sábado, 20 de octubre de 2018

One of my favorite presentational writing assessments to *correct*

Quick post to share a presentational writing assignment that I LOVE to correct!

If you use stories, you might already do this, but I thought I would share anyways. This can be done at the end of a unit or at the end of a course.

The rubric that I use is a School Wide Rubric, but you could adapt it to be more proficiency oriented. I also think that Tina Hargaden has a good rubric for something like this... I need to re-visit A Natural Approach to the Year!

And on that note, I also LOVE creating OWIs with my students and they love it too! Here are two (they are enemies):  Ximena la galleta and Pepe el pastelito. In addition to those, we have been working on this mini unit: El Cactusthis story/song of the week, and Billy y las botas nuggets (and some have made progress through Billy y las botas 2 too).

Here is the assignment:

I love correcting these stories because my students get a chance to show off their language and be creative. AND they are proud of their products! I even heard one student say to another, "Hey, want to hear what my story is about?" Love it!

Currently, I am correcting these and it is the third time that my Spanish 2 students have done this and they are so funny to correct!

Next step in class on Monday... have students read some of the best stories and illustrate them! #NewClassroomDecorations

Below are a few student examples (there were a lot of Billy la bufanda in these stories!). Note: the underlined parts are good things.

viernes, 19 de octubre de 2018

"We teach languages" podcast and resource links

I had a great, somewhat rambling, conversation with Maris Hawkins, for the podcast We teach languages. So, I wanted to share a bit about what I talked about on the podcast. And I also wanted to share a whole bunch of links to good resources in one place. <------ Here is the preview and here is the link to the podcast.

As I said on the podcast, I love comprehensifying an extending authentic resources. And I LOVE using stories as the anchor of units. I can't imagine teaching without stories.

The stories that I use come in many forms: movies, music videos, novels, and/or other resources. My favorite stories are ones that are from authentic resources because I can extract tons of cultural products, practices, and perspectives. And with authentic resources, there is automatic differentiation. And students get to see a ton of cultural and linguistic diversity with authentic resources... but as I said on the podcast, authentic resources aren't always accessible to our students, but we can (and should) make them accesible and enjoyable too!

Below are some of my favorite movie resources. I have used all of these with great success and engagement! Some of these I created, some I created with Arianne Dowd or Elena López, and some Arianne created. I think Bethanie Drew may have been in the mix on some of these too. They are all excellent and will let you extend that "movie unit" over a long period of time with lots of input! #GoBeyondComprehensionQuestions
Some of my other favorite stories and/or units basted on comprehensified and extended authentic resources are the following:

miércoles, 17 de octubre de 2018

Vaina loca: Some surprises and imperfect subjunctive!

It has a few surprises in it and the song is really catchy! 

I wrote up a story for upper levels that focuses on the structure quería que + imperfect subjunctive. 

One reason I like this video is that it has a gay couple in it. Almost all of the relationships that students see in my class, and probably school, (in books, movies, music videos, etc.) are hetero relationships. I often think about gay students (out or not) and how that must feel to almost never see any gay relationships represented in school, so this is one example of how to show that in class. 

jueves, 4 de octubre de 2018

Intermediate Perú unit... with a Carlos Vives hook!

I love Carlos Vives! He has a new video out and it is a promotional video for tourism in Perú. I love the song and the video! So, I wrote up a story (more of a video description) about the video and highlighted some of the cultural aspects of it. You can see it below (or click here to make a copy for yourself!)

Then, I went down a rabbit hole of related resources (including three articles, videos, tourism websites, a Chifa Express commercial, and a menu)  and created an entire unit for Intermediates. You can find the unit packet here (for free). If you find this (or anything else that you have found here) consider supporting my work on Patreon or consider having me for a workshop.

Here are some of the cultural products, people, and/or places in this unit:
  • Historical and contemporary figures: José de San Martín, Atuahualpa, and Natalia Málaga
  • Comida: La Comida Chifa, Lomo saltado, Pachamanca, cebiche, causa, café del Perú, Superfoods Perú, Frutas, Súper granos
  • Monuments and places in Lima, Perú:  la playa de Miraflores, MALI, el Parque de las Aguas, el faro de Miraflores, el malecón de Miraflores, Astrid y Gastón, Huaca Huallamarca

If you would like a past tense version, click here and make a copy.

And, of course, Arianne Dowd, is also helping me out with this one! She has created a reading about Atahualpa (including a glyph!) and an AP-style simulated conversation between Carlos Vives and his wife.

You can see the Essential Questions, "I can" statements, and Evaluaciones in the unit packet here (for free). This unit is best for Intermediates with lots of AP preparation-type tasks and focus on authentic resources.

Also, if you just want the story and the song lyrics, click here and make a copy. 

And here is the YouTube playlist for the unit:

miércoles, 3 de octubre de 2018

Cuento/Canción de la semana: Bajo el mismo sol

This song is three years old, but I am brining it back to my Spanish 2 students. They loved
"Ella" by Álvaro Soler and the story, "Un hombre un poco obsesionado", that went along with it, so I figured another song by him will be a hit as well.

We have been doing not only song of the week, but story of the week, so I wrote up a story to go along with El mismo sol. I also created a list of the vocabulario importante (and on Quizlet too) and a link to review the story on Textivate.

If you are interested in trying out story/song of the week, here is what I suggest -----> story script, vocabulario importante, cloze activity, and song translation can be found here:
  • Day 1 - Play a quick game of Quizlet Live to introduce some of the vocabulario importante. Do a listen and draw activity and then watch the video.
  • Day 2 - Do the cloze activity with the song. Go over the translation of the song. Review the story with student drawings. Start the Textivate sequence (could be homework).
  • Day 3 - Try to sing the song. Continue the Textivate sequence (could be homework).
  • Day 4 - Try to sing the song. Continue and finish the Textivate sequence (could be homework).
  • Day 5 - Try to sing the song. Do a cierto/falso quiz about the story.
OR if you want to do extend the song for more than a week (these would take 5-15 minutes of each class):

  • Day 1 - Play a quick game of Quizlet Live to introduce some of the vocabulario importante. Do a listen and draw activity and then watch the video.
  • Day 2 - Do the cloze activity with the song. Go over the translation of the song. Review the story with student drawings. 
  • Day 3 - Try to sing the song. With partners or as a class, read the story together and translate it. Start the Textivate sequence (could be homework). 
  • Day 4 - Try to sing the song. Play the marker game with the cierto/falso statements (below). Continue the Textivate sequence (could be homework).
  • Day 5 - Sing the song. Play around the world with song lyrics or sentences from the story (say a Spanish chunk and students have to translate) Continue and finish the Textivate sequence (could be homework).
  • Day 6 - Sing the song. Play Quizlet Live with the sentences. 
  • Day 7 - Sing the song. Divide students into groups of 2-4. Give them sentences from the story. They need to act out the sentence(s) and take a "Freeze Frame" picture. Have students send all pictures to you.
  • Day 8 - Sing the song. Use the pictures from the previous day to retell the story.
  • Day 9 - Sing the song. Share favorite lines of the song. Play this Kahoot Jumble.
  • Day 10 - Sing the song. Do a cierto/falso quiz (see two options below) about the story.

I am looking forward to presenting about story/song of the week this fall at TCI Maine, MaFLA, and NHAWLT!

And if you found this (or anything else that I have shared here) helpful and/or useful, consider supporting my work on Patreon.

sábado, 15 de septiembre de 2018

Dreaming Spanish for Intermediates... and for AP preparation

Do you know about Dreaming in Spanish videos!?! There are TONS of them and they are EXCELLENT! Pablo Roman's videos are a student favorite for Tarea Semanal and they are a favorite of mine as well. I love reading what students write about his videos every week. And I have used them in my food unit as well (see here).

(Sidenote: If you and/or your students use his videos frequently, you should consider supporting him on Patreon! I do and I actually just updated my support to $5/month!)

This summer I worked to create nine activities to go along with nine of Pablo's Dreaming Spanish videos. The activities are aligned to six of the AP themes:
  • Theme: Personal and Public Identities: Personal Beliefs
  • Theme: Families and Communities: Global Citizenship
  • Theme: Contemporary Life: Way of life
  • Theme: World Challenges: Social Consciousness
  • Theme: Science and Technology: Discoveries and Inventions
  • Theme: Beauty and Aesthetics: Language and Literature and Architecture
Note: Even if you don't teach AP Spanish, these are very relevant themes to delve into! 

These nine activities are included in the level 4 digital textbook called Nuestra Historia. I am so excited about this curriculum! If you are looking for an amazing CI curriculum aligned with AP themes starting at level 1, I highly recommend checking it out! Levels 1-3 are out and level 4 is coming out soon (but I have access to it since I am working for them).

