It’s the Final Countdown!

This time of year, I can’t help but start to hear that song in my head as I pump myself up for the school day. I don’t know about YOUR class, but this time of year, they are starting to shut down.

Of course, I can’t blame them, because teachers are also distracted by all the end of the year grades and phone calls home and paperwork and meetings and planning and testing and…. well, you know what I mean!

So, how do we beat the overwhelming apathy? How do we keep them engaged in learning?

Gamify ANYTHING you can gamify!

1- The Unfair Game is a great, low-prep option. You can read more about that HERE.

2- You could play good, old-fashioned baseball with review questions. You will have to create the questions before starting the game, or simply use questions from previous exams if you are reviewing for a final exam. In this game, you simply draw a baseball diamond on the board and move the teams around the bases by answering questions that are of varying difficulty (single, double, triple or homerun). You can play with 2-4 teams. I have found that more than that seems to have many students not participating at any given time.

3- Of course, there are online options like Blooket, Gimkit, Quizizz and Kahoot. All of these are great options to keep students engaged.

4- This time of year, I appreciate crosswords for vocabulary review. It is an easy way to allow students to self-check their review AND keeps them off screens.

5- Trashketball is another fun variation of the baseball game. It involves a rolled up piece of paper with some duct tape over it and an empty bucket or trashcan. I usually have point lines on the floor with colored masking tape. A student or group (if you play in teams) has to get the answer to a question correctly in order to try to earn points for their team.

6- If you have a smaller class or even if you have chairs that don’t have attached desks, you can play musical chairs. You can place the chairs into several groups and allow them to play that way. Whomever ends sitting in the chair has to answer a question correctly or be eliminated.

7- JENGA is always a fun option too! You can get any Jenga set. There are small ones at most dollar stores and generic sets online. My favorite way to play this is with a life-sized Jenga that you can easily make by cutting 2×4 boards or buying the version you can play in your yard. For this one, each must be numbered. If the student places it on top without it falling, they have the chance to answer the question that corresponds to the numbers of questions you have prepared. They get points if they do both things. There are a number of variations for this game. First, you could have them play one class game in teams. Second, you could have two sets and have them play in groups with each set. Finally, you could have the small sets and allow partners or groups of 3 to play. Students are ALWAYS engaged in this one.

I hope some of these ideas help you find some way to engage students. Please comment with a game you use in your classroom. Maybe this way, we can all find something new to use this year!

Happy teaching!


Cinco de mayo FREEBIE!

In my experience, Cinco de mayo is often misunderstood by most. SO many people believe it is Mexico’s Independence Day, but it is NOOOTTTT! So, I have made it my mission to make sure my students leave with the knowledge of what the holiday actually means and how it is celebrated in Mexico and here in the United States.

Of course, before you venture into teaching it, you should learn about it if you don’t know, but HERE is the link to two Short Cartoon Stories you could do after discussing it with your class. HERE is a link to a great video I have used in the past too.

Of course, there is a LOT you could do to educate your students about this Mexican celebration! HERE is a link to a quick Webquest and Project Extension on my TpT store if that helps.

Happy Teaching!


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You got this! Freebie to help!

As a teacher in year 25 myself, I understand how challenging it can be to get through the end of the school year. The final stretch can feel like an uphill battle, and it’s easy to slip into survival mode. However, I’m here to remind you that you are not alone, and that there are ways to push through and finish the year strong.

First and foremost, take care of yourself. Teaching can be a demanding profession, and it’s essential to prioritize self-care. Make time for things you enjoy, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones. Take breaks when you need them, and don’t feel guilty for it either!! Remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup, and taking care of yourself will allow you to show up as your best self.

Secondly, focus on what you CAN control. There may be external factors beyond your control, like standardized tests or district mandates, but you have control over how you interact with your students. Focus on creating meaningful connections and use your creativity to have some fun! Kids may not remember what you taught them, but they will never forget how you made them feel!

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your teacher bestie may be your saving grace this time of year, just as you are theirs. Collaborate with your team to share ideas and lighten the workload. I would love to lighten your load by offering this FREE question page to the Most Dangerous Ways to School episode on Youtube HERE. There are more in my TpT store if you like this series.

Remember that you are making a difference in the lives of your students. The end of the school year is challenging, but with self-care, focusing on what you can control, and asking for help when needed, you can finish the year strong. You’ve got this! I believe in you!

Happy Teaching!


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Whew! It has been a minute…

So, life happened. LOTS of BIG life changes for me and for my family over the past three months. Sorry for the MIA status, but rest assured I am back and ready to roll my sleeves up and get to work!

One of the big changes for me was moving back to teach Spanish and Spanish for Spanish Speakers in high school. I must say, I feel like I have landed back at home. I am now teaching at a school that has very scripted lessons, but is working to head more toward using comprehensible input in their curriculum. It is kinda dorky, but I am glad I am here to witness the change.

All this being said, I am working to create at least a few more things for my students that will get them interacting with each other, learning about culture and falling in love with learning languages. It’s a tall order, but I am still optimistic!

I spent the first semester in a bilingual elementary classroom, and I definitely was able to use so many of the CI skills I have learned in the past few years. The thing is, language learners are language learners, but I will get more into that in my next post.

