My school year is off and running! Over the weekend I was compiling a list of online resources for German 1 introductory topics like the alphabet and beginning conversation. Here are some of the highlights: The Alphabet Song
The Alphabet Song with ß, ä, ö, and ü
Sesame Street Disco Alphabet with Grover from 1978
I'm a big fan of the podcast It's been a Minute from Sam Sanders. On Fridays he and his guests describe their week in three words. It's a fun challenge to think back over the week and summarize it with only three words.
School started on Wednesday, and on Friday I asked my homeroom students to summarize their first week of school in three words. It was interesting to hear what they came up with, and it helped me to get to know them a little better.
My three words, which I shared with my homeroom first as an example, are So Many Names. I am teaching full time for the first time this year, which means I have six classes and a homeroom. My three sections of German 1 are all full at 32 students, my three sections of German 2 have 30, 30 and 21 students, and I have 23 students in homeroom. That's 200 students. I know about 25 of my German 2 students from last year, but the rest of them had my colleague for German 1, so they are new to me. So, that's about 175 names to learn.
School starts on Wednesday, and we have teacher days Monday and Tuesday. Just a quick post today with a little thing that makes me smile - new erasers for my white boards!
I was inspired to make these out of leftover flannel fabric after I finished making some flannel baby burp cloths for friends who just had a baby. They're super simple - just two rectangles of flannel sewn together. Hopefully they'll hold up well and I can start throwing out the old eraser socks I've had since I inherited them from a former colleague four years ago!
The series follows a 9 year old girl, Tiba, and her family, who have fled the Syrian civil war for Germany. Each episode is 7 or 8 minutes long and shows the next step in the family's journey from Syria to a temporary refugee camp to a permanent apartment in Germany. It's great for discussing the topic of refugees in Germany and bringing it to a more personal, individual level. Die Sendung mit der Maus is designed for elementary age children, so the language is fairly simple and straightforward and deals with familiar topics like family, school, hobbies, and food. Last school year I watched the series with my German 4 class, and they really enjoyed it. Both the hardships experienced by Tiba's family and the services provided in Germany made a big impression on my students.
Next year I will only be teaching German 1 and 2, but I still really want to use the series with my students. I've taken the first episode, which is also available on YouTube, and inserted comprehension questions using EDpuzzle:
I think my German 2 students should be able to handle these questions, and now I'm thinking of making a family tree activity with Tiba's family for my German 1 students to use in our second semester unit on family.
I highly recommend that you take a look at this great series!
One of the best parts of the German Instructor Summer Program that I attended last week was talking with and sharing ideas with other German teachers. One of the other teachers said that she sings classic German children's songs with her students every Monday. One of the songs she mentioned was "Backe, backe Kuchen," which would fit in really well with our foods unit.
There are lots of videos of the song on YouTube. One of my favorites is this one
I created notes to go along with it. Before students watch the video and hear the song, they will work with the text, finding words they know and hunting for particular grammar forms.
Next, students will watch the video and sing the song.
Finally, they will label the numbered items in the picture from the video.
For enrichment or bonus, I might have students watch another version of the song and figure out which of the ingredients has been changed:
I hope to do something similar with other children's songs. Here's the file if you'd like a copy: Backe, backe Kuchen