Thursday, August 27, 2015

One Year Subscription to Rockalingua! {Giveaway}

Rockalingua is a small company based in San Francisco and run by César, an elementary Spanish teacher who is very talented and writes his own songs. On his website you can find a variety of songs suitable for elementary, middle and high school students. Teachers can purchase CD's, DVD's or a full yearly membership to Rockalingua's website where members have the benefit of accessing the videos, songs, worksheets and teaching tips from anywhere with online access. 

I am lucky enough to have my very own membership and enjoy the full benefits of it. I would love one of my readers to have that benefit too! To participate, just enter below. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015. WORLD WIDE participants are welcome! ¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 23, 2015

5 Reasons to Use Interactive Student Notebooks in Elementary Spanish Class

An Interactive Student Notebook is nothing more than a regular notebook, but it's organized in a specific way that helps students keep track of all the content we explore in class. For older students, their ISN requires them to have a table of contents, numbered pages, and space for teachers to add notes. Also, there are lots of hands-on, independent enrichment activities peppered throughout for students to explore at their own pace or at home (e.g. to cut and paste, color, match words, etc.). Since I teach Spanish at  the lower school and don't see my students with much frequency, I have adapted this tool to use more simply. We keep songs, make games, write short paragraphs and make it interesting for students to feel proud of their own work. At the end, it's their own creation they can be proud of and feel a sense of ownership. 

Interactive Student Notebooks have been a life saver for me and wonderful teaching tool at the elementary school level. I started using them last year and created mine along with my students and aligned it with my own curriculum -take a peak inside it!  

There are a lot of benefits to using Interactive Student Notebooks in a world language class at the elementary level. Here are a few I have found while using them in my classes:

1. Easy to keep organized: I've found Interactive Notebooks are an easy way to keep my students organized. I used to have binders for my second and third graders, and it became chaotic for them to handle and keep them in order. Interactive Notebooks provide a space where everything we do in class is kept in one place.

2. High motivation for students: Students are more engaged in class and constantly ask when they can take their notebooks home. I include hands on activities, lyrics of songs we've learned, and games! 

3. Good communication with your students' parents: Spanish notebooks help children keep track of their own learning and exploration in class. Many of the activities in the Interactive Notebook should be engaging such as games, puzzles, memory games, and so on. 
Provide space during the school year for students to take their notebook home to share with parents what we've done in class - this helps parents feel more connected with their children's learning and allows you to educate them since, in most cases, this kind of second language learning is much different than their experience. 

4. A resource for the summer: When the school year is over, children will have a resource they have created and can take home to practice over the summer. 

5. You will love it! Just make sure you have the materials required for the fun. I use regular composition books and glue sticks. 

Have fun!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Spanish Teachers to Follow on Social Media

If you are on Facebook, Pinterest or enjoy following blogs, you may like to know that there is a group of Spanish teachers who are active on social media. They are all dedicated educators who share teaching tips, classroom management ideas, what has worked or hasn't worked for them, and a lot more when it comes to teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Following them on social media can save you some time and will keep you on track while navigating the internet. 

I created this in no particular order. The levels are identified by the following letters:
E- Elementary 
MS - Middle School
HS - High school

Mundo de Pepita 

Monarca Language

Señora Cruz 

Vibrante Press with Loni Dai Zovi

Woodward Education

YB Smith

The Spanish and ASL Lady

The World Language Cafe

Sue Summers

Spanish Sundries

Lectura Para Niños

Teacher's Clipart 
(Designer and Teacher)

Sol Azúcar

Best PowerPoints for Spanish Class

Sra. Casado

Island Teacher

La Profesora Frida



Thursday, June 4, 2015

Geography Center with Money

Over several years of teaching Spanish I have collected coins and bills from different Spanish speaking countries. Either someone brings them to me or I collect them during my own travel. I got to a point where I didn't know what to do with them. It occurred to me that I could use them for a center in my class. I laminated all the bills for students to manipulate easily and placed them with the coins in a basket. I printed and laminated maps where all the Spanish speaking countries are listed. 

