Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 23, 2019

Brillante Viernes: August 23

Happy Friday!  I hope that everyone has had a wonderful week of school or last week of summer.  In true Maris fashion, I did work around the house and read some extra books, but I always take off time from school planning things the week before we are back.  I also FINALLY took my car to get it cleaned- which I have been saying that I would do all summer long.  I had my first introduction day at my new school, and I am so excited to get started!  Check out some of these posts over the weekend:

If you are interested in some of my previous posts at this time, check out:

  • Supplemental CI and authentic resources for units
  • A few songs that I have used for level 3
  • My first unit in Spanish I for introductions and activities
Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 16, 2019

Brillante Viernes August 19

Happy Friday!  Yesterday and today I am learning a lot about proficiency from ACTFL workshops.  Although I have read a lot about a variety of levels, each time I hear something new, it continues to shape my instruction and how I think about each proficiency level.  I have found that since I was taught more by grammar and vocabulary, I originally expected more of a variety of levels.  It has taken awhile to shake these ideas and some of my expectations are still forming.

I love August when everyone starts blogging even more again!  Check out these posts:

  • If you haven’t listened to the most recent episode of We Teach Languages (we are back from the summer!), DO IT!  Gianfranco Conti discusses listening.  Part II comes out today!
  • There is a new Sarah Breckley video about how to be comprehensible!  Sarah always inspires me and makes me happy.
  • I am saving all of the elementary Spanish (like these beginning day by Señor Fernie) posts for next year.  I cannot wait!
  • Zachary Jones has been sharing some awesome authentic resources- like this one for school supplies and this video about healthy food from Ecuador.
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 Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 2, 2019

brillante viernes august 2

Nothing makes me feel like I am back in my routine more than penning a Brillante Viernes post!  🙂  I am still on vacation in Virginia Beach and am enjoying time with my family and friends.  We have been going on field trips and shopping trips.  If you are still on break, I hope that you can find a balance between feeling prepared for school and enjoying summer.  Here are some of my favorite posts from the past week:

  • Gary describes two books to bring LGBTQ inclusivity into the classroom.  This is an important read if you are planning or starting a library.
  • Have you heard the new What in the World? Language podcast?  It is great!  I listened to Sarah Breckley on my way down, and I highly recommend tuning in.
  • Ashley has been doing an excellent job of breaking down key elements of CI for new teachers (and giving other ideas for everyone else in the process!)  Check out her most recent post on assessment.
  • I have been reading all of the iFLT posts this past week!  Check out this recent summary of Kristy’s presentation on authentic resources and how to make them accessible for students.

I hope that this week’s series of posts has you ready for back to school!  If you missed any, they were a summer round-up, emergency sub plans, tips for decorating and how I develop my curriculum.

Posted in beginning of the year, Brillante Viernes

Back to School Week: Summer posts round-up

Back 2 School: Summer posts round-up

Happy back to school week!  I know that this week is when some teachers start, and many like me are starting to seriously plan for the upcoming year.  I will be getting back into the swing of blogging by blogging all week!  Since I will have a new schedule and school, I don’t have all of my plans mapped out.  However, I posted a TON last year related to this.  I suggest:

  • My first day plans: I explain what I will do for the first few days in my classes: levels 1, 3, 5 and 6
  • Curriculum changes:  I detail my curriculum for level 1 and level 5 with ideas for levels 3 and 6.
  • Ways to avoid review: In this post, I talk about how to cover some topics and themes from previous years, but how to change it up.
  • A bonanza: I round up a ton of posts from other bloggers on how they are starting their first weeks.
  • In an earlier post, I shared my syllabi and how I determined my grading categories.

If you are looking for introductory units:

Whew!  Now that we got that out of the way, I wanted to share some posts that have been inspiring me this summer and how they will impact my teaching next year:

  • I have been recommending Ben’s post on Write and Discuss everywhere!  One big AHA moment for me was how he doesn’t have students write down anything until AFTER the discuss part is over.  That will allow students to be even more engaged throughout the discussion.
  • Ever since I have known that I am teaching elementary again, I have been pouring over Julie’s blog again and again.  Since I am teaching for proficiency, I appreciate how she has broken down the proficiency levels into elementary student language.
  • While I won’t have an Instagram account for my students, I like the questions that Laura poses for students in her comprehensible Instagram post.  I also plan on using her pictures from Mexico during Brandon Brown versus Yucatan.
  • I love AnneMarie’s foto frenzy game!  It would also be fun to do with a variety of books for younger students.
  • Leslie shared some thinking strategies with authentic resources.  I want to come up with ways to incorporate these thinking strategies into my classes next year.
Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: May 31, 2019

