BRAIN BREAKS FOR SPANISH CLASS

BRAIN BREAKS FOR SPANISH CLASS

I am “brain break” lover! I teach young students, but it doesn’t matter how old your students are, a little break to get them moving will help them tune into class. I use brain breaks a lot, but depending on the time of the day, I have noticed that they are more needed, especially with classes after lunch.

Here is a list of brain breaks for different levels.

Chocolate
Choco, choco, la, la
Cho, choco, te, te
Chocola, chocote,

¡Chocolate!

 

Palo bonito
Palo, palo, palo,
palo bonito,
palo eh,
eh, eh, ah
palo bonito, palo eh.
Hula en español: Five minute video that will get your students moving!
La Yenka: This could also be used as a fun choreography for your students to learn!
You can also use it as freeze dance by just chanting “izquierda, izquierda, derecha, derecha, adelante y atrás, 1, 2, 3” and then everyone freezes.
La Familia Sapo: Perfect to review family members while getting everyone moving
Todo el movimiento: Great to review parts of the body
El baile de la ensalada
Have fun moving in class!

Carolina

BRAIN BREAK OR CALM DOWN ACTIVITIES? READING YOUR STUDENTS’ ENERGY LEVEL

BRAIN BREAK OR CALM DOWN ACTIVITIES? READING YOUR STUDENTS’ ENERGY LEVEL

Brain break or calm down activities? This is the question I have been asking myself this year after teaching my sweet first graders. I am lucky that we have a mindfulness teacher in the school where I teach. I asked him for some help, and he graciously offered to come sit and observe my students in my class. After observing my class he noticed that I have been using a lot of brain breaks that will leave my students with high energy, which doesn’t really help this group of active first graders maintain focus during the rest of the class period.

This is what he suggested I do:

  1. Calming Scents: He mentioned to me that this age group is highly affected by their environment. He suggested that having calming scents such as lavender, lemon or peppermint might help.
  2. Sounds: Playing relaxing music or natural sounds such as rainforest or waterfalls as they enter my classroom might help lower their energy levels.
  3. Slow movement activities: Play slow music in the room and have them pretend to be different things in nature. Visuals will be handy for this. For example, a cloud, a slow elephant, a bird and so on (and this also gives a fun opportunity to reinforce some vocabulary or teach new words).
  4. Breathing movements: Encourage movement activities that require students to inhale and exhale while sitting down or walking around the room.

Here are some visuals that might be helpful to have in your room.

Just ask your students to close their eyes quietly for a minute or more. Setting a timer or using a chime might help to let your students know that the time is up!
“Smell the flowers” is a good visual to encourage students to breathe deeply.
“Blow out the candles” is a great visual to practice exhaling fully.
I ask my students to pretend they are holding a flower in one hand and
a candle in the other, and we alternate when inhaling and exhaling.
Just play soft music or relaxing sounds in class.
Practicing some yoga poses might help your students get rid of their wiggles.

Click HERE download all the cards!

Stop by Mundo de Pepita to learn more about creating a calm classroom!

More yoga ideas for your class:

Five Yoga Poses for Spanish Class

Yoga Story in Spanish

Needing something different than calm down activities? I have tons of active, energizing brain breaks activities on my blog, too:

Movement cards

Brain Breaks for Spanish Class

Five Zumba Routines

Enjoy!

LUIS PESCETTI’S GROUP GAMES

LUIS PESCETTI’S GROUP GAMES

Luis Pescetti is an Argentinian musician, writer, actor, and storyteller. He is also known for for his great group activities that are fun and encourage movement (which is why they are called ‘dinámicas’ in Spanish). Some of his group games work great in the Spanish classroom and can be used as energizers or brain breaks for you and your students.

For this game I would suggest you ask your students to be in groups of five or less to keep it safe.

¿Por qué me sube la bilirubina? No sé porque.

¿Por qué me sube la bilirubina? No sé porque.

A moler café, a moler café, a moler a moler a moler café.

A moler café, a moler café, a moler a moler a moler café.

This is simple but a bit challenging for second graders. I mostly use it for third graders and up. A lot of fun!

Palo, palo, palo, palo bonito, palo eh,

eh, eh, eh, palo bonito, palo eh.

This is one of the group activities my first graders love. The first time they saw the video they were scared, but we couldn’t stop laughing afterwards. It’s great to use during Halloween!

Se hace de noche,

se ve un castillo,

se abre una puerta,

sale un vampiro,

saca un cuchillo y …

unta pan con mantequilla,

unta pan con mantequilla,

unta pan con mantequilla.

This activity works great in a circle. This one gets everyone quiet and focused on the movement. My students were a little frustrated at first, but once we all got it, it became a fun challenge.

Bale, bale, bale, pata zum, zum, zum,

bale, zum, zum, zum,

pata zum, zum, zum.

Bale, bale, bale, pata zum, zum, zum,

bale, zum, pata zum, bale zum.

This can be done with different ages. It can be done fast or slow. A lot of fun!

A ram sam sam,

guli, guli, guli, guli, ram sam sam.

Arabi, arabi,

guli, guli, guli, guli, ram sam sam.

This video gives a little background for the song “A ram sam sam”.

Have fun!

5 MOST READ BLOG POSTS IN 2019

5 MOST READ BLOG POSTS IN 2019

I am always grateful for the teachers who come to this blog to read my posts. I share them with a lot of love and really hope I can save busy teachers out there just a little bit of time (time is such a precious commodity for teachers!). This blog was started as a way to connect with other teachers because for a while I was the only Spanish teacher in one of the schools where I taught. Having this blog made me feel connected and part of a larger community.  Thank you for stopping by to read my blog!

These are the five most read posts this year:

1. 14 Jokes for Elementary Spanish

2. Brain Breaks for Spanish Class

3. Traditional Game: Tingo Tango

4. Call and Response Chants in Spanish

5. Canción: El monstruo de la laguna

Thank you for an amazing year!

 

#TFLA2019 SESSION: COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT IN THE ELEMENTARY SPANISH CLASSROOM

#TFLA2019 SESSION: COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT IN THE ELEMENTARY SPANISH CLASSROOM

It was so great to meet so many elementary teachers during #TFLA2019. It was exciting to share with you about Comprehensible Input in the elementary Spanish classroom, and I truly hope you were able to use some of what I shared as soon as you entered your classroom on Monday.

As I mentioned at the end of my session, if you are really interested in bringing CI into your teaching life, I recommend you start out by reading the research done by Dr. Stephen Krashen. Once you have that clear, choose one or two strategies to bring to your classes as a starting point, and little by little start building your CI toolkit. The best thing about CI is the sheer variety of techniques you can choose from. You and your students will never feel bored, but remember to add your personal touch to anything you do.

During the TFLA session, we explored some CI strategies that I have successfully been able to use in my elementary classes. We peeked inside my classroom, saw a few routines in action (e.g. la frase de la semana y el saludo). We also talked about MovieTalks and Story Listening, and I was able to incorporate some brain breaks and breathing techniques throughout the session.

If you are new to CI, I highly recommend you start with this video:

I won’t share my full PowerPoint presentation here since it might be quite overwhelming if you didn’t attend the session. But I hope this is a nice refresher for the teachers who attended this session and talking points and ideas for those who couldn’t make it.

Last but not least, stop by Comprensible to learn other CI techniques, and join our Facebook group where you can freely ask or share about CI.

Happy teaching!