I love this song mostly because Gloria Martinez has a beautiful voice and I could listen to her sing all day long, but the gorgeous beaches in the video don’t hurt either! I did some frantic edits to my Spanish 2 preterite focused lyrics activity Wednesday morning to make a more Spanish 1-friendly activity, and I was pleasantly surprised that my students found the song easy to follow along with, and it even got a few five-star ratings.
I heard about Whiteboard.fi in a recent FLAG webinar on student engagement. I love using whiteboard activities in my face to face classes, and I wondered if it could serve as an alternative for my distance learners.
With Whiteboard.fi, students join with a code and get a blank screen to draw on, create text boxes, and insert shapes and images. You can see all your students’ boards simultaneously, updating in real time. There is also a feature where you can create text or images on your teacher whiteboard, and push it out to all your students. For more info on how to use Whiteboard.fi, check out this tutorial.
I created a room, invited my students to join, and pushed out a blank Bingo board to all their screens. A few students joined late, and I told them just to use the insert image feature to add their own blank Bingo boards. Since we are working on time vocab, I had them fill their own boards with times ending in :00, :15, and :30. When they were ready, I started calling out times, and they marked the spaces with the draw tool. To replay with the same board, students can just click undo until all their marks from the previous game are erased.
I really liked this activity for several reasons – it included all my students, and allowed me to do one of my favorite activities from pre-COVID times. Whiteboard.fi has a lot of safety features as well, like turning on a lobby and locking the room once all your students have joined. You can project students’ boards on your classroom whiteboard (and/or screenshare on your video call), show or hide student names, or just view their whiteboards on your monitor if you don’t trust students to keep things school-appropriate. I’ve also used this site as an end of class formative assessment, having students respond to questions or statements (ie, how do you respond to ¿Cómo estás? how do you respond to mucho gusto?), or given students drawing questions with our vocabulary words like lápiz, bolígrafo, cuaderno. I think this could also work for playing Pictionary, as well as a quick practice activity for grammar topics like verbs or adjective agreement.
Charades is a great way for students to review vocabulary in the target language while building classroom community. My secret for making it awesome while preserving prep time? Quizlet!
Step 1: Assemble your list of words. I like to throw in some challenge words that may not seem immedaitely pantomime-able (“It’s 2:10” and “apple” were ones that surprised my kids, but they eventually figured out how to act out). Maybe you already have it in Quizlet, or maybe you want to type it in a Word document and import it as a new Quizlet. Or maybe you just want to use mine? Here ya go:
Step 2: Print as flashcards. I’ve written before about why I love Quizlet, and the printing feature is a big reason! Print your words on the large or small flashcards. Check the two sided box so it prints the Spanish all on one page, but if you don’t want the English on the back, just adjust your printer to print one sided and skip the even numbered pages.
Step 3: Cut out your flashcards, or have a student do it for you. Assemble into baggies. Add directions, if you like. charades instructions (word)
Step 4: Divide your students into groups and play! Three groups of 8-10 players worked well with my students.
Need some ideas for gestures to use? Here’s a video:
Last year I implemented portfolios in Honors Spanish 1, with choiceboard exploration activities as a major component. I’m back at it again with a fresh batch of students, with my ideas from last year ironed out and refined. Here’s what we did:
Option 1 – Magnetic Poetry – play with the words
Last year, I kept my magnets on my mini fridge all year. It was awkward because students had to sit on the floor for the activity, and my magnets got bumped off the fridge all year. The overhead cart may not be pretty, but it worked great for this activity!
Option 2 – Spelling – play with the letters
Option 3 – Lyrics Training – play with music & lyrics
For lyrics training, students had a choice between La Gozadera (really difficult!) and Tengo tu love. Unfortunately, Tengo tu love was blocked by the school filter, so La Gozadera was their only option. Here are some of their reflections:
I found it very difficult to find the lyrics to the song. They speak very fast, and you have to listen very carefully in order to catch it. However, I found it as a good brain workout, and it became much easier at the end.
After doing the lyrics training, I started to make connections in my head. I was able to distinguish between Spanish words more easily and hear words at a faster rate than before. After making several attempts, I noticed patterns and picked up the pronunciation of specific words. I definitely would like to do this with different songs.
