domingo, 26 de noviembre de 2017

Nueva Unidad Didáctica: Ocho Apellidos Catalanes

I am so excited for this unit! It revolves around the movie "Ocho Apellidos Catalanes" (which may or may not be appropriate for your school; I will definitely skip some parts).

The movie is on Netflix and it is called "Spanish Affair 2".

I am excited about this unit because of the following:

  • Cataluña has been in the news a lot lately and this will help students to understand it a bit more. 
  • The movie is a romantic comedy and is very engaging with some funny characters.
  • I, along with a little some crowd sourcing help from Isabel Irizarry (@profe_irizarry), have comprehensified the movie so that students can read about it before and then watch in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. We will probably spend about 5 days watching the movie.  
  • I have created some different assessments for students to show their learning and reflections.
  • The activities that they do leading up to watching the movie will be fun, engaging, and make them think about stereotypes.
You can find the unit packet here (for free) or, if you use Google Classroom, you can find it dividided into parts here.
 Preguntas Esenciales (unit packet):

  • ¿De dónde vienen los estereotipos/tópicos? ¿Son buenos o malos los estereotipos/tópicos? Explica.
  • ¿Cómo es la cultura española diversa? ¿Cómo son similares y/o diferentes algunos productos, prácticas, y perspectivas culturales de las diferentes comunidades autónomas de España?
  • ¿Cómo son similares y/o diferentes algunos estereotipos/tópicos de España con algunos de los Estados Unidos?


jueves, 23 de noviembre de 2017

Crowd Sourcing for a Spanish 4+ unit: Ocho Apellidos Catalanes

Update 11/26/17: This project is pretty much done, unless someone wants to proofread it! Please feel free to do so... I did this very quickly! You can find the unit packet here (for free) or, if you use Google Classroom, you can find it dividid into parts here.

Have you seen the movie "Ocho Apellidos Catalanes"? It is available on Netflix. It is funny and full of Spanish cultural products, practices, and perspectives. (Note: This might not be appropriate for all school settings and I will definitely skip one of the first scenes!)

The movie is on Netflix and it is called "Spanish Affair 2".

I plan on using this movie next week. After this movie, we are going to get into our Lotería Navideña unit. Because there are some toques catalanes in the Danielle commercial this year, this movie will be a good way to delve into Spain and its comunidades autónomas and learn more about Spain. 

This movie is the sequel to "Ocho Apellidos Vascos." You can click here to see Bethanie Drew and Karen Goering's ACTFL 2017 presentation about that movie. I got some good ideas for my unit from them and I am sharing them for free here

I really want to show this movie in Spanish with Spanish subtitles, but it is definitely challenging! So, in order to prepare my students to do that, students will read about parts of the movie before watching it. Then they will watch the movie in segments and do some follow up activities (see below). I have started writing about the movie and also including some quotes from the movie (you can see what I have done so far on page 12 here).  I don't think I will have the time and energy to do this for the whole movie...

So, here is the crowdsourcing part... I am looking for teachers to help write out parts of the movie (similar to what I have done so far). This doc is open for anyone to edit. If you are interested, please jump on the doc and help out! If you do help out please leave your name and email in the doc and I will send you my lotería stuff for free (or anything else from my TPT store).

After watching parts of the movie (still not sure how I will divide it), students will have to do the following:

Reacciones, interpretaciones, y otras cosas - Después de ver cada parte, tienes que hacer una de estas cosas. No puedes repetir.
  • __________  Haz un Snapchat o post de Instagram como si fueras un personaje de la película y compártelo con la clase.
  • __________  Haz un Snapchat o post de Instagram explica algo, es una reacción a algo, y/o muestra algo cultural (3 Ps).
  • __________  Escribe un resumen de la parte que vimos.
  • __________  Escribe dos verdades y una mentira sobre la parte.
  • __________  Escribe una predicción sobre lo que va a pasar.
  • __________  Investiga un producto, práctica, o perspectiva cultural que viste en esta parte de la película y escribe lo que encontraste.
  • __________  Dibuja algo que puede ser una decoración para la clase.
  • __________  Escribe 3-5 preguntas sobre la parte de la película.
  • __________  ¿Qué cambiarías de la parte que vimos?
  • __________  ¿Qué harías tú si fueras un personaje de la película?
  • __________  Escribe una entrada del diario de una persona.
  • __________  ¿Qué quieres que un personaje de la película haga?
  • __________  Escribe una cita importante que un personaje dijo y describe porque es importante.
  • __________  Escribe unas palabras nuevas y/o interesantes mientras miras la película.
  • __________  Dibuja el ojo de un personaje y lo que ve y/o dibuja la cabeza de un pesonaje con globos de texto de lo que piensa.

lunes, 20 de noviembre de 2017

Infografías de la Lotería y Danielle

Teach about la lotería navideña de España? If so, here is are two basic (and free) activities to do with two inforgrafías about la lotería. These would be great to use before you get into the ads/stories. Click on the images below to see the infografías.


