Posted in Listening

New EdPuzzle Videos

New EdPuzzle Videos

When I first started to embed questions in videos, I used EdPuzzle.  Then my whole school switched to Zaption, so I put all of my videos in Zaption.  Now, we are back to EdPuzzle.  There are some great features to EdPuzzle that I really like.  It is very easy to grade when you click on quick grade.  Also it does not allow students to change their answer after they have hit submit.  Last year, when my students were doing Zaption practices, they would change their answer to the correct answer.  I assumed that all of my students were really understanding all of the concepts!  I have even used it as a part of the assessments this year.  This allows students to rewatch the parts that they need to rewatch to understand.

Many times with YouTube, a video is removed, or all of the sudden I cannot access it because I do not live in that country.  Also since I have incorporated it into my quiz, I like to have practice EdPuzzles for students to complete.  Here are some of my most recent EdPuzzle activities:

When I am looking for a video, I like to mix things up.  I like to use cartoons, commercials, parts of a TV show or vloggers.  This helps to keep my students engaged.  Many times, I will ask them for one thing that they learned from a section to help them share what they have learned.  Have you discovered any new videos that you are loving recently?

Posted in Authentic resources, Technology

EdPuzzle (and authentic resources)

Many people wanted to know how to use authentic resources.  One good source of authentic resources that students enjoy is YouTube.  I have wanted to look into EdPuzzle since it popped up on my radar a few weeks ago.  It allows you to embed a video and manipulate it in different ways.  First, you have to find a good video.  For clothes, there is a cute video series called Dress Code.  (Even if you do not use EdPuzzle, check out this series!  She also did some neat videos in Sochi- I wish I would have know last year!)  She also speaks very clearly.  For my beginners, there are a lot of visuals to help understand.  She also repeats many of the clothing words.

In EdPuzzle, you can crop a video, record over a video or create quizzes.  I created a quiz, and it was really easy.  As students are watching the video, they can rewatch it if they miss something.  Each time, they hit a certain point, questions pop up.  They cannot fast forward through the video.  There is a video that explains how the program works.

In my questions, I alternate between Spanish and English.  Sometimes I want students to know how to answer questions and communicate in Spanish.  Other times, I want to make sure that students understand the meaning and are not just copying down or listening for specific words or questions.  Tomorrow, my students will log in to complete this assignment.  This is perfect for a sub day or a snow day.

Posted in Novel

Santana: Resources

Santana: resources

This past year, I taught the book Santana to my level 3 students.  It was a hit!  I personally found it fascinating because I didn’t know much about his personal life.  As I wrote before, I like combining fiction (in this case Robo en la noche) with a non-fiction book to reach all of my students.  I realized that I never shared many of the materials that I made for this novel.

  • To introduce the book and learn more about Mexico, I used this EdPuzzle on Mexico DF.
  • I also had students complete a jigsaw activity to review the book when we reached chapter 9.  I broke students up into smaller groups and then they had to come up with key words, questions to ask their peers and important facts from the chapters.  Then one member from each group would rearrange themselves and they would “re-teach” the chapters to the other members.  The other group would answer the questions and the experts from the chapter could correct the answers.
  • For interpretive reading assessments, I like to shorten a few chapters and leave out some details.  Students have to include new details that are from the book, related to what they are reading and not in the reading.  Then, they identify key vocabulary and answer comprehension questions.  I have found that this gives students a reason to re-read the text, and I don’t have to create a whole new story/text with the words from this story.  This is the practice that students completed.
  • Each chapter begins with a quote.  I gave students a variety of options from the quote and had them explain how the quote related to their own life for a presentational writing assessment.
  • I was looking for a good interpretive listening assessment.  Dreaming Spanish has some excellent videos about other singers’ lives.  Their lives parallel Santana’s life.  I had students complete an EdPuzzle answering questions about the singer’s lives and then later explaining the similarities or differences with Santana’s life.  I used the video about Rosalía and Álvaro Soler.
  • I found/created this Quizizz for chapters 10-12.
  • And finally, I can never figure out how to actually share a Goosechase, but I took screenshots of all of the missions!

Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 1.51.25 PMScreen Shot 2019-08-14 at 1.51.09 PMScreen Shot 2019-08-14 at 1.50.59 PMScreen Shot 2019-08-14 at 1.50.45 PM

If you are planning on teaching Santana, I hope you enjoy it as much as my classes did!

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 9, 2019

Brillante Viernes: August 9, 2019

Happy Friday!  I hope all of the schools that have started already had a wonderful back to school week!  I have personally found that my productivity and self-care ebb and flow throughout the summer.  In the beginning, I try to take as much time off as I can with a five year old to relax and read a TON.  I have some blips of activity like edcamp, but overall, I am able to take it easy.  Throughout most of July, I don’t get too much done school wise, but that is the beauty of it!  I can work when I feel inspired and stop when I do not- and go back to reading or Netflixing.  Late July and early August, I get bursts of energy to work and get many things on my to do list accomplished.  (Thus the flurry of blog posts you see from me!)  Then, the last week, I soak up even more summer time and son time knowing that the busyness of the first week will be here soon.

Frequently, I read about people worrying about not enough self care because of working too much in the summer.  I believe that it is all about balance.  During the summer, I finally have time to work on some of the longer projects that I cannot accomplish during the school year.  I am also able to take long vacations to both Virginia Beach and South Carolina.  Learn to listen to yourself- if you aren’t feeling inspired, take some extra time to lay by the pool or get a pedicure where they offer you a free mimosa!  (This is evidently a thing in my new town!)  Don’t beat yourself up if you spend extra time one day working on a school project.  It will all balance itself out in the end!

To add one more thing to my much more wordy than normal BV intro- EdPuzzle has AMAZING NEWS!!  You can now PROJECT a video and all students can submit their own answers!  It is similar to a video and PearDeck combined!  I used to love using this feature with Zaption.  While I love EdPuzzle for its ability to differentiate, I like to use the project version the first time we watch a video and at times before an assessment.  That way, we can discuss the answers as we go.

With ALL of that- here are my favorite blog posts from the week:

Posted in beginning of the year, sub plans

Back to School: Emergency Sub Plans

Emergency Sub Plans

Missed my first post of this series?  Check out my summer round-up of great posts here.

I realized that I haven’t blogged recently about my sub plans or emergency sub plans in over four years!  When I saw Amanda’s post recently, it inspired me to write this post.  While some of my plans stay the same, others have changed.  It can also be daunting to create sub plans if you are moving away from the textbook.  Hopefully, you can save some of these ideas for when you are sick.

I have always touted the benefits of EdPuzzle especially on a sub day.  I would advise NOT to pick one that would last the whole period though because it will become tedious.  Since I typically have added a new EdPuzzle to my classes, I will find a newer one that my students wouldn’t have completed in other levels.  I also like to find some great cultural ones that will be engaging, but I may not cover during the school year.  Here are some of my recent favorites:

These are all geared for level 1, so you could easily use them with upper levels.  Remember the awesome search feature in EdPuzzle, so you can find other activities.  If you are not 1:1, you could have the sub play the video and have students answer the questions on a piece of paper.

To extend this idea further, you could have students compare the EdPuzzle to themselves or American culture depending on the assignment.  They could complete this on Flipgrid or Seesaw.  Just make sure that you have done a few Flipgrid assignments before you give this assignment during a sub day!

Another way to give input is to assign a reading activity.  If we are reading a novel, this is easy.  Typically, students can read the next chapter.  However, if you don’t have a reading that you are working on, you could include a cultural reading.  If you are looking for an authentic resource, I have many listed here by topic.  You could also copy a few pages from my news summaries from 2017-2018.  In that post, I also provide a list of other stories to give students.  Martina’s Revista Literal would also be great!

