1st Day of Spanish 1 - Name Game Speedball - Mis Clases Locas

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1st Day of Spanish 1 - Name Game Speedball

Inside - Name Game Speedball. The best activity for any new group of students on the 1st day of Spanish class. A go-to lesson for the 1st day of Spanish 1. 

1st Day of Spanish 1 - Name Game Speedball - from Mis Clases Locas

Any time I have a new group of students, this is my go-to activity for the first day. I originally posted about Name Game Speedball in 2014, so it was time for an update since I have since played this game with 12 seperate exploratory classes, as well as every since class period when I started at a new school. Here are my go to first day plans with a new novice class. 

1st Day of School 

*Catchy music in Spanish is playing* Instructions to make a name tag are posted on the board. 

Greet every student at the door 
shake hands and saying in the target language:

Teacher - My name is Sra. W. What is your name?

Student - *blank stare* or joke about not speaking Spanish yet

Teacher - (repeats with exaggerated gestures) My name is Sra. W. What is your name?

Student - My name is...

Teacher - Repeats the student name back with a welcoming greeting

Once everyone has been personally greeted and is wearing a nametag, motion for everyone to form a circle. Do this in the target language with big gestures. In Spanish circle is a cognate, so they catch on quickly. In my deskless class it is easy to form a big circle, but if you have desks I would make sure they are arranged so you have a lot of space on day 1. 

Name Game Speedball
"I can introduce myself in the target language"
Supplies - 1 ball to toss 
Student Arrangement - Everyone standing in a big circle

  • Example Round - Teacher models, as well as points to what is written on the board in the target language "My name is..." "What is your name?" and passes the ball to the student standing next to the teacher. This continues until everyone has been introduced. (If anyone laughs or makes fun of anyone immediately shut it down and emphasize that this is a safe and positive environment).
  • Round 1 - Teacher  says in the target language "My name is..." "What is your name?" and underhand tosses the ball to another student, first making eye contact. Tell students they need to remember who throws it to them, and who they throw to. This continues until everyone has been introduced. Repeat as many times as the class needs to get these phrases and the order down.
  • Speed Round 1 - Here it is important to challenge the kids and play it up that you bet they can't go through the whole order and beat a certain time or another classes' record. I then ask for a timekeeper (who thinks it is awesome that they are getting to use their phone in class on day 1.) I record their new time each round on the board. This can keep going as long as there is high interest. The key is to end on a high note and keep them wanting more. To mix it up you can move to new phrases in Round 2 if they are catching on quickly.
  • Round 2 - Teacher models "his/her name is..." This round everyone will say "My name is..." "His/her name is..." while making eye contact and tossing the ball to another student. This will continue until everyone has gotten it once. They will once again need to remember the order. 
  • Speed Round 2 - You can now see if you can beat your own time from the first speed round. Once again end on a high note and keep them wanting more. 
  • Optional challenge - See if anyone in the class can volunteer to name everyone. Give them a small treat if they can. 

**Covid-19 Social Distancing Options 
Here are some ways to play and learn names, while trying to maintain distance. 
  • Play outside in a very large circle. Have everyone wearing masks, sanitizing a ball, and hand before and after playing.
  • Play at desks facing the front without a ball. Have everyone stand in front of their desk. Instead of a ball students play, throwing an imaginary pass or "passing the snap." Or students could do a specific action and then pass it on. 

Why Name Game Speedball?
The hidden agenda here is that I personally want to learn every students name on day one. So even if the students all know each other, let them know how important it is to you to learn their names, and they will appreciate it. That along with building a positive and supportive classroom culture, makes this the perfect first day activity. If I remember, I also like to get a class picture on day one with everyone wearing their name tags. This way I can study if needed. It is also fun to look back on this group pictures at the end of the year. 

What if we have some extra time at the end of class?
With a little extra time you can do first week logistics like stations get logged into Google Classroom, Sr. Wooly, other accounts for class, fill out a student interest survey, pass out the syllabus and parent newsletter or go over class expectations. There are always a ton of "must do" activities from admin the first week, that I personally like to wait until the end of class to do since I want the high engagement right away during the prime input time. 

How can I use this game beyond day 1?

Speedball could be used for future classes with many new get to know you phrases such as "I like" or "I am from," while doing the Super 7 unit in Spanish (or now French!). It is a great brain break and students love getting to move and throw a ball. You could use higher level phrases in upper levels as well. 

What to do Day 2?

On Day 2 of Spanish 1 we start our two week Super 7 present tense unit, using special persona interviews to continue building our positive classroom community. 

What about Spanish 2 and above?

If you do not know the names of the class or they do not know each other, a quick round of name game speedball would still be great. You could mix it up that they say something more advanced like "My name is... & I went to..." Then you could move into my 1st Day Plans for Spanish 2, 3 or 4

If you are looking for even more, my Back to School Bundle has everything you need for a successful first week. Happy Back to School season!

What if I need to use digital Learning to start the school year? 
How to Start Spanish 1 online with distance learning - high frequency verb unit - shared by Mis Clases Locas

How to Start Spanish 1 online with distance learning - high frequency verb unit blended learning BUNDLE - shared by Mis Clases Locas

Also, one of the pictures below was the first day for this particular class after Winter break :)

1st Day of Spanish 1 - Name Game Speedball - from Mis Clases Locas

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