Posted in Integrated Performance Assessment, Teachers Pay Teachers

End of the year IPA: Level 1

End of the Year: Spanish IPA Level 1

I am popping back to my blog to let you know that I recently wrote up everything that I used for my end of the year IPA for level 1 for my store on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I hope to continue to populate my store with various IPAs that I have used these past two years.  For this IPA, I wanted students to be able to read about and discuss what they do in their day to day life since these topics are typically covered in level 1.  They looked at life in Bolivia in an interpretive reading, then they participated in an interpersonal speaking discussing their own lives and compared the two in a presentational writing.

With this item, I included rubrics for interpretive reading, interpersonal speaking and presentational writing.  Since it is in a Google Drive, you can copy the information and edit it if needed.  I hope that if you are making the transition to IPAs that you will find it useful!

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: June 8, 2018

june 8 2018

Happy Friday!  It has been a busy week filled with graduation, grading final IPAs and packing up my room.  We are also working on EdCampCIVa which is at the end of the month!  There is still plenty of space, so sign up soon!  We still have a few new twists that we are adding to improve the experience for everyone attending.

With that being said, I am going to take some time off posting AS regularly on the summer.  I still have some projects that I want to work on over the summer.  I want to dedicate some time to those.  I will still pop up here with some brillante posts and reflections and revelations about what I am doing… but don’t worry if you don’t see a post from me in awhile!  I will definitely still be tweeting and on Facebook as well.  Here are some of my favorite end of the year posts:

  • I love this post on how to plan for the summer to accomplish things and feel rejuvenated.
  • Check out Sara-Elizabeth’s post for the year of the podcast!
  • I love Señor Fernie’s reflection on micromanaging and his final projects.
  • If you are still going strong, check out Kara’s post on La Copa Mundial and Zachary Jones’ Billetes activity.

And from me…

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: June 1, 2018

Brillante Viernes: June 1

Happy Friday!  Whew!  It has been a long week!  Yesterday was one of those feet swollen in my flats and driving home barefoot type of day!  My Spanish II class has their exam tomorrow, and my other classes are done with their IPAs.  We are done today except for exams (and they don’t have one in a FL!)  I look forward to some down time next week.  Many teachers are on break, but there are still some awesome blog posts coming out!

  • If you are reading a novel now, check out Allison’s post on 20 activities for any book.
  • Looking for a fun (and quiet!) activity at the end of the year?  Check out Teléfono!  (It can be used in any language!)
  • Secondary Spanish Space has you covered for free PD this summer.
  • This is a new to me blog and I am adding this idea to my novel study next year!

From my blog…

Posted in Review

Incorporating retrieval practice and brain dumps in the FL class

My Post (36)

Matt Miller’s Ditch Summit included Pooja Agarwal who works with Retrieval Practice.  Ever since my methods class with my wonderful professor, I have been hooked on how the brain works.  After the summit, I subscribed to the newsletter, and I make it a priority to read it each week.  (And I only forward it to my principal 50% of the time that I want to!)  The premise is that it is harder to actually recall information from our memory instead of just re-reading information again.  However, the more difficult it is to recall, the more the information sticks in your brain.  So even though it is counter-intuitive and your brain doesn’t like it, retrieval practice is more effective.

Since December, I have been more conscious of trying to weave some of these strategies into my teaching.  I have discussed it periodically, but I wanted to put all of my thoughts in one post.  One activity that I have used for awhile incorporates reviewing vocabulary in a brain dump manner.  Students divide their paper into four sections, and then I give them a theme.  They write down as much vocabulary as they can remember from each theme.  At the end, we review what they wrote.  Not only does this space out the practice, many times, students will add to their list as others are sharing their answers even though I don’t require it.  Also, I have found that students who are reluctant to participate will participate more with this activity because it is so open-ended.  Since I give students about 1 minute per square, the whole activity takes under 10 minutes.

