Posted in beginning of the year

Details Part I: Unit I Spanish I Introductions and Activities


Details Part I Unit I Introductions and Activities

Earlier this week, I started to plan for my first unit.  I started to collect a variety of resources to complete it next.  I also had to decide what order made sense to tackle the can do statements.  The first few days I will work on “I can introduce myself and I can identify cognates.”  I will also start to work on weaving in “I can talk about my likes.”  You can find my first day of school plans here.

For the second day, I will start by defining what a cognate is then we can review some of the cognates that they brainstormed the previous day.  Then, I will have students visit this website (or you can take screenshots.) At each table group, I will challenge them to find as many cognates as they can while they explore the website.  We will compare the number of cognates that they can find.  After this, we will start the calendar and weather introduction.  We will have a quick brain break where we introduce ourselves asking what is your name then tossing a soft ball to another classmate and asking his/her name.  At the end, we will continue the circling with balls/card talks that students started the day before.  This starts to reinforce the likes/dislikes ideas.

For the third day, we will continue with these ideas.  First, students will set up their Seesaw account.  Then, students will be able to answer the following questions:

¿Prefieres el parque o el café?
¿Prefieres las hamburguesas o la pasta?
¿Prefieres la televisión o la computadora?
¿Prefieres la clase del arte o la clase de ciencias?

I will provide students with the word “prefiero” to add to the beginning of the sentence.  I also want students to add a picture to their post to play around with using Seesaw.  I will again reiterate that these words are all cognates.  After this, we will start the calendar and weather.  Then, we will watch this video that reviews introductory phrases.  It is an awkward video, but I think we can stop it a few times and ask questions- like if we think that the two characters will finally dance together.  Then, we will do a quick round of rock, paper, scissors a la Maestra Loca.  Finally, we will continue to work through the circling with balls.  I will write up a few of the previous class stories for students to read as well.  These are preliminary plans, so I hope that you can take these ideas and modify them for your own use!

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 11, 2017

Brillante Viernes August 11

Happy happy Friday!  If you are back in school, I hope that you have had a successful back to school week.  We are going up to Volga, West Virginia for our annual summer trip.  I go back to work for a few days early because I have a mentee teacher!! (Squee!  I am so excited to work with our new Chinese teacher!)  This is a little longer Brillante Viernes because I wanted to add some technology updates at the beginning!

  • In the past if you wanted to upload a series of pictures to Seesaw, you had to make a collage.  Not anymore!  You can now add an album!  This is perfect for digital storytelling.  Students can upload all of their pictures then retell the story right in the same entry.
  • Have you seen the new Flipgrid that was unveiled last night?  I keep reading about all of the foreign language teachers that are using it and all of the awesome ideas that they have.  Check it out!

Now onto the blog posts (and more!)

  • I typically don’t listen to a ton of podcasts (I mean with all of my blog reading, I have to sleep SOMETIME!)  But this summer, I have been listening to some on road trips, and I am SO excited for We Teach Languages.  The most recent podcasts have included two amazing WL teachers- Noah Geisel and Lisa Shepard (of Madame’s Musings!)
  • Sara-Elizabeth asks the hard questions… and finds that there is more than one answer about authentic resources.
  • This is a perfect follow-up about language advocacy and other skills that you learn in a FL class.
  • As I continue to make free voluntary reading a part of my class, I really appreciate Mike’s reflections and learn so much from him. He is honest about what works and what doesn’t in his own classes, and I always admire his risk-taking.
  • Finally- I blogged over at Path2Proficiency about how I want to become more of a language advocate this year in and out of my classes.

Finally- here are some of my older (but still useful!) posts:

Posted in Technology

Tips for teaching with technology

Tips for teaching with technology

I am a huge advocate of using technology in any classroom but in particular in the foreign language classroom.  I frequently blog about my blended class, and I have presented twice about technology tools that facilitate my foreign language class.  However, using technology can be daunting, and I keep seeing a lot of questions pop up in various teaching groups about how to teach with technology!  I wanted to offer some tips that I have learned in the past few years.

