Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


35 Report Card COMMENTS for Elementary Spanish Class (or any level!)

THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR is fast approaching, and with it comes the daunting task of writing report cards. Comments are a great way to expand upon the grade given, communicate with parents, and highlight both strengths and weaknesses. Here are some comments that I use specifically for language learners.  I've broken them down into categories, with each category showing comments in descending order of a four point scale, a 4 being 'Above and Beyond', 3 is 'Meets' or 'Right On', 2 being 'In progress', and 1 being 'Getting Started'- tweak as needed to suit your classes:

report card comments for elementary Spanish

*______ readily acquires new content and frequently uses what he/she knows in creative and unique ways.
*______ is always excited about learning new words and phrases, using them in new and novel ways outside of directed instruction on a regular basis.
*______ frequently greets and interacts with me in Spanish outside of class.

*______ is able to comprehend and use class vocabulary with ease.
*______ makes a great effort to use what she's learned in meaningful ways!

*______ sometimes struggles to recall class vocabulary, needing a prompt to express what he/she wants.
*______ sometimes needs assistance to recall or process class vocabulary. I am working with him to utilize our classroom strategies which will help him improve in this area.
*______ occasionally needs help to comprehend/ use class vocabulary. I am working with her to practice more actively, which will help her move vocabulary from short to long term memory.
*I am encouraging _____ to take greater charge of his own learning this year- this especially is for participating in class activities that require speaking. He is very reluctant to practice verbally, which is extremely important to making forward progress.

*_____ struggles greatly to comprehend and use class vocabulary during activities, even with assistance. We are focusing on basic practice activities to help aid his/her memory skills.

*______ expresses an interest in cultural aspects of Spanish speaking countries on a regular basis, asking insightful and thoughtful questions that go beyond our regular curriculum.
*I frequently hear ______ singing Spanish songs outside of class!
*I am so excited when  ______ tells me about cultural activities he/she has been doing at home!

*______ expresses a regular interest in our cultural themes and activities.

*______ does not always participate in our cultural activities in class.

*______ frequently does not participate in our cultural activities in class.

*______ is kind, thoughtful and helpful at all times. ______ regularly helps me with materials, and serves as a role model for others in the class.

*______ is always focused and enthusiastic during class activities.
*______ is regularly engaged in our class activities, is respectful of our space and classmates, and helps out when needed.
*______ is always kind and considerate in class.
*I appreciate ______ willingness to help out during class.
*______ regularly participates in class activities.

*______ sometimes needs reminders to remain focused during class activities.
*A goal for ______ is to take turns and remember to raise his/her hand before speaking out of turn. We are modeling this and I am confident _____ will grow in this area over the course of the year.
*A goal for _____ is to sustain focus and be on task when doing independent activities such as projects. I am seeing rapid improvement in this area and am confident within the next few weeks, ______ will be right on target.
*A goal _____ has been focusing on over the last several months is raising his hand to contribute comments during class activities. Though very enthusiastic, his interruptions are a distraction for many kids.
*______ focus during class activities is inconsistent; he is easily distracted by classmates which hinders his ability to pay attention and learn class content.
*A goal for _____ this year is to gain confidence in speaking in front of the class and volunteering to do so.

*Even with frequent redirection, _______ struggles to remain focused and on task.
*Even with frequent redirection, ______ struggles to follow class routines and procedures.

*______ has made such great progress during the course of the year, I am so proud of him/her!
*______ has made great strides in respecting class routines and procedures; she is now serving as a model for others!
*I have seen ______ confidence grow dramatically, which has had a tremendous effect on his ability to participate in class activities.
*More focus on practice has really helped _____ to retain and recall class vocabulary.

*______ is making great strides joining a class which has had Spanish since Kindergarten. I am so proud of his/her efforts!



What's Missing? Fun Vocabulary Game

THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR is coming fast, and this makes for a good time to incorporate review activities, or, as I call it, 'A blast from our past'. For novice learners who are still at the one word utterance level, the game 'What's missing?' is perfect, and endlessly engaging for little kiddos as it incorporates surprise, suspense, and practice all in one.

TO PLAY, GATHER TOGETHER A SET OF PICTURES OR OBJECTS that represent familiar vocabulary. I like to do a quick review of the vocabulary prior to starting the game to help prime my students and refresh their memories. And then, we're off! I choose 4-5 pictures and put them in front of me, saying each as I go. Then, instruct students to close their eyes (I also have my students all turn towards the back to head off the ("unintentional") peeking. Remove one item and hide it underneath  a piece of cloth, small blanket, or small tapestry/ wall hanging, also in front of you. Instruct your students to open their eyes again, and ask '¿Cuál falta?' or '¿Qué falta?' (my native speaking friends tell me either works for this game!). Once guessed correctly, start again with a new set of 4-5 pictures!

