Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: April 20, 2018

brillante viernes april 20

Happy Friday!  I hope that you have had a great week as spring is in full bloom and school is winding down.  I was so excited to be on Ashley’s Inspired Proficiency podcast this week!  I have been loving binge listening recently, and I am so excited about all of the new foreign language podcasts.  I have been discussing this fully on here and Twitter, but GimKit has been wonderful to play this year.  You should definitely check it out as it is perfect to use now to spice up your class.  Here are some of the other blog posts to help you continue:

  • Check out Laura’s post on rubrics to reflect on your own rubrics.
  • Retakes have been successful for me.  Read Elizabeth’s take on retakes in the standards based grading classroom.
  • Tips and great resources from Carrie to finish the year strong!
  • Also check out Sarah Breckley’s amazing new vlog to give you more ideas for your class!
  • I have been prioritizing spending time on Sunday night to prepare for the upcoming week.  I love these ideas as well to inject into my routine.

And for my other blog posts from previous years:

  • Triventy is another fun game to try to spice things up at the end of the year.
  • My mentor teacher! (And what makes a great mentor teacher!)
  • An eating and drinking question/answer match-up activity
  • Reflection questions for students to answer to prepare for parent-teacher conferences
Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: April 13, 2018

Brillante Viernes (6)

Whew!  This was a week!  It had its fair share of highs- we had an amazing trip to the National Gallery of Art.  This year we arranged a Spanish-speaking tour guide and she asked our students a lot of questions.  I could see that some of the students were surprised that a native speaker- who was not their teacher- could understand them.  Also, we had an AMAZING speaker come on Thursday- Michelle Poler who faced her fears over 100 days.  Not only was she extremely motivational, I was so happy that we brought a strong Latina woman to talk to our students.  Also, my Spanish I students did a WONDERFUL job on their interpersonal speaking assessment.  Some of them are really starting to expand their answers.  (I think that Tina’s speaking game that she mentioned in CI Liftoff helped!)

However, I have been battling with allergies, so I wake up feeling a bit under the weather.  And I had some issues with my car battery, but I got to spend some time with a colleague that I haven’t spent time with before.  I may have even gotten a guest speaker for my class too!  (More on that later!)  With all of that being said, I am exhausted and looking forward to this weekend and spring weather!

Here are some of my favorite posts from the week:

And now for previous posts from me:

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: April 6, 2018

brillante viernes april 6

Happy Friday!  Hope you had a great week overall.  Although it was hard to go back from a fun spring break, it is good to get back into a schedule (even if I did catch something one of those days!)  Comprehensible Online conference has given me so many great ideas for this spring and has been keeping this year fresh for me.  Have you seen any of it?  What have you enjoyed?  Here are some other posts that are keeping this spring new and exciting for me:

  • I continued my series on how to use novels in class on during reading activities on the EdCampCIVa blog.
  • Interested in starting a class library?  Take some of Allison’s tips!
  • Keith Toda’s post on Inauthencity combines some of my favorite topics- Cookie Monster and Señor Wooly.
  • I have been binge listening to Inspired Proficiency podcast over spring break, and I am hooked!  This week Kristine talking about breakout boxes!
  • I love these pre-reading stations, and they are applicable for any reading.

Flashback to some previous posts:

Posted in Brillante Viernes, Flipgrid, Speaking, Uncategorized

Spring Break Saturday!

Spring Break Saturday

Happy Saturday!  (I am trying to keep up the alliteration!)  I am back from Disney, and I wanted to share a resource for you for Monday and a few of my favorite resources that I have seen this week.

First, I have made two new Flipgrids for the month of April.  After some reflection, I think it will work better to try for one a month.  That seems to be more attainable.  (But let me know!  What do you think?)  For Spanish 2, I decided to aim questions about vacations.  Students can discuss what they did over vacation.  While I asked about traveling, I also added mostly questions around what many people do on vacation- sleep, watch TV and eat/go to the mall.  I wanted to make sure there was something for everyone- even the student who insists s/he didn’t do anything.

For my second Flipgrid for level 1, I included some generic questions about spring- what is the weather like where you live, what do you do in the spring, etc.  The other thing that I would encourage everyone to do is to have your students respond to some videos!  Especially for my level 2 students, I make sure my students respond to other videos.  This will help them with interpersonal skills.  Remember, if students just record a response, they are practicing presentational speaking.  Have them ask a question back!

With some more updates (and a plan for Monday), I have been LOVING Kara’s Story Listening resources for songs.  She published a new one this week.  So far, I have used Corazón from Maluma, Bailar by Deorro (such a funny story!) and No soy como tú crees by Ana Mena.  Next time, I can’t wait to try story sequencing with these stories a la Maestra Loca from her blog.  Many of these stories are written in short lines, so they would be easy to cut up and have students put back in order.  (Or change it up with one of her strategies from the Comprehensible Online conference!)

Speaking of which, La Maestra Loca’s Easter themed lesson plan would be great to use if you didn’t have school last week!  I may modify it with some flower pictures instead and use it when it actually gets warmer here.  (It is supposed to snow tomorrow night!  I am ready to pack up and move to Florida right about now…)

Check out how Laura uses Flipgrid to manage #puedos and while you are at it, add some of your puedos activities to the shared Google Drive!  (I just added a new one for La Calaca Alegre.)

Also, Martina’s blog post on assessments is something that every teacher should read!  I believe that assessments should be able to highlight student success and not be a gotcha. Read this post for even more tips!

Finally, I have been sharing my reviews of CI books on my blog to help teachers decide which books may be for them and now on CI Reading, they are focusing on student reviews!  It would be great to print these out and include them in your library to inspire more reviews as well.

Hope these ideas help ease you back into school after break!

