Pre Amnesia Story

During Wooly Week 2017 Sr. Wooly released one of my now-favorite videos, Amnesia. In the video, a man mysteriously wakes up in the middle of the street and can’t remember who he is. The song is a great set of input for “No sé que hacer” and “no recuerdo (nada)” as well as looking at the differences between saber and conocer. Let me tell you how I used this song in my classroom and share with you some activities.

1. Before Amnesia, I actually used the Senor Wooly song “No voy a levantarme” first. We acted out a very simple version of this story in class where a student is sleeping and his Students acting out story of No Voy a Levantarmemom tried to wake him up. In groups of 3, one student played the sleeping child, one the mother, and the other person was the narrator (who was also responsable for making sure the actors performed their dialogue correctly). I had two different scripts ready for students to act out. The main focus was on the daily routine phrases “se despierta”, “se levanta” y “se acuesta”.   Continue reading

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Summer PD reading

Many of you are either already out for summer or are approaching summer. But we all know that teachers are busy during the summer with summer school, planning for next year, taking classes or attending training among other things. Today we’d like to highlight some Professional Development reading that would be beneficial to Language Teachers.

1. Comprehensible and Compelling: The Causes and Effects of Free Voluntary Reading
I don’t know about you, but when there is a Krashen book available to read, I’m all over it. This book, published at the end of 2017, “provides compelling research-based arguments for reading aloud, free voluntary reading, and reading to one’s strengths” and “identifies and explains the three stages in the development of the highest level of literacy: hearing stories, self-selected recreational reading, and specialized reading in an area of deep personal interest.”
FVR has been a game changer for my classroom, so if you have questions about impleting it in your classroom this book is a must rea

Other Krashen titles:

2. TPRS with Chinese Characteristics: Making Students Fluent and Literate through Comprehensible Input

Don’t worry if you don’t teach Chinese. This book is applicable to all languages. So many teachers have recommended this book by Terry Waltz and it’s no suprise. “It is loaded with down-to-earth practical advice for any language teacher who wants her/his students to actually develop true proficiency.”

3. Fluency Through TPR Storytelling

There is a reason some people refer to this book as the “Green Bible”, as the father of TPRS, Blaine Ray, guides the reader on implementing TPRS in his/her classroom. If you are new to TPRS, this would be a good place to start.



If you are a member of ACTFL, you can also purchase their publications. What are your summer reading titles?

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End of Year Feedback

Any good teacher is always looking ways to be a better teacher. So at the end of the school year as I reflect upon the last 9 months and look ahead for planning for the new year, I go to the best source for feedback– my students.

Every year I have students complete a feedback survey about the course and gather insight into the mind of an 8th grader. A lot of gives me confirmation of what I am doing in class, but there is also good feedback on things that I can improve. After my first full year of 100% storytelling, I realized I needed to explain the WHY of my strategies and how acquisition worked.

This year, I have multiple surveys, that I have my students fill out on Google Forms: Continue reading

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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: 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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