Robo en la noche…..third time is a charm!

This is the third time that my fabulous colleague, Megan Matthews, and I are teaching Robo en la noche by Kristy Placido. The first time was two years ago and we rushed through it in the final weeks of school, relying heavily on the terrific resources from Cynthia Hitz.  The second time was last year and the rhythm of teaching was disrupted multiple times by many snow days and the intrusion of PARCC testing that disrupted our schedules for weeks. This year, the third time, we have only had two snow days, and the book is flowing very well. We have continued to add resources to the novel as we ourselves expand our knowledge of TPRS and CI techniques to complement some traditional methods.  Previously, I have blogged twice about Robo, see here and here. Since it is a snowy President’s Day here in Maryland (and I should be grading papers!), I decided to post some of these new resources that might be of interest to others who are using Robo en la noche, also. We are going to be starting chapter 9 this week.

Chapter 2: Chap 2 picture sort and group presentation With this activity, I gave every student a laminated card (took the luxury of printing them in color!), and they had to decide how to group themselves.  The tentative categories were Makenna, Margarita, Costa Rica, Cecilio, etc. My Spanish III classes have between 24 – 28 students, so I needed a lot of pictures! Once they decided their own groups, they worked together to create a presentation about their category.  I gave them about 4 minutes, and they shared it with the class, using their pictures to illustrate what they were saying.  I think that in the future I might follow that with having each group write an individual summary of their presentation.  Note: Some of the pictures could fit into more than one category, it was up to the student to decide where to go.  Prior to their group presentations, I had the class assess whether the pictures were in the correct grouping, and they were allowed to change, if necessary.

Chapter 3:  This year Megan and I are really focusing on verbs and target structures.  We spent a lot of time working on the various forms of casarse, embarazado, pensar, morir and sonreir. We had worked repeatedly with the various forms using a SMART presentation.  Here are some samples from that: 1 2 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our final repetition used this “Toca” board. ch 3 toca vocabulary  4 Working with a partner, students first identified the meaning of all of the structures.  Then, each working with a different colored dry erase marker (the boards were laminated), I said one of the structures in English.  The first to highlight the correct structure scored the point. We wiped the board clean and repeated this several times. By the time we actually read the chapter, all of these structures were easily understood by the students.  There was absolutely no stumbling!

 

Chapter 5: Review bird with all characters  5Working with a partner and different colored dry erase markers, students selected a character and said one sentence about that character, coloring through the character that they selected.  Since the characters are within the bird multiple times, they were able to say many facts about each character without repeating.  This activity lasted about 5 minutes; when they were done, they held up their birds (now colorfully illustrated), and, just for fun, we selected the “prettiest” bird.

Chapters 5-6 Chapters 5 – 6 pictures for oral assessment smaller version I tried some variations with these picture cards (to be printed in color and laminated). The pictures can just be shown to the class, with the entire class adding descriptions to each picture.  The pictures can be given one at a time to a group of 2 – 3 students, who describe the picture with as much detail as possible, and then pass the picture to another group.  Or, using an idea from Carrie Toth, called the yellow brick road, I took the students into the hallway, made a “pathway (yellow brick road)” with the pictures and they worked (in partners) their way through each picture.  I allowed about a minute with each picture before asking them to move one picture to their right/left.  It was relatively easy for me to circulate and listen to their conversations to give them an informal speaking assessment.

Chapter 7 Capítulo 7 Robo en la noche predict the chapter  6Prior to reading chapter 7 and working with a partner, students identified each picture and then selected which pictures they thought would represent what would happen in Chapter 7.  They put an X on the pictures that they thought would not represent action in the chapter.  After deciding, they turned the paper over and wrote 5 sentences about what they expected would happen in the chapter and then presented them to the class.  Their ideas were certainly interesting!! After reading the chapter, we checked the papers/predictions again.

Chapters 7/8:  Some game breaks

I hope that something in this post may be useful to someone else.  If you are using this book, I would love to hear some of your ideas.

 

Creating “breaks” from the novel in novel ways….

I love teaching my Spanish III and IV classes with novels, and I have done several posts about the novels that I use. Currently, I am using Vida y muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha with my Spanish IV classes for the second time. Sometimes my students need a break from the seriousness of the topic.  Below are links to some things that I have created to complement the comprehensible input or to work on vocabulary in a game format.  (We are currently getting ready to move into Chapter 6, so I hope to add more.)

