Saturday, January 28, 2017

Ser Basket Game



Hey Guys, 

Check out my video below that describes a really fun way to practice verb conjugations! This is a student favorite & you'll hear why in the video. 

I use this game with all levels, and it can be used with ANY verb. It actually could be used with subject pronouns, and even question words.  I was actually observed (walk-through) while playing this game & my principal couldn't say enough awesome things about engagement, whole student-learning, accountability, & some other $10 words. He even brought it up at a staff meeting which made me turn lobster red (but it was all good). :) lol 

I am going to put the link down below of the game that you all can purchase if you would like to avoid the creation process. It comes with everything you need to know to play plus all the cards that can be edited for any & all verbs. 



You could create this game yourself using flash cards if you wanted. This document could also be used with other languages besides Spanish, possibility even other subjects. 




If you have any questions about the game, feel free to message me through "Senora BB Spanish" on Facebook, email me at brittanybaxter777@gmail.com, or leave a comment right here. 

God Bless to You Guys & Happy Teaching!

Britt B. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Guilty Confession as a Teacher

So while I have been home on maternity, I am not going to lie and say I haven't thought about my job. 

As a matter of fact, it's actually gave me some pretty good "Pinteresting Time" 

When you have a baby that's not content...unless  he is held, & your 3-year old wants to snuggle on you, let's just say...I've gotten some good "recliner cuddle time" & done a little pinteresting on my phone while they sleep & watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse all.day.long!!! 


Back to my confession...so I have ALWAYS been jealous of elementary teachers because of the "details"...Their fun activities, their AWESOME classrooms, their limited number of students, but the one thing I am jealous of is the "diversity" and "variety" in one school day! 

They have "around" 25 kiddos and with those kids...they do math, art, music, science, reading, etc. (sigh) 

I wish as a (high school) teacher sometimes I could "branch" out & yes, do some of the awesome activities that elementary kids get to do while relating to my own subject area. 

I was actually having this conversation with a friend/colleague. We discussed what would our kids do if we treated them like elementary kids with respect to the diversity & activities? 

We came to one conclusion...they would probably LOVE it! 

I don't get it...in elementary school...the engagement is high, it's hands on, it's so diversified! 

Then you get to high school and it is desks in rows, note-taking and tests. Where did the fun go? 
Where did the excitement for learning? Did anybody else LOVE elementary school? I know I did, and I rocked it! 

I was the best alphabet finger painter around! I know elementary education is WAY more than this, just a little fun pun :) 

But back to topic: so if you're reading this blog post...you are "probably" a world language teacher and if not, you're awesome for checking it out. (You're awesome no matter what you teach or don't teach, by the way)! 

Think about it...world language teachers, if we were to take our language content level into consideration...we are "kind of" teaching elementary school, right? So shouldn't we be able to do some of the awesome, diversified activities that elementary does? 

(Sigh again)...So here is my dream, you ready............... 

I wish that everyday when students entered my classroom, they had variety at their fingertips in 70 minutes. 

I want my classroom to represent "different" areas of learning: listening practice, speaking practice, culture, grammar & mechanics, writing fun, and reading experiences, etc. 

I want them to have a known routine so when they enter, they dive in quickly in 70 minutes. 

I want them to have every minute used for authentic & meaningful hands-on activities. 

I want to teach using props, using conversations, using each other! 

I want color, I want pictures, I want technology, I want resources! 

I want laughter, I want silliness, I want time to pass quickly, not because I'm bored or they are, but because we are involved, engaged, and having fun & lost track of time! 

Anybody else getting excited reading this?! No, just me?! LOL 

Anyways, why can't we make small changes to add this type of learning into our HIGH SCHOOL classes?! 

We can have this TOO! Is it harder for us? Ab-so-freaking-lutely! 

Does it involve switching up the whole "high-school traditional style learning"? Yep, and it's a step-by-step process. It can't be done in a day, week, or even a whole school-year. 

But we can make steps to bring back that engagement & that "love" of learning! 

One thing that gets me inspired is sometimes to "look" at elementary classroom pictures, their activities, and their schedule of how they do things! I instantly try to "convert" it into something that would work for my own classroom. 

Let me clarify one thing: I DO NOT want to be an elementary school teacher. I know it sounds like it...but no, I promise! I love my high-schoolers and my content! It's just...I want that "spirit"!!! 

Below you will find some of my inspiration & ideas. Check out pics of these lovely classrooms that "represent" diversified areas of learning & some activities that can be converted to high school. 


Task Drawers Using Hands-On Props

You could have directions/tasks in target language that challenges students to follow directions using the items?



Adjective Door 

This could be used to have all kinds of target language adjectives. Think of all the possibilities/tasks you could do with this door/area alone?!?! Also, the students could be the ones who make it...that is a great station activity! 


Brain Break Cards 
I can think of so many possibilities...Spanglish task cards, finish early tasks, whole class Spanish language brain breaks, vocabulary run-though brain breaks, ahhh, the possibilities are out there people!!! 



Today's Word or Phrase
Instead of today's "number"...it could be today's word or phrase. Use it with a friend, build a conversation, create a scene in writing or act out (and video record)...so many cool activities! This could be one of "many" variety options for a bell-ringers or station activities. 



Telling Time - Target Language Phrases

You could TOTALLY take this activity and just convert it to target language "Son las dos y veinte"(that means 2:20 in Spanish) & match with the egg-clock! Awesome hands-on activity! 



