ME GUSTA unit – Where are my students?

If you haven’t checked it out yet, my first unit ME GUSTA is available on Teachers Pay Teachers. I have been amazed by the interest, and I hope that all of you who have started the year with ME GUSTA, your year has started smoothly.

I started my new Kindergarteners in this unit and used it as a review for my 1st graders. I wanted to check in to let you know where I am in the unit. (NOTE- We started school AUGUST 3rd.)

KINDERGARTEN

It is funny how every year I forget how slow Kindergarten goes because of the NEWNESS of everything. So where am I with Kindergarten?

  • I finished LA CAJA MAGICA – name game the first day. (AWESOME!)
  • We finished the Comprehension Draw on Class 2 & sent it home with the first parent letter.
  • I changed ¿Qué hay en la bolsa? from Class 3 to further in the unit because I wanted it closer to the actual story. We just did that last week, and will look at the resulting bar graph this week.
  • We are still working through their drawings of what they like and don’t like. I do about 2-4 drawings a class time based on their attention span.
  • We looked at “I’m lovin’ it” commercials in English and Spanish. (Ba da ba da daaa ¡Me encanta!)
  • We have done both Simple Spanish videos. (BIG HIT!)

What did I change?

  • Considering I have had Kindergarten for 11 classes based on my unit you would think I was done. Nope! Why? delays like class field trips, fire drills, taking my time and reading the engagement of the room, class earned Spanish fun day, and this week as I write, I am out of school due to hurricane Irma. Do I wish we were further? NOPE because I paced it to them. They are still engaged and are learning. I am spending the time in class on compelling Comprehensible Input so NO REGRETS!

What is next?

  • Speaking of delays, besides the two days off for hurricane Irma, I am in charge of assembly this Friday. (an hour at the end of school on Fridays that the whole school gets together and watches a special presentation, celebrates weekly birthdays and reflects on the week) My Kindergarteners are doing the interactive dance. (Note- They are not memorizing the song. We are doing the motions and will have the words on the screen for everyone to see. Plus it is a song they know in English.)
  • This week I plan to look over the Starburst bar chart, finish the last name card drawings and practice the song below for assembly.
  • Then next week (after assembly- Whew!) we will start the story which I have made some changes. (see below in 1st grade) which is Class 6 (HA HA- I gotta figure out a different format so I don’t give the impression that these classes are true to the time I spend doing these activities- IDEAS? ANYONE?)

1ST GRADE

This unit was a review for 1st grade. I did simular activities and stories with them at the beginning of the year but I wanted to do this specific story. They know ¡Qué asco!, Me gusta, Me encanta, tengo hambre, and other words. So where am I with 1st grade?

**My Kindergarteners have lunch RIGHT after Spanish so one of the first phrases they learn is “Tengo hambre.” I usually teach it the first time a Kindergartener says that he/she is hungry (about the first 5 minutes of the first Spanish class.). We all stop, grab our stomachs and say “Tengo hambre.”

  • We didn’t do La Caja Mágica activity because I was using it to learn names. I already know all their names so the purpose behind it was lost on me. HOWEVER looking back I could have done it with them because 1st graders would have loved the game too.
  • I wasn’t planning to do ¿Qué hay en la bolsa? with Starbursts but the kids saw the Starburst wrapper chart and wanted to do it again. So I did ¿Qué hay en la bolsa? with Starbursts with them and added it to the chart for Kindergarten.
  • We did the story and IT WAS AWESOME!! I changed it a little as we got into it.
  • After completing the story, they videoed it with partners. I will upload the videos as unlisted to Youtube and send parents a link.
  • NOW I am working with them to tell the story in assembly tomorrow.
  • Here is the story in 1st grade in slideshow format.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So where am I headed now?

  • Kindergarten will finish ME GUSTA then onto my next unit to write up which includes the activities from the blog post I wrote on “Soy una pizza.”
  • 1st grade will move on to TIENE MIEDO which is about what scares us and describing and creating different monsters (non-scary of course). The plan is to write this unit up also but that will be down the road.

 

 

 

1 week language camp plan – Are you a picky eater?

