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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
I am planning out some things to do in my classes these first few days back to get students engaged right out of the gate, let them see some things they have in common with their classmates AND help me get to know them!
So, one thing I thought would be fun would be an always popular debate…. Is it a salad, a soup or a sandwich?
I know, seems silly, but kids really get into this one! It is a pretty heated debate. Now… how could you use it?
Well, in any class, you can just use it as a way to get the kids involved. In a World Language classroom, you could use it to review foods and even write about one of the foods independently, in pairs or in groups. This could work with ELA classes as well for a speaking and writing activity. You could level up or level down as much as you need to make it a fun and even meaningful debate. You could use a venn diagram or t-chart to settle the debate as well or have students write down their classification on a graphic organizer. The possibilities are endless!
I have a full version up in HERE my TpT store, but HERE is a quick PDF to get you started! You can certainly use these and then just add your own slides in.
Hope this inspires you to get students talking and writing on day ONE!
You can go HERE and learn more about the SraKSpanish squads! Join today!
I have decided to head back into the bilingual elementary classroom next year. I feel like, and a lot of you probably do too, this pandemic teaching has just sucked all the fun out of teaching. I started just going through the motions and not really feeling the same passion for my classes, and that isn’t fair to myself or my students.
So, I will be in a bilingual classroom this coming school year, but still creating and sharing things for world language classrooms and in English and Spanish. I have LOTS of fun things I would love to share from my almost 10 years in middle and high school. My 16 years in bilingual classrooms before that are just calling for me to come back.
In that spirit, a lot has changed in the time I have been out of elementary. LOTS! One thing is technology and my ability to use it to make some useful tools. I figured it best to start at the beginning like I do every year with my annual week of “Training the Troops.” It is that tried and true “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.”
So, here is a simple one! In these times when we are super vigilant of student safety, I really wanted to have a set system to know where all kids are at all times. An easy way to do this is to assign kids a number. This way, if you switch classes during the day, you don’t have to switch names out. For this, I will have a small magnetic whiteboard by or on my door (depending on what they allow). On one half of the board will be some round, Dollar Store magnets with numbers on them. For me, I only need 1-25 this year (elementary has its advantages). On the other half of the whiteboard, I will have these signs:
This one in Spanish in case you need/want to use it:
So, students will just put their numbered magnet on the board before they leave the room. This way, I will always know where students are in the school. Not that I don’t keep up with them, but if we are working in small groups or I send a kid for something, I don’t want to have to wonder where they are should a situation arise.
I will be making and sharing some more training tips over the next few weeks as I get back into the swing of the new year, so come back and check them out. I will share some things I did in secondary (middle/high school) and some things I plan to do with the littles.
You can go HERE and learn more about the SraKSpanish squads! Join today!
As I embark upon a new school year, I take some time to reflect over the past year. I take a look at my “Keep/Start/Stop” notes and try to think about what I spent most of my time outside of class time doing.
In years past, I have done this as well. Every year I figure out what I spent so much time on and, more importantly, HOW I can fix that for future me! One year, I realized I liked having weekly quizzes, but spent weekend time grading. So, I created a way to make grading them automated. One year, it was pencils and never having sharpened pencils. The next year I started with a system of having a student sharpen at the end of each day and created a specific place for sharpened and unsharpened pencils. This cut WAY down on ME spending time picking up pencils and sharpening them every day. I created a way to make it automated.
This year, it is the darned objectives! Like these I made for my world language classes this year:
UGH!! I spent so much valuable time every morning or afternoon writing them for all 4 of my preps. Here in Texas, there seems to be a BIG push for them to be posted every day on the board. Our admin even came by to check they were there. (No, this isn’t a post about how I KNOW students do not read the dang things. LOL). Anyway, I was thinking this is the thing I need to automate for myself this coming year. I have seen a lot of flip charts for dates, so I thought…why not flip charts for objectives? I will NEVER have to write another objective on the board! HERE is a link to the FREE level 1 for LOTE in Texas (basically ACTFL) if you want to check them out and maybe use the idea to automate YOUR objectives.
Whether it is objectives or pencils or grading… I hope you find a few minutes before the year starts up to reflect and find your one thing to make your future self thank you!