Option 4 – Book browsing – read the books
I have a pretty good selection of easy readers & children’s books in my classroom library. Even though I tell them the novels will be easier, they always gravitate toward the children’s books! Here’s a reflection:
The title of the book I chose is called, “Oh no! It’s Hippo!” The short story I read was about a hippo, who was made fun of because he was fat. The other animals in the jungle make fun of him, and scare him away from the pond. I learned that ‘hipo’ in Spanish means hippo, and hiccup. This activity was hard, because I had to translate what the book said. This was a valuable learning activity for me, because I learned a lot of new words. My goal going forward is to comprehend a page in the book.
After the activities, I have students take a picture or screen shot a write a reflection on their learning and their language goals. I really enjoy reading these! We repeat these activities a couple times a semester, and it’s so exciting to see how much they grow over the course of the class. Especially in honors, I want to empower students to use Spanish for enjoyment, and not just see it as something they are doing for a grade. I think these activities also support state standards – Students will identify situations and resources in which target language skills and cultural knowledge may be applied beyond the classroom setting, for recreational, educational, and occupational purposes. (MLI.CC5) – As well as ACTFL standards – Students show evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.
Hello and happy summer! I wanted to write a short post to share a few projects I’ve been working on for a class I’m taking.
I’m taking a visual media course for my specialist degree in instructional technology, and we are publishing all of our projects on a blog. Here is the link:
I have enjoyed learning more about photography and design and creating some beautiful projects, as well as reflecting about how I can adapt these strategies to use with my students. Feel free to use my preterite/imperfect poster (project 4) or re-designed possessive adjective slides (project 5) with your students.
I started this blog in 2014 when I changed schools and, probably for the only time in my teaching career, experienced a huge reduction in my workload; I went from teaching six classes to five, from one planning period to two, and from 2-3 preps to one for a whole year! The next year, 2015-2016, we changed to a block schedule, I went back to one planning period and two preps, and started grad school. I’ve been in school ever since, beginning my gifted endorsement as soon as I finished my master’s degree and now beginning my specialist degree, and I just haven’t had the time or energy to blog like I did back in 2014. My blog posts will likely continue to be sporadic for the foreseeable future, but I hope that I will be able to share more grad school projects like this one in the coming months.
In this post: Reflecting on my first use of Nearpod, plus free, ready-to-use Spanish 2 resources for Realidades chapters 2b, 3a, 3b, and 5a
It is the time of the year when motivation is swiftly waning for both students and teachers. As I was planning for my lesson today, I thought about what motivates me as a teacher: being creative, trying new things, experimenting with technology, and finding ways to keep it in the target language. I decided to give NearPod a try, and I was pleased with the result – 30+ minutes of engagement for both students and teacher! I wrote a series of definitions/descriptions in Spanish for the vocabulary words, using free response and draw it slides. Students saw the prompt on their screen, and then either typed or drew their response. Next time, I want to include more draw-it slides with longer descriptions. They really enjoyed drawing and seeing what their classmates drew, and sharing their images was quick and easy. I can’t figure out how to retrieve those images now that I’ve ended the session with my students, or I would share some of their cute sketches with you!
I am teaching driving and directions vocabulary in Spanish 2, which corresponds to Realidades 2 Chapter 3B. If you would like to see my nearpod, here is the link. I also have a Google Slides version. I have done similar definition/description activities for chapters 2b (shopping – crossword linked), 3a (places around town, errands), and 5a (disasters). The same clues could be used for a crossword, a tarsia puzzle (Chapter 2a – shopping linked), or you could print them and have students work in teams to figure them out (just be sure to clarify that their phones are off-limits). You could also project the clues on the board and have students write the answers on paper or mini-white boards. Writing the clues would be a good task for heritage speakers or advanced students (though they aren’t always as good at keeping it comprehensible for their classmates!).
I am super excited to be headed to #SCOLT18 tomorrow! Here are the slides for my session, #AuthRes for the Novice Language Learner. I’m sharing tons of links to my favorite sources for finding beginner-appropriate authentic resources, as well as activities to go along with them. I’m also sharing three “ready to go” authres activities that I’ve used with my own students on leisure activities, school, and clothing. If you’ll be at SCOLT, I will be presenting Saturday at 9:00 – hope to see you there!