This is now a center for early finishers or when I do a center-based class. My students really enjoy looking at the different bills and coins, comparing them to the United States bills, and locating the countries on the map. If you don't have real bills, you can print a few from the internet and it will serve the same purpose.

Have fun!

Fun For Spanish Teachers

Hispanic Heritage Month Project for Elementary School

I have decided to go ahead and end the school year with an engaging project that can be used at the beginning of the new school year. Every year, from September 15th to October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States. It's a month to celebrate the Hispanic presence in the US and contributions to the country.
This celebration starts just a week after the school year has started here in Massachusetts. Because it's so early in the school year, I feel it's hard to start my class with a project when I am working hard just to make sure everyone understands the routine and dynamic of the class as we get used to new year.
I found a simple project posted on a middle school blog run by Señorita Lona. This past school year, I piggy-backed on her project for creating this poster. I had my third grade students pick a famous Hispanic person from the list below.
They did basic research on Wikipedia to find the person's full name, date of birth, country of origin, and why the person was famous. They had to pretend they all were alive to be able to write the sentences in the present tense.  Due to the limited time I had available for the project, I gave my students the questions in advance that they had to glue on their posters.

After getting all the information together, they had to answer using full sentences and decorate their posters. 

Many of the students worked in pairs during this project. We recorded their voices with one being the interviewer and the other one being the interviewee, using a free version of the app called "Voice Record." Then I created the QR codes with a free program called "QR code." I plan to display the posters around the school  in September and invite family members, school staff, and faculty to use their devices to listen to the children reading their interviews.  That will be a starting point for my students to help celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in my school.


Fun For Spanish Teachers

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Report Cards in a FLES Program {Facebook Corner}

Conversaciones de maestros en nuestra página de Facebook 

Angelica says:
"I was working for a small school, so when it came to grading, I only graded 15 students. The teacher usually handed me the forms and it was with numbers 1-4 I am working at a big private school. I got hired at the middle of the second trimester, so we decided to only grade the last trimester. My question is: When it comes to grading a Spanish class is there any grading rubric that you follow? Do you make your own? I want to send a little note home that says something about their learning since I began there. The grades that I teach are K-8. ¡Gracias!"

Familia Botero:I also teach k-8. For every unit i create goals. These are the "notes" i share w parents. For grading purposes, every class period students get a participation grade. They also get grades in completing projects. I create worksheets we use in class. Some of our worksheets can be colored so i assign it as "homewor ( at the lower levels) so they understand spanish js a "real" class.
Upper levels have projects and activities that allow me to grade their work.
My principal and I agreed that participation on the lower levels would be the biggest chunk of their grade. Hope this helps. Reply to my comment if you want any more details

Patty: Following!

Jenn:This is a great question. We don't have anything on our report card at all yet, so are really looking for the same info.What about aligning them to "can do statements"?

Heidi : We are using "can do" statements, but our computerized report card morphs those into speaking, listening, reading, and writing. I use a common curriculum and assessments and attach a cover letter to each test I send home with general info about the unit.

Christine: I do 50% homework/class participation and 50% tests/quizzes/projects for grades 5-8. For grades 3 & 4 I assign points to most work done in class because I don't give homework or tests. Thankfully I don't have to give grades to the little ones at all.

Simone : The "can do" type statements that come with the authentic assessment charts in the Sonrisas Spanish school books are great.

Rachel: Following

Visit Fun for Spanish Teachers on Facebook for more exciting conversations like this one!

Fun For Spanish Teachers

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

8 Fun Outdoor Games to Play in Spanish Class

Teaching in a place where winters can be long, makes me and my students appreciate every single minute we can have outside. Now that Spring has finally arrived in Boston, I have made a commitment to use the first five to ten minutes outside playing with my students as a warm up for class. We not only get some time outside, but we also get to use the language in context while having fun - a great way to get it to stick. Some of the game are also traditional, so this is a good way to bring a cultural element into class, too. 

