Spanish TV Shows to Use in Spanish Class

Spanish TV Shows to Use in Spanish Class

Inside: Spanish TV shows: a list of series you can (hopefully!) use in class.  

 

If you’d mentioned movies or shows to me as a new teacher, I’d have assumed you meant how we teachers sometimes use them (hey, we’ve been there right?): that last day before winter break, when the stack of grading gets too high, or a weird testing day when half the class is gone. 

Since then, I’ve realized just how amazing Spanish TV shows in class can be. We can bring native speakers straight into our classrooms. We can travel to different places and cultures. I can get them hooked onto authentic resources they’ll remember for years.

When using Spanish shows in class, I vary my approaches depending on the circumstances.  Sometimes I incorporate a lot of extra activities, because when it comes to TV, it’s not just “listening practice.” As my classes get invested in the characters, and story, it’s a really great chance to have rich discussions and readings. If the show if not immediately comprehensible to them, it takes these extra activities to turn the show into meaningful input.

Sometimes, though, if I’m sure the language is accessible, I let them get absorbed and try not to pause too often. At the end of Spanish 2, one year, we were getting frazzled and sort’ve limping to the end. I enacted a Spanish-only rule, and told the class that every day, for the rest of the year, I would write “10” on the board. That meant 10 minutes of Extra, at the end of class. If I heard English, I erased a minute. If I slipped into English, I added a minute.

It was so much fun, and served two purposes: motivation, and input. Because, as we all know: if it ain’t compelling, they aren’t acquiring much. That’s why a good show is gold.

I used to use a lot of isolated listening “practice” clips that my students totally dreaded. Part of reason they dreaded those clips was that they had no relation, no meaning we cared about. But give them an interesting show, and they can’t get enough. Why? Because they care about the plot and the people. 

 

FREE SPANISH TV SHOWS

 

 See my Spanish movies and shows page for many more Spanish-language suggestions, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 

1. Mi Vida Loca

 

Designed for absolute beginners, BBC produced this free show to introduce basic language, the kind you would need to get around town while traveling. Set up as an interactive mystery show, my students really got into this one and didn’t mind that it’s a tiny bit outdated. This is a perfect end-of-the-year treat when students are getting restless, or to watch over the summer and keep up the language from Spanish 1. If you click on the link above, you can watch interactive lessons. If you don’t have flash, you can also use the episodes on YouTube. 

Level: Novice-Low and up
Episodes: 22

 

 

2. Extra

 

A loose spin-off of the sitcom Friends, Extra is fantastic for beginners, in the sense that it provides compelling, highly comprehensible input. My students loved it and by April it was the perfect little reward to watch at the end of class, a bit each day. 

However, I feel that it’s often awkward and borders on inappropriate, even for high school. I usually kept my clicker in hand and skipped awkward parts; you can preview and use your judgement. 

Level: Novice-High and up (with support)
Episodes: 10

 

 

3. Destinos

 

Destinos is a bit dated, but if you can get past that, it’s a great resource! Follow a lawyer around the world as she tries to solve a mystery and travels the world in search of answers. This is a great way to get immersed in Spanish in the context of a telenova, with culture thrown in too.

Level: Novice-High and up (with support). 
Episodes: 52

 

 

4 ¿Eres tú, María?

 

Created by Realidades for Spanish beginners, this is another (somewhat dated) mystery show. 

Level: Novice-Mid and up
Episodes: 10

 

 

5. La Catrina 

 

A 17-year-old Hispanic-American studies in Mexico for the summer.

Episodes: 14
Level: Novice-High and up (with support)

 

 

6. Violetta

 

Many teachers showed Disney’s Violetta– about a musically gifted teen who moves to Buenos Aires– when it was on Netflix, but it’s since been removed. Most of the DVDs on Amazon seem to be foreign (do you hear us, Disney/Amazon? We want to give you our money), but there are episodes available on Vimeo and YouTube (I have no idea how long these will be there). 

 

 

SPANISH TV SHOWS ON NETFLIX

 

All of these are authentic shows, and only truly “comprehensible” to Intermediate-Mid or High and up. However, many teachers have developed materials (readings, discussion, guides, etc) to make the material more accessible to their students. 

