viernes, 8 de mayo de 2020

Ferdinando el toro... online version

I am so thankful for having the Fluency Matters e-courses! In Spanish 2, we are just finishing El Ekeko this week. My students have been getting lots of CI with the text of the book, the audio of the book, and the quizzes. Usually, I read to my students in a Google Meet and then they do the quizzes on that same day. The next day, they do some sort of activity related to what they read. 

I am starting the Fluency Matters e-course Bianca Nieves y los siete toritos in Spanish 2 next week. I always love to start with the original Disney short of Ferdinand the bull:
So I have adapted my resources for online learning and I am sharing in case anyone else can use them:

domingo, 3 de mayo de 2020

Oldie but goodie for ONLINE Canción/Cuento de la Semana: Puebla

I created a unit with that song as the base and I am so looking forward to using it next year. There are lots of excellent authentic resources related to a legend and food in there, but for now, I am sharing because there are parts of the unit that could be used for online learning.

Here are the resources that could be used online:

sábado, 2 de mayo de 2020

Costa Rica Eduzzles

I am starting the Fluency Matters e-course Bananas this week with my students (we still have seven weeks left of school!).

The book is set in Costa Rica and whenever I use a book, I like to give students lots of visuals of the country. And, of course, I like to teach them a bit about the food (always a good hook!).

So, I made the Edpuzzles below to give students so they can see what the country looks like. They are a pretty "touristy" and have English subtitles, but I think they will be good.

I am sharing here in case anyone else can use them. They could also work if you use Robo en la noche or Noche de oro.

Costa Rica Edpuzzles:

domingo, 19 de abril de 2020

Canción/Cuento de la Semana... in EASY past tense



At the beginning of this year, I used that video as story/song of the year with my Spanish 1 class. They really liked the song and it was an easy story.

Right now, I have Spanish 2 and I have been exposing them to the past tense for a while now.

So, to give them some more input with the past tense and high frequency structures/vocabulario, I re-wrote that Spanish 1 story and put it in the past tense

During this online learning period, I am using the Fluency Matters e-course El Ekeko with my Spanish 2 class, but they also do a story/song of the week each week

They follow the same basic pattern. Here is an example of what they will do with this song story:
If you are looking for another easy song/story in the past tense, check out this one:








viernes, 10 de abril de 2020

¿Qué hiciste hoy?

Looking to talk to your students and see what they have been up to being in their houses all day long?

Looking to give some input with a catchy song and familiar tune?

Looking to give some input with the preterite (and some chores)?

Then, check out the video(s) and slideshow below.

When I saw this song (posted on Zambombazo and shared by @SraPenarandaMMS
on Twitter), I thought it would be a really good one to use in "class". 

And then, I found this version, which has a man doing all the things he mentions in the song. 
So, I made up this slideshow (click here if you want to make a copy) to use before we listen to the song (or before they even know there is a song):

And here are the full lyrics.

Extra credit idea: Remake this video at your house!

domingo, 5 de abril de 2020

Idea for extra credit and/or enrichment: Authentic Listening and Current Events

Just a little post to share something I am giving to my students this week:
Extra Credit: Authentic listening and current events (doc here)
  • Watch and listen to one (or more) of these songs from the Spanish speaking world.
  • Write up a quick little response about what you saw and heard and your opinion about it.
  • This can be in Spanish, Spanglish and/or English. 
  • Are these songs/videos similar to anything that you have seen in our culture?
  • OR DANCE! See the video 2b and 4b.
  • Note: There are THREE different songs called "Quédate en casa" (Stay home).

2b) Argentina/Spain - Resistiré (I will resist) - DANCE video
3) Spain - Quédate en casa (Stay home) Students probably won't know these people,
but they are famous people from Spain. Although, they might recognize one (Álvaro Soler).


viernes, 3 de abril de 2020

Yo no sé... past tense version

This story/song of the week was a big hit last semester with Spanish 1:

And a new version just came out:

I like the original better! But, that story that I wrote for Spanish 1 is a bit simple, so I have adapted it for Spanish 2 and put it in the past tense. It is pretty simple, but they will start to get some exposure to some high frequency verbs in the past tense.


