Language Lab- Observations – Annabelle Allen (iFLT 2016)

Elementary Spanish – Annabelle Allen

Classroom environment and technology

DOCERI (technology to project from iPad and laptop at same time)

Deck less- turn and use your seat for a desk

Pre-planning- general order of a unit

  • 2/3 target structures
  • establishing- TPR, photos, PQA
  • Story
  • Reading
  • Alternative reading using same structures
  • Writing


Student draws the story instead of actors (novelty)- checking with them and whispering to them in english if needed- then student shows drawing to review the story

Designated sounds to certain kids. One kid always cries. One always does the car sounds etc. (**Jason Fritz idea-“try-outs” during TPR to see which kid does the sound well)

When asking a question- Ask questions and say ESPAÑOL ESPAÑOL ESPAÑOL (pointing to your brain to remind them to respond in español) then ask question again

Using current culture in story to engage students Example- Pokemon Go – la pelota de Pokemon

Tell in present tense and review in past but with the same pictures. (only list the structures with translation to prompt oral review, not the whole narrative)

Slides of places for the characters to go in story- use local location pictures

Slides- use .gif for action then have students mimic

lots of brain breaks (see below)

“va a”- use the maps to ask where the character goes

Use KIDDLE to google information during a story to show kids real pictures. (It is a kid friendly Google search)


Reading chorally- using laser pointer to read together. when you get to a word you want to focus on then repeat them over and over. El gato tiene…el gato tiene…

Sentence strips- “Carlos” messed up our story and now we have to put it in order again with a partner- (drops the sentence strips “accidentally”) Change a detail and then in review you ask about the change.

Comprehension Checks- Example: Teacher says “¿Cómo se dice ‘tiene’ en ingles? 1,2,3” Students say  – he or she has (with gesture) The counting allows for think time for students.

Classroom Management

  • REGLAS (15 minute explanation/discussion on the first day in English but review other days in Spanish) Talk about processing speeds, you make mistakes and I make mistakes
  • Story-asking- Freeze, no audience interruptions
  • If you have a funny slide then pause to laugh at first then move on to the language
  • Spend the time training your kids
  • Training- build community letting them know it is safe, run off of relationships (know their stuff)
    • Told them about me
  • Picking groups- “Without words put yourself in a line in order of birthday month” Students use fingers then go down the line to check in Spanish. Then pair up the students by 2s down the line
  • On-going tally PUNTOS for good response to directions. Class vs. Teacher (puntos)- then change – points don’t really count for anything
    • Speaking Spanish (points to students)
    • Speaking English (points to teacher)
    • Not responding to questions or call & response (points to teacher)
    • Following her directions correctly (points to students)
  • Change up your classroom management point system to create novelty (, Puntos etc.)

FRASES de Annabelle

  • Teacher “pero”- students -“buuuut”
  • 30% of Spanish is cognados
  • “se me olvidó” – I forgot
  • Gestures- tiene (cross body) tenía (cross body then thumb back to indicate past)
  • Teacher – Yo Yo Yo when the verb ends in O it means “yo” What does Yo mean? Students – I, I,  I
  • “Se sienta normal” (desk less)
  • “¿en serio?” – Really?
  • “I need 100% for a class response.”
  • Primero (writes “1st”) Segundo (writes “2nd”)

Brain Breaks 

  • Follow the leader dancing to a song clip (starts class with a dance)
  • Evolution Rock Paper Scissors (egg, chicken, dragon) 1, 2, 3, DALE- when a dragon beats a dragon then that student wins (María ganó)
  • MIX- They dance around to song and then do Rock paper scissors with the person next to them when the music stops
  • Rock Paper Scissors- if you lose then you go behind the winner and create a “conga line” as the winner finds someone else. If they win again the other person’s “chain” joins them until there are only 2 lines. Winner of that wins or pays the teacher.
  • TPR- (in 3rd person) OR “Simon dice”

There is a revenge video – Check out the YouTube channel

Establishing Meaning

Project structure with translation on screen for whole class, student draws on her iPad and class tries to guess (“QUIERE-WANTS” students draws a dog.) Then PQA around the picture. Erase the picture on iPad and have another student draw something else using the same structure.

Cheat Sheet (vocabulary sheet) Name in Spanish for the word “cheat sheet” from certain region (POP-UP Culture)-

  • Dictionary page with the structure and English translation. Then at the bottom students add a picture and out-of-bounds vocabulary from the board. They can only add 3/4 of the words from the board.


¿Cuántos?- Ask students to come up and have students show on hand then bring up to front to cover


Practice OUTPUT (Not to introduce vocabulary)  – Yo quiero ______ . Practice saying. Each student gets a card with an animal. Practice again. Ball up and snowball fight when you hear music. Pick one up and find a partner. Say the phrase (Yo quiero ______), high-five then wait for music to snowball fight again. Rinse and Repeat.

Little POMPOM game- Student throws pompoms into the cup their partner is holding for each Spanish phrase (starting with the same structure). Example: “Yo quiero un carro. throw pompom Yo quiero un perro. throw pompom” with language that they have heard and understand MULTIPLE TIMES. (not new language) **My idea- Maybe groups of three- 2 students throw to the other holding the cup but they have to agree before they throw saying the nosotros form. Example “Queremos un perro”

After story listening/writing the story in simple sentences with drawings- “Do I care about your spelling??” NO NO NO

  • Students write the sentence as the teacher says the sentence of the story multiple times. Then the teacher writes it on board so kids can check their work. Then on to the next sentence of the story. (There is a box next to or above the sentence for students to draw the sentence)
  • GREAT opportunities for pop-up grammar

TRUE/FALSE quiz “This quiz is for me not for you. It is to see how well I did today.”

  • Teacher says Spanish sentence from the story. Students write if it is true or false.



(All her activities up till now were about Mickey.)

VERY SIMPLE SENTENCES – corre rápidamente, llevan/tienen ropa rojo, ¡Qué chistoso!

Ask questions: ¿Es un animal pequeño? Es un ____ toro (draws a picture on the board with Spanish word)

¿Al toro le gusta rojo?

Stopped and paused for the first 3 minutes then just let the video run.

Reading activities for the cultural parts of the video- La Tomatina, Running of the Bulls


Kids said about Annabelle Allen “You are much more fun” “Exciting” “You are the best teacher of my life” “It is different because you have energy” “Best teacher in the universe” “You are funny””We don’t fall asleep because you aren’t boring” “You have happiness in your voice” “There was a lot more Spanish than English” “We do a lot more acting” “They (stories) are fun to act out”

**Check out Annabelle’s blog- She is planning to post her resources from this week on her blog.

If you see any typos, feel free to email me. Typed up quickly.



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