Sunday, September 25, 2016

Finalmente... "¡La estrella del día!"

So, it has taken me forever to find what it is I've liked from all of the variations of Bryce Hedstrom's, "La Persona Especial", but I've found a gold mine in Kara Jacob's blog, click here to see her modified ideas for "La estrella del día" from modifications made by Sabrina Janczak. (Don't you just love how we educators share, modify, and try to despite all the changes credit the original creator?)
(Image resource) Why should you consider using this with your Level 1 students (great for any level but this is what I teach and my focus for sharing ideas)? The MOST important reason is because it builds classroom community and rapport (and honestly I am becoming more and more exhausted with the ins and outs of education and care more and more about my students--they're the only reason I go into work most days!) The second reason why you should try this is because it is supported output AND with Sabrina's modifications, you can provide this input for kids and incorporate CI checks with quizzes about the students for some great assessments (about each other!). Click here to see a French version of the CI check quiz for "Estrella del día" here. I hope to edit this and upload a Spanish version for you, but I'm sure you get the idea! My "Estrella del día" will include providing this modified questions sheet I've created for my kids (note: You gradually progress to more and more questions & I think I will even have my first kiddos select what other 2-3 they'd like to be asked after maybe the first 6 questions about them). I will also modify Kara Jacob's presentation to use while interviewing students to match my questions. Enjoy! Feel free to share how it has worked, how it has impacted your classroom culture, etc. in the comments! So excited to use this!

Friday, September 16, 2016

¿Cuál es la contraseña secreta?

Ok,'s Friday & while I should be enjoying my weekend (or lesson planning, sending parent/guardian e-mails, applying for a classroom grant, cleaning my e-mail inbox out...etc.)I just HAD to share a reflection and promotion of having your kids enter your room with a secret password--it's amazing! If you've ever wondered if the "TL" in my blog title also means "target language" (and the "CI" of course is "comprehensible input"), it does...BUT I wanted to combine this with what's closer to my heart...the "Tender Love and Care (Instruction)" side--and this post, has everything to do about relationships! I must confess, when I attended NTPRS, I had already read about this idea from Bryce Hedstrom & when I finally got to sit in on one of his sessions---I had decided to roll this out this year! That said, I wasn't without my reservations. I thought...the kids will HATE this. They will roll their eyes at it and just want to enter the room. Not the all! We've used the following contraseñas secretas related to things we're learning so far...
However, my favorite has been one we've used for more than 5 days now, and I don't want to stop using it. I love it because if you read more about the WHY behind using a secret password on Bryce's site (click here for the link), I TRULY felt the connection with this one, and I'm learning about the kids. They LOVE that I remember the details about them. I get to look them in the eyes as they enter, see how they're feeling that day, welcome them to my room & hear about something they's. just. awesome. As I presented it the first day, I told them that I wanted to know "¿Qué o Quién es "chévere" en tu opinión?"
Note: Many of them are funny and say "Soy chévere" or that the person in front of them is "chévere", but if they repeat this, I push them to tell me something that is important, unique to them---really something that helps me get to know them better. It really is the little things that count. It's all about building your classroom community. They want to be recognized and cared for--who doesn't? I am THRILLED to finally roll out student jobs and "Persona Especial" on Monday! Extra, bonus note: They also LOVE being recognized with their name on the board when it is their birthday. I thought a particular student who is very quiet was not going to appreciate the recognition but I did notice her immediately glance at the board as she walked in the class (where birthday names are listed)...and she smiled. Made my day. Keep doing those "little" things, they matter so much! :) Happy weekend!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Persona Especial and Gustar

Ok, so while I'd love to jump in to Bex's Unit 2...I'm honestly just dying to have an entire week all about the kids and what they like, what interests them, etc. Basically teaching to the heart. :) This week I'm going to synthesize ALL of the materials I've read for getting "La Persona Especial" (see Bryce Hedstrom's blog and handout here) going & share how I plan to use it with my middle school level 1 students here. In fact, we've already started! My secret password is for them to tell me What or Who is "chévere" since they'd already completed that video and nuggets from my Señor Wooly premium account. Which is awesome input for the kids and homework they WILL do that you can tie into class! See Señor Wooly here! Yes, I did pay my own money for kids to use this for homework and emergency sub plan activities BUT it is totally worth the investment! So, expect to see my posted unit plans (hopefully before Monday morning! ja!). It's my "bridge" unit before jumping into Bex's Unit 2. Here's my "sneak peek" SOMOS Curriculum Collaboration Facebook post with a few early resources mentioned.
The link for the song is here and Señor Adam's fill in the blank resource can be found here.

Oops! HAY un problema...

I have NOT posted in forever, and I hope that this gets better. To be perfectly honest, when I jumped off the plane from attending NTPRS, I jumped into getting ready for school which started 4 days later, moving in to a new house (still unpacking the final things), painting cabinets, changing addresses, and sending my little one off to preschool! Did I mention having Open House within the first few weeks and NWEA testing which definitely reminded me that I'm a super adaptable individual (Adiós lesson plans I had made for the week! Bring it on testing and 20 minute classes!) So...this is NOT what I wanted to REALLY post about, but it's a short & sweet idea for an activity that you can use in your classes with a high frequency structure, "HAY." My inspiration of course comes from Martina Bex; see her post here. Here's my idea that takes pretty much ZERO prep (except for investing in these amazing giant rubber die that you can purchase on Amazon; I bought mine at a local dollar store) & the kids loved it as a brain break (and way to teach HAY).
WHEN can you play this game? If you're teaching level 1/first time novice students, you can play this even within the first few days! If you're using Martina Bex's curriculum, it's a nice CI game complement to her Unit 1 Dice. Name of the game: "Juego de Proceso de eliminación" (Structure focus: HAY...but it lends itself well to boys, girls, sit down, How many?, In your opinion, etc)
The next day, have some cool optical illusion/abstract art and/or hidden images as a fast bell ringer with a question like ¿Cuántas personas HAY en la foto? ¿HAY animales en la foto? etc. My favorite is the one below.