Mira Señala Brain Break

Have you ever had a class where your tricks just don’t work? You pull out all your trusty tools that never let you down and they let you down! That’s how I feel this year with my Spanish for Heritage Students class. I’ve been teaching Spanish for a long time…I’ve got a lot of tools and tricks…but they’re not doing me much good in my new class…and suddenly I feel like a first year teacher again, figuring out everything from scratch! Come on, guys, I’m cool, trust me! 

After some pretty epic failed Brain Breaks (Come on! Who doesn’t love Con el ritmo de los pies?! My Heritage Students, that’s who!) and don’t even mention Baile Viernes, I tried a little game that wasn’t totally lame that they actually enjoyed (although I’m sure they’d never admit it!)

Have you seen the Shadow Boxing Game on YouTube? In pairs, students take turns pointing up, down, to the left or right at the same time their opponent looks up, down, to the left or right. The trick is, you have to look in a different direction than your partner points…or else you lose.

We had such fun in my Heritage Class with this game, that I taught it to my Spanish 1s also! For my Onesies, explaining how to play was  a great  opportunity to load them up with more  Comprehensible Input.  First we started  with a little old school TPR with Mira (look) and Señala (point) with the directions. Then I showed the first  35 seconds of this YouTube video and Movie Talked it as I explained the rules.

Here’s what it looked like…(About half way through the video, you will see the camera start shaking violently and you’ll hear my comment, “let’s just ignore that, we’ll get them in a minute“…that’s just my trailer mate’s class preparing for our Copa Mundial tournament scheduled for next week. Generally they start chanting their team name sometime during class and we respond by chanting and stomping  even louder with our team name…until it’s nothing but mayhem. Geez, I can’t imagine why the language department got moved out to the portables…)

After they understood the rules, they pulled out their Animal Sheets to partner up and we played about 2 minutes. Then they switched partners, we played for about a minute more, then back to their seats. So much fun, guys!

Speaking of my Heritage Little Darlings, I made Speaking and Writing rubrics, based on ACTFL’s proficiency descriptors, to assess them this year. Even if you don’t teach Heritage kids, I think they’re pretty useful little rubrics with descriptions from Novice Low to Advanced Low on one page- I’ll be using them in all my classes this year. If you’d like to check them out, I posted them at my Teachers Pay Teacher’s store, The Chase Place.

I’m open for suggestions for Non-Lame Brain Breaks and Games for my Heritage kiddos…they’re a tough bunch and they don’t think I’m very cool..……yet!

It is just a matter of time…

Please share your favorites with me! I’m desperate!!


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