CYA Lists for a SOTY World

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10 thoughts on “CYA Lists for a SOTY World”

  1. Related to Ben’s idea, is the idea of doing reports with the thematic vocabulary for 5 minutes/day. I know some CI teachers living in a SOTY world do it this way. I have slides of vocabulary (e.g. calendar, weather, food, drinks, clothing, etc), each word written below a picture. Then, I use CI around some target structure (TS) related to the theme (e.g. mañana será, hace calor, va a comer, va a tomar, se viste con). My focus is on getting reps of the TS, but kids are getting visual and many times auditory input on the lists.

    E.g. Choose a celebrity.
    How does he dress himself today?
    Does he dress himself with pants or a skirt?

  2. I haven’t read this whole post yet, but an idea for a new job just occurred to me: the Weather Man/Woman. Get a flashlight for “it’s sunny” a little fan for “it’s windy” a little spray bottle for “it’s raining” etc., all controlled by the Weather Man/Woman and blamo! Instant weather effects for any story.

  3. Yeah this would have to be done with the right kids in the right school but it is proof how this method has about a gazillion potential cool things in it, and how we therefore can be guaranteed one thing – we won’t be bored in this work as we create it anew each day. I’ll add it to the jobs list category James.

  4. My way:

    a) Every day, I circle the date (day, #, month) for 20-30 sec

    b) At start, I introdce 2 weather experssions– what the weather is that day, and something diff. EG it’s sunny, it’s raining.

    c) I circle that.

    d) Next day, I introduce a new expression, or revisit the old one, circle it/them. (I also circle date again).

    e) Whenever the weather changes, i introduce a new expression.

    f) During the course of 5-10 months, the kids WILL acquire the weather, days of week, #s 1-30 and months.

    g) Kids like predictable start-up routine. KEY: don’t spend 5 min on this every day. 2 min MAX. You can also throw in stuff like “Is it hot in Antarctica? Is it cold in Jamaica?” etc for variation.


    1. Interesting comment, Chris. I think I’m going to try this next semester. I’ve decided to scrap all the bell-ringers that I used to do and start class right away with a Look and Discuss (though on some days I start class with SSR). But I’m realizing that students benefit from some warming up to the L2. Always circling the date and the weather is a great way to warm students up.


  5. Ben, you refer to the stuff that “some of us still have to deal with if our district still hasn’t yet made the change into 21st language instruction, what I call comprehension based instruction.”

    and “Plus, I don’t know who will be teaching my kids next year.”

    Thanks for remembering this. Some of us have to take kids who have had a few years of a mixture of incomprehensible input in L2 and comprehensible non-input (that would be a lot of L1). We are trying to switch them over to a new way of thinking without them jumping ship over 90%. We are also trying to prepare them to not be totally lost in the grammar grind that they may be entering back into whether in our districts or at the university level.

  6. I am fairly new to TPRS AND CI and am working to set up a successful classroom for next year… I have been worrying about this exact issue: how to make sure my students are prepared to move onto a new teacher next year (specifically with the way grammar and vocabulary are taught in my school). Is there a good list of the top vocab and verbs that are recommended for first year to second year students in Spanish. I have seen many online but would love some help finding the most “useful” one.

  7. A coupla silly weather ideas for elem t/ci classroom:
    1. I have a free downloaded Spanish movie mini poster for the kids’ book/movie, “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs.” So the first person to answer my query, ‘I s it raining meatballs today?’ in response to the weather chant gets to run up to the mini grocery cart and find the fake spaghetti, and walk about the room for a minute ‘collecting’ raining meatballs on his plate. You can’t believe what falls from the sky in Chicagoland these days!
    We have gestures/motions for all the 9+ weather conditions/ posters, but I don’t do them all at once either. My funny images for my weather visuals come from MES English- a great online source of often silly cartoony images grouped by theme, with flexible and free printables, power points and other potentially useful stuff.
    2. On rainy days (I just did this last week!) we Make a Storm- I project the directions in Spanish and:
    Group A rubs hands together; then group B snaps
    Group A claps then group B slaps their legs
    Everyone starts to stomp hard, (while slapping/clapping) then the lights person flicks the lights off & on again n again. Viola, a storm.
    The sound effects are great & they loooooove it! Kinda like a brain break but I do it right at the opening of class.
    3. Sometimes the kids tell me they’re cold (this winter) so I put my big winter parka on them. (When they tell me they’re sick I put a blanket on em and give em a teddy bear or a shot with my Dr.s kit.)
    In summary, humor n props help with these language sets- and with everything else too!!
    If anyone wants the teacher-made materials in Spanish let me know.
    I have developed tons of little-have/want/need/like vignettes- as I’m sure many of you have- and its sheer joy to have these loving exchanges w/my kiddies!

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