Time to Try Something New! by Megan Smith | Jan 2, 2014 | 1 Planning, First Days, Monday Motivation, Teacher Problems | 35 comments What is something you’ve always wanted to do?What new experiences will your students encounter in class? Please share… We can’t wait to hear!35 Comments Kara on January 2, 2014 at 6:45 pm I want to try a multi-school trivia bowl about culture all done in the target language! I want the students to organize it. Has anyone does this before? Any tips? Reply Kristy Placido (@placido) on February 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm I love this idea! Wish I lived near you! 🙂 Reply Anonymous on March 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm My high school in Florida does this. (Well I don’t know if they still do it.) I had a ball with it when I was a student and actually brought it up to my principal to do it next year. (Well, with just my school for now.) The only two activities I can remember was a “test” that everyone took and then got a certificate with the best scores. We also did something similar to the academic bowls. Each school had a team and then we were against one team at a time and we got to buzz in when we knew the answer. I was on the team and it was fun! We had practices and study sessions with our teacher prior to the event. Our event was not in the TL nor was it student organized, but they are both good ideas. My math department does a Pi Day activity every year, which is why I brought up the idea of a culture bowl to my principal. They have 3 different games where teams then are awarded points based on how well they do. At the end, the winning team gets a trophy with their names engraved on it. The students choose their teams prior to the event and pick a fun name and some of them really got into it. I think the game ideas would be easy for students to organize. (Easier than the prior examples I gave.) Reply Anonymous on March 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm I actually wanted to do the same thing! My high school in Florida did something similar and I actually brought it up to my principal last week to do for next year. The math teachers do a Pi Day every year, which is where I had the thought to try what I did in high school at the school I teach at.The Pi Day has stations that the students rotate through. They get points based on how well they do at each station (which are game-based.) At the end, the winning team (which the students created their own teams prior to the event) won a trophy with their names on it. It was a ton of fun and I can’t wait to try it with culture next year!I think it would be really easy to get students to organize this! Reply Maddi Hyneman on March 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm I actually wanted to do the same thing! My high school in Florida did something similar and I actually brought it up to my principal last week to do for next year. The math teachers do a Pi Day every year, which is where I had the thought to try what I did in high school at the school I teach at.The Pi Day has stations that the students rotate through. They get points based on how well they do at each station (which are game-based.) At the end, the winning team (which the students created their own teams prior to the event) won a trophy with their names on it. It was a ton of fun and I can’t wait to try it with culture next year!I think it would be really easy to get students to organize this! Reply Kimberly Gaiswinkler on January 2, 2014 at 7:06 pm I have always wanted to bring in a French Canadian fiddler and dance caller for my students to experience la danse folklorique. In fact we are bringing in a musical trio to do just that this coming February for half a day. Funds are provincially supplied for cultural events. Also taking my grade 8 students to the Quebec Winter Carnival with a generous grant for outdoor education and LOTS of fund-raising and donations. Fourteen hour bus ride, two days in Quebec city and area, then fourteen hours home. This is a huge deal for my school and I wanted to share the good news. Reply Anonymous on January 2, 2014 at 7:17 pm How wonderful! Or should I say, Quelle magnifique! Reply Jessica on January 2, 2014 at 7:33 pm At my old school for ACTFL Nationsl a World Language week I taught salsa dancing to all students and they loved it. Reply Megan on January 2, 2014 at 11:37 pm Every Spanish student should get to learn a dance in class!! I’m looking for someone to come in to a class this month! Are you ever in Louisville? 🙂 Reply Jessica on January 3, 2014 at 12:03 am I actually learned via YouTube but one of my seniors was a dance student and she taught the classes and then the next year another student taught them a different dance. Reply Kara on January 2, 2014 at 9:46 pm Congrats Kimberly!! That’s awesome. Reply Megan on January 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm I would like to see a fiddler and dance caller! What a great experience for your students! Inspiring! Reply Jessica on January 2, 2014 at 7:32 pm I’ve contimplated doing a scavenger hunt. In my Spanish I class, they are about to start the school unit. It would be cool it I set up clues for them around the school and they had to take their picture with their iPad at the location or maybe they write their own clues. Any thoughts? Any