As part of my online teaching, I have been continuing to do "Cuento/Canción de la Semana," (or another post here) but a bit of a lighter version. Basically, this is what I did last week and hope to do in the coming weeks:

  • Students do an Edpuzzle with a slideshow of me telling the story. I used Google Meet to record that. I like it because they can see the slideshow and my face and nothing is blocked. Why do I want them to see my face?!? Because I will be acting things out, just like I would in class. 
  • As part of that Edpuzzle, students watch the video too.
  • Students will do a cloze activity with the song and translate some of the lyrics. 
  • Throughout the week, they work on a Textivate Sequence (here is that Textivate). I have a paid account, so I can track their progress. 
  • By the end of the week, students to another Edpuzzle with the music video and the text of the story.
  • For this song, I will have them watch the new version and tell me which one they like better. 
  • One ongoing assignment all week is to sing the song with a lyric video. I love the Yo no sé video because the closed captions have the lyrics - so they can watch and sing! 
  • And, if I ever can figure out how to get students accounts, I might use this from TeachVid.
  • They will do this Edpuzzle at the end of the week. It has a text exchange between Mati y Ana.
This is pretty basic, but I really like it because:
  • The song and video are an authentic resource with authentic language!
  • Students like music!
  • Students like to sing... seriously, who doesn't? 
  • Students are getting lots of input and acquiring more because it is an engaging, memorable music video.
  • Songs and music videos provide an escape, something we all need right now.


domingo, 29 de marzo de 2020

Input activities for stories... adapted for online learning

Thank goodness I teach with stories! I can continue to give my students engaging, compelling input and I am not focusing on grammar or spelling. I am also communicating with them on a daily basis with the Pregunta(s) del Día.

Below, I am sharing some ideas for input activities for stories that you can do online

I am using lots of Google Classroom, so most of the things below would be "handed out" and "collected"there. We are also using Google Meet, which I love because I can see their faces and talk to them. Right now, we meet five days of the week, but I am really hoping we get a flex day. I have had 6 days so far, so I am not an expert at all, but just sharing some ideas 😊. 