I am sharing this activity sheet so that others can use it. It is very similar to the ones that I created for Nuestra Historia level 4 digital textbook.  The activities go along with the video above "We don't have a tooth fairy."

I am teaching AP Spanish this year. It starts second semester, but I have Cultura y Civlización right now and that is a sort of pre-AP class for some of the students. So, those students will be doing all nine of the Nuestra Historia activities, plus this one for the video above.

So, why are these activities so excellent for AP preparation!?! 

  • Students have to listen to authentic audio on the AP test. That is very difficult! I have found that Pablo's Dreaming Spanish videos are an excellent bridge to get students to be able to listen to authentic audio.
  • By watching his videos, students will gain a ton of cultural knowledge, which they will need, particularly for the Comparación Cultural portion of the test.
  • Each of these activities end with a cultural comparison. For instance, in the activity for the video above, students have to compare el ratoncito Pérez with a fictional animal from their culture. 
  • Students get in the habit of listening to something more than once and gaining more comprehension and confidence after each time. 
  • These really are a fun way to get students to practice their interpretive listening skills.

And why are they so excellent in general?!?

  • They are engaging!
  • They are comprehensible!
  • They are chock full of culture!
  • Pablo is a native speaker, but he speaks slowly enough that students can understand him... and students gain a ton of confidence from that!

Click here to acces the activity sheet in Google Docs. Feel free to make a copy and edit. 

jueves, 6 de septiembre de 2018

Updated and enhanced FREE unit: #Idiota

I posted about this Story/Song of the week a few weeks ago, but I have developed it a lot, so I wanted to post about it again. I am currently using this unit to start Spanish 2. Many of these students did not have a CI teacher last year, so this is a great way to start!

You can find all the resources, links, possible assessments and a suggested order of activities (for free!) here

On the note of sharing this for free, if you use this or any of the other resources that I have shared for free, please consider supporting me on Patreon.

See below for the goals for the students for the unit. These are my other secret, teacher goals are:
  • Students are engaged! This is a non-honors class and some of them are used to just doing school, and not really engaging.
  • Students feel comfortable in the classroom.
  • Students feel confident that they can acquire language.
  • Focus on communication... not conjugation! 
  • Review and reinforce high frequency vocabulary.
  • Confuse ;) them by using a regular, authentic, good song and music video as the base of the unit.
  • Give a ton of input!
  • Talk about las redes sociales and the damage that they can do in relationships. 

The "I can" statements for the unit are: 
  • I  can function in a solo español classroom
  • I can interpret a story.
  • I can show that I understand a story in a variety of ways, including: 
    • Acting out words/sentences
    • Translating parts of the story
    • Illustrating parts of the story
    • Putting sentences in order
    • Answering questions (about the story and about myself)
    • Identifying cierto/falso statements
    • Filling in the blanks of the story
    • Writing simple sentences about the story
  • I can acquire new language through a story/song and a variety of related activities.
  • I can understand an authentic song in Spanish. 

domingo, 2 de septiembre de 2018

UBD - El Ekeko y Las Minas de Bolivia

Resultado de imagen para El Ekeko: Un misterio boliviano
I am finally going to use the Fluency Matters reader: El Ekeko: Un misterio boliviano! I love this novel by Katie Baker (another favorite of mine is also by Katie Baker: La llorona de Mazatlán). The reader will be a small part of the unit. We will read it together, act things out, and do some "listen and draw." 

According to Fluency Matters, the reader is "Advanced Beginning", but I am going to use it in my first unit for Cultura y Civilización (Spanish 4/5). That class has a very wide range of proficiencies, so this novel will help everyone feel at ease and it is engaging with a ton of cultural tangents to go off on...

Fortunately, Arianne Dowd has created a ton of resources that will accompany this novel perfectly! Her resources would make an excellent stand-alone unit too. 

The resources that she created will help me to reach all levels of proficiency levels, particularly because there are so many activities that are connected authentic resources (you can see them all on this page), such as articles, news clips, PSAs (about children's rights), and other videos. There are so many AP Themes in this unit as well and six of my students will have AP Spanish second semester this year, so this will be an excellent introduction to some of the tasks they will have to do on the test.

Also, Arianne's depth of cultural knowledge is amazing! I learned a ton as I was preparing this unit and I can't wait to do this unit with my students.

