Wanna be part of the Squad?

I want YOU to join the SraKSpanish Squad!!!

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

I will be scheduling our first Squad Meet on August 14th, 2022, so don’t miss out on YOUR chance to be there! There are also some great resources coming your way for use in your classroom! I hope to see you in a squad!

The Patreon Site is LIVE! Read here to find out more…

Have you ever heard of Patreon? I hadn’t either until recently. It is really cool though! It is a membership site where you can easily sign up and become my “Patron.” You do NOT have to learn a new system or figure out a new app. You simply sign up with your email, decide on a membership level and enter your payment information. Then, you get a welcome email from me, a fun week of plans and materials as a “thank you” from me to get you started and YOU ARE IN!!

**(If you want to just buy the whole school year membership, you only need to email me at senorakspanish@gmail.com and I will get you pricing and sign you up to receive your subscription via email each month. Yes, there is a small discount for choosing the whole year!)**

Then, each month you are a member, you will continue to reap the benefits. There are three levels of membership: Starter, Pro and Premium. You can get resources I have created for language learning classrooms. They can be used for any level and easily leveled up or down. I have even included a short video about every single resource with an explanation of the resource and ways you could use it in your classroom. I will also be doing live planning/coaching sessions for these resources each month for those who choose the Pro or Premium membership.

As an added bonus, if you choose the whole year subscription up front, I will also give you a link to set up a private, 30-minute coaching session with me.

This Patreon platform allows me to send you Patreon messages and even livestream “watch me work” sessions where I show you how I create some resources and plan lessons live.

I know you are super busy, since teaching is just a LOT these days, so I really appreciate you reading this far and considering joining me on this journey. My only goal is truly to create some things that make your life easier!

Hope to see you all over on Patreon!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

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

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!

Alana

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

First Week Ideas – This or That?

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…. Do you prefer THIS or THAT?

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 vocabulary or preferences and even write about one of the slides 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 take a look at what the students in each class prefer. You could do some basic graphing for math classes! 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!

For even more resources, group coaching and more, head over HERE and learn more about the squads! Join today!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources! Be on the lookout for the announcement for my annual membership site in July 2022!

First Week Ideas – “The Great Debate”

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!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources! Be on the lookout for the announcement for my annual membership site in July 2022!

Blank Walls to Start the Year? YES!

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!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) , Facebook (sra k Spanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources! Be on the lookout for the announcement for my annual membership site in July 2022!

A Food/Menu Project

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!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

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

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

Gimme 5 – Dame 5 (Mini-Project)

This is a go-to mini-project I use all year long when I need a day or two or the kids need a break between topics/units.

First, decide what you want the students to share. It can be an interesting person, place, celebration, festival or custom in any country that speaks the language you are teaching. You can also use this to review parts of a unit you just did. This can be done individually, in partners or small groups.

Next, let students decide what they want their “Gimme 5” presentation to be about. Remind them that they will need to have 5 facts about each of their top 5 things to know about the topic. You might want to incorporate a graphic organizer before giving them the Google Presentation Template to fill in. My students need scaffolding, so I always give them a “Planning Page” first. You can just have them make a bulleted list to give you or you can make a page they have to fill in.

After you approve their topic and top 5 things they are going to research and/or talk about, you can give them THIS presentation to fill in. Of course, if you want to make this last a few more days, you can let them customize this.

Next, it is time for presentations! Since having to go virtual a couple years ago, I have really started to like using Screencastify or Loom or even just the recorder on their computer to have students record the presentation ahead of time. I have found this gives them a chance to re-record if needed and practice. This really does cut the anxiety a lot of students have associated with live presentations in front of their peers. You can certainly go the old-fashioned route and have them just quickly present in front of the class. The presentation part allows me to get a speaking grade if I have them do the presentation in the language of the class. Of course, that is not really possible for lower level students, so use this as a differentiation for Heritage Learners or advanced students.

Hope this inspires you to get them talking and working together! I will have this and other review materials up for sale on my TpT store, but I really appreciate you taking the time to visit the blog, so I wanted you to have this template to use now. I also would LOVE and APPRECIATE TONS if you wouldn’t mind following this blog, my TpT store and my new Instagram (@sra.k.spanish) I started to showcase the fun things I am creating.

The key is to sail on into the summer with low stress and high engagement!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

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

Logic Puzzles as Vocabulary Review (Easy to level up or down!)

Logic puzzles are so much fun! They get kids thinking and even working together, when allowed. I used to love these when I was a kid!

I made this template, and then I started thinking about how I could use this in language learning. Then, it came to me…

A MURDER MYSTERY! Like “Clue”-style! This one reviews family vocabulary, house vocabulary, common activities and prepositions of place!

I have included a Google Slides presentation with all the instructions and clues, a Case Notes Journal that can be printed or assigned digitally AND a logic puzzle grid like the one above all filled out on each side for immediate use by students.

I used this with my students to get them to review this vocabulary for the final, read and comprehend the clues AND talk with their group members in the class language. I have it on my TpT store for sale in English HERE or in Spanish HERE.

Of course, you can always use the logic puzzle frame I provided above and make your own clues to solve the “crime.” This would allow you to personalize the vocabulary and the level of the sentence clues. You can certainly just insert a text box over what I have in the slides and change it up to suit whatever you need to review!

Hope this inspires you to get them talking and working and learning! I will have this and other sets of logic puzzle activities up for sale on my TpT store later in the summer 2022, but you could certainly just use grid I have provided above. The key is low stress for you and high engagement for your students!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

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

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

Picture then Movie Talk for the WIN!

These last couple of weeks or days can be brutal! Need something to help pass the time? I got you!! One thing my students have loved ALL YEAR is a Movie Talk day!

Now, if you are not familiar with Movie Talk, there are LOTS of great posts out there about this strategy. I have done it several ways. One thing I really like to do is use just a few of the pictures to tease the film first. I create a slideshow, like THIS one and then just choose a few of the slides to talk about. We describe the people and the setting. We talk about what is happening in the picture. We make predictions and inferences based on the information. At higher levels, we may write out our predictions and/or fill out a story mountain based on the prediction.

Then, we watch the movie short. The one used for this example is HERE. It is a pretty simple one, but has a lot you can talk about. I actually used this one near Valentine’s Day, but it is appropriate for any time of year. I differ from many others, in that I do not pause every few seconds to talk about it. We already did that when I teased it with the slideshow (we also put target vocab and grammar structures I may be required to teach on the board or an anchor chart during this discussion). Next, I play it all the way through. Then, I play it a second time and pause at important points to talk about them and draw the students’ attention to key words, phrases and/or grammar concepts. Finally, I play it through one last time, talking at normal speed about the things happening.

To see what they know, I have students use the pages below to fill in their own explanations of what the movie was about.

This is a GREAT place to differentiate. For example, beginners would perhaps just look at these pictures and write words or phrases they remember from you talking about the movie as it played or from what you added to the class anchor chart. Higher levels might write sentences describing the pictures or what that part of the story was about. They could also talk about what the characters might have been thinking or feeling or saying in certain parts of the story.

I hope this gives you a day to give students lots of input with minimal effort! I will be selling more of the packs on my TpT store with the preview slideshow, student pages, summary of the short and some ideas for differentiation.

Hope this inspires you to get them talking and working and learning, even in these last few days/weeks of school. The key is to sail on into the summer with low stress and high engagement!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

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