This week I am celebrating a birthday: my blog is half a year old!
When I started to write it in January, my goal was to show how I adapt other people's ideas, and I also wanted to share the activities that I had created and tried with my classes. The blog has had over 10000 views, which is absolutely fantastic (even if many of these views came from my mother in Hungary who likes looking at photos of her grandchildren :-).
On this occasion I am sharing some birthday activities with you.
1, The birthday song
I play it from the Español, Español CD by Carole Nicoll (there are lots of other great songs on the CD, highly recommended!). It also has the karaoke version without the words. The song is on display on the wall in (almost) every classroom.... And here is a story for you: 5 years ago, in my very first Spanish lesson in my new job I wanted to show how well I prepare for my lessons and how much I care about the pupils. I had asked for a copy of the register with the birthdays on and noticed that a pupil celebrated her birthday on the day I started in this Year 5 class. The class teacher was in and a new student teacher came to observe this lesson as well. After introducing myself and doing a starter activity, I made the birthday girl stand up and encouraged the rest of the group to sing ¡Cumpleños feliz! to her. The pupils looked very confused and so did the birthday girl, the class teacher and the student teacher. I repeated the instructions again in English only, just in case they didn't get what I was saying the first time. Inmediately, the class teacher said to me "Miss, she doesn't celebrate birthdays". Then I looked very confused and felt awful I did something terrible right in my first lesson in my new job. I pulled myself together and taught a good lesson still, but I blamed myself for months for not finding more out about the group. After this lesson, the class teacher told me that the pupil was a Jehova's witness, and didn't celebrate birthdays (and Christmas). Well, I am still at that school, I teach Jehova's witnesses in almost every year group and learnt my lesson by now!
Another good song is the months song on the CD "Let's sing and Learn in Spanish", it is a very catchy one, the children love it. They raise their hands or jump up when they hear their birthday months.
After the song, I ask the birthday child:
¿Cuántos años tienes?
And then, I pull the child's ear as many times as corresponds to his/her age, and encourage the rest of the pupils to do the same in the playground later (after asking for permission, of course:-). While I pull the ear, we all count in Spanish! The question/answer on the slide is a great introduction to the Spanish letter "ñ",the upside down question mark, and the accent on "cuántos".
I don't do this all the time, because I teach over 200 children, but occasionally I take my Piñata in, and while we sing a song, the blindfolded birthday pupil(s) have to hit the Piñata I hold with the fly swats. I stick the bottom part loosely with tape and after hitting it for 3-4 minutes the bottom will come off and guess what falls on the floor...... Spanish homework sheets:-) And some sweets for the birthday people.
We practised at home, and we will definitely make one next year.
Thank you for reading the blog, here is a cake for you!