These are the four resources that I will be using:
El cumplidor de los deseos:  Movie Talk AND Music Study!   El Ekeko:  El Papá Noel Andino  
Bolivian Legend from "La La La" by Naughty Boy   "The Devi's Miner":  Film Study

sábado, 25 de agosto de 2018

FREE Cuento/Canción de la Semana: #Idiota

Using stories in the classroom has been the best way for me to transition away from traditional, so much so that I have a workshop that focuses on just that!

During the past year, I have really enjoyed creating and using Stories/Songs of the week. The stories (some are more like video descriptions) are based on popular music videos. On Mondays, my students listen to the story before they see the video. My students have enjoyed listening to the stories and the songs, and acquiring lots of language from them. I am looking forward to sharing more about how I use Story/Song of the week this fall at MaFLA, NHAWLT, and TCI Maine!

My latest "story of the week" is based on the song and music video #Idiota by Juan Magan. This song is very repetitive and pretty comprehensive too! I am sharing these resources for FREE because this has been so successful for me in the classroom that I want other to share with others! Check out the video:

In this (free) document you will find the suggested order of activities for the week, the story, some links to other activities related to the story, a cloze activity with the translation of the song, and a link to the  slideshow below. 

The story is written for Spanish 2 (maybe late Spanish 1 if it is a CI class), but I have found that these stories are also a fantastic thing to use in ANY level! Upper level students love it because it is an easy listen. But, if you are looking for a more linguistically advanced Story/Song of the week, check out "El Novio Reggaetonero" and "Una Ruptura Mala."

Before you read the story, I recommend watching the video and looking at the lyrics:

Ya no quiero verte más 

Ya no quiero verte más, 
ni mucho menos estar contigo. 
Te bloqueo en el whatsapp.
Borro las fotos que compartimos.

Es que reírte de mí 
no es lo mismo que reírte conmigo. 
Pensaste que soy de ti, 
no contaste con el destino. 

Y ya no tengo miedo a soltarlo todo,
porque de ningún modo, 
voy a quedarme aquí.

Siendo idiota, no que va, 
no soy de tu propiedad. 
Vamos a ponerle ya, el punto final. (2Xs)

Siendo idiota 
siendo idiota 

You will see almost all of the lyrics are used as dialogue in the story.

Also, Juan Magan, the singer and main character of the story, is Spanish and Dominican. And the woman he meets and marries in the story is his actual wife. The rest of the story is stuff I made up.

You will see that on first click you only see the pictures. This is so that the teacher tell the story first (and write words on the board) and then students will not see the text the first time, they will just LISTEN to understand. Also, the teacher can just use the pics to say cierto/falso statements, ask questions, and/or have students talk about what happens in the story.

jueves, 23 de agosto de 2018

Free Unit: La Importancia de la Educación para todos en Ecuador

Through EF Tours and SNHU, I am taking a self-directed course. I decided to focus on Intercultural Communicative Competence and combine it with learning more about Intercultural Bilingual Education in Ecuador, also known as MOSEIB, click here to learn more. I have read a lot during the last few weeks (see my annotated bibliography here)!

As part of the class, I had to come up with a unit plan. Click here to see it. Feel free to make a copy and adapt any of it. It is for a late Spanish 2 class, but could certainly be used at any level above 2. I think I will use it with my Cultura y Civilización course. There are some excellent pre-AP activities in this unit, including a final Comparación Cultural final assessment.

In the unit, students will do the following:
  • Read some basic information about Ecuador and MOSEIB.
  • Watch four Ecuadorian school-related videos and do a variety of activities with them.
  • Video #1 (thanks Zachary Jones!) shows that in Ecuador, some school related cultural products, practices, and perspectives are very similar to those in the U.S.
  • Video #2 is a UNICEF video, made for kids (= more comprehensible and simple), that shows the long distances that some Ecuadorian students have to travel to get to school everyday. 
  • Video #3 is another UNICEF video that shows the importance of school supplies. There is also an interview with an Ecuadorian teacher.
  • Video #4 is another UNICEF video that shows a bilingual school in Ecuador. The video shows a bilingual student and her town.

