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Showing posts from August, 2016

Spice-it-up writing prompts for world language class!

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R.I.P. Summer VacationSummer has finally come to an end. The agenda-less days of sun-bathing and endless Netflix binge-watching are now in the rearview mirror. We now look forward the long and winding road that leads us through the peaks and valleys of the new school year. What if we take a trip down memory lane? What if we could go back to the picture perfect day that might have defined our summer? That is exactly what this activity allows students to do. I planned this R.I.P. Summer activity for the first or second day of class (we start next week). To see other activities for the first couple of weeks of class, or just a few good "I want to know you activities" click here for Spanish levels 1and 2Click hereif you want something more engaging for your upper level students. 
La Maquina de Tiempo activity invites students to describe their picture perfect summer day. This activity is an alternative to "Write about what you did this summer"  a writing prompt, I us…

5- "I want to know you" activities for Spanish Learners

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Win students' attention and hearts the first week of class:Teaching upper level Spanish Class This post will discuss and provide resources for exploring the theme of identity in Spanish class. 
"Getting to know you activities"If you start class with diving into the content and work; you'll lose them on the first day. This was the first line of an article I read last year about engaging teens. It was my first year teaching high school. Prior to that I was teaching at an International Baccalaureate school for 10 years. Most of the students and families knew me so the first day was always pan comido.
When I was first hired, it was in the middle of the year. I did not know the students and it was an uphill battle that I begin to win towards the end of the school year. The students were great, I just did not know them. I decided to dedicate the whole first unit to discussing and exploring identity. My objectives for the unit at large is:  For me to get to know my students F…

Infuse problem-based thinking in your Spanish class with this project

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How to infuse problem-based thinking into your world language classroom
A fews years back when I was teaching in an International Baccalaureate middle school, I started the year dreamy-eyed with this cool social media project.  I could not wait to implement it.  Coming off a summer of PD around the Personal Project, a design cycle research project for students, I was sure this was going to be the year that we do big things and tackle relevant themes such: 
How do we interact with social media? What digital footprints are we leaving on the world? How to use social media thoughtfully and responsibly?
 I"d walk my students step by step in the target language. Then it happened. My hopes were dashed.  This critical and awe-inspiring week was met with three challenges: 
We had no working technology in schoolWe had no access to computers We could not use the textbook This was not going to work because the whole  crux of my plan was to get them to design their own websites of something of …

Redefine your first weeks of Spanish class, and beyond!

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How to use input-rich videos for structuring simple activities in Spanish class 
This week I decided to change things up a bit. This was my second week of classes, and I wanted to immerse my students as much as possible to the wonderful world of language. One of the limitations we may have in doing that in the lower-levels, is the lack of vocabulary and familiarity with Spanish. That's where this amazing Spanish video resource came in!

In keeping with my theme: Spanish Spanish from the very first day (check out these posts on "quick win" Spanish usage and cultural immersion), we took a plunged, and they loved it! Although the featured video is purely authentic, the words flashing across the screen, and the enthusiastic people from all walks of the Spanish-speaking world, made it culturally rich, and down-right enjoyable. I got a lot of mileage out of this video. Check out these free resource by clicking the link below:

Authentic Spanish Video Free Resource

You may also w…

New spin on teaching the date, and other boring things! Mix it up with these input-rich activities

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Use this detective activity to practice dates, numbers, time and more in Spanish 1Click here for activity!

I  am always looking for creative ways to teach important vocabulary and grammatical points that form the ABC's of learning Spanish.  I have become a detective in a way myself,  constantly looking for ways to spice up a lesson to deliver content that is original and fun for me as well.

I love role play, creating stories and dialogues that contextualize to such a way that students learn more than they bargain for incidentally. This method has earned many dividends over the span of my 14 year career.

This year, I have found a new twist to teaching the days of the week, dates and other ancillary but important building blocks to the language.

At my school, we do not use the Realidades series, but I happened to stumble upon the connected series Eres Tú María a few years ago; and I have shown it ever since. It can be found on Youtube and Vimeo. This series is wonderful in starting…