This is also an activity that I like to do at the end of the year during exam time, but I expand on it.  I give each pair of students a piece of paper with a topic or novel that we studied this year.  They write down as many words as they can then pass it to the next group.  That group reads the list and then adds to it.  Then, I remind students that categories that they had difficulty with are the ones that they should review.  After this activity, I have students write a response in Spanish to a question and reference the sheets that they just compiled.  For example, if students are just relying on one verb, I will hand them the verb brainstorm sheet to use some more of those words.  This also helps with my students’ proficiency as it helps them increase the vocabulary that they are using.

Another idea I used with our novel.  Retrieval practice states that it is not as effective for students to re-read either their notes or the textbook.  Instead, students should write as much as they can without any notes or book.  We would do this for each chapter.  (Although I should have done this more with my other novels!)  I encourage them to write as much as they can remember from each chapter- main events in Spanish or English and any new Spanish words that they remembered.  After that, I gave them a minute or two to consult their book and add or change anything.  Overall, I noticed a greater recall of both vocabulary and facts from this book.  With further reflection, I want to add in some sketch notes here to help my students remember even more.

The last brain dump type activity I used was with my Spanish V students.  They had been studying information about Cuba.  They each put different ideas that they remembered on sticky notes about any part of Cuba.  Then, they grouped them by themes on the whiteboard.  I also liked that they had a reason to read the other students’ sticky notes.  Although I used this for an upper-level class, I want to reuse it with novels next year.  I could have students write down as many facts as they can remember.  Then, they can organize it on a timeline on the whiteboard.  The key here is to make sure that they are writing down events from memory instead of using the novel.

How do you use brain dumps in your FL class?  Make sure you subscribe to the Retrieval Practice newsletter if you do not already!

Posted in Authentic resources, Novel

More resources for El Ekeko

More Resources El Ekeko

I have loved reading El Ekeko this year!  Of all of the Spanish 1 books that I have used, I found that this one was the richest in culture.  I feel that I too learned a lot about Bolivian culture.  Previously, I mentioned how I introduced the book to give some background.  I also included how I planned a Google Tour and used Google Slides to practice speaking as well.  Here are some more of my resources that I used with the book:

  • On my May 7th news, I included information about a theater festival in La Paz.  This would be great for an introduction as well.
  • Also, I did some PictureTalks with pictures from this Instagram account.  (It is awesome!)  I also was thinking about it in retrospect that I should have searched for the #alasitas2018 hashtag on Instagram to get more pictures for the festival!
  • I used this video with Alasitas to discuss it.  Then, I had students create a miniature item that they would make for the festival with Play-doh.
  • Here are the puedos that I used with my students.  I also had them comparing the first book (Piratas) and El Ekeko.
  • Also, I was going to be out one day, and I left the book at school.  I came up with this general reading guide.  It can be used for any chapter of any book.
  • I used this Quizizz game around Chapter 9.

Hope these extra resources help you as you plan to teach this book!

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: May 25, 2018

Brillante Viernes May 25

Happy Friday!!  (And perhaps last day of school for some teachers?!)  We still have two more weeks then a few days of teacher meetings. Even when I think I have everything under control, I feel like May seems even busier than all of the other months.  All of my classes are finishing up their IPAs.  Spanish I has been really great to reflect about how far they have come.  If you are out of school or still have a month left, here are some posts that will help you get through the month or plan for next year:

  • Martina collected a great list of how to plan a weekend chat!  (Or to spice it up if you have tried some different ways already!  This was my students’ favorite this year!)
  • Love this list of how to prepare for the exam!  Sometimes it can be hard to prepare to take an IPA, but students like to feel prepared.  This meets them in the middle!
  • Next year, I want to do more flexible seating, so I appreciated this reflection.
  • I love the honesty in this post by Cecile.