  1.  Quizlet and resources I created to extend the Quizlet practice/games

2.  Super Teacher Tools (this is a quick way to use the questions for the chapter in a game format)  Chapter 5 Repaso This example is using the questions that have been provided as a resource in the teachers guide.

3.  Class Tools.net   PacMan Chapter 5

4.  Kahoot  Chapters 3- 4

5.  Triventy    Vocabulary 1 – 4

 

 

 

Beyond the basic clothing unit….with 3 CI stories

Spanish III this year has read Esperanza and studied Guatemala.  This was followed by an extensive food unit that I hope to blog about soon. According to the county curriculum, the food unit is followed by a clothing unit with a preterite/imperfect focus which has only been referred to as past tense….never separated.  There were three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks….perfect to do the clothing unit.  This is NOT the basic, introductory unit that most students are exposed to in Spanish I or II.  It is greatly expanded, and for the past several years, I have let the students dictate where the bulk of our vocabulary is going to come from, based on their interests and questions.  Additionally this year, I decided that I was going to continue with the comprehensible input stories, and so I had to create stories to go with the unit.  (I also did this for the extensive food unit).  The inspiration for the stories came from the current popularity of Selena Gomez and Enrique Iglesias, a song by Selena Gomez (The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants) that was covered by Kevin, Karla and the Band, and the natural affinity of teenagers for shopping (or not) and the “love interest of the week.” When I wrote the first two stories (for the first two weeks of the unit), it was my intention that the students were going to create the conclusion…but they practically begged me to finish the story (hence story number 3).

Slide1

While I used many activities and creations from the past few years of this unit, such as the great song ¿Qué me pongo? by Mango Punch Qué me pongo Mango Punch 2014, a fun group creation activity with La Camisa Negra, lots of partner activities, etc. (as can been seen here), the primary focus was the stories, the repetitions, and a myriad of activities that went with the stories.

The story began: Había una chica que se llamaba Sofía. Sofía tenía 16 años y le gustaba ir de compras. Le gustaba ir de compras muchísimo!!! También había un chico, un chico de 16 años que se llamaba Enrique. A Enrique, no le importaba mucho la ropa….pero necesitaba la ropa confortable.   I introduced the story for the first week with this powerpoint version Ropa part 1 The student copy for the rest of the week is Ropa part 1 We read it multiple times, using various methods and ended the week with a “practice” free write that was completed with a partner then exchanged with another group who read it, underlined the words used and gave it a score. Practice Free Write

Week Two featured the second part of the story. Ropa part 2 and another version with many images replacing the vocabulary Ropa part 2 with multiple images.  We also used these story cards Sofia 2nd part story cards to retell the story (run off, cut and laminated) with a partner. The cards also lend themselves to a multitude of activities: vocabulary identification/description, sequencing, teacher read description with student “grabbing” of the correct card, etc. Part of the fun this week was the designing of the outfits that the students thought that Sofia and Enrique had worn to the dance.

Dibuja las prendas de ropa que llevaban Enrique y Sofía. Cada persona necesita tener 4 prendas de ropa y 2 accesorios. ¡Incluye los colores! ropa maleropa female

This was a multiple day activity…the creation of the outfits, the description of the outfits to a partner, and then an inner/outer circle activity where they received and exchanged and described multiple creations that were not theirs. There was also an assessed free write for this part of the story Sofia second part free write

 

Week Three brought the conclusion of the story. Ropa part 3, Sofía queria ir verb completion activity an acting competition, playing Kahoot with the story and also Triple Trouble Triple Trouble game.  Triple Trouble is played with groups of 2/3 students (each with their own color marker).  The teacher asks a question, and the first student has 10 seconds to tell/write the answer for his/her partner.  If correct, he/she colors in one circle, with the goal of getting three in a row as many times as possible.  Naturally, we also had to work with the song What A Heart Wants as covered by Kevin, Karla and the Band.

We ended the week with an Educreations project  Educreations 2014 for blog which really showed how much vocabulary they were using as well as a pretty natural use of the past tense.