Most of those materials are not currently available to purchase or download, but 

 

1. El Internado (The Boarding School)

 

Students in an isolated boarding school become involved in mysterious events and dark secrets from the past, as friendships and loyalties are tested. (Sidenote: I haven’t watched the wholes series. It’s VERY popular among many amazing teachers, who choose to skip over some scenes. There is language, and if you put on English subtitles, the language gets translated more strongly than in the original Spanish. I didn’t feel comfortable using it in my own classroom, but you decide!)

Check the following resources if you plan to use the series:
Kara Jacobs
WilliamsonCI
Mis Clases Locas

 

2. El Tiempo Entre Costuras

 

El tiempo entre costuras is a mini-series based off the novel of the same name. Set during the Spanish Civil War, it follows a  Spanish seamstress who ends up in Morrocco after an ill-fated love affair, and eventually gets caught up between spies in Franco’s Spain.

This is one of my very favorite Spanish TV shows, and I’ve used it in class along with a study of the Spanish Civil War. The first few episodes have some scenes I skip, but it is generally a clean show and one I love using. 

 

 

3. Gran Hotel

 

Set at the turn of the century, a young man applies for a job at a hotel to investigate his sisters’ disappearance. Forbidden romance, intrigue, and danger follows as the truth comes to light. 

Here are resources from Mis Clases Locas for using the show. Though it has scenes I would skip, it’s one of the cleaner shows out there and so good. 

 

 

4. Soy Luna

 

An Argentine telenovela produced in partnership with Disney, this series is currently on Netflix. A teenage girls who loves to skate moves to Buenos Aires with her parents. I haven’t watched the entire show, but it looks appropriate for middle school and along the veins of Violetta. (If this isn’t available for you in the U.S., you still may be able to access it by adjusting the VPN on your device.) 

 

 

5. Rebelde

 

Six different teenagers– all interested in music– attend an exclusive private school together. Preview this one before using at school. 

 

 

5. Silvana sin Lana

 

A wealthy family’s life comes crashing down when the dad leaves and their fortune is lost. The mother must get a real job and the kids have to adjust to a “normal” life. I haven’t seen this one to the end, but the first episodes are pretty clean and funny. 

 

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Spanish TV Shows for Class

Food Truck Day: A Fun Field Trip Idea for Spanish Class

Food Truck Day: A Fun Field Trip Idea for Spanish Class

Inside: Looking for field trip ideas for Spanish class? Try a food truck day!

 

I am so pleased to share this guest post from Courtney Nygaard at Field Trip Spanish! Instead of trying to take your classes out on a field trip, bring the field trip to you. Getting started will be easy with her (very organized) ten steps to making it happen. Enjoy!

Are you interested in hosting a Food Truck Day at your school? For the past three years, I have planned a Food Truck day for my high school Spanish students and it has become one of the highlights of the year. All year long my students ask me if we are going to have our Food Truck Day again. I know the idea of planning an event like this can be overwhelming, but don’t worry! From the experience I’ve gained over the past three years, I’ve come up with ten steps to planning a Food Truck Day at school. In this post, you’ll learn how to successfully organize a Food Truck Day and additionally, how to use it as a fundraiser.

 

1. Get it approved by your principal.

 

It may seem obvious, but the first thing you need to do is make sure hosting this event is approved by your principal. You want to make sure you are complying with school rules and aligning the event to the school calendar as best as possible. Nothing worse than planning a large event only to find that students have standardized testing or a field trip for another class.

 

red taco truck

 

2. Plan Teacher Supervision During Lunches

 

This step will depend on how your school’s lunch schedule is set-up. At my school, we have three lunches. I coordinated with the other Spanish teachers to make sure that someone was outside during each lunch. One thing I did to ensure teacher supervision at all times was physically bringing one of my classes outside to sit on the lawn and work on their assignment. They enjoyed the chance to be outside for the hour and I was able to supervise the event. If this won’t work for you, you may need to request that your school provide a substitute for the hour you will be outside supervising the event.

 

students in line for a taco truck

 

3. Survey Students

 

I survey my students using a Google Form before I contact the food trucks. I make it clear that students will need to pay around $10 for their lunch which influences some students’ decision, depending on their economic situation. Of course, I wish every student could participate, but ultimately this event is a fundraiser which ends up funding other activities for all students later on in the year. If students choose to not participate in the event they simply attend lunch in the cafeteria as usual.