Essential Questions:
  • What are some cultural products, practices, and perspectives related to school in Ecuador?
  • How are some cultural products, practices, and perspectives related to school in Ecuador similar and/or different to mine?
Enduring Understandings:
  • There are many rural schools. Many students have to travel long distances to get to school. This shows the importance of getting an education.
  • Not all schools are rural. There is a variety of types of schools, including private and public.
  • School supplies are extremely important for school, but not always easily bought for some students. 
  • The Ecuadorian government, after a grassroots movement, has made a commitment to preserving and honoring indigenous languages and cultures by having many Bilingual Intercultural schools in Ecuador. Many of these bilingual schools are in rural zones where Spanish is the second language spoken.
  • Many of the school supplies in Ecuador are the same in the U.S. Marketing (commercials) for those products are also similar.
"I can" statements
  • Interpretive (Intermediate Low) What can I understand, interpret or analyze in authentic informational texts?
    • I can identify the topic and related information from simple sentences in short informational texts.
    • I can identify the topic and related information from simple sentences in short informational audio, specifically four authentic videos.
  • Presentational (Intermediate Low) How can I present information to inform, describe, or explain?
    • I can present (write and speak) information about school in Ecuador and my school, using simple sentences.
  • Interpersonal (Intermediate Low) How can I exchange information and ideas in conversations? 
    • I can request and provide information in conversations about school by creating simple sentences and asking appropriate follow-up questions.
  • Intercultural - Investigate 
    • In my own and other cultures I can identify and compare products related to school. 
    • In my own and other cultures I can identify and compare practices related to school.
  • I am hoping to include this with some contact with someone from Ecuador - Intercultural - Interact (Intermediate)
  • I can converse with peers from the target culture in familiar situations at school, work, or play, and show interest in basic cultural similarities and differences.
  • I can recognize that significant differences in behaviors exist among cultures, use appropriate learned behaviors and avoid major social blunders.
Assessments (see unit packet):
  • Interpretive Reading (pages 5-7): Read an informational text about Ecuador and answer comprehension questions in English.
  • Interpretive Listening and Presentational Writing (page 13): Watch and listen to a video and write five follow up questions.
  • Interpretive Listening (page 14): Watch and listen to a video and answer questions. 
  • Presentational Writing and Speaking (pages 15-16): Write a presentation that compares and contrasts the school related products, practices, and perspectives in all the videos with those in the United States. On Flipgrid, say the presentation. 
  • Interpretive Listening and Interpersonal Speaking (pages 15-16): Listen to classmates comparisons on Flipgrid and comment and/or ask questions about what they say. 
Me and two of my favorite travelers in Ecuador - my husband and my son! 

martes, 21 de agosto de 2018

Back to School Bonus Sale: Recommendations

Use the code BTSBONUS18 and get 25% of today on anything in my Teachers Pay Teachers store ... and many other teachers too, including my favorite: CCC Spanish Store by the amazing Arianne Dowd. Everything she creates is excellent!

Here are some recommendations:

If you are looking for a way to add more to "Song of the Week," this product has FIFTEEN stories based on songs/music videos: Cuento y Canción de la Semana. These could be used at any level! For upper levels, these stories will be a fun way to start the week and review some basic vocabulary. I used thirteen of these stories in Spanish 1 last year, so they start off very basic.

These four songs would be excellent for "Song/Story of the Week" for upper levels: Cásate conmigo, InternacionalesQuisiera alejarme and Usted. Both have stories that incorporate lyrics from the songs.

A old favoriteIf you are looking for a "bridge to CI" story unit for level 1, check out my Soy yo unit.

A new favorite: Álvaro tiene un problema!  My students and I (and teachers that I have presented it to) LOVE this mini unit (for level 1 or above).

This CI story unit "El Día Perfecto de Carlos Vives" has a focus on the conditional and it is jam packed with culture! Excellent for pre-AP.

La Lotería de España: Carmina y otras historias is another favorite for upper levels, and also excellent for pre-AP.

This is another excellent pre-AP unit for Novices: "Si quieres, puedes" is a song by Sebastián Yatra. The biography addresses the themes of Global Challenges and Personal and Public Identities. And the music addresses Beauty and Aesthetics.


This immigration unit is for level 1, but could be used in any level. It includes a movie (La Misma Luna), a short film, and two songs.

I used these two movie in units in my AP class: Diamantes Negros and 3 Bellezas. Both of these movies are heavy and should definitely be previewed!

If you are looking for more movies, Arianne Dowd makes THE BEST CI movie guides! Here are just some of them: McFarland USA, También la lluvia, Coco for Novice High to Intermediate Low, Coco for Intermediates, Ferdinand, The Devil's Miner, Living on $1, La Lengua de la Mariposa, and En el tiempo de las mariposas.

lunes, 20 de agosto de 2018

New Song/Story of the Week: Ella by Álvaro Soler

I love Álvaro Soler! And so do my students! "La Cintura" was a big hit last year with all of my classes. And I think "Ella" will be a big hit too! 

