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SpanishPlans.org by Spanishplans - 2w ago

This week only we are offering our lowest prices ever on our latest feedback stamps. Included is our “Me Gusta”, Me Encanta”, and “Mi Parte Favorita” stamp now available in this “3 stamps for the price of 2” deal. Get the deal now and check out all our stamps from SpanishTeacherShop.com.

Discount available now until Friday, 5/10/19  4pm ET.

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SpanishPlans.org by Spanishplans - 1M ago

After our Billy y Las Botas 3 lesson on making predictions using Peardeck, some teachers wanted more information about PearDeck. So here’s a brief tutorial:

Using PearDeck - YouTube

If you prefer to read, PearDeck is a FREE tool that integrates with Google Slides. Open up a presentation with google slides and you can make it interactive by using the the Pear Deck add-on.


With the add-on, you can add polls, questions, and other interactive formative assessments to your presentation. You give the students a code to join the presentation and you can have them work at their own pace or you can control the presentation so they can only see the slide that you project.
For each slide that you added an interactive component, you can see the students’ responses LIVE on the teacher dashboard.

The student will see the slide on their screen as well as a space to type in a response. As the students are typing it will appear on the teacher dashboard. You can choose to project the classes’ answers if you wish to have a discussion.

When you close a session you can save it. For example, I save a separate session for each class. This is where I can turn on student-paced so students can work through the entire presentation at their own speed or end the session so students can no longer submit responses.

When you end a session and publish takeaways, responses from each student will appear in your google drive in the Pear Deck folder and students will receive an email with all of their responses.

If you are a 1:1 school, this is a great way to use technology in a formative assessment. It is also a great way to reduce handouts. For example, I was originally going to print out a handout of the slides and have students handwrite their responses. Now, I can have them see the image more clearly, and in color, on the screen and type their responses.


I’ll be updating my De Que Me Sirve la Vida lesson by using PearDeck instead of printing out a 3 page packet to have students translate the messages.

And if you use screenshots to have retell a story of a MovieTalk, try this paperless option.

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SpanishPlans.org by Spanishplans - 1M ago

After months of anticipation, this week we started the third (and final) installment of the Billy y las Botas saga. I like to use a variety of strategies when telling a Wooly story, so this time we focused on making predictions. This is a great way to preview the story, as well as letting your students show their creative side and impress you with their language.

Step One: I started by pulling out 12 slides from the Powerpoint of Stills available in the extras section of every story with a SenorWooly.com Pro-subscription (if you don’t already have this, leave this post, buy it, and come back).

This activity is similar to the “Bunches of Hunches” activity combined with “A Parallel Universe” story that some of you may have used during Wooly Week 2019. Careful, not to give too much away and certainly no spoilers; you want to leave some ambiguity.
Step Two: I then added some prediction prompts on each slide. I used PearDeck, which you can get as a add-on to google slides, and added questions to each slide. Each student joins the presentation with a class code and can see the picture on their screen and can type in their answer. In the background, I am playing the instrumental version of the song (available on the “music” tab of the story on SenorWooly.com) on a constant loop. The answers show up on my screen and I can choose to project them to the class (and offer editing suggestions).

With PearDeck, you can allow the students to work at their own pace and go through the entire presentation. However, for this lesson, I choose to control the pacing so students were all on the same page.

As students saw more and more images, a story started to form in their head. In this case, students began predicting that Gorro was stealing Las Botas from Billy… some students were shocked that Gorro would betray his best friend.  Each new scene seemed to play into this prediction. Going through about 10-12 slides and writing their responses took up 35-40 minutes.

Step Three: That weekend, I looked through their responses and compiled the most interesting responses, editing for grammar/accuracy. I used this to present to the class as additional input. They get to read what their classmates read and get repetition of important structures. I always look for a way to give them More Input!

This is what my level 1 students wrote (Providing comprehensible input all year DOES work, don’t you think?). I went through and made small corrections of grammar and added accents. The most common errors were actually with using ser/estar, which I’m ok with since it’s one of the last acquired structures. I was pleased to see different structures and vocabulary show up that they have heard in previous stories.
*Alternative: As you go over the predictions, you can use this to discuss even more. Ask questions like: “¿Cuál es más probable?”, “¿Estás de acuerdo con esta prediccion?”, “¿Es posible….?”, “¿Crees que ….. (Gorro mataría a Billy)??”, etc.

Step Four: Due to other time commitments, I am still not going to show the whole video. I am going to start by showing the first minute and let the anticipation keep growing.

Step Five A: If I had more time in the week to stretch out this lesson, the next day I would then play the next part of the video (from the beginning to when the Hand appears) on mute with only the instrumental music playing. Tip: Hit start on the video with no subtitles, turn the volume down/off on the video, and then click the music tab (the video will not stop playing), press play on the instrumental music, and then navigate back to the video tab and project this to your class. The students will be able to watch the video and soak up the visuals and only be able to hear the music without the lyrics.

