Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Number Game for the MFL

Games that I plan for my students have to meet some pretty high standards and expectations.  Having said that, yesterday's game activity was not one that falls into the typical TPRS, input based game, but the students had just listened to 40+ solid minutes of narrating, circling, and questioning of 2 short video segments and I knew it was time for a brain break.

Brainbreak choice: "Noventa y Nueve".  "Noventa y Nueve" is a game I found on Sr. The instructions how to play are conveniently provided on a video in which Sr. Wooly clearly explains the game as he plays it with several of his students.  He also provides a worksheet to download with useful Spanish phrases to say during the game, along with the values for each card.  (You do not have to login to watch the video or download the worksheet even though I strongly recommend buying a year subscription to his web site!)

First, I told my students to form groups of 4 or 5. Then I showed them 6 minutes of the video explanation.  AFTER the video explanation, I handed out the paper that I had downloaded from his website, distributed the card decks, and students played the games in groups.  I also wrote the multiples of ten on the board to help the students. By that time, they only had 6-8 minutes remaining in the class to play.  ALL of the students were engaged, adding the points on the pile, and saying those numbers in Spanish.

It was a nice way to spend the last few minutes of class.  Many of the students asked to play it again so I'll add it to the last 8-10 minutes of one class next week or the following week.

By pure coincidence, that evening I read Michele Whaley's post "The last five minutes" that mentions how humans respond to the end part of a trip, class, workshop, etc. I'm fairly certain that if the students happened to mention their Friday Spanish class to someone, it was the "Noventa y Nueve" game that stuck out in their minds.

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