Wow- it’s been quite some time since my last post! It turns out ‘growing a human’ is really hard work and can make you really sick and exhausted.  : )

A little over a month ago my Spanish 1’s started reading the novel ‘Piratas del Caribe y Mapa Secreto’ written by Mira Canion & Carol Gaab.

This is my 3rd year reading this with my students and this year I decided to really revamp my approach. I spent endless hours (seriously, easily over 150 hrs) creating an entire unit to go along with this novel.

I started with a ‘pre-assessment’ activity where the students watched a you tube clip of Jake y los piratas. They listened for words, guessed meaning, and identified cognates. I also explained to the students that at the end of the book they would have a project based assessment. To help prepare for this, I gave them a worksheet where after every chapter they identified new characters, summarized the chapter, and made a prediction about the next chapter. This really proved helpful for their final projects.

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I made activities/worksheets to go with every single chapter. These were used to reinforce information, structures, apply it to previously learned knowledge, and relate it to themselves. We also took this opportunity to look at the culture of Cuba and briefly learn about ‘Captain Henry Morgan’. (Which- before this year, I did not realize he was a real historical figure!) This helped make the story come alive!

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Comparing this year with my previous years, I truly think my students learned and understood the book so much more. AND- they didn’t complain about reading as much this year! Yay! Sounds like success to me!



El Día De Los Santos Inocentes


I love this day!  1. What a great way to discuss the “cultural” aspects about the Christmas story. 2. Who doesn’t like a innocent prank?

I used this news clip in combination with Martina Bex’s materials. I started by telling the students “this is one of my favorite holidays. The history of this celebration is tragic, however now a days the celebration is a lot of fun.”

I gave them the tasks to watch this clip and figure out:

1. The name of the celebration.

2. The date of this celebration.

3. The history

4. How it is celebrated presently.

I was thoroughly impressed that even my Spanish 1’s were able to figure out these facts.

After we watched this clip, did some other activities, we made our own monigotes to prank the “innocent” victims.


La Camisa Negra



Songs are a fabulous way to incorporate authentic materials!  Every year I use Juanes song La Camisa Negra in my Spanish 1 classes. This year I revamped my follow up activities.

On the first day I briefly introduced the song, students really liked it (and thought it was a happy/jolly song!)

The second day, the students followed along with the Spanish version to get visual and audible input. Then we read through it together and discussed the “true” meaning of the song.

Day 3, I gave them a cloze copy of the song. They listened to the song approx. 4 times. This is great because they start identifying and making connections between the different sounds and words.

On the fourth day we reviewed the Cloze activity. Then students worked on a worksheet where they had to illustrate vocabulary from the song. They also had to match pictures with vocabulary and then choose four words from the vocabulary to create Spanish sentences.

Day 5 -I plan on discussing reading strategies and then reading an article about Juanes (the famous Colombian singer!)

The kids REALLY enjoyed this! I caught some of them singing it in the hallways!

What are YOUR favorite songs to use in the classroom?

Vivir Mi Vida……la la la la….



Vivir mi vida la la la la…. 

When I first heard this song I thought….”I MUST USE THIS!!!”  It is SO catchy! Definitely something my students will enjoy.

I whipped up these snazzy worksheets to go along with them.

They will have a cloze activity where they are listening to the song and trying to fill in the blanks.

We will discuss the song, the meaning, perspective etc. Then students will illustrate key vocabulary words from the song.

Later students will practice writing sentences using vocabulary words from the song.

Finally I have created an article from some authentic sources about Marc Anthony. My mini geniuses will read through these and answer comprehension questions.

What Spanish Songs Do YOU love/use in your classroom?




This week in my Spanish 1’s we did a movie talk with the movie alma.

I LOooooOVE using movie talk in my classroom! The kids are engaged and being immersed in Spanish! Together we “circled” and wrote the narrative to the ALMA movie. We continued using the structures found in the narrative throughout the week. I also created several worksheets for the students to practice and reinforce the learned structures.

Do you use movie talks? What are some follow up activities you like to do?

Mr. Bean!!!!! and Reflexive Verbs


How can you go wrong with Mr. Bean???

This week my Spanish 2’s were working on using reflexive verbs with the goal of being able to discuss their daily routines. To do this…. we created a narrative to the Mr. Bean video where he was late for the dentist. This allowed us to use vocabulary such as “shaved his nose hair, brushed his teeth with windshield wiper fluid, got dressed, put on his shirt, etc etc etc.

One of my favorite things about Comprehensible Input is when I actually introduce the grammatical concept – the kids already understand it!!! I told them “You already use these, you just don’t know the technical formula for these.” A quick explanation and waaalaaaaah! They get it!

We also used the awesome “reflex your verby” video to help us understand reflexive verbs.

With  Mr. Bean, PQA, CI, and these worksheets…. my kids are rockstar reflexive verb geniuses!


Calamar Gigante


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I was reading through some of my favorite blogs and discovered that On October 2 there was a GIANT squid that was discovered on a beach in Spain! (Um…cool!)

What a fun random thing to talk about in class! This gave me the perfect opportunity create materials from an Authentic Resource to incorporate in my classes.

After the students read, discussed, and answered questions about the “Monster” in Spain we used THIS MONSTER-Y MOVIE to further our discussion. Together we wrote a narrative to go with this movie. It allowed us to practice reflexive verbs and prepositions. The students were very engaged in this. One thing I LOOOOOVE about Movie Talks- student’s forget that they are learning and not speaking English. Oh so Fabulous!