Global Seal of Biliteracy

Happy Friday!  First off, I am SO happy that we got to recognize nineteen of our graduating seniors who earned the Global Seal of Biliteracy!  We were able to recognize them this evening and explain the significance to everyone.  This week has been particularly busy because we are doing Discovery Days.  We have planned a deep dive into various topics.  I am constructing a week around watching Spanish shows and movies and understanding the culture behind them as well.

This spring, I have been a bit quieter on my blog than normal due to some big changes.  I have mentioned this on Twitter, but next year, I am changing schools!  I will be moving to the Virginia area, and I will be teaching at an independent preK-8 school.  I will be teaching Lower and Middle school Spanish.  The school has a strong foreign language program.  I will also be part of a team of three other amazing teachers.  I loved meeting the teachers and students there, and I am so excited to work there!!  I know that I will still be able to write on many of the same topics on my blog, but I will also be discussing how I am applying both CI and proficiency to some of my lower school classes.

With all of these changes, I am going to start my irregular summer blogging after this post!  Things should settle down in July, and I look forward to starting creating and blogging more then!  For now, check out these posts:

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Sábado: May 25, 2019

Brillante Viernes: May 25, 2019

I am not sure that this has ever happened!  I didn’t even START a blog post yesterday and completely forgot!  Yesterday was our last day of classes, and we are starting discovery days next week.  This will be a deep dive into a topic of our choice.  I am leading a group looking at and evaluating Spanish culture in movies and TV shows.  I am looking forward to the challenge of planning it and executing it well!  Here are some posts from this past week!

  • I love using Play-doh, and I like how this activity includes sequencing the Play-doh scenes.
  • Kara has gotten me hooked on the Netflix series Go!  I am planning on incorporating it into my lessons next year, and am starting to plan a lot of activities with it!
  • I sometimes feel like I have a constant list going in my mind.  I love these ideas to quiet a busy mind.  I hadn’t thought of many of them!
  • I love Rebecca’s post about her most recent PBL unit!!

Other previous posts:

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: May 17, 2019

brillante viernes: may 17

Happy Friday!  It has been a loooong week, but we got some exciting news!  As of now, 13 students have qualified for the Global Seal of Biliteracy!  Due to AP testing, we have a few more students who are finishing up the tests this week.  We are thrilled!  I feel particularly moved by the fact that I have been able to teach some of these students for multiple years.  One student I have taught for four years!  I am so proud of how well they did.  I encourage you to check out the program especially if your state doesn’t have the state seal or you are in an independent school.

Here are some of my favorite posts from this past week:

  • I love AnneMarie’s post about rethinking May.
  • I used Kara’s song with my seniors and loved it!
  • My classes ran out of time this year, but I want to try a WalkTalk next year.
  • So many teachers keep recommending Teach Like a Champion!  Brett’s post discusses how we can link this to FL teaching.


Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: May 10, 2019

Brillante Viernes: May 10

Happy Friday!  For our seniors, we only have two more classes.  It seems like this part of the year has flown by.  Many of these seniors, I have known since 7th grade.  I can’t wait to see them graduate, and I am so proud of them.  Some of them were in my first blended class and my last blended class (at least for now!)  I know I will be teary at their graduation.

There are some great posts this week!  Check them out:

Previous post of mine from this time:

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: May 3, 2019

Brillante Viernes: May 3

Happy Friday!  It seems like this week has flown by!  I took some time this afternoon to get a pedicure and finally dive into this book.  My colleague wrote it, and I cannot recommend it enough!  It is truly inspiring, and her story is so important.  I know that I plan on putting it by my desk and referencing it when I need to be reminded of my why and inspiration.  Check out these posts as well:

  • Martina and I are changing up our newsletter for next year!  You can check it out and get a free preview issue.
  • I think everyone needs the screaming ninja game in May!
  • I love this post about the women and girls who inspire us.  This could also be done in Spanish as well.
  • I have used Kara’s unit on Ecuador with my Spanish V for the past two years.  Arianne’s additions are excellent.

Flashback Friday: