Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: December 14, 2018

brillante viernes december 14

Happy Friday!  Are you on break yet?  I have one more week, but at least we have fun spirit days like blizzard wear.  I love dress up days at school, and I always participate!  I have also had time to read more and reflect this past week.  Here are some of my favorite posts recently:

  • I loved Meredith’s video about Everyday IPA, and I implemented it into my own class this week!
  • My colleague Stacey wrote a post on Alice Keeler’s blog about how we use PearDeck at our school.  PearDeck is a tool that I use at least once a week!
  • I love Bethanie’s dashboard!  And especially the idea about entering the website into their computers ahead of time.
  • I have been thinking about checking out Wakelet for awhile… and if it can convert Amy, I definitely need to check it out!
  • Check out Martina’s newest post on stations with tons of ideas!
  • Don’t forget Matt Miller’s Ditch Summit starts!  Sign up for this FREE online conference!

And for more previous posts:

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Brillante Viernes: December 7, 2018

brillante viernes dec 7.jpg

Happy Friday!  I can’t wait to go home to Virginia Beach and go to Christmastown this weekend with my family.  We have a longer stretch before winter break, so I am glad for this time away to recharge.  Bloggers have been out in full force recently it seems, so I made a longer list this week for you to check out!

  • The first one is a three-fer that might take you a few days to get through (but will be well worth it!)  Dorie interviewed LJ Randolph for We Teach Languages this week.  Then, Dorie has published not one but TWO blog posts on intercultural can-do statements!  I feel like I need to understand more about this, so I am excited to really delve into the interview and posts.
  • I want to continue to reflect on how I can think deeper overall.
  • Have you seen Sarah Breckley’s most recent vlog?  This game looks like a lot of fun-especially before break.
  • I want to incorporate more rejoiners into my curriculum, and Grant always has some innovative ways.

And former posts:

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: November 30, 2018

brillante viernes nov 30.jpg

Happy Friday!  I always love December because it is my birthday, my husband’s birthday and our anniversary!  Plus, my son loves the holidays!  This week in class, we have been doing a lot with the commercials from the Lotería which has been successful.  Here are some of my favorite reads from the past week:

  • Sara-Elizabeth always has amazing ideas on how to work with whole class novels that I steal right away like this gallery blitz.
  • This is a fun idea for read, draw and discuss as a discussion starter.
  • Check out this list of best edtech tools.
  • And the Risky Business Game looks fun!


Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: November 23, 2018

brillante viernes nov 23

Happy Friday and happy day after Thanksgiving!  I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful celebration, and you have time to relax.  We travel to West Virginia each year, and it is so nice to get away from the hustle of the DC area.

I have been so fortunate this year, and I do want to say thank you so much to you for reading my blog, tweeting or leaving a comment!  Each time, someone tells me that they use my materials, I am in awe and truly humbled.  My blog helps me to reflect and become a better teacher, and I am so happy that some of my ramblings (it seems to me at times!) have helped others.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

A few fun online announcements:

  • I am participating again with Comprehensible Online!  I am presenting on how to spice up the classroom novel!  Comprehensible Online will take place between March 1 and April 30, so you will have plenty of time to watch the videos.  Or as someone noted last year, you can take a professional development day, and watch the videos at your leisure!  Regular registration is $229.  You can get a discount of $25 with my code MARIS19.  (Note: I also earn money for every code that is used- so thank you for your support!!)
  • Ditch That Textbook Summit is back!  I LOVE Matt’s interviews each year, and I go back re-invigorated each year.  Plus, this year, you can watch the former Ditch Summit videos as well.  Plus- it is FREE!  So why wouldn’t you sign up?!  Here are my takeaways from last year.

Here are some of my other favorite reads from the past week:

  • Sara-Elizabeth wrote an insightful post about fair use that as per usual will take me awhile to unpack all of it.
  • I love this post about what happens when teachers connect.
  • Carrie wrote an extremely honest post.  It can seem like so many bloggers lead perfect lives, but we all have weaknesses in our classes and lives.
  • As I continue to play with the role of the whole class novel in my classroom, I appreciate reading about how Allison taught a novel in one week.
  • And Kara shared two great free stories: on Barcelona and a MovieTalk.

And a flashback to my posts over the past few years:



Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: November 16, 2018

brillante viernes november 16

Happy Friday!  I was coming back from a wedding on Monday, and then we had a snow day on Thursday, so I had an unexpected three day week!  Next week, we have parent-teacher conferences though, and I have certainly been busy grading.  I am bummed not to see everyone in ACTFL, but since I am going to present at NECTFL, I decided to wait until ACTFL is in DC next year.