In the survey, I ask them for their name, what lunch they have, and if they plan to eat at the food trucks that day. This survey is conducted before I contact the food trucks, because in order to get a food truck to agree to attend, they need to know the approximate amount of students they will be serving. This survey also informs me how many food trucks I need to contact.

At my school, our lunches are very short (about twenty-five minutes). It’s important to know how many students will need to be fed in the amount of time you have allotted for your school’s lunch. Knowing this information allows the food truck (who is well versed in their serving capacities) to know whether or not it is possible to serve the number of students you have, in the amount of time your school allows.

 

tacos with beans and rice

 

4. Contact the Food Trucks and Set a Date

 

Now that you have an approximate student count for who will be eating lunch at the food trucks, you can begin to contact food trucks in your area. The first year of setting this up is always the trickiest. Food trucks need to be sure that it will be worth their time and can be hesitant to come to an event that will also have another food truck. In my case, I had 181 students that planned to eat lunch at the food trucks all within an hour and a half time span across our three lunches. So I needed two food trucks.

If you need multiple vendors, find food trucks that are available on the same date and inform them of the number of students, the time crunch, and arrival details. Be sure to ask about their electrical needs so you can be sure that they are close enough to the building to run an extension cord if they don’t have a generator.

It must be worth their time. The following year, a food truck actually initiated contact with me because they wanted to do this event again. The second year I hosted this event I asked if they would be willing to do this as a fundraiser for our Spanish classes. They were more than happy to donate 10% of the profit to our Spanish classes! This was great because we have been able to use the funds earned from our Food Truck Day to pay for our Three Kings Day party with our students.

 

field trip ideas for spanish class

 

5. Alert Necessary Personnel About the Event

 

Now that the date is finalized, you will want to alert necessary personnel. Contact the city about the area in which the food trucks will be parking (this may or may not be necessary for you). Put in a request to your custodial staff for several large garbage cans to be placed nearby on the day of the event. Also, make sure to contact your lunch monitors about the passes you will be using for students to be excused to leave the cafeteria for the event.

 

quesadilla

 

6. Contact Parents

 

Your event is starting to take shape! Send out an e-mail to parents alerting them of the event. Some parents may need extra time to get $10 together, so it’s important to be conscientious of all income levels. Attach the food truck menus, along with the prices. Inform parents that this event is optional; their son or daughter does not need to participate, and that if they prefer their child to each lunch in the cafeteria like normal, they may.

 

purchasing from a taco truck

 

7. Make Passes

 

Because of the time crunch, it’s likely that students will need a late-to-class pass. They may need an extra fifteen minutes of lunchtime so they can order their food, and have the time to eat it. If you would like a free download of these late-to-class passes and an event checklist you can get those here.

Something new that I’ll be doing for my Food Truck Day this year, is color coding the lunch-passes according to the lunch time-slots. This pass will be used to show the lunch monitors that a student is free to go outside for lunch. Additionally, this pass will help in identifying which students belong at each lunch as there tends to be a time overlap outside. Basically, if a student has first lunch, I want to quickly identify that they do not belong outside during third lunch. This will prevent students from abusing the system, skipping class and staying outside too long.

This event is exclusive for Spanish class students (or whichever language department is hosting your event) so passes work as an effective way to easily tell who is supposed to be there.

*Note: I don’t give students the late to class passes in advance. I give these to them if and when a particular lunch is ending, and they are still eating outside.

 

late to class pass for Food Truck Day

 

8. Go Over the Menu with Students

 

You will want to go over the menu and prices with students ahead of time. Remind them to bring cash and make sure students who have food sensitivities or allergies are aware of what’s on the menu. This is a great time to go over the vocabulary and key phrases for ordering food in Spanish (or again, whichever language department is hosting this event).

 

pouring hot sauce on tacos

 

9. Survey Students Again

 

The week of the event, survey students again in order to give a more accurate number to the food trucks.

 

picking up the order

 

10. Contact School Lunch Staff & Teachers

 

With the latest numbers, notify the school lunch staff of how many students will not be eating lunch in the cafeteria that day. This helps the school reduce food waste.

Send out an e-mail to all teachers letting them know some of their students may be arriving late to class (with a pass) that day. Attach a photo of the late-to-class pass in this email. This will give teachers an idea of what to look for in the event a student were to arrive late to their class.