Jai-Alai

Every year, after I finish the big music/social awareness unit with Juanes, Juan Luis Guerra and Carlos Baute, my students fear that the most compelling part of the curriculum has been covered.  Fortunately, we go right into a unit about Spain that has several really interesting components.  Yes, it contains grammar (preterite/imperfect yet again and the present perfect), but it also has a great deal about sports and culture of Spain.  I get to introduce them to David Bisbal and his ever popular Bulería, Macaco, Jarabe de Palo, and Pablo Alborán, among others.  We get to discover El País Vasco, Andalucia, Galicia, Cataluña, Castilla La Mancha, Madrid, etc.  AND, we also get to talk about jai-alai and la corrida de toros.

They are always interested in jai-alai, so I’ve tried to expand that part of the unit over the past several years. We will start by taking a look at
El País Vasco with this video:

and probably a bit from the Aventuras Vascas series:

For background information on jai-alai, I use these videos:

The Fastest Game in the World

For sheer silliness, I will include the infamous Steve O and Johnny Knoxville adventure into jai-alai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwZLlwHp2zI   and also a brief Simpsons clip:

I created a powerpoint on jai-alai Jai- Alai-1-2 and I can share my own personal stories and pictures from games that I have attended. Somewhere along the years, I also was given an actual cesta, pelota and sash.  We leave the classroom, and I always let several students in each class attempt to throw  a ball (a koosh ball, not the actual pelota), with the cesta.  It’s usually something that they enjoy trying.

If you have other jai-alai resources, I would love to know about them.  Or, if you have other favorite activities from teaching about culture in Spain, please share.

Conversation and Tic Tac Toe

I’m always looking for ways to keep my students talking.  Monday’s are particularly difficult days to get them going.  Therefore, I sometimes have to use some bribery!  Tomorrow we are going to be working in groups of four, reviewing everything we’ve been studying in this “Music unit” for the past three weeks.  That means that I’m going to ask them to talk about everything that they can remember about Juan Luis Guerra, Juanes, La República Dominicana, Colombia, the song “Somos el mundo“, the geography of the Americas, problems, conflicts, geographical features, sports, food, types of music, etc.  I will time them (probably 3 minutes).  The rules are simple:  talk and don’t stop.  They can say anything in their group related to the stated directions.  They can respond to what someone has said, they can give information in the form of a question for the group to answer, or they can just add a fact.  Their conversations may sound like this:

  • Juan Luis Guerra es un cantante de la República Dominicana. 
  • Cantó Ojalá que llueva café en el campo. 
  • ¿Qué son unas comidas en la canción?
  • Recuerdo batata, mapuey and yuca.
  • Hay muchas playas en la República Dominicana pero también hay montañas
  • Hay niños que tienen hambre.
  • También cantó El Costo de la Vida.
  • ¿Sabes la capital de la República Dominicana?
  • La capital es Santo Domingo.
  • La bandera es roja, azul y blanca.
  • ¿Quién escribió las letras de Somos el Mundo?
  • Juanes es de Colombia.
  • Hay montañas grandes, se llaman Los Andes.
  • Colombia está en el norte.
  • La República Dominicana está en el Caribe.
  • Está al lado de Haití.
  • Las personas indígenas se llamaban taínos.
  • Juanes canto La Historia de Juan y A Dios le Pido.
  • La Historia de Juan tiene un niño que vive en la calle.
  • Hay muchos niños que viven en la calle.
  • Hay problemas con el abuso, el abandono y el secuestro.
  • La capital de Colombia es Bogotá.

While they are finished, the group of 4 will split to become two groups of two. There will be two dry erase boards, markers and erasers.  One group will become the “X” group, and the other group will become the “O” group.  On one board, they draw a large Tic Tac Toe board.  I will then ask a question for the “X” group and give them 10 seconds to write their answer on the other dry erase board.  If their answer is correct, they get to place an “X” on the Tic Tac Toe board; if it is incorrect, they do not get to write the letter on the board.  The next question is for the “O” group.  Same process.  tictactoeWhen one team wins, they erase the Tic Tac Toe board, and begin again.  Sometimes I have them play one person against the other instead of groups of two against groups of two.  My questions will be like this:

  1. Dos tipos de música de la República Dominicana son……
  2. Juan Luis Guerra escribió una canción llamada Bachata en Fukoaka.  ¿Dónde esta Fukoaka?
  3. ¿Cómo empieza el coro de Somos el mundo en español?
  4. ¿Qué significa “la luz que alumbra con ardor”?
  5. En La Historia de Juan, ¿Qué significa “su luz se apagó”?
  6. ¿Cuál canción tiene las letras “que caiga un aguacero de yuca y té?
  7. La capital de Colombia
  8. La capital de R.D.
  9.  ¿Quién es el niño que nadie amó?
  10. ¿Cuál canción tiene las letras, “Aquí no hablamos inglés “ y “Aquí no hablamos francés”?
  11. Dos industrias de R.D.
  12. ¿Cómo se llaman las montañas de Colombia?

