Spanish Classrooms Tour: A Peek into 25+ Rooms

Spanish Classrooms Tour: A Peek into 25+ Rooms

Inside: A peek into dozens of Spanish classrooms, of all kinds, shapes, and sizes!

 

A well-designed room won’t make or break your teaching. Oh, but it can make a difference in how you and your students feel. 

Some of you have very limited options, and very tight budgets. I hope this post isn’t a Pinterest-y guilt-inducing post (there’s some serious classroom eye-candy, for sure), but a way to get new ideas for making your space functional and beautiful. 

If you are here looking for something specific, this post is long. Click on the titles if you’d like to jump to the following:

 

Middle and High School

Preschool and Elementary

Spanish Classroom Libraries

 

 

And I have to say– as I put together this post, I was reminded of the eagerness of our nation’s teachers to share with other teachers (thank you to each and everyone who shared pictures!!), and how much they keep in mind the wellbeing of their students. More than perfection, I think this collection of photos communicate how much teachers care about their students.

Many spent their own money to buy comfortable chairs and build classroom libraries. Those August nights and weekends spent cutting out letters for bulletin boards and hammering together shelves probably went unpaid. You all are a special group of people!

 

Sra. Davila-Madwid

Credit: Mis Clases Locas

Credit: Nadia Charcap

 

And this one: “Altar de muertos dedicado a uno de los estudiantes que perdió la vida en un accidente el año pasado.”

Credit: Alicia Chávez Bartlett

 

Middle and High School Spanish Classrooms

 

We’ll start with picture from upper school classrooms across the nation. A lot of the rooms feature flexible seating, classroom libraries, or are even deskless.

 

Awesome Flexible Seating

 

I don’t even know what these chairs are called, but I know they’ve got to be popular. Amy Marshall’s classroom and blog are pretty classy and fun-looking. #iwantthesechairs 

 

Piñata-Land

 

I’ve never been able to hand things from the ceiling (darn fire code!), but this is what I would love to do if I could. How amazing are these hanging piñatas from Jenny Robbins’ classroom?

 

 

Group Work Heaven

 

Check out these amazing tables– so many possibilities in this Spanish classroom, from Alison Clausing. 

 

 

And Señora Chase has a whole tour of her room you don’t want to miss!

From here, the featured classrooms all have multiple photos. Click the arrows on the photos to see more all of them!

 

Minimalist + Reading Choice

 

I can’t resist the simplicity of this room, allowing for all kinds of options during reading time. It doubles as the art room, too! Gisele says: “I love , love my room but most importantly it serves my students – they love the flexible seating and when we have our FVR days they are allowed to create pods and sit wherever they feel comfortable. That is what matters to me and I am amazed at how much more reading they engage in when they have choices. I have a collection of cushions, rugs, and lounging chairs that they can arrange in “pods” in the classroom. Oddly enough they remind me of forts that children create during playtime.”
Profe: Gisele Conn
Site: Brain Based Learning

 

Deskless + Rainbow theme

 

See what it looks like to nail the black and rainbow look, with a library corner to die for. She keeps her classroom deskless, which is key for her famous baile viernes days!
Profe: Allison Weinhold
Site: Mis Clases Locas

 

Making a Mobile Work

 

This classroom is proof that you can take a portable and still make it look awesome, with plenty of culture too. 
Profe: Luis Miguel Ramírez, Liberal Arts & Science Academy – Austin, TX
Site: proferamirez.weebly.com

 

Pink + Llamas

 

This is what happens when your Spanish teacher is a Peruvian fashionista. Follow Sra. Davila-Madwid on Instagram for more teaching ideas and classroom eye candy!
Profe: Mariza Davila-Madwid

 

Teaching to Proficiency

 

Profe Jen Shaw works hard to teach to proficiency, and uses the CHAMPS method in her room. You can see how her decor and visuals make those goals clear to her students, while providing a pretty workspace.
Blog: Spanish with Sra. Shaw

 

Floor Envy

 

I don’t know what I’m more in love with: the floors, or the bookshelves in this deskless classroom. 
Profe: Mary Overton

 

Bright Spaces

 

Please come do my bulletin boards? Also, you must check out this organized teacher desk, coffee pot included. #yesplease
Profe: Carla Pelizarri

 

That IG Board, Though

This room is packed with books and culture, but I have to say my favorite part are the Instagram boards featuring Spanish-speaking artists. So clever and pretty!
Profe: Sara Glasbrenner
Site: TPRS with Señorita Glasbrenner

 

#Mood

 

Though the tables have since been removed, you can still get the comfy vibe. I love the hanging flags and giant cushions.
Profe: Carrie Daniels Toth
Blog: Somewhere to Share

 

Rows to Circle

 

Here’s a small classroom that went from rows of tables to a circle of flexible seating. Make sure you see the posters on best work and the proficiency bulletin board.  
Profe: Karen Skinner (on Twitter as @senoraskinner)
Blog: The Authentic Señora

 

Immersed in Culture

 

These amazing walls are filled with art and culture (and I’m particularly partial to the Peruvian and FC Barcelona themes). 
Profe: Nadia Charcap

 

That Accent Wall Though

 

If you are allowed to paint, a bold color like this blue (with a gray wall and black accent around) can really make your room feel more homey and less institutional-like.
Profe: Emma Jones Cox
Twitter and IG: @emmaindilemma

 

Sillas, Sillas

 

I really liked the set up of these chairs (I’m guessing the lounge-ish chairs are reserved as rewards) and the nice open space are perfect for storytelling and acting in this TPRS classroom. I feel like you would have everyone’s attention with this set-up!
Profe: Michele Metcalfe
Twitter: @michellewestvan

 

Book-Centered Space

 

Books take the center stage here, as well as eye-catching posters for high-frequency verbs and phrases. Don’t miss the genius hoteléfono! 
Profe: Matt Hotopp

 

High Ceilings

 

I know some of us teach with low ceilings, so this feels like a breath of fresh air and posters take advantage of the extra space. I want the shower curtain (I think?) map on the wall too! 
Profe: Tana Luptak

 

Papel Picado

 

Have your students spend a period making papel picado, and you’ve got that festive and good-vibes feeling right away. (And check out the way some of the chairs are turned, so it’s not all rows.)
Profe: Katrina Miller Cox

 

Chair Heaven

 

Talk about flexible seating: this room has a little of everything! The library corner is irresistible and I just want to see what it looks like with all the Christmas lights on. 
Profe: Kristy Vernon (questions? kristy.vernon@wolfcreeklocal.org)

 

An Itty-Bitty Space

 

This is my room from a long time ago. Another class met in my room, so I never got to try deskless. The posters since got covered with high-frequency verbs too. 
Profe: Elisabeth Alvarado

 

Semi-circle Goodness

 

Sometimes, something simple like rearranging the chairs into a semi-circle instead of rows gives that feeling of community and communication. I really like those clean + pretty back bulletin boards too. 
Profe: Mayra Cabrera

 

 

Preschool & Elementary Spanish Classrooms

 

Now  we can start our tour of classrooms for younger crowds. I didn’t get as many pictures for this category, so please send me more at spanishmamatpt@gmail.com, if you have more. 🙂

 

Credit: Irma Vasquez, My Escuelita: Spanish for Kids

 

 

 

Room to Move

 

I love these clever bags that go on the backs of the chairs so you don’t need desks. There is so much room for movement! 
Profe: Carolina Gomez
Blog: Fun for Spanish Teachers

 

Blues and Greens

 

These blue tables are adorable AND double as chalkboards!
Profe: Jeanette Miranda-Gould

 

Happy Place

 

I love the cheerful yellow in this elementary classroom. 
Profe: Karla

 

Snapshots

 

I also was sent photos of specific posters or parts of rooms. Browse these for more ideas!

 

Spanish Classroom Libraries

 

A few of these images are repeats from above, but I wanted to have a whole section devoted to class libraries and hacks for storing books. Here’s what I’ve collected so far!

 

 

Marta Ruíz Yedinak

 


Anonymous

 

Matt Hotopp

Matt Hotopp

 

Credit: Mis Clases Locas

Credit: Gisele Conn

 

Credit: Blair Chalker Brown

 

 

 

 

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Spanish Parts of the Body Songs for Kids

Spanish Parts of the Body Songs for Kids

Inside: Spanish parts of the body songs: a list for kids on YouTube.

 

Here are my favorite songs for learning the parts of the body in Spanish. There are lots of games that work well with this theme, too, like Simón dice. Once your classes know the basic parts of the body, brain breaks are super easy to do! Give commands like “tócate la cabeza” or “cierra los ojos,” and stay in the target language more easily. 

 

Spanish Parts of the Body Songs

 

1. A mi burro

 

This authentic song in Spanish includes some body parts (cabeza, cuello, corazón) . It also repeats “le duele” a lot, if you’re teaching how to express that something hurts. 

 

 

2. Cabeza, hombros, rodillas y pies

 

Most kids already know this one in English, and it’s a fun one to teach as the pace gets faster and faster. 

