sábado, 23 de septiembre de 2017

Recursos para enseñar sobre los desastres naturales

Quick, short post... I am sharing some activities to teach about the terremoto that happened this week in México. There is an article (adapted from the NY Times to be more comprehensible for Spanish 3ish, a dictation activity, an infografía activity, and a PSA activity. Click here to see them. Feel free to make a copy and make changes.

Also, here are some similar activities for un incendio, un huracán, and un incendio. Click here to see them. Feel free to make a copy and make changes.

I hope to write up something about the effects of Huracán María on Puerto Rico for my class on Monday. I plan on doing a fundraiser and will share that plan as well!

lunes, 11 de septiembre de 2017

What does a fantastic, authentic PD experience lead to?

Professional Development is so important and it can be in so many forms. Some of my frequent favorites are:
  • going to conferences and making connections
  • reading a book in Spanish or a teaching-related book, like my most recent language-teaching related book: A Natural Approach to Stories
  • listening to podcasts in Spanish, my favorite is Radio Ambulante, which is back with a new episode this Tuesday
  • watching television shows in Spanish (I have the always cursi "La Rosa de Guadalupe" on in the background right now)
  • listening to music in Spanish, click here to see my summer running playlist 
  • blogging 
  • reading other blogs
  • #langchat-ing
  • talking to other language teachers
  • collaborating with other language teachers... usually  many states away for me!
  • and finally, my all time favorite PD... TRAVELING to Spanish speaking countries. During the past two years, I have gone to Costa Rica (with students EF Tours), Panama (with my family), Puerto Rico (with my family) and Ecuador (with mi amiga Carrie Toth and other teachers).

Me and Carrie on the Ecuator
Happy George
This summer, I did an amazing Professional Development experience! I traveled with EF Tours to Ecuador for 11 days with a fantastic group of teachers (click here to see what we did). It was organized by ICTFL, with the amazing Linda Egantz at the helm. We were also accompanied by George Stewart, who works for EF Tours, is a former Spanish teacher, and just an overall interesting, kind, open minded, knowledgeable person.

During and after this wonderfully, authentic Professional Development experience, I had a lot to process. I had a lot of questions and more learning to do when I returned. And then, I really wanted to bring some of the wonders and diversity that I experienced and learned about back to my students. Many of my students won't travel (although I am taking a group of 24 on this EF Tours Ecuador tour this June), but I wanted to show them the ways that travel and learning can enrich their lives and change their perspectives.

An authentic resource, especially if it is a song with a great video, can really be mined to hit the 5 Cs: Communication (in the 3 modes), Culture (3 Ps), Comparisons, Connections, and Communities in an engaging way for students. So, on July 28th, when I saw this promotional video for Ecuador (click here to read about it), I knew that I had to start with this for my "Ecuador" unit in my Cultura y Civilización unit.

I am so excited to share the unit, with tons of resources (click here to get it for free). 

I collaborated with Carrie Toth and Arianne Dowd, and Nelly Hughes edited the unit... what a trio of amazingness!  

I started my Cultura y Civilización with this unit and it has been a big hit! I hope that you can use it and that you will see what traveling for Professional Development can lead to! A big thanks to Linda Egantz and George Stewart for organizing such an amazing trip! And for Carrie Toth for being the best travel buddy and collaborator.

And one more thing, if you haven't yet, I highly recommend traveling with students, it is Professional Development and experiential learning with your students. George wrote a fantastic piece here and when I travel in June with my students, I am going to have them follow George's structure for travel DIVE. Click here for the details.

And here are some of the highlights from one of the best Professional Development experiences I have had...





lunes, 4 de septiembre de 2017

Adding DACA to the Perspectivas de la Inmigración unit

My second unit in my Cultura y Civilización course this semester will be "Perspectivas de la Inmigración." This is what I have done in the past, but I am changing quite a few things!

One thing I am going to add is DACA. I created this doc (feel free to make a copy and use it) so that students can understand what DACA and Dreamers are.

My anchor for the unit will be the movie Ladrón que roba a ladrón. I think students will enjoy the movie. If you haven't seen it, check it out! It has a great ending.

