Monday, December 17, 2012

Dice Tic-Tac-Toe

I came up with a fun new game for students to practice verb conjugations.
Basically, it's a variation of tic-tac-toe.  I made sheets of paper with six tic-tac-toe boards.  Each space has a different subject (which left me with one leftover space, so I just put definition in that last one).  Each board corresponds with a number and a verb.  For example, if you roll a 1, you have to go on board 1 and only conjugate the verb that goes with board 1.
1. Split the class into groups of two (or if you want to make it even more interesting: three).
2. Make sure the students have the list of which number corresponds to which verb (either with them or on the board... in the future I might just put it on the sheet of paper they use for tic-tac-toe).
3. The first student rolls.  They then choose a subject off of the corresponding board.  They write down the conjugation on a sheet of scrap paper.  Their partner must check the answer.  If it is correct, you can put your X or O down.  If incorrect, you don't make a mark and that spot is still up for grabs.
4. The next student rolls.  They can choose an available subject off of the corresponding board and conjugate as well.  Play goes back and forth until each board has a tic-tac-toe on it.
5. If a player rolls the number of a board that already has a tic-tac-toe, then the turn is over.
6. The winner is the person with the most tic-tac-toes.  In the even of a tie, roll the die.  Whoever won the board that corresponds with that number is the winner.

The kids played it today actually and they seemed to like it a lot.  I am always trying to find new ways to review, and this way worked well.

CLICK HERE to download your very own reusable template.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Some colleagues of mine showed me a great way to have the kids review.  They made puzzles that were four squares by four squares cut in half diagonally to make triangles.  On one side of each line is a clue, the other side is the answer.  I thought this was a great idea, but I couldn't shake the thought that there is no way for the kids to check their answers.  All the triangles fit together into the same final shape with a million different possibilities.

So, like with many things, I tweaked it.

I still used triangles, but I didn't make them form together into lines of squares.  The triangles were all oddly shaped and sized so that they would only fit together in one way.

I had the kids each make one.  I told them they could do vocabulary (English/French), verb conjugations (subjects/verbs), or clues (you smell out of this/le nez).  They handed them in so I could check to make sure they were accurate.  I then handed them back and had them cut them apart.  They traded with partners and put them together.  It worked out great!  It gave them a chance to review what we're learning.  I found that many kids did much more than just translations, which was great.  But even translations gave them a chance to practice vocab.

The cool thing about this is it can be used with just about anything.  Teaching match (problem on one side, answer on the other), teaching vocabulary, parts of speech, dates, historical name it!

Here is an example of a finished puzzle put back together:

Want an outline? Click HERE.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Vocabulary Diagrams

Vocabulary is one of the hardest things to "learn" for students, especially in a foreign language.  Any given chapter that I teach, there are usually at least 50 new vocabulary words they have to learn.  I'm not a huge fan of flashcards because I don't like my students memorizing translations.  I want them to look at a pen and think "stylo".  I don't want them to look at a pen, think "pen...pen in French is stylo...STYLO".  Any flashcards I do use have photos instead of words.

One activity I love to do to reinforce vocabulary is a diagram project.  For example, during the school unit, I had the students draw a diagram of the classroom and label at least 15 items (3 of which had to be verbs like raising your hand, talking, asking a question, studying, etc).  It's a great way to apply vocabulary with them actually CREATING the vocabulary.