If we are reading a novel or I have an interpretive reading assignment and I don’t have time to make up questions, I have done generic worksheets or have students create the questions!  One of my favorite assessments and activities to practice is AnneMarie Chase’s quick rubrics.  You can also give students this generic worksheet to complete.  Many teachers have also had students draw pictures to represent their understanding of the story or article.  Finally, if I have practiced making Google Form Quizzes with my students, I will have my students create one and send it to their peers to complete.

I try to MOSTLY gear my sub plans to include more input than output; however, if you have an upper level class, you could have students write an opinion piece on the reading or write a comparison piece in the target language.

To review current topics, you can quickly make a Quizizz activity.  I like to include Quizizz activities during a sub day because it is a fun activity to change up the class.  If you don’t have any Quizizzes made, you can quickly search for Quizizzes made by other people and add questions to your own.  Assign it as homework and you have a code for students to complete!  Plus, it gives feedback to them automatically.  If students go through it too quickly, I normally give them a minimum grade to earn.

What are your favorite low to no prep sub plans to make for students?

Posted in Review

Book review: Tech with Heart

Tech with Heart book review

I just finished reading my colleague Stacey Roshan’s book, Tech with Heart.  Stacey shares her incredible journey and shows strength and vulnerability.  I have been lucky to work with Stacey while I have been at Bullis.  Typically, the first thing that I do when I find a tech tool is email Stacey to ask her advice on it!  While Stacey is a math teacher, her ideas have influenced my thinking in a variety of ways.

In her book, she talks about how a classroom can recognize introverts.  I can relate to this because I have changed my grading and class participation based on some of the reasons Stacey discusses in her book.  In my second year of teaching, I taught a sweet boy in second grade with brown hair and glasses.  He didn’t participate much, so my only understanding of his understanding was when we would have assessments or I would do checks for understanding.  Then, at the end of the year, we were playing a Jeopardy review game of the whole year.  He knew every single word that I asked!  His face lit up when he realized that no one else knew some the of the answers, and I realized that just because a student doesn’t participate doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t know the answers.  That was one of my biggest lightbulbs when I found out that I could never grade participation.  If I did, his grade would be low, and it truly wouldn’t reflect what he knew.

Stacey discusses how she has used PearDeck, Flipgrid and EdPuzzle in her classes to transform them and give a space for introverts who prefer to have time to think.  While I have been using these tools for years, Stacey’s book made me rethink how I can use them even more to transform my classes.  I love pre-made PearDecks, but another feature that I love about them is that I can just open one up and start asking questions aloud.  Especially in May when I have four preps, it is just easier to do this.  However, the other day, I decided to ask a social-emotional question at the beginning of my PearDeck.  I asked students what they were happy about recently.  I told them to respond in English and that I wouldn’t project their responses.  While many of them wrote that they were happy for the end of the school year, some students wrote a few things that really provided insight into what is going on with their lives.

That was when it hit me!  I have mostly shied away from assigning a ton of homework due to the fact that a lot of research questions the validity of the homework.  However, I realized that PearDeck may be the key for me to gather some of this information consistently and help me plan for my classes especially around novels.  The homework load would still be light, but it would be valuable.  For example, I can make a three to four question slide deck for homework.  I can include one social-emotional question that I can vary.  (PearDeck even has some sample ones that I can use!)  Then, I can ask students a few questions to help them recall the chapter.  This will also fit nicely with retrieval practices.  Some ideas that I am thinking about include:

  • write a 3-4 sentence summary of the chapter in Spanish or English (depending on the level)
  • draw a timeline of events in the past chapter
  • write 3-4 new words that you learned or remember from the book that are important
  • how does this part affect other parts of the book
  • make a prediction based on what happened in the last chapter

Then, based on what my students say, I can reiterate any parts that they do not understand at the beginning of class.  As Stacey also points out, I can have students look at these decks before a quiz to help them study.  I can also find time to discuss with my students how they are doing based on their responses to the other questions.

