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:

***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 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.

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'! 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:

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:

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 makes them feel pretty darn good'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: