Showing posts from 2016

Holiday Fun And Activities for Spanish Class!

    Holiday Fun and Activities for Spanish Class!
I wanted to share some quick activities that I have used in my class for teaching students about celebrations throughout Latin America and Spain. Since Spanish is spoken in over 20 countries, it can be really difficult to nail down what celebrations to cover. So, I took the student-centered route; I had students research the celebrations on their own. It was super simple, and actually, it took me all of 5 minutes to plan:

1. Holiday Celebrations in December

1. Grab a stack of 30 index cards
2. Write two countries per card (15 countries total, if you want them to work in groups)
3. Distribute cards to students and have them research holiday celebrations.

I have them write the following in their notebooks:

For Spanish 1, they could write the description in English/Spanish. For Spanish 2+, they had to write in Español.

Google: Holiday Celebrations+ Country


New Year Tradition in Colombia and Venezuela

New Year Celebrations in Spanish-Speaking Countries

This year, my goal is to better immerse my students in the traditions and celebrations of the rich cultures of Spanish speaking countries. I say "cultures" to honor the wide range of traditions from Latin America, Spain and Spanish Africa.  We are a few days out until Winter Break and these activities were an attempt to bring in meaningful, comprehensible and fun activities. I have outlined my lessons plans below at the end of this post.  
For both classes, I will be doing the "Maleta" activity. I have seen this ritual in action and it's pretty fun. My husband is from Colombia and last year, at the brink of the New year, many people were running around Cedritos, the neighborhood in which his family lives in Bogotá, the capital.  The activity is pretty simple; you take an empty suitcase (although I would pack it with clothes) and you run around the block. Running about the back is called "dar una vuelta a la…

Las tradiciones de habla hispana- Activities for Spanish 1-4

This is our last week before break and I wanted to share some short but sweet activities for teaching holiday celebrations at this time.

Resource for Spanish 3 and beyond.
Navidad Hispana and Lotería resource- Spanish 3/4

Resource for Spanish 1
Navidad Hispana and Lotería Short film

The Navidad Hispana resource is by Sergi Martin, the video link is included in the documents. Click here to see the video.  I stumbled upon it this past week and quickly developed some activities that my students could connect to in addition to providing them with an overview of important cultural practices. The video is 14 minutes long,  but I only created resources for the first three minutes.  In an attempt to streamline,  the activity has the same formatting but is differentiated to suit the different levels of students.

Celebraciones de América Latina Videos and resources.

Resource for Spanish 3 and beyond.
Navidad Hispana and Lotería resource- Spanish 3/4 

Resource for Spanish 1
Navidad Hispana and Lo…

Internado Episodio 4:10 Freebies- Edición Escándalo- Gossip Column

5 Activities for processing chapter 4 of El Internado 
Chapter 4 of El Internado is one of the craziest and most scandalous in the fist suite of episodes. We learn the deeper secrets about the characters. We learn about el descaro de Elsa, la conflictividad sentimental de Carolina and, well, a fin de cuentas, somos de barro y no de hierro, en otras palabras, Iván as feelings too.

I created these resources for my students (free to you) because I wanted to capitalize on four things, hence this post: Discouraging students from speaking in English, Keeping them accountable for what they watch, Writing a Gossip Column about events, but with their own unique twists, reviewing by way of dialogue (I created a dialogue of two students talking about the steamy Internado episode). I found the dialogue to be a much better way of reviewing! 
Internado 4: Edición Escándolo Remix 
1. I was so irritated that students kept talking in English during the episode, so I gave them this  Expressions placemat …

7 Free Gustar Activities to guarantee fun in the class!

Activities that promote a clear path to mastery; practice builds confidence. 
This week,  I'd like to share a few activities surrounding the structure gustar that helped my students stay in the target language, engage with authentic resources and stimulate ongoing conversation in the class. I implemented the lesson  referenced in this post with my Spanish I students, who truly were novice-low at the beginning of the year (I am used to having novice-mid first year).  Since my students were starting from scratch (pronouncing que as "qwue"),  I have had to retrofit my curriculum, to account for the needs of my present class. If you are like me, in need to some quick curriculum overalls, check out previous posts below, otherwise, enjoy the free Gustar activities! 
1. A new spin on teaching the date and other boring things in Spanish! 2. Refine your Spanish curriculum with these authentically engaging tasks: variety is the spice!
3. Authentic vocabulary- rich Videos and activit…

100% in the Target Language?


Teaching 100% in the TL? 

This year I am struggling with staying 100 % in the target language. Although I slow down and try as much as possible to make the input comprehensible, I still hear students asking- what did she say?  Many students are still shy to ask questions, they want to look "cool" in front of their peers. Many times I just feeling like tirando la toalla and just giving them simple instructions in English. However, I am manteniendo la calma; I don't know for how much longer. I have thought about stopping and making it mandatory for them to ask me questions, but I have doubts about this method as well. How much of class is directed in the target langauge?   

Teaching Grammar?

My other question concerns teaching grammar and providing instructions for projects.  I rarely teach grammar, but when I do mini lessons or give them "flipped" homework, they come to class with questions about the grammar. I struggle with should I stick in the target l…

Promoting Sticking Power with Multiple Interactions with the Same Text

Facilitating Thinking and Learning with Chat Stations 

This post is the third in a four series lesson on Identity for my upper level Spanish class.  

Part 1: Taking of the Mask 
Part 2: Comprehensible Culture 

Right before administering a reading assessment that draws on the article students read, the videos and discussion in class (see posts 1 and 2), I decided to enact Chat Stations in the class. I learned about this idea from the Cult of Pedagogy last year during my unit on Arte. After discussing questions at the Chat Stations, students felt that the were more prepared to engage in the reading assessment.

The Benefits of Chatting it out

We have 90 minute block periods in my school.  I made sure that students, prior to taking the assessment, had additional time to process the concepts and ideas from the reading and the video. For their warm up activity, they had re-engage with the text with the question on the slide.

This activity allowed students to interact again with the text and c…

Give students a hand: scaffolding WL writing activities to lower filter and increase success!

Providing on-target scaffolding to promote student success

This week marked the apertura de clases at my school.   I was very excited to get to know the students. I had already prepared this "I want to know you activity" and these "Spice it up writing prompts" to thoroughly engage my upper level Spanish class. I just knew everything was going to flow so smoothly the first week right before we jump into the real learning;  I was wrong.

The first day as students started to introduce themselves and I probed them with extremely basic questions with the dual purpose of getting to know them and surmising their potential placement on the language continuum To my surprise, some upper level students students showed difficulty in responding to novice-low and mid questions. One student in particular, struggled to understand a very basic question such as ¿Tú trabajas?  I was baffled, even more so when he told me "Spanish 4 is like Spanish 1 all over again,"referrin…

Should we assign homework in the World Language Classroom?

Should we assign homework in the World Language Classroom?     The other day I had a very interesting conversation with another educator about the role of homework in the world language classroom.  Historically, I came from a project-based technology school where homework was next to nil. I had some issues with this policy, but soon adapted because, when in Rome, you do as the Romans do. However,  I am currently teaching at a new school and, well, the conversation resurfaced again. The questions driving (and underlying) our conversation, were:
When do we assign homework in a world language classroom?Why do we give homework? What should that homework look like?What is the purpose?

Standard-Based Homework           My response to all questions centered was production-oriented more than anything.  I assumed "well you give homework to practice a skill." Additionally, if students did not complete work in class, then they should do it for homework. No brainer right?  This philosophy…