Friday, September 27, 2013

Student Created Reflexive Verb Posters

I usually enlist the students' help in creating displays in the classroom with their own work.  So, here are the reflexive v. non-reflexive posters my Spanish 2 students made last week.  Part of the process was presenting the posters to the class and answering questions about which one was reflexive or which one was not, as well as what exactly made them reflexive or non-reflexive.  In the end, the students hung the posters in the space under my whiteboard where they would see them often as we continue our study during the unit.  

Some close-up examples:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Class Project: Spanish Is All Around Us

Last week, I asked all of my Spanish students (Spanish 1, 2, 3/4) to bring in an item with Spanish written on it.  It could be food packaging, instruction manuals, or something similar.  With the exception of some French that infiltrated our display :) we did pretty good.  Here's what our display looked like today (still missing some items from our procrastinating students).

On a small piece of paper, students were asked to write where they found the Spanish and to identify two words that they learned while studying it.

Be Who You Are: Spanish Bulletin Board Lesson

I've adapted the "Be" bulletin board often seen on Pinterest to meet my Spanish language needs.  What I did was create an empty bulletin board covered with black tag board at the beginning of the year, then this year, my Spanish 3/4 brainstormed a list of words to describe "good" friends, students, or people in general.  I then had students add their words to the bulletin board.  They were allowed to use a dictionary to explore new vocabulary.  Here's what we had at the end of the hour today:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Class Project: Reasons to Study a Foreign Language

I love using student work to fill my classroom walls and adorn the hallway outside of my class.  At the beginning of the year this year, all of my high school classes (Spanish 1, Spanish 2, Spanish 3/4) created one of these hands to display their personal reasons for taking Spanish class.  

I was originally inspired by this pin.  Each student traced their own hand.  Then, they wrote their Spanish name on their thumb.  After that, they wrote a reason for studying Spanish on each of their fingers (They were not allowed to amputate!).  Finally, they were asked to decorate any which way they saw fit.

Here's what the display looks like:

And here are some close-ups of the hands:

I wouldn't do this every year since I did it across all levels of Spanish, but I think I'll put it in my toolbox for future years.  It was quick, easy, and played into the conversations we have at the beginning of the year about why we're there and what benefits there are to learning a second language.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Classroom Decor & Organization 2013-2014

Well, classes start tomorrow, and my classroom still isn't 100% complete, but when is it ever really?  Mine is always more of a work in progress than anything.  I've been working on making my classroom as effective and efficient as it can be while working toward a cozier feel for my middle school and high school Spanish students.

Well, here are some highlights from around my classroom today, as I'm gearing up to meet students for the 2013-2014 school year!  :)

This is my teacher / small group area.  I ditched the desk about half way through last year and never looked back.  I love this set up much more.  It allows more opportunities working with small groups and opens up my classroom quite a bit.  The bookcases behind are mostly my teacher things, like professional literature, unit binders, and class sets of books.  

Just to the left of my teacher corner is our classroom library.  My dad made these great browsing shelves for our books.  I color code books by reading level and separate fiction from non-fiction.

(You can also see a bit of my new curtains here.  They match my room a bit better than the blue and pink ones I had before.  I acquired them in a three-way trade with a colleague and an empty classroom.)

This is the student corner of the classroom.  This computer is for student use.  We'll also use it for checking out books from the classroom library.  The hanging organizer on this side of the table is for student cell phones and devices during tests, presentations, or any time when they are being too much of a distraction. The drawers on the close side of the table are for students to pick up information from being absent.  The next set of trays are for handing in homework.  The file cabinet is for student access too:  a drawer for paper, one for Forensics, one for Spanish Club, and one with board games.

This is the back wall of my classroom.  I've paired some desks back here for specialized work time.  The notebooks are for our classroom journals.  There are two bulletin boards here that will be completed during the first couple weeks of school.

This is my version of the "Be... who you are" bulletin board that's popular on Pinterest right now.  This is the first pin I saw.  I'm going to have my Spanish 3/4 class fill in the black with describing words instead of me providing them all.  

This one says "Spanish is Everywhere."  Students will be asked to bring in print that they find with Spanish on it, like manuals, food packaging, brochures, etc.  We'll secure them all to this board and create a classroom collage of Spanish realia.

My back storage cabinets by the door have Spanish word magnets on them for creating fun sentences.  Also some monster body part magnets for creating fun monsters.  The files on the side are my Passwords Binder where I keep hallway activities to do with the kids before they enter the room, and my Exit Ticket folders. 

My side wall holds our Spanish word wall.  

And just to the right of my teacher area is this white board.  This is my student resource board where I write reminders for classes about assignments, upcoming assessments, and the like.  For assignments that repeat every other week, I just laminated a reminder so that I can just switch them out from week to week.  Our calendar for calendar routine is also here.  This is my computer that's hooked up to both the SMARTBoard and my classroom printer.  The file cabinet holds my unit plans and just down to the right out of view is my "Magic Carpet."  More on this in a sec.  ;)

Another view of the student board.

While perusing Pinterest last school year, I discovered the concept of an English Box in which students had to be standing if they wanted to use English in the language classroom.  This is my version that I'm trying out this year: The Magic Carpet.  Will let you know how it goes!

Student desks are paired and then arranged in a semi-circle around the SMARTBoard in the front of the room.  I like to keep a lot of goodies and supplies within arm's reach of the students.