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Saturday, 8 December 2018

Involving the student in resource creation

Every year, I aim to include resource creation in the student work, whether they realize what they are doing it or not. In the past two years, students worked on periphrasis and each created a card with a Target Language definition and the corresponding word. We ended up with things like "object you use to get dressed: clothes. ", "it is white and yellow, the baby of a chicken= an egg" After the students have created the cards, I collect them and we play around the world when two students are against each other, the winner moves up against the next person and so on and so forth. The winner is either the person who can go 'around the world or the student with the longest streak.
For many years I have wanted students to create an Apples to Apples game but that still hasn't happened. 
What we did this week was create a UNO game. If you remember my post on Simon's cat videos, I've actually purchased the card game which has a strong resemblance to Uno. 
So with the French class, I planned 11 steps on the board ( in reality more than that) to explain to the kids how to create their cards. Each students made 8 cards on I gave them the format to use and the elements to add, but the font, color and 'Carte méchante' were left up to them. 
It only took 20 mn to make, I gave each student a verb , on one card they wrote the infinitive, on 6 other cards the conjugations of the verb and finally a 'méchante carte' ( they had the choice between, miss a turn, pick two cards and play one, pick a card and miss a turn). 
We dont have bells, but at the moment the students had to go to lunch I had a set of printed colorful cards to laminate. While doing this I spotted a couple of mistakes. ( granted some verbs were harder than others and we ran out of time for a thorough check). In the afternoon, my science and mandarin teacher colleagues and I sat and gave it a go. How great to see how much it actually requires the kids to think! My science colleague never took French and had not been explained infinitives, irregulars and vowel changes. So many questions but it really showed me that this fun game ( I did not win that game!!) had a real teaching and learning value.;not only in its making but also in its playing and this will be my Spanish "before the winter break" activity to make their own set with nothing more than reflexive verbs!!! 
 In the past, we used to have final exams at the end of the year, and have the kids do a week review. I would pair up the kids and they would have to create activities themselves to help others review the various topics, ideas that the kids come up with are creative activities that they fit to their level. ( We had Smartboard activities,  I spy, a group writing on google doc that ended up is a fiasco).
 I highly recommend getting the kids to create resources, it helps them focus their attention to detail in making the resource and when they play the game they will have not only the reward of playing something they made but also have fun with their learning experience.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Tic tac Toe, Naughts and Crosses, Morpion, Tres en Rayas in the classroom

This is a four level activity my colleague Anne shared and we both find the drilling is fun and efficient.
We have used it with a couple of units now and can see how quickly the students can remember the vocabulary and apply grammar points.
Which unit and grammar can you use this task and make your own?
Well if you take this one with reflexive verbs which vocab and grammar are hand in had, there are various things you can get the kids to play with,
First the vocabulary, just remembering the action, students work in pairs and to place their O or X they have to say the correct word: skill practiced speaking. You want to check the writing? spelling? Ask them to write the word on their book.  You only work with TL? Ask them to write a definition: vestirse por la noche: ponerse el pijama.
All these could easily be a very thorough starter or exit ticket or just even an activity in itself.
We don't stop here, We create four XoX boards with each with an added skill.
In my class at the moment we are learning verbs of obligation with reflexives:
With this board they will have to create sentences such as I have to brush my teeth.

The third board? Add a linking word or time or frequency adverb.

The final board requires the student to work with before and after, this is by far going to be the hardest.
After I get up, I brush my teeth.

 Yes these are challenging but the kids actually love the challenge.

In a couple of weeks, I might reuse this for them to conjugate the reflexive verbs and create a series of sentences, I might ask them to put all 9 pictures from a board in order. I can cut them up and hand them in as a very quick fill in exercise while others finish a task.
There are so many ways to use these I highly encourage you to create your own and please comment as to what sort of result you encountered.
TPT product link:

Monday, 19 November 2018

Board game with Spanish: Rutina,Emociones, dolores, partes del cuerpo y verbos de obligacion

So this week, we started our second unit in Spanish on routine, this then goes into health and body parts.
So I created this board game for when if comes to review all this. 
This is a very intense unit, a lot of difficult content, trying to explain working with infinitives was our first task today after introducing the vocabulary with the presentation on Rutina on Friday. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen the presentation. My students are going to need a LOT of reinforcement on this, I have a bunch of tasks on white boards for them to do, I also gave them two assignments to help the visual learners, a picture poster to create ( word in Spanish + picture) and a Lingt homework where I posted pictures and they have to write a full sentence using tener que, necesitar and deber.
We will work on sequencing and ordering routine actions, with connectives and some of those also require the infinitive. 
Only when they will have understood those and memorized the vocabulary will I be able to try to explain how reflexives actually work.
French speakers would not have a problem because it is a familiar structure however, for English learner who have little concept of what is the object in the sentence, this will take a little while.
Once we are all set with reflexives, we start looking at the health components of this unit. They think it is easier but here is the caveat : TENER o ESTAR. They have just been battling with SER and ESTAR, why do I need to torment them again?! 
they will learn first body parts and with this have a little warm up gym class, the usual 'Jose dice' ( my version of Simon says) a lot of labelling, working with some of the routine activities using body pats and then working with me duele/ me duelen with a comparison on gustar. 
And then here is is TENER or ESTAR as to express what is wrong with you and emotions you need to work confidently and navigate those two verbs.
Finally, the boardgame, I was able to include various topics of the chapter and i really hope they will see where their gaps in knowledge are after using this. I will have to wait a few more weeks, but if you want to use it, here is the link to the TPT product page.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Teaching animals to my 5th graders

When I was planning my 5th grade Spanish curriculum I wanted to see if I show then how vocabulary would apply to several topics. When we talked about seasons, I saw that they were pretty comfortable adding colors so, now I am revisiting colors talking about animals, I am adding where they live as well. As we are running out of time I am unsure if I will get to teach them likes and dislikes.