Step Five-B: Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to do that so I am going to be using the subtitles with the video to reveal the true story (Well, until the credits at least. The post credits will be the next day!)

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This past week we finally watched the 3rd video of Senor Wooly’s epic Victor Trilogy (Guapo, La Confesión de Victor, Feo). I also needed to get a summative-type assessment grade in the gradebook, so I decided to try something new and see what my students could do. After sharing the results on twitter, I’ve had several requests for the rubric, which I will share below.I didn’t want my students to just re-tell the stories and I also wanted to challenge them to Level Up their Language. So I made my prompt simple yet challenging by asking them to analyze. This was either going to be super difficult for my students, or they were going to impress me. Luckily, they knocked it out of the ballpark by showing me what they could do with their own language.

When we have realistic expectations of what a novice student can do as opposed to an intermediate student and when we focus on COMMUNICATION as the goal of writing as oppossed to perfect grammar, we can celebrate our students’ succcess.

Here was the prompt for my students and well as several examples:

You will notice that I make very few, if any, corrections, on their grammar or spelling. I also underline or circle sentences that were well written, creative, or otherwise impressed me. I would also stamp their work with any of these 3 stamps, new from SpanishTeacherShop.com
I also had the students tell me what they wanted feedback one so I could personalize their feedback and I made an effort to write a comment on what each student did well in their writing.

Here is a copy of the Google Doc Rubric. You are welcome to “Make a copy” and edit.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve the rubric, please post them in the comments. I certainly don’t claim to be a great rubric writer and am always looking for ways to improve.

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SpanishPlans.org by Spanishplans - 3M ago

Are you ready for this year’s March Music Madness? As one of the first teacher bloggers to write about the idea of March Music Madness, we are excited for our sixth annual tournament. This year we have teamed up with Senor Ashby who has assembled hundreds and hundreds of teachers nationwide to partipcate in a Locura de Marzo bracket.

This year’s bracket is as follows:
You are welcome to join us as the competition offically kicks off on March 1. Head over to 2019 Locura de Marzo Headquarters to find out all the details and information on how to have your students vote.

If you want some detailed plans to go along, we are again offering our 2019 Tournament on TpT, which includes 17 activities that you can do with ANY song as well as the following:

✪ A printable bracket
✪ 17 different activities that you can use with a song, including 5 samples
✪ A online voting system where hundreds of students across the nation will pick the official winners
✪ A google survey where students can submit their predictions to you
✪ A youtube playlist of the songs
✪ Full lyrics for every song
✪ Printable Bracket Labels for Bulletin Board Display
This product comes with EDITABLE files for your convenience as well as PDF versions for no-fuss printing.

And this year, we are excited to announce a contest for teachers. Before the tournament starts, fill out your bracket and submit your predictions to be eligible to win our “Bracket Challenge” contest!


The teachers with the most correct predictions will be eligible for the following prizes:

1st place: A 2 year site subscription to SenorAsby.com
2nd place: A $20 gift certificate to TeachersPayTeachers.com
3rd place: $15 worth of products from SpanishPlans’s store on TpT
4th place: a 1 year site subscription to SenorAshby.com
5th place: a “Me Gusta” rubber stamp from SpanishTeacherShop.com

All Spanish teachers within the US are eligible to win. Simply submit your predictions.
Terms: One submission per teacher, Submissions must be submitted before March 1, 2019. No Purchase necessary.

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SpanishPlans.org by Spanishplans - 4M ago

When a gamer beats a level of a game and moves on to the next level, it is called “Leveling up”. In certain games, you can increase your chances by earning more points, collecting coins, or obtaining specific weapons to help you defeat the opponent.  Gamers have their strategies on what they need to do to level up. Our students also need to know what strategies they have as language students so that they too can “level up” on the ACTFL proficiency levels. Does a novice student know what they need to do to work their way up to the intermediate level?

My initial inspiration for this posted started many months ago when I saw a tweet by Bethanie Drew (@lovemysummer) when she posted a link to her blog with placemats for “Weekend Chats“. In her document, she included this:

This encouraged students who were ready to add to their simple sentence by adding more details. I realized that students don’t know how to level up their language. In order to show higher proficiency, students must realize what that looks like. A few months into the school year, I went over the ACTFL proficiency ratings and its cone shape and that the more input a student has the more advanced their language will be. Then we went over this presentation.


Then I gave students sample sentences and had them work with partners to come up with the extra details.
You can download a copy of the presentation or the student handout sheets, which includes the as pictures above or a blank copy if you wish to fill it out as a class.

Another way to talk about proficiency is to use the ice cream cone imagery, to encourage students to “Add an extra scoup” of language. See our previous post “Get a scoop of proficiency” which includes a free download of posters explaining the different proficiency levels.