Writing Idea...

Think of all the "scenarios" you could do with writing practice. "Everyday I....(create sentences)"..."On the weekends I...(Create sentences), so many neat things to write about. 



Read & Sort
Read and sort...you could do the different tenses "Present, Past, Future, etc." or lower level ideas: Sports, Family Members, Verbs. The students could write the English & Spanish on a writing sheet & put into a sentence. 



Okay, now that you have seen some cool activities...check out these classrooms to die for:










Hope you all enjoyed today's "Guilty Confession" & maybe got the brain stirring a bit :) 

God Bless & I'll be back soon! 
Britt B. 








Sunday, January 22, 2017

Switching Up My Spanish 2 Review Packet

Hi guys! Long time, no talk! A lot has happened in the Baxter world over the past few months. Let's me show you through a little picture...



My precious Ben entered the world on December 8th and let's just say...my time has been limited. I love it when people say "You'll be home on maternity & babies just sleep, eat, & poop so therefore...you'll have lots of free time." NOT when you decide to keep your 3 year old home with you & the baby at the same time. AND when you have a baby that wants to be Held.All.The.Time! 

Anyways, back to what you're interested in...so I'll be going back to work here in a couple weeks & we'll start our last & final trimester! Wooh, summer is around the corner! I need this more than ever! 

Anyways, again, (shew, have you noticed I haven't had any ADULT talk in a while) Focus Brittany!!! With a new trimester is the usual review packet over the past Spanish class. I give a review packet for EVERY new Spanish class because we are on weird trimesters and our students may or may not get consecutive Spanish classes...meaning they may go 3 or more months without a Spanish class. They forget....everything! Unfortunately, we do have to spend a decent amount of time reviewing previous concepts because well, you can't teach stem changer conjugation if the students haven't mastered conjugated in general. 

So, I always give a review packet...and it's a hefty hefty one. When the students see if they go through mixed emotions. Excited they are reviewing & not jumping straight in, scared when they see how big it is, but relieved when I tell them they will receive a few days to go over it. 

This trimester instead of just handing out the packet & letting them work on it over the next few days...I am going to do something a bit different. Higher engagement, higher enthusiasm, and raising higher confidence levels in the language. 

Normally I would tell my kiddos when doing the packet if you don't know a section, just skip it, do what you know, and then we will go over the answers. Yeah, I had kids bringing me their packets saying "This is all I know." (and the two who sections they worked on). Yes, we all have those kiddos. 

Okay, so the new way: I love stations. Love, love love them! I actually have my room set up in 6 tables of 6 people. I don't always have 36 kids...usually around 28 but this works for me. So, my room is ready. Also, I think getting to get up & move around does wonders. 

So I decided to take this packet & divide it up into 6 sections but provide "Helpful Documents & Resources" that basically gives "hints" to helping figure out the content. Now, the kids won't be like "this is it" 

But, I don't just want to THROW the resources out on the table & say okay in 20 minutes we'll switch so here is my plan: 

1. You arrive at your station & you ONLY work on the sections assigned to the table. You will receive 10 to 15 minutes (can change once I see how they are doing) to figure out as much as you can. 
2. After this time period, you can grab the "Helping Resources" & add any missed information. You will receive an additional time limit to this activity. 
3. Then, if you haven't figured it out by then, you will take the highlighter & highlight the sections you don't know. 
4. Move onto the next station, do THOSE assigned sections & repeat. 
5. At the very end, I am going to provide a "Get What You Need" period. This is ONLY going to last 10 minutes because I don't want this to become social time. So it's highly monitored & time limited. 

Lastly, I will give a grade for completion of the packet. This whole station activity will last over the course of a few days. I don't expect to get this done in one class period. 

Here's why I wanted to add this activity: 
1. Higher accountability - no dilly dallying around 
2. Prevent Boredom - working on an 18 page packet will bring this on
3. Higher Engagement - the switching, working with resources, and group shakes it up 
4. Higher Levels of Confidence - if the students can just see a little hint, it may help them figure it out without leaving everything blank & not caring 
5. It's just more fun - for me...hopefully for them too :) 

So there you have it. My "New Way" of doing the Spanish 2 Packet. 

I want to clarify that I have TWO Spanish 2 review packets...one for coming INTO Spanish 2 & one for mid-year/2nd semester/after Christmas. This one I made the "Helper Resources" is for the mid-year/2nd semester/after Christmas. 

Overall, if you have a huge packet or large load of work, simply take a marker & try dividing it up. This is a great universal accommodation for all students. 

If you would like to purchase my Spanish 2 (2nd semester) Review Packet, here is the link below. It comes with the packet AND a ppt that has all the answers divided up in sections: 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/2nd-Semester-Spanish-2-Review-Packet-PPT-2970264

If you would like to purchase the "Helpful Resources" the link is below: 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Helpful-Student-Resources-for-End-of-Spanish-2-Review-Packet-2974686

If you are interested in the "Entering Spanish 2" review packet, here is the link below (it does not include the ppt within the product): 

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

If you are interested in the "Entering Spanish 2 PPT" for the review packet, here is the link below: 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Total-Review-for-Spanish-2-PowerPoint-2024103


If you all have any questions about any of the products/documents, feel free to email me at brittanybaxter777@gmail.com 

Thanks & God Bless! 
Britt B.