I made a few games to introduce the vocabulary:
1. A match up game to start with
2.The good old ahorcado (hangman)
3. A crossword on Learningapps ( here is the link)
4. Using Basho and Friends's Animal song on Youtube and practicing the "cuánto" questions
5. Reviewing emotions with a few slides with a couple of animals showing feelings facial expression (example the Grumpy Cat) I even found some pictures of finding Nemo :)
6. Eventually, I will go over colors with them and go over the adjective agreement rules that were already explained with emotions. Then by combining with the verb ser students will continue their introduction to a few of the basic Spanish rules and important verbs.
7. After doing SER with description of colors of animals; students could go back to estar to explain where the animals are or use the verb Vivir as well.
8. I would like them to continue putting all sorts of informations together so I made a slide with cognate animals (panda, giraffe) so they can use what they have learnt/ reviewed ( colors, habitat etc) with new animals
8. Finally, I made a spinner game with cards with various questions about the animals.
I put new animals on there like penguin, unicorn, dragon ( our school's symbol).

TPT product link

Friday, 2 November 2018

Guessing much fun!

I have now been using this game for at least ten years, the idea comes from my old school and it is such a brilliant game the kids no matter their generation love it.
They get so frustrated while playing and so excited at the same time! It gets them talking a lot.
So this guessing game is based on mastermind, the game we used to play back in the days with the little token of color that one person chose and that the other person had to guess in the correct order.
This is the same and can be used with many topics.
We used it and I still use it with the house and furniture and we call is : Où est boucle d'or. 
This time I created the same game with three levels of difficulty to keep various groups engaged on the topic of food. Students have to get depending on the level of difficulty what boucle d'or is eating for breakfast, lunch dinner etc. 
Student one will secretly pick one word from each column. 
Student two will have to make  full sentence guessing what Boucle d'or is eating by choosing one element form each column as well. 
Example Boucle d'or mange des céréales, un croque monsieur, un steak et de la purée, une crème caramel, elle boit un café et pour le goûter elle prend des chips. ( obviously this is using all the determinants and some verbs in there which student may not get to do straight away) 
If student two matches elements, student one will tell him /her how many, not which ones.

I usually start with a teacher vs the kids version and then leave them to work with partners.
Try it, make your own, it's trully a lot of fun and sooooo much speaking. 

TPT store link:

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Teaching Emotions in French and Spanish lesson example

I have not had to teach emotions in a long time, but this year as I got the opportunity I decided to go further than the simple well and ok.
The thing is if you teach emotions wether in French or Spanish there are a lot of other things involved and even  more so in Spanish than in French.
- Adjectives for a start are very important and explaining the changes that occur if the person who feels is a girl or a boy, or even if it is a group of people or a group of girls.
- Ser/ vs estar in Spanish. It is actually easier to explain if students do not use English as they will take some time to make the connection between the two verbs meaning the same thing.

So this  whole thinking got me creating some fun resources and using the interactive notebook ideas I saw on Pinterest with my own twist so the lesson goes as such:

Introducing the vocabulary with a simple conversation to put in the correct order wit the help of icon on the right hand side put together in the correct form.
I asked the students to read the conversation and write it in their books. And then some questions popped up, about 'por qué' and 'porque' which for a 5th grade class I thought was really good.

 I then have a slide with the two questions and  discussing how many ways you can ask the same thing in one language ( also discussing it in English).

After that I have a few slides with icons that I made my other resources with so I can have continuity for the students, and they get introduced to adjectives that do not change first like 'feliz' and then move on to adjectives that require the change from masculine to feminine such as 'cansad@'.
This is how far I got during my last class...
No here is the plan :

 From there I could do so many other things, hangman, dominos, but I thought I would make a dice so the students would have more fun taking notes on the various adjectives:

So I made this set of two dice that the kids will roll and use to fill their interactive notebooks with.
To fill in the interactive notebook, they will continue to roll the dice until all the faces come up.

After that, with partners they will use the memory game and will be able to check their spelling on their notebook with the written version of the emotions.
I will then have a pause and explain pronouns and estar.

Finally, after doing all this, the students should somewhat be ready to tackle the board game which I would use in groups of 3 or 4 students. Students will roll the dice and try to reach the end by saying the phrase with the correct gender and if required plural version of the feelings.
The memory game has 'estar' in the infinitive while students can go further in the board game and attempt to use all the various forms for he/she/they of the verb.

This will probably take another two lessons.

TPT link to the bundle and the Emotion products :
Memory Game:
Board game:

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

TPT Update!! NOW 45+ Resources available! and Happy Halloween!

I have uploaded more resources to the TPT page.
French and Spanish and some even that can be used for ESL.
I am slowly updating both to link TPT resources to the blog, so if they are featured on the blog that is have the TPT link on there and vice versa, linking the blog into the TPT product pages. A lot of work but worth it to spread the creative word!
There are a few free resources too, so visit the page to see what they are!
I have even made three bundles:
SER and ESTAR (Spanish)
Pronoun dice ( Spanish)
Leisure (French)

I want to keep resources affordable as my motive for the blog or the TPT is not to make profit but to repay my Flaticon membership so I can keep the resources looking fresh!

I will hold a sale every month. the next Sale will be for Black Friday of course!

Start filling up your wishlists
In the meantime