As a middle school and high school teacher, I'm always venturing a bit outside my comfort zone when it comes to teaching elementary students. That said, I love the opportunity to try out new hands on activities and also create an excitement for the Spanish language when the students are still young. This summer, I teach four basic Spanish classes, each meets for 90 minutes a day and lasts for four days.
¡Conversemos! (Conversation Class)
This week, I teach a conversations class to 1st through 3rd graders. Since they are true beginners, we don't go much further than greeting each other, asking and telling how we're doing, asking and telling what our names are, and saying good-bye. But I'm watching little ones who were too shy to talk on Monday confidently having short conversations in Spanish on Wednesday! This class stumped me a bit at first, because I've never tried to teach this back and forth speaking with younger children. Monday was a little rough because I tried to do too much "in the desk, repeat after me now" teaching. Tuesday, I incorporated many more games to practice the vocabulary and that made a world of difference! Here are some of the highlights of this week:
Since matching games worked so well during my colors class and my numbers class, I decided to make one this week too. I used some wooden circles I had laying around from Michaels, and the kids really enjoyed practicing this way again.
We did a lot of ball games in which students added to the conversation when they had the ball in their hands, then they would throw the ball to someone else to continue the conversation. (And we got some outdoors time, which is always great!)
We used this Ta-Te-Ti (Tic-Tac-Toe ) board as a mini Bingo-board. We had a winner every three to five words, so we were able to have many winners and lots of chances to hear the vocabulary words. I said the words in Spanish so that the students heard the pronunciation multiple times and then they showed their comprehension by choosing the correct English translation on their game cards.
We also practiced with a basic memory game. This is a quick game that I use in my high school classes also to review vocabulary.
On Monday, we picked out talking buddies from the stuffed animal basket. We practiced having conversations with the animals and the animals had conversations with each other. Sometimes, the process of using a stuffed animal to do the talking lets shy or unsure students be more comfortable experimenting and practicing the language because it's not really them talking, it's the animal.
Later in the week, we used our talking buddies to put on simple puppet shows in which the animals greeted each other!