But in this song, Álvaro seems a little desperate and obsessed! So, I wrote up a story called "Un hombre un poco obsesionado." You can find it on TPT here. It also includes the following activities: 

- a suggested order of activties
- a story script for the teacher to read to students
- a link to Textivate to review the story
- a link to a Quizlet Live with comprehension questions about the story
- a cloze activity with the translation of the song
- a put-in-order activity to do with the song
- a short quiz with 15 cierto/falso statements about the story

sábado, 11 de agosto de 2018

Strike a Chord Winner!

So, I have been away in beautiful Colombia for ten days, but I am finally posting the winner of the Strike a Chord raffle... Nicole Milliner! Please contact me (email: ceauthres @ gmail )for how to redeem your prize! 

If you like music, I would highly recommend this ganga: Story/Song of the week! It has fourteen stories based on songs, lots of related activities, and basic assessments. 

domingo, 22 de julio de 2018

Reflections from iFLT 2018...

The iFLT conference in Cincinnati was amazingThank you to Carol Gaab, Teri Wiechart, the whole #iFLT18 and Fluency Matters team for organizing an amazing, unique conference! Next year it will be in St. Petersburg, FL... sign up early!

One of the best things about this conference (and others like it) is the Language Labs! Seeing master teachers teach real students with CI is very powerful, particularly if it is a language you don't speak. I was fortunate to see Paul Kirschling (French) and Mark Mallaney (Spanish) teach and it was extremely helpful.

The other different thing about conferences like this is the coaching! There are a lot of tracks and people are placed in cohorts with similarly experienced teachers. I was in Intermediate Cohort E with Bryce Hedstrom, Lori (?), and Kelly Ferguson. Kelly guided my smaller group and coached us as we did mini lessons with other teachers. This is intimidating, but it was also a very validating, positive experience. I was in a great cohort with experienced, knowledgeable teachers, including: Sarah Breckley (AKA Feona, Víctor's wife) and Jadhai Jeffreys. Those two are excellent CI teachers, so genuine, and have such a positive energy that they share!

And the third wonderful thing is seeing some of the best, most knowledgeable, passionate, and experienced CI presenters and teachers! It was really fun to see and meet people face to face and get to chat. Also, unlike state conferences, regional conferences and ACTFL, everyone here is passionate about learning about delivering Compelling Comprehensible Input and using it in the classroom!

And the fourth thing, I got to hang out with my fave, super-smart collaborator and good friend Arianne Dowd all week! We shared an Airbnb together, presented together, ate at some delicious restaurants, and talked about teaching and learning all week! If you can find another teacher to collaborate with, do it. It will change your classroom and make your workload much easier.

These are some of the other sessions that I attended and some resources that I got from them:

Go goals! A board game for Objetivo de Desarrollo Sosteinble - Leslie Davison
Leslie Davison is super smart, creative and open minded! I learned about Breakout Boxes from her at ACTFL in 2016. And I knew I would learn about something new, useful, and out-of-the-box at this session too. She shared the UNESCO Go Goals! board game (free to download and use here). At her session, we first talked about the 17 UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals and tried to guess what they were. Then, she released us (outside!) to play the game. There are soooooo many possibilities with these resources! And I hope to share more about what I do with them this school year.

AP From the Ground Up with CI - Darcy Pippins
Darcy Pippins... finally! I had been to see this session for a while now. Darcy teaches with all CI in all levels, teaches high numbers (50+) of students in AP, and has had 85-90% passing rate for the past 6 years. Impressive and validating! Darcy shared a wealth of resources and ideas.

Soaring Higher: Teaching Levels 3 and up - Kristy Placido
Kristy's session was an excellent reminder of what out Intermediate students can do! This is so important because oftentimes, we expect way to much of them, particularly in the area of grammar. She reminded us not to start teaching all that complex grammar, because Intermediates are still working on the present, past, and future tenses! (Also, Kristy didn't mention this in her session, but she has a new book out: Leyendas Impactantes. And it is one that I will definitely use in my Miedos y Leyendas unit!)

One thing that she talked about a bit about that is definitely worth mentioning: Embedded Reading. If you haven't done that yet, check out Kristy's Embedded Reading for Chac Mool (free on TPT).  She has another one for El Almohadón de Plumas that I have used in my Sobrenatural unit (mostly adapated from her Sobrenatural unit)

And I have some Embedded Readings too, a few for some songs: Echar Pa'lante, El Niagara en Bicicleta, y La Bestia, and a three that lead to an authentic video of an Ecuadorian legend Las GuacamayasEl Kuychi, and El Nacimiento del Río Amazonas.