Here is a list that includes some of the games I have been teaching my students. Click on the links to learn about each game. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the fresh air!

1. El lobo
2. Color, Colorcito
3. Teléfono Roto
4. El Pato
5. El Ratón y el gato
6. Ponle las gafas al sol
7. El Paracaídas
8. Rayuela

Have fun playing outside!
Fun For Spanish Teachers

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tongue Twisters in Spanish

Tongue twisters are a fun way to help your students get better with their pronunciation in Spanish. It's also a good way to help them understand that it's okay to make mistakes. To bring this into class you could do a monthly or weekly trabalenguas challenge using the cards below. This can become part of your routine to use as a warmup or as a way to wrap up your classes. You can group the cards by difficulty level. An alternative to a teacher-led activity is to establish a center in your classroom. Download the free cards, print them and laminate them for durability! Grab your freebie here!

Have fun!
Fun For Spanish Teachers

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

La Manzana Envenenada {Game}

Here is a game I played with my first graders today. They loved it! Last week I had the opportunity to spend time with a wonderful teacher. She shared some awesome games with me, and this is one of them.

For the "la manzana envenenada"game you will need to print pictures of apples of different colors. I laminated mine and added a tiny magnet on the back. You 
will need a tree. You could make one with paper or draw one on your board.

How does the game work?
You will need a volunteer to leave the room. While the student is out, everyone left in the room has to agree on which apple will be poisoned.
The student comes back to the room, and the class should ask, chanting in unison:
"¿Cuál es la manzana envenenada?"

The student should ask the class while collecting each apple:
"¿La manzana __________?"
This student takes as many turns as necessary before selecting the poisoned apple.
When the student selects the poisoned apple, the class yells:
"¡estás envenenado/a!"

Then the student is out of the game. Count the apples that the student collected before finding the poisoned apple. Write his or her name on the board and the number of apples collected. Do the same for every student that takes a turn. Invite another volunteer and start the game again.
You can give turns to as many students as you like.
At the end you can compare and see who collected the most or the least apples.

Click on the picture  below to print your apples!

Have fun!
Fun For Spanish Teachers

Monday, February 16, 2015

¿Quién Se Comió la Empanada de la Abuela? - Game to Reinforce Vocabulary About Family Members

This game has been motivating my second graders a lot lately. We did a unit on family members, we talked about the diversity in families, and they then described their own immediate families orally and in a small written project.

I modified the well known game called "Who Stole the Cookie for the Cookie Jar?" to support this unit. Instead of a cookie, I printed a picture of an empanada. This added a small cultural twist to the game (and made me hungry for Colombian comfort food...).

I told my students the story of abuelita, who made just one empanada and that someone in the family had eaten it without her permission. I added a detective to this version.

I printed a picture of a detective and gave it to one student. I also gave printed pictures of different family members to the rest of my students. I got them from my "La Familia" set that I have in my TpT store. When you play it, you can also print pictures of family members from other sources.

I gave each student in the room one picture to represent a family member, and I made sure to include pets such as a cat and dog.

Before playing the game, I made sure to go over the lines of the chant. We chanted every line and also helped the detective say his/her line.

How to play the game?

Once you have assigned the different pictures of family members to the students, choose one student to be the detective. The detective will have to leave the classroom. While the detective is outside the room, give a student with the picture of a family member the picture of the empanada. Everyone in the room has to pretend to have the empanada in their hands.

The detective comes back to the classroom and will have three opportunities to guess who has the empanada.

The class chants:
¿Quién se comió la empanada de mi abuela? (two times)
The detective answers:
¿El papá se comió la empanada de la abuela? (two times) Usually the class helps the detective chant.
Depending on who has the empanada the class will answer:
"El papá no se comió la empanada de la abuela."
"El papá sí se comió la empanada de la abuela."

Remember that the detective has three turns to guess. You can play this game for a long time in class and get everyone using some language skills that they've learned in your class.

Have fun playing the game!
Fun For Spanish Teachers
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