First, don’t be afraid to tell students to put away their technology!  (I know, I just told you how great technology is- and I am telling you to put it away!)  Just because your school is 1:1 or your students have iPads does NOT mean that they have to always use their computer.  I believe that teachers think that once their students get a computer or iPad that everything MUST be done with technology.  That is not true.  There have been many studies done saying that if a student is just using a computer throughout class to take notes, he or she will likely get distracted easily.  I struggle like many teachers to encourage students to use an online dictionary and not to rely on Google Translate.  Typically, my students blog and do a lot of writing on Seesaw, but many times, I would have them write on paper.  I gave my students a topic, we brainstormed important words as a group on the whiteboard, then I let them look up 5-6 words that they personally wanted to use.  Then, the students put their computers away and wrote.  Also, I make sure that all students put away their technology in the beginning and end of class when I am introducing/reviewing topics.  You are the teacher, and you know when they are using their technology effectively by using the programs below or if they are watching YouTube videos.

In addition, think about the value of working on an assignment individually versus full class.  Will technology ALWAYS make things better or is it nice to just interact with one another in the class?  For example, I am a huge EdPuzzle fan.  It is great for listening to videos, and it allows students to replay sections as many times as they need to really differentiate for each learner.  However, I rarely have students listen to music or watch music videos on EdPuzzle- even though they easily could.  I like this to be a whole class activity- especially watching the music videos.  I enjoy seeing the reactions by students for videos such as Soy Yo or my C Block’s personal favorite .  Same thing goes for Flipgrid.  I am excited to continue to use Flipgrid next year to have students record themselves speaking in Spanish, but many times, my students need to talk to each other face to face.  Just because it can be done with technology doesn’t mean that it always should.

Be choosy about what you use with technology as many pre made materials for teachers are not necessarily made by teachers with the most recent pedagogy in mind.  I have been playing around with Duolingo to learn some Greek.  I have completed the first lesson, and I don’t think that I have learned much.  Luckily, I was in a sorority in college which helped me eke through the alphabet unit (barely)!  In the program, you can hover over each of the words that you have to translate, and it displays the English translation for you!  Then you just type that into the box.  Also, I HAD to do that when as I have been learning Greek because I barely remember any words from the previous units.  Is this really the most effective way to learn a language?

With that being said- let’s get into the great aspects of using technology!  If you are going to use pre-made materials via technology (and I totally suggest it and use it myself!), use pre-made materials from other teachers.  You can typically find these in many programs that I have included below.  To use teacher made materials, do a search on EdPuzzle for MANY teacher edited videos.  You can find videos on any topic that you want to teach!  And you can still edit their questions- so save the ones that you want and change the others.  It is easy and quick!  Or, use Quizizz to search for pre-made questions on a variety of topics or novels in Spanish.  I was able to create Quizizz practices for homework in about 5 minutes max.

Additionally, make sure that you try the program before you assign it to your students.  Although your students may be digital natives and can figure out how to add filters to their snaps that does not mean that they know how to edit a video in EdPuzzle that you assign them as a project.  (I particularly like this article on EdSurge that debunks some of the myths that we have about our students and technology.)  I practiced on Flipgrid before I assigned it to students.  That does not mean that I can troubleshoot everything that happens to them, but I have SOME idea of how it works.  Once you can give students the basics, they can normally trouble shoot on their own.  If not, I like tweeting to ask for help because so many tech companies respond quickly on Twitter.

