Airline News

Spanish Airline Reading

I recently discovered an article about an Argentinian man who flew throughout the country and internationally by stealing others’ credit cards for FOUR YEARS and for 30 flights!  He also managed to become part of the frequent flyers’ club.  This was perfect timing for my airport unit.  I rewrote it for my students below:

Un muchacho viajó gratis por 4 años en Aerolíneas Argentinas. Martín Alejandro Fumarola compró 30 billetes con tarjetas de crédito de otras personas. Su destino principal era Córdoba en Argentina. También fue a Italia y Brasil.

El costo de todos los vuelos es US$2.000. Martín compró los boletos durante los días festivos y los fines de semana. Las personas que tenían las tarjetas de crédito supieron (found out) después del vuelo.  Martín tenía que comprar los billetes la noche anterior del vuelo.

Martín también se unió (joined) en el programa de pasajeros frecuentes. Acumuló millas en su nombre. Era en el grupo platino (platinum).

La aerolínea descubrió el fraude. Martín pagó el dinero pero quería tener las millas del programa de pasajeros frecuentes. La aerolínea decidió que no va a seguir con el proceso legal pero Argentina va a seguir con el proceso legal.

To start, I am going to ask students in Spanish how long to predict someone could travel for “free” by using others’ credit cards.  I will also ask them how many flights they think they could take.  Also , it would be an interesting discussion about if it is fair or not.  Should he be able to keep his miles or not?

Brillante Viernes: October 21, 2016

October 21, 2016

Happy Friday!!  I hope that you are enjoying your week and are looking forward to the weekend.  I am headed out to the Halloween train this weekend with my son which combines two of his favorite things.  Also, that laundry still cannot do itself for some reason.  Here are some of my favorite pages from this week:

Maris Hawkins Flashback!

Ideas for a low key class


This time of the year, it seems like we have a lot of special schedules.  The other day, half of my students had just taken the PSAT all morning.  We also had a Homecoming Pep Rally recently as well as our version of the Olympic games.  I wanted to have something that was productive and meaningful for students, but something that they could complete simply.  Here are a few of my ideas when students need a bit of a break:

  • Drawing: I had students draw a picture that was described in a Spanish paragraph.  It demonstrates comprehension without requiring a written response.  You could also have students make a comic strip live or online.
  • Kahoot, Quizizz or Quizlet Live: These are some of my favorite games as well as my students’ favorite games.  They are also easy to set up.
  • Señor Wooly nuggets:  These nuggets ranked on some of my blended students’ favorite activities.
  • Playdoh: I haven’t used it as much as I would like from the beginning of the year, but this was a favorite activity of my Spanish 3 students during my student teaching.  They felt like they were learning something yet it was relaxed.  You could also have them create a scene from the story with Play doh.
  • Café y conversación:  I would love to plan this for the first two hour snow delay!
  • Also if students won’t talk in person, they could have a discussion on Today’sMeet!
  • Tongue twisters!  My students are always up for a quick tongue twister at the beginning or end of class.
  • Crayon War: Even my older kids who are too cool for games love this one.

Share some of your favorite low key lesson ideas in the comments, and I will add them to the list!

Día de los Muertos Activities

Día de los Muertos Activities

Over the weekend, I found this touching video about Día de los Muertos.  You could do a MovieTalk with this video; however, I decided to make an embedded reading about the video first.  I try to use volleyball translation judiciously, but I would start with that.  During the next reading, I will have students illustrate a few scenes especially with some of the imagery with the skeletons.  If you can find it, I like sharing pan de muerto with my students that day.

I have also found some interesting authentic resources for Día de los Muertos.  Here is a collection of 3,500 recipes for the holiday.  This is a video about sugar skulls.  Also, here is an infographic with a description of the ofrenda.  Hopefully, these will help you as you plan for the upcoming holiday!

Brillante Viernes: October 14, 2016


Happy Friday!  It has been Homecoming week which is always exciting.  Also, I received my graphic novels from Señor Wooly! I am going to do this in December, and I am so excited to start.  Plus my students are completing their first IPA this week.  Whew!  I am exhausted just typing this.  Here are some of my other favorites from this week:

Here is a quick rewind of years past in my blog:


Actively Learn for Interpretive Reading

Actively Learn for Interpretive Reading

I saw Laura mention Actively Learn on Twitter as a sort of EdPuzzle for reading, and I was intrigued.  It is a freemium technology.  You can import a website or PDF to this site to add questions, links, polls or notes.  As I am finishing up the movie unit, I imported an article on Storks the movie.  As I was perusing the article, I would highlight what I wanted the students to answer a question.  You can insert a note, white out a section, add a question or insert a link.  I choose add a question to show you what you could add:


I added my questions, notes and polls, make a class and push it out to my students.  Once my students are in my class, they can see my assignments.  As students respond, I can respond to their answers.  This is what the results look like on my screen:

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 7.49.55 PM.png

I made the responses anonymous for the sake of my blog, but I can turn on the feature to see which student said what.  Also, there are some awesome features when students respond.  They can see what others’ say AFTER they hit submit on their question.  They can also change their answer once they see others’ answers.  Students can also see the notes that others take.  In addition to seeing others’ work, it is very easy to grade the responses within this program.  I can also give feedback individually to each student.

