First Week Ideas – This or That?

I am planning out some things to do in my classes these first few days back to get students engaged right out of the gate, let them see some things they have in common with their classmates AND help me get to know them!

So, one thing I thought would be fun would be an always popular debate…. Do you prefer THIS or THAT?

I know, seems silly, but kids really get into this one! It is a pretty heated debate. Now… how could you use it?

Well, in any class, you can just use it as a way to get the kids involved. In a World Language classroom, you could use it to review vocabulary or preferences and even write about one of the slides independently, in pairs or in groups. This could work with ELA classes as well for a speaking and writing activity. You could level up or level down as much as you need to make it a fun and even meaningful debate. You could use a Venn diagram or t-chart to take a look at what the students in each class prefer. You could do some basic graphing for math classes! The possibilities are endless!

I have a full version up in HERE my TpT store, but HERE is a quick PDF to get you started! You can certainly use these and then just add your own slides in.

Hope this inspires you to get students talking and writing on day ONE!

For even more resources, group coaching and more, head over HERE and learn more about the squads! Join today!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources! Be on the lookout for the announcement for my annual membership site in July 2022!

First Week Ideas – “The Great Debate”

I am planning out some things to do in my classes these first few days back to get students engaged right out of the gate, let them see some things they have in common with their classmates AND help me get to know them!

So, one thing I thought would be fun would be an always popular debate…. Is it a salad, a soup or a sandwich?

I know, seems silly, but kids really get into this one! It is a pretty heated debate. Now… how could you use it?

Well, in any class, you can just use it as a way to get the kids involved. In a World Language classroom, you could use it to review foods and even write about one of the foods independently, in pairs or in groups. This could work with ELA classes as well for a speaking and writing activity. You could level up or level down as much as you need to make it a fun and even meaningful debate. You could use a venn diagram or t-chart to settle the debate as well or have students write down their classification on a graphic organizer. The possibilities are endless!

I have a full version up in HERE my TpT store, but HERE is a quick PDF to get you started! You can certainly use these and then just add your own slides in.

Hope this inspires you to get students talking and writing on day ONE!

You can go HERE and learn more about the SraKSpanish squads! Join today!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources! Be on the lookout for the announcement for my annual membership site in July 2022!

Gimme 5 – Dame 5 (Mini-Project)

This is a go-to mini-project I use all year long when I need a day or two or the kids need a break between topics/units.

First, decide what you want the students to share. It can be an interesting person, place, celebration, festival or custom in any country that speaks the language you are teaching. You can also use this to review parts of a unit you just did. This can be done individually, in partners or small groups.

Next, let students decide what they want their “Gimme 5” presentation to be about. Remind them that they will need to have 5 facts about each of their top 5 things to know about the topic. You might want to incorporate a graphic organizer before giving them the Google Presentation Template to fill in. My students need scaffolding, so I always give them a “Planning Page” first. You can just have them make a bulleted list to give you or you can make a page they have to fill in.

After you approve their topic and top 5 things they are going to research and/or talk about, you can give them THIS presentation to fill in. Of course, if you want to make this last a few more days, you can let them customize this.

Next, it is time for presentations! Since having to go virtual a couple years ago, I have really started to like using Screencastify or Loom or even just the recorder on their computer to have students record the presentation ahead of time. I have found this gives them a chance to re-record if needed and practice. This really does cut the anxiety a lot of students have associated with live presentations in front of their peers. You can certainly go the old-fashioned route and have them just quickly present in front of the class. The presentation part allows me to get a speaking grade if I have them do the presentation in the language of the class. Of course, that is not really possible for lower level students, so use this as a differentiation for Heritage Learners or advanced students.

Hope this inspires you to get them talking and working together! I will have this and other review materials up for sale on my TpT store, but I really appreciate you taking the time to visit the blog, so I wanted you to have this template to use now. I also would LOVE and APPRECIATE TONS if you wouldn’t mind following this blog, my TpT store and my new Instagram (@sra.k.spanish) I started to showcase the fun things I am creating.

The key is to sail on into the summer with low stress and high engagement!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!

An Interactive Logic Puzzle (and a little vocabulary review…)

As the years go by, I notice more and more that students lose focus more quickly. There are LOTS of BIG feelings about the subject in the world of education, but it really is just a reality. I find that my students really need something interactive to stay engaged and focused! This is one reason I am such a HUGE proponent of using a predictable, dependable daily framework for instruction. I first started this years ago when teaching in a self-contained bilingual elementary classroom. We had a schedule to keep us moving, and it really helped students know what to expect and stay on task. Fast forward about 20 years, and things haven’t really changed. Kids still thrive in structure, no matter the subject or grade level.

That being said, part of teaching is constantly learning. We have to grow and change WITH our students. The students I started teaching in the 90s were very different than the students I am teaching now. They are just honestly NOT entertained as easily, and they seem to need almost CONSTANT interaction. I am not saying they can’t work on their own, I am simply noting their needs are different.

With that in mind, I have begun creating a series of interactive logic puzzles. This gets students reading, thinking and then challenges them to write and be creative as well. I started with just interactive stickers, which you can read about in THIS post, but now I have created some interactive logic puzzles I think you will find engaging.

HOW DO I USE THIS?

There are several ways you could use this resource. You could do this as a whole class by reading the clues aloud and trying to solve it alone. You could assign it to table groups or partners and make a contest out of who can finish first. You could also give it as an individual assignment or assessment.

Another way to use it is to just print out the main page and then have students write on the copy OR even cut out the name tags and have them manipulate them by moving them around. These are great options for littles who may not be as adept with the Google Slides.

So, HERE is a link to a free beginner version in English. A more advanced version with editable pages and a Spanish version can be found on my TpT store. I am also working on more for our review, so check back to find more fun!

I hope this gets your students reading and showing you what they know!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

You can go HERE and learn more about the SraKSpanish squads! Join today!

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!

Collaborative Activity – Any Language

It is that time of year! The students are restless and so are we! Time to get students working collaboratively so you can just observe!

This quarter, in my district, we have to teach vocabulary about travel and clothing. I have been doing lots of different things with this topic, and having fun! I will write about a few of the activities in the next few posts. This one is quick and easy after you have introduced some basic vocabulary to your students. This is kind of a twist on something a colleague of mine (MP) is doing in her class.

First, you use the vocabulary to make 5-6 cards with pictures. Each set of cards should be related to a visit to a certain place. For example, this one is related to a beach trip.

Then, you cut each “set” and put them in baggies. Then, each group of 3-4 students chooses a bag. They have to take the cards in the bag and use them to write about a trip they took together. Since I teach level 2, I had my students use the past tense and talk about a trip they took last year. I did pre-teach a couple of sentence stems they could use for some of their story. This is easy to level up and down according to the level of your students, but it is a great way to get them to be a little creative.

In order to prevent one person from doing all the work, my colleague had the students each write the paragraph and then only collected one from the group randomly to grade. This way, all the students had to work together to make sure they were all working. I think this is a great idea and is kind of like my daily notes sheets for students who have trouble concentrating.

Hope this inspires you to get them talking and working together! I will have a set of these Travel Story Cards up for sale on my TpT store, but you could certainly just use notecards with simple drawings or pics you print. The key is to sail on into the summer with low stress and high engagement!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!

Beat Technology Fatigue! No Tech Required…

It seems that ever since we went virtual out of necessity at the start of the pandemic, we have made most things digital. That is okay for lots of things, but I find more and more that kids are burnt out on technology. That may not be true for your students in your teaching context, but it is my reality right now. So, how can I address this tech fatigue??

One thing I did a few weeks ago was play the old game “Dots and Boxes.” I wasn’t sure how it would go. To be honest, I had a back-up Gimkit game all loaded and ready to go just in case. Much to my surprise, it was a HUGE hit!

The digital version of this can be found on my TpT store.

