Huevos de plástico en la clase de ELE

¡Esta en una de mis épocas favoritas! Los huevos de plástico para las Pascua están por todos lados en el mercado. Una excelente oportunidad para comprar unos cuantos y encontrarles uso en la clase de español. A continuación les compartiré algunas ideas contándoles como los he usado en mis clases.

1. “Brain Breaks o “descansos mentales”

Es una manera para salir de la rutina y que los estudiantes escojan de manera sorpresiva el “brain break” o actividad de descanso mental.  Pare esto necesitas haber enseñado los descansos mentales antes de imprimir la ficha con el nombre en el huevo de plástico. Les sugiero algunos cuantos. Por favor visita los enlaces para conocerlos.

2. Adivinanzas

La idea es esconder en el huevo de plástico una foto o material manipulativo  que sea  la respuesta de la adivinanza. Debes enumerar los huevos de plástico y las fichas con la adivinanza.

3. Los pollitos

Los huevos de plástico, especialmente los amarillos son perfectos para hacer pollitos. Simplemente necesitas marcadores permanentes. La foto muestra  lo sencillo que es hacerlo. Enseña la canción “los pollitos”, imprime las letras de la canción, las pones dentro del pollito y listo. Es una actividad que se puede enviar a casa para que los niños canten la canción a su familia.

4. Organiza las oraciones,  historias o palabras

Dependiendo del nivel de tus estudiantes, puedes contar tiras de papel con palabras u oraciones para que tus estudiantes las organicen. Estor huevos también pueden ser una herramienta útil para la construcción de palabras.

5. Los sentimientos

Esta es una de mis actividades favoritas. Dibuja una carita con una expresión sobre la tapa más grande del huevo de plástico. Escribe la palabra que va con la emoción. Mezcla los colores. Los estudiantes deben leer y organizar los huevos de acuerdo a la emoción y la palabra. Los puedes convertir en una competencia. Puedes tomar el tiempo y ver quien puede juntas los huevos en el menor tiempo posible.

¡Manos a la obra! Descarga tus imprimibles para llevar estas actividades a tu clase.

¿Se te ocurre otra idea? Por favor compártela en el espacio de los comentarios. ¡Me encantaría escucharla!

Con cariño,
Carolina

 

Routines to Take Your Spanish Class “Out of Routine”


Yes! The title sounds a little bit redundant, but we all have our own “ritualitos” (little rituals) that we do in every class. 
I  have been teaching for over 17 years now, and my experience is mostly in the United States as a Spanish teacher in a FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School) program. Back when I was a PreK/First grade teacher in Colombia, I rarely felt that I was getting into a routine, which I equated with a rut or “getting bored” of doing the same things in class over and over. And while teaching in a world language program means you need to have a lot of repetition to help your students retain the language, this doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing every class!
When teaching in a world language program at the elementary level, we have to make sure we provide a sense of routine in the class to create a safe space for the children. I strongly believe in teaching in the target language as much as you can, which means having to use the language a lot and at the proficiency level of your students. This can sometimes limit the amount of activities you can do to vary your routine.

Here is a list of routines I do in my class. Please feel free to add more in the comments below! I would love to hear yours!

I always start my class with the “Plan de la clase” which tells my students what will be happening in class. I go over it with them and keep it very simple. This also can eliminate the stress in some of the anxious students who need to know what will be happening in class.

This is an example of how it might look depending on the grade level. The message below is for a second grade class, and I see them only twice a week for a 40-minute period each time. You can decide how to have the class read it. You can have one volunteer read the message or the whole class may read it together.


Plan de la clase
1. Saludos: ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?
2. El calendario
3. Canción: La familia sapo
4. ¡Vamos a jugar!: Pasa la bola
5. Describe a tu familia: ¿Cómo es tu familia?
6. Tiquete de salida

Since greetings are a key aspect of world language classes, here are some ideas to greet your students:

1. Try to change the greetings. One day you can use ¿Como estás? and then the other day “¿Qué tal?”.
2. You can pass a ball to students in class and ask the question yourself.
You can give turns to the children to respond and then pass the ball to the next person, and the child who responded will take a turn asking.

3. You can divide the class in pairs where one student asks then the other responds and vice versa.
4. You can divide the class into teams, one side answers and the other responds.

5. You can use puppets and let your students improvise their greetings for the class.

6. Play music in the classroom, have your students dance to the music, stop the music and choose a volunteer to greet the class. For example, “clase, ¿cómo estás?”

7. Place a picture of a famous person or movie character with information about themselves (see picture below). You can read this information to your students, then give turns for them to introduce themselves to the character or famous person by sharing the same information. See more here

Another option is creating a short video using Morpho Booth. Warning! Some of your young students might think that this is creepy. My third graders love it!

8. Place a simple picture that your students will have to use to complete their face. They can take turns doing this. Download the picture here!
9. Start with a Zumba or dancing routine to get everyone into the Spanish mood.
10. Use “brain breaks” during the routine or any time you see your students need help focusing and tuning again into class.
11. Read the days of the week with a feeling for each day. Find the picture here!
12. Make your calendar interactive. If you have an interactive board or a projector, a computer connected to the internet, take advantage of it and add a cultural/geographic aspect comparing seasons, temperatures and weather to your calendar. My students always love guessing what the temperature could be like in Colombia or any other Spanish-speaking country. See video below!