Posted in Brillante Viernes, noticias

Brillante Viernes: March 23, 2018 and Noticias: March 26, 2018

Brillante Viernes March 23

Happy Friday (and happy almost spring break to most people and me!)  We ended up with a snow day on Wednesday which was a nice surprise.  My son literally yelled “FINALLY!” while walking in the snow.  I am posting my news early this week because next week, I am off to Disney World with my son and parents!  I am thrilled and also a bit scared of the crowds, but I know we will have fun. This week, you can find me over at Comprehensible Online talking about my favorite tech tools to provide input to students.  In the meantime, check out these posts:

Posts from the past two weeks:

Noticias 26 de marzo

For the news this week, I included:

  • The Peruvian President’s resignation
  • The first Starbucks store is opening in Uruguay
  • Mexican Pre-Columbian statues are returned from Germany
  • One school in Colombia is banning sugary drinks
  • The Davis Cup and the Uruguayan tennis player Pablo Cuevas

While I didn’t put together a packet due to my spring break, you may want to buy an old packet if you would like more activities to do with them.  While some of them are specific to the news articles, you can get ideas to apply to these articles.  I think these articles would lend to some good discussion about if students think that schools should be able to ban sugary drinks.  The article quoted that most students drink about 2 sodas a day.  It would be interesting to survey your classes and see if they match.  Also, you can look up or have students explore on their own Starbucks cafés in other countries.  Hope you enjoy them!

26 de marzo

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: March 16, 2018

Brillante Viernes: March 16

Happy Friday!  I hope that you have had a wonderful week.  I have definitely been inspired by the students who have walked out of school- or chose to stay and make their own decisions on how to make school a better place for everyone.  These amazing students motivate us and remind us why we continue to come to school every day as well.

I have posted before about our free conference in Chesapeake, Va in June.  Even if you don’t live close to Virginia, Lynne and I have been posting some of our favorite CI tools.  I recently wrote about my favorite pre-reading activities for novels.  Here are some other posts to check out around the web:

Previous posts:

  • How to make a video using Adobe Spark
  • If you are going on Spring Break soon, check out my updated post on what you can do the Friday before break.
  • You should definitely play Quizlet Live if you have not played before!
  • One of my favorite stories from a student!
  • Activities with resources for school and restaurants
Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: March 9, 2018

Brillante Viernes March 9

Happy Friday!  Today, I get to take my Spanish V students on a field trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art to see the Mexican muralist exhibit.  I am obsessed with all things art museums, so I am pretty excited.  Plus, it is nice to be able to change things up and go on a field trip for a day!  A quick side project that I am working on with Stacey Margarita Johnson is the We Teach Languages newsletter.  Check it out!  (And if you haven’t- last week’s podcast with Daniel Woolsey was one of my favorites!)  Here are some of my other favorites from this past week:

  • Laura popped over to Secondary Spanish Space to talk about PBL in the Spanish classroom with some really great tips to get started.
  • Pear Deck is one of my favorite tech tools, and if you haven’t tried it, Matt has a great post full of ideas for beginning and expert Pear Deck users.
  • I LOVE these ideas for the last five minutes of class!
  • Finally, this post contains two of my favorite things: Movie Talk and Nicky Jam!  (I will probably incorporate it into my Spanish 5 class because they love Nicky Jam so much!)


Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: March 2, 2018

Brillante Viernes March 2

Happy March!  I hope everyone had a good week.  Oddly enough, I am off from school today due to high winds!  It was also hectic for me as I was finishing up my presentation for Comprehensible Online.  If you haven’t checked out the conference, hurry over now!  There are some of my favorite presenters, and because it is online, you can watch ALL of them whenever you want.  You can pause the video to refill your coffee or tea and never miss a beat.  The conference will run March 24-April 15.  In the meantime, you can check out these posts:

  • I always love Creative Language Class posts- and this most recent one about formative assessments doesn’t disappoint!
  • Laura discusses how she feels about cheating, and I believe there will be more discussions like this as we look at evaluating with IPAs.
  • I have been reading a lot about write and discuss, and I feel more motivated to try it after Mike’s post.
  • As many teachers use MovieTalk or video clips in class, you can use these 40 (!) viewing comprehension strategies.
  • As many students and teachers are using March Madness for music, you can use this opinion sheet especially for level 1 shared by Zoe Catherine on Facebook.

ICYMI (previous posts from previous years on this blog):

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: February 23, 2018

Brillante viernes February 23

We have made it to Friday!  Our school has one more week left in the trimester.  It is definitely crunch time to get grading done.  Last night we had an EdSurge event at our school.  EdSurge newsletters are one of my favorite emails to get, and they are having events all over the country.  Finally, I am organizing a meet up in May for people in the DC-Northern Virginia-Maryland area if you use or what to use more CI in your classes.  Join the Facebook group to learn more!  Here are some of my favorite posts that I have been reading this week:

  • Sara-Elizabeth hits the nail on the head once more- a tribute to our daily unhistoric acts (which are truly wonderful!)
  • Inspired Proficiency has a new podcast!  Check it out!
  • I keep reflecting on feedback- and this post is important to continue to use when giving feedback.
  • I love this idea of the game hashtags and it would be fun to use with a novel.
  • Check out this Facebook page for some accessible authentic resources.  I like the graphics about the change in times of meal during school and the menu.

Flashback to my previous posts:

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: February 16, 2018

Brillante Viernes Feb 16

Whew!  This week had no snow in sight, so I am glad that I made it to the end of the week!  I forgot to mention that February is also Lead with Languages month.  Check out this great social media kit that the ACTFL team put together.  You can have your class or language team take a selfie and upload it to Twitter or Facebook.  Enjoy your weekend!