Also, inform teachers that they are more than welcome to purchase lunch at the event themselves. Notifying them additionally, that the best time-frame to do so will be before/after normal school lunch slots if they prefer not to wait in line. Some teachers have prep during those times. The lines will most likely be long during lunches, and it is always a good idea to look out for your colleagues.

 

Three Mexican style tacos with lime and radish on the side

 

Final Tips for the Day of the Event

 

The day of the event I have a Bluetooth speaker outside playing upbeat music in Spanish, which always adds a nice vibe. Since students eat out on the lawn, some of them bring blankets to sit on, which I think is a great idea!

As lunch times change, ask students to show you their pass, so you can verify whether or not they should still be there. If they need more time to finish eating, give them a late-to-class pass.

Final note: You may be concerned about students who cannot afford to eat lunch at the food truck. As this event is a fundraiser, you could use the funds you raise this year as scholarships for next year’s event. So in the year following, the students’ whose family may not be able to afford it would simply need to check a box on the Google Form survey stating that they would need a scholarship in order to participate.

You should be able to prepay with the vendor in order to get pre-paid tokens allowing students to order pre-determined food options. Pass the tokens out to your students the morning of the event. At this point, you should be set for a cultural experience you and your students can thoroughly enjoy!

 

students with taco truck

 

 

Courtney Nygaard is a high school Spanish teacher in Minnesota. She also runs a website for Spanish learning called Field Trip Spanish and a travel blog called Travel For Days. You can find Courtney’s teaching resources for your Spanish class at her Teachers Pay Teachers store – Field Trip Spanish by Profe Nygaard.

 

 

 

 

Do you have more fun field trip ideas for Spanish class?

Leave a comment below and tell us about them. 

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field trip ideas for Spanish class

Back to School Spanish Activities: The Ultimate Round-Up of Plans and Ideas

Back to School Spanish Activities: The Ultimate Round-Up of Plans and Ideas

Inside: Back to school Spanish activities and plans.

 

I don’t know about you, but beginnings make me anxious. Or maybe it’s more like this: the anticipation of beginnings makes me anxious. Even on Sunday nights–in the middle of the school year– I get those butterflies. Once school starts, we jump in and it really is okay! (Especially now that I have a clearer idea of where we’re going and how students take in language.) That week-before is just tricky.

 

Teaching for ten years now, back-to-school has gotten better. I wish I’d had easy access to ideas from other teachers in those early days, so I’ve gathered these back-to-school Spanish lesson posts into one place. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, here you’ll have tons of great ideas at your fingertips!

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Learn Spanish With Music: 30 Authentic Songs for Advanced Classes

Learn Spanish With Music: 30 Authentic Songs for Advanced Classes

Inside: teach and learn Spanish with music, through 30 authentic songs full of the subjunctive, conditional, and commands.

 

Finally, a list of authentic Spanish songs for advanced classes! My lists for Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 are already popular, and this one should round it all out.

Using authentic songs gets significantly easier with upper grades, as you aren’t sheltering vocabulary so much. If you need some ideas on what to do, read about teaching Spanish with authentic songs here. (Or see my Songs in Spanish by theme and category.)

The songs are sorted by tense, so you can easily find input with repetitions of the structures you’re targeting. Of course, new music is always coming out and I want to make these lists as helpful as possible. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

 

 

Commands

 

Abrázame (Camila)

 

Abrázame (Camila)

 

Madre Tierra (Chayanne)

 

Dímelo (Enrique Iglesias)

 

Dile al amor (Aventura): both negative and affirmative commands

 

Di Que No Te Vas – Morat (not packed with commands, but lots of “Di” reps)

 

 

Llévtalo (Antonio Orozco)

 

Te mueves tú (Ha*Ash, Reik, David Bisbal)

 

 

Subjunctive

 

Sueños (Diego Torres): quiero que, tú subjunctive forms

 

A Dios le pido (Juanes): que + verbs

 

Que suenen los tambores (Victor Manuelle): culture

 

Ojalá que llueva café (Juan Luis Guerra): culture, ojalá + subjunctive

 

Solo le pido a Dios (Mercedes Sosa): social justice. This is a great songs, and there are many versions– I’m including four below!

