So every year I get a new batch of 5 year olds. The most pressing issue for me on Day One is learning names. This summer I created a game for the beginning of the year.
This game is the main activity for Class ONE of my unit Me gusta which is an introductory unit for the year targeting Pre-K through 2nd grade.
Here is Class One Lesson Plans as it is written in my unit. Below that is my reflection on Class One for me.
* Use the phrase “se llama” – his/her name is (he/she calls himself/herself)
* Learn everyone’s name
* Use action words like – salta (jumps), baila (dances), camina (walks), mira (looks at) etc.
- So I started by telling my students in Spanish / English “Tengo un secreto” (I had them lean in to hear. – a trick I learned at Tina and Ben’s workshop) I told them that I have a magic box, and the magic box knows their names. “It may look like a plain cardboard box but it is isn’t. Don’t be fooled” I told them.
- Then I had my most wiggly student come up and pull his name “NO MIRES” (Don’t look!) otherwise the box will know, and it won’t work.
- He walks up to the box, and chooses a card. It is a girl name. I announce to the class “Se llama Ella Kate.” The class erupts into giggles and disagreement. After making sure that this is not his name, I wonder out loud why it didn’t work “no funciona”. I ask who has that name. I give her the card and the class says “Hola, Ella Kate”
- I had other students try, and it continued to fail. I started to get pretend frustrated and I pretended to cry. “¿Por qué no funciona?” “Why won’t it work?” (I translate things for them since they are absolute beginners.)
- Then I took suggestions of how to make the box work. A students suggested shaking the box. So I had the whole class stand up and shake with me. “La clase sacude.” Then we tried again. It didn’t work. I took suggestions from other students and turned them into mini TPR sessions (shake high, shake low, shake fast, shake slow) We jumped, danced, turned in circles, and talked to the box sweetly.
- Then a brilliant student suggested we LOOK in the box. I walk over to him. “¿Mira?” He looks in the box and finds his name. He raises it as if he has found gold. The class cheers. I am so happy because “La caja mágica funciona.”
- I let every student with a name still in the box find their name by LOOKING (“mira”) in the box. Each one celebrating their name.
- It is time to go back.
45 minutes. 1 plain cardboard box. 21 pieces of paper with their names on it.
What did that make? GOLD!!