Tag Archives: groupwork

An answer to how to share what you learned from your Culture assignment

21 Apr

Notice that I say “An answer”, I would love to hear how all of you have students share what they have learned.

My students must complete a Culture choice activity each week.  My problem was that they completed the activity and turned it in, it is not shared with the rest of the class.  This is a problem because they have 6 choices and pick 4 to complete throughout the month.  Students do not get to all of them.

Here is an example of one of our Culture Choice handouts.  They complete the assignment in English because I am only teaching Spanish 1 this year.  this is for our foods unit and covers some Michigan World Language Standards.

Here is the activity that I came up with.  It works great because we do it after a quiz.  We have 72 minute classes…

The name of the activity is Jot Thoughts.  It is from an excellent book called Learning in the Fast Lane.  I wish that I had taken pictures to add in.

  1. Group students in any way you wish.  I put 3-4 students together or more depending on class size.
  2. Give each group a stack of sticky notes.  Each group should have a different color of sticky notes.
  3. Students silently write what they have learned from their past month’s Culture assignments on sticky notes.  One fact per note.  They try to cover one person’s desk or two pieces of computer paper if you have tables.
  4. Students then share with their group what they have learned and eliminate any duplicates.
  5. On the board I have drawn a 6 part grid.  Each grid is labeled with a possible culture assignment.  One student from the group brings up the sticky notes and sorts them into the grid.
  6. A spokesperson from each group comes up and reads what their group has learned.  If you hear something that your group has also posted, you do not say that one when you share more than just a mention.

The kids really loved this because they got to write on sticky notes!  They do love sounding like experts as well.  I loved hearing that they had remembered what they learned.

Let me know what you do for students to share their Culture assignments.

 

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Stinky Feet Game

3 Feb

My students love this game.  I am sure that I learned about it from an elementary teacher’s blog.

Set up:  Draw a picture of a big foot on the board.  Put point values on the back of several sticky notes (75% positive, 25% negative) and put them on and around the foot.

Students get into groups of four.
Each group member gets a number (1-4), they can decide on their own who is what number.
The teacher asks a question.
Groups confer on answer and make sure each member knows the answer (or a possible answer).
After 30 seconds or so the teacher says what student number must come up to answer.
They write the answer on a small white board or whisper to teacher.
All students must know the answer because they do not know who will be called.  If correct, they pull a sticky note to receive their group’s points.

I did make the mistake of making the points half positive and half negative but it is much better if only 25% of the points are negative.

For a variation you can give a subject and an infinitive that they have to conjugate.

Apples to Apples for beginning students:

28 Jan

As always I am not sure where I go this idea.  I wish I could give credit…

Apples to apples is a great game but can be difficult for students who do not know as many words in the target language.  Plus, it can be time-consuming to write all of the nouns that you want to use.  This makes it less time-consuming to prep.  Make a list of adjectives that the students know.  You can also use cognates such as fabuloso or excelente.
Divide the students in groups of four or five.  At the beginning of the game, the first leader picks an adjective.  Then each student writes down a proper noun that they think the adjective describes.  Proper nouns such as names and places are good because they would not change in the target language.  They pass their nouns to the leader for that round.  The leader chooses the word that they think best fits the description of the adjective, and that student is the winner for that round.  Each round there is a different leader (go clockwise with each student taking a turn being the leader).  The winner is the student whose noun was picked seven times by the leaders.
This game would also be good for “best of” places.  Students could name the best restaurant, shopping mall, place to get coffee etc.  In a more advanced class, students could state why their noun should be considered the best.  It is also great for descriptive adjectives.

Conjugation races

25 Jan

I am only teaching Spanish 1 this year so we do not do conjugation charts, we learn the verb naturally.  Sure they know the 1st and 2nd singular forms better than the rest but they learn it through natural speech.  This is my first year trying this, I am not sure how it is going yet.  I am guessing I will find out next year when I teach Spanish 2 and introduce them to the charts.
At my school we have two Spanish teachers.  Sra. Anthony has Spanish 2 this year.  Next year we will rotate so we keep the same students for the most part.

