If you’ve read more than 3 posts on this little blogcito, you’re probably aware that we play A LOT of games in my high school Spanish class. If you’re brand new and have no idea, I’ll link some of my all time favorite games below, so you can join the party!
One of the secrets to making games awesome is there’s got to be a motivator, a reason for the Little Darlings to want to play, a reason for them to want to win. Since the dawn of time, my go to prize has always been a stamp on their stamp sheet, which they collect and submit for extra credit at the end of the semester.
This year I was ready for something new and I’ve changed up our prizes this year. And let me tell you, it’s even more fun!
This year, the winners spin the Ruleta de premios to determine their prize! All the prizes are awesome, but some are more awesome than others.
It looks like this:
This year my Little Darlings can win:
- A Jolly Rancher (left over from Jolly Rancher Fun!)
- 1 Extra Credit Point (Everyone still has a stamp sheet to collect Extra Credit, and I stamp the winner’s paper)
- 2 Extra Credit Points
- High Five! (I told you they were all awesome!)
- A Special Applause (I generally offer 2 choices and the winner picks)
- A sauce (Only because I had a drawer at home of hot sauce packets, ketchup packets and Chick-Fil-A sauce containers…it surprises me that this is the one they get really excited about! Ha!)
- The special chair (A few years ago, while driving to school, I saw a massage chair on the road with a free sign on it, so I pulled over, wrestled the thing into my little Subaru and now it’s a highly sought after prize. The winner gets to sit in the chair for the rest of the class (They don’t know it’s a massage chair, because I can’t teach with the massager buzzing away!) OR if they win at the end of class, they get to sit in it the following class)
- A Sticker! (Who doesn’t love stickers?! I bought a fancy pack of vinyl stickers from Amazon, but any stickers will do. Pssst- that’s an Amazon Associate Link…if you buy stickers or anything else on Amazon using my link, they mail me a few cents, and it costs you nothing!)
- A Mexican Candy, because I had a bag of chile mango suckers in my desk!
- Bubble Wrap- This is a great prize! I’ve been saving it and it’s so satisfying to pop it. I ask the winner if he would like to pop it now or wait until later.
- A Surprise! (This one I leave generic enough so I have options! A few weeks ago I told the manager of Chick Fil-A that their sauces are a huge hit in my classroom, and he gave me 4 gift cards to use as prizes! A sweet boy brought me a chocolate bar, and since I don’t like chocolate (I know, who am I!?) it became a surprise prize (but not for his class, don’t worry!) A brand new toothbrush from my dentist! A can of playdough! A bag of chips…anything can be a surprise!
The Nitty Gritty- Setting it up:
There are a bunch of online sinner wheels. I love Flippity for most things, and they have an option, but it’s not that easy to read the words. I’m using www.pickerwheel.com which allows you to enter whatever you like into the wheel, and it’s easy to add or remove options on the fly…like if, for example, you’re out of Jolly Ranchers and don’t want to spend your hard earned $$ on your Little Darlings. There’s no judgment here, I’m with you! The other nice thing is that by magic, PickerWheel remembers your options, so if you save the link, it will be ready to go when you’ve got a winner!
To make this process as smooth as possible, I’ve got all the possible prizes gathered in a plastic basket in my cabinet. When someone spins the wheel, it’s easy to grab the basket and be ready to award a fabulous prize! And of course, don’t miss this opportunity to give them more comprehensible language! ¿Qué va a ganar Mateo? ¿Mateo, qué quieres? Oooh, qué suerte, ¡Mateo ganó una sorpresa!
A few more things:
When we have a single winner, or a small group (3-4 students) of winners, the winners spin the Ruleta de Premios. If I have a BUNCH of winners, like after playing POP UP, for example, I don’s use the prize wheel because it would like too long. When I have a bunch of winners, I just award stamps to the winners (they bring me their stamp sheets, and I stamp ’em while everyone else is packing up their stuff at the end of class).
Don’t feel like you have to buy anything to make the Wheel of Prizes for your Little Darlings! Has your child out grown their Hot Wheels and you’ve got a shoebox full? Winning a car would be a fabulous prize! Are you allowed to let someone leave class early? Offer some other special privilege? Homework pass? Maybe your leadership teacher will hook you up with tickets to the homecoming dance? Or tell Dairy Queen that you’ve love to promote their business if they can hook you up with free ice cream cone coupons. Think about what you’ve got available and what your students would be excited about…or not! I mean, I think a High Five from Señora Chase is a great prize!
Looking for some game inspiration?!
If you’re ready to play (and load your Little Darlings up with Comprehensible Input at the same time!) here are some of our favorites:
- The Lucky Reading Game
- Quick Draw
- Game of Quotes
- Pop Up
- Reverse Charades
- ¿Dónde está la araña?
- 20 Questions
Hope your school year is off to a great start!
I’ve got my hands full with some, ahem, challenging behaviors to deal with in my Spanish 1s (For reals, in class yesterday I actually said, “I shouldn’t have to say this, but you need to keep your feet to yourself.” After I saw THREE different kids make some very bad choices. Lord, help us!) Stay tuned, there will most certainly be a post to come about I’m flexing Classroom Management Muscles and trying with all my might to wrangle them in…I just didn’t have the emotional energy for THAT blog post this morning! If you’re the praying type, pray for us…it’s a rough bunch!