First of all, if you are just stumbling on this post and do not know what Locura De Marzo is, click here to check out this years bracket.
Many teachers often ask what I have my kids do for Locura De Marzo, What activities do I use? Why do I even do this? How does it relate to curriculum? Etc. Here are the answers to some of those questions!
Why do I use authentic songs in my classroom? How does "Locura De Marzo" further student learning?
1. To give students comprehensible input using authentic resources. I use songs to make connections to the curriculum I am teaching (vocabulary, grammar, culture). It also helps with our fluency and pronunciation!
2. To broaden students perspective of the world by introducing them to music/culture/artists from countries in Spain and Latin America.
3. To energize my classroom. Students LOVE hearing new songs. Students sing them in the hallway. They put them on their spotify playlists. They are taking something from Spanish class and integrating it into their lives outside of school!
Recently, I had a student tell me before class that they listened to Marc Anthony's "Vivir Mi Vida" all weekend long and memorized every single word. They said they had their whole family singing the song by the end of the weekend. This was a song I introduced the week before to help teach "ir + a+ infinitive". How cool is that? Another student once emailed me about how a song we did in class really helped them work through a tough time they were going through with their family.
The bottom line is that students are connecting with these songs and it is making Spanish class come alive for them!
What activities do I do with the songs?
1. Every 6-8 days starting from the beginning of the year we will pick one song (some from this years bracket, some not) and listen to it each day. By the end of this time we are all singing the song. This builds our fluency and pronunciation. I say "we" and "our" because it helps me too!
2. We dissect the lyrics and pick out the cognates, assign 8-10 new vocabulary words, talk about grammar connections, etc.
3. There are many activities that can be done with songs, Edpuzzles, Lyrics Training, Cloze Activities, and more. I have a page (desperately need to update it) with links to different songs and resources here: http://www.senorashby.com/authentic-songs-for-the-classroom--free.html There are tons of resources out there on teacherpayteacher, facebook groups, and other blogs. I love Dustin Williamson's resources here: https://williamsonci.com/music-resources/
What specifically do I do for Locura De Marzo with my students?
1. We watched each song at least one time dating back to January so the students are familiar with the songs.
2. We watch the promo videos so students have heard the songs before.
3. A couple of the songs- Volar, Internacionales, we have "learned" in class, and some of the songs we may "learn" after Locura De Marzo is done. We made the selection process collaborative with teachers across the US so it's been fun to learn of some new songs that I had not heard before throughout the process.
4. I print out the bracket, and have the students fill it out to make "predictions". I score my brackets that each round is worth 16 points. So, first round is 1 point/correct answer, round round is worth 2 points/correct answer, third round is worth 4 points/correct answer, etc. Final round students need to predict the amount of votes for each song for a tiebreaker.
5. I give away a Jarritos Mexican soda to the winner (the person who made the best predictions in the bracket)
Believe it or not, that is all I do with the bracket. I don't try to do activities for all 17 songs all in the month of March... not that there is anything wrong with that if you do. I do recommend you do a prediction bracket, it gives the students a little extra buy in! Either way, when students see how many other students are participating right along with them, it's magical!
If you are looking for some activities to do with these songs in March, or any other time in the future, there are some amazing resources being shared on our Facebook Group and the google drive linked there.
I am putting together a teacher testimonial page for www.senorashby.com. Here is some feedback I received from a recent subscriber:
"I AM SOOO EXCITED! I bought your vocabulary page and then bought full access to your site. My students loved the activities today! Here are a few remarks from them:
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"Best game I've ever played!....Love this!"
I honestly had nothing but great feedback from my students. I am so excited about this. You have cut out more than half of my work of finding videos, games, activities, etc. to match what I am teaching. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
If you have a testimonial you'd be willing to share, please email me. I would be honored to include it in our testimonial page.
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About Señor Ashby:
I am a K-12 Spanish educator specializing in creativity. I am passionate about learning through technology, music, and innovation. I have taught Spanish to K-12, and am a two time finalist for online teacher of the year (2011, 2014). l live in West Michigan with my wife and our four energetic boys!