Colombian Breaking Bad

My favorite show was Breaking Bad, and I was excited when Univision announced it was Metastasisgoing to do a re-make of the show in Spanish. The adaptation is called “Metasasis” and is nearly identical to the U.S. version. Here we point out some of  differences. If you teach a high lever (of more mature students who may have been fans of the show), they may find these tidbits interesting. Continue reading

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Lyrics Training

If you like using music in your class as much as I do (13 posts tagged Música), then you may be interested in checking out LyricsTraining.com.  It’s essentially an online cloze Using Lyrics Training for Spanish classactivity that uses the music video in the background. You can select level of difficulty or even use it for karaoke!

I recently created 4 lyric training activities using my new favorite artist, Raquel Sofia. You can practice the lyrics to her songs Cada Día, Samba, La Ecuación, and Agridulce. These songs are fantastic for early level and intermediate Spanish classes.

Cloze activity Lyrics Training Raquel Sofia Continue reading

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6 Places to Connect with Spanish Teachers

Imagine a staff lounge full of like-minded Spanish teachers with whom you could Top 6 Ways to Connect with Foreign Language Teachers: A Blog post by SpanishPlans.orgdiscuss best practices, talk about lesson ideas, collaborate on projects, and more. Well, that place does exist, you just have to broaden your definition of lounge. So today we show you the Top 6 places to connect with other Spanish teachers. And wouldn’t you know it, the best places to socialize are through social media.

6. Facebook
Join groups such as World Language Education or FL Facebook Spanish GroupsTeacher. Once you are a member, you can find the group on the left panel of facebook underneath “Groups”. Write a post, reply with comments, all with a website you likely already use.

5. reddit
SpanishTeacher Reddit
Although, a popular website, one typically doesn’t think of education and teachers, but did you know reddit has its own Education, Teachers, and even a Spanish Teachers subreddit? Here’s our profile page. Mainly for discussions, you can vote up or down posts and comments. Continue reading

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My Favorite Lessons

Spanish Lesson PlansThere are some activities that, as a teacher, I look forward to every year. Here are some of my favorite lesson plans for my Spanish class that I’m sure you will enjoy and your students will too.

1. Corte Ingles Clothing WebquestSpanish Ropa Vocab
This is one of my favorites because it makes students discover the vocabulary on their own. Instead of teaching a list of vocabulary words, I give them the words and they have to figure out what the words mean by looking at a Spanish department store. It is very engaging and students have fun “shopping” and learning how to use context to discover meaning. The teacher can walk around the monitor but the lesson is student centered!

Here’s what other teachers say about it:
“This was a fantastic activity! I used it with my middle school students. It was fun and allowed them to take responsibility for learning some of the vocabulary on their own. “

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Trivia

As other teachers have pointed out, Trivia Crack is the latest craze in app-games. The best part is you can play this game in Spanish. Have students “challenge” each other or create a class tournament. Sure, some of the questions may be really hard (especially in a foreign language), but others are super easy and fun (especially for language learners). Or play the game yourself and screenshot some questions your students could figure out, and put the images in a presentation. This takes away the stress of a timed response since they will need extra time to read in the target language.
Here’s a sampling of some questions that work great for Spanish class:

Cuantos ojosgeografia america central  Continue reading

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Colombianadas

You learn a lot about a culture by living there for a few months. Here are some items that I can now appreciate thanks to my experience in this great country.

Colombianada senora

1. The language itself is very formal. Usted is used more frequently than tú (although some places do utilize vos). However, in Colombia the custom is to respond to your mother with “Señora”. If your mother calls you and you respond with something else, expect to hear an earful!

Aguapanela cura todo

2. If you sick, you’re best chance at survival is drinking some hot aguapanela. Everyone’s favorite home remedy is a typical drink as well (Panela is unrefined whole cane sugar). I had a cough for weeks and it wasn’t until I had some panela did I actually feel better! I’m a believe now. Continue reading

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Raquel Sofia

If you have not heard any music by the talented boriqua Raquel Sofia, you are missing out. She has toured as a backup singer to Colombians Juanes and Shakira and is now breaking out onto the scene as a solo artist. Her music is fresh and catchy and your students are going to be asking to hear it again and again. You raquel sofiacan listen to her older music on SoundCloud or buy her new singles on iTunes.

Letras de Agridulce
Letras de La Ecuacion
Letras de Hombres Como Tu

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Why I hate Pobre Ana

Ok, this post may be a bit controversial. But I’m hoping we can have an honest and open discussion here about a very popular teaching resource. I know many schools use the Pobre Ana series (Patricia va a California, Ana bailó Tango). So today I ask the question: WHY?!

Who is really the poor one here? Ana? Or our students? Here is some student feedback courtesy of instagram regarding what the students really think: Continue reading

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Colombian School

I’ve been volunteering at a Colombian school since August and over the months I’ve compiled several notes on the differences between my school in Chicago and the school here in Colombia. The following are a few of my observations.

It should be noted that everything in this list may not be typical of every school in Colombia. Just as my school in the U.S. varies greatly from neighboring school districts. But hopefully, it will give you an idea on some practices. This particular school is located in a rural area in the coffee region of the country.

The School System:

Primary grades: Kinder – 5th
Secondary grades: 6th – 11th

Class schedules:

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Making your classroom more classy

Looking for an easy way to “class”-up your classroom on the cheap? We’ll show you how you can turn an ordinary month-to-month calendar into a piece of art.
How to Class up Your Classroompinit
Step 1:
Find a monthly calendar on clearance in December or January. You can buy one of famous artists and their paintings, scenery, landscapes, or anything else you fancy. This purchase will offer you at least 12 inspiring images to brighten your work space.
Price: $5.00

Step 2:
Buy a 12×12 frame. Check a frame store or craft store, such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby (you can usually find coupons for these stores) or get a 3-pack online at Target.com.
Price: $5.00-$6.00
commandclips
Step 3:
Purchase a package of 3M Command hanging clips. Sticks to any type of wall and come off without leaving marks or taking off paint.
Price: $3.00

For $13 you can enjoy your new framed-picture making your classroom look more elegant and offering a beautiful picture for students to appreciate and inspire them.

Alternative: You can use any sized frame (easy to find at thrift shop or dollar stores) and with some nice stationary, you can print off your own favorite quotes.

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