The International Language

Author: amine safsafi | Filed under: Uncategorized Monday Sep 7,2009

Are you trying to teach your students Spanish? French? German? Japanese? Or the International Language of Love? Do you struggle to find fun and interesting methods to keep your students engaged in learning whatever language you are trying to teach them? Does it break your heart to you see the boredom in their eyes and in their posture  as they try to learn a new language using just rote memorization techniques?

I have the perfect remedy for your broken heart. In honor of Valentine’s Day and the International Language of Love, here is a bingo variation that is an excellent and fun way to learn a foreign language. The thrill of a great game of bingo will have your students sitting up with anticipation and put a sparkle back in their eyes.

Using the free online trial of Bingo Card Creator, print a set of Valentine-themed bingo cards. If you want to see what exactly what Bingo Card Creator does for you, download 8 free Valentine bingo cards to print and try out.

Valentine's Biingo Card

Once your cards are ready, and your students are anxiously waiting to start the game, tell them that there is a slight twist to this game of bingo. Now for the exciting part, inform them that you will be calling out the bingo words in whatever language you are teaching to them. To mark a square, the students will have to know the translation of the called word or phrase. They will be scrambling for their translation dictionaries!

You may need to call the words a little slower at first, but once they get a little practice, the bingo game will zip along. To add another layer of practice, after someone shouts “Bingo”, have them translate the words or phrases from their bingo card into whatever language you are teaching.


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New Ways To Win

Author: amine safsafi | Filed under: Uncategorized Monday Sep 7,2009

Do you ever find your students, or yourself, losing interest in the activity you are working on? Do you keep things fresh by adding new wrinkles or other subtle twists?

Just like other activities, some times a new twist for your bingo game keeps the  excitement level high. A great way to increase the enthusiasm for a good game of bingo is to allow other winning configurations in addition to the standard horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines.

Your first step is to use the free online trial of Bingo Card Creator to create a set of bingo cards. To get started even faster, download 8 free Valentine bingo cards to print and start playing.

Here are a few bingo variations to keep the game alive:

  1. Four Corners. Pretty self-explanatory. Cover the four corners of the card.
  2. The Box. Fill the four lines around the outside of the bingo card.
  3. The Little Box. Fill the center square and the eight squares surrounding it.
  4. X Marks The Spot.  Fill both diagonals running through the center square..
  5. The Cross. Fill both the vertical and horizontal lines that run through the middle square, also known as The Plus.
  6. Rows. Starting with the first row, fill the first, third, and fifth rows. Or, fill the second and fourth rows, maybe for a smaller prize.
  7. Stripes. Same rules as above, but use for the vertical. Also known as columns.
  8. Blackout. Another self-explanatory variation. Blackout your card by filling every square. This variation can also be called Coverall.
  9. Letter Bingo. Create patterns for each letter of the alphabet, or even better, let your students figure out patterns for each letter.

After playing a few games and trying some of the variation above, your students will very likely have new ideas of their own on how to make the game better. Encourage them to explore and innovate by allowing them to create their own variations and then trying them out on the whole class.


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Spice Up Your Bingo

Author: amine safsafi | Filed under: Uncategorized Monday Sep 7,2009

Do you, or your students, ever feel like you are just plodding along? You are not having any problems really, just kind of ho-humming your way through the days, weeks, and months?

Just like your own everyday life, some times the classroom needs a little variation to spice things up. Using the free online trial of Bingo Card Creator to create a set of bingo cards is the first step to more excitement. Or, if you are in a rush, download 8 free Valentine bingo cards to print and start playing.

Once you and your students become pros at bingo, or if you already are, you might to need to try some variations to keep things fresh. Here are a few variations and suggestions to make the bingo games more interesting.

  • Have the winner be the caller for the next game. Kids always love a chance to do something special. Letting the winner be the caller is a great reward and it helps reduce the odds of one person winning multiple times.
  • Give an extra prize if the winner has Bingo more than one way.  This is a great strategy teaching tool. The kids will have to decide if they should yell “Bingo” as soon as they have a row, column, etc. or if they should wait and try to get bingo another way and win a better prize. See New Ways To Win for variations on winning patterns.
  • Allow multiple winners per round. This is a great idea especially if your students are younger and still learning to read. You might allow 1 to 5 winners, for example, per game. This helps keep interest up and improves everyone’s chances of winning a prize. It also helps level the playing field for kids who do not read as fast or have trouble finding the words on the card.

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