 

 

 

 

Que seas mi universo (Jesús Adrian Romero): religious

 

Quisiera que tú me quieras (Azul Azul)

 

 

Azul (Natalia Lafourcade): emotions + subjunctive forms, commands

 

Past Subjunctive:

 

Ojalá pudiera borrarte (Maná)

 

Conditional:

 

Si no te hubieras ido (Maná): contains a whole mix of tenses, but good input for sería

 

Si tú no existieras (Ricardo Arjona)

 

Andar conmigo (Julieta Venegas): so many reps of quisieras!

 

Mi vida (Divino)

 

Si fuera fácil (Matisse): gender stereotypes, sunbjunctive + conditional

 

Future

 

¿Dónde jugarán los niños? (Maná)

 

Estrella (Nicky Jam):

 

¿Quién sanará? (Jay y Dario)

 

De pies a cabeza (Maná y Nicky Jam): this is such a fun song and video, though one line (¿Quién te hará el amor con luna y playa?) probably means most teachers won’t use it. Including this one just in case because I love Maná so much. 🙂

 

Quisiera (CNCO)

 

Si tú te vas (Enrique Iglesias)

 

What authentic Spanish songs for advanced classes did I miss? Leave your favorites in the comments!

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authentic Spanish songs for advanced classes

 

What Everyone Needs to Know About Language Proficiency

What Everyone Needs to Know About Language Proficiency

Inside: What is language proficiency? What does it mean for my Spanish classroom?

Last year I wrote a post explaining why I was throwing out my Spanish textbook. Of course, throwing it out was the easy part. But what to do next?

I’m writing this series because I remember so clearly what’s it’s like, to be on the edge of that cliff– poised to jump into textbook-free land, with a mind-boggling array of choices below. I just wanted someone to hold my hand, help me sort it all out, and put me touch with the experts. And that’s exactly what I’d like to do here.

So, here’s my after-story to going textbook-free. I found I had three major tasks in developing a plan for the year: figure out our objectives, research how students acquire language, and then choose methods and develop content. Here in Part 1, I’ll share how I formed a big picture and zeroed in on targets for each class.

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Back to School Plans: First Two Weeks of Spanish Class

Back to School Plans: First Two Weeks of Spanish Class

Inside: back-to-school ideas: Spanish Class First Two Weeks of Lesson Plans

 

Every year, I forget just how exhausting those first few weeks are. My brain is spinning. I’m in overdrive, trying to make everyone feel welcome –but not smile until December, right? (just kidding)– be utterly consistent, totally organized, and always engaging.

Whew. The truth is, you just do your best. And that will exhaust you. But it does help if you can see what others are doing, and not reinvent the wheel. That’s why I’ve pulled together my Spanish class first two weeks of lesson plans, to give you a jumpstart.

(Update: since writing this post, I’ve relaxed a bit. The gist is really this: focus on high frequency structures. Communicate expectations. Make them feel welcome.)

After a year of intense research, I tossed our textbook and formulated a (developing) personal philosophy of teaching Spanish. I define our classroom as “proficiency-based and comprehensible input-driven.”

I so appreciate other teachers sharing their process (looking at you, Mis Clases Locas), so in this post I’m outlining my first two weeks.

 

Grading, Procedures, and the Syllabus

 

Changing my why of course changes the how, and so I am overhauling a lot.

I am trading in my old categories of tests, quizzes, classwork, etc. for these five categories: reading, writing, listening, speaking, and work habits. I took this directly from Martina Bex here. She also has a great explanation of her switch to standards based assessment and grading. My actual grading scheme comes from MagisterP, who has amazingly helpful rubrics and ideas. I am choosing the option of 90% proficiency and 10% DEA– that just feels realistic as I start out. For Spanish I, we are shooting to be at Novice-Mid by the end of the year.

It is worth clarifying here that being proficiency-based does not mean looking at the ACTFL standards and working backwards by practicing the the standards. Before, my quizzes tested how much the students had memorized and practiced. I looked at a standard (I can talk about my family members), and we would practice talking about family members. Now, I look at that standard and think about input. What stories will we tell? What music will we listen to? What will we read and what structures do we need? When I do assess, and ask a student about her mother, I am not listening to a memorized paragraph and marking errors. I am letting her use what she has internalized to tell me about her mother. This will let me see her actual proficiency, not how hard she studied the paragraph the night before.

