Currently my students are learning to describe their families. Today’s goal was “I can tell the ages of my family members.” They are comfortable with the numbers 1-30, because we say the date every day. Now they need larger numbers to talk about parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Here are two activities we used today.

**Spanish Numbers app**

I downloaded the free app. In the settings, you can change the dialect and the number range. This led to an interesting conversation about the Castilian “th.” There are two interactive activities that I like (reading and listening).

**Authentic Cards**

I created 4 sets of the number cards from one deck of cards. With a partner, they flip the cards and practice saying the number. I put the magnetic letter “y” (this means “and”) to help them see the pattern. The cards also brought up some interesting comments about the culture.

In the past, I’ve done similar activities with dice. This time they were more engaged and excited to play with the cards. After they saw a few photos of my family members with their ages written out, the students were able to tell the ages of their family members on the exit slips. Success!

Next class, I want to include some authentic readings about people and their ages. I have some bios from People en Español. Any other suggestions for authentic readings with ages?

I’m not quite understanding what you do with the cards and the magnetic letter Y. And, what do you mean by, “authentic cards”?

I have decks of cards from Spain (Baraja española). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baraja_(playing_cards) They can be purchased here in the States too in Hispanic supermarkets. http://www.newtsgames.com/spanish-playing-cards-in-tuck-box.html The students are with a partner and they have the numbers 2-7 and the ace for 1. This way I can get 4 sets out of one deck of cards so I don’t need a ton of decks to supply the class. They make 2 piles. One person flips over two cards like the photo. So if I flip a 4 and a 3, I would say, “cuarenta y tres.” The “y” is there to help them remember to put it in the number. They tend to say “cuarenta tres” when they first learn these numbers. The “y” is not crucial, just helpful for beginners.

I like the visual and texture of the Y in the middle so they remember to look at the number as parts..ex. treinta gives you the 3 and siete gives you the 7.

Another idea for numbers that I got from a conference is dot to dots. You white out the num bers (remember to make a copy with the real numbers so you remember how to connect the dots)..and then replace the numbers with random numbers. You can call the numbers and have them connect the dots or you can give the pairs the order of the numbers. If the dot to dots are too easy, you can add ‘distractor’ dots (extra dots that you don’t need) or you can do the picture upside down or sideways, but don’t tell the students.

I really do like the Y as a manipulative. Thanks as always.

I just thought about catalogs for prices with higher numbers?

Good idea! I’m not a “visual” learner (and I’ve never been), but I’m sure it can be an useful way of teaching numbers 🙂

As for bios with ages, how about Wikipedia in Spanish? For example, the article on the British R&B artist Adele has lots of “ages,” as her album titles are the ages she was when they were released: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adele It also has years and big numbers like the Billboard 200. It also has 42 million and other “age” type numbers.

Me encanta esta idea. Utilizo la baraja española cuando les enseño el futuro, como si fuera una adivina que les predice el porvenir. Los oros para el dinero, las copas para el amor, los bastos para el trabajo y las espadas para la salud. Les encanta.

Megan: Puedes decirme el nombre de la APP que usaste para la primera activida?

Mil gracias

Se llama “Spanish numbers” … creativa, verdad? 🙂

I asked the previews question. Sorry