Fun Family Activity

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The teacher I am subbing for left a great family vocab activity that I will definitely use in the future and want to share.  We had already worked with family vocab (mom, dad, uncle, aunt, bro, sis, etc) for a couple of days so students were to the point where they could recognize most of the vocab when they saw it.  Each student received a slip of paper with something like this on it:

Yo soy Luisa Santos de Ramos, la madre de Paco y la tía de Alejandra.

I had 20-24 students in the classes.  There were 2 or 3 different family units, depending on the class size, within the papers.  Students had to walk around and 1) find their family unit, 2) figure out how they were all related and 3) draw a family tree of their family (on the white board).

Students were extremely engaged and focused.  I was honestly surprised at the level of engagement and the great teamwork I saw that went into drawing the family tree.  I was worried there might be a few students who hung back and just sat, and there were a few, but for the most part everyone was really invested.  After students drew their family trees I had them read their slips of paper one at a time and we double checked their family trees as a class.

Students had a great time seeing who was “married” and who were parents and kids of each other.  It was a great activity in which students worked with the target vocab, got to use their problem solving skills, get up and move and draw.

I Didn’t Know What I was Missing!

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This Monday will mark my 4th week as a long-term sub at a high school for a Spanish teacher who is out on maternity leave.  There is another Spanish teacher and two ELL teachers in the pod I’m working in.  For the last two years I was the only language teacher in my district.  I was also the only full-time teacher that was always on the third floor of the building I taught in.  I went days without seeing another adult sometimes.  I had no idea what I was missing out on by not having other language teachers around me.

Sure I reached out on Twitter and have a wonderful group of teachers/educators with whom I communicate but that’s not the same as being able to run across the pod after school or between classes and get a language teacher’s perspective on a topic, activity or student.  I have grown a lot these weeks in management and teaching and have felt more confident than ever just by being able to bounce ideas off of someone in the moment or seek guidance from a veteran teacher who knows my students, school and subject.

I don’t know that this post serves much of a point other than to highlight my thankfulness for the situation I’m in and the people I’m learning from.  It also affirms my faith that person-to-person interactions and relationships are paramount to good teaching and good living.  I feel healthier and more invigorated as a teacher than I have so far in my short career.

Until Next Time,

Maestra McH