Here is a version of conjugation races that I will use next year.
I am storing it here now for future use. 🙂

Conjugation Race:

Separate class into four teams of three to four students each.
I write four grids on the board, and give the two racing teams a marker.
They each take turns racing to the board to conjugate the verb that I wrote in their own chart.
On their turn, they can either write the correct verb form next to a subject (I, You, etc) or change a previous conjugation to make it correct.
No one can talk to the person at the board while they are at the board.
The winner completes the conjugation grid with all of the verbs correctly.

 

I would love to hear about some games you play in class!

Penny

Keep Flashcard game

19 Jan

Hi everyone,

I am attempting to put my activities online to have a compilation for future use.

I generally have the students create flashcards in groups of 3.  They split the list into 3 parts and each write a third of the list.  This is because we usually do flashcard games for review at the end of the month, so there is a lot of vocabulary.  Always remind the students to make the writing big and bold if they are going to flash them to each other.  For most games that we play, they put Spanish on one side and English on the other.  I also tell them to have the most responsible person in their group hold on to all of the cards so they stay together.

Keep Flashcard Game

In this game one student flips the card while the other 2 or 3 in their group try to be the first to correctly say the word.  Whoever says the word correctly first keeps the card.  When all of the cards have been shown, the person with the most cards wins and becomes the new flipper.  The first day that we play they flash the Spanish and have to say the English.  The next day or two when we play again they must flash the English and say the Spanish (harder).

If you have any favorite flashcard games, please share them!

Penny

 

Travel project help please

27 Jan

Hi everyone,

I am planning a travel project for my Spanish students.  I did an online search for rubrics, but didn’t quite se what I had in mind.

I would like to have the following components:

  • Students work in pairs and each pair is going to a different Spanish speaking country.
  • They must consider each place they will visit, including the airport, hotel, restaurants, and any attractions they visit.
  • They must create a dialogue they will have to have in Spanish with someone they will meet in each place.
  • They will have to create and resolve a problem with that person.
  • They must plan three excursions for their trip.
  • Products they will turn in would include an itinerary, postcards from the three excursions, the dialogues, and a menu typical to the place they visit.
  • They will also have to create a short video of one of their dialogues.

    I feel like there should be more products. What am I missing? I am not sure how long the project would take, but I plan on assisting with a different list of vocabulary each day. Things that they may not find in their texts. Or do I let them find it on their own? I was thinking to give it to them to use as pronunciation practice as well as making sure they know the correct words for the context. They will have to come up with the structures for the dialogues on their own.

  • I appreciate any input you have!
    Gracias, Penny

 

Skills circuits: Recycling language

6 Nov

Skills circuits: Recycling language | TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC.

 

Skills circuits [similar to learning stations] are a fun way to review language. They also provide a change to coursebook activities allowing learners to work together to recycle grammar or vocabulary and share knowledge. They require careful planning of both materials used in the circuit and attention to the timing of the activity itself.

Chez Renée: Puppet Shows & the iPad

29 Apr

Chez Renée: Puppet Shows & the iPad.

Excerpt:
This was truly a success!  Using Audio Memos instead of having students read their lines while performing accomplished the following:
  1. Improved pronunciation  Students were able to focus better on their pronunciation while recording themselves on their iPads than they would have if they’d been trying to read their lines from paper while also working their puppets.  Many of them listened to the recording and then re-recorded in order to fix mistakes they’d heard.
  2. Everyone was able to hear better because the conversation was projected throughout the classroom over the speakers.
  3. Shy students felt less intimidated about speaking French because they only had to worry about working their puppets in front of the class when all eyes were focused on them.

Talking Cards | elmundodebirch

12 Apr

Talking Cards | elmundodebirch.

Very cool activity to get students talking while reviewing vocabulary!

 

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