Hello, and welcome back to school! Today I want to share an activity I made today for my Spanish 1 students based on a video from one of my favorite sites for authentic Spanish audio, http://www.laits.utexas.edu/spe/index.html.
This is José M. Isn’t he precious?
I like this video because the content fits with my first unit of Spanish 1 and José M. speaks clearly and relatively slowly. But what to do with it? Here’s what I came up with:
Follow along as you listen, and correct the errors. After printing, I numbered the lines and students have this follow up task:
Previous #Authres Posts:
- Before beginning the book: We discussed products, practices, and perspectives and watched some videos about Día de los Muertos. We filled out a chart to compare the two holidays. Post reading, we will re-visit the chart and see what else students can add.
- We also used this embedded reading on Tumba. Here is my pre-reading/chapter 1 packet.
- Crayon wars with chapter word clouds from the teacher’s manual: call out a word in English, students mark it in the word cloud with a colored pencil. Pair up two students with different color pencils and make it a race. After wards, students can self-select words they don’t know to add to their vocab list.
- Chapter art from the teacher’s manual: To maximize the mileage I get out of copies, I’ve used each chapter art for both listening and writing (I also shrunk the art on the copier so I could fit two or three on a page). First, I will do a listening activity where I read a sentence and students decide which picture it corresponds to, writing the number of the sentence next to the picture. Afterwards, I have them paste the pictures in their ISN and write a sentence or two to describe each picture. You could also use the pictures for story re-tells.
- Quizlet: Is my favorite! I found a whole folder of Tumba-related sets made by Elena Lopez, and also made Spanish-English sets for the vocabulary I had identified for my students. Question/answer or fill-in-the-blank cards make great sets for rounds of Quizlet live. I like to print these out first for students to match up manually in order to scaffold them up to the speed of Quizlet live.
- White boards: Put a statement on the board and have student respond on the whiteboards. This works great with True/False statements or Which character ____? questions. It also works well as a post-reading review.
- Probable/Improbable: After chapter 8, I asked students to make predictions about chapter 9. I then picked several statements to write on big paper and post around the room. Students walked around and gave their opinion on a post-it note as to whether each statement was Probable, Improbable, Posible, o Imposible (on second thought, just probable/improbable would have been enough options).
I really enjoyed reading out loud to students, with student readers doing the dialogue, but towards the end of the book students felt confident enough to read independently or in small groups. Sometimes I would have them read in groups and then read together as a class with actors (low-key reader’s theater), sometimes I would read to them and they would re-read as they completed post-reading activities, and sometimes we skipped the whole-class reading altogether. Variety is important!
I used a LOT of activities from the teacher’s manual, as well as from Allison’s Wienhold’s blog posts on Tumba (I really liked her idea of having students write quiz questions and quiz each other – we did it after chapter 9 and it was a good change of routine from answering post-reading questions). I often used the chapter questions from the teacher’s manual, or we played a game like Kahoot (the ones by Elena Lopez are always high quality), Quizlet Live, or Quizizz, or we simply discussed.
Ok, I’m a bit old school here. I made a chapter packet for almost every packet with target vocabulary, comprehension questions, and other related pre-and post reading activities and graded several of these as classwork completion grades. I gave two quizzes – one after chapter 4 and one after chapter 10. Quizzes were all comprehension based, with matching and true/false questions. I will give them a unit test including a writing section (describe a character and/or describe a picture). I am also planning to put students into groups and have them re-enact different parts of the book as a review before the test.
I’ve really enjoyed teaching Tumba, and I think my students have enjoyed it too (planning to give them a survey about this and will share results). I feel like I’ve taught Día de los muertos more completely than any other year, and students have a deeper understanding of it. We also touched on lots of other cultural topics, such as school schedules, family relationships, and the Mexican Revolution. I also think students acquired a lot of vocabulary, and as we wrote and talked about the characters and events, I was able to do a lot of pop-up grammar about 3rd person singular/plural verb forms. I look forward to teaching it again with future classes and further refining and improving my lessons. If you have funds available for materials, I would highly recommend purchasing a class set of Tumba and the teacher’s guide to go with it.