My students are really liking story/song of the week, so some the ideas below have resources for the song that I will be using this week: No te vayas by Carlos Vives.
  1. Word Walls: I have words posted all over my classroom, but students don't have that at home. Give them a list of the interrogatives and the sweet sixteen
    • Tell them to write it down and keep it handy for when they are "in Spanish class."
  2. Reviewing and/or previewing key vocabulario y estructuras: Gimkit, Quizlet Live, or Textivate Match (see here or here).
    • Whenever I give key vocabulario y estructuras, my students usually know most of them and I sprinkle in some new ones. So, this is review and gets them thinking about what the story will be about.
    • Also, they will not learn these words before the story, they will acquire them with all of the input activities below!
  3. Clip chat --> Create slideshow with screenshots, record self telling the story with Screencastify (or Loom or Google Meet), and create an Edpuzzle with that video. The questions in this Edpuzzle are EASY because I really just want them listening to the story, but just knowing that there will be a question coming up make students listen more attentively! 
    • Tip (learned during la maestra loca's online workshop):  During your recording, ask your students to act our certain words (like you do in class). 
    • Another tip (learned during la maestra loca's online workshop): During your recording, say some of your students' names and/or pretend they are in front of you.
  4. Another Edpuzzle option: If you are using a video (like a music video!) for your story. Create an Edpuzzle with the video and make multiple choice questions (easier to grade) with the text of the story. See an example here. 
  5. Running Dictation (learned during la maestra loca's online workshop): Create "breakout rooms" in Google Meet (this involves creating "other Google Meets" that students can go in and out of -- not as easy as Zoom) or  Zoom (I can't currently use 🙄).
    • Students can come in and our of "main Google Meet" to read sentences that you (the teacher) are showing and then go back to their group.
    • I haven't tried this yet, but hope to!
    • Students can upload pictures of their work (if they hand write) or a doc to Google Classroom
  6. Match pictures to sentences: This can be a reading or a listening activity and can be done alone or with a group. Here are a few options:
    • Give students (alone or in groups) the pictures of the story. Students read the sentences (shared in a doc in Google Classroom) and write the letter of the picture being described. 
    • Give students (alone or in groups) the pictures of the story. Teacher creates audio of him/her reading the sentences. Students write the letter of the picture being described. 
  7. Textivate in teams (learned during la maestra loca's online workshop): Set up a Challenge with teams.  
  8. Cierto/Falso: In groups or alone, give students a doc like this and they have read the sentences and write if they are cierto or falso. They should also correct the false ons. You could also record yourself saying the sentences. 
  9. Put events in order: In groups or alone, give students a doc like this and they have to order the events. You could also record yourself saying the sentences.
  10. Comprehension questions: Give students a doc with a list of comprehension questions. Then, do either of these:
    1.  Record yourself saying the answers to the questions out of order. Students have to figure out which question is being answered and write the sentence. This is similar to a dictation, but a little trickier.
    2. Give students the answers to the questions out of order. Students have to figure out which question is being answered and write the number of the question next to the sentence. 
  11. Read, read, read and read some more: Set up a Sequence in Textivate: parte 1 and parte 2.
  12. Dictation: Record yourself and do one of these:
    • Students write what you say and illustrate each sentence. 
    • Say true/false statements. Students 
  13. Listen and draw: Record self saying sentences. Students illustrate. Upload illustrations to Google Classroom. 
    • Use the illustrations the next day. Say sentences and students have to point to what you are saying. You can record the sentences or do it live with Google Meet (or Zoom).
  14. Agárralo - AKA The pencil grab game: Use grid mode in Google Meet so you can see everyone. Give students a partner to look at. They have to be the first to give a thumbs up or thumbs down. Keep track of points, but who really cares about the points!?!
    • I have not tried this, so it might not actually work and/or it might be totally chaotic.
  15. All the worlds a stage (learned during la maestra loca's online workshop, I think Karen Rowan's idea originally): Have students "come to class" with old toys (stuffies, action figures, etc.). Tell the story and they have to act it out with the toys. This could be so funny with Google Meet, seeing them all acting things out. 
  16. Read some more: Create a Kahoot Jumble.
  17. ¿Quién lo diría? y/o ¿Quién lo haría?: See example here (thanks to Deanne Roach!)
  18. Video responses: Students can upload video responses to Google Classroom. These video responses could be predictions, reactions, questions, or anything else.
  19. Pear Deck: This can be used for a lot! More coming soon on this...

sábado, 28 de marzo de 2020

No te vayas (de tu casa)


Teaching online is challenging! One of my main goals is to give my students to get engaging input at this time. (I also want to make connections with them too!)

I surveyed my students yesterday and asked if they would like to continue with story/song of the week. I wasn't sure what they would answer, but the overwhelming answer was yes!

So, for my Spanish 3 class, I am working on activities for the song/video "No te vayas" by Carlos Vives. I love Carlos Vives! And this video is totally appropriate and fun.


So far, I have created this slideshow. My students will know most of the "vocabulario y estructuras importantes". These are my honors students and they sometimes like to have "vocabulary lists". However, they will acquire this vocabulary, NOT through studying it, but rather through lots of INPUT with the story.


I will be working on creating online input-driven activities in the next week, but wanted to share these few things in case anyone can use it. 

I will be creating  created a video (with Google Meet) of me saying the story in the slideshow and I made this Edpuzzle.


I also did something new. I created this Edpuzzle that shows the music video and has the text of the story. Students would do that after hearing me tell the story.  

This doc (still a work in progress!) has some other ideas and links. If anyone wants to help with any of this, let me know and I can give you editing access.




And how sweet is this version!?!

viernes, 20 de marzo de 2020

One little part of my online plan --> Pregunta(s) del Día

Update - 3/26/20 - This is going very well! Here are the questions, videos and answers that I have done so far (click here or see below). And here is the rubric. This is a lot for me to grade, so I am giving them Fridays off.
Whoa! What a week (or two really) this has been! I had my first day of online learning today and I think it went pretty well.

I will be sharing more about my plan in the week(s) to come, but today, I am sharing one little (and kinda basic) thing that I plan on doing every day.