 

 

3. Saco una manito

 

To learn about hands, this is a sweet classic. It’s nice to use right before story time or circle time when we want everyone sitting with hands in their own space!

 

 

4. Todo mi cuerpo

 

These lyrics are similar to “cabeza, hombros, rodillas, pies,” but with more high frequency parts. As always with Calico Spanish, the song is easy to understand. 

 

 

5. Baila la cumbia

 

Get in some culture with this fun mix of cumbia and body parts!

 

spanish body parts songs

The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish: Activities and Resources

The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish: Activities and Resources

Inside: Resources and ideas for teaching The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish. 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar has to be one of the most endearing picture books out there. Lucky for us, almost all of Eric Carle’s iconic works are available in Spanish as well! My own kids truly never seem to tire of his books, and our copy of La oruga muy hambrienta is beyond well-worn. 

In this post I’m gathering resources for teaching Spanish through La oruga muy hambrienta. It’s the perfect book for covering numbers, colors, fruits, some foods, days of the week, and high-frequency words like come, es, tiene hambre, grande, pequeño, etc. 

There are two directions you can with a book like this, and Spanish learners. You can teach them every single phrase so they understand the original language, or you can teach the words they need to understand the story. I usually choose the second option, focusing on the essential, high-frequency needed to narrate the story. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish

 

Los números

 

La oruga hambrienta focuses on numbers 1-5. Here is a great list of numbers songs in Spanish to get started. 

The song Cinco monitos is a perfect tie-in as well. You can check out my freebies and post on activities for los Cinco monitos.

One of my favorite games for practicing any vocabulary is musical cards. For that one, pass out cards with 1-5 written on them. Play music, and have the students walk or dance around while holding their cards. When the music stops, call out a number. All the kids with that number sit down, and see which students stay in until the end. 

 

Las frutas

 

I like to focus on the fruits in the book, since several of the other foods are not so high frequency. Besides using real fruit or play food to talk about them (how many? what color?), I like to do a graph of favorites. If you are working with a small group, you can have the students ask their family members or friends (¿Cuál fruta te gusta más?) and color in a graph. 

Here is a video for learning the fruits:

 

Los colores

 

The colors aren’t directly part of the story, but they’re an easy tie-in with each fruit being a different color. You can see my lesson and activities for colors in Spanish, or keep it simple with the same game described above for numbers. 

Here’s a freebie from my Orugas y Mariposas unit, too! You can work on both numbers and colors to add circles to the caterpillar (try using a bottle cap as a stamp for paint). 

Los días de la semana

 

Of course, you can’t teach this book without the days of the week! The days can be an abstract concept for very young kids, so keep that in mind. If you are working with K-2 students it will be a bit easier. I recommend starting with a días de la semana song. You can also display a calendar with the days of the week, and discuss what your students do on which day. 

Once you have read the actual story, you can do some sequencing activities to show what the caterpillar ate on which day.

 

 

Ciclo de vida de la mariposa

 

Once you have read the story (or before), it’s fun to learn about the life cycle of butterflies. Here are two free PPTs I made to learn about caterpillars and butterflies (the life cycle PPT is part of the unit on TpT). 

 

 

 

Once you’ve worked on caterpillar and butterfly facts, it’s fun to do a simple wheel or craft to show each stage in the life cycle. There are sooo many ideas on Pinterest for this!

 

Related videos for The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish

 

 

 

 

Want to See My Unit?

 

I’ve made picture cards, games, mini-books, printables, displays, stories, and PPTs all about Orugas and Mariposas. Teaching this unit will set your students up with the essential vocabulary they need to understand La oruga hambrienta. 

Fun Spanish Learning Games for Kids (Preschool & Early Elementary)

Fun Spanish Learning Games for Kids (Preschool & Early Elementary)

Inside: Spanish learning games for kids (preschool and elementary). 

 

I have a ton of Spanish learning games I’ve collected over the years. But I’ve been missing a list just for younger kids! 

Here are games that are easy to explain, not-too-competitive, and require more listening than speaking. These are best for preschool and early elementary, before drawing and writing skills are ready to go. 

Little learners have tiny attention spans. In my experience, they’re even shorter in a foreign language class. So keep it moving along, and end the game if the interest is waning.  Anytime you are working with young kids, I recommend lots of songs, puppets, and movements. If you are looking for preschool, you may want to see my Spanish preschool series

 

Spanish Learning Games for Kids

 

1. Musical Cards

 

This one is similar to musical chairs, and requires a set of cards with images of the target vocabulary. 

