Tag Archives: Teaching Spanish

My favorite day …every year.


For those who know me, you may see this title and say…Oh that’s May 24th! … Back story, many many moons ago sitting in 10th grade study hall, I decided that May 24th would be my favorite day. It had nothing to do with holidays or birthdays. On this day, I wear my favorite colors, eat my favorite foods, hang out with my favorite people, and do my favorite things. Over the years it’s evolved into ….a big deal. Everyone who’s anyone celebrates! …..But I’ve digressed….

If I had to pick another favorite day it would be that magical moment in class when all the INPUT…starts to click. I remember experiencing that moment while studying abroad. But even more exciting is seeing your students experience it. It’s so awesome to see them excited to be able to manipulate the language even when grammar has NEVER been taught (exception: pop up grammar).

Today I asked my students…”If I wanted to say, ‘They think that’ how do I change ‘piensa que’.” …several students responded “add an N”. And when they responded…. others caught on. Someone raised their hand and asked “So if I want to say ‘they’ are doing something I add an ‘N’ don’t I!?

Yes Yes Yes!!!!!

Besides seeing my students ‘get it’. I also love this day because it is affirmation that CI works!

…And it works well!



La Persona Especial


This week I finally got on the band wagon and started doing ‘Student Interviews’. Basically one by one you call students up to the front of the room and interview them. I first heard of these here from Bryce Hedstrom. I keep seeing teachers post about these and after contemplation decided these could be a good way to use CI/repetition in 1st and 3rd person as well as learn more about each student.

Well……My. Students. LOVE. Them.

They keep begging to do more (yay), but I told them we’ll do 3 a week until everyone has gone. Hopefully the novelty of them will keep going!

Do you do student interviews? What follow up activities do you do? How do you keep your students engaged and responsible for paying attention and participating?

¿Cómo estás?


When you ask a student “¿Cómo estás? usually the respond with “estoy bien”. I’m over it. I’m bored with it.

I want my kids to be able to truly tell me how they are and what they are feeling. Not only does it give me information on their current state of being, but it could lead to a story a lot easier than ‘I’m good’.

I’m giving my students this hand out so that they can practice giving me more variety when I ask them how they are. This can also help students stay in the target language during stories if we’re discussing ‘how’ a character is doing.

Do you have any creative ways to teach this?

Ps. have I mentioned that I love canva?

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.09.06 PM

‘Canva’ is changing my life!


Woah!!! I recently saw someone post about canva!.  Canva is a FREE website that lets you easily create things that have that infographic look. I was just playing around with it and created this schnazzy looking alphabet! I don’t usually focus much time on learning the alphabet because I don’t believe it adds much to fluency. However, giving students this resource allows them to refer to it when they need to spell something!

Watch out, the canva ideas are brewing!!!

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 4.42.21 PM

2 more weeks!


Am I the only one who gets secretly excited for the pending school year???

I was planning on staying home with the cutest baby on the planet… but then a part time gig fell into my lap. And thank goodness because 1. I am not cut out to be a SAHM. 2. I love teaching. 3. I needed a hobby where the creative juices could flow!

This year however, I’m in a new district. I am extremely excited that the superintendent is on board with me teaching CI/TPRS. And I can’t wait to meet my students.

After taking over half a year off last year on maternity leave, I’m feeling a bit rusty. Looking forward to jumping back in and exclusively using CI/TPRS.

I love getting to know my students with CI and questioning. One way that I “cheat” to get ideas is using a student questionnaire. Besides asking basic things such as name, age, favorites etc. I include many silly questions such as: “Who is your hero?, If you had a million dollars what would you do?” I find this activity extremely helpful to give me ideas of who and what the kids are into these days.

What are some of your favorite beginning of the year things to do?



Yesterday, I was really excited about how good my students did on a ‘re-write’ activity. Today, I was brainstorming fun ideas for students to be hearing, seeing and reading in Spanish. I created a fun BINGO game to go with the movie talk we’ve been working on. In each square is a sentence from the story. I’m thinking the first time we do it I’ll say the structures in Spanish, and they’ll just have to read and find the sentence. Then the next time, I’ll say the sentences in English so they’re thinking about the meaning of each phrase. I love having fun while learning (teaching)!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 7.08.12 PM

I have an addiction…


My name is Ami …and I have an addiction….to movie talks.

I love them!

Kids love them!

They’re SO engaging!

…and they learn and acquire SO MUCH!

I am constantly astonished how much they can reproduce after frequent structure repetition and circling.

I was on maternity leave for 5 months so in the last 3 months I’ve been trying to squish in as much Comprehensible Input as possible. This week we were reinforcing the words: Pone, Tiene, Lleva, Quiere. We did this through a unit I created based on the youtube video “Carrot Crazy”

I started the unit by pre-teaching some new words such as: Conejo, trampa, zanahoria, suelo, bosque and mochila. Then we circled the story. We reinforced the story daily through circling and supplemental activities I created. One (which perhaps I’ll call…descriptive walk around) students were each given a different picture. They had to walk around the room, find 4 students to describe the picture, and have them sign their paper. It was interesting listening to students give output. Some were extremely impressive. Of course listening to other students provided me with feedback as to which students needed additional scaffolding and which structures I needed added repetition.

All in all…it was a success and gave me warm fuzzy feelings watching my students acquire new structures and phrases!

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 4.08.32 PM