I really want my students listening, reading, and communicating. In particular, I want to have individual "interactions" with them. I plan on meeting face to face every day on Google Meet and to have lots of videos so they are getting input, but having one-on-one conversations might be tricky.

So, I have decided to have a "Pregunta(s) del Día" every day. Here is my plan:
  • Students will watch a video of me saying the question and my answer. They will also see the text of what I say. I underlined some structures in my answer to help them with their answer.
  • Students will upload a video of themselves answering the question. I loved seeing their videos today. I am not a super-sappy person, but I realized that I missed seeing them more than I realized. 
  • They will also submit their answer in a Google From that looks like this (see below). I have some extra questions in there the first day, but normally it will just be the "Pregunta(s) del Día". 
  • Then, the next day, during out Google Meet, I will choose some answers (easily collected in the Google Form) and share them (verbally) with the class. I will have them guess who said what. Students will get more input that might be about them (which = more engagement). Of course, I will be careful not to share anything too personal that they share in their videos.
  • Here is the slideshow of the questions that I will be asking. Any suggestions for future questions?!?!
  • Update: I had some questions about how I record these little videos, so rather than type it out, here is video explaining:

This is what it looks like on my Google Classroom:


sábado, 14 de marzo de 2020

Google Meet as a screen recording tool

I LOVE Screencastify and use it a lot! I pay for it and create videos to tell stories, to give instructions, and for a variety of other things.

I particularly have been loving creating videos and uploading them to Edpuzzle.

Here are a few examples: here is me giving login instructionshere is me telling a story (Edpuzzle), here is me introducing a unit and giving instructions (Edpuzzle),

As we prepare for a possible move to online learning (my school, as of now, is still on for Monday), I wanted to share a free alternative to Screencastify --> Google Meet. Google Meet is used to meet with students live (which I will definitely be doing), but it can also be used like Screencastify.

Here is a video to explain:


And here is the video that you get for students when you record in Google Meet:

jueves, 5 de marzo de 2020

Conversación Simulada... before AP

Note: Even if you don't teach AP or have it in your school, this post will be helpful because it is basically about Spoken Interpersonal Communication and some ways to assess it.

Screenshot take from WORLD-READINESS STANDARDSFOR LEARNING LANGUAGE
If you teach AP and your lower levels are not specifically prepping kids for that test, it can be shock when all of a sudden, students have to prepare and practice for this section of the AP exam!
Screenshot from College Board AP Central

This section is challenging for a variety of reasons:

  • It is odd to interact interpersonally without seeing the person... our students are not having a lot of phone conversations! 
  • Students have to try to fill up 20 seconds of time five or six times.
  • It is very possible that a students says something and then the next questions asks about that very thing. That can freeze up many students!
  • Students have to put themselves in the shoes of someone else. 
  • Students have to think on their feet and be creative.
  • Students have to understand the prompt and pay attention to how to respond. For instance, these are things they might have to do: salúdala, explica, sugiere, invítala, comenta, responde negativamente, despídete etc.
  • Students also have to show off some advanced vocabulary and advanced grammatical structures. 

So, what can we do in lower levels to get them ready for this? Or forgetting about the AP test, how can we get them ready for interpersonal communication in general in the real world? The answer is pretty simple: have them do conversaciones simuladas throughout all levels. 


But... how do we do that?!?

In my Spanish 3 class, which started about a month ago, my students have done two conversaciones simuladas. One was related to the story/song "Bailo la pena"(TPT link) and the other was based on the (free) song/story "Sigo buscándote." My Spanish 2 class did one based on the (free) song/story #Idiota. And I plan on doing another one related to the book Berto y sus buenas ideas. Another (free) unit that has a conversación simulada is this unit called "Carlos explora Lima, Perú" (a student favorite!).  And another unit is the 2018 lotería unit (TPT link).

Basically, students have the conversation as if they are a character in the story and/or as if they are talking to a character in the story. 

However, there are a lot of differences from the AP Exam (obviously!):
  • For the first couple of conversaciones simuladas, students do them at home (or in our TASC block) and they can listen to the prompt as many times as they want. Eventually, I will put them on a time limit and do it in class. 
  • We go over the situation together in English... trying to lower that affective filter.
  • They have lots of time to look at how they have to respond.
  • They can re-record as many times as they want. I do explain what interpersonal communication is though and I tell them that I want this to be rather quick with, ideally, one recording.
  • They don't have to fill up 20 seconds! I do tell them that eventually, that is the goal, so some might try.
  • It is actually kind of fun and easier because it is related to something (a story) that we have spent a lot of time on.
  • The voice they are hearing is me, so it is also easier.
  • The rubric is a bit simpler than the AP one.
Here is an example for the story/song "Sigo buscándote". Depending how you set up your recording, you can do two things: give students this document (click here or see below) and use Flipgrid to record (click here for post about how to do that) (or any other platform that you use) or just put all that information on the recording platform that you use.


I use the Voces Digital platform (much easier than Flipgrid!), which has its own curriculum, but you can add things to it that have nothing to do with what is in there! The student view looks like this:


And this is what the teacher correcting page looks like:

Here is the teacher script. It might only really make sense if you read the story for "Sigo buscándote". The teacher records his/her voice saying the prompts.


As we move forward in the class, students will do more of these and they won't be hearing my voice. For example, we will a unit in Nuestra Historia 3 (Voces Digital) called "En los tiempos extremos". After reading (and doing lots of activities with) a story called "La esperanza entre los escombros", they will have to do this conversación simulada (which won't be my voice):





domingo, 1 de marzo de 2020

Scaffolding and Support for a Comparación Cultural w/ Stories

If you read my blog, you know that I love using stories based on music videos. But some might say:
  • "Yeah, that is fun and engaging, but what about the ACTFL Standards and the three modes of communication!?!"
  • "Yeah, that is fun and engaging, but I teach AP... how will this prepare for my students for AP!?!"
This is the first in what I hope to be a series of posts addressing those two questions.

With stories based on authentic resources (such as songs and music videos), it is easy to hit those standards and do pre-AP assessments. 

The cultural comparison of the AP test is one example of what you can do with stories based on songs/music videos. That cultural comparison is challenging. Students have to speak for two minutes and compare their own culture with something of the Spanish speaking world. They need to start preparing for this in lower levels. And, also, with the cultural comparison we are hitting these Standards (so it isn't just to "get ready for the AP test"):



And, of course (as always) we are hitting the Communication Standard with Presentational Writing and/or Speaking.

So, how to do this with stories based on songs/music videos?!

In my level 3 class, this is a presentational writing assessment, not presentational speaking, as it is on the AP test. Writing is easier and eventually, they will be saying their cultural comparisons... but not to start! #Scaffolding #Support

Students don't know what culture is, so it is important to explain that culture = products, practices, and perspectives. They also (in my experience) have a hard time defining and identifying their own culture. So, how do we get them there?

First, this essential question should be a focus of the story/unit:
  • ¿Cómo son los productos, las prácticas, y las perspectivas culturales en la canción y el video de ___(fill in the blank)___ similares y/o diferentes de los tuyos? 
Share this question with students at the beginning of the story/unit. Tell them, they will be writing a cultural comparison essay that answers that question. In order to write a 4-5 paragraph essay, they will need lots of guidance and support.

Then, spend some time with the story, the video and screenshots of the video. They will see and hear lots of cultural products, practices, and perspectives!

For the first cultural comparison (in Spanish 3), as a class, we made lists of all of the cultural products, practices, and perspectives from the video "Bailo la pena" (unit here on TPT).

After that, with the help of our lists of cultural Ps, students worked together and filled out this grid:
They could use this grid when they wrote their cultural comparison.

But, I knew they still needed more support. This is the first two weeks of Spanish 3 after having 9-12 months away from Spanish. So, I gave them this big support:
The final results were excellent! The next time they write a cultural comparison, I will give them less support. The goal at the end of the semester is to do a spoken cultural comparison

This week, I am going to have them do a cultural comparison about Sigo buscándote.


Stay tuned for a post about interpersonal speaking and the simulated conversation... that too can be focus and end goal when using stories based on songs/music videos.


martes, 25 de febrero de 2020

Webinar: Music: Beyond the Cloze



 Presentation with LOTS of links!