Finally, find some basic programs that you like to reuse and can be used in multiple ways, so students are used to them.  While I will throw a wild card at them from time to time (like Triventy when we have played too much Kahoot or a fun Goosechase scavenger hunt!), stick with similar programs, so students do not have to worry about the technology side of things too much.  Also, I like these programs because they enhance my lessons.  Technology should make your life easier- don’t use it because it is fancy or flashy.  Below is a brief overview of my go to resources and why they enhance my classroom:

  • Seesaw is an online learning journal for writing/some speaking: students can upload their writing, and then others in the class can leave comments for some nice interpersonal writing.  This is one BIG reason why it is better than traditional paper writing.  Students have an audience (the class) and can practice both interpersonal and presentational writing.  Or students can upload a picture and talk about it.  They can also leave voice comments or listen to my voice comment.  Again, this is a more efficient way to provide feedback than traditional feedback.
  • Flipgrid is a quick and easy way for students to record speaking videos or interviews with their classmates.  It is really fast to record, and it does not require a log-in which I really like.  I am also hoping to connect with other classes this year to have students communicate in this way.  While face to face speaking is a big goal in our class, some students feel more confident speaking to a video instead of each other.  This can support students to feel more comfortable.
  • EdPuzzle allows teachers to embed questions within a video, and as I have mentioned before is great for differentiation of videos.  When we would watch videos as a class and students needed to listen one more time to a certain section, we had to rewatch the whole video, and many students were already done (and bored).  This way, everyone can listen as many times as he or she needs.  Also, it is easy to grade to give feedback.  If you choose a few multiple choice questions, students can get instant feedback.
  • PearDeck allows you to embed various questions/drawing etc into a presentation and is great to jazz up my presentations.  Students can see others responses if we go through a presentation as a class.  I am able to see where everyone is with the material, and it is anonymous for the students.  Again, PearDeck is a great tool for students who typically would not always speak out in class as it allows everyone to participate at the same time instead of having one student give an answer.
  • Finally, ActivelyLearn is great for interpretive reading.  Students submit their answers to questions or polls that I have embedded throughout the document, PDF or website then the class answers are displayed.  Students can resubmit their answers and learn from their errors (instead of waiting for me to go over it).  By inserting the questions throughout the reading, you can also support students who struggle with reading.

With these programs, I encourage you to choose ONE to start.  Think about what you use most in class: reading?  Choose ActivelyLearn!  Videos?  Try out EdPuzzle.  Again, remember while technology is a great support for the classroom, as the teacher, you know and understand what would help your students.

Posted in Brillante Viernes

Brillante Viernes: August 4, 2017

Brillante Viernes (4)

Happy Friday!  I know so many people are starting back to school.  We don’t start until after Labor Day, but I am obviously starting to get ready.  BUT I know as much as I feel like it is AUGUST and I have to get all the things done or they won’t get done for a long time… it is still summer for me!  I want to make the most of it.  I took my son to an amazing art and technology exhibit in DC (see above picture), and I certainly plan more days in the sun before it is up.  As everyone is back in school mode, there have been SO many great posts this week!  Here are my favorites:

  • I am SO glad that Amy is blogging again!  I shared her post on Facebook, Twitter and NOW here!  The most important paragraph is the last one.
  • The seasons of teaching is another valuable post to read.
  • I always admire Sara-Elizabeth’s honesty, and I appreciate the boundaries that she has drawn.  It is so important for us as teachers to realize our limits.
  • I have been loving using Flipgrid recently.  Check out this post for many more ideas that I hadn’t even thought of!

And some more posts of mine from about this same time:

  • Some of the ways that I use the app Seesaw in my classes
  • Over 70 #authres that I have used in class! (Hopefully I will update this soon!)
  • Some reflections from NTPRS
  • How to use Pinterest for teachers (or craft projects!)
Posted in beginning of the year

First Day of School activities (and my goal!)

