The goal the kids must get up and ask "What's your name" and "My name is" using their NEW identities. By asking each other their names, the will find their "families" 

Check out my 3 minute video & if you would like to simply buy my pre-made cards with the game directions...the tpt link is below! 

God Bless, 
Brittany B. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Find-Your-Family-Identity-Game-Foreign-Language-Game-2414058


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Spicing up Affirmative Informal Commands

I don't know about you all but teaching affirmative informal commands can be kind of...boring. It's a pretty easy concept, but easy to put in the back of your mind & forget to use. 

I always tell my kids it IS a really important concept because IF you ever needed something from someone (whether it's help, a favor, chore, etc) using these commands would help get your point across. 

The kids usually appreciate the easiness of forming commands but sometimes it's just a little boring to teach. What all can you do with it? 

So I decided to spice things up a bit with some hands-on activities. Check them out below: 

1. Charades. You need a simple set of around 35 action cards that are already in command form. Simply divide the class into 2 teams and wah-la, you have your own ready made charade game. It's fun to do on a Friday after everyone has taken their quiz, or a day when the kids get stuck in class a few minutes after the bell. It's usually comical to watch and participate as well. 

2. Team Charades. Do the same concept, except let the kids play on their own within their teams. I let some kids go in the hallway. Give each group around 6 cards, let them play a few minutes, and then switch with the other teams in the class. I sometimes even tell them to go find ANOTHER team and play against them. 

3. Race Against the Clock. Get everyone in your class in a line, set the clock, and see if everyone can complete an action from a card that the teacher shows them. Try to beat the clock. Uh oh, if you don't know it...you have to sit and add 3 seconds to your classes FINAL time. Can the class beat the clock? Hint: I bribe them with a 1/2 point extra credit if they can do it. It really gets them pumped! 

4. Race Teams. Same concept as #3 except this time, instead of racing the clock, the students are racing each other trying to get the cards completed that are laid in front of them. Have the teams face each other for intensity. 

5. Action Train. Easy Peasy - set the cards in a circle on the ground (it should be a pretty big circle), students then stand behind a card (your students should be in a massive circle with a card in front of them). They flip the card, start doing the action, once everyone in the class is DOING their action (Teacher, you'll need to be in the middle watching), then everyone gets to rotate to the right and repeat! Also, instant intervention to help students who don't know the verbs. 

6. Partner Visits. Teaches passes out an action card to each student. Students get up, visit another person, shows their card, the other partner has to do the action, and vice-versa. Then, go find a new partner and repeat. 

The results are endless and it only takes a simple set of action cards. 

I have created a document that shares these games (these are great for days where the copier is broken, sub, field trips, etc.) Along with the directions of the activities, they also include 35 action cards ready to go. The document is editable if you want to add/modify any verbs. 



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Command-Action-Cards-Activities-2396208

Also, if you want to have your kids complete some written activities using the commands, check out my "Affirmative Informal Command Activity Packet" 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spanish-Affirmative-Informal-Commands-Activity-Packet-2394159