Leave it to Bethanie, who also would go on to blog about this later as well. Look at her strategy to encourage better writing in her students, in her blog post “Level Up Language Framework (Structures to support student learning and teacher sanity, part 6)

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SpanishPlans.org by Spanishplans - 5M ago

One new thing that I implemented this year with FVR was a reading log. On one side of the sheet of paper I have all the books listed and on the other side is a chart that students can use to keep track of what page number they left off on. The following week, they can check their log and pick up on the page they left off, and when they are done, they can put a checkmark or write the date they finish.

As we come back from winter break, I have a new updated sheet for my students. This includes a tracking of the number of books they read each trimester as well as a place to count the number of words they read in Spanish.

I am posting what it looks like. You are welcome to make a copy of this document and edit it based on the books in your classroom. (Click on image, and then make a copy). This sheet is the only “accountability” factor that needs to result from FVR. But I think it also serves as a way for students to track their growth in reading.

You can find more tools for FREE VOLUNTARY READING on our FVR page, including a free toolkit.

You’ll notice in the image above that my classroom list includes a denotation for audiobooks that I have as well as a section for mini-booklets that I have created or purchased on TeachersPayTeachers, including our very own Miguel Tiene que Estudiar and Erika y su unicornio. and our FVR booklets.


On this page, students write the book they are reading and then the page number they leave off on. They can continue to use the same row for each date that they read that book. This is the first time I am included a section for number of words. My thought is that students will be motiviated by seeing how many words they have read– we shall see.

I’ve already created this Google Survey to have students complete at the end of trimester/semester to review what books they have read. This will be an easy way for me to keep track of what books students are reading and which books they like best. If a students rates a book, it means they have read it.

You can see what our survey looks like and create your own, by adding books you have and deleting the ones you don’t.  I’ll have a new post in January with student feedback.

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SpanishPlans.org by Spanishplans - 7M ago

I was recently doing a write/pass/draw activity where I wanted to use a timer to give the class a limit. I usually just use google timer or the regular classroom timer where it counts down on a clock. Previously, I had used another fun timer where you can change the music to the Pink Panther, Mission Impossible, or Indiana Jones among others.

But today as I was looking at the online classroom timers, it sparked a CI idea. They offer races such as a bicycle race, a sack-race, truck-race, robots and many more! I thought that this would be an interesting discussion in the target language: Who do you think is going to win the race?

You could talk about colors, numbers (ordinal), and even descriptions.

Take a look at this example:

Online stopwatch - YouTube

Do you think the boy with the blue shirt will win? Do you think the 3rd person will win? Right now, the red-haired girl is in 2nd place? Will the boy with the blue bike pass her? Will the boy with the blue helmet finish last? Will he go faster?  Who is in first place right now? All of these questions can be asked and answered in the TARGET LANGUAGE. You can then ask students if they agree or disagree with their classmates. And the end, you can discuss which student was right.  Check out the timers here.

Easy, no-prep Comprehensible Input.  If you like challenges, you can also try the Minute to Win-It challenges and have your students compete and talk about if the students CAN or CAN NOT do a certain activity. Can they do it? Can they do it in 10 seconds? Can another student do it faster?

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This past month, at the Illinois Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ICTFL) annual fall conference, I gave my first presentation in a session titled “Proficiency Mindset”. To view the presentation click: http://bit.ly/ProfMindset

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

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SpanishPlans.org by Spanishplans - 7M ago

Over the past two weeks, we have done several stories: including Senor Wooly’s La Invitación, La Confesión de Víctor, a movietalk for El Gato con Café, a Movietalk and Story for Bomba’s Estereo Soy Yo video, and a PictureTalk for Biblioburro.

In addition to the class story, students have also practiced on quizlet and answered comprehension questions while watching the video on Edpuzzle.com. They have had sufficient input and this allowed us to move to the next step…. output.

I took screen shots of important parts from each story and created a page for each story. This serves as a reference sheet for students. You can view that here: StoryRetell_PicturePrompt. Then I had the students get with a partner. Each group had 1 sheet of paper to write on and I passed out the picture prompts of the stories. The student rotated roles: One student was the writer and the other student was the storyteller.

The storyteller had to to retell the story to the writer. The writer would help the storyteller with any grammar or vocabulary. I set a timer for 4 minutes (or 5 minutes). After the time was up, partners switched roles and the group passed the pictures to the next group. At the end of the period, each group had written about all 5 stories.

At the end of class, I collected papers. This would be about the only time I make corrections to student’s work…. only because I wanted to use it as more input for the next day.

The following day, students sit in a circle and I pass the papers back out to students. Students read them to each other and then pass them around. So by the end, they ended up reading the 5 stories several times.

Then I have the students record themselves retelling the story. They can use the pictures as a reference. These are nice to share with parents to show how talented your students are.

Here’s an example:

El Gato Retell - YouTube

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