I love the Beginning of the Year in Spanish 1. They come so excited to learn and soak it up like sponges! Instead of spending the first few days yammering away about the syllabus (zzzzzzzzzzzzz) load them up with comprehensible input.
A few things:
- This is an awesome activity for the very beginning of level 1! Like even Day 1 or 2! You can keep it totally in your target language and give your little darlings a taste (literal and figurative) of what language acquisition feels like, how effortless it’s meant to be.
- This great idea is not my great idea! Betsy Techman shared this idea on the iFLT/NTPRS/CI Teaching Facebook Page a few years ago and I have loved it every since! She graciously gave me permission to write about it here on my little blogcito. ¡Gracias, Betsy! I’ve adapted her idea to work for my little darlings…you can read her original explanation here. And if you have questions for her, she said you could write her at email@example.com
- My district hasn’t outlawed candies in the classroom (yet!) so all systems a go here! If your district has a policy against giving the kiddos candies, you could relocate to to my district in Nevada. Or there’s got to be a clever substitution….I just can’t think of one! Please, share your ideas!!
- The little darlings are laser focused and super motivated when you’ve got candies. Is it bribery? Maybe. Does it work? Yes!
- It’s a totally painless way to get in one million repetitions of “has” and “wants”, not to mention colors and question words. The language is so useful and accessible.
It’s so fun! You’ve got to see it! There are a few things to watch for in the videos below:
- This is our 3rd day of class…so they’ve got a little bit of Spanish under their belts. We’ve spent a lot of time on “Ríe” and “Llora” because we started out the year singing Celia Cruz’s Ríe y Llora and those words came up naturally so I went with it.
- Since it’s the beginning of the year, I’m all about teaching and reinforcing procedures, so you’ll see us practicing when their response isn’t satisfactory to me.
- I’m trying my darnedest to speak SLOWLY and point to the board on nearly every word. I probably could even slow down more…it’s something I’m working on! The screen is a bit hard to see in the video…here’s the Jolly Rancher Slide.
Notice the Magic Cards to check for comprehension at the end of the video. Love me some Magic Cards. And so does every administrator who has ever observed me. Just saying. Make yourself some Magic Cards! And I really love the call and responses.
So…a few nuts and bolts…
- Get a bag of Jolly Ranchers (How’s that for a LOW PREP activity!?)
- Project this slide for your little darlings (Spanish version).
- Merci to Jaqui Kandell, here’s the French version.
- Here’s the American Sign Language Version– even if you don’t teach ASL, check this out, it’s so cool! Huge thank you to Mary McKeon-Jacob!
- Danke to Tessa Solee, here’s the German version
- Here’s the Italian version, grazie to Lauren Fazio
- If you teach another language and are feeling generous, could you translate it into your language and we’ll share it here? Let me know and I’ll send you the editable slide.
- Since this is the very beginning of Spanish 1, you’re going to want to set up your expectations. Teach them to signal you when you’re talking too fast or are being unclear. Teach them to respond in unison. Teach them to follow you with their eyes and read what you’re pointing to. Teach them to respond “Sí, Señora” if you think that’s as hilarious as I do.
- Remember they’re baby beginners: Speak slower than you think you need to. Teach to their eyes. Stay in bounds and check for comprehension.
- Talk to them. Ask who has the Jolly Ranchers. Ask who wants a Jolly Rancher. Ask who wants a red Jolly Rancher. Ask if he wants a green Jolly Rancher or blue Jolly Rancher. Ask if she wants one or two Jolly Ranchers. Ask the class, does she have Jolly Ranchers or does she want Jolly Ranchers. Alternate between talking to the class “Does she want a red Jolly Rancher?” and to the student “Do you want one or two Jolly Ranchers?” Ask as many questions as you can while they’re still interested. Then revisit the activity in a few days or so. All those reps of “wants” and “has” will serve them well on their language journey!