I am also going to use the song "La Bestia" by Kinto Sol. Arianne Dowd has been creating some excellent resources to go along with this song and I will definitely use those! And here is a messy doc with two embedded readings and some activities that will help students understand the song. I may or may not end up using that!

sábado, 26 de agosto de 2017

*Otra* leyenda ecuatorian: El Kuychi

Yup, another Ecuadorean legend here! (See here and here for two others.) This one could be used as part of a legends unit or with a health unit because two of the main characters are curanderos

The name of it is "El Kuychi," which according to the video below, is "el arcoiris blanco que aparece en el invierno." That mean looking guy below is el diablo Supay. 

Click here to get the free resources. Feel free to make a copy and make changes, but if you enhance activities and/or create new ones, please share back! 

Included in the folder are links to the following:

I am sharing all of this for FREE, but if you think it is useful and has saved you some time, feel free to give back here in Radiohead style (click here to see what I mean by Radiohead style). 

And if you want another legend with very similar resources, click here for Las Guacamayas or click here for a more in depth unit about El Kichwa en el Ecuador.

lunes, 21 de agosto de 2017

Otra leyenda ecuatoriana: El nacimiento del Río Amazonas

I traveled to Ecuador this summer through ICTFL with EF Tours and it was amazing! I am very excited to teach about Ecuador this year. So, recently in my quest for engaging Ecuador resources, I discovered this YouTube Channel Zonacuariotv and I love it! It is from Ecuador and geared towards children. I found it when I was creating this unit: El Kichwa en el Ecuador. I love the wawa kichwa videos series to learn kichwa and I incorporated some of those videos into that unit. 

From there, I stumbled upon a whole bunch of leyendas ecuatorianas that I am really excited to use. They are engaging, authentic, pretty, and diverse. Within Ecuador, there is a wide variety of geography and people and these legends seem to show some of that diversity. Each of the legends is from a different place and has different indigenous roots. These are some of my favorites that I plan to develop:

Arianne Dowd and I have already created some resources to go along with "Las Guacamayas," (sold on TPT and some free stuff here), but I am sharing (for free) resources to go along with "El nacimiento del Río Amazonas." I love this legend. It could be used for a lot of different units. It could definitely be a part of an environmental unit. Check it out here:
Click here to get free access to the resources. The resources includes:
  • a short reading about the waoraní (indigenous people from Ecuador) 
  • a slideshow (see below) that walks through the embedded readings and has other activities
  • a sequencing activity for after the second embedded reading (with answer key)
  • a matching text to picture for after the embedded reading (with answer key)
  • a ¿Quién lo dijo?/¿Quién lo hizo? activity for after the second embedded reading (with answer key)
  • a cloze activity for the final audio of the authentic video
  • a doc with the final transcript and two embedded readings (that leave out the certain parts of the ending) that lead to that final, authentic transcript

I am offering all of this for FREE, but if you think it is useful and has saved you some time, feel free to give back here in Radiohead style (click here to see what I mean by Radiohead style). 

And if you want another legend with very similar resources, click here for Las Guacamayas or click here for a more in depth unit about El Kichwa en el Ecuador.

domingo, 20 de agosto de 2017

Embedded readings that lead to text with AUDIO and VIDEO

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I love embedded readings that lead to an authentic text, especially when it has authentic AUDIO and VIDEO! If you want to learn more about embedded readings, click here to go Laurie Clarcq's blog.

I recently created two embedded readings that will lead students to understand the audio in this video below. You can see the second version linked here in Arianne Dowd's post (free). You can see the first version and other activities for  the whole thing here (or here in this bigger unit about kichwa in Ecuador).

When creating a embedded readings, here is what I have done (which may not be the exact, correct method, but I am sharing in case it helps anyone):
  • Find an authentic text or an authentic video/audio.
  • If it is a video or audio, transcribe it so that I have a text.
  • I make a table with three (or four) columns. 
  • Put the authentic, final version in the last column.
  • Work backwards and take pieces out to simplify.
  • I make two (or three) other versions in the other two columns. Column one is the simplest version.
  • Simplify the language, but also include some of the authentic langue too.
  • Important: Leave out some of the important details and leave room for predictions! That will help build the anticipation.
  • There are several activities that could be done with each version, depending on the text. Some of the activities could be:
    • basic comprehension questions in English
    • listen and draw
    • listen, write, exchange papers, and draw
    • put in order
    • who said it?
    • cierto/falso
    • matching pics to text
    • read and circle the correct word
    • textivate
    • Quizlet Live with sentences (leave out certain words)
    • retell story with pics
    • cloze activity with final version
These are some of the (free) embedded readings that I have made and used in the past.
Kristy Placido has made some embedded readings for a couple of short stories too:

martes, 15 de agosto de 2017

El Kichwa en el Ecuador

A bilingual (español y kichwa) school in Shuid, Ecuador -
This school visit inspired me to learn more about kichwa.

