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Monday, 4 February 2019

Using Freepik to enhance your resources

    Just like using or to put together resources, I recently started using If you create an account ( free ) you get to download some of the their pictures for free. You have a link to give the author recognition if you sell your resources.
I needed groups of pictures ( they call it vectors in the design industry) and also scenes.
     As you can see in the examples here it is pretty useful for worksheets reading materials based on pictures. ( see left on clothing and bottom left of the cluster picture on house)
 Again if we focus on the TL at beginner level it is pretty useful!
     I also use Freepik scenes and vectors for presentations.
It was time I gave my house unit a revamp, and I really liked the modern and clear look of some of these houses. I was able with the same picture to do a presentation on rooms of the house and prepositions.  For chores, I found a vector ( top right) that had most of the vocabulary I was looking for. If you use Prezi this would be great too as I used circle shapes to highlight the chore I am talking about in each slide. 

       Using the same picture as a base for various slides keeps it simple and clear for our students, they also help our visual learners who will be able to work from the same picture.
      Once downloaded the picture is essentially yours to have fun with, so the vectors could be cut up into all the various smaller pictures and used for a memory game, a card game or what ever else you want to do!

      Want to see some of these closer?
Check them out in my TPT store.
Thank you for you support as always!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Using movies in the class ( Continued)

In a previous post, I explained some ways to use Simon's cat in the class. This time, I want to talk  about Coco. I am a HUGE fan of Pixar movies and I sadly did not see Coco until it came out on Netflix, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and how cultural this movie was. 

I don't usually teach Day of the dead in my classes because the upper school spends a whole unit on it. That said in this holiday season I thought I am just going to continue my classes as per usual wit the 5th grade. Last night, we had our department gathering and we had conversation around our favorite movies and I just changed my mind. I wanted a movie that ties in with my curriculum. 5th grade is numbers, dates and celebrations, colors, emotions, animals. I can do all that with Coco. 
I started working on some new materials and will continue over break, there should be an exciting packet on Coco for that elementary sort of level, with some tasks in English and some in Spanish.
Here is the first page, I designed it with Canva, still very much in love with this design making app. 
It is available for download HERE and on my TPT store.

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