First day of school plans (and a goal)

Now that August has hit, it seems like everything is falling back into place.  As usual, I have been inspired with a lot of back to school resources by other bloggers, and I have been inspired by taking a shower (as per usual!)  The first day of school we have shortened classes.  Our schedule hasn’t been released yet, but I have tentative plans that I can lengthen or shorten based on our actual schedule.  Here are my ideas so far:

For all of my classes, I plan to be by the door with Spanish music playing in my class.  I also will be able to make sure that they are all in the correct place- especially my freshmen students!  I also always want to reiterate that even though I RARELY orally take attendance especially as the first thing, that is ALWAYS the first thing I do on the first day of school.  I would hate for a student to sit through the majority of my class to find out that they had me for a different block or were supposed to be next door!  I always explain this to them at the beginning of class, and I believe that it goes a long way to establish that I care about them.

For Spanish I, I want to start with the presentation from Creative Language Class.  After that, I will have a few big pieces of paper for them to brainstorm in small groups any words that they already know in Spanish.  This will give them a nice break from listening to me (and all of their other teachers on the first day!)  After this, I will have them make name tags with a few items that they like, so we can start discussing this.  This is based on Ben Slavic’s circling with balls that Scott Benedict also does a good job of explaining.

For Spanish II, I plan on keeping most of my same plan from last year.  I will do the Soy Yo activity along with the play doh activity on Seesaw.  It was a lot of fun, and it sets a good tone for the class.

I will be honest.  Spanish V was a hard one to tackle.  Everyone discusses the early levels because that is what most teachers teach.  In addition, I have taught the majority of my students before, so I didn’t want to do anything too much like an icebreaker either.  Most of these students know each other as well since I will not have any new to our school students.  Finally, it hit me!  I plan on creating a Pear Deck with the following information.  I want to show a picture of me when I was a junior/senior in high school which is their current age.  That always breaks the ice because everyone likes to see old pictures.  I plan on sharing why I started taking Spanish (it was the only foreign language that they would let me take in 7th grade… I really wanted to take Latin!) and why I kept taking it (pretty much, so I could major in Spanish in college, so I could study abroad for a semester in Spain.)  Sometimes, it would seem that we are so different from our students.  While I definitely loved speaking a foreign language, I didn’t keep taking it for the pure love of grammar structures.  Also, I can share that awkward feeling of when your parents try to force you to speak Spanish in any restaurant that they believe has someone else who speaks Spanish in it.

After explaining that, I want to give them the opportunity to anonymously share why they decided to take the course via Pear Deck and what they hope to get out of the class.  Pear Deck is great because I can see why all of the students are taking the class, but their responses are anonymous.  Also, this gives them some think time to start writing in Spanish instead of expecting them to speak right away.  Spanish V is obviously an elective for all students as they could have stopped taking a language a long time ago.  I want to know why they decided to sign up for it when they had a lot of options.  Finally, I plan on giving each student a sticky note to write one goal that they have for the end of the year or something that they want to improve.  I want them to display this on the bulletin board.  This can serve as a reminder why they are in the class throughout the year.  The second day, I want them to craft an introduction to me via Seesaw.  I am interested in learning their proficiency levels of Spanish as many students are coming to me from different classes.  By looking at their writing, I can start crafting ways for them to improve.

Finally, while I have a lot of goals for my school year, I have a BIG one for my first day of school.  Even though this will be my 11th year teaching, I always get really nervous before my first day of school.  I have crazy nightmares (starting in July) where I cannot find my own class.  I also do not sleep well the night before school starts.  My goal this year is to focus on relaxing and looking forward to seeing my students.  I am really excited to teach some of my same students as juniors and seniors that I taught when they were in 8th grade!  I want to focus on my excitement with being able to work with these amazing students again and not worry too much about the details!  Hopefully if I am conscious about it, it will happen for me!  Do you have any first day of school goals?  Plans?  Share away!  I can’t wait to hear them.

Posted in Uncategorized, Warm-up activity

Bellringers and I are never getting back together… Like Ever.