Another idea that Stacey shared in her book is having students reflect on the year using Sutori.  I love this idea!  I believe that I can alternate this assignment with PearDeck every other week.  This way, students can use the feedback that I give them after assessments to discuss their growth.  I have been inconsistent with how students use my feedback and reflect.  This is a low-prep homework idea from me that will help students in the long run, and it will provide more insight for me to see how students feel.

I highly recommend Stacey’s book because it is a great insight to how students feel with anxiety and perfectionism and how we can lessen the burden!  I know that you will come away with your own takeaways and how you can apply it to the foreign language classroom.

Posted in Comprehensible Input, No Prep Required, reflection

How to transition to using more comprehensible input

How to transition to using more CI

This week, I used the great TCI locator to meet up with a local teacher who is interested in switching to using CI.  It was extremely beneficial for me, and it was also great to hear concerns of teachers who want to use CI.  One thing that we both noted is how overwhelming it can be!  When I transitioned to using more CI, there was only so much materials and blogs out there.  (Facebook groups weren’t even a thing!)  This was good and bad.  I pretty much had to go to conferences to learn more, but I could start picking things up one by one.  Now, there is information overload- which can be difficult to figure out where to start.

First, I wanted to start by explaining how I made space in my curriculum to use more CI.  If you have been teaching for any amount of time, you know that NO student ever remembers that WHOLE list of vocabulary (over 40 words for each unit!!) that you teach each year.  Also, if you are a non-native speaker like me, there will be a word or two in the vocabulary list that you didn’t know because you never needed to use it during your whole life of speaking Spanish.  (Camping unit and life divisions unit- I AM LOOKING AT YOU!)  Start by pairing down your list.  Students rarely remember el alquiler (rent) or el locutor (radio announcer).  Why do teachers quiz students on it?!  Since other teachers are used to that (and probably are not recycling these terms anyway because they are so low frequency), they won’t notice.  This gives you space to concentrate on useful terms that students actually may use/remember.

If you can get rid of a whole unit (maybe not the first year, but perhaps the second!), then I recommend trying a novel unit instead.  I started to use novels by putting one at the end of the year.  Many novels tie in themes from the year, and it seemed like a nice way to wrap everything up.  Plus, it is a nice change from what you have been doing which can be invigorating at the end of the year.  (Or if you have a review unit, you can replace the review unit with a novel at the beginning of the year!)

My other recommendation is to switch one level at a time.  This is especially easy if you teach multiple levels (AND almost more essential.)  Even though I teach four levels now (which seems crazy!), I made a HUGE switch the one year that I only taught level 2.  Then, last year, I made changes in the two other levels and this year, I have switched two other levels.   This isn’t to say that you can’t do any CI in your other levels.  In fact, I think as you start to switch in one level, you will find that an activity you did in one level can easily be modified and used in another level.  I have found that to be true with my students.  I realize that we haven’t done PearDeck vocabulary much and all of the sudden it is in all of my plans for all of my levels.  It will seem more manageable if you have the goal to start with one level than if you plan on chucking everything out and focusing on all of the levels.

In addition, to talking about how you can make curriculum changes to make space for CI, I wanted to put together a post with links that can help teachers.  My hope is that this list will be low-ish prep or ways to come up with stories if you are feeling uncertain:

  • One way to start using more CI is to incorporate weekend talks.  It is a great way to start Monday morning and low to no prep, so you can enjoy more of your own weekend!  I always start with Martina’s list or  Andrea’s variations.  Bethanie has made these AMAZING placements to help facilitate the discussion.  (And other teachers have translated them into new versions.)  Finally, once you have tried a few of these variations for awhile, I recommend changing it up with this game.  My students love it!
  • If you do have a story script that you can use, I recommend putting it in PearDeck!  This helped me transition greatly!  PearDeck is a technology tool that can be used as an add-on to Google Slides.  In PearDeck, I was able to ask questions, circle and allow brain breaks for drawing.  Each student would participate, and it was engaging.  If you have a story, you can put it in Google slides.  I tend to put 2-3 sentences per slide.  Then you can include comprehension questions and personalization questions within your presentation.  While in the free version, students cannot draw the pictures, PearDeck can allow your students to answer all of your questions including multiple choice and open-ended questions.  You can also see what students are understanding on your end.  While the projection view shows everyone’s answers anonymously, you can go back and view what student said what.  (Or you can open PearDeck on another device such as your phone or iPad.)
  • Although typically MovieTalks are not geared toward a specific theme, you can always find a lot of topics embedded in each video as you are making your transition to use more CI in class.  In each video, I can always discuss:
    • Clothes and color
    • Weather/time
    • Feelings
    • Descriptions
    • House rooms and furniture or city words