Flashback to all of my previous posts:

Posted in noticias

Noticias: 21 de mayo

noticias 21 de mayo

I have put together another edition of las noticias for this week!  Many people helped me edit it!  Thank you Diego, Bethanie, Monica and Alejandra!  This edition includes:

  • The airplane crash in Cuba
  • The newest telenovelas for Univisión
  • Real Madrid’s basketball team is in the finals
  • The Dominican dance group in the dance parade in NYC
  • Celebration of el chivito in Uruguay

21 de mayo

If you would like to use these pre-reading activities in my activities, I have included it here:

word cloud

To follow up with some of the other news, you can:

  • Look up the final results of the basketball game!
  • Watch some videos of Andulleros on their Facebook page.  (Including a live video of the parade today.)
  • You can look at the characters in the new series LIKE.
Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: May 18, 2018

brillante viernes may 18

Happy Friday!  It has been a LONG week with a trip up to NYC to celebrate my husband’s graduation from Columbia!  (And he got to walk on stage with our son- picture above!  It was the cutest thing ever!)  However, it was wonderful and we are so proud of all of his work.  Now, I am back and trying to finish the year strong!  Here are some great posts to help you throughout the rest of the year:

  • I love these ideas from Colleen on Sketch, Share, Listen and Repeat.
  • Also, here are some ideas from Secondary Spanish Space to get you through the last weeks of class!
  • Martina also has you covered for the end of the year!  (And check out her series with Mira about leveled novels- which is so important as especially Spanish teachers have so many choices now!)
  • I am going to steal all of these ideas from Samara to build empathy in my class next year.

Also- here are my ideas from the past years:

Posted in End of the year, Technology, Uncategorized

End of year video app smash with Flipgrid, Adobe Spark and Goosechase!

end of the year video app smashing

So each year, I have wanted to put together an end-of-the-year video for my students.  But each year, I don’t have enough pictures or videos to make it happen.  When I was at the conference with Tina this past summer, I was committed to make it happen.  I still didn’t take nearly enough pictures this year… but luckily many of the technology tools that we used captured enough for me!  Thanks to both Goosechase and Flipgrid (in addition to just the off chance that I take one or two pictures per class…) I have MORE than enough!  Here are my shortcuts to download these videos and pictures.

On Flipgrid, I can click on “topic details” for each topic in my grid.  All the way to the right, it looks like this with the “activity.”


If you click on “actions,” these options appear including download video and download selfie!


This gives you a great place to start for your video.  You have a wealth of videos and selfies to use to download!  Then, my next stop is Goosechase.  Once you have played a game, you can click on the submissions button on the left side.  Once you are looking at all of your submissions, you can click on the “download submissions” button on the right part of the screen.  It will download it as a ZIP file.  It is organized by teams and their submissions.

So where to make the video?  I used Adobe Spark.  It is free and easy to use.  There are plenty of tutorials that can walk you through how to create a video… like this one!  My only tip is to turn down the music, so it is easier to hear your students.  Also, for me, I teach two classes of the same level.  I organized my video by topics, so I could easily replace the videos and pictures, but I have the same structure of the video which saved me some time.  Hope this inspires you if you have wanted to do a video, but keep forgetting to actually take pictures!

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: May 11, 2018

brillante viernes may 11

Happy Friday!  It has been a full week- and I was so lucky that the Flipgrid Bus Tour stopped at my school.  It was fascinating to meet them (and made me MORE obsessed with them than I was previously!)  Charlie discussed the importance of the Flipgrid community and how much time and love that they have poured into the Flipgrid teacher community.  I know that everyone who uses it agrees at how appreciated and supported that they feel by Flipgrid.

Also, this is the week that I start to get a little teary eyed.  It is the seniors’ last class on Monday, and this year, I was especially blessed to teach many of them as seniors.  For some of them, I taught them in 7th and 8th grade (when I was pregnant!) then got to teach them again as seniors.  I can’t express how much my heart swells when I think about their growth if I have taught them for one year or have known them for 6 years.  I continue to think of how blessed I have felt to be a part of their lives.

I still have a few weeks left with my underclassmen, and I am determined to make the most of them.  Here are some of my favorite posts to help me do so:

  • Cynthia shared some great new ideas to use with novels.  I am going to use the first one tomorrow!
  • Need a new way to play flyswatter?  Check out Sara-Elizabeth’s post!
  • I have mentioned how much I love Google Forms– and now Google is adding some awesome features!
  • And finally, we ALL need this reminder at the end of the year.  And it is TRUE!