So, what did I do? Well, I reached back into my archive of worksheets that would review the concepts we needed for the assessment. Some were reading worksheets with questions about the reading (reading). Some were fill in the blank worksheets with targeted vocab and grammar required by my district (writing). Some were questions that had to be answered aloud (speaking). Some were based on a podcast and/or video they had to watch and listen to in order to answer the question. I briefly explained each page (I gave them 5) and then explained the game like this:

First, you start with a blank grid of dots.

Then, you allow one person to connect two dots to make one line.

Then, the next person must connect two dots, making a line.

This continues until there are are enough to make a box.

If you draw the 4th line that closes the box, you get to put your initials in that box.

This continues until all boxes have been made.

The winner is the one with the MOST boxes with initials.

The dots that you draw can be on your whiteboard or you can project the image above.

So, you have the worksheets, you have the grid…how do you put it all together? Great question! What I did was first project the image above on my board. Then, I passed out a packet of the worksheets. I sat in a central part of my classroom where I could watch what was happening and I got a self-inking stamp (this will save your initials a million times in one day). Once students finished a couple of questions, they could come to me to check. I told them they had to have 5 questions completed on the worksheets or have one of the speaking prompts ready to go. If they were all correct, they got a stamp on their paper (made grading easier when I chose which one to grade) and they got to go draw a line. They could NOT draw a line until they were all correct. If even one was incorrect, I sent them back. This infuriated some, as I wouldn’t tell them which was incorrect. It made for some great group work though! They were ALL engaged and trying to win another line!

It was fun, engaging and they learned and problem-solved a LOT! Win-win.

I hope this helps with some ideas for teaching these required vocabulary sets and/or topics while keeping lessons focused on communication!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!

Another “Fun with Vocabulary” Listening & Speaking Activity

So, everyone knows teaching required vocabulary can be dry and SUPER boring for students AND their teachers. I posted earlier in THIS post about one way I was working through some vocabulary required by my district in a more engaging way and incorporating listening and speaking.

Well, I am teaching some restaurant-related vocabulary now and decided to do the same kind of activity since it was super popular last time. So, HERE is the activity I call, “What’s on the Menu?” I have included some common foods you would find at restaurants, but it is super easy to insert your own too! I hope this helps some of you make this a less painful vocabulary lesson! Remember, if YOU enjoy the activity, they will too!!!

I hope this helps with some ideas for teaching these required vocabulary sets and/or topics while keeping lessons focused on communication!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!

Lucky Duck – A Cartoon Story

It’s the “lucky” time of year with St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner! So, it is a perfect time to use this Cartoon Story to engage your learners.

HERE is the link to the PDF

You can use this story to help students tell a short visual story aloud OR have them write what they think each box is about.

You could have students make it up in groups or with a partner and have them share with the class.

You could cut up the pictures and place them around the room and have students add a sentence below each picture on a Gallery Walk.

You could make a listening activity and mix up the pictures, then allow students to work on putting them in order according to the story they hear you tell.

Honestly, this has SO many variations! Have fun telling these LUCKY stories! Share what your students come up with in the comments!

There are also two stories with Story Scripts on my TpT store HERE if you are interested in a companion story and possible script.

I hope this helps with some ideas for teaching these required vocabulary sets and/or topics while keeping lessons focused on communication!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!

RAP Time – Read, Add and Pass…A Vocab Review Activity

It is about that time of the semester when you need a break and the kids need a break, but there is still SOOOO much to cover!

I know, lately, I have been struggling with activities that keep students’ attention. It is like these past pandemic years have shortened their ability to sit and do anything for very long.

So, here is a vocabulary review activity that can get the students working together, creating a product, and you just get to monitor! It is pretty self-explanatory. YAY! (Of course, if you have any questions, please just let me know!)

I am not sure where I adapted this idea from. I know I took from a few sources over the years and really just tweaked it until it worked for my class. I hope it can work for yours too!

HERE IS THE LINK

Happy Teaching!

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