Dropbox

If you don’t have a dropbox by now, you are missing out. This is essential for any teacher who does work at home. I remember the days of working on something at home, putting it on a travel drive (USB stick) and taking it to school to continue working on it or printingdropbox. Of course, that only worked if you didn’t forget it!
Thankfully, life has been much easier the past few years with dropbox. And the best part: it’s free! I install the dropbox program on my computer and it creates a folder which stores all my documents. I can create a document at home, save it in the dropbox folder and access the same document anywhere by signing into the website or having the program installed on my work computer.

Also, I installed drop box on my smartphone and I use the app to upload pictures from my phone to my folder so I can easily access it on a PC.

Start with 2 GBs or get an extra 500MB by signing up with my link. So what are you waiting for? Make your life easier!

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Resources: Day of the Dead and Halloween

It’s October, and if you’re a Spanish teacher that means getting ready for Halloween and the Day of the Dead. We’ve compiled some of the best resources around to give you a one stop shop for great teaching materials.

Readings

We’ve recently added 2 products featuring excerpts from a Colombian magazine. The first one talks about Hollywood stars such as Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga’s experiences with ghosts. The second one features teen asking questions about their fears with responses from the magazine. Each features questions so you can use print them and use them in your classes right away.

Spanish Halloween Activity      Phobias
example:
Miedos Fobias Preview

This twiccionario de Zachary Jones features authentic tweets in Spanish about fears.

tengomiedotuits

Our favorite reading has been this article from Univision that compares Halloween and Day of the Dead titled Calaveras contra calabazas.

This reading is in English, but it discusses Disney’s request to copyright the name “Day of the Dead” which may provoke some interesting discussion in class.

Chistes Graficos e Imagenes:

terapia para zombis

The blog Confesiones y Realidades has composed a post of 15 comics that you can find

here.

Day of the Dead Galleries: Look at pictures taken in Mexican cemeteries as people practice the traditions of Día de los Muertos.

Videos:

Día de los Muertos video from misCositas.com (Download the script of this video).
Muertos Vivientes

Links:

Language Teachers’ Cafe blog has a post of 5 Ways to Celebrate Día de los Muertos.

The blog Teaching Spanish w/ Comprehensible Input has a list of 23+ Activities for Halloween and Day of the Dead

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Macanudo Comics

We’ve written numerous times about using comic strips in your foreign language class. It is such a great authentic resource for students to read in context and the text is short enough that you can use it at even beginning levels. Our favorite authentic comic strip, is Macanudo by Liniers, an Argentina strip that is extremely original and creative. Read our previous post about Macanudo and how to use comics in your class.
If you are looking for comics for specific topics, check out our resource page.

Today we bring you 14 examples of this talent.
Continue reading

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Top Secret Posts

We usually see quite a lot of traffic to our blog, most brought from sources such as Pinterest or google searches.

HowSpanish Teacher Blogever, we wanted to highlight some of the posts that have not seem substantial hits, that you may have missed! Today we bring you our Top 5 “Hidden Gems” posts that may be worth taking a look at. And if you enjoy the post, please share it on pinterest, facebook, or twitter so that others may benefit and it doesn’t remain so hidden. Check out our “secret” posts.

Continue reading

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Top 10 Spanish Blog Posts

You’ve seen the bottom 5 blog posts (6-10) that we’ve ever written and today we unveil the Top 5! These posts have received the most page visits since we started the blog over 6 years ago.

Emergency Spanish Sub Plans5. Spanish Sub Plans
We all need a backup plan. We get sick. Our children get sick. Something comes up. But we are prepared with this emergency sub lesson plans for our Spanish class.

 

Spanish Verb Charts4. Graphic Organizers
If you’re looking for a way to organize students, check out some of these graphic organizers. Besides the traditional verb chart, using an outline of a hand to write the forms and explains who they reflect is a great way to help students.

