Posted in game, Novel

Quick tip: A variation on an old game for novels!

A variation of a game for novels

It is interesting that students love certain games certain years.  One of my Spanish V classes loves the game that we play with weekend chat.  I love that I can alter this game easily to work with what we are doing.  We had just finished reading the novel Calaca Alegre.  I decided to play the game Great Minds Think Alike with the novel!  It went well, and there was a lot of excitement, cheering and groans when the answer was incorrect!  One student left the room and students wrote the answer that they thought the student in the hallway would give.  Some of the questions that we used to get you thinking of other questions:

  • Who was your favorite character?
  • Who was your least favorite character?
  • What was your favorite event?
  • What part made you… happy/sad/frustrated?
  • What is your favorite taqueria?
  • What is your favorite Mexican food to eat?
  • What would you paint on a mural?
  • Who is your favorite artist?
  • Where would you like to visit in Pilsen?
  • What actor should play Carlos (or any other character) in the creation of the movie?

Sometimes, I also like to have students guess what I would say!  Now, this game will be in my permanent rotation for post novel activities!  Have you tried the game Great Minds Think Alike?

Posted in game

Salad Bowl: A fun vocabulary game for FL classes

Salad Bowl game

In our advisory, we had students bring games to play today.  One of my amazing students brought the game Salad Bowl!  It would be PERFECT to shake up your traditional game of charades.

  • First you have everyone in the class write down one or two vocabulary words on a piece of paper.  You can collect them in a salad bowl (or any type of container).
  • You should have students split into teams.  I would try to only make about 4-5 teams to keep students participating more often.
  • During the first round, one person on each team has to describe as many words as they can in the target language without saying the key word in thirty seconds (the online version said 1 minute, but I think 30 seconds is perfect.)  The idea is 10,000 pyramid.  Their group is trying to guess all of the words as the one student is describing it. Each group gets one point per word guessed.  You continue to move through groups until all words are guessed.  This also gives incentive for students to pay attention to all of the words!
  • The next round, you put all of the words back into the salad bowl.  One person from each group acts out a charade to describe the word.  They keep acting out the words for 30 seconds.  Each word adds another point onto the team’s score.  You continue to act out all of the words until you finish with the bowl.
  • On the last round, you have a member from each group say only ONE word to describe the word.  They continue this for 30 seconds, and they still get one point per word.  You continue to do this until all of the words have been guessed.  The group with the most points at the end is the winner!

I thought this game would be perfect when you are returning from a break or a good review game before an exam.  I like that the students will hear the words multiple times as well.

Edited to add: Trevor commented on how he plays the game.  He has a fourth round where students just make noises to represent the words.  However, he cautions that students in the group must turn around because sometimes students make actions with their noises!  I love this addition!

Posted in game

Vocabulary Square Puzzle


I have a total love hate relationship with manipulatives.  When the kids use them, it is GREAT!  They are all in and invested.  It can take so much time to prepare them though.  And then at the end, when you find ONE piece of the puzzle on the floor and you have no clue which one it is from… it can be so frustrating!  However, recently, I have re-discovered this puzzle from Señor Wooly which all of my classes loved and requested again.


To create my puzzle, I created a 5X5 grid for my students.  I wrote matching words and definitions on each side.  I cut up the squares, and students had to match them.  I put a few “repeat” words on the boarder.  This made it harder for the students.  Initially, I created Spanish and English translations.  However, as the year progresses, I could easily write the definition in Spanish.  I broke my class up into pairs to recreate the puzzle.  While that did mean more cutting for me, it meant that all of my students were involved.  Literally all of my students were into this activity!  I will have to repeat this one soon.

Posted in game, Technology

Online review game for fast finishers

Review Game Zone for Fast Finishers

Typically, I like to have activities ready for students who finish early.  I have had Zondle available, but it recently folded unfortunately.  Last year, I stuck with Quizlet and Quia, but students didn’t play Quia as much.  They also became bored with Quizlet ALL the time.

Recently, I found Review Game Zone.  I like it because you can set up a class to see student progress.  I also like the multiple different games that the site provides (about 15 total).  Teachers can create multiple choice questions, or draw from a bank of multiple choice questions.  Students can choose the game to play.  They answer a question correctly to be able to play.  I feel that it imitates many games that students enjoy playing.  (I enjoyed the tower stacking game myself!)  In the past, I would have students play these games at home as well for fun.  Plus, it is free!

Many Spanish games already exist.  While many of these games focus on grammar or vocabulary, I would encourage teachers to create a game that focused on a novel or a reading.  Teachers could also create a game describing a vocabulary word instead of sticking to translation to practice more circumlocution.  In the end, these games are perfect for students who are done, but many times, students end up “playing” more than answering questions.

Posted in game, Technology


Have you tried the new Quizlet game?!  Many foreign language teachers use Quizlet, and I read on the forum FLTeach about this new “Live” game.  If you do not have access to this game, you can email beta at to request  Here is how the game works:Quizlet Live!


  1. You need at least six people or teams to join.
  2. You decide on the flashcard set, and you click on live.  (You can do this on your own flashcard set or pick another group of flashcards from another user.)
  3. Students then put in the six-digit code that is on your computer.  Once they are in, Quizlet divides each group into teams.  (My teams during F block were the Otters and Reindeer.)  You then start the game.  You can shuffle teams if you would like.
  4. Each group has twelve words divided among them.
  5. Each team is racing to get all of their words correctly entered.
  6. A word flashes on the screen, and ONLY the person in the group with that word will click on it.  Everyone else leaves their words online.
  7. Another word will flash on the screen, then the person in the group which has that word will click on it.  The other groups do NOT click anything.
  8. All groups continue until one group gets all twelve words correct; however, if one person gets a word wrong, that group starts back at zero.
  9. You keep the same words unless someone puts the word in incorrectly.  Your words are eliminated as you go which makes it easier.
Quizlet Live
We finally won!

