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.

martes, 22 de mayo de 2018

What I teach in Spanish 2 and Spanish 3

I previously posted the 25+ units that I have done in my Cultura y Civilización course (Spanish 4, 5, 6, and 7). I have taught that course (usually parts 1 and 2) every year for the past 7 years, so I have a ton of units for that course. I teach Spanish 2 and 3 every other year, so I don't have as many units for those courses, but today I am sharing what I do in Spanish 2 and 3. Spanish 1 is still being pulled together in a shareable format, but it will be coming soon!

Spanish 2 (click here for grid)
I taught Spanish 2 last year and will teach it again last year. My Spanish 2 curriculum is a mix of story units (based on cortometrajes and Sr. Wooly songs) and some authentic resource-type units (one from adiostextbook). Because my department is still somewhat traditional, and I am not the main Spanish 2 teacher, you will see that there is still some explicit grammar taught in Spanish 2. Mostly I use Martina Bex resources for that part of the course.

Spanish 3 (click here for grid)
My Spanish 3 curriculum is a mix of story units (based on authentic songs and Sr. Wooly songs), lots of activities authentic resources, and a lot of pre-AP type of activities (cultural comparisons and interpretive reading and listening activities with authentic resources). Because my department is still somewhat traditional, and I am not the main Spanish 3 teacher, you will see that there is still some explicit grammar taught in Spanish 3, but I am doing less and less of that. (A big thanks to Arianne Dowd for making my Spanish 3 curriculum soooo much better this year!)

sábado, 19 de mayo de 2018

ALL 25 of my Cultura y Civilización units in one doc!

You may have seen that Carrie Toth and Kristy Placido recently shared their Scope and Sequence for levels 1-4. Those posts are so helpful!

I am working on pulling everything together for 1-AP and putting it into a shareable doc too.
I teach a variety of classes (from 1-AP) each year and I have been changing so much of what I do during the past few years, so it is taking me a while to pull it all together in an shareable, understandable-to-others format.

In the meantime, I am sharing a grid with the 25+  units that I have created and used for my Cultura y Civilización course during the last seven year. This class has a very wide variety of proficiency levels in it! It can be the 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th Spanish class for students. They can take it twice, so I rotate units. The units are not in any particular order, as I pick and choose depending on the class. Some of these units could definitely be used in level 3 too... more on that to come! 

The grid in the doc includes: 

  • Preguntas Esenciales for almost all units
  • UbD documents (some much better than others)
  • Links to blog posts about most units
  • Links to unit packets (some free, some paid)
  • Links to the paid resources (from meCarrie, Kristy, ArianneNelly, and Martina).

This doc still does not include all of what I do in that class. For instance, the "Canciones de la Semana" mini units! For example, "Quisiera alejarme," which has been a big hit this past week! 

miércoles, 16 de mayo de 2018

Global Citizenship in Spanish 1... or any level!

Before I talk about Living on One Dollar: Change Series and Kiva... I want to share a little bit of information about Global Citizenship Education.

Here is a quick definition from Wikipedia:

  • Global citizenship education (GCE) is a form of civic learning that involves students' active participation in projects that address global issues of a social, political, economic, or environmental nature. 

And here is a screenshot from UNESCO's Global Citizenship Education initiative: 

I think I usually do a good job in many of my units, at all levels, with the Cognitive and Socio-Emotional dimension of Global Citizenship Education, but not so much with the Behavioral dimension. That is something I want to get better at! 

I have blogged about using Kiva with my Spanish 1 class after the "school unit," specifically after the story Irene (with Elena López's resources). But this year, I decided to use the Living on One Change Series before the Kiva project. 

The Change Series is similar to the documentary Living on $1 (on Netflix), which I have used in the past, when we basically just watched it and talked a bit about it. But this year I did something different. 

There are eight episodes in the Change Series and Eric Herman wrote up (and shared for FREE) a summary in Spanish 1 for each episode. We did the readings before each episode and then watched the episode. Here are a few ways we did with these readings:
  • Students read silently and highlighted all words they knew. After reading and highlighting, they wrote, in English, 3-5 facts that they learned. Then, I asked them to share some what they wrote and we went through the reading together in Spanish and English.
  • I read it to the students, drawing and acting things out. Then students wrote 3-5 facts, in English, that they learned. As they watched the episode, I quickly checked them and gave them a "quiz grade" for this. 
  • I also gave a more formal quiz on Episode 4. Click here to see it. 
  • We also played Quizlet Live (Elena López mad a TON of sets and I copied them and put them all in this folder) and Gimkit to review some of the episodes.

I will use Eric's review sheet and I have adapted his test a bit.  To review for the test, I created these two Quizlets (here and here), exported them into Gimkit, and created two Gimkit Challenges (here and here) so my students can review for the test.

He also created the presentation below with screenshots. Somehow I missed this in the folder, but I will use this to help review!

This unit is also accompanied by the song "Si quieres, puedes" (which shows the good things that Sebastián Yatra is doing to help people!) and will be followed up by our Kiva loan. I have $255 to loan. So far, my classes have leant to 9 different people, so I will share that information with them too. 