After about 10 minutes of my questions, I ask which group has won the most games.  They are then the winners and get a piece of candy!  A happy way to start a Monday!

Blockbusters, the game: Lo Tech and Hi Tech!

Somewhere along the way, many, many years ago in my teaching career, I came up with the idea of a game called Blockbusters for Spanish class.  It must have been based on some game I had seen, but I don’t remember where. It’s a good game for vocabulary review, easy to create, and usually keeps the attention of the entire class.Lo Tech version:

Purpose: Review and reinforce current and prior vocabulary

Language Level:  applicable to all levels

# of Players:  entire class

Materials:  set of laminated, individual letters (doubles of some high frequency letters, such as a, p, r, e in Spanish); whiteboard/chalkboard.  I use magnetized cards that I simply put up on the board; they are easily arranged and removed.

Directions and/or Rules:  Create a database of vocabulary words for each letter in the set of laminated letters.  Create definitions for targeted words in the language (it is also very easy to spontaneously create definitions as you proceed).  Place laminated cards in rows across the board.  It does not matter how many cards go vertically or horizontally.  Use about 26 letters.  Divide the class into teams (2-5 teams depending on size of class).  Assign each team a symbol:  Team 1 will be the ♥; Team 2 will be the ☺; Team 3 will be the ♦; etc.  Instruct the class that the object of the game is to achieve 5 symbols that connect vertically, horizontally or diagonally, or any combination of those.  The team symbol replaces the letter when the team gives the correct vocabulary word to match the definition.  Any member on any team may answer, but once the student has been called upon, he may not receive help from his teammates, and must give his answer within 5 seconds of being called on.  Teacher chooses the beginning letter and reads the first definition.  The first hand up will be called upon.  If that person gives a correct answer, then the team symbol replaces the letter (draw it on the board).  If that person gives an incorrect answer, his team is eliminated from answering for that letter, and a new definition is read.  Play continues until one team has 5 symbols that connect vertically, horizontally or diagonally, or any combination of those directions.  When 5 connecting symbols are achieved, that team has won one game, and the symbols that were connected for that team are now “dead”, meaning that they can not be used to connect to any other letter..  However, play continues, as there should be many possible ways for teams to win.  When it becomes impossible for a team to win with 5 connected symbols, I count the symbols that have not won, and award a game to the team with the most symbols on the board.

Sample Database

A:  abogado, abril, abuela, abuelo, abuelos, aburrido, animales, antipático, apagar, aspiradora, ajedrez, atlético, ayudar, azul

B:  bailar, bajo, banco, bañarse, baño, baloncesto, beber, bebidas, bicicleta, bombero, bueno,

C:  Café, calor, calculadora, cama, caminar, camisa, cantar, carne, carpeta, cartero, cena, ciencia ficción, cine, ciudad, clase, cocinero, comer, comerciante, comprar, concierto, computadora, conductor, conocer, contento, cartas, cuaderno, cuarto, cumpleaños

D:  dar, decir,  decorar, dentista, deliciosos, deportes, dependiente, desayuno, descansar, dibujar, dientes, diseñar, divertido, dormir, dormitorio,

E:  edificio, educación física, empezar, enchiladas, enfermo, enfermera, ensalada, enseñar, entrar, entretenimiento, escribir, escritorio, escuela, escuchar, esquiar, estudiante, estudiar, estufa,

F:  falda, fácil, familia, fecha, feo, fiesta, flor, fin de semana, foto, francés, fregadero, frío, fruta, fútbol

G:  garaje, gato, garganta, gente, gimnasio, gordo, gracias, grande, gris, guapo, guitarra, gustar

H:  habitación, hablar, hace…tiempo, hacer, hambre, hamburguesa, hasta, helado, hermano, hija, historia, hospital,

