Sprucing up a Story with Sound Effects

We all know that visuals are a great aide to comprehension. But there is another sensory that we can be targeting to add not only comprehension but also fun and humor to class stories. I’m talking about using SOUND EFFECTS.

YouTube is a great place to find a sound effect. Simply search for the noise/action + sound effect. For example  if you are doing a story where someone is eating search “chewing sound effect”. As you are telling the story, have different tabs open so you can just hit the play button on each video. If you have classroom jobs, you can also assign this job to a student to play the appropriate sound effect during the story.

Here are some ideas of certain sounds that you might use in a story: Continue reading

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Reclaiming Cinco

It’s that time again. #ReclaimCinco #MasQueSombreros #MoreThanSombreros


You may think that celebrating cinco de mayo in your Spanish class is a fun reward for students at the end of the year to celebrate a year of language learning. But what are dangerous effects? As an educator are you OK with promoting stereotypes? Sure, you may teach the what Cinco de Mayo really is, including it’s history. But what are students going to remember? It won’t be a lesson in history. It will be: We had a party on Cinco de Mayo. I’ve seen it first hand. My students ask me every year if we are going to have a party. Why? “We had one last year.” For what? “This is Spanish class!” So? “It’s a Mexican holiday”

I’m sure you already have your own opinions and this blog post is not going to change your mind. But please, keep an open mind on what message your are sending to…

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Quien fue… series

One of my favorite books that I’ve added to my classroom library this year has actually been an authentic novel that is probably at the 3rd-5th grade reading level for native speakers, but has been a nice additional to my L2 classroom. While it is probably best suited for intermediate students, my novice high students have been able to have success with it, as it is on a familiar topic. The book….. Continue reading

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FVR tutorials

Printing your own FVR Booklets

See our other tutorials on Youtube including:

  • Creating your own FVR Booklets
  • Creating a glossary for texts
  • Printing your own booklets
  • FVR accountability and ratings
  • FVR recommendations
  • Using MovieTalks as FVR readers
  • Using student created comics in your FVR
  • Building your FVR library for free


Continue reading

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Final Four of MMM

It’s here! We are down to our final 4 songs. Please encourage your students to vote. Even if you have your own voting system and your tracks are different, students will still enjoy being able to participate in this final voting phase. You can share the following link with your students: SpanishPlans.org/mmm18 or post the direct link to your website or google classroom.

Also, if you partcipated in our bracket this year, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Tell us in the commentx which 2 songs you think will advance to the finals. Also, share with us what your final 4 songs are.

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Paperless Cloze Activities with Lyrics

If you are participating in our March Music Madness, we offer you an alternative to those fill-in-the-blank cloze activities with lyrics. If you have purchased our supplementary materials, you will find a link for all the available songs in the Google Drive. And members can also add their own activities that they create.

Don’t forget to VOTE in our online voting polls.

For more tutorials on LyricsTraining:

How to Create your Own Cloze Activities

How to Add Lyrics to a Video

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COCO now available

I’m sure you’ve all seen the Disney-Pixar movie Coco in theatres, and know what a great movie it is and how it honors the Mexican culture and gives insight into Day of the Dead. I know many teachers have been waiting for it’s release on Blu-Ray and DVD. It’s out now….Get it on Amazon.

(Edit: It turns out that this version may not have Spanish audio. Be sure to check if you are looking for that feature).

English Books:

Disney/Pixar Coco: The Story of the Movie in Comics

Coco: The Junior Novelization


As I wait for the ability to buy Spanish books from this libro de la vida novelizacionmovie, I have found a novel in Spanish about the movie A Book of Life: La Novelización. If you are using FVR and teaching with CI, this book is ready for students who are advanced in level 2, otherwise is perfect for level 3 and 4.





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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. VOTE HERE

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:

Continue reading

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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.
Continue reading

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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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