Inside: Time fillers for Spanish class. What to do when you have 10 minutes left of Spanish class and you do not know what to do.
Recently I have seen a few people post about not knowing what to do with extra time left at the end of class. I feel you, because I have had quite a few of “those classes” that literally can not be given two minutes of free time or it becomes mass chaos. (*cough* middle schoolers *cough*) I also hate busy work or anything that both the students and I know is a waste of their time. So what do you do when that always super speedy class finishes what it took the other section the entire class period? Here are a few ideas for language class that will keep students busy, the teacher sane, and provide more language input.
If not everyone is done early
- Work on Real World Choice Homework – This is my go to fast finisher activity. When a student is done, they can go to their list of possible tasks and chose one that is interesting to them.
- Free read from Classroom library – We start class on Tuesday and Thursday free reading, so my classes are very familiar with our library and ideally should be working on continuing to read the same book.
- Fast Finisher System – This is something I have not done yet, but would like to start. Here are two examples: Martina Bex’s Fast Finisher Packets & La Profesora Frida’s Fast Finisher System.
If you just finished a class story/ novel chapter
- Draw storyboards – Pass out computer paper and have students divide it up to retell the story or chapter in frames.
- Retell to a partner – Have students retell the story to their table, to three people in the room, or line them up and retell to the person across from them, while rotating down the line.
- Free Write – Students can reflect on what they just read, retell the story, follow a prompt, or write about whatever they would like.
- Practice in groups and act out – Divide the class in groups, get out the prop box, set a timer, and give students a certain amount of time to prepare their performance. These can just be done for other small groups, or for the class.
- No prep post reading activities – This post has more deatils about specific activities to do after reading a book chapter.
Time Fillers If you have technology
- Sr. Wooly – I am excited to have Sr. Wooly Pro this year, where students can work through activities at their own pace. If you do not have pro, you can always show one of his awesome videos.
- Duolingo – Some teachers have accounts for each student and keep track of their Duolingo practice. I personally just let students work at their own pace as a choice homework option. Some even download the app and work on it at home.
- Lyrics Training – With some extra time, have students complete a song or two in the target language. They can even change the difficulty to self differentiate.
- Quizlet Live – Pick a vocab card set on Quizlet and let this game do the rest! I usually do not even make my own sets, but rather just search and someone else has done the work for me. A couple quick rounds at the end of class leaves everyone wanting more and does not let it get stale.
- Movie Talk
If you do not have technology
- Hangman – An old school classic where students or the teacher can pick words in the target language to use.
- Verba – I have a couple sets of this game, which is like apples to apples, but in Spanish. You can also print your own set.
- Special Person Interview – With extra time invite a special person up to the front of the room to be interviewed by the class. As the facilitator, you can make sure to get lots of repetitions in of high frequency vocabulary. With upper levels, someone can be the interviewer.
- Toss a ball & Talk – Literally just throw a ball around and let whoever has it talk about what is on their mind in the target language. Students may not even realize that they are learning 🙂
- Speed ball – Instead of playing this classic first week of school game with names, have students ask questions related to your unit of study. Set a timer and see how fast it can get around to everyone in the same order.
- Para Empezar slideshows – Instead of using these slideshows to start class, use them to end it. You can do a song of the day from Spanish speaking countries, or activities related to the Day of the Dead. A fun meme or Youtube video is great input to end class.
- Dance – When the energy is so high at the end of the day on a Friday (or any day) and you know there is no productivity left in anyone, throw on a baile viernes video and let students have fun while listening to music in Spanish.
- Chispas – This game has the class work as a team to correctly translate a sentence. You could just do a couple round to finish out a class period. See the instructions here.
- Rock, paper, scissors – This is another classic that can be played in the target language. Students could play in groups of three or have one giant class game
- (country) vs (country) – Courtney Gordon recently shared this game on the IFLT/NTPRS/ CI TEACHING Facebook page. One student from each team comes to the front of the room. They must act out the TPR or respond to the question by the teacher. The first person to correctly respond earns a point for their team.
- En Mi Opinión – Check out the video tutorial of how to play this game from Sr. Wooly.
- Profe Peplinski’s game page – If you need even more ideas, check out this treasure chest of game ideas from Profe Peplinski.
Thanks for this post! Another one I've found is the Mi Vida Loca videos. It's perfect for Spanish 1, not ANCIENT like so many of those novice language telenovelas, and pretty engaging so far! Also: NO PREP!
I just want to leave you a BIG THANK YOU!! Your blog is awesome! You are a super generous fellow teacher to compile all of this information together for the rest of us! You are super sweet! Thank you! thank you! Thank you!