So I went to this conference a few years ago and was told that through-out the seminar/conference, we would be receiving ANOTHER seminar/lesson, but it was going to be delivered a bit different. I remember thinking What, Huh, Whatever...I paid my money. LOL
So about a quarter of the way through the seminar when my butt kept going to sleep, my water was empty, and I noticed there was a change in the temperature of the room, I started to get, well...done. Yes, I was still interested in what he had to say, but I couldn't get my body comfortable...
Yes, oh yes, I felt like one of my students. I'm setting there switching from butt-cheek to butt-cheek trying to get comfortable, FORCING my mind to get tuned in and thinking how the heck do they (my students) do this ALL DAY LONG?
You called it...I needed a brain break (or maybe a butt break)! About NO JOKE 5 minutes later...the dude just stops and says "You know what folks, I need a break." I was thinking so does my butt.
He introduces this other "speaker" and I'm like "Hey, hey, hey I NEED A BREAK TOO!" (In my mind...I don't have the cajones to say that out loud!)
So yeah, we're all polite and clap (and really thinking...OMG). Really I am thinking, "Go away. I need to stand, I need to re-adjust, I need to talk. I need to just...do something else." And...that is exactly what we did.
He stands us up and makes us stretch and WHILE we're stretching HE TEACHES US...about what we are doing. He tells us that we could teach VOCABULARY everyday with brain breaks...we could teach tiny lessons...we could teach facts of life. Whatever our heart desires. and the state tests. Blah :/
I instantly thought of my reflexive unit where I teach the verbs: Wake up, Go to bed, Shower, Wash, Stretch, etc. This is brilliant. We could be pretending to do the action.
He then tells us that he wants us to interact, but we MUST move from our space to the next ACTING like an animal. Oh my goodness! It was a blast! So...a genius idea came up to me...what if I had a little poster that had the names of popular Spanish animals and the kids could do this EXACT same thing...except yell out every animal sound with what they are doing. Example would be: Neigh....caballo....neigh....caballo....neigh OR mooo...vaca....mooo....vaca...I was loving it.
We went to "visit" a new friend & he gave us a very strict talking assignment. Talk about how we liked the conference so far, and what needed improvement. I met a new friend named Wanda. She was so sweet. She game me a piece of candy from her purse. Reminded me of my nana a bit. But anyways, we talked about our experience at the conference. I didn't mention my butt but I did say I was getting a bit "tired"
I noticed something while we were talking... There were little ladies & men walking around just wandering...Ah hah, they were from the conference. Cheaters. Trying to hear what we thought of the conference. Then it hit me...this could be ME. I could give the kids a SILLY and FUN talking assignment and do the same. This would be presented as a break but really it's continually giving formative assessment to my kids. And it doesn't have to be some serious assignment. It could be goofy: "Think of all the Spanish Item Vocabulary you know...what would you take on an island." Everything you name, you can take, if you can't think of it in Spanish, you can't take it"
I ran back to my seat (as a chicken), got out my notebook, noticed my water glass had been refilled, wrote down my ideas real quick, and was re-inspired (and really freaking excited to take this back to my classroom)!
So...here is a list of all Spanish Brain Breaks you can do in your classroom.
Honestly, you could take a WHOLE Friday (maybe a day when there is a large field trip and attendance is low) and JUST DO BRAIN BREAKS!
Okay, here's the list:
1. Dance to Commands. Play an instrumental song and make the kids dance to action commands.
2. Dance to "Anywhere a Mouse Can Go". Once again, put on an instrumental song and have them do actions (dance moves) of the Spanish you are saying: Encima, al lado de, cerca, cerca, cerca, etc.
3. Harry Potter Wand Command (Duck & Hide): This is a fun one I thought of & my kids LOVE IT! So the kids are all walking around (you must walk) and trying to HIDE from spells. So when I say "Vaya" if a kid can cast a command at another kid before he gets down behind a desk (or behind a cabinet), they must continually do that command for the remainder of the brain break.
Come, Bebe, Habla, Grita, Escribe, Etc.
4. Command Stretch. This is the example I gave up above about acting out the reflexive verb unit.
5. Animal Sounds. This is the example I gave up above about acting like an animal.
6. 4 seconds to answer & sit. So the students are all walking around. When I yell "Pregunta" (out of no where) the kids have to ask the person closest to them a question. If the one who didn't ask can't answer in 4 seconds, the "responder" has to sit. So basically, you want to always have a question ready. Oh, and I will tell the kids "Como te llamas" is OFF limits after the first couple rounds then De donde eres is off LIMITS, etc. If a partner asks a question off limits...they are out. It will come down to just a few standing.
7. Complete the pattern. This is the same concept as above of just walking around but when I said "Continua" the kids will say a number pattern "veinte, veintidos, veinticuatro..." and then the other partner must complete. If they can't immediately, they are out. IF they can, they stay standing.
8. How is the food. This goes along with our "estar" and descriptions of food. The kids walk around acting the way their food is. Example, if spicy...they may be waving their hands and have their tongue hanging out. When I say "estima" the kids have to guess how the food is "La hamburguesa esta picante" If they get it wrong, they have to sit.
By the way: the games with elimination where the kids SIT when out, they became police. So if they see someone not doing something, or just trying to stay under the radar, they can police them, and have them sit!
These are just a few we play. You can use these as actual class game OR you can use them as quick brain breaks. The possibilities are endless!!!
Hope you guys can get some great Brain Breaks (Butt Breaks) in this year!