So this past week I taught at a Gifted Program Academic 1 week camp. I had an hour and a half with 10-12 upper elementary kids for a week. I was SUPER nervous since this was new territory for me.

PQA- So I started with food which is a PQA activity that I feel very comfortable using. The activity was “Draw your favorite food & your least favorite food.”

**NOTE- Martina Bex has this activity as a part of a FOOD UNIT she describes on her blog.

Then, I had a student come up, and I reveal the two foods they drew. Next, each student voted on which food is they thought was the student’s favorite. In the process I asked others if they like that food. Finally, (after a drum roll, of course) the student revealed their favorite food. (Lots of repetitions of “me gusta”, “no me gusta”, and “¡Que asco!¡BLEH!”)

I continued to use these papers throughout the week (2-3 students a time).

I also used these two videos below to discuss other food combinations, stopping to discuss each food and food combination. At the end of each video, we discussed if they had to eat one combination, which one would they choose?

 

INVISIBLES- We sang a few rounds of “Cabeza, Hombros, Piernas, & Pies”. I used this song for a brain break. Each time, we took out a word as we sang it and replaced it with “LA LA” until the whole song was replaced.

Invisibles are pretty new for me. We created a monster. I had a bag of Mr. Potato parts. As each kid took a turn pulling out a body part, we discussed each body part. How many? What color? What size? I had a high school student helper to draw it for us.

STORY- Below is the story I told with actors. The only part students created in the story was what the family ate and what the monster wanted. I was thinking the monster would want a toy or special item, but the kids chose the BABY and the DOG. (LOL, gotta love kids!)

**NOTE- I had students with some Spanish and others with none, so to make it engaging for all, I told the story in PAST TENSE.

Había un niño. El niño era quisquilloso. Un día la familia tenía ________. La mamá comió _______ . El papá comió ________ . Y el bebé comió ______ . El perro comió _______ . Pero el niño no comió ________ porque no le gustaba. El niño dijo -¡NO ME GUSTA ______ ! ¡Qué asco!- La mamá estaba triste. El papá estaba furioso. Le dijo –Niño, ¡Come!- Pero el niño no quería _______. No le gustaba. Le dijo –NO- El papá le dijo –Tú eres quisquilloso.-

De repente, el niño vio a un monstruo. El niño tenía una idea. El niño le dijo -¡Come, Monstruo! El monstruo tuvo una idea. El monstruo le dijo – Yo quiero tu ______ . –  El niño estaba nervioso. Quería su _____  pero no le gustaba ______ . El niño le dio su  ____ al monstruo. El monstruo comió ____ . El niño estaba feliz porque no comió _____ . El monstruo estaba feliz porque tenía ________

Al día siguiente, la familia tenía ________. La mamá comió _______ . El papá comió ________ . Y el bebé comió ______ . El perro comió _______ Pero el niño no comió ________ porque no le gustaba. El niño dijo -¡NO ME GUSTA ______ ! ¡Que asco!- La mamá estaba triste. El papá estaba furioso. Le dijo –Niño, ¡Come!- Pero el niño no quería _______. No le gustaba. Le dijo –NO- El papá le dijo –Tú eres quisquilloso.-

De repente, el niño vio a un monstruo. El niño tuvo una idea. El niño le dijo -¡Come, Monstruo! El monstruo tuvo una idea. El monstruo le dijo – Yo quiero tu perro. El niño estaba nervioso. Tenía un perro fabuloso pero no le gustaba ______ . ¿El niño le dio el perro al monstruo?

Here is the story with some activity pages to match.

Screenshot 2017-06-20 19.50.25

I based the story on a book I read my boys called… (link to ENGLISH version)

81+ApnDjHXL

**Fun Fact- This author came to our school to speak and said that he worked on the children’s program SALSA for GPTV which my students watch. If you haven’t checked that out then you need to try it out! http://www.gpb.org/salsa/term/episode

AFTER THE STORY- So after telling the story, I had students act it out as I read it from the screen Next, we filmed it and watched the video later. Then, they each got a sentence strip, and after making sure everyone understood their sentence, they had to put themselves in order. If I had had time, I would have had them switch sentence strips and put themselves in order again, timing them each time to compete against themselves.