AFTER A FEW ROUNDS, start taking away more than one picture...or all of them! My students love when I do this! To add number, color, or adjective practice, have multiples of one vocabulary item (for example, three apples, a pear, and two strawberries, or a green apple and a red apple), and take away some but not all of this vocabulary item to provide opportunities for students to be more specific in their answers- two apples are missing! or 'the green apple!'. This helps students to "grow" their utterances from one word to chunks.

USE REALIA SUCH AS WALL HANGINGS FROM PERÚ for an added cultural component!

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE GAME with my Kindergartners:

Enjoy and have fun with your kiddos during these last weeks together!

Duck Duck Goose with Target Foreign Language Vocabulary

THE WEATHER CONTINUES TO WARM here in Maine, and this always makes me want to get my students outside- and they want out, too! With my Kindergartners, I like to keep things simple, so this week I decided to go with a version of 'Duck, Duck, Goose' which incorporates vocabulary we are currently focusing on- in this case, fruits from our Picnic theme and the verb 'quiero'.

HERE'S HOW WE DID IT, all in the target language:

*Plastic fruits and cheese (you can choose whatever vocabulary set you want to practice)

*Once outside, I had the class sit in a circle and put the plastic food in the center. I then chose one student to stand up. Here is my "script" from that point on, with a focus on practicing one of our key words 'quiero':

(yo) -Ok ____, ¿qué quieres? ¿Quieres la banana? ¿la pera? ¿la manzana? etc

(alumno) - ______.

(yo) -No olvides 'quiero'. (we put a fist over our heart as an action for this key word)

(alumno) -Quiero ______.

(yo) -y.... ¡uno más!

(alumno) -y ____.

(yo) -Ok, ¡vamos a jugar!

AT THIS POINT, I hand the two foods to the student- this helps him/her remember the words they will be using. Note: I haven't even told them what we are playing yet! (it becomes obvious once we start playing)
NOW I GUIDE THE STUDENT around the circle, gently encouraging the student to tap each sitting kiddo's head and while I say one of the foods, until we get about 2/3 of the way around the circle, then I say the second food and tell them both '¡Corre Max!' '¡Corre Molly!' and make a running motion. By this point, the class has typically figured out what we are playing and they are off, running around the circle until either the tapping student has been tagged or has sat down in the space emptied by the tapped kiddo. (I did have one class who went through the motions of the game for an entire class period but the lightbulb never fully went off as to what we were playing...I am guessing many kiddos in that class have never played in English so it wasn't familiar, but that didn't really hinder our game, so am ok with it.)

ADD '¡Más rápido!' while they are running and ¡Bravo! when someone is tagged or gets to the space without being tagged and you've got yourself an easy game all in Spanish!

THE GAME CONTINUES as the tagged kiddo now gets a turn to choose two foods- I go through the same 'script' as above each time a new kiddo gets a turn.

Students going on vacation? Give them a 'special mission' to accomplish while they're gone!

WE ALL HAVE THOSE GLOBE TROTTING STUDENTS who take off to wonderful destinations, spending their vacations in exotic locations or taking a few days off from school to enjoy a cruise or visit some fun theme park. Most exciting, of course, is when your student visits a location where the target language is spoken-as the teacher, you hope this sparks even greater interest in the language and culture. For years I have congratulated my students on their travels and welcomed 'Spanish shares' upon their return. But, I do admit, that's as far as I got, and it never felt very satisfactory.

IN THINKING ABOUT WHAT MY ELEMENTARY STUDENTS could reasonably do while on vacation to incorporate Spanish class, without it being like homework or a burden on parents, I was inspired by a fellow teacher who sends stuffies with her students when they go to countries where the target language is spoken. This got me thinking and I decided to create my own version featuring our very own Pepita and her friends, since they are such a large, beloved part of our class.

THE MISSION: This is how I am framing it with my students lol! Keeping it simple, I give the student the optional "mission" of taking a stick puppet of one of our characters and snapping a few photos of the puppet during their vacation. One of their parents then sends me the photos via email so I can project them up on our Smartboard when the kiddo returns. Couldn't be easier! The stick puppets are very transportable, meaning they can go just about anywhere via a pocket, purse, or backpack. And, the added benefit is that when we are looking at the pictures, the rest of the class is more engaged because they are excited to see one of our characters in the pictures, not just the student who went on the trip.

AS THE PHOTOS ARE SHOWN, I ask questions about the weather, colors, animals in the photos, etc using whatever vocabulary my students understand and can respond to. I try to keep as much of the "presentation" in Spanish as possible, which in large part depends on the grade level and the student. I then print out a couple of the photos and put them out in the hallway with a caption in Spanish so other classes can see them! UPDATE: When I started this activity, it was primarily to send the puppets to Spanish speaking countries, but my students have gotten so into it, the puppets now go all over the place, abroad and even on local trips. Each and every trip, near or far, provides opportunities for interaction in Spanish, so I welcome them all.

WANT TO SEND STICK PUPPETS with your students but don't have time to draw and create your own? Visit our shop to get our Masks & Stick puppets- click here!