If you need a quick way to share the culture behind Día de Muertos, I got you!
Just use THIS presentation to Movie Talk a short video from Youtube. The video is also linked in the slideshow.
You could just use this to talk about the holiday in English, or with upper levels, you could definitely have the discussion in Spanish. There are some ideas on the first slide, but those are just a FEW ideas. Have fun!
Hope this inspires you to get students talking about the Hispanic culture!
As I posted this week, I am creating lots of materials to help my students review for the required vocabulary and grammar in the school where I teach. I do not teach these out of context throughout the year, but we do have common semester assessments, so I want them to feel prepared. I believe strongly in the use of comprehensible input for true language acquisition, so this is quite a deviation from the way I generally teach.
That being said, I wanted to review but keep it fun, interactive and comprehensible. So, I came up with a method I explained in an earlier post HERE. I have taken all the required vocabulary and started to create some interactive activities we can do together or in small groups. Here is one I created to review zoo animals and prepositions of place. I was able to watch students use vocabulary, listen to instructions and demonstrate an understanding of animals and prepositions of place.
This can also be used with younger students to teach the vocabulary and have them practicing the vocabulary in an interactive way. You could certainly print the zoo page and the animals stickers and have students do this in class without the use of computers as well.
Here is the place to move and label the animals.
Here are some of the stickers I used.
Hope this inspires you to get them talking and working together! I will have this and other sets of common vocabulary units 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!
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!
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.
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!
I am currently teaching in the Narration Cycle of the instructional framework. I have been telling a new story every week, and needed a new way to review the stories and get my students writing. So, I took a step back into my days teaching language arts and pulled out this classic review strategy.
It is the 5 finger review! I wanted a fresh way to summarize the story and get my students writing, not just listening to the story. I found my students really needed a way to organize their thoughts, so I drew a hand on the board. After that class, I realized it would have been great to have allowed my students to use this as a graphic organizer WHILE I was telling the story, not just after. It would also have been great to have a digital version I could have created with students. On top of that, I am just a REALLY bad artist. LOL. I mean, epically bad. So bad that my students end up having a running joke about some drawing I have tried to make at some point during the year. It is just one of those things about teaching with CI…you have to draw.
Anyway, after doing the notes that go on each finger, you can use those points to write a great summary. It worked out well, so I wanted to share! You can download the color English version HERE. The Spanish and English versions in both color and printable black and white can be found in my TpT store, linked below.
In my years in education I have learned there is power in using Graphic Organizers. This is true for ALL subject matter in ALL grade levels. I have taught elementary, middle, high school and college, and … graphic organizers were one of the BEST tools I had at my disposal at all levels. I have taught Social Studies, Math, Reading, ESOL, Bilingual, Dual Language and even Science. Guess what? … You guessed it! Graphic Organizers for the win!
They are POWERFUL because they help students see the information in a different way. We all know “chunking” works for struggling students, but it also works for ALL students. By giving students information in an “organized” structure, we allow them all to process the information at their own pace and store it visually. I have yet to find a lesson or concept that is not supported by a Graphic Organizer.
Now I teach Spanish and ESOL at middle school. One thing I do in both classes is tell stories. Kids are always super engaged with Visual Stories! (If you haven’t tried it, you should!) One great way to process the story after is to use a Graphic Organizer. Below, you will see a classic, and one of my favorites:
There are others (you can find some on my TpT store if you need some variety or want these in Spanish) you can use for a simple Story Retell, but this one is super simple. You can make this into an Anchor Chart that you create on poster paper or the white board during class.
In this digital age, it is even easier to share this with students. So, I made a Google Slides presentation you can either use WITH your students or share with them so they can fill it out on their own. Of course, the good ole printable version is HERE. Hope this is a helpful reminder for everyone about how amazing Graphic Organizers can be in your classroom!
I am gearing up for the first few days back from break! I know, I should be relaxing and disconnecting. I have been, I promise, but I also know I relax better when I am prepared.
So… I have been continuing with my series of Following Simple Directions worksheets. I know worksheets are NOT the preferred task, and I plan to do a lot of guided vocabulary work and story telling along with this, but, that being said, I feel like my students are better on task when there is something concrete for them to accomplish and turn in. I hope to NOT have to do this next year, but my students seem to really need the structure and to be reminded how to be in school this year.
Anyway, I hope you can find some way to use this that will benefit your students. This is just one level. The leveled versions will be up for sale on my TpT store by the end of the week.
I have also created some New Year Student Practice for Following Simple Directions for sale on my TpT store. HERE is the link to the Spanish, and HERE is the link to the English.
Follow this blog for more great, free resources! Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!
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!