Adobe Spark (16)

So earlier this year, I wrote a post about breaking up with my bellringer.  I was nervous about not using it.  It was everything that I had learned was “good pedagogy.”  It was on my teacher observation checklist!  It worked for me… somewhat.  But brain research really wasn’t on my side.  And it was BORING (mostly).  Occasionally, we would start with a interesting game etc, but many times, it was a handout or book activity… that we needed to go over.  So by the time we really started it was far into class.

I realized that I didn’t come back and discuss how it went when we started a Twitter discussion about it.  I ended up keeping a similar schedule from my original blog post.  We would do the special person interview (and later in the year weekend review.)  To keep it fresh, one of my favorite weekend review options was on this blog.  Other days, I would start with Free Voluntary Reading.  To keep some accountability, I would have students find two new words to them to share with a partner.  Or we would do some booksnaps.  I started my level 2s with five minutes of reading then I bumped it up to seven or eight minutes by the end of the year.  In addition, I would either do a song or a MovieTalk as well.  I would also play around with commercials during February and the music mania in March.  I also would mix in some PictureTalk as well.  Because we would typically assess once a week, this would summarize my week of “warm-ups”!

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take attendance or check homework.  I managed to fit that in later in the class.  I rarely forgot to take attendance.  (Although sometimes I would forget to check homework… but that is probably for the best!  I am changing up my homework this year anyway.  Don’t ask me what, but I won’t have a work book to make students complete.)

I was also worried that students wouldn’t know to “get started” or that there would be discipline problems with them getting started.  I found that they settled down just as much as they did before with a bellringer.  They knew that class was starting and they didn’t act any different than they would have with a bellringer.  I like the same flow of my class.  As I wrote in my previous blog, I think this helped me further back away from the textbook as I wasn’t relying upon a textbook activity for my bellringer.  I believe that it made my class more engaging overall.  I encourage you to try to move away from the bellringer this year!  Also- check out how Laura moved away from bellringers this year and how she started her class.

Posted in Favorites, Reading

Summer Reading: Ditch That Textbook

PD Reading

I am on vacation, but I just finished reading Ditch That Textbook from Matt Miller.  It was a great read!  I enjoy all of his posts on his blog, but I felt like I was able to understand more of his whole philosophy by reading the book.  As I have stated before, I have already decided to ditch my textbook for next year, but if you are on the fence, this is perfect for you.  It cemented my ideas for what to do next year.  It is a perfect balance of research and easy to implement ideas.  I took a few book snaps to highlight some of my favorite parts.  For example, I loved this idea about professional development and how to improve as a teacher:

#ditchbook #booksnaps

I appreciate reading books that further strengthen what I believe in and even challenge some of my beliefs.  It is nice to feel like you are on the same page as others since the classroom can be isolating.

In addition, Matt used to be a Spanish teacher.  I appreciate that he can use that point of view to discuss the changes that he made.  He includes all different types of teaching, and his ideas can apply to different subject matters.  However, I traditionally feel that foreign language is an “add-on” to most books.  It normally involves an out-dated approach that relies too much on whatever their method can be applied to grammar and vocabulary.  Matt is able to describe how he practiced everything in his Spanish class without a long list of vocabulary or the resources from a textbook.  I took away many easy to implement ideas, but this was one of my favorites:

#ditchbook #booksnaps #seesaw

I use Seesaw to have students blog.  I need to start thinking about ways to view their blog as I view mine.  I obviously make cumulative work with my posts, and many bloggers create the top 10 lists.  Why not do the same with students?

I highly recommend that you read this book!  I enjoyed reading it, and I read through it quickly on vacation with a three year old.  Plus, I have many new ideas to help me process the changes that I will make next year sans textbook.

Posted in Assessments, Integrated Performance Assessment

How to help students prepare for a final IPA

How to help students prepare for a final IPA exam

This year, my Spanish 2 students are taking an IPA instead of the final exam.  Our final exam had to be all on paper or in ExamSoft which can be limiting for foreign languages.  If we only use paper, the exam cannot consist of any listening tasks or any speaking tasks.  It all has to be reading or writing… for two hours.  Luckily, our principal has been supportive of our transition to have students take an IPA before the final exam.  Then, students do not have to take a final exam on the scheduled day.