To add a more adventurous part, take a trip to any of the Spanish-speaking countries using Google Earth! Also check out my “Facebook Corner” for more ideas on routines for Spanish class!
Have fun!
Carolina
¡FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!

¡FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!

Welcome to 2020! This year I have decided that I won’t make a list of resolutions for the New Year, only because I find myself writing the same list over and over again each year and not being able to follow through. I also generally add things that should be a habit in my life such as eating healthy, exercising more, reading more books instead of spending so much time on social media and so on! I did decide that I want to learn how to play ukelele and will tell you more about it at the end of 2020. Are you setting any goals for this year?

This holiday season I got to spend a few weeks in Colombia with my parents, and I am now feeling recharged with new ideas to bring to my classroom (even though I miss my parents).

I wrote my lesson plans my last day before going on break because I knew I was going to forget a lot of what I was doing in my classes.

Many children hit a kind of reset button during the break so as a general rule, I find it very helpful to treat the first few days after the holidays as I’d done on the first days of school in August. I think it is a good idea to review your classroom rules and procedures as well as continue building relationships with students and creating community before diving into teaching Spanish. This means that I will spend my first days revising our classroom rules and routines: discussing, modeling, and practicing rules. We practice how to walk in a line, enter the classroom, and find a place on the rug to get ready for class. We model it, talk about it, and keep reinforcing it for the rest of the school year. For me this also means that part of my class will take place in English the first few days back after the break. It will pay off nicely during the rest of the school year!

I use this opportunity to revisit the use of the chime with my students. We review that the chime sound means to stop, look, and listen. I also revisit some of our call & response chants, hand signals, and brain & breathing breaks.

Download these cards to introduce your students to “para, mira y escucha.”

 

Have an awesome rest of the school year!

 

 

 

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT IN AN ELEMENTARY SPANISH CLASS

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT IN AN ELEMENTARY SPANISH CLASS

Classroom management is definitely a skill that you build with practice. And it’s something that is constantly changing and evolving according to the different personalities of your students and classroom chemistry. What works with one class might not work with another, or what worked one school year might not work the next. I find myself continuously changing and adapting my classroom management strategies.

Writing this post is a reflection exercise for me. In the past, I had assumed that because the homeroom teachers I worked with had been investing time (not spending, or as we might say in a literal translation of Spanish, “wasting”) in going over classroom rules, creating beautiful agreements, their students would automatically come to me ready to engage and learn!  How wrong I was! If the homeroom teacher has been investing time in making it a safe learning environment for everyone, I also have to do my part. Children need to see that teachers are all working together, and that we all have the same high expectations for them. Quite often we “special teachers” don’t start teaching on the very first day. What a great opportunity to go into the classrooms and learn the language and procedures homeroom teachers are using with their students.

Let Your Students Know A Little Bit About You

I started day one in my classes with a “Get to know the teacher” activity. I have done it different ways in the past. I have created a picture book about me, PowerPoint presentations, and these last two years I have made videos using PowToon. This is a short version I created to share here. In the presentation I use with my students, I add pictures of my family too. They love it! After watching the short video, we played a simple “cierto” and “falso” game. I also use this as an opportunity to connect with other students by asking simple questions such as ¿quién tiene perros?, ¿a quién le gusta el brócoli? or ¿a quién no le gusta el brócoli?, ¿qué te gusta comer?, and the conversation gets long! Some of my classes have asked to watch it a few times!

By first sharing a little bit about me with my students, I find that it is easier to start working on creating a class with a safe learning environment. I also invest a lot of time in talking about these rules in English, although the signs are in Spanish. I have noticed that starting with English and making sure my students understand and practice the rules will save me from having to use a lot of English later. With elementary students it takes a lot of practice. You kind of have to use the pattern of modeling, talking, and practicing. It is a lot of time at the beginning of the school year, but having the routines and rules well established will allow me to stay in the target language for more time. So far my grades 1-2 students (I haven’t met kinder yet) enter the classroom by greeting me in Spanish, and the grades 3-5 students enter the classroom using “La frase de la semana.”

Keep Your Rules Simple

These are the rules that I have been using for the last couple of years. I wish I could say I came up with them, but they were shared by my two colleagues who have used them in the past. They are simple, concrete, and easy to TPR. We talk about how each of them looks, and we model, practice, and talk again!

 

All the images above were created by “A Sketchy Guy”

Once in the room, we talk about how they transition to their places in class. I started by not assigning spots or chairs in the classroom, but quickly noticed some of my students were having a hard time finding a place, so I decided to assign places in class. I have seen my students about 7 times this school year, and so far we have started every class by pointing at the posters, practicing and reinforcing them. These are the rules that I currently use with my students.

Introduce Other Routines

I also introduce the children to respond to the sound of the chime and teach some of the call and response chants that we will be using through the school year. During the first week, students also get to know our classroom, and the different procedures to use the materials we have in it. My school has a strong Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program and uses a lot of Responsive Classroom techniques, so many classrooms have a “Take a break” space. I call it “El espacio de la reflexión.” Responsive Classroom has a great explanation of this strategy.

I’m a brain break lover, so I definitely make sure to start using them with my students from day one! Elementary students need to move a lot, so this is a “must do” in all my lessons. It’s extremely important to introduce all your routines during the first weeks. Depending on the level, I either end the class with a song, exit ticket,  or a simple “chócala” to send my students to line up quietly.

So far everything has been going great! Fingers crossed that it will continue that way. How do you do classroom management in your Spanish class? Please feel free to share in the comments!

Have an awesome school year!