Story Fan-n-Pick

Just got back from another Cooperative/Social Emotional Learning class meeting with tons of ideas from the brilliant minds of my colleagues. One of tonight's focus structures is called "Fan-N-Pick". It's one of the more...involved...Kagan structures, but my modification of it boils down to this: Write out 12 questions about whatever you are learning and make … Continue reading Story Fan-n-Pick


*Reflection, 5 years later...I left the classroom three years ago, and I have attended many, many conferences and workshops since then. I've read a lot of research, books, and blogs, and I think that I can say honestly that I have considered all of it. I am confident that output doesn't lead to language acquisition, so when I said … Continue reading Greetings

Mis compañeros y yo

Here is a communicative activity that I did with my Spanish A students. Students need to interview classmates with the questions provided, and each classmate should sign their paper twice. (Each students will end up with a total of 24 signatures provided by 12 classmates.) Afterward, each student should compare him or herself to three … Continue reading Mis compañeros y yo

Communicative Brain Breaks

Here are some other Cooperative Learning ideas that are TPRS-compatible. They make for great brain breaks and opportunities to build the student's comfort with speaking in the target language. For each activity, students should use the Stand-up/Hand-up/Pair-up structure in order to find a series of partners. Give students just two or three minutes (enough time … Continue reading Communicative Brain Breaks

Una semana memorable

Here's another idea inspired by the fabulous Diana Painter (how's that for a link, Diana?!) at our Cooperative Learning class on Wednesday. For this one, her brilliance came from just being difficult and lying about where she had spent the previous weekend during an otherwise serious activity. This activity (download the worksheet here) starts out … Continue reading Una semana memorable

Before/After Cooperative Learning

We had our first Cooperative Learning class meeting last night, and thanks to some high-quality 'Think-Pair-Sharing' with the lovely, hilarious, and supremely talented Ms. Diana Painter, I left with some great ideas about how to use Cooperative Learning structures with TPRS. This was one of her ideas for using the Kagan structure 'Hands-Up, Stand-Up, Pair-Up' … Continue reading Before/After Cooperative Learning