Projects for Spanish Class3. Spanish Projects
This post highlights 7 Ready-to-Use projects for the Spanish 1 classroom. These projects can be used as assessments during or at the end of the chapter. Save your time for the important stuff and let us do your planning. Includes our popular product, Facebook Profile Project.

Spanish Communication Activities2. Spanish Speaking Activities
The whole point of learning a foreign language is to be able to communicate. Our students need to be practicing speaking as often in possible in Spanish classes, so we’ve prepared 8 ready to use activities that help your students practice communicating.

And now…. the most visited post on spanishplans.org goes to…..

Family Tree Lesson Plans for Spanish 11. Family Tree
For some reason, “family tree” is the most searched term that brings visitors to our site, especially the Simpsons family tree and the family tree of Modern Family. If you teach la familia in a traditional manner, enjoy our free árbol geneological

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Spanish Plans Top 10 6-10

It has been awhile since an update. International travel and lack of internet are my main excuses. In the meanwhile I wanted to highlight some of our top blog posts as determined by page visits. We’ve taken our top ten posts EVER and today present posts 6-10. Stay tuned for posts 5 through 1!

Dia de los Muertos Lesson10. Looking for resources to use to celebrate Day of the Dead? Check out this post with links to a video, and an article in Spanish to use in your class as the perfect lesson. Continue reading

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Authentic Instagrams

We are always looking for authentic resources to use in our lessons. Right now, instagram is the social media of choice for students. We found an instagram full of authentic quotes that pertain to students, especially regarding school. What a great way for kids to read authentic texts and be engaged.

perderclase

Ways Instagram could be incorporated in foreign language class: Continue reading

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History through soccer

It’s here! The 2014 World Cup kicks off today! And while we will be glued to the TV during all 64 games, there are some interesting shows that showcase the history of South America through the context of soccer.

Produced by ESPN, these shows are now available on netflix.

The Two EscobarsThe Two Escobars focuses on two figures in Colombia who happen to share a last name. Andrés Escobar, a soccer star for the National team, was killed after scoring an own goal in the 1994 World Cup.
The other Escobar, Pablo, was a powerful figure in Colombia’s drug cartel era. And during his time in “prison”, which happened to be his own mansion, he would arrange for soccer teams to come and play at his estate.

 

30 for 30 soccer storiesThe 30 for 30: Soccer Stories has 8 episodes, but the most interesting regarding South American history is called The Opposition. After a military coup in 1973, Augusto Pinochet ruled Chile by stomping out any opposition. Intertwined in this story is how the Chilean national soccer team qualified for the World Cup when the Soviet Union refused to play in Santiago’s National Stadium, which was used as a torture camp for political prisoners. Continue reading

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Superheroes

Spanish Superhero ProjectHere’s a fun activity to culminate at the end of the year or to begin the year with a review. (See also, Animal Unit) Have your students create they very own Superhero. They can describe the superhero in the target language. Students can even create their own trading card and write in the following information:

Nombre:Captain Mexico Trading Card
Nombre verdadero:
Origen:
Poderes:
Debilidades:
Descripción Física:

Buy our ready to use unit that comes with a list of essential superhero vocabulary plus a template for the trading card.

With superhero movies being a big hit (such as Avengers, and X-Men) especially among boys, use that interest to connect with your kids and get them excited about coming to class.

Other ideas to incorporate superheroes in class: Continue reading

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Classroom Door Idea

I saw this picture on pinterest and, like many images, I thought of how I could incorporate it into a foreign language classroom. This post from SewWoodsy featured this door covered in pictures in the style of instagram.
instagram doorHow cool would this be to do on your classroom door or even as a bulletin board? My initial thought was to use album covers from CDs, since they are square already. But then I thought it would be so eye-opening for students to see images that show the culture and represent the beauty of our target cultures and countries. If you’ve traveled, I’m sure you have tons of pictures that you could print out. If not, pinterest or google images is full of eye-catching pictures that will grab your students attention! Check out some of the colorful images of the culture on our Hispanic Countries and Culture pinterest board.

Let students see the real beauty of the culture

Let students see the real beauty of the culture

 

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