I:  idiomas, iglesia, incendio, inglés, inodoro, inteligente, intelectual, interesante, invierno, invitar, italiano

J:  jamón, jardín, joven, juego, juego de mesa, jugador, jugar, jugo, julio, junio

Sample definitions:

A:  Es la madre de mi madre:  abuela

Los gatos y los perros:  animales

Limpia la sala, tienes que pasar la ____:  aspiradora

Un juego de mesa:  ajedrez

Los bomberos con el incendio:  apagar

Hi Tech Version:

Somewhere along the line, I found this PowerPoint for blockbusters.  You can easily edit it to create a game specific to your own vocabulary.  The PowerPoint that I have here is mainly used as a review after the huge music unit I do each year in March, although for some letters it will be a review of miscellaneous vocabulary.  The great thing about this version is that it actually contains 9 different versions of the game.  You simply have to remember which version you are playing, and use the questions from that number only.  blockbusters as powerpoint primarily music

Special thanks to the person who created the original PowerPoint that I have now modified for my classes!

Food, glorious food!

Food.  We all teach about it, no matter the language or the level and all of us have developed many activities.  In this post I will share some activities and ideas that perhaps will be new, some are specifically for Spanish but some are general for any language.  As always, I would love to hear about your ideas and activities.  Since I teach Spanish III and IV, some of the activities will be too advanced for I and II, but could certainly be adapted.

Game/Online activities

Conversation Ideas (small groups or partners)

    • foods you like/don’t like; fruits and vegetables
    • food that your family always has for special occasions or holidays
    • food that is finger licking good (para chuparse los dedos), that is disgusting (da asco), that is out of date/expired, safe to eat or not? (está pasada), that makes your mouth water (se me hace agua la boca)
    • foods that change to other foods (milk to yogurt, peanuts to peanut butter, orange to orange juice, strawberries to jelly, etc.)
    • What am I?  Partner A describes a food to Partner B who must guess what the food is (I am round, sometimes red, sometimes green.  I’m good in pies.  [apple])
    • what do you prefer on your pizza/ on your hamburger
    • favorite fast foods
    • Very guided practice

Compañero A: 

  1. ¿Qué es tu bebida favorita?
  2. ¿Qué es tu fruta preferida?
  3. ¿Cuándo comes helado?
  4. ¿A qué hora comes la cena?
  5. ¿Qué te gusta poner en una hamburguesa?

Compañero B:

  1. ¿Qué es tu comida favorita?
  2. ¿Qué es tu verdura preferida?
  3. ¿Qué te gusta poner en tu pizza?
  4. ¿A qué hora comes el desayuno?
  5. ¿Cuándo comes en un restaurante?

Video Clips

Websites

Artistic Activities

  • Small groups, give students a picture of an open refrigerator and markers/pencils.  Give them one minute to draw food in the refrigerator.  Pass the picture to another group; give them one minute to add more food to the new refrigerator before passing to another group.  Repeat cycle.  After several drawing opportunities, have students identify the food in the refrigerator orally with their group.  After a time or two of the oral work, have students label the food in the refrigerator.
  • Pictionary  Divide class into two teams.  Have each team choose an “artist” who will be drawing on the board.  Give each team a few (2-3, depending on size of class) small whiteboards/markers.  Show the two artists a vocabulary food word to draw on the board.  The teams must write the food word on their whiteboard and hold it up for verification/point.  I usually have the team have the same word written on all of their whiteboards; this keeps everyone involved.
  • Food description  Students work with a partner, each one has been given a picture of a food item.  Without saying the word in Spanish, Partner A will describe the food item to Partner B, who must draw it.

Categorization

    • Class is divided into small groups.  Teacher gives a category and gives the groups one minute to write as many words as possible that fit into the category.  Have the group pass the paper to another group who will verify that the words all fit into the category and assign points.
    • Class is divided into small groups.  Teacher gives a category and gives the groups one minute to write as many words as possible that fit into the category. Teacher starts with one group who will read their words to the class slowly.  If another group has the word, the word does not count.  Groups receive points for the words they have that no other group has.
    • Use the categories like playing Taboo.  One member of the team sees the category and begins to list foods that fit in the category.  Point(s) are awarded when their team can identify the category correctly.