The drawbacks for the free version are that I can only add three articles a month.  From the material that I can find in Spanish, there is not a lot of usable material for my Spanish 2 class because I am not teaching Don Quixote to my kids!  Also, it would be amazing to differentiate by assigning different articles to different students.  That is a feature with the premium version.

Overall, I am very excited about this program!  This is perfect for a blended or online class. It would also be an excellent idea for a sub day.   I asked my trial class for feedback, and they really liked it overall.  One student felt that this was easier than answering questions via a Google Doc.  Also they liked the text boxes and liked that they could see others’ responses.  Even if they change their answer, I can still see their original answer. I look forward to continuing to work with this program this year!


Tips when developing a blended class

Tips for developing and teaching a blended class

I am currently in my third year of teaching a blended class.  In some ways, my blended class is different from what many teachers think about a typical blended class because I designed all of the blended days by myself.  I wanted to highlight a few things that I have realized make a successful blended class.  These can be applied to a blended class or an online class.

  • Start with the same type of activity each day.  As I have two blended days a week, each day at the beginning, students are either completing an EdPuzzle or a journal.  I have found that this helps students tackle the challenge of the full blended day by always having the same task.  Routines do provide good structure for students.
  • However, within these platforms, I am able to vary what my students do.  With an EdPuzzle, they may be watching a vlogger video, a part of a telenovela or a commercial for a product.  I also find out what my students really love and use more videos like it.  Last year, it was Plaza Sesamo!  With Seesaw, I give my students three topics to choose from or they can choose their own topic.  I will also have them reflect on their writing twice a year and write a poem with a partner twice a year as well.
  • My feedback is key to keeping students on task.  It can seem overwhelming to grade a lot of this work that students complete on blended days, but if students know that they do not have to complete the task, they will not.  While I like to ask a lot of open ended questions, I will also ask multiple choice or fill in the blank questions that give students instant feedback.  Therefore, they can tell if they are on the right path.  This year, I am prioritizing asking more follow up questions on their journals as this is what I want to model for them when they have interpersonal activities.
  • It is important to have group work to break up the individual activities.  I will have students interview each other.  They also collaborated on an authentic resource article to create questions for another group.  My class must rely on asking each other questions on the blended days, so the community aspect is very important.
  • I try to house as much of the material in our learning management system/LMS as I can.  We use the platform Haiku/PowerSchool.  I typically use it for online practices and discussions (in addition to having all of the directions for the online page).  Many people like other online sources for discussions like Padlet, but it is nice to have as much of the class in the LMS as I can.  This also helps provide consistency for students.  I haven’t explored Padlet or Flubaroo as much because I stick to my LMS platform.
  • I try to balance what students are able to do in Spanish.  I do not want them writing in every assignment for the whole 50 minutes.  I make sure that they are reading an authentic resource or listening to a different video.  I felt guilty of this when I was first developing my class to focus on output instead of the input that students could get from different sites and information.  I make sure that within each week, there is at least one speaking activity and one reading activity on the blended days.  This balance can be key to make sure your students do not burn out in the class.
  • Getting feedback from students is also crucial.  Do they feel that the work is manageable or are they overwhelmed?  Do they like the activities that they are doing?  Are you asking them to try too many new technologies at once?  Can they figure out your instructions?  Without my students’ feedback, I would have never developed a successful class.  While I have kept many similar parts of the class, I have also really changed from my first year.

What would you add to my list for a blended or online class?

Brillante Viernes: October 7, 2016


Brillante Viernes: October 7

Happy Friday!  It has been a topsy turvy week since my son has been sick.  I am looking forward to getting back on track next week.  I also am looking forward to catching up on my blog reading this weekend.  Here were some of my favorite blog entries from this week:

  • I love this idea to get more one-on-one time with the students!  And much more successful than asking if there are any questions.
  • This post talks about making sure that our communication tasks are actually something that we would do in the real world.
  • Allison rounded up a great list of Day of the Dead activities for the month!
  • I love Breakout boxes!  Here is how one teacher is using them in her class!

Here are some of my posts from back in the day:

Daily Routine Authentic Resources

Daily Routine Auth Res

Sometimes, do you feel like you search for a resource and never find it?!  Then later, you hit the jackpot!  This is how I feel about my recent search for authentic resources based on a daily routine.  Here are some of my most recent favorites:

  • This is a very basic routine of this blogger written succinctly.  It would be great for the beginning of a unit.
  • This is longer, but I would start with the second part which are the details of this blogger’s day.
  • While this is a longer schedule (and a bit outdated from 2009), I think students will enjoy the fact that it is about Selena Gomez!
  • I found this last year, but I thought I would include it in my round-up: A video of a vlogger’s morning routine.
  • Finally, People en Español has Un día con… different actors, singers etc.  It is a gold mine of daily routines with lots of pictures!

Have you found any new favorite daily routine resources?

Mad Libs

Mad Libs for Spanish students

As I have been playing around with getting students to share more about themselves, sometimes, I will run into the student who doesn’t like to share a lot.  At times, I can say be creative, but some students do not feel comfortable doing so.  I am hoping that these Mad Libs can allow students to become more creative in class.  I tried to recreate some Mad Libs that could fall into different categories that teachers use.  I wrote six Mad Libs with one about Homecoming.  I also put a grid at the top with examples of each category.  Enjoy!