I also prefer to structure it more as guided by questions AND then explain what is happening.  This helps me make it more interpersonal.  I give my students a sheet to fill out that accompanies the main words that I am trying to hit from the unit.  I write these on the board as we are discussing the video.  I have found that as long as I plan out the main words that I hope my students to learn, I don’t have to script out as much.  You can see how I did this with Carrot Crazy.  (Kara and Arianne also have a ton of free MovieTalks too!  Many of them you can modify to work with your set of words if needed.)

  • After the MovieTalk, take a few minutes to write up the story.  It should go a bit faster since you have completed it in class, and you don’t have to create the story.  Once you have the story, you can come up with a few low-prep or zero-prep ideas to review it.  You have to keep in mind that your main goal is to have students read the document again and again to get more exposure to the words and story.  Plus, the more you can get out of it, the less prep for you!  You can:
    • change a few details and have students read and correct them.
    • split up the main sentences onto Quizlet and then have students play Quizlet live.  Instead of using it for vocabulary translation, you can write the first half of the sentence on the left and finish the sentence on the right.  (Remember to only come up with obvious splits here.)
    • give the students the story and have each student draw a line from the movie.  Then, scan their drawings and project them and have students guess what line the student was drawing.  (Thanks to my colleagues Evelyn Beckman and Rich Green for sharing this idea during our meet-up as well!)
    • have students go back and highlight all of the people or places.  (Or really highlight anything you think is important!)
    • have students change an ending if they are up for more output.
  • Another thing we discussed was trying to incorporate more CI without having to write all of the stories.  Dreaming Spanish YouTube channel is a godsend!  Pablo does an amazing job of keeping everything comprehensible.  This year in particular, there are new videos constantly- and here are some that would fit your traditional textbook themes- but are way more compelling:

You can have students complete an EdPuzzle with these videos- and they are so popular that many videos have already been made!

  • I think one of the scariest jump is trying to come up with a story with the students as well as the story structure.  While there are many structures to use, it can still feel like a lot of prep.  My colleague Rich also has a great way to avoid this.  You can give students a list of 7 words that you are practicing and have them use 4 in a cartoon.  They can use the words in the caption or the speech bubbles of the people in the cartoon.  Then, you can make any corrections and scan them to discuss.  I really like talking about drawings that students create because circling seems more natural to me.  You have to say- who is it because you don’t know.  You can also ask what they are doing and include clarifying questions.  You can also add more details to match up what you are talking about- like where are they if students didn’t give a background.  If you have a big class, I would only do a few cartoons a day.  That also minimizes your prep of correcting and scanning their work.  Then, after you find a story that really resonates with your students, you can type it out and elaborate more.  While this requires some prep on your end, you don’t have to worry about coming up with a whole story.  Also, you can use stories from other classes.  If you do that, you could also have students compare and contrast the stories.
  • Finally, I have always found inspiration in the news.  On Facebook, I follow news sources like Remezcla and AJ+ Español.  I also intentionally search for news from every Spanish speaking country.  While it takes time to make the news comprehensible for your students, the good news is you will have more culture embedded, and you can adjust it to include more of the vocabulary that you are trying to teach from the textbook.  If you are planning to make the transition, you can start by making a few over the summer.  Then, you don’t have to do as much over the year.  It doesn’t have to be an immediate current event especially if it connects with your students.  Also, most likely it is more current than most of your textbook readings.
  • Another big tip I suggest is going to professional development over the summer!  Mike Peto has once again created a map of all of the CI PD that is available this summer.

