All A-Board

My Spanish 2 class started the year in unit 10 of Martina Bex’s Somos curriculum. We are just starting unit 13, El chico del apartamento 512. It’s been SO MUCH FUN to revisit Somos 1. I haven’t had a level 1 class since the 2016-17 school year, but the pandemic set us back quite a bit so I’m getting to walk down memory lane with some favorite Somos stories… and this is one! I just love the song, the story, the way the kids laugh…

BUT… I’m still fighting this cold and I didn’t know if I could contain the circus of getting all the actors I’d need to act this one out… so I thought about it and decided to try a new activity, I’m going to call it All A-Board.

I grabbed my mini white boards and just started drawing things I’d need to talk about as I told this story. Since this is directly tied to the song, I knew it would be much more a story TELL than ASK.

As I told the story, I picked up the white boards I needed to use as visual aids. If one of the men asked Jenny on a date, I grabbed his board and the ¿Quieres salir conmigo? board. If Jenny was in her apartment, I grabbed the Jenny board and her apartment board (503).

After we had told the whole story, I had the students face each other to play Back ‘Atcha (another amazing Cindy Hitz game). We used the All A-Board boards so that the story was fresh in everyone’s mind and MAN did they do a good job remembering story details this way!

I’m not positive we followed Cindy’s EXACT Back ‘Atcha rules but we took turns telling one thing that happened in the story. If team A made a correct statement, it was team B’s turn. Team B had to make a different statement. Any repeated or wrong statements resulted in a strike. Three strikes meant the other team would win! We played 15 minutes in both Spanish 2 hours and neither team won! Only ONE team had a strike and it was for a repeat!

I loved how they would lean out and look me dead in my eyes to make their statements. They were so confident!

These little boards took me about 5 minutes to draw and I will DEFINITELY do this again. It helped with comprehension, it helped ME stick to the story structures, and it helped the students recall the events of the story. I didn’t mean to make up some new big thing in my classroom this morning… honestly, I was feeling pretty awful and just trying to salvage the ability to sell this story to the kids… but this turned out to be a homerun!

Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas","Bananas", "Sostenible", and "Papálotl" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at gmail.com.

Leave a Reply