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!


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!

Y’all… Picture Cards!

Okay, so I am not sure about where YOU teach, but down here in Texas there is a BIG push for us to get the kids doing more interpersonal and presentational speaking. And, of course, writing to get them ready for that AP exam. It seems to me that kids don’t get excited about too much in class, so when I find something they like, I RUN with it!

So, I was using some random pics of Mark Wahlberg as conversation starters the week before spring break. Why Mark Wahlberg, you ask? Well, my students would tell you I have an obsession. LOL. I figure, if I HAVE to find some pictures to talk about and do that all day, they may as well be something I like looking at. (My students even made an IG account a few years ago where they edit pics of Mark and I together, and they have been passing the torch over the years). Anyway, I digress…

So, I decided to make some that hit the cycles of instruction I use from the Stepping Stones materials. I also have required vocabulary I have to teach, so this has worked out perfectly. It allows for personalized learning because I can evaluate the output according to level.

I have used them by printing them with the pic on the front and the prompts on the back. There are LOTS of ways to use these!

For Interpersonal Speaking, I hand out a card to each pair of students in my class and then I have them choose one of the prompts on the back. I give them about 90 seconds to collect their thoughts and then I have them start by using the prompt to give some info and ask some questions. The partner has to look at the picture (provides scaffolding) and talk about it with their partner.

For Presentational Speaking or Writing, I give a card to each student. For this one, I told them which prompt they had to use, gave them a couple minutes to prep and then got them talking ( or writing).

You can use any pics you want. I have more of them for sale in my TpT store HERE.

Happy Teaching!


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

Come Join our NEW Facebook Community!

I have created a new FB group to share new things in real time and be able to communicate with everyone! I am super excited and hope you will join me HERE. Just click the link and Join our Sra K Spanish and ESOL group!

Don’t worry! If you teach another language, I share lots of things that can be used for ANY language teacher! Hope to see you all in the group!

Happy Teaching!


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