If you are interested in my other webinar about using TV Series in the WL classroom, click here.

domingo, 9 de febrero de 2020

New song/story of the week: Sigo buscándote

Updates (2/14/20): 
  • I created this little quiz "¿Cuál es tu nivel de perseverancia?" to do before the song. It is for my Spanish 3 students and lots of reps of good language!
  • I also created this Edpuzzle. It is me saying the story with the slideshow and it has lots of questions. It was part of my sub plans... sharing in case anyone needs some good sub plans!
  • I will be giving a webinar about using songs in the classroom on Tuesday, 2/25/20. See details here.

I know this song will be a hit! 

And the the chorus and the line "Sigo buscándote" (which both repeat a lot) are pretty comprehensible. 

The video is sweet, cute, and appropriate (especially if you use my story, in which all the drinks are actually non-alcoholic Venezuelan fruit drinks). 

It is actually supposed to be like the movie "50 first dates", but I wrote up an alternative version of the story... and I think it makes sense!

I will read the story to the students from the slideshow with the images and then we will watch the video.


I will also have students answer some comprehension questions in the doc.

And, we will do a cloze activity and translate some of the song... and then we will sing it every day for a week or two! 

Feel free to make copies of the slideshow and/or doc and adapt, but please keep my name on it as the writer of the story! And if you make it better, please share back!

viernes, 7 de febrero de 2020

Teaching "quisiera" (and also... representation matters!)

What a sweet video and song... and with a non-hetero crush and a twist at the end!

Thank you @MsAbeja for sharing this video on Twitter.

So much of Actually, almost all popular music and music videos that feature "relationships" (physical and/or emotional) feature male-female hetero relationships.

I mean, think about some of the March Madness brackets out there - ugh, many of the songs objectify women and all (of the ones I have seen) are male-female relationships.

How do our LGBTQ students feel if they are never seeing any representation of themselves? 

So, anyways...  those are some of the reasons that I love this 👩‍❤️‍👩 ❤️ video.

 "The more I learn about this band the more I love them" !

 I wrote up this little story (and a textivate) to use before I show the video. You can see it below or click here (format looks better here).

Also, if you are looking for another good story/music video/song with some representation, check out Vaina loca here.

**NOTE** The translation of the song needs some work, please feel free to comment! 


lunes, 3 de febrero de 2020

TPT Sale - Units with a Plan and more!

Download for Facebook - 740 × 400


There is a TPT sale tomorrow and Wednesday. All of my resources are on sale fo 25% off. Use the code: FEBSALE

Below are some of my favorite resources on TPT. I highlighted three of my absolute favorites!

Spanish 1:
Spanish 2:
Spanish 3:
Cultura y Civilización (Spanish 4/5/6):
  • Lotería unit - These stories are always a favorite of the course! I will definitely create resources for the 2019 commercial when it comes out in November. TPT link
  • Ecuador unit: La música popular, el kichwa, y las leyendas - I am starting my CyC course with this unit. We start with Nicky Jam and Wisin, move to learning about bilingual schools (kichwa y español) in Ecuador and then onto three authentic legends from Ecuador. This unit is jam packed with cultural Ps!! TPT link (free) and other pieces of the unit here.
  • Arianne Dowd's resources for La lengua de la mariposa unit (I love this movie - and there are a lot of parallels with today!) combined with Carrie Toth's novel La Hija del Sastre. This will be a unit in my Cultura y Civilización course.
  • En el tiempo de las mariposas - The movie is in English, but Arianne's film guide is in Spanish. It, like all of her work, is EXCELLENT!