ideas or suggestions? Has anyone done something like this before or maybe with a different unit? Reply Megan on January 2, 2014 at 11:36 pm Sounds fun! You could use a QR creator to make a code that records your voice so they have to LISTEN to figure out the clues! That might make them work harder! Reply Lorena on January 3, 2014 at 8:47 am I like the idea of audio clues. I have heard of these QR codes; how do they work? and what is a good one to start with? Reply srtat on January 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm I love this one: http://qrcode.kaywa.comYou can do dynamic or static ones (dynamic generates a code for a place that you can change later-static will always take someone to the same place)Essentially, it’s a computer-generated picture that when scanned (through a QR app) takes the person to a link.Aurasma is a really cool app that works kind of like a QR code, but displays a video when a person scans a specific image through their app-I really want to try this with a scavenger hunt! Reply Bill Lanagan on January 6, 2014 at 7:14 am I have done some mini scavenger hunts to start a class. If you have taught prepositions, use the class vocabulary and prepositions to create 50-100 clues. They must move from one clue to the next until they find a piece of candy that I have taped somewhere in the class. The kids will start looking for the candy as they enter the class. It doesn’t matter if they find it, they still have to go clue by clue. I have the kids work in groups of 2 and each will get the piece of candy if they finish in a certain time that I place on the board. It is quick, fun and easy to change clues once you have made a master list. Reply srtat on January 3, 2014 at 2:40 pm I actually JUST did this for our school unit! I’ve loved on this blog that you don’t stick to a specified list from a book (definitely NOT like real life), so I’ve been leaving blanks on vocab sheets and paring down the “required” vocab so they can look up and add their own. For the school unit, they were introduced to the basic vocab one day, then got in groups of 4 or less to come up with a list of additional places in the school they wanted to know how to say. They designed/printed signs for those places, and then the next day each group got their signs back along with some of the places I thought they should know (and maybe a couple surprise places) and they traveled around the school taking pics on the ipads of a group member holding a sign labeling each place. You can include recycled vocab in this part-I had the list and a specific person description for each one, so for the baño, a “persona alt@ y cómic@” had to hold the sign; for the gimnasio, a “persona perezos@” had to hold the sign, etc. I laminated them and stuck everyone’s new signs around the school so they’re permanent and now everyone (not even the Spanish kids) get to learn. 🙂 I also had kids email me some of the pics they had more fun with, printed them out and decorated the class with them-the other hours love looking at everyone’s pictures! Sorry this was SUPER long. Do it!! They’ll have a blast! Reply Kara on January 5, 2014 at 5:29 pm Cute! Reply Lindsey on January 6, 2014 at 8:07 am I have an entire scavenger hunt created with 6 different forms. It has 13 places/people described in Spanish. The receive a clipboard, a dictionary, a partner and then are locked out of the room until the timer goes off. Every year all my past students see the kiddos in the hall and comment, “Oh it’s scavenger hunt day…I loved that!” I am working on putting it on Teachers Pay Teachers… Reply Vicky on January 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm I do this with my students in the around town unit when they learn giving/following directions. I have the kids set up their own clues (with my feedback & they revise) & then they exchange with classmates, hide their clues around school (school vocab is review to them), and it’s a competition to see who finds ALL their clues and returns to the classroom first! It’s always a hit! I do put a strict NO RUNNING rule in place. They get a DQ if any teacher reports back to me that my kids were running in the halls or otherwise disrupting any of their classes. Reply Amy Lenord @alenord on January 2, 2014 at 11:37 pm I have always wanted to bring in native Spanish speaking guests for the students to listen to / interview. I want them to talk to someone else besides their classmates and I. The hardest part about it is finding the natives to bring in. I would love to know how other teachers have successfully done this. Ideally, I want those speakers to have some sort of relevance or interest for the students other than just speaking Spanish.I have also wanted to do some type of service work in the community that I organize for my students that serves both the purpose of serving others, but also using the Spanish they are learning. This is another project that really just requires time to put together, but insight from someone who has done this well would be very welcome. Thanks for making me think about the answer to this question! Reply Kara on January 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm I found my last speaker by asking friends on Facebook. I wanted someone in the medical field that learned Spanish. I found a great nurse that lived in Ecuador. She