Also, Elena López, Arianne Dowd, and I have compiled the Danielle (the 2017 Spanish lottery ad) resources and you can purchase them here! There is a ton of stuff in there!

domingo, 19 de noviembre de 2017

Thoughts on being dogmatic

Image result for dogmatic
Image source:
I love my job, especially since I shifted away from the textbook to do more CI and using stories. I teach at a fantastic school in New Hampshire. My students are awesome. I work with good people. I also coach cross-country and I love that. I love working with teenagers. I love teaching Spanish. I love delivering interesting cultural content to my students. I love to see my students process the Cultural Ps and reflect on their own lives. I love it when they can understand something or say something spontaneously in Spanish. I love having conversations with them in Spanish. I love to see so many of them go on and minor (and a few major) in Spanish. And I love seeing "non-academic" students be engaged and successful. I love "comprehensifying and extending" authentic resources. I also love professional development; I am kinda a nerd about it. I listen to SLA podcasts. I love reading books about teaching (see below for some suggestions). I love going to conferences and learning from others. I also love presenting. I love trying to come up with good "I can" statements for units. I love trying to incorporate the 5 Cs. I love collaborating with others and have developed relationships and even friendships with lots of teachers throughout the country through #langchat. And I love sharing and trying to help others, especially teachers who are on the same journey to shift their teaching. And I love traveling and bringing back what I learn to the classroom. I also love traveling with students.

But, lately, I have been feeling a bit discouraged (and perhaps I need to take a step back from social media!). I have noticed a lot of dogmatic (and sometimes aggressively and cultishly preachy) language teachers. I am seeing more and more teachers who have an attitude of 
  • "our way or the highway"
  • "moral obligation" to teach this way 
  • "I listen to... and you are doing it wrong
  • "So and so says..., so you have to do it that way" 
  • "I am a language teacher, I don't teach about culture"
  • "Authentic resources should never be used because..." 
  • "You should never teacher grammar." 

Wow, this dogmatic attitude is not helping teachers! And it certainly not going to encourage teachers to shift their teaching! So, after a few recent conversations and a weird tweet exchange on #langchat about #authres (which ended with someone blocking me), I realized that I have to make sure that I am not being dogmatic! I have this blog because I want to share and help others. And, fortunately, I have had a lot of people who have contacted me and thanked me and/or shared back... and that keeps me going!

So, let's respect each other and value each other's journey... and maybe be a little less dogmatic.

On the note of being a bit of a nerd when it comes to PD and being an informed and educated language teacher, here are some of my favorite books, podcasts, and YouTube videos that I have read/listened to/watched in the past few years. I have taken a lot from these... and I have also not taken some things.

sábado, 18 de noviembre de 2017

La Lotería de Navidad 2017... 250th, Justino, Carmina & Danielle

My students LOVED our Lotería de Navidad unit last year. Justino was definitely the favorite (free resources here, thanks to Martina Bex), but Carmina and the 250th anniversary commercial were highly engaging stories too.  And Martina's Breakout Box for Carmina was the perfect last day activity before break.

Here are the resources that I will use for the unit. Some are free and some are paid:
Our Essential Question for that unit was: 
  • ¿Cómo son mis tradiciones relacionadas con los días festivos similares y/o diferentes de una de España? 
And our "I can" statements were:
  • I can describe a the products, practices, and perspectives of a holiday tradition in Spain.
  • I can demonstrate that I understand four stories about a holiday tradition in a variety of ways.
  • I can compare and contrast my cultural products, practices and perspectives related to a holiday to those of a holiday tradition in Spain.
I am excited to do this unit again (adapted a bit, since I have a student who is repeating the course as Culture and Civilization "part 2") and really excited to add the 2017 Anuncio de la Lotería de Navidad:  Danielle to the unit! 