I traveled to Ecuador this summer on an EF Tours trip with ICTFL (even though I am from New Hampshire). I was fortunate to travel with the wonderful Carrie Toth and we knew that we would have to create something Ecuador-related to use in our classrooms. So, we have been working on a unit based on the video/song "Si tú la ves" and I can't wait to share that soon! 

But, as I have been creating that, I went down a rabbit whole of kichwa (yup "kichwa," not quechua) related resources and I created a unit that could go along with the "Si tú la ves" unit or it could be a stand-alone unit. It is called "El kichwa en el Ecuador" and I am so excited to teach this unit!!

(Or if you just want a new legend to use with a legends unit, click here.)

These are the resources included in the unit:

  • These Essential Questions:
    • ¿Es importante mantener vivos los idiomas y las culturas? ¿Por qué sí o no?
    • ¿Qué es la interculturalidad y cómo y dónde está presente en el mundo?
  • Discussion questions to get students to think about other languages and the concept of interculturality (without really explaining it) 
  • A reading about el kichwa in Ecuador
  • Some short activities to do with Wawa Kichwa videos/activities every day to start class for four days
  • A interpretive reading activity about bilingual (kichwa/español) schools (based on a simplified version of this article). Students could do this alone, in groups or as an entire class.
  • Two embedded readings related to legend "Las guacamayas" with possible assessment ideas
  • A presentation that will lead teachers through the two easier versions and finally to the full audio of the video below
  • A cloze activity with the audio from the video below
  • A short reading about a hip hop band that sings in kichwa
  • Suggestions for a final evaluation on the unit
  • Update: Arianne Dowd created some free resources to go along with the second version of the embedded reading

viernes, 11 de agosto de 2017

Ingredients in the soup

Image result for pozoleDuring the last four days, I have been thinking a lot about all the "ingredients" that we teachers use in our classes. As teachers, we all have our own "soup" that we serve to students. (I'm pretty sure that I read this metaphor on someone else's blog.) Every teacher's "soup" is unique and there is no exact, correct recipe for language teaching. (But yes, some soups definitely "taste" better and are more nourishing!) My soup ingredients have changed a lot and my soup has gotten much better in the six years that I have been sharing on this blog, partially because it is a place of reflection, but just as much, it has helped me to create an amazing PLN that I learn so much from!

I have spent the last four days at the Express Fluency Teacher Training in Brattleboro, VT. During this time, I observed some amazing teachers (Tina Hargaden, Grant BoulangerDustin Williamson, Annabelle Allen -AKA la maestra loca, Elissa McClean, and Justin Slocum Bailey) in classes and learned a ton from them at sessions too. One of the best parts of this conference was observing CI classes (if you can find a conference where you can do that, go!). I spent two days acquiring some French in Tina Hargaden's class. She is an amazingly skilled CI teacher. She made it so easy that at times that I didn't even realize I was sitting in a French class. I feel like I can really implement some of these CI strategies much better now.

Another highlight was that my sons (9 & 12) were able to be in class for four days with Annabelle Allen and Grant Boulanger. They really enjoyed the classes and acquired a lot. My boys even made comments about how this way of learning (really acquiring) Spanish is so easy and fun.

So, as I was at the conference, I got to thinking about what some of the main "ingredients" in my "soup" are, and I came up with these:
After these last four days, I have a some new "ingredients" to add to my soup.
I hope to share more about these new ingredients during the school year!

How to assess the "Communities: Lifelong Learning" standard?

I love the Communities: Lifelong Learning standard, but how to assess it has always been tricky for me.

I (and many others, like Laura Sexton most recently) have blogged about "choice homework". In my classes, I call it "Tarea Semanal" it has gone through many variations, particularly in how I grade it and what percentage of my students' overall grade it counts for. First semester of this year I will be teaching Cultura y Civilización (Spanish 4/5/+) and Spanish 3, and both of those classes will do Tarea Semanal.