I hope this helps teachers, and I would love to hear if you try to incorporate more CI with one or more of these techniques.  I also want to extend a big thank you to Lauren for meeting with me and inspiring me to write this up!!

Posted in No Prep Required

No-prep ideas to spice up your classroom

no prep ways to spice up your classroom

Every March, it seems like I am fresh out of ideas.  It seems like students know my tricks, and they aren’t as exciting any more.  Luckily, I have just come back from NECTFL, and I feel like I am bursting with ideas.  I also review my blog to see what games I forgot to play!  On a recent trip, I listened to a couple of episodes of Inspired Proficiency, and I feel like I have plenty of new ideas to change up our routine:

  • On the games episode, I remembered the “move if” game.  With my level 5 and level 3 classes, we did this as a variation on weekend chat.  For my level 1, students said things that they liked.  One student stood in the center of the circle of chairs and stated something that they did that weekend.  If other students had done the same thing, they had to move seats and there was someone new in the center.  I was skeptical, but all of my classes really enjoyed this including my seniors.  Many of them asked for extra time to play!  (Although your neighbors may be wondering why your students are yelling “I LIKE FISH!”)
  • Recently, I was able to play two games from AnneMarie’s blog!  The Game of Quotes is amazing.  My students struggled with Details, Details while we are reading our books, but I think they would do better the next time.
  • When we are going to read a story (or after we read a story), dictation can be really useful.  I only have to pick out 4-5 sentences to read aloud.  Students can do this when they are tired, and it helps them to tune their ear to listen.
  • While EdPuzzle isn’t typically low-prep, you can find SO many online!  The EdPuzzle database is amazing.  You can also search many times to find them.  I also just created an EdPuzzle about Mexico from Dreaming Spanish for my level 5 class, but you could probably use it for level 4 as well.  Find a great video, but an EdPuzzle doesn’t exist?  Turn it into a project, and students can tell you what they know.
  • I am a huge fan of GimKit, but you don’t always have to make up the lists.  Press Kit Collab and let students write the questions!  I like to allow students to write more than one question, but you have to turn that feature on.
  • Since we are reading books now, I like to give students a way to creatively express what they understand.  My favorite ways are to have them create a meme, a fake text conversation or tweets!  Or we will pull out the Play-doh and students can recreate scenes with it.  Then we discuss everyone’s scenes.

What has been your favorite way to spice up your classroom in March?

Posted in holidays

New Year’s Predictions!

Predictions for 2019

Happy New Year’s Eve!  Each year, I like to start off with horoscope predictions for the upcoming year.  I have written them to include predictions for 2019!

Horoscopos_ 2019

If you want, you can have students also review their horoscope for 2018 and see what came true and what didn’t!  (You can also see some other great ideas to use when you come back from break with that post.)

This year, I am modifying my activity to complete after reading the horoscopes.  I want them to reflect on it then complete an interpersonal activity.  I have been thinking a lot after watching some of Meredith White’s YouTube videos and reading about Kara’s BVP tasks about how I plan interpersonal activities.  I want students to complete these activities before planning a full class conversation.  Then, we can talk about our hopes for the New Year and what types of predictions we prefer as a class.

I also love to show my classes that have done the Gordo commercial unit, these photos of the winners!  You can also show the video of the children singing the numbers.  There are also a few articles about the winners.  This story is about two women from Argentina that live in Spain and won the lottery.  There is also a sadder story about a man who won the lottery and died the next day.  I have found that when I follow up with these activities students enjoy them because they realize the significance of what we studied.

After this, students can complete this EdPuzzle that I found, and we can use Kristel Rabideau’s activity to chime in the new year with mini marshmallows!  How do you plan to start your school year in January?