The wonderful Elena López and I have been continuing to work on the Anuncio de la Lotería de Navidad: Danielle! It is a commercial, but really it is like a short movie (almost 20 minutes long). I wrote the story in Comprehensible Spanish (probably for level 2 or 3+) and created a slideshow (with 121 slides!) with the text of the story and screen shots. Here is a preview of the slideshow:

Elena and I have divided the story up into four parts and created some activities to go along with each part. So far, we have created (all of which is linked in the presentation):
  • four Quizlet Diagrams
  • two Quizlets with comprehension questions
  • Cierto/Falso sentences 
  • Picture slides to do re-tells, listen and identify pic, and/or cierto/falso
  • one Quizlet with fill-ins and matching for parts of sentences
  • a Quizizz (click here to see it)
  • "¿Quién lo dijo? ¿Quién lo hizo? ¿Quién lo pensó?" activities for each part
  • Update - 11/23/17 - A lot more has been added ----> see here.
Arianne Dowd is also working on exploring some of the Cultural Products (caga tió!), Practices (cava, adeu), and Perspectives in the ad/movie. See below for some things that I have encountered.

And here is an interesting perspective that could be talked about! 

martes, 14 de noviembre de 2017

Danielle - El Anuncio de la Lotería de Navidad 2017

Update: Click here.  Or you can buy the Danielle resources here.

Have you seen the new anuncio for the Lotería de Navidad? It is a long one, but I love it. Like Carmina and Justino, it is a bit sad at times, but overall full of joy, hope and love!

I am going to add this "story" to my Lotería de Navidad unit, a unit that my students absolutely LOVED last year. 

I have created a 107 slide Google presentation with screenshots and text that tell the story of the ad. I am also working on adding more activities to a doc, which I will share soon! Here is a part of it:

You can purchase them here or I have added these Danielle resources to the Carmina TPT, so if you bought that, you should re-download it to get full access to the presentation and the doc. I will be adding a lot more soon and selling it separately soon! 

miércoles, 8 de noviembre de 2017

El Día Perfecto de Carlos Vives ~ A story/CI unit based on a song

Have you seen the video Pescaíto by Carlos Vives?  

I love it! I (and some of my Spanish 3 students) might be a bit obsessed with Carlos Vives lately! His music is really good and appropriate! 

If you want to make it a song of the week, here is a doc with a cloze activity and a "translate some lines" activity for the song.

I really wanted to comprehensify and extend this authentic resource. So, I created an entire story unit based around the song. The story is called "El Día Perfecto de Carlos Vives"and you can see it in the slideshow below. The words in italics are song lyrics and/or words from the song, so when students hear the song, they will already know many words. 

The unit will help students to understand and communicate about what they and others would do. And they will also learn about Colombia a bit. Below is the slideshow (without links to the unit packet and cultural readings to extend the unit). If you want more, click here (link to TPT) and see below for what the unit includes. Click here if you want to make a copy of the slideshow and adapt it. If you feel like this is something useful, it saved you some time, and  you want to give back, click here.

The unit packet has a ton of links and activities to comprehensify and extend the song/video! 

Here are some more details about the unit, what it includes and a possible order for the unit. 

This unit is for late Spanish 2 and above.  If your students have not heard of Carlos Vives (a famous Colombian singer), they might not be as enthusiastic about this unit. Before this unit, my students did two story units based on songs by him: “Robarte un beso” and “La Bicicleta”. Carlos Vives sings “La Bicicleta” with Shakira, so that might help to show your students how famous he is.

This story unit focuses on exposing students to the conditional tense and acquiring some verbs in the conditional so that they are able to say what they and others would do.  

In addition to a focus on the conditional, the unit is also wrapped around the song and video "Pescaíto" by Carlos Vives. The description of Carlos Vives' "día perfecto" is written using in the yo form (from Carlos Vives’ perspective) with vocabulary from the song and is illustrated with screenshots from the music video.