Curriculum Design, Lessons, and Planning - Oh My! - Gary DiBianca
Since I am a planner and really try ton include AP Themes, the 5 Cs, "I can" statements, Essential Questions, and Culture, I really appreciated Gary's session! He is super knowledgeable, organized, and passionate about teaching and planning. Here is an picture that illustrates some of what he talked about. As you can see, it is a lot, but he did an excellent job tying all of these things together! I will probably share more about this presentation in the future! In the meantime, and as we wait for Gary's blog post (which he promised) about Socratic Seminars, here is one by Arianne Dowd.

Turn Up the Volume: Using Music as CI in the Language Classroom Becky Moulton
Becky Moulton is so passionate about using music in class.  She shared this quote: "What we learn with pleasure we never forget." She also shared the benefits of having our students sing: is it associated with feelings of pleasure, it alleviates anxiety and stress, it enhances feelings of trust and bonding,  and is lessens feelings of depression and loneliness. What more do you need to convince you!?! I will probably blog more about other things she shared, such as Oiga, but for now I will leave you with this gem of a video/song that I can't wait to use! There is an Embedded Reading for it here.

Designing a Secondary Spanish Heritage Curriculum  -  Mary Beth Johnson & Adrienne Brandenburg

I was only in this session for about 15 minutes, but what I saw was excellent! If you teach Heritage Speakers, check out their TPT store (I will link it when I find it)!

 And finally, in addition to attending, Arianne and I also presented: The Power of Triple Input
(Triple = sound, text, and images (#culture). Click here to see part of our presentation here.

miércoles, 27 de junio de 2018

More than just Song of the Week...

Many teachers do "Canción de la Semana," and many do "Artista/Cantante de la Semana" too (click here for some older free resources), but this past year in my Spanish 1 class, I did a combined "Cuento/Canción de la Semana," and it was very successful!

All of the "stories" (some are more like descriptions) are based on popular music videos. Students acquired a lot of language, were engaged, and saw a lot of cultural products, practices, and perspectives.

Here is an example for the song "To' my love" that I am going to start with this coming year. I think it is going to be a hit! 

I have bundled 16 of the stories and a ton of resources to use throughout a Spanish 1, 2, or even 3 class. You can find them here on TPT.

These are the songs that are included. There are two immigration songs because we did a big immigration unit. Those two songs could be used at separate times during the semester.

Here is what I did almost every week with my Spanish 1 students:
  • Monday: 
    • As students enter, play the song (do this every day all week), but don't show the video yet!
    • Tell students the story/description in a Story Listening fashion (or read more about it here) , meaning just have students listen. Communicate meaning by drawing, acting, and/or writing in English. By doing this quiet listening, students are learning to make meaning of sounds.
    • Show the video.
    • If time (and if there is a cloze activity for the song), listen to the song, do a cloze activity, and go over the translation of the song in English. I have found that students will be much more engaged with songs if they get the gist of what it is saying! 
  • Tuesday:
    • Listen to the song, read along, and try to sing the song. 
    • Students read the text of the story/description and translate it together as a class or in partners.
    • If there is a slideshow, 
    • Start Textivate Sequence (due at end of the week). These are usually translations (Spanish to English) and Put the Story in Order.
  • Wednesday:
    • Work on Textivate Sequence (due at end of the week).
    • Other activities, such as: Quizlet Live, listening and acting out the story, Agárralo (AKA The Marker Game), listen and draw, and listen and identify picture.
  • Thursday:
    • Work on Textivate Sequence (due at end of the week).
    • Other activities, such as: Quizlet Live, listening and acting out the story, Agárralo (AKA The Marker Game), listen and draw, and listen and identify picture.
  • Friday:
    • Textivate Sequences are due.
    • Quiz - usually cierto/falso about the story.

miércoles, 6 de junio de 2018

Más para la Copa Mundial: Lionel Messi

Resultado de imagen para lionel messi
Update: 6/10/18: I have created a mini unit with this resource. Click here to purchase it on TPT.

We are just finishing up our Copa Mundial unit (on TPT) and it has been a big hit! Students have loved the music (seven new songs!), learned about la Copa Mundial, acquired a lot of language, and reflected on and analyzed so many cultural products, practices, and perspectives. It has been such a positive unit to end with my class of mostly seniors! And students were very engaged with the Digital Breakout that they did today (find it here as part of Nelly's resources).