“In an effective classroom students should not only know what they are doing, they should also know why and how.” – Harry Wong

This is syllabus I project onto the board the night the parents meet me for back-to-school night:

(The eyes and ears part is quoted from Musicuentos, and the Can-Do’s are modified from the ACTFL standards.) I give a different, black and white syllabus to the students that outlines our specific procedures and rules. Many of those are school-wide and we work through all of them over the first 2-3 weeks. I love this handout from Bryce Hedstrom for procedures. Also, this free syllabus template from Creative Language Class is awesome.

I use interactive notebooks. They record bell-ringers, can-do statements, notes, target structures, and more in their interactive notebooks.

 

Unit 1: Our Classroom & Nuevos Amigos

 

Essential Questions: Who is here? Why learn Spanish? How do I get what I need in class, in the target language?

Macro Targets:

  • I can greet and meet others.
  • I can get materials and information I need in the TL.
  • I can explain why we are here, what I can expect in class, and what is expected of me.

Assessment: Ehhh… don’t have this figured out yet. Something informal, maybe.

Language: Greetings, introductions, classroom objects, chico, chica, tener, ser, hay, numbers, decir, some TPR commands.

 

Here is an overview of the first two weeks, day by day:

 

Day 1: ¿Cómo te llamas?, me llamo, and se llama (Circling with Balls)

Day 2: Introduce proficiency levels. Review se llama, and introduce haychico, chica, and le gusta for brief personalized storytelling.

Day 3: Prep interactive notebooks. (Listen to Puedo ir al baño and Tengo tu love.)

Day 4: Tengo, tienes, and classroom objects. (Play card games with classroom objects images.)

Day 5: Review classroom objects with games. Ask a story using structures from Days 1-4.

Day 6: Read story from Day 5. Begin Martina Bex Unit 1: Dice, recording the 3 targets in notebooks and listening to Los pollitos dicen.

Day 7: Continue with storyasking in Dice Unit. Introduce numbers 1-10 and play games as brain breaks.

Day 8: Continue with Dice Unit, using embedded readings, and work with Los pollitos dicen.

Day 9: Do the Te presento a reading from the Dice Unit, and teach numbers 1-10. Play Mano Nerviosa.

Day 10: Do first FreeWrite assessment, and have discussion in English on class objectives. proficiency, and expectations.

(For week 2, I rely heavily on Martina Bex’s Dice unit . It is available for free! I own many of her units and love them.)

 

Spanish Class First Two Weeks of Lesson Plans

 

Día 1

Micro Targets:

  • I can describe what I need to do in class during a group activity in the TL.
  • I can say my name.

Bienvenidos: Greet students at the door and have some songs on Spanish playing in background. Students find their seat with their name on a post-it note. Follow instructions on board to choose a name from a list of Spanish names, cross it off when chosen, and make these name tags and drawings to prep Circling with Balls activity (my student must draw two activities).

Introductions: Circling With Balls from Ben Slavic. I use this to introduce ¿Cómo te llamas?, me llamo, and se llama. I start with myself to model.

Like he suggests, I have my classroom rules posted in class and point to them as needed. I figure the students are overwhelmed discussing rules in every class,Better just to pinpoint several main things: stay in the TL, give me your eyes and ears, and know that I care about you. Rather than lecturing, we jump in and communicate expectations as we go.

My twist on Circling with Balls is to project a bracket onto the board. I record their responses on the board with a quick sketch. I already have some common activities typed up with a picture, and simply place them on the board as we go. Someone likes to read, and leer goes up on the bracket as a picture of a book.

Icebreaker: I do this towards the end of class, as I like to end the first day on a high note as well.

I have everyone stand up and we do a bracket vote. By this time, the outer brackets are filled in with activities my students like. They all have little drawings next to them– everything is clear and comprehensible. I call out and point to two terms, and they vote by moving to either side of the room. This is completely input– they just listen and vote.

(Keep in mind that my class sizes are on the small side. You might spread this over two days. The Cognates Game II is a simpler version that could work as well, since the terms have pictures.)

Closing: If there’s time, we watch Señor Wooly’s Puedo ir al baño. 

 

Día 2

Micro Targets:

  • I can identify my proficiency level and where I want to be.
  • I can say other names in our class.

Para empezar: Greet students at the door. Have names from the day before in chairs to indicate seating. Instructions on board indicate that students should skim through ACTFL statements (on chairs) and determine where their skills lie.