There are also several cultural readings and/or activities that explore some of the cultural Products, Practices, and Perspectives in the video. These are all linked in the presentation and in the Pescaíto folder. These are the cultural readings:
  • Tras La Perla
  • Carlos Valderrama AKA El Pibe
  • Las Frutas de Colombia
  • El Restaurante en Pescaíto: Lulo
  • Carnaval en Pescaíto
The presentation (linked in the unit packet with links to all readings, etc) will walk you through the unit. I have not divided this into days because I teach 85 minute classes and some people teach 45, 50, or 60, but here are some other suggestions for a possible order of the unit. 
  • Introduce the Essential Questions, Metas, and the Evaluaciones for the unit.
  • Briefly explain conditional tense (slide in presentation). I do not recommend focusing on this too much or having students take notes. They will acquire it through the repetition in the unit.
  • I no longer use vocabulary lists because I have found that students acquire the words that are most important to them throughout the unit. But there are some teachers and students who want and/or need a vocabulary list, so I have included two possible vocabulary pages at the end that you may want to use:
    • A blank vocabulary sheet where students can fill in words as they go through the unit. They could also make a Quizlet with those words.
    • A vocabulary sheet with keywords from the story. There is also a Quizlet with this vocabulary. A great quick way for students to become familiar with the words is Quizlet Live. I highly recommend it!!  That could be done before the story
  • Explain who Carlos Vives is and maybe show a video of his. "La Bicicleta" is a good one because Shakira is in it. (On that note, Arianne Dowd created a wonderful story and unit to go along with that song and you can find it here.)
  • Do the "Cuatro Esquinas" activity to activate what students would do on their "día perfecto".
  • Use the presentation to tell the story of "El Día Perfecto de Carlos Vives." 
  • Possibly use Flipgrid to do the Interpersonal Speaking evaluación with the personalized questions. OR just use those to have conversations with the class throughout.
  • Do the Quizlet Live activity for parte 1 to give more repetition and CI to students.
  • Continue the parte 2 of the story and do the same.
  • Do the cloze activity with the song. Listen and try to sing the song everyday throughout the unit.
  • Have students reread the story and illustrate it.
  • Do the translations from the song.
  • Do some of the cultural readings throughout the telling of the story. The readings are linked throughout the presentation.
  • Play "Agárralo" in pairs. Each pair has a pen/pencil/marker between them. I say cierto or falso sentences about the story. Students have to grab a pen/pencil/marker if the sentence is true. The first person to grab it, earns one point. If a student grabs it when I say a false statement, s/he loses two points. This is a fun game!
  • Have students do the matching activity about the cultural readings from the video.
  • Do the Quizizz activity as an in class activity, a homework, and/or a quiz. Students can do this activity more than once.
  • Play Backatcha. This game is a great way to get students speaking spontaneously! 
  • Have students do the Presentational Speaking Assessment - Prepare and present what they would do on their "día perfecto". This can be done in groups of four and recorded on Flipgrid. There is a description of this assignment and a rubric at the end of the packet.
  • Have students do the Presentational Writing Assessment - Identify the cultural Ps in the video "Pescaíto" and compare them to your own.
Here are some possible Essential Questions, Metas para la unidad didáctica, and Evaluaciones:

Preguntas Esenciales:
  • ¿Cuáles son las partes que más adoro de mi comunidad? ¿Por qué son importantes para mí?
  • ¿Cuáles son unos productos, prácticas, y perspectivas culturales que se ven el el video "Pescaíto"? 
  • ¿Cómo son similares y/o diferentes unos productos, prácticas, y perspectivas culturales que se ven el el video para "Pescaíto" con los míos?
  • I can talk about what I would and/or would not do on my "perfect day".
  • I can interpret a story about someone's perfect day.
  • I can compare what I would do on my "perfect day" to what someone else would do.
  • I can answer questions about what I would do on my perfect day.
  • I can identify and describe some cultural products, practices, and perspectives of the neighborhood Pescaíto in the city Santa Marta, Colombia.
  • Interpersonal Speaking (on Flipgrid): Answer personalized questions (sprinkled in the presentation) related to the story: "El día perfecto de Carlos Vives". OR This could also be Interpersonal Writing and students could write answers during the presentation.
  • Interpretive Reading/Listening: Answer questions about the story: "El día perfecto de Carlos Vives"
  • Presentational Speaking: Present to your grupito what your your perfect day would be like. Include pictures. (See description at end of packet.)
  • Cultural Comparisons/Connections: Identify the cultural Ps in the video "Pescaíto" and compare them to your own.

viernes, 3 de noviembre de 2017

Kahooted out? Try Quizizz!

Students love Kahoot... but are they a little Kahooted out?!? Quizizz is a great alternative!

I love Kahoot too. It is great to give more CI and for formative assessments. Quizizz is very similar to Kahoot, but students can go at their own speed ----> easy differentiation! They are competing against each other, but at their own speed because the questions and answers are on their screens, not projected like Kahoot. Students can take their time to read, process, and answer questions. Also, you can do a variety of things with the settings, like turn off the "leaderboard," which makes students slow down. I also like to jumble the answers, usually not the questions because they are sometimes in order of the story.