Big thanks to Eric Herman for creating and sharing all these resources! 

sábado, 12 de mayo de 2018

Mejor que una telenovela: Reality TV

As part of our La Diversidad de la Gastonomía unit in my Cultura y Civilización class, we watched one episode of Telemundo's MasterChef Latino and students LOVED it!! And so did I! I highly recommend it to any Spanish teacher. It might be fantastic during this time period of AP tests as something to do if you are missing 1/3 of your class!

This is the episode we watched:

Why did I love it?
  • It fit perfectly with our unit and it will fit with what I do in Spanish 3 too! 
  • It is an authentic resources from the United States! It is so important for my students in New Hampshire to see that there are tons of Spanish speakers in the United States and that they all bring their own cultural products, practices, and perspectives to enrich the culture of the U.S..
  • You can watch with Spanish or English subtitles. I have a variety of proficiency levels (Spanish 4-7) in this class, so we watched in Spanish and then would switch to English midway through. 
  • With the subtitles in Spanish, it was very comprehensible for my students, especially after we had watched it for 30 minutes of so. One thing that makes it comprehensible, is the repetition.
  • I could pause it and have students talk about a variety of the foods or the characters.
  • There is a variety of accents that students hear.
  • There are so many episodes that I can use in the future! 

Why did students love it?
  • The food!
  • The contestants and the judges!
  • The drama!
  • They could understand so much of it! 
  • Students wanted to talk about the food and the characters.
  • So many 
  • They almost unanimously requested that we watch another episode on Friday... instead of Gran Hotel! 

CI Interviews: Estrella del Día

Image result for estrella verde
Update 9/6/21: Here are my questions for this semester.

Update 1/29/20: Here are my questions fo this semester.

Update 8/18/19: Here are the questions that I will be using this year. And here is a template of the slideshow.

(Previous Post about La Estrella del Día)

I just started doing La Estrella del Día interviews in Spanish 1 and I am remembering how awesome it is! Versions of this are very popular in the "CI Teaching World". I learned about it from Sabrina Janczak at TCI Maine in 2015 (Sabrina said that she adapted the idea from Bryce Hedstrom's "La Persona Especial" idea). I blogged about it then, but I wanted to post about it again.

I have done these Estrella del Día interviews in Spanish 1 and Spanish 3 and it does take up a lot of class time, but it is totally worth it!

La Estrella del Día is explained pretty thoroughly in that blog post, but I have copied and pasted some of it here because I wanted to share it again.

Here is the process:
  • Students fill out a form with interview questions on it (with the help from me). 
    • Here is a document that I created (very similar to what Sabrina shared). Feel free to make a copy and add or subtract questions.
  • The teacher collects the sheets and then "interviews" 2-4 students a week. Students have their sheet in front of them and they read their answers. The rest of the class listens respectfully. The question slideshow, with images to help comprehension (this one is for Spanish 1), is projected during the interview so that everyone understands.
  • During the interview, the teacher asks follow up questions to the star of the day and/or asks related questions to the class. Also, I type their answers as they talk.
  • The teacher also takes a picture of them the day of the interview.
  • The day after the interview, the teacher shares the slideshow (with pictures that illustrate the answers and the picture of the student) to review the information shared the day before.
  • At the end of the week, there is a quiz (more personalized CI!). The quiz includes 6 sentences about each person that was interviewed that week and students have to write who each sentence was about.
  • This is an ongoing activity that will take many weeks.
Here are the reasons WHY I LOVE this activity (most of these are what Sabrina shared at TCI Maine):
  • Repetition that never gets boring
  • Compelling: it's always about them, their favorite topic
  • Students feel important and special 
  • Make students shine
  • Authentic conversation
  • Supported output (students use notes)
  • It includes writing, speaking, reading and listening
  • A chance to practice 1st, 2nd, 3rd person forms
  • Higher order thinking
  • Creates fantastic class culture 
  • Students can acquire some advanced grammatical structures, such as: imperfect subjunctive, conditional, present perfect, and others, depending on the questions you decide

jueves, 10 de mayo de 2018

Interested in hosting a workshop?

Transitioning from Traditional 
with Comprehensible Input Stories
  • August 15th, 8:30-4:00 in Wolfeboro, NH.
  • September 28th, 8:30-3:00 in Chico, CA. Click here for registration.
  • Interested in hosting this workshop at your school? Email me at authres @ gmail dot com.
What? A six hour workshop for Spanish teachers who are interested in learning how to engage students with culturally embedded CI stories. Teachers will also receive a ton of resources, for a variety of levels, to use in the classroom.
Who? Kara Jacobs, Spanish Teacher, and blogger here at Comprehensifying and Extending Authentic Resources
Cost? $125 (includes coffee, bagels, danishes, and lunch)
How many? Minimum of 10 people and limited to 25, so we can have more opportunities to be a "class" and do some activities that students would do.