Input: (Prep: using the name cards from day 1, type up short statements about several students in the class and project them onto the board, using cognates as well.) Write haychico, chica, and le gusta on the board and sketch/write the meanings. Then, describe one of the students.

Hay una chica. Es MUY atlética. Le gusta jugar al voleibol. (With picture clue.) ¿Cómo se llama?

Call on students, having them guess who it is. After several repetitions, call up an outgoing student and ask the class, and story-tell about them. ¿Cómo se llama? ¡Es MUY atractiva! Remember to be super complimentary. I start with this to reinforce expectations of procedures and TL use, and get in some more se llama  reps. It is short, though- the focus for today is understanding proficiency levels.

Icebreaker II/Brain Break: This is to prep our discussion of proficiency. We play a short game of Celebrities OR use the Proficiency & tacos activity. The icebreaker from the day before has given me a good idea of what this group can handle.

Discussion: Discuss what proficiency in Spanish means. Review ACTFL standards briefly, and pass out rubrics to show how students will be evaluated, and where we’re going.

Día 3

Micro Targets:

  • I can show how we will use interactive notebooks to track input and progress in proficiency.

Assignment: Assemble interactive notebooks and number the pages.

(Prep and attach):

Listen to Puedo ir al baño and Tengo tu love while working.

Here’s an overview of how I organize our notebooks:

 

Día 4

Micro Targets:

  • I can get materials in the TL.
  • I can express what materials I have and don’t have.

Para empezar: Copy classroom objects terms into INB Beginning of the Year booklet page.

Input: Write tienes and tengo on the board. Listen to Tengo tu love, zeroing in on tengo. (There a reference– a negative one– to a table dance in the song. I avoid that part, but for some of you it may mean not using this song.)

 

Game/Interpersonal activity: Work on classroom objects. I teach these right away, because I want to be able to give instructions in the TL. My students tend to know a lot of the words already (profesor, estudiante, la mesa, el libro). Depending on time and what they already know, we do several of these options:

  • Do Yo tengo, ¿quién tiene? (freebie) with Classroom Objects
  • Review se llama with pictures or actual objects
  • Hand out picture card or actual objects and ask ¿Tienes ____? They answer Sí, tengo. or No, no tengo.
  • Play Slap–it with picture cards or Flyswatter with pictures on the board.
  • Play Go Fish, using tienes/tengo . If my student already know a bit of Spanish, I use this one. Otherwise, I spread out these activities over the next few days.

Día 5

Micro Targets:

  • I can express what I have and don’t have.
  • I can match a short description with familiar words to a drawing.

Input: Listen to Tengo tu love and complete the accompanying worksheet.
Read the Classroom objects worksheet and sketch what you understand.

Do first storyasking about an unprepared student who comes to class woefully unprepared.

(It can be hard for me to tell an engaging story with so little vocabulary at this point. It helps A LOT to have some funny props– a giant pencil and paper, for example, a little halo to put on the prepared student, a fake bathroom set up etc. I choose several outgoing students to act out the story we come up with as a class, and may tell the actors a bit of the background so they know what to do.)

I follow this outline, loosely, after writing dice (says) on the board:

Hay dos chicos. Un chico se llama Miguel. No es muy preparado. Es creativo. Un chico se llama David. Es MUY preparado. No es creativo. Miguel y David tienen la clase de español. Miguel y David están en las sillas.

La profesora dice: – ¿Cómo te llamas?
Miguel dice: – Me llamo Miguel.
La profesora dice: – Hola, Miguel.

David dice: – Me llamo David.
La profesora dice: – Hola, David.

(Teacher writes their names on board.)

La profesora dice: – ¿Tienen un lápiz?
Miguel dice: – No, no tengo un lápiz. Tengo un ________ (funny cognate…. teléfono, computadora).
La profesora dice: – ¡Ay, no!
David dice: – Sí, tengo un lapiz.
La profesora dice: – ¡Muy bien, David!

(Teacher gives Miguel a sad face and David a happy face on the board.)

La profesora dice: – ¿Tienen un papel?
Miguel dice: – No, no tengo un papel. Tengo un ________ (funny cognate…. foto, tablet).
La profesora dice: – ¡Ay, no!

David dice: – Sí, tengo un papel.
La profesora dice: – ¡Muy bien, David!

(Teacher gives Miguel a sad face and David a happy face on the board.)

Miguel dice: – Profe, ¿puedo ir al baño?
La profesora dice: – Sí.