However, I do have a few exciting announcements of my own!  I am really excited that PEARLL will be joining forces with We Teach Languages!  The most recent podcast explains a lot of the details.  PEARLL is a National Foreign Language Center out of the University of Maryland, and I am hoping that soon I can pop in and visit since it is in my home state.

Also, I have been working with Kara Jacobs on both of our snow days on the newest lottery commercial!  I am excited that we are planning to make resources for both upper level classes and novice classes.  Meanwhile, check out these posts from this week:

  • Carrie shared another excellent unit on environmental health!
  • I love these fun and meaningful time fillers for the end of class.
  • Laura is back and has a blog about personal homework choices.
  • Marc has a great post on how to incorporate the future tense into class.  My students do well speaking in the past and present, but I want to focus even more on the future this year.

More posts of mine from the past:


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Brillante Viernes: November 9, 2018

Brillante Viernes: November 9

Happy Friday!  Whew!  It was a busy week.  Next week will be our last week in the trimester, so I plan on grading during our trip.  My hope is that I won’t have to grade over Thanksgiving break!  I rarely bring home grading, but if it helps my sanity during the week, I will do it.  Even though I won’t be there, I look forward to following along from ACTFL at home next week.  Also, the podcast that I work with- We Teach Languages– will have a BIG announcement next week!  I can’t wait!  In the meantime, here were some of my favorite posts over the week:

  • I love this simple reading activity that can be used with any reading!
  • Annabelle’s post on how to tie in culture with PictureTalk helps any teacher who may or may not have had a chance to use PictureTalk.
  • Although this post is about French bread and pastries, I always enjoy seeing how other teachers create proficiency units.  This helps me as I am developing my own.
  • I am ALL about balancing resources created for students, resources created for native speakers and even editing those resources!  Check out Sara-Elizabeth’s post about how she decides what fits.



Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: November 2, 2018

Brillante Viernes: November 2

Happy Friday!  Whew!  We made it through Halloween being on a Wednesday.  I am really excited for GWATFL this Saturday!  I will be tweeting throughout the event with the hashtag #gwatfl2018.  I know others will be as well, so you can follow along even if you can’t be at the conference.  Speaking of conferences, I added my thoughts with tips about conferences on the We Teach Languages podcast!  Here are some other posts from this week to check out:

  • Since the year starts to drag in November, check out this post on the importance of gratitude in our lives.
  • Lisa blogs about the do’s and don’ts of vocabulary lists.  What would you add?
  • I can’t wait to hear Leslie talk this weekend at GWATFL!  Here is her most recent post about teaching grammar through authentic resources.
  • Jeremy is the master of great YouTube ideas- and I love the way he incorporates stories into his newest video series.  Check them out!

Posts from previous years:


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Brillante Viernes: October 26, 2018

brillante viernes october 26

Happy Friday!  Whew- four preps are definitely getting to me!  I feel like I haven’t been able to blog as much even though I have a lot of ideas.  Also, my son has joined tee-ball which has practices and games which has made this fall especially busy.  I am looking forward to a calmer November before the craziness of December.  Speaking of November, I am going to be going to GWATFL in Potomac, Maryland next weekend.  Some of my friends are presenting, and I am excited to meet some of my virtual friends in real life.  If you haven’t signed up and are in town, I recommend it!

Now onto some of my favorite posts from this week:

  • I love these cooking videos!  Check out the most recent one from Zachary Jones about iced coffee.  To start class with level 1, I like to have students make a simple chart with I like/I love/I hate and I don’t like in Spanish.  Then, they can list the ingredients under the category.  I like the input that it provides in the beginning.
  • I have done drawing listening activities with my students before, but I really like Cecile’s version including the reading as well.
  • I am so grateful that we can read about presentations even if we cannot attend every conference.  Check out Bethanie’s presentations from FLANC.  I love the one about superheroes!
  • This post about positive classroom management and how it can affect the rest of the school should be a must read for all teachers.

And some more posts from previous years:

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Brillante Viernes: October 19, 2018

Brillante Viernes October 19

Yay for Friday!  I felt like I am in a good routine with my students this week and then- wham!  A migraine hit me early this morning.  Luckily, I am just now coming out of the fog, but putting together four preps with a headache and nausea is not fun.  If you also suffer from migraines, I am sure you can relate.  At least, I can recover over the weekend.  Check out some of these posts during your weekend:

Flashback posts:

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: October 12, 2018

Brillante Viernes: Oct 12

Happy Friday!  It is Homecoming weekend for me, so I get to chaperone the dance.  I do enjoy dressing up though!  Also, this week, I was fortunate to do an interactive webinar with CLIC.  I love helping others with PD.  For some at home PD, check out some of these blog posts this weekend:

Flashback time: