So I found this incredible amount of children's songs in Spanish with animation. They're not those cheesy songs that no one has heard of that were specifically created for Spanish classes. They are cheesy on their own and people that I know actually heard them when they were children!
The songs can be found on youtube.
I decided that I want to start off class a little different each day. So far I have figured out that I want to incorporate jokes and songs throughout the week. Some other ideas of things to incorporate are riddles, news articles, commercials and Chuck Norris Facts in Spanish. I want to do a different gimmick each day of the week so that it stays interesting and each day one might student have something to look forward to.
The idea is to give the kids something at the beginning (or end) of class to bring them into class. It's kind of like a warm up and it's also a chance to expose them a little more to the culture. If we tell stories for longer because of this, that's ok. We're still learning Spanish and I am working on making the input more comprehensible.
Today, we sang: Cucú Cucú. It's a catchy little song about a frog and different people. I had my students fill in some blanks of familiar words and we sang it. Even if they didn't want to sing, I asked that they at least sang/spoke 'Cucú Cucú'. For the most part they all did. It made class a little goofier to start out with and I found that the participation was even better today than yesterday for some of my shyer classes.
I also read them a quote from Blaine Ray that I got from Ben Slavic's book TPRS in a Year!. Blaine Ray says:
"I believe people who are the most effective at TPRS don't tell stories. They ask questions, pauses, and listen for cute answers from the students."
I read this to my students to remind them that I am only in class to help them with the Spanish part of the story and to help a story flow along a path. I provide the skeleton of the story with a basic outline and it's their job to fill in the fleshy parts.
It seemed like they responded well to my reminding them that the class was about them and their ideas. I hope tomorrow can go as well! Maybe I should post the quote somewhere in my room to remind myself that the stories are not about my ideas, but rather about theirs.