March Music Madness 2018

Hey ya’ll. We are super excited to annouce that we have finished the bracket for our 2018 edition of March Musica Madness. This year is going to be the best year yet. While we know this idea has probably been done for many years by classroom teachers, we feel like the “Dad” of this idea in the blogosphere/social media world. Several years ago, we posted about a tournament of songs during March Madness and are thrilled to see this idea take off across classrooms nationwide. We would love to have you continue to participate with the original March Music Madness.

What’s the same?

  • 16 songs from different genres
  • Different musical genres
  • Lyrics to all songs provided
  • 17 activities to use with the songs
  • Songs that are school appropriate (We don’t include any songs/videos that are overtly sexual, misogynistic, or deal with drugs, alcohol, or otherwise bad behavior)

What’s new?

  • Current songs that have been released since last March
  • An online poll for students and teachers to vote
  • A google drive where teachers can share specific activities

For the full bracket, see below:

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FVR reading with audiobooks

If you are thinking to yourself, “Another post about FVR?!”, then I would suggest this book

by the legend himself, Stephen Krashen, The Power of Reading. That book has focused my attention to reading as a way for students to acquire language. FVR has become a big focus for me this year, and led me to apply for a local grant for new novels as well as audiobooks.

We’ve taken what has been working well with our FVR and are about to add audiobooks to the mix.
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FVR Accountability

I recently came across a post on Grant Boulanger’s blog written by Mónica Romero where she shows how she has students share what books they are reading during FVR (Free Voluntary Reading). Go ahead and read that post… go on, I’ll wait. What I love about blogging is the sharing that bloggers do. There are so many good ideas out there, and sometimes you see something and it can spark an idea. That’s what happened with this. I wanted to do something similar with my level 1 students. We are currently reading about 8 minutes every Monday. Every Monday for “Lectura Libre”, I ask my students “¿Qué día es hoy?” (Lunes) “¿Y qué hacemos los lunes” (Leemos) “¿Qué?” (Leemos) “¡¿QUÉ?!” (LEEMOS)

After our first trimester, Continue reading

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Spanish Graphic Novels

Thanks to everyone who recently entered our Spanish Graphic Novel raffle. The winners have been chosen. Check below to see if you are a winner. We will also tell you how you can add more graphic novels to your classroom library.

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FVR Graphic Novel Giveaway

This Thanksgiving we are thankful for such a supporting PLN and the amount that we have professionally grown thanks to all the ideas that you all share through blogs, conferences, and twitter. With the new release of Wooly’s La Dentista novel, we thought it would be a great way to say thanks to our readers to host a FVR Graphic Novel giveaway. Get the full details  Continue reading

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Language Acquisition Quote


If you are a teacher who teaches with comprehensible input (TCI) and accepts the research of language acquisition, I find it helpful to explain the reasons for doing what we do in class to students. This helps them understand the process and to realize how we acquire languages. Many students come in to a language class with the expectations of memorizing vocabulary lists and studying grammar. By explaining how acquisition works, we get more buy in from students. Below are a list of language acquisition quotes that you can post a a “Acquisition Quote of the Week” and share with students. Continue reading

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Creating your own FVR Booklets

If you’ve been following our posts this year, you know we have been focusing a lot lately on FVR (free voluntary reading) as a tool for acquisition in the language learning classroom. Today we are going to show you how to create your own mini-readers using your own class stories.

Here is a picture of our classroom library at this point in level 1.The best way to organize it is to purchase a wire six-tier rack from Amazon. I then have a student job in each class as el bibliotecario (the librarian) to help keep it organized.

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Spooky Stories

Some Halloween tales for this week:

Authenic Reading of Haunted Hollywood Stars

This product features an authentic text from a Colombian Magazine regarding 6 stories of famous celebrities and their encounters with ghosts. Makes a great engaging lectura for students. Can be adapted to any levels of Spanish. The celebrities include Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, and Bella Thorne.

Includes:
6 texts about each celebrity. Editable Continue reading

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CI Midwest Takeaways 3

The second session I attended at Comprehensible Midwest 2017 in Ripon, Wisconsin was about using Non-fiction stories. Some critics of TPRS will say that the stories are silly and wonder when a student would need to talk about a pink elephant that goes to 3 different stores to look for pizza. Well, TPRS can be used to tell ANY story, fiction or not. This session was led by Jon Dicus who offered some createive strategies to incorporate real texts.

Some of my personal takeaways from Jon’s session: Continue reading

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CI Midwest Takeaways 2

It’s been about a busy month since CI Midwest took place but we finally have some time to post a few more of our thoughts and takeaways.

Notes from Justin Slocum Bailey’s (@indwellinglang) session:
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