If you are studying numbers, for example, hand out number cards to all of the students. (It’s okay if several students have the same number.) Turn on music and allow them to move around. When the music stops, call out a number. Whoever has that number sits down, and play continues until one student (or one number) is left!

(I saw this game discussed in the Facebook Group Teaching Spanish to Children, run by Munde de Pepita. Definitely join if you haven’t already!)

 

2. Where is the button?

 

Again, prep a set of picture cards. (Credit to Susan O’Donnell Bondy for the idea!)

Have the students sit in a circle, and spread the cards out, face up, in the middle of the circle. Tell the students close their eyes, and hide a cut-out of a button (or whatever object you choose) under a card. The students take turns guessing which card it’s under. This sounds like an output-heavy activity (the students have to say the word), but you can provide a ton of input here: A ver, ¿está debajo del queso? ¡No, no está debajo del queso! ¿Dónde está? Or, if someone says el pollo, point to the zanahoria  and ask, ¿Éste? ¡Ay no, no es el pollo!

Susan shared that she has a chant that her students do. In Spanish, it could be something like Boton-cito, boton-cito, ¿dónde está?

 

3. Bingo

 

Bingo is fun for all ages, but doesn’t always work with younger crowds. If your students aren’t able to grasp the concept of 4-in-a-row, simply play to fill the boards, without a winner. They’ll still enjoy playing, and it’s a great listening activity. 

 

4. What’s missing?

 

I’ve played this one for a long time, but I love Julie’s take on this one from Mundo de Pepita. Read her post for a full explanation, but here is the basic explanation of how I play: have a set of objects or pictures in front of the students. Have them close their eyes (or turn away!), and remove one object. They open their eyes, and guess which object is gone. 

You can maximize the language opportunity here by chatting about their guesses. ¿La manzana? ¡Uy, la manzana está aquí! No es la manazana… ¿qué es, clase?

Spanish learning games

 

5. ¿Qué hay en la bolsa?

 

This is another fun guessing game, and best if it’s a real object or toy. I like to call up one student to put their hand in the bag, and feel they object. They can guess what it is, and if the answer isn’t correct another student gets to try guessing. 

For slightly older classes who know some basic like colors, big, small, you could also give them clues about what’s in the bag, and have them take some guesses after each clue. 

 

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Spanish learning games for kids

Cinco Monitos Song Lyrics and Free Printable

Cinco Monitos Song Lyrics and Free Printable

Inside: Lyrics and activities for the song Cinco monitos.

Cinco monitos– Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed– is a fun song for little (or bigger!) Spanish learners. Use it to teach numbers 1-5, and beginning phrases like la cama, no más, la cabeza, and se cayó. 

cinco monitos letras y titeres

 

If you are looking for songs in general, you might like my lists of Nursery Rhymes in Spanish, Spanish Lullabies, or general Songs in Spanish for kids. These Cinco monitos materials are also part of my lesson on numbers for Prek-2nd grade. 

 

Cinco monitos: Lyrics / Letras

 

You’ll find a variety of lyrics for this song. Our personal favorite is the version sung by Toobys, so these lyrics are from that version. (The printable lyrics are available in the download below.)

Cinco monitos saltando en la cama,
Uno cayó al piso y la cabeza se golpeó,
Mamá llamó al doctor y el doctor la consejó,
-¡Ya no más monos saltando en la cama!

Cuatro monitos saltando en la cama,
Uno cayó al piso y la cabeza se golpeó,
Mamá llamó al doctor y el doctor la consejó,
-¡Ya no más monos saltando en la cama!

Tres monitos saltando en la cama,
Uno cayó al piso y la cabeza se golpeó,
Mamá llamó al doctor y el doctor la consejó,
-¡Ya no más monos saltando en la cama!

Dos monitos saltando en la cama,
Uno cayó al piso y la cabeza se golpeó,
Mamá llamó al doctor y el doctor la consejó,
-¡Ya no más monos saltando en la cama!

Un monito saltando en la cama,
Uno cayó al piso y la cabeza se golpeó,
Mamá llamó al doctor y el doctor la consejó,
-¡Ya no más monos saltando en la cama!

 

Here’s the song on YouTube:

 

Cinco monitos: Activities / Actividades

 

This song can be a fun one to act out! Print the five little monkeys finger puppets, or glue the monkeys onto popsicle sticks, and cut out the bed image. 

 

 

cinco monitos actividades

Here are more videos of los Cinco monitos. You’ll see here just how many different ways there are to sing it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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