As I transition back into a bilingual classroom, focusing on biliteracy is my main goal. As I started to look at some things I wanted to put on the walls, I started to think about some things I have learned over the years. Posters are good for catching the eye of wandering minds, (as a person with ADD, I know I used to always look around when my mind would wander), but they don’t serve the purpose of TEACHING much without context and LOTS of visual scaffolding. I have a LOT of posters I have collected in my 25 years in the classroom…a LOOOTTT! Now, I am realizing that I should start my year with blank walls. I know, I know, it sounds crazy. Hear me out…
Really, the BEST way make those wandering mind moments count is to give students things to look at that help activate prior knowledge. How do we do that? We make Anchor Charts! There has been a lot of debate on what constitutes an “Anchor Chart.” I believe, after all the conferences and books and seminars and years of experience, that it can only be called an “Anchor Chart” if it is something you have created WITH students DURING learning. So, I propose you take posters and turn them into anchor charts. This means you start with a blank paper (butcher paper or chart paper) and recreate that poster you love WITH your students WHILE they are learning! Now, I am NOT artistic. Like, I am challenged to even draw stick figures well, so do not fear, I have a trick for you if this is you too! The way around it is to create one or find one online you like (there are several in my TpT store and I am giving you some here too) and project it with your document camera or projector before class starts and very lightly outline it with a pencil. This way, when you are in class, you have a guideline to follow, but the kids don’t have to know that. They can just believe you are a FABULOUS artist! LOL! Like this one can be easily traced:
Guess what? It doesn’t stop there! You can erase some parts of the poster and make it a graphic organizer the students fill out later as a way to assess their understanding of the concept …..
OR you can create a bulletin board with the idea using things the students have written to fill in the board or things you have traced and added!
So, my challenge over the summer will be to create a bunch of templates for anchor charts / graphic organizers / bulletin boards that are meaningful for students and helpful for teachers and get them ready for YOU. I will be adding them to my TpT store in a growing bundle, but….
They will be part of my MEMBERSHIP SITE, which will give you access to my resources! New subscriptions will be available in July 2022! Stay tuned for more…
Hope this inspires you to at least consider starting the year with BLANK walls!
Every year, I have done a Menu Project after our unit about food. I generally have students create a menu with a group and then make the classroom into a cafe and allow them to take turns being the waitstaff and the customers. The kids usually enjoy this project, but I had to do it differently during pandemic teaching, and that really changed my mind about the project.
During the start of the pandemic and even into the following year, I had to pivot to making this an online project. I decided the first year to let students just create one. It didn’t go well. There was LOTS of copying and pasting going on. The next year, I decided to throw some culture into it since some were still at home in their copy and paste/Google Translate mode. Instead of focusing on language, I made the project really based on culture and even allowed them to do it in English (it was Spanish class).
This year, I came to a happy medium. I made it a mixed project and used several opportunities to differentiate the project.
First, I had students choose a country, region or city they were interested in. For my Spanish classes, this had to be one in Latin America. For my ESOL classes, I allowed them to choose any country, including their home country, they were interested in or wanted to share.
Next, students had to find at least two dishes that were common, or popular or traditional to that region, country or city for each meal of the day. They had to find pictures of the dish and save them to their computer or drive. Then they were told to keep a Google Doc with all the information about the dish (ingredients, how it is served, when is the dish generally prepared, etc…)
After that, it was time to decide on how to present this. This past year, I gave them the option of doing it digitally (they had to present a written rough draft first) or creating a menu on a piece of posterboard (remembering they had to draw for this one).
Now, they had to write out their “order” for a waiter.
Finally, they were to present their favorites and their “order” with the class in person or in a video to be shown to the class.
I really did enjoy the mix of culture and language that I saw being practiced this year was AMAZING, and I will definitely do this project this way again! I hope these ideas help you get your students to review vocabulary and practice speaking while learning about cultures around the world. I have the full project slideshow on my TpT store HERE, but you can totally just take the idea and run with it. The key is to sail on into the summer with low stress and high engagement!
You can go HERE and learn more about the SraKSpanish squads! Join today!