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 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:

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:

Ultimate Review for Spanish 2: