“An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”--Newton’s First Law of Motion
Maybe it’s the California sunshine, after so many dreary days of rain, but I noticed the shift in my students’ attention span immediately when the thermostat suddenly climbed to a balmy 78 degrees.
We needed to get outside.
Luckily, during the doldrums of December, I had come up with an idea for this.
La Clase: I have two sixth grade classes that change every trimester. This is my last group, and I have had them for four weeks. (This includes a week off for Spring Break.)
One of the great differences between my sixth graders and my upper level students is that the sixth graders did not choose to be in Spanish. They rotate through three pre-selected electives on their wheel: Art, Spanish, and Digital Storytelling. This greatly changes the level of investment students have in the class.
Materiales: I bought six very light balls from Dollar Tree. On one ball I put masking tape strips that read: yo tengo; tú tienes; él tiene; and ella tiene. I repeated this procedure with a second and third ball, using the verb “jugar” and “ser” with the same first, second, and third person structures.
I reviewed the rules in class after our primary lesson had been completed. Advanced students were encouraged to create sentences rather than just practice the structures aloud.
I also stated very clearly that if there are any behavior shenanigans, any at all, then we will NEVER go outside again.
Then, with just ten minutes remaining of our class time, we trekked outside to use the blacktop. (Note: I asked the PE teachers ahead of time if this area was free!)
Los Resultados: Happy, happy kids. I had two sets of balls, and so I divided the class into boys and girls. The girls lined up in two neat rows and gently lobbed the ball back and forth. The boys were more active, running and passing and throwing.
It was a wonderful way to review and wrap class for the day.