For my Cultura y Civilización class, I am thinking about using a Standards Based Grading approach. In my district, we have true Standard Based Grading in grades K-8. The report cards show each standard and they get a 1-4 for each. There are about 20+ standards on the report card. At the high school, students still get the traditional number grades, but we might be moving towards a more Standards Based System. So, (I think) I am going to use these percentages in my grade book this year:
  • 60% Communication (broken down into the three modes of communication)
  • 20% Cultures/Comparisons/Connections
  • 10% Communities
  • 10% Work Habits (not a WL standard, but this is where students will be assessed with school wide rubrics on a variety of things, including: collaboration, time on task, creativity, etc.)
I know that this is not a true standard based grading approach, because if it were, there wouldn't be one grade, but rather several (possibly 11 for the standards and sub-standards)... but this is the best I can do under the system that I am working. There is so much overlap with these standards, but having these categories will make me focus on making sure that I am assessing all of them.

So, anyways, how to does Tarea Semanal fit into all of this? Tarea Semanal will be the way that I am assessing the Communities: Lifelong Learning standard and I have come up with this rubric (click here to see it) to help me assess my students. The rubric (like all rubrics!) will help in several ways: explain my expectations to my students so they can meet "exemplary" in this standard, give them more targeted feedback, and help me to give them a fair grade.

Do you use Standards Based Grading? How do you assess the Communities: Lifelong Standard?

sábado, 5 de agosto de 2017

Robarte un beso

Have you seen the video for "Robarte un beso" by Carlos Vives and Sebastián Yatra? The song is catchy, easy to understand, and appropriate! And the video is sweet and appropriate too!
Arianne Dowd and I spent some serious hours with this video (therefore we are selling the majority of these things on TPT, but there are two freebies at the bottom of this post)! We have created a whole bunch of activities (best for Spanish 3+) to go along with the song including:
  • "I can" statements aligned to the ACTFL Standards to share with students at the beginning of the unit
  • A suggested order of activities for the unit
  • A list of possible assessments aligned to the ACTFL Standards
  • A Movie Talk Slideshow that shows images of the video with the story 
  • A cultural reading about the tradition of serenades with a follow up comprehension activity 
  • A cultural reading about el vallenato with a follow up comprehension activity 
  • A reading about relationships with related PQA for before and discussion questions for after 
  • A prediction activity with some pictures from the video 
  • A reading called "Problemas con el amor" that tells the stories of the four couple in the video with a follow up comprehension activity 
  • A matching activity with pictures from the video and descriptions 
  • An "advertisement" for "los Doctores de Amor" (Carlos Vives y Sebastián Yatra) with a follow up comprehension activity 
  • A sequence of events activity to go along with the video 
  • A ¿Quién lo hizo? activity that goes along with the video Short biographical readings about Carlos Vives y Sebastián Yatra with follow up comprehension activities 
  • A put the song in order activity to do while listening to the song 
  • A classic, basic, cloze activity to do while listening to the song An Instagram activity relating to the story of the characters in the video 
  • A "Grítalo" activity 
  • A "Blind Retell" activity of story gesture reading
You can find them all on Teachers Pay Teachers in Arianne's store.

We are sharing this slideshow (click here for PDF) that tells the story of the video. And here is a basic cloze activity and a "put in order" activity for the song lyrics.

lunes, 31 de julio de 2017

TPT Sale - August 1st and 2nd

Download for your TpT Store Page Leaderboard - 720 × 90

Updated post (8/2)...

In addition to my on-sale materials below, I highly recommend scooping up some resources from these (sale ends today!):
Lots of teachers are having a sale on August 1st and 2nd and I am joining in! Here are some of the items that I have in my store, with links to a more detailed description of them.
  • Diamantes Negros - This is an awesome movie that can be used in upper levels. It shows a different perspective of immigration in the world of professional soccer in Europe. Click here to read more about the unit and click here to read about a socratic seminar that could be done after.
Diamantes Negros - Pre AP or beginning AP unit
  • This movie is also awesome! 3 Bellezas is a dark comedy set in Venezuela. If you are looking to explore the AP topic of Beauty and Aesthetics, this unit is excellent!  Click here to read more about the unit.
3 Bellezas - A unit packet for Spanish 4, 5, or AP
Soy yo - a story/song mini unit for Spanish 1 (or above)
Inmigración para español 1 (The Other Side and La Misma Luna)
A pre-AP unit based around the song Sicario by Rubén Blades
Canela - Movie Guide
  • Free... If  you missed it, Arianne Dowd and I created some awesome stuff to go along with the song, Un besito más by Jesse y Joy. Click here to read more.
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