More details… Stories, for me, have been the best way for me to transition from teaching in a traditional way (grammar and vocabulary list focused) to a more proficiency focused style of teaching. Many of the stories that I use are based on authentic resources, such as: songs, music videos, cortometrajes, and/or movies so culture is automatically embedded. 

This six hour workshop will include the following:
  • Why stories are such a good bridge to teaching less traditionally and with more CI
  • Five "CI Story Units" for levels 1-AP
  • "I can" statements for each unit that are focused on proficiency
  • Instructional strategies to give students tons of engaging Comprehensible Input during this type of "story unit"
  • Culture that is embedded in the stories and how to extract the three cultural Ps
  • How to highlight the AP themes in story units
  • Assessments in the three modes of communication for each unit
  • Tips on how to stay focused on proficiency and communication, instead of grammar and vocabulary
  • A variety of tech tools that to use in the classroom, such as Flipgrid, Quizlet Live, Gimkit, Edpuzzle, and Quizizz
  • Other CI strategies for transitioning away from traditional
  • Other places to find similar resources
  • A few suggestions "set up" the grade book with this method of teaching
If you have any questions, please email me at: ceauthres @

domingo, 6 de mayo de 2018

Si quieres, puedes...

Sebastián Yatra (of Robarte un beso fame) has a new song out and it is another excellent one! This song and video is easy, repetitive and positive! With this song and video, students will learn about Sebastián Yatra and the region of Chocó in Colombia. (Free cloze activity here)

Additionally, this song is a combined with an ad campaign to help young people achieve their musical dreams

I have created some resources to use with this song and ad and you can find them hereI am going to use them in my Spanish 1 class this coming week. 

Included in this packet are the following:
  • A suggested order of activities
  • Some suggested Personalized Questions with "quieres" and "puedes".
  • A cloze activity for the song lyrics
  • A translation of the song
  • A translation of the song with some English words left out so that students will have to translate some lines.
  • A "put the lines" in order version of the lyrics
  • Some basic activities to do with the video
  • Biographical information (two and a half pages) about Sebastián Yatra (information taken from the interview below)
  • Time stamps for parts of the interview that are mentioned in the biographical information reading
  • Some suggested activities to do with the biographical information
  • Information about a the campaigns "Tómate por Chocó" and "Fundación Marajuera" that Sebastián Yatra is a part of.
  • Two basic activities (see and write and a cloze activity) to do with the commercial for that campaign.
One of the things that I used to write the biographical information of Sebastián (in Novice level Spanish), I used this interview. I hope to create an entire unit for pre-AP/AP next year with the same resources! #SummerProject

For the pre-AP/AP unit, I will also use this video:

jueves, 3 de mayo de 2018

Canciones para la Copa Mundial 2018

I love teaching about la Copa Mundial, especially when it is actually happening! It starts June 14th this year and my last day is June 21st, so I will be finishing up and using some Copa Mundial resources to end my classes. I am going to use Nelly Hughes' Unidad Didáctica for El Fútbol (everything she creates is excellent!) in my Cultura y Civilización course and I am going to do some things with my Spanish 1 class as well.

One of my favorite things about la Copa Mundial (besides the joy and pride of people all over the world) is the songs that come out as the Copa Mundial approaches! Some of them are clearly advertisements (for Coke, Pepsi, Sprint, etc.), but I don't care, I still love them! Below is a playlist of the ones that I have seen so far (let me know if you find any others). And here is a free doc that has links to some very basic cloze activities and translations of the songs. 

I am sharing all of this for FREE, but if you think this (or anything else that you got on my site for free) is useful and has saved you some time, feel free to give back here in Radiohead style (click here to see what I mean by Radiohead style)

miércoles, 2 de mayo de 2018

A few new resources for "La Gastronomía"

I am in the midst of my "La Diversidad de la Gastronomía" unit in my Cultura y Civilización (level 4, 5, 6, and 7) class. I love this unit and I have blogged about it a few times before (here and here).

Two of my favorite resources for this unit are these songs: La Cumbia del Mole por Lila Downs and El Mole por El Virulo. These songs show a lot of cultural products, practices, and perspectives related to food and they are an excellent prelude to watch the movie Canela. I also created this Edpuzzle for La cumbia del Mole to use as an assessment after students have done some work with the song and video.

We are also watching Master Chef Latino: Trío de tacos. We are watching about 15-20 minutes a lot (of 85 minute classes), and we pause and discuss frequently. I love this show and students are really enjoying it a lot too! You can watch it with English subtitles or Spanish subtitles.

Also, I recently went to Mexico (very briefly for two stops on a cruise) and did a chocolate tour. I bought some delicious chocolate to share with my students, but realized that I needed to teach them something about the history of chocolate, so I found the two videos below and then created some activities to do with each of them. Students see/hear these two videos THREE times:
  1. Watch and listen. Write what they see and here.
  2. Cloze activity with transcript AND some comprehension activities. Cloze activities with authentic resources give students so much scaffolding and confidence. Many of the comprehension questions are in English because I want to assess their interpretive listening/reading skills with this activity, no their presentational writing skills.
  3. Watch one more time and just listen. It is amazing for them to see how much they can now hear and understand.