Día de Muertos Bulletin Boards and Displays

Día de Muertos Bulletin Boards and Displays

Inside: Bulletin boards, ofrends, and Day of the Dead decorations in Spanish Classrooms. 

 

Decorations for Día de Muertos are a welcome alternative to the chile peppers and sombreros we often see in Spanish classroom decor. Many teachers embrace the holiday as more deeply rooted in Latino traditions than Cinco de Mayo, for example. Though Day of the Dead isn’t celebrated in every part of the Spanish-speaking world, it is widely celebrated across Latin America and a good way to bring culture into the classroom. 

As with any religious holidays, Day of the Dead has to be handled with care. It’s an interesting chance to explore religious traditions and compare/contrast with Halloween here in the U.S. (If you are looking for classroom ideas, check out my post on Día de los muertos activities!)

If you have students who have recently experience loss, you may need to tread carefully. Some teachers use the day as it was intended, and intentionally create a space for grieving students to reach out and remember their loved ones. 

The teacher below did just that, to remember a student in her own school community. “Altar de muertos dedicado a uno de los estudiantes que perdió la vida en un accidente el año pasado.” 

 

Credit: Alicia Chávez Bartlett

 

You know your own students and community best, but it’s sometimes helpful to see what others are doing. 

If YOU have pictures of Day of the Dead decorations, bulletin boards, or ofrenda you’d like featured, please send me an email or message and let me know!

 

Día de Muertos Bulletin Boards and Displays

 

We’ll start off with bulletin boards and displays that teachers set up to share about the holiday. 

Credit: Diana García

Credit: Taina García 
Twitter: @tgarciaspanish

Credit: Itzel Cedillo

Credit: Tania Dee

 

Día de Muertos Ofrenda Projects

 

Many teachers assign making ofrenda as a project. Several Spanish teachers shared the gorgeous work their students created, and I love seeing their creativity. 

Credit: Allysen Clancy
Twitter: @LamphereSpanish, #wearelamphere

Credit: Anne Baker

Credit: Kimberly Perez
School: Cypress Park High School

 

Día de Muertos Celebrations

 

Credit: Claudia Di Crosta

Claudia shared these pictures of the celebration she’s organized at her school. She says, 

“We decorate the room with all different projects my students make, and we create a life size altar on the stage where the students and staff can display the pictures of their loved ones. Then we have a fiesta, our baking students bake/decorate skull shaped cookies and Día de los Muertos bread, our culinary students make us rice and pulled chicken and then we eat, dance, and share stories about our deceased loved ones. We have been featured in our local newspaper the past 3 years.”

Amazing way to put the spotlight on world language programs, right?

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Day of the Dead decorations

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a non-native Spanish speaker and teacher, raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our family’s story here.

I write about teaching language and Spanglish living, and spend my days digging up the best resources so you don’t have to. ¡Bienvenidos!

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Spanish Classroom Libraries: Decor and Hacks for Storing Books

Spanish Classroom Libraries: Decor and Hacks for Storing Books

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

 

One of the most exciting developments to language teaching is the advent of novels for learners. Not reading passages, excepts or reading practice: real, interesting, novel-length books for Spanish learners.

Reading is possibly the most efficient, natural way to learn a language. Many teachers are working free reading or novel study into their daily schedules, and creating spaces in their classrooms for flexible seating or book displays. There are so many creative ideas out there, I had to write a post sharing them!

(Wondering where teachers are getting these books? Fluency Matters and TPRS Books have a great selections for getting started. Read about Teaching With Novels 101 from Secondary Spanish space as well.)

One of the best decisions I’ve made as a Spanish teachers has been to start my classes with a silent sustained reading (SSR) time. Spanish 1 started halfway through the year. It was a peaceful, rich way to start the day and make the most of the attention peak that occurs those first minutes of class.

 

Spanish Classroom Libraries

 

See the hacks and ideas others teacher have used! Many teachers are using gutters as bookshelves, without taking up space in their rooms. Attaching these to the wall will vary from school to school, but you can try command hooks or directly drilling into the wall. 

Credit: Gisele Conn
Site: Brain Based Learning

 

Credit: Allison Weinhold
Site: Mis Clases Locas

 

Credit: Blair Chalker Brown 

Credit: Maestra_Cutshall
Instagram: @maestra_cutshall

Credit: Sara Glasbrenner
Site: La Señora Sara

 

Credit: Marta Ruíz Yedinak

 


Anonymous

 

Credit: Matt Hotopp

Credit: Matt Hotopp

 

 

Credit: Kristy Vernon

Credit: Carolina Gomez

Site: Fun for Spanish Teachers

 

Credit: Jasmin Pilanes de Solano

 

 

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Spanish Classroom Libraries

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a non-native Spanish speaker and teacher, raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our family’s story here.

I write about teaching language and Spanglish living, and spend my days digging up the best resources so you don’t have to. ¡Bienvenidos!

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Spanish Classrooms Tour: A Peek into 30+ Rooms

Spanish Classrooms Tour: A Peek into 30+ 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!

 

 

 

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

 

Cactus + Watercolor Classroom

Adorable. Says Maestra_Cutshall: “I am SO in love with my cactus-themed classroom this year! I was pretty sad about being in a portable classroom, but I’m now so cozy in our wood paneling, and I can’t imagine how I lived without all the storage (in a non-functioning bathroom hidden behind the shower curtains 😂.)”
Profe: Maestra_Cutshall
Instagram: @maestra_cutshall

 

#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

 

Bright Colors + Real Life

 

Miss_maestra says, “Here are photos of my classroom from today (messes and all). I absolutely love my classroom and I always have fun decorating it each year. My classroom looked nothing like this my first year. It takes time to get to this point and I’m happy with it.” It’s nice for new teachers to hear that these things take time!
Profe: Miss_maestra
Instagram: @miss_maestra

 

Homey + Bright Colors

 

“This is “mi cuevita” I love bright colors and to include things that makes me feel like HOME. I teach Exploratory Spanish (6th Grade) and Beg Spanish (7th and 8th) at Tampa, FL.”
Profe: Mary Berrios
Instagram: @Mary_soirreb

 

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

 

La Playa + Spanish Immersion

 

From a 5th Grade Spanish immersion classroom in Texas, Diana says, “All of my students learn Spanish as a second language through content. I am self-contained and that’s why I always try to create a cozy and flexible environment for them.”

Profe: Sra. Collado

 

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, bulletin boards, or parts of rooms. Browse these for more ideas!

 

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Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a non-native Spanish speaker and teacher, raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our family’s story here.

I write about teaching language and Spanglish living, and spend my days digging up the best resources so you don’t have to. ¡Bienvenidos!

Get a Freebie

Adivina quién, adivina qué

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