miércoles, 29 de enero de 2020

EQs and EUs for students coming from a "Traditional" class

I am starting new classes on Monday. I will be teaching Spanish 2 Honors and Spanish 3 Honors. The majority of those students are coming from very traditional Spanish classes - Realidades and Así se dice - with the traditional pattern of learning:
  • Vocabulary - learn and practice - quiz
  • Grammar - learn by taking notes and practice - quiz
  • Test on grammar and vocabulary
  • Focus on accuracy and filling in the blanks
  • Not a lot of "communication" focused activities
  • Lots of English 
I have had this in the past and I always get some resistance from students because I don't give vocabulary lists and I don't give grammar notes. I ask for feedback the first few weeks and I frequently get "You need to give more notes". It is extremely frustrating for me and them and causes friction with me and the students, particularly the high-achievers/compliers. This new way of "learning" is frustrating because sometimes there is no right answers and they have to think outside the box. I don't want to have conflict with students, so I am trying to figure out how best to explain to them from day 1 what we are doing in my classes:
  • Communicating
  • Acquiring the language
  • Lots of stories
I just finished Spanish 1 and I did a better job explaining to them what language acquisition is and what it looks like. These are the non-honors students who were not successful in middle school -- they don't like notes and they also aren't the "compliers" -- one of the reasons I love them! One thing that I have in my classroom is this poster from Grant Boulanger (purchase it here):
I frequently referred to that poster with my Spanish 1 students and they got it. I will continue to that with my new students.

So, what is my plan with these new students? How can I convince them that this is a better way? 

In both classes, I am starting with units revolving around stories based on music videos and Estrella del Día (this semester's questions). That is an easy hook with students because who doesn't love a good song/music video and it is authentic/real. 

For Spanish 2, I am using the story based on the song #Idiota (free updated unit packet here). And for Spanish 3, I am using the story based on the song "Bailo la pena".

My big focus is presenting, on day 1, these Essential Questions and Enduring Understandings. (I have to have these for all my units.)  
Preguntas Esenciales:
  • What is the difference between learning a language and acquiring a language? Which will help me to be able to communicate?
  • Do songs/stories help me to acquire the language? If so, how and why?
  • (Spanish 3) What helps me to alleviate and overcome sorrow? 
  • (Spanish 2) What effects can social media have on a relationship?
  • How are the cultural products, practices, and perspectives  in the song/story "Bailo la pena" or "#Idiota" similar and/or different to mine?
Enduring Understandings (Students will understand that):
  • Acquiring a language feels easier compared to learning a language.
    • Acquiring a language involves lots of listening, which then leads to → reading → writing → and finally speaking. 
    • Acquiring a language will lead to communication. 
    • However, language acquisition is slow, piecemeal and different for everyone.
  • In order to acquire high frequency structures and vocabulary, a lot of repetition and input are required.
  • An engaging story, images, and acting help me to acquire the language in an enjoyable way. 
  • (Spanish 3) There are a variety of ways to alleviate and overcome sorrow. One way, as illustrated in the song/story "Bailo la pena" is through music, dance, community, and helping others. 
  • (Spanish 2) Social media can have a variety of impacts on a relationship, both positive and negative.
  • The cultural products, practices, and perspectives in the song/story "Bailo la pena" OR "#Idiota" are similar and different to mine.
I will also explain the evaluaciones, which do not involve filling in the blanks with vocabulary words and/or the correct verb conjugations. Nor is there is there a big focus on accuracy!

Both classes will have similar evaluaciones during the units:
  • Interpretive Listening and Reading AND (some) Presentational Writing: Edpuzzle (example)
  • Interpretive Listening: Listen to parts of story and identify the picture.
  • Interpersonal Writing: Answer questions about yourself (related to story)
  • Interpretive Reading: Cierto/Falso about story
  • Presentational Speaking: Oral retell with pictures to help.
  • Presentational Writing: Write an original story with similar themes, vocabulary, and structures.
  • Interpersonal Speaking (Spanish 3 only): Simulated conversation 
  • Presentational Writing: Cultural Comparison
I am also explaining my expectations for class -- Students have to respond to me and interact during the class. They don't have to "talk" a lot, but they do have to "communicate" with me. They cannot just sit and absorb! 

Something else I am doing (but will eventually not do): Give them a "vocabulary list" and a Quizlet (these students really think they need one!) but we never really go over it. At the end of the unit, take out the "vocabulary list" and ask, "How did we acquire all of these structures?" Hopefully, they say, "through communication and interacting with the text in a variety of ways!" 

I am hoping I can win these students over earlier than I usually do!