A fall-colored leaf spun from a tree and landed in front of me, and it hit me: it’s time to pull out the pronoun and verb spinners. ¡A girar la ruleta! If you’ve never used a pronoun and verb spinner in your classroom or studies, I highly recommend them as a great way to have fun memorizing pronouns and verbs and their conjugations. You can even use these Spanish pronoun and verb spinners for individual studying and practice!
At the bottom of this post, you’ll find a free download of fall-oriented spinners–one set includes vosotros and one omits it.
- Practicing, memorizing, and/or translating Spanish subject pronouns: yo, tú, él, ella, usted (Ud.), nosotros, nosotras, vosotros, vosotras, ellos, ellas, ustedes (Uds.)
- (Optional) Conjugating any Spanish verb of your choice
These spinners are designed to fit multiple learning situations and to grow with your learners. The spinners start with Spanish subject pronouns, which can be used for initial learning, but verbs can be added as needed in virtually any tense or mood.
You’ll find the black-and-white version of the spinner pack below. This pack uses less ink than the color version, which is available to newsletter subscribers in the email-Subscriber’s Library, and is ideal for students who like to color/individualize their pages.
There are two types of spinners–one with vosotros and one without. There are also multiple types of “tops” and arrows for the spinners. Since each classroom situation is different and getting spinners to work well highly depends upon which materials and paper you use, our goal was to include as many options as possible to fit different learning situations. Check out some of the fast-start tips below.
Tips and Tricks
It may take a bit of trial and error to find the best spinner option for your particular learning situation, but the fun of playing a spinner game versus rote memorization and regurgitation is totally worth it. Students love a little competition!
Be sure to check the below video for visuals of a few of the ideas below!
Paper Type and Lamination
Thicker types of paper, such as card stock, can increase the longevity of materials, as can lamination. However, if, like me, you don’t have a laminator, consider plastic bags, sheet protectors, or some of the materials below. Or, try my favorite lamination cheat: clear shelf-liner.
Paperclips and Safety Pins
This is my favorite quick-start method for setting up spinners. A push-pin or brad with a paperclip or safety pin frees you from having to align the “tops” or arrows on the spinners. But, the paperclips and safety pins are easy to lose from class-to-class or over time, and obviously safety pins aren’t appropriate for every class or age group, so this option may not be for all situations.
Lamination and Plastic
For good spin, friction is key. Lamination or even game pieces from other games can help. If, like me, you don’t have a laminator, try plastic freezer and snack bags, sheet protectors, or even my favorite lamination cheat: clear shelf-liner. If using a brad, make sure to keep the brad slightly loose between pieces so that spinning is possible.
Disposable Plates and Semi-Hard Surfaces
Inexpensive materials like disposable plates, pieces of cardboard, and foam board can create a “playing surface” and make the spinners easier to stack, pass, and store. You can also glue or tape the page with the pronouns to something like cardboard so that the only piece that moves is the spinning piece.
Pencils and Other Materials
Wrap an ordinary paperclip around a pencil or pen, and “stab” the spin “board” through the pointed end of the pencil (as in the picture). Then, spin the paperclip. The benefit of this is that the spinner can be passed from student to student or can be used in situations and learning environments where desks, tables, etc. are not readily available.
Prefer not to use a paperclip? The included round “top” for the spinner works well on a pencil or pen and adds the benefit of hiding the other possible options from students who have trouble concentrating or who have learning opportunities that require reduced input.
Ideas for Use
The beautiful thing about games is that they are so flexible. From “oops” time fillers to studying by yourself, check out just a few of the possibilities below.
Pronouns and Verb Conjugation
You can use the spinners with pronouns alone, or add verbs for conjugation practice. Some of the spinners include a place to write a verb, or you can use the big sheet of extra spinners and write lots of verbs. That way students can “pass the spinner” or work through any set of verbs of your choosing. Another idea is to use the included sheets to play “racing” translation or conjugation games. The first to fill his or her sheet is the winner and so on.
No-Prep Time Filler
Let’s be honest. Sometimes your lessons run short, you just can’t, or you need to give something else attention and therefore need students to do something that doesn’t require you. Enter spinners!
This will not last all period and probably should not be used for more than 15 or fewer minutes at a time. However, as part of a broader plan, spinners, once prepared, are easy to grab-and-go.
You can use spinners to introduce randomness in individual studying. Just print, set up, and go. The included leaf sheets can be used as a guide to check one’s own answers or to list the verbs one needs to study.
Other Resources You Might Like
Have a fantastic idea to share? Have an alternate way to use spinners? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!