Posted in noticias

How to develop a unit around news articles

news article unit

The other Spanish III teacher and I incorporate a lot of current events into our curriculum.  I knew that this year, I wanted to develop a unit around the news articles that I write with Martina.  I have some ideas on how I supplement articles with these ideas.  However, I wanted to explain how I am making these resources link together with this unit.  I first decided on the goals of the unit.  They are:


  • I can understand current events in Spanish-speaking countries.
  • I can make connections between current events in Spanish-speaking countries.
  • I can make connections between current events in the US and Spanish-speaking countries.
  • I can understand how current events reflect upon the culture of each country.

Then, my co-teacher and I discussed some assessments that we could use.

  • For interpretive reading, I love Señora Chase’s Quick Quiz rubrics.  We will use the newest edition of El Mundo en Tus Manos and have students complete the quiz.  The other benefit is that we can allow students flexibility to choose what article they would like to be assessed on.  I always appreciate when differentiation can be that easy!
  • We have classes of 18 students total.  We will have them divide into 4 groups, and each group can choose an article.  Students will read the article then use the authentic resources to investigate even more into the topic.  The small group will present their topic to ONE other small group, and they will also ask the other group questions to start an interpersonal conversation.  I liked the idea of small groups in order to give each person a chance to talk.  That can be lost in a larger class.  My hope is that this will bridge nicely with the tertulia that I have my Spanish V students complete.
  • Finally, since our news is written, my hope is to have students research their own news topic and create a newscast in the form of a video in a comprehensible way.  I also like that this helps infuse some creativity into the unit.

Here are some of the tasks that I used to start getting my students making these connections.

First, they read the news articles and did this quick assignment from Martina.  Then, they voted on the article that they enjoyed the most.  At the end, I had them brainstorm connections that they saw between at least three of the articles with partners and we discussed them aloud.

The next day I grouped them according to the article that they liked, gave them an older article (but new to them) and I had them complete a Venn Diagram comparing the article they liked the day before to the one that they currently read.  Then, they wrote up comparisons based on what they had read.

After that, I had them share their favorite video on Flipgrid.  As we continue to work on developing their proficiency, I want students to start supporting their thoughts.  Since they are in Spanish III, I want more than I thought it was interesting.  I need SPECIFIC FACTS, friends!

The next week, we had more news to read!  I started with a dictation.  I picked out five significant sentences in the articles.  Then, I read them aloud numerous times while students wrote them down in Spanish.  This allowed me to highlight certain grammar points or spelling.  After the dictation, I asked a few PQA questions to my students.  One article was about José Andrés, and he has numerous restaurants in the DC area.  We discussed which restaurants were his and which ones students had visited.  Also, another program was Hamilton.  We talked about who had seen Hamilton before.

Then, I gave the students the articles and had them highlight three main ideas from each one.  We discussed the important parts, and I reviewed any questions that students had from each article.  After that, I had students craft questions to do a GimKit collab.

The next day, we had chat stations.  Students worked with a partner to answer these questions then we discussed them as a whole class.  This allowed more students to participate and answer questions.  However, in retrospect, I should have had students complete a presentational writing assignment after the chat stations.  This would have made for an even more significant conversation.  We also looked at some of the authentic resource videos briefly.  You could also have students create an EdPuzzle project with them as well.

We also played Trashketball while students were answering questions about the articles.  I start by giving each team ten X’s.  If they answer the question correctly, they can take away two X’s from any other team.  If they throw the ball in the trashcan from behind one line, they can take away 3 X’s.  If they throw the ball in the trashcan from behind a farther line, they earn an extra X and they can take away FOUR lives from another team.  They can also divide up their X’s if they want to.  Once a team loses their X’s, they can shoot the ball again to earn two more lives and be back in the game.  It is a lot of fun!

As you continue to incorporate news articles into your classes in a small or bigger way, I hope this post offers you more ideas on how to use the articles and create a unit around them!  In my next post, I will include details on how I structured their presentation around the news.