De compras class activity

This week, as part of the clothing/shopping unit, we went shopping! I had students explore a real Mexican department store and let them browse on their own for a while before I put them to the task of helping me look for gifts for my family.

I projected a screen with an item that I was looking for with a description of them person and their likes/dislikes and certain things that I was looking for about the item.

Students then looked through the website to find the perfect item. As I walked around the classroom and students would show me the items they found, I would be able to discuss in the target language with them. I could comment things like “Oh, he doesn’t like shirts that have letters on them” or “That shirt is short sleeve, she is always cold, she needs long sleeves” or “I love that, but it’s a bit expensive, I’m looking for something cheaper” or “I don’t think that they will like that style. They prefer something more casual”. Students competed with their classmates to see who could fit the best item. It was a totally fun, engaging, and authentic lesson.

If you want a ready-to-use lesson with descriptions for 6 family members, we’ve published it at TpT. It was a perfect complement to our shopping unit, but I think it’s a great review to practice numbers (prices), clothing words, descriptions, and just provide great input and discussion during the time of year when looking for a gift for someone is a real-life scenario.

If you want 3 activities to use throughout the whole unit, check out our Ropa / De Compras Bundle:

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Spanish Teacher Gift Ideas

Looking for that perfect gift for a colleague… or yourself?

Check out our T-shirts, Hoodies, Coffee mugs, and facemasks of our popular “¿Qué hace un pez? / Nada” chiste as well as our sarcastic “Did you seriously just ask if you have to do it in Spanish?”

And it’s always a good time to get our Spanish Teacher Stamps, with a unique design for each Spanish-speaking country. You might also enjoy our Feedback Stamps, such as our popular “Me Gusta” or “Me Encanta”

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Using the movie Encanto in your Spanish class

Movie Poster for Encanto with caption Using the Movie Encanto in your Spanish classMany Spanish teachers are rightly excited about this movie that’s based on Colombia and how we can incorporate it into the classroom.

Here’s are some options for using with your Spanish classes including our ready-to-implement lesson: Continue reading

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Back in the Classroom

After a year with many teaching from our homes, most of us are back in the classroom this year. Seems like a good time for a fresh start and new beginnings. End of the last year I purged a lot of stuff I haven’t used in years. This year due to a new board panel, I had to rearrange my set up. So whats are the “must have’s” and “think twice” when it comes to classroom decoration:

Must Haves for language acquisition

  • Spanish Rejoinders: Let the students use useful phrases to react to situations around the classroom. There are some great rejoinder posters from Grant B.  or you can spanish rejoindersprint your own from us
  • Question Words and Common Expressions: My school has a poster maker so I print out these lists of useful words and phrases to hang up.
  • Proficiency Level: Trying to explain the various proficiency levels can be difficult. To keep expectations clear to students, I use the ice cream analogy. I get requests all the time for the link to our bulletin board posters.
  • Language Acquisition quotes: Free printable posters describing how language acquisition words and benefits of reading.

Must Haves for Culture / Classy Decoration

Vinyl Wall Quotes in Spanish

Think Twice before hanging up

  • I see a lot of classrooms that are filled corner to corner with posters, decorations, and color. Sometimes it is best to keep it simple. An overly decorated classroom could be overstimulating and distracting to your students. 
  • Cognates word walls. I’ve seen it and I’ve even done it myself. But if the word is true cognate students will recognize it when they see it. Is this the best use of your space?
  • Word walls filled with words. Again, too many words on it might be overwhelming and how useful are those words you put up?

What are you most proud of in your classroom? What is something that every classroom should have? What is something that you’ve seen a lot and aren’t quite sure why? Comment below and if you have links to pictures, even better!!

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Check out our new About us page with an overview of our website, including how to connect with us on social media, our top blog posts, our top products, and some free resources.

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Join us for the Final 8

If you felt like you didn’t have time to join us for the whole tournament of 16 songs, we are down to the final 8. For the rest of the MusicadeMarzo21 tournament, you could use a modified 4 day or 7 day bracket.

See our modified calendar. You can pass out the full bracket with the songs advancing or just show the final 8 bracket. Both are available for free download here: 

Also, for those of you who have been with us since Round 1, what activities have you been using in your classes? Let us know in the comments! 
For more information about the activities see our post on Lyric Activities and Music Video Activities.

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Music Video Activities

We talked about over 6 different activities you can use with lyrics of a song, so today we want to talk about ways you can provide comprehensible input and use the music video in your lesson.8 things to do with Music Videos

1. MovieTalk

One of the most obvious ways to use a music video is to describe the story in the video in a typical movietalk.  Because of the singing, I might either take screenshots or if I play the video, put it on mute. Although, the video typical includes cuts of the artist singing, so screenshots might be the best option. Depending on the level, get down to the most essential part of the story and narrate what is happening. Use TPRS questioning to provide comprehensible input. If you’ve never done a movietalk, download this FREE “My First MovieTalk” to get an idea.

Here’s a few MovieTalk lessons for songs:
No te vayas  por Carlos Vives (which is in this year’s tournament)
A las tres por Los Enanitos Verdes (immigration/migrant worker theme)
Soy Yo por Bomba Estero: A complete lesson plan and a student favorite

See 5 more other types of activities Continue reading

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Beyond the Lyrics

So you’ve played the song… You have a copy of the lyrics. But how else can you work with a songTop 6 song activities besides the traditional fill-in the missing lyric cloze activities? This post is all about getting the most of out playing songs in class, which you may want to include during your March Música Madness.

Here are some other activities you can do with song lyrics:


1. Scrambled Lyrics/ Letra Revuelta

One of my favorites is a great listening practice as students have to listen to the song to put them in order. Take a song and scramble the lyrics and put enough space between each line. To save myself time, I have the kids cut them out (which is why scrambling them first is key). Then, as you play the song, students have to listen and find the line. The hands-on of moving the strips is a plus. During remote or virtual lessons, you can perhaps put the phrases on a google slides and have them drag them around.
scrambled-letraSee 5 more… Continue reading

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Música de marzo 2021

We are a few short days away from the official debut of Música de marzo 2021. The official tournament with online voting kicks off on Monday, March 1. There is plenty of time to join and even if you don’t participate with the national vote, you can still use the tournament in your own classes on a different schedule.

  1. Let’s start with the important stuff: Prizes! Teachers can submit their picks and the teachers with the most points or most correct picks will win some cool prizes. Any Teacher is welcome to participate: Also upon completion of the survey (on the confirmation page) you’ll get a link to download a FREE Movietalk lesson.

Some important links to share with you:

Continue reading

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Diana Trujillo: De Colombia a Marte

By now you’ve hopefully heard the name Diana Trujillo, the Colombian woman who came to the US at age 17 and is now a team leader at NASA working on the Perseverance Mars Rover.

Her story is one that should be highlighted in Spanish classrooms. If you are already a TPRS teacher, including biographies of important people is something that tends to get overlooked in early levels. While it is difficult to talk about more complex topics at this stage, as we try to build language, we must look for ways to do it.

As I posted an article about her on a FB group, most of the teachers responding were upper-level teachers who were ready to talk about her in the AP or upper levels classes.

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