For the final exam, we decided to include both interpretive reading and listening, in addition to interpersonal speaking and presentational writing.  This allows us to include all four modes even though the IPA typically has three sections.  We separate reading and listening on two separate days as well as speaking and writing, so students do not feel rushed with any topic.  The speaking section is the fastest, but again, we want to give them time to complete the writing for the full block.  Our classes are all 50 minutes long.

We had to also decide on different themes that could cover many different topics that we discussed during the year.  In Spanish 3 last year, we used the theme of natural disasters.  In Spanish 2 this year, we are focusing on vacations and trips.  Using a broad topic can help encompass many of the themes that we have been studying all year.  It also helps when you can find a variety of resources to select.  I wouldn’t suggest tying yourself to a specific theme where it is hard to find resources.

For other tips, I suggest PrintFriendly to print any reading authentic resources from the Internet.  Even if you do not need to edit the text itself, it will convert any webpage into a PDF in case the website will change or go away as we found out today!  Luckily, we had saved it already or we would have had to rewrite a WHOLE section!

During interpretive listening, students are using EdPuzzle.  I use EdPuzzle a lot especially for novice and beginning intermediate students.  It allows students to replay videos and pinpoints the part where the answer is located.  For many students, this helps make authentic resources even more comprehensible.  If you are worried that students can access it, you could even have students write their answers down on a piece of paper.

However, how do you help students prepare for the final exam that is cumulative but more about skills than about actual conjugations or vocabulary or a traditional test?  First, I asked my students what sections they wanted to practice the most.  This helps me to narrow down what they feel confident about versus what areas they feel the weakest.  My students said they wanted to practice both listening and speaking.  This helped me narrow down what I wanted to cover with my students.  Here are a few ideas that worked for us:

  • I used some of Gianfranco’s micro-listening practices to help with listening skills.  This helped my students identify sounds much better.  I used a variety of different videos from University of Texas-Austin.  They are short, and I can download them, so students do not see the transcript.  I will continue to use these micro-listening practices even more next year!  Students felt like it was difficult, but they really helped them.
  • Although I love EdPuzzle, there is something to be said about watching a video as a class and highlighting what others’ hear.  I found a similarly themed video to discuss in class.  Students worked individually or with a partner to brainstorm answers on a whiteboard.
  • I passed around sheets of paper with different themes from this year.  Students brainstormed different vocabulary from the year on each sheet.  They would add as many words as they could then trade papers with another group.  They would read that list and add more words to it.  Then at the end, they received a new list and had to incorporate 6-8 words from their list into a new writing on Seesaw.
  • Also the BEST thing that I did was sit down one on one with each student, talk to them about how they are feeling and answer any personalized questions that they have about the upcoming IPA.  EVERY time I do this (which isn’t much!) I think I SHOULD DO THIS ALL THE TIME!  Maybe if I put it down as my goal for next year?!
  • I may do this if I have a chance to on Friday- but I love these vocabulary puzzles!  Our Latin teachers used this to help with their review this year.
  • To practice speaking, I gave them various topics to practice.  With our first day, I had students brainstorm what they wanted to talk about first before they talked.  The second day, we did a mock simulation without any writing or brainstorming.
  • Finally, before our last writing assessment, we looked at the rubric again and students evaluated their own work.  They decided how to improve based on each different section of the rubric.  Once this was done, they looked at students’ work from other classes and evaluated those based on the rubric.
  • In addition, each night I have a different sample that students can choose to complete.  I believe that this reassures some students as they are completing an IPA and gives them more of a guide to work on.

How do you provide extra help and support when reviewing for an IPA exam?