After that, we went outside (on a BEAUTIFUL DAY) and instead of each student drawing their sentence strip on paper, each student got a block of sidewalk and chalk to draw their sentence strip and then write their sentence above it. Again, if I had had time, then I would have called out sentences and students would run to the right drawing.

OVERALL, it was a great week, and I can’t wait to do it again next summer!!

How I plan a K-2 lesson… Building Blocks- After the story

So, how do I plan a lesson for my Kindergarten – 2nd grade class?

Here is my first post about Building Blocks of my lessons- TPR.

Here is my second post about Building Blocks of my lessons- PQA.

Here is my third post about Building Blocks of my lessons- STORIES

BUILDING BLOCKS 

Things that I continually use throughout a lesson.

So the story is over…now what?

Well, if it was a good storytelling day, then make the most of it.

If it wasn’t (and we have all been there), then we can still salvage it. Call it STORY REHAB.

There are lots of activities to choose, but here are some of my favorites. You can choose just one, 2 of them or all. It just depends on your goals.

Number 1 —  DRAW THE STORY

As you retell the story, students draw the story on their paper. I use a simple 4 box storyboard.

4 box storyboard

I like to draw with them so that as I draw I can describe what I am drawing. And, many kids don’t know how to draw certain things like speech bubbles, expressions, and adding details. The very creative kids draw their ideas, and kids who need some extra support can look at my drawings to guide them.

What is great about this activity is all the extra repetitions the students hear, and it is a less stressful time for students to ask questions.

After you have the drawings, you can retell the story as students point to their drawings. You can then do it out of order to check listening comprehension. You could have some of the students try and tell about one frame in Spanish or all of them. I always make this optional and worth classroom points. (For more information on classroom points, see my observation notes of Annabelle Allen La Maestra Local)

Number 2 —  Character Study

Which character?

If your story had 3 or more characters, then you either have students draw the characters separately or create a document quickly with google images or images free of copyrights on pixabay.com. Students then cut them out, or you can cut them out ahead of time.

Screenshot 2017-06-06 18.58.09Download PDF of the image above – Character Study Butterfly

Once students have all the images, you describe the character. For example, tell something they might say or something they do in the story to the class. Students listen and raise the picture or pictures of the characters matching your description.

Variations:

  • Put pictures of the characters around your room and students walk to the picture of the character you are describing.
  • Take the activity outside! Students draw the characters on the sidewalk with chalk, and then as you describe the character, they can jump on top of their drawings.
  • Now take those same images and students act out the story as you retell it. Or, as you retell the story, they hold up the character you are talking about at that time and switch throughout the story.

Number 3 —  Parallel Story 

I like to make a PowerPoint of a story that I can use year after year that is similar to the story I know I will tell or we will create as a class. Sometimes I have the story written out on the slides, or sometimes it is just the images. You can also check Storyteller’s Corner on TeachersPayTeachers for GREAT stories. I love to tell her stories in class and print them for my classroom library.

Below is a sample of one of the PowerPoints I have made.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Number 4 —  Act out the story again

Something great about little kids is they will love to act the the story. You can have another set of actors to act out the story, OR you can put the kids in groups and have the groups act out the story at the same time as you retell it. (All the World’s a Stage)

Number 5 —  Musical Story Review

I love to turn on the music. It can change things enough to make it novel. So, turn on your favorite Spanish song. Students walk around the room. Then, when you stop the music, they listen for a sentence from the story that they then act out. For example, (stop music) “The butterfly flies to México” or “The snake says -I like the desert-” Of course you do this in the target language.

Number 6 —  Drawing

I love this one when I have an unexpected 5 minutes left after telling a story.

Pass out half sheets, and have students draw:

OPTIONS

  • their favorite scene from the story. You can have requirements like there have to be 2 characters and/or the setting around the characters.
  • what happens next in the story OR maybe draw a spin-off scene (like in the story of “The King doesn’t have a mouth” the students draw HOW the king lost his mouth).
  • a story ending. Cut the story off before you end it. Your students draw the ending. For example “The boy opens his present, and it is ______ .”