But, I can't stop coming across amazing resources to use next time around (in the fall, because this unit doesn't have to be taught at World Cup time)! 

The most recent resource is this Gatorade commercial. It basically tells the life story of Lionel Messi. It is in English, so I made a slideshow and wrote the story in Spanish. I plan on developing some more activities to go along with it soon. Below is a sample of part of the slideshow. The entire slideshow (41 slides) with videos is included in my Copa Mundial unit (on TPT).

The end of the commercial is referring to this, when Messi scored a hat trick 
in the final qualifier for the 2018 Copa Mundial:
And to wrap it all up, you can have students dance and sing to this gem!

viernes, 25 de mayo de 2018

Last unit of the year ?!? La Copa Mundial!

Aaaah, sports... not everyone is into them, but they are such a big part of so many cultures.
Why? Because they bring joy, hopelaughter, pride, and unity

(Here is my favorite example that I share with students to start the unit. I was at that game five days after I had run and finished the 2013 marathon. Scroll down for another, longer description of another special moment for me.)

And that is why I love teaching about La Copa Mundial, especially during a year that it is happening, like this year! This unit is such a good way to end with my seniors (I have two and a half more weeks with them and four more weeks with the underclassmen). The songs are positive and uplifting and full of cultural products, practices, and perspectives!

Not all students are interested in sports, so how to hook them?!? The music!!! Even my most anti-sports students end up loving this unit because of the music. I have been teaching a Copa Mundial unit since 2011 (here is what I started... it is so much better now!)

This year, I am using most of Nelly Hughes' excellent resources, but I have also compiled a unit packet that includes:
  • Essential Questions for the unit
  • A possible assessment with a rubric
  • Questions to start discussing sports and their role in culture
  • Questions to answer while navigating the Fifa site
  • A question about this infografía,
  • Questions about this infografía 
  • An adapted Buzzfeed article (35 Cosas que harían los mexicanos con tal de ver a México ganar el Mundial) with questions
  • And most importantly ----> activities for SEVEN of the NEW SONGS/VIDEOS  #Engagement 
  • Four basic interpretive reading activities (read an article and answer questions in English) for four of the songs 

And here is my playlist (with all seven songs plus some other songs and videos) for the unit: 

My other special sports moment... 

I was in Costa Rica in 2014 with students when their team made it the farthest that they had ever made it. When we arrived, the ticos were sooooo proud and excited, but they all said that they wouldn't win the next game against the Netherlands.

We watched the game in Arenal at the hot springs with lots of tourists, but also with ticos. Everyone watched the entire time,  and many were singing and cheering for most of the game. Even my students started to cheer and sing once they actually realized what was happening. Costa Rica played amazingly well and the game was tied at the end. It went into penalty kicks... you could feel the hope and excitement that they could actually win, but Costa Rica ended up losing. It was a heartbreaker! But the way they fans reacted was incredible. At the end of the game, the ticos were clearly and obviously disappointed for a moment, but then started cheering and chanting --- it was a pretty special thing to be a part of. And my students got to experience it too! Talk about CULTURAL practices and perspectives!! 

miércoles, 23 de mayo de 2018

Units and Resources for Spanish 1!

Image result for 1I don't teach Spanish 1 often, probably only three times in the last ten years, but I love teaching it! I would teach it every year if I could! Two years ago I relied heavily on Elena López and Amy Zimmer for resources. They are both amazing and shared so much with me! This year I tried some new things and still relied heavily on their resources for some units.

Here is the grid with the units and resources that I used this year. Some things I didn't use this year and those are in purple font. I kept them in there because they are good and might be useful for others, but they were replaced by some other new things this year.

For me, Spanish 1 is one semester long and class is 90 minutes long... during the last blog! It has been a fantastic class this semester. These are non-honors, mostly freshmen. And I am sooooo impressed with what they have acquired! They know so many random words, sometimes I have to ask, "How do you know that?" Many of the words come from different stories.

Because I have 90 minute classes, I have a lot of "ongoing" units that you will see in the grid. Also, we do a lot of Quizlet Live with vocab and quesitons and answers... and now we are also doing lots of Gimkit!

Here are some of the new things that I did this year in Spanish 1:

In case you missed it, here is what I teach in Spanish 2 and 3 and here are 25+ units that I have used in Cultura y Civilización.