Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"Secret Password" happenings

Last school year, I started out incorporating a secret password to get into class.  This year, I no longer teach on the block, so I am doing new passwords that I never had the time to get to last year!

So it's been neat. In conjunction, I have really been having fun to break away from the monotony.  While sometimes, I just wait for the password, I played around with these two recently.

Last week's was:

Ojalá = I wish (let's hope)

Each day I would ask students different questions in TL that were accesible to their level(s):
   Do you want a million dollars?!
   Do you have 5 bellybuttons?
   Is it Friday yet?!
   Is it June yet?
   Is it hot outside?
   Is it July?

And they would respond with: "Ojalá" (I wish).

It was a lot of fun and later gave me the opportunity to throw Ojalá + past subjunctive in a reading for Spanish 1 that some kids were able to figure out (once they knew "ojalá" was like "I wish"). Cool!!

The one this week is: 
"qué asco" (That's disgusting!)

So today as kids walked up to me, I taped the word: "algo" (something) on the door translated into English and when students shook my hand after greeting me, I said in the TL, "Do you want to see something interesting?"  Of course the first ones didn't know what was going on and didn't quite figure it out!  Some tried to use the password at that moment and I would just say, "No puedes pasar" (you can't pass [there's a sign on my door for that one too]).

It was so fun to see them slowly pick up on what to say.  When someone said yes, I would tell them, "Ven aquí" and gesture to come and I would say, "Mira esto" (Look at this!)  And they would look and I had a plastic finger that I showed them secretly and their reactions were priceless.  They didn't' expect that and would laugh and say somewhat instinctively, "¡Qué asco!"

I think the extensions could be fun... pictures of strange/weird things (but school appropriate and no body shaming).  Or just continue with different body parts each day. Maybe I could get some fake "poo" and ask them if they want "chocolate" one day.

What I love about doing these things (aside from creating a club-like idea; classroom mgmt):

  1. they break up the monotony
  2. they add to students being playful
  3. they add to students having to solve a problem (to get into class); sometimes higher level thinking
  4. with previous one, they really have to listen to what I am saying and use the phrase in context
  5. they laugh at the unexpected
  6. I delight to see them interacting in the language
  7. they are using a useful phrase in context surrounded by other input
  8. the other teachers and students watch the crowd of students around my door and are more curious about the password and what kids are having to say.

What are some things you've done in your classroom that accomplish any of those goals!?

Have you tried the password yet? Which ones (if any)?

see some other things I tried this year with the secret password.

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