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

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!

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!

Quick, FREE Choice Board

Another great review activity is a Choice Board. We all know student choice is key to student engagement, so why not let them choose their review?

Link to PDF

I created this super quick Choice Board to review adjectives in my beginning Spanish class. Feel free to copy this and use it. The editable copy can be found on my TpT store. I have been putting up some other review items this week, so if you need some, check them out and keep checking back, because I am adding new things every day!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

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

Picture Perfect – A comprehensible way to review vocabulary

In the name of keeping it comprehensible, here is a super simple way to review vocabulary and/or grammar.

This one is for reviewing “mandatos” for the final exam I am required to give. I made it super quick, so excuse the quality, but hopefully it gives you the idea of how to do this. You can then use THIS as a template to change for whatever you are needing to review and/ or introduce.

I use these sometimes with pictures of my students, things in our school or even get other teachers to help me by letting me take pictures of them with the items or doing the actions for that set of vocabulary.

Then, I talk about each picture. This gives me a chance to review previous vocabulary and also reinforce staying in the class language for as long as possible.

For example, I would use the slide above to talk about the children by describing them and their clothing, reviewing colors, reviewing what they are doing (or any other form of the verb). I could talk about this picture for 2-3 minutes without much effort by pointing to all of the different visual supports.

As always, I hope this idea helps you have an easy day or inspires you to create something simple like it that keeps students engaged and you able to easily stay in the class language.

Happy Teaching!

Alana

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

Need Maps? – Spanish Class Edition

I am starting to prep for reviewing my students for the required curriculum in my district. One of the things they require is for students to know the location (and I taught capitals) of all the Spanish-speaking countries. So…

Here are a few for you to have!

Yes, I realize that México is not part of “Central America,” but this is the way I had to teach it for curriculum in my district. Below, you will find another.

Since Central America is not a continent, you could also use the one below if you prefer.

Hope they help make an easy addition to your final reviews if this is part of your content! I also added this to Schoology as a “Drag and Drop” assessment and it was a hit!

I have my students glue these into their interactive notebooks, and we work on them throughout the year. They color in the country and label it as we learn about that country. I generally do Central America in the fall and South America and the others in the spring. This, again, is because it is expected in our district.

Hope having these helps you not to have to create another map. HERE is the downloadable, printable PDF.

Happy Teaching!

Alana

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

Using Graphic Organizers – Story Retell Edition

In my years in education I have learned there is power in using Graphic Organizers. This is true for ALL subject matter in ALL grade levels. I have taught elementary, middle, high school and college, and … graphic organizers were one of the BEST tools I had at my disposal at all levels. I have taught Social Studies, Math, Reading, ESOL, Bilingual, Dual Language and even Science. Guess what? … You guessed it! Graphic Organizers for the win!

They are POWERFUL because they help students see the information in a different way. We all know “chunking” works for struggling students, but it also works for ALL students. By giving students information in an “organized” structure, we allow them all to process the information at their own pace and store it visually. I have yet to find a lesson or concept that is not supported by a Graphic Organizer.

Now I teach Spanish and ESOL at middle school. One thing I do in both classes is tell stories. Kids are always super engaged with Visual Stories! (If you haven’t tried it, you should!) One great way to process the story after is to use a Graphic Organizer. Below, you will see a classic, and one of my favorites:

There are others (you can find some on my TpT store if you need some variety or want these in Spanish) you can use for a simple Story Retell, but this one is super simple. You can make this into an Anchor Chart that you create on poster paper or the white board during class.

In this digital age, it is even easier to share this with students. So, I made a Google Slides presentation you can either use WITH your students or share with them so they can fill it out on their own. Of course, the good ole printable version is HERE. Hope this is a helpful reminder for everyone about how amazing Graphic Organizers can be in your classroom!

Happy Teaching!

Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!

Have some digital fun! …or make manipulatives!

Hey there! It has been a while since I have posted. It has just been…quite a start to 2022. I hope you are all getting into the semester and finding your groove.

I have an activity that may be fun and can be adapted. I did this with my students last week in my Spanish classes AND my ESOL class and it was a HIT! So, of course, I will be making more. For now, I will share THIS one and how I used it.

I created THIS slideshow. I gave each student a copy of the slideshow through our LMS (we use Schoology, but you could do this with Google Classroom or Canva or whatever you use).

First, we reviewed the items on the last slides (the moveable parts). We practiced describing them by color, size and name. It was a great practice! Then, I had them open their copy of the slideshow. We chose a room and then I covered my projector. I called out the item and where to place it in the room. (We have recently covered prepositions of place.) After about 5 items, I revealed my room and had them look and see if theirs was the same. We did this a few times with different objects. Then, I had them partner up and create a room and a script of sentences. I only gave them about 5 minutes. Then, as time allowed, I had students come up to my computer and do the same thing for the class. They loved seeing if they could stump their friends.

This could also be used as manipulatives! You could print the blank room slides on paper and laminate them or put them in page protectors. Then, you could print the objects and cut them out and laminate them. this would allow students to move them around. I think this would be especially fun for the littles, but I know my middle schoolers would love it too.

I hope this gives you a fun activity to do and some ideas about how to use these. I will have more for sale in my TpT store in the next couple of weeks. For now, I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Teaching!

-Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!

Winter Vocabulary Practice

I am gearing up for the first few days back from break! I know, I should be relaxing and disconnecting. I have been, I promise, but I also know I relax better when I am prepared.

So… I have been continuing with my series of Following Simple Directions worksheets. I know worksheets are NOT the preferred task, and I plan to do a lot of guided vocabulary work and story telling along with this, but, that being said, I feel like my students are better on task when there is something concrete for them to accomplish and turn in. I hope to NOT have to do this next year, but my students seem to really need the structure and to be reminded how to be in school this year.

HERE is the link to the PDF with English AND Spanish

Anyway, I hope you can find some way to use this that will benefit your students. This is just one level. The leveled versions will be up for sale on my TpT store by the end of the week.

HERE is the link to the PDF with English AND Spanish

I have also created some New Year Student Practice for Following Simple Directions for sale on my TpT store. HERE is the link to the Spanish, and HERE is the link to the English.

Happy teaching!

Follow this blog for more great, free resources! Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!

Following Simple Directions – Around the House

I am beginning to prep for the next semester and using this time off to create some fun, fresh new resources with that “old school” kind of feel to them. Sometimes, the quick, easy things really help keep class moving.

After talking about houses, looking at pictures of different rooms inside the house (there will be more resources you can find on my TpT store in January), I would give students this page. We could do it together OR they could work with a partner or in small groups OR students could try it on their own. Then, I would have students use this as an example and then have them draw their dream house on the other side of the paper, labeling the rooms and, depending on their level, putting things in the room to support the room.

This is only one level. I do plan to have at least one more level and a digital version with moveable parts in a pack on my TpT store, but I wanted to share THIS free English and Spanish version in hopes it helps you build a lesson that fits well in your teaching context.

HERE is a link to the English and Spanish PDF

Happy Teaching!

-Alana

Find me on Instagram (@SraKSpanish) and Follow my TpT store as I build more resources!