Posted in Music

The evolution of music in my class

Evolution of music in my class

I love using music in class.  Every time, I think about the value of using music in class, I run into students who recall listening to music in my class and talk about their favorite song.  Or one of my students tell me that they have added a song to their playlist.  My students really do love listening to music.  Throughout the year, I have been playing with how I use music and have blogged about it periodically.  Now, I am putting them all together for this post because I finally feel like I have a direction on what I am doing with music.  While I keep the cloze activity while my students listen to the song, I have been evolving my post and pre-listening songs.

As I wrote before, I really like using some of the activities that Elizabeth Dentlinger shared for her songs of the week.  Each song can be thought of as an interpretive listening activity.  However, how can this be identified with songs?  With interpretive listening activities for songs, I like to include:

  • key word identification
  • main idea identification with supporting details
  • inference of lines (this is easiest to do with songs because they use more poetic language)
  • any cultural points

In addition to doing some post-work, I have also started to add more input before the song.  For example with my favorite song Yo te esperaré, I created this PearDeck.  My students and I love PearDeck because we can all work at the same time, and students can also see each other’s work on the projector.  Plus everyone can respond at the same time to the same question.  I can also click on a student’s answer to highlight it.  If you do not use PearDeck, you could easily have students answer these same questions/drawings on a whiteboard.

To start deciding on the pre-song activities, I describe the meaning and background of the song.  As the teacher, you can start to think about the message of the song.  For example, this song is about a fight between a couple and how the boy will continue to wait for the girl to come back.  This started my structure of the story.  You can highlight any parts that you are going to put in the cloze worksheet in your story to review ahead of time.  For this song, I included “si te vas no vuelves-” if you leave do not come back because that is a big line in the song, and it is easily understood by many of my students.  Be sure to focus and recycle any other parts of the song that you used before in class.  For example, my students still struggle on the differences with ser and estar.  I try to always highlight location and feelings with estar when I do these songs.  After we complete the pre-story, we listen to the song and watch the video.  I have also stopped the song to talk about different aspects of the song- or we just watch the video.

Then post song, I love having students act out parts of the song and caption this in Spanish.  We did this with Te Veo, and students wrote a caption in Seesaw.  This helps them summarize the video and recreate it.  It also allows them to provide some output after the input of the story and the song.  How do you like to engage students with music in class?

Posted in Favorites

Friday Activities before Spring Break: Updated!

Friday Activities before Spring Break

I noticed that many people had been looking for ideas for the Friday before Spring Break, and my post was from 2013!  Plus, who is going to use Fakebook anymore?  The students certainly don’t use it!  Here is an updated list of what you can do before any break:

  • BaileViernes has been sweeping Spanish classes everywhere!  Allison has collected 84 videos that have Spanish music and dancing here.  I tried this one Friday, and it was a lot of fun!
  • At ACTFL, I learned about digital storytelling with Noah Geisel (who also gave credit to his students!)  You can have students reenact scenes from a recent story on Snapchat.  Students download them and then submit them to you.  Or if you have been reading, you can do some book snaps!  This is one of my favorite activities to do with students recently because I always laugh at what they create.
  • Sra Sexton has had her students creating memes, and they are awesome!
  • I have shown telenovelas from Netflix before.  I love them for level 2 because the scenes are short.  They provide a nice stopping point, so I can easily discuss what just happened.  Plus the drama normally makes it easy to follow along.  Also, sometimes my students will watch the WHOLE telenovela without any prompting!  Last year, I think at least 3 of my students watched the whole series and came up to me this year to let me know that it was off Netflix!  You can’t ask for more than that!
  • Also grab a trophy and have students celebrate their accomplishments and set goals for the rest of the year.
  • I saw this tweet from the Central States: use these minute to win it games!  Explain it in the TL and then discuss who could and couldn’t do the task in the TL.
  • I really like the Creative Crossword game found here.
  • Students also love to play games like Kahoot, Quizizz or even do PearDecks (or its similar component- NearPod).

What do you like to do right before break?  Share below!