It was definitely a fun game, and it was so easy because everyone already has the Quizlet sets ready.  I did not have to do any prep work ahead of time.  Enjoy this new game!

Posted in Favorites, game

#tbt en la clase de español

We are working on the past tenses in Spanish especially on the imperfect.  I wanted to personalize it and make it comprehensible.  I decided to celebrate #tbt (or #ThrowbackThursday) in Spanish class.  To prepare, each student had to email me a picture of themselves in Middle School.  (This is for Spanish III, so most of them are sophomores or juniors.)  They also had to complete a Google Form about their likes and dislikes in Middle School.  What music they listened to, what TV shows they watched etc.

When they enter, I am going to play older music in Spanish.  I am going to play

Then, I am going to give them cards that say Sí on one side and No on the other.  I am going to ask them questions based on the homework questions.  I would write Do you think this student listened to KidzBop?  Or do you think this student watched Disney?  The students will all respond with sí/no cards.  I will then flash the picture and give follow up information.  Finally, at the end, I will create a Kahoot that asks questions based on the presentation. I am so excited for this tomorrow! Have you ever incorporated this into your classes?

Posted in game, No Prep Required, Warm-up activity, writing

Sentence/picture warm-up

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 7.46.31 PM

I just found an amazing idea for a warm-up via the Red Headed Hostess!  You can start with sentences on top of the paper.  Each student should have one piece of paper.  You can either write all of the sentences to review target vocabulary/structures, or the students can each write their own sentence.  The papers move about 8 times, so you only need 8 different sentences per class.  After the students write their sentence, they fold the paper then pass it to their left.  That person illustrates the sentence, they cover up the sentence, and continue to pass it to their left. The next person writes a sentence to describe the picture.  The group continues the write, fold, draw, fold pattern until the end of the sheet.  Then at the end, you can see how the sentence changed.  It is like a written telephone game!  What fun! I am going to try this tomorrow!  I am including a copy of the game in Spanish below.


Posted in game, Technology

Kahoot: Ghost Mode!

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 1.50.12 PM

As many students do, my students LOVE Kahoot!  I try to keep it a secret at school, so they don’t get sick of it, but they even told their teachers to play it.  That is dedication!  After every game of Kahoot, they ask, “Can we play again?!”  Now, there is a great way for them to play and be able to beat their score!  Kahoot has introduced Ghost Mode.  (Never played it before? You can watch this video to try it!)

Once you get the feedback and results, there is a new button to press called play again.  All of the students are automatically entered back into the game with their original user names but now with a ghost next to their name.  They can try to win again, but more importantly, they can try to beat their score.  I really like this addition of trying to get his or her PR (or personal record as we called it in cross country.)  I am excited to show them this new addition!

Posted in Brillante Viernes, game

Brillante Viernes: February 6, 2015

A picture from our trip to the NGA this week from Ms Lib!
A picture from our trip to the NGA this week from Ms Lib!

Happy Friday!  I have been exhausted this week, so I am excited for the weekend.  There is a lot of things that I am going to read during nap time with a nice cup of tea:

  1. Check out Spanish Plans’ Teacher Meme contest!
  2. Allison wrote 100 best resources for World Language Teachers- WHOA!  It is a great list!!
  3. Courtney has an awesome Valentine’s Day unit.
  4. Last night’s #langchat discussion was excellent!  We discussed games in a proficiency based classroom.  I have my list here.  The summary will be posted here to read later- and you should!  Finally, there are old chat summaries on the same topic as well.
Posted in game

Amazing race clues!

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 11.11.55 AM

Today in my class, we are having an amazing race to review!  Students are going to start with clue one and a practice activity.  My practice activities consist of an old vocabulary quiz, a writing section and a reading section.  You could have more activities, but I do not think my students would finish it all.  Once they complete the first activity, they receive clue two.  When they finish the last activity and receive clue four, they must figure out what is happening and answer the final question.  I used teachers at my school, so you want to change the names to teachers at your own school.  In the first set of clues, I say where each person is.  In the second set, I tell what each person has.  In the third set of clues, I say what each person is missing.  Finally, I tell what each person gave to someone else.  One person did not loan out one thing that they were missing!  The students must figure out who stole what item.  Here are the clues:

Clue #1:

Hay seis cuartos y seis personas.

-Srta. Simpson está en el dormitorio.

-Sr. Trammell está en la cocina.

-Srta. Lib está en el comedor.

-Srta. Henry está en la sala.

-Sr. Hollars está en el jardín.

-Sra. Hawkins está en el garaje.

Clue #2:

-La persona en el dormitorio tiene dos tijeras.

-La persona en el garaje tiene tres faldas.

-La persona en la sala tiene ocho libros.

-La persona en el comedor tiene tres tacos.

-La persona en la cocina tiene nueve bocadillos.

-La persona en el jardín tiene tres carros.

Clue #3:

-A Sra. Hawkins le faltan (is missing) dos tijeras.

-A Sr. Hollars le falta un taco.

-A Srta. Henry le faltan dos faldas.

-A Srta. Lib le falta un carro.

-A Srta. Simpson le faltan tres bocadillos.

-A Sr. Trammell le faltan dos libros.

Clue #4:

-Sr. Hollars le da un taco.

-Sr. Trammel le da dos libros.

-Srta. Simpson le da tres bocadillos.

-Sra. Hawkins le da unas tijeras.

-Srta. Lib le da un carro.

-Srta. Henry le da dos faldas.


Who robbed something? From whom did he/she steal something? What did he/she steal?