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'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 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 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.