I created a Quizizz for Arianne Dowd's "La Bicicleta" story (based on the song/video for the Shakira and Carlos Vives song). You can find the story on a free slideshow here (highly recommend the whole unit: example of Essential Questions and "I cans" here!). I will use this to give students more CI in a fun and engaging way.

jueves, 2 de noviembre de 2017

MaFLA - follow up post for attendees

During MaFLA, Arianne and I said that we would create a blogpost to review what we shared and to share a few things that people asked about, so here it is!

I wanted to make a key point about why we use stories (in the form of music videos, cortometrajes, películas, and/or novelas) as the anchor for units. Using stories allows us to do the following things: give Comprehensible Input, engage our students, easily differentiate, focus on communication (not grammar), and embed culture easily in the curriculum. And all of those things lead to LANGUAGE ACQUISITION.

Things that we said we would share:

Here are some of the activities that we shared/did:
  • TPR for vocab
  • Quizlet Live - to quickly introduce vocabulary, fill in the blank, comprehension questions, and Quizlet Diagrams (we didn't talk about this at the workshop, but here is an example)
  • Quizizz (similar to Kahoot)
  • Backatcha (add variations parts talked about like line, standing, sitting )
  • Yellow Brick Road from Carrie Toth
  • Gesture reading
  • Hold em high
  • Grítalo
  • ¿Quién lo dijo? ¿Quién lo hizo? And a new idea from Arianne's colleague, ¿Quién lo pensó?
  • Spoons from Martina Bex - fun!
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Pre-reading activity called Musical Milling is one I learned from TOY Nicole Naditz.  Take pieces of text from reading and put them on cards. Then play music. Students walked around the class and read sentences to each other and try to remember vocabulary or chunks. Then get back into groups and made a list of what they can remember.  Then students make predictions about what the text would be about. Makes reading so much more exciting.
  • Predictions on Flipgrid - so fun! I need to go back in and listen the ones that were made about Abuela Grillo.
  • Listen and draw (include Beniko masons idea of storytelling)
  • Embedded Readings that lead to an authentic video/text (click here and here for two Ecuadorian legends with embedded readings)
  • Use slide with lots of pics to ask questions, listen and identify pic, cierto/falso, make predictions, etcs.
  • Retell with pics
  • Flipgrid
  • Goosechase
  • EDpuzzle - not sure if we mentioned this, but here is some more information.

On another note:
Some other things we mentioned:

Something we forgot to mention - these two television shows are another great way to give engaging CI:
Blogs to look at:

MaFLA attendees to our workshop, if you need any more resources, let me know and I will share more!

Also, Arianne and I both have Facebook pages for our blogs/TPT stores: Arianne and me.

Using stories also helps us to use the ACTFL Core Practices. I hope to have some blog posts soon about how we can do this with CI and stories.
Image result for actfl core practices

miércoles, 1 de noviembre de 2017

More CI with stories on EDpuzzle!

Image result for edpuzzleKristy Placido is such a CI guru! I have learned a lot from her (blog, tweets, presentations), and I love using her novels (Noche de oro and Robo en la noche are two of my favorites). And recently, she shared (on Arianne's blog) a new (to me) way to give students CI. She took a story-slideshow, made a video of her telling the story, and used it to make an Edpuzzle. She had basic questions for students to answer and it looked like a great formative assessment.

This idea is so simple, but so useful! It is another way to provide CI to students, but in a differentiated way. Students can go at their own pace, stop, re-listen, and take the time to process. 

Someone (at MaFLA, I think? or maybe on the CI Intermediates Facebook page) made me realize that I really need to mix it up when telling the stories with these slideshows (some of them are loooonng, especially the movie ones). So, this will be a way to break those up and do an assessment at the same time. The one below is for the story that Arianne Dowd wrote for the Coco movie trailer (find the slideshow free here in her post). It is part of my Día de los Muertos unit in my Cultura y Civilización unit.

I am putting myself out there because this is my non-native voice here, so be gentle! I am sharing because I think it is such a fantastic tool to give students more CI! I hope someone can use this idea.

I used the "Screencastify" Google Extension to record this. It is very easy to use! Then I uploaded it to YouTube and made the EDpuzzle.

(You can also view it here.)

I also created two for Arianne's "La Bicicleta" story, parte 1 and parte 2. If you are interested in seeing (or using) those, click here and here

On another note, you might have noticed that I changes the name of my blog and I got a new logo too! I have also started a Facebook page related to the blog where I will share things as well.