I am participating in the Trick or Treat blog hop hosted by The Classroom Game Nook Blog! It runs from October 24-31 and there are more than 50 blogs participating! Whoa! We are all blogging about a "trick" or tip we use in our classroom, "treating" all our readers to a freebie, AND participating in a giveaway! This is my first giveaway so I'm kind of excited. There is a link at the bottom of this post to take you to the next blog post in the hop. See how many blogs you can "hop" over to!
I'm not in the classroom anymore, but I taught both middle and high school Spanish. I always tried to incorporate a variety of activities and not do the same types of activities day after day. If students see that they are going to do the same fill-in-the-blank or matching or whatever type of activity AGAIN, the same activity that they did yesterday, the day before that, and the last 6 school days before that, then they quickly become disengaged and turn to creating chaos. Chaos is my worst enemy.
I liked to incorporate an activity into my lessons that would let students get up out of their seats not only to let them get out their restless energy, but also to keep things interesting and keep their interest in Spanish grammar. It turns out not everyone thinks conjugating verbs is quite as fun as I think it is.
One activity I did frequently I called "scavenger hunts". It's fabulous because it can be adapted for any subject and any grade level. I saw a 6th grade science teacher do it with his classes and he got the idea from a math teacher. I really do mean it's great for ANY grade level and ANY subject. And just about anything that gets students up out of their seats is automatically engaging for them.
How to Prepare a Scavenger Hunt Activity:
- Come up with a list of 10 (or 20 or 30 or however many) questions and answers. I usually do "subject pronoun/verb" and the conjugated verb as the answer like "yo/nadar" and "nado". A math teacher might do "2+2" and the answer "4". An English teacher might do "a metaphor using like or as" and "simile". You get the idea.
- I cut 5 sheets of paper in half (for 10 questions), giving me 10 half-sheets. I write or type answer #1 in large letters (it needs to be legible from across the room) on the first half-sheet and at the bottom I write question #2 in small letters (should only be readable standing right in front of it). And on the second half-sheet I write answer #2 in large letters and question #3 in small letters. And on the third I write answer #3 and question #4. And the last sheet will have the last answer and question #1 at the bottom. The questions loop, so the last one leads you back to the first.
- Tape these half-sheets to the wall around the room at eye level in a random order. You want students to have to look for the answer.
- Students get a handout with as many lines as half-sheets that you prepared. Students get up and start at any half-sheet closest to them. The last one will lead them back to the first, so it doesn't matter where they start in the loop. They read the question at the bottom of the half-sheet in front of them, write the answer on their paper, find the answer around the room, walk over to it, read the next question, write the answer, find it, walk over to it, and repeat until they have completed the loop.
This activity gets students up out of their seats, gets their blood flowing back to their legs since they basically sit all day (at least in middle and high school!), and it makes that boring matching activity engaging and interesting. Sometimes I spice it up and include wrong answers and under the wrong answer I write "try again" instead of the next question so students know they made a mistake. It's a great activity to review and students get to use their energy in a positive academic way and not for evil chaos-creating.
The freebie I'm offering is (of course!) a scavenger hunt! It is for present tense stem-changing verbs and is available in my store and also HERE. It includes 25 verbs, and both an easy and a hard version. The easy version only has correct answers and the hard version includes a wrong answer alternative for each of the 25 verbs with "try again" at the bottom instead of the next prompt so students know they made a mistake. A Student Handout and Teacher's Guide are also included.
It will only be free until (and including) October 31. It is normally priced at $4. I have 16 different versions of these Scavenger Hunts with a variety of verb tenses. If you don't teach Spanish, then check it out and see how you can modify the activity for your subject and grade level!
I'm offering a similar activity in my giveaway - but this time it's a game. It's Dominoes for Spanish 1! I chose this product of all the products in my store because it's also easy to modify to fit any subject and grade level. There are 7 topics in my store - Present Tense -AR verbs, Present Tense -ER & -IR verbs, Numbers 1-100, Adjectives, Affirmative Commands, Reflexive Verbs, and Stem-Changing Verbs. Each topic includes 40 Dominoes. Each Dominoes game also includes a document with the Rules for how to play, and the giveaway Dominoes set will include a blank template for teachers to make their own dominoes if they teach a different subject. This activity takes a bit of prep, but students will have a lot of fun playing a game, while you watch them review material. It's like sneaking vegetables into a dish your children love and they don't even realize they're eating vegetables! *evil teacher laugh*
A math teacher could have students match numbers to their word form (2 and two). Or match decimals to their percent (.3 and 30%). A science teacher could have students match pictures of parts of the microscope with their names. An English teacher could have students match short definitions of the parts of speech with their names ("person, place, or thing" and "noun"). A Social Studies teacher could have students match the state capitals with their states. There are endless variations for how to incorporate Dominoes into the classroom and students won't even realize they are learning and reviewing! #teacherwin
Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment below and let me know how the scavenger hunt activity goes in your classroom! Click on the image below to "trick or treat" over to the next blog for more tips and freebies!