really connected to the students! She spoke in both languages. Reply Kara M on February 6, 2014 at 2:04 am I’m lucky in that I live near the border and have Spanish speaking relatives and friends I can invite to class. However, high school ELL classes can sometimes be a source of speakers. There are usually at least a couple Spanish speaking kids who arrived in the U.S. fairly recently. The trick is finding one of those students who would feel comfortable speaking to the class about their experiences growing up, going to school, etc. in their country. I worked with an ELL teacher once who was all for it, even though his student was speaking in Spanish, because it was a way for his student to integrate better with the school and for kids to get to know her. Reply Megan on January 2, 2014 at 11:46 pm Ok… I want to share! I had a student tell me once… “That sounds great, but are we actually going to do it?? Teachers always talk about cool ideas but we never actually do it!” It hit me hard. I’m guilty of that sometimes!Before this year is out I am going to…1.) Bring a dance instructor to class to teach either Salsa or Bachata. 2.) Get the Taco truck to our school! We have a few hispanic food trucks in our area. (Field trips have very strict rules, but we are allowed to have guests!) After we learn how to “order” in Spanish, we will get to practice the next day! I’m going to ask them to ONLY speak in Spanish. Yum, fun, and real practice! 3.) I’m planning a trip out of the country with my dad! He wants an adventure and a reason to try to learn Spanish. We’re thinking South America… maybe Argentina!My mom always asks our family… “When is the last time you did something for the first time?” Reply srtat on January 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm People who have done this–what do you do if you teach 5 or 6 sections of the same class?! I’ve always wanted to try these things with my Spanish I kids, but it seems like a challenge to get someone that can/will repeat something 6 times in a row for a full day.. I would love advice on this!!PS-Argentina is the most incredible place on the planet. Please go there!! 🙂 Reply Kara on January 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm I just explained up front and asked if she was willing to stay all day. She was fine with it. If she didn’t want to do it, I had a back up person so she could’ve done the morning classes, then the other person could do the afternoon. I would’ve had to do it on different days, but still worth it. I also like to provide my all-day speakers with lunch and usually a small gift card and video/card from students. For a dance instructor, I was able to pay him from my classroom funds. Another one was paid for by a grant. Money always helps! Reply Kara on January 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm Oh and we have a “volunteer” day in our city. Some businesses encourage their employees to participate. Who wouldn’t love to share their experiences with kids for that day off work?! Reply lisamnoble on January 8, 2014 at 4:18 pm I love the food truck idea. Hmmm… I have a friend who is a chef, and speaks French…possibilities! Reply Christie Nelson (@senoranelsontx) on January 3, 2014 at 12:43 am I am loving this Taco Truck idea! Reply Tina Beard on January 6, 2014 at 11:40 am I am planning on bringing the Olympics alive in my classes. I have come up with 10 or so different competitions modeled after the winter games. I will put the student into teams / countries. They will compete in a prelim “French” competition (dictation, trivia, reading) and if they score well, they will be allowed to compete in the games (luge – using ice cubes, ski – using cardboard skis, ice skating – in socks…) The groups will research their French speaking country, famous athletes from country and follow their team in the Olympics. I think it will be a great way to promote international mindedness and cross cultural understanding. Reply Robyn on January 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm I really want to visit Peru – it’s on the top of my bucket list. I’ve only ever been to Spain and would like to see a few other paises hispanohablantes.I have always wanted to do a Spanish flash mob during spirit week. Reply Megan on January 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm I love BOTH of these! I’m saving Machu Picchu for when my husband has more vacation time. However, the flash mob idea is really fun! It’s a great way to get a lot of kids involved with a big audience! Reply lisamnoble on January 8, 2014 at 4:23 pm The neighbourhood I live in is changing incredibly quickly. I want my students, as weird as it sounds, to capture their favourite places so that they can share them with their future spouses, kids, etc. we’re going to use Tour Builder (a Google tool) to create our tours, and then I want them to present them to each other in French. They can add video and photos to the tour, so they can actually record the presentation. Can use direction words, too. Reply cecilelaine on January 9, 2014 at 1:47 pm I am applying for funds to get a class set of headphones with a mic, so that my 8th grade students may communicate 1-1 with their French e-pals over skype. I am super excited! ReplyLeave a ReplyCancel reply This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.