Hope this finds you well! I would love for you to follow the blog and come along my teaching journey with me. I would also LOVE to hear what kind of content would help YOU most in your teaching, so leave a comment!

Until next time….

Happy Teaching!


Need a quick Día de Muertos activity?

If you need a quick way to share the culture behind Día de Muertos, I got you!

Just use THIS presentation to Movie Talk a short video from Youtube. The video is also linked in the slideshow.

You could just use this to talk about the holiday in English, or with upper levels, you could definitely have the discussion in Spanish. There are some ideas on the first slide, but those are just a FEW ideas. Have fun!

Hope this inspires you to get students talking about the Hispanic culture!

Happy Teaching!


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Easy Summary / Retell Strategy

As I get into the Narration Cycle of the Stepping Stones Curricular framework, I find myself having trouble getting my students to give me a complete summary of the stories I tell, the stories we read or the books they read independently. They always leave something out.

I have also noticed, working with 4th grade bilingual students, that students struggle with this concept in their OWN language. So, I created THIS easy Google Slides presentation (Spanish and the bundle can be found on my TpT store) to walk them through it step by step.

You could print it out and have students write on it. You could use it as a whole class lesson. You could assign it to table groups after reading a story at their level in the language. You could even assign it individually as an assessment. There are SO many possibilities!

Hope this inspires you to get students talking and writing with stories!

Happy Teaching!


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Need some printable Exit Tickets?

Does this October feel like May to anyone else? Hoping it isn’t just me, LOL!

So, Exit Tickets seem to be a quick, easy way for formative assessments. I had been using sticky notes, but…. that’s a LOT of sticky notes!!!

So, here are a few ideas you could print and use TOMORROW! Of course, I have about 8-10 more in my TpT store, but hopefully these 7 are useful AND can give you a template for you to just make up your own any time!

Hope this makes the end of class a little easier. The entire group of Exit Tickets comes free as part of the Sra. K. Spanish Squads. You can go HERE and learn more about the squads and join today!

Happy Teaching!


Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources! !

Teaching Idioms to Increase Comprehension

Working with English Language Learners this year has really opened my eyes to just how much we use idiomatic expressions. They are EVERYWHERE! We use them in everyday conversations. We see them referenced in literature. We see them used in movies and tv and commercials. They are everywhere, and our students need to have a strong base in idiomatic expressions in order to be able to fully understand the language.

So, I started “an idiom a day” with my ESOL and bilingual classes. It has been really a great conversation starter! I am hearing lots of “oh, I heard that but I didn’t get it” and “oh, that makes sense now” from my students.

Here is a link to a free version with a few of them. Feel free to use them in your classes, use them to create your own or even adapt them to the language you teach!

I have used them to start class, given them to students to try to figure out on their own and used them as group work for students to discuss and come up with their best guess at the real meaning of the idiom! You could use all of the slides or even have students draw what the words say and then what it really means after a class discussion. This helps them really internalize the difference in the words alone and the expression as a whole.

You can also find Idiomatic Expressions in English Part 1, Part 2 and 3 (each with 15-20 idioms) on my TpT store!

Hope this makes incorporating idioms a little easier. Idiomatic Expressions 1 comes FREE as part of the Sra. K. Spanish Squads, and Part 2 and 3 will be included in November and December. You can go HERE and learn more about the squads and join today!

Happy Teaching!


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Hispanic Heritage Month

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

I created a slideshow last year, but I have made it even better this year with more facts and ideas on how you could use it!

You can get the full version HERE in my TpT store.

Each country has these two pages! HERE is a version with just a couple of countries if you want to try it out!

Hope this makes incorporating culture a little easier. The entire presentation comes free as part of the Sra. K. Spanish Squads. You can go HERE and learn more about the squads and join today!

Happy Teaching!


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Keeping them on task! “Training the Troops” Part 2

When “Training the Troops,” I often think about the things that didn’t go so well the year before and then think of a system that might help.

I began to think about my struggles in my own language learning classes. Mostly, it was keeping myself and my students on a routine and then making sure my students were able to be held responsible for their own learning. So, I made this page:

This is a page I print out. I print the correct number of pages for the number of class days that week. Students are responsible for filling out the pages every class period. If they are absent, they find a friend who has the day’s notes or they grab my copy from the front of the room (I do this in a notebook I have for each class period). Then, at the end of the week, I ask for them to turn in one day’s paper. I don’t tell them before that moment and I only give them 30 seconds to get it to my hand. Why? This motivates them to do all the days, since they never know which I will ask for, AND it doesn’t give them time to copy their friend’s paper.

For classes that are more self-motivated, I will just train them with this page the first week or so and then have them do the same thing inside their notebooks. We are a 1:1 campus, so I then have them take a pic of the page I am going to check and submit it via our LMS (we use Schoology).

I also came up with some other graphic organizers that are super general, a place to keep anchor charts made in class for reference purposes and several other generalized pages you could easily fit to your teaching style in THIS Daily Learning Log. You can get this one and the others on my TpT store OR you can join my Patreon OR my SQUAD!

You can go HERE and learn more about the squads and join today!

Happy Teaching!


Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources! Become a Patron on Patreon!