(Miguel runs to the “bathroom” and grabs some toilet paper.

Miguel dice: ¡Profe! ¡Tengo papel!
La profesora dice: – ¡Jajajaja! ¡Muy bien, David!

(Teacher gives Miguel 10 smiley faces because he is creative.)

Día 6

Micro Targets:

  • I can sing phrases from a short authentic song in Spanish.

Input: Give students the typed story from Friday, with some questions in English. Go over their answers briefly.

Para empezar: Use Martina Bex’s Dice unit slideshow p. 5 or 6. This is the first time using the interactive notebook for the bell-ringer, and I go over the procedure.  I just have a paper with nine blank boxes, and they use block a day.

Input: Introduce Los pollitos dicen, using elements from Days 1 and 2 in Dice unit.

 

Brain break: Review classroom objects. Have the students stand up and touch the objects you say (la mesa, el lápiz, etc), play Slap-it.

Storyasking: Students copy down éste/ésta es, un muchacho/a, and dice into the notebooks using flip-flaps like the ones below.

Closing: Show slide 5, 6, or 7 from the Dice plans. This might make for a good exit ticket.

Día 7

Micro Targets

  • I can ask someone else what their name is.

Para empezar:  Dice unit, slide 8 or 9.

Input & storyasking: Do storyasking from Dice unit p. 19. We don’t copy the structures as we know them from week one.

Brain break: Review classroom objects with gamest, or choose a song to listen to.

Closing: Review dice with p. 20 from the Dice unit.

Día 8

Micro Targets:

  • I can match a description of a scene with a picture.
  • I can sing the chorus to a traditional song.

Input: Me llamo embedded readings from the Dice unit

Interpretive Listening: Listen to Los pollitos, using this free Los pollitos dicen activity sheet. This song has many high-frequency structures, and we’ll come back to it throughout the year.

Brain Break: Review classroom objects with games, or choose a song to listen to.

Día 9

Micro Targets:

  • I can learn other’s names.
  • I can count 1-10.

Para empezar:  Dice unit, slide 11.

Input: Te presento a readings from the Dice unit.

Game: I like to teach numbers early on because most of my students can usually rote count and don’t need lots of input on this. We quickly write down the number words in the beginning of the year booklet and play Mano Nerviosa to practice the individual numbers. (Days, months, weather, etc. get added naturally, as we talk about the date or birthdays during La persona especial interviews later.) We just come back to this booklet again and again until it’s full.

interactive_spanish_notebooks_beginning_of_the_year

Brain break: Classroom objects games.

Día 10

Micro Targets:

  • I can explain why I am learning Spanish.
  • I can explain how to rise in proficiency and what I need to do in class.

Assessment: Do first freewrite for 5-10 minutes. Have the students tell a story without any supporting materials. I emphasize that this one is a FORMATIVE assessment– it will give us a starting place to see where everyone is, and something to compare to as the school progresses.

Discussion: I wait until the end of my intro unit talk about why we’re learning Spanish at all. I used to do this the first day. Then I realized that in the craziness of that first day it would all probably go in one ear and out another. As we close out our mini-unit, we reflect on these first two weeks and digest it all: the how, and then the why. I used to highlight the pragmatic reasons for Spanish: better jobs, higher salaries, improving brain function, etc.. Those are benefits, for sure, but they don’t get to the heart of the matter. I want to make sure to pause and think about how learning a second language makes us better people and touches our souls. We talk about empathy, compassion, friendship, thinking globally, valuing diversity, and caring for others.

Brain Break: Mano nerviosa.

And that’s my tentative plan for starting off the year! Ideally, at this point, our procedures are established and the students can greet and get what they need in Spanish. After Labor Day, we jump into the next unit.

 

Unit 2: My Immediate World and Who I Am (5-6 weeks)

 

Essential Questions: What am I like? What do I like to do? What about the others in the room?

Macro Targets:

  • I can describe myself and what I like to do.
  • I can describe other students in the class and what they like to do.
  • I can explain what fun things I might do today.

Assessment: Quizzes from La persona especial interviews. Perhaps a project.

Language: Sports, hobbies, voy a, vas a, va a, adjectives, estoy, estás, está, le gusta, me gusta, te gusta, article adjectives, ir + infinitive, plural vs. singular

 

 

 

 

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