 

¡PARA!- review game

I got this idea from Keith Toda when he wrote about a post reading activity called Stultus. He got the idea from James Hosler, a fellow CI Latin teacher in Ohio.

I took his idea and changed it to fit my K-8 Spanish classroom. There are two versions.

REVIEWING A STORY (Listening)

  • After telling a story in class, the teacher retells the story with actors (same kids or different) BUT……
  • As the teacher tells the story he/she purposely makes mistakes and changes the story.
  • As soon as the students hear the wrong information, they yell “¡PARA!” (he/she stops) or ¡PARE! (Stop!) Throwing up their hands with the motion to STOP!
  • Then students raise their hands to “fix” the mistake.
  • The teacher restates the correct sentence and then continues.
  • Sometimes I keep points. One point for the class for catching my mistake, and one point for me and the actors for getting a mistake by without them noticing.

** This is an AWESOME “game” to play after you have retold the story but want more repetitions.  ESPECIALLY if you are working with pre-literate or emerging readers because they depend on the oral story more. (My 2nd graders LOVED yelling at me!)

** I like to ask the actors to help me so if they hear me say the wrong information they just do the wrong action to “throw off” the class. This makes them listen extra hard too. (ex. I say the character dances with the pizza instead of eating it.)

REVIEWING A STORY (Reading)

  • After reading the story in class, the teacher retells the story as it is projected or the students have the story in front of them.
  • As the teacher reads the story he/she purposely makes mistakes and changes the story.
  • As soon as the students hear the wrong information, they yell “¡PARA!” (he/she stops) or ¡PARE! (Stop!) Throwing up their hands with the motion to STOP!
  • Then students raise their hands to “fix” the mistake.
  • The teacher restates the correct sentence and then continues.

 

Improv in Spanish class

I really enjoy watching improv. Our school has an improv group that performs twice a year. Every time I see games that might work in my classroom. Here are 2 examples of improv games that my students like. I have used these with 4th grade and up.

Director’s Cut

1) Choose a story/poem, or it could be a scene from a novel you are reading. It needs to be long enough to be interesting but short enough not to be overwhelming. Teach/Review it to your students by reading it together/asking PQA/ acting it out etc. For example,

juanita-y-los-tres-gatitas-001

2) This works really well if there are certain movements or sounds that follow certain parts. For example, in the story above you might add…

juanita-y-los-tres-gatitas-002

2) NOW FOR THE FUN! After students have a feel for the text have them tell the story again but this time have the actors replay the scene with different emotions, characters, roles.. Possible themes:

  • Sing the story
  • Fast as you can
  • Very slowly
  • Like babies
  • Dancing (Interpretive Movement)
  • Spanish soap opera (SUPER dramatic)
  • Super Macho
  • Familiar Characters from pop culture or a class story
  • Whispering
  • Old people that can’t hear

 

Beginning, Middle, & End

1) Divide your class into 3 groups.

GROUP #1 Individually, each student writes a sentence that has to be the beginning of a story (in the target language). “There is a chicken. His name is Hidalgo.” “There once was an ugly princess.” “Once upon a time in the land of toasters, there lived an old piece of toast.”

GROUP # 2 Each student writes a sentence that would fit in the middle of a story (in the target language).   “Then he sits down and cries for 3 years.” “Suddenly, she sees Justin Bieber.” “The dragon was so angry that he spit fire into the sky”

GROUP # 3 Each student writes a sentence would be at the end of a story (in the target language).  “The king never ate pizza again.” “She was very happy and danced home.” “And that’s how Stella got her groove back.”

You can do the next part together as a class or in small groups.

  1. Put all the strips into piles of BEGINNING, MIDDLE and END.
  2. As a class, or in small groups, picks one sentence from each pile.
  3. Next, they have to work together to fill in the story around those three sentences and make all three sentences fit into ONE story.
  4. Finally, groups present by reading their three sentences first and then their story.

During step 3, students can have about 10 minutes to work together and write the story down on a piece of paper to present, or…in true improv form, they have to perform the story in front of the class on the spot (courageous and advanced language students only).