Friday, September 2, 2016

Los Animales en Español

Here is a colorful Power Point I put together to practice the animals in Spanish 1.  It's editable, so you can easily add or subtract slide to customize this to your vocabulary list.  I put in a little section at the end that focuses on South American animals, so that there would be a little culture in the lesson.

Los Animales - a free vocabulary Power Point for Spanish class by AnneK at Confesiones y Realidades Blog

I always struggle a little when it comes to teaching animals.  Today's textbooks rarely have an animal chapter - and for good reason - with the exception of pets, one doesn't have much need to talk about animals.  The times I've needed the words cebra or leopardo, for example, in actual conversation are almost nonexistent and, unless you're living on the African Savannah or working in a zoo, I imagine it is the same for you and your students. Still, animals seem to be considered basic need-to-know vocabulary by so many people.  But then which animals do we include and which ones do we exclude?  What about all the regional variations - puerco, chancho, cochino, etc.?  And when do we ever really need to talk about pigs in an authentic communicative situation after all?

Regardless of my reluctance, the students love it and they gobble up this vocabulary.  For that reason alone it has merit.  And there are a lot of fun activities you can do to practice, culturally-perceived animal onomatopoeia, pantomimes, vocabulary doodles, children's songs, etc.

I hope you find a use for the Power Point and don't forget to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by.

Hasta pronto,

--AnneK

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Especies en Peligro de Extinción - Spanish Substitute Lesson

My Spanish 4 class is doing a unit on conservation and ecology right now, and one of the terms on their vocabulary list is las especies en peligro de extinción.

I decided that I wanted to create a multimedia activity for them to do to end the week, so I focused on finding a video about various endangered species.  I thought it would prove informative as well as interesting, but ultimately there were three types of videos I found: 1) Those that were very well made but entirely too long and involved for this sort of activity, 2) Those that were filled will all sorts of nonsense and species of animals that do not exist, and 3) Those that were too simple for my level 4 students.  *sigh*

Free Activity by AnneK at Confesiones y Realidades Blog

 I found one video that was about three minutes long and had some good information, but it really contained very little in the way of Spanish.  The names of the animals show up on the screen in Spanish, but there is no voice over - so it doesn't provide any authentic listening practice, which kind of defeats the purpose of the activity . . . . Still, I decided to make the activity anyway.  Not everything has to be super hard, I suppose.  Click here or on the image above to download the activity.

And when I finished it up I realized that, because the video is so easy to understand, this activity could be completed easily by any Spanish student that had had at least the first semester of level 1.  This means that it will make a great substitute lesson - provided your students have access to technology, of course. This particular activity will not translate well to paper, though I suppose you could always try.

I hope it is useful to you and, as always, if you do find a place for it in your classroom - I'd love to hear from you!

Hasta pronto,

--AnneK

Friday, August 26, 2016

Feliz Viernes

I try to have a cute little graphic or joke to start each class.  It's fun to start the lesson with a smile on our faces, after all.  In theory it sounds great but honestly sometimes that it the hardest part of the lesson for me.  Finding something that is accessible and also funny can be tricky, so some days we just get a cute little "Happy Friday" or the equivalent.  Here are a couple cute ones I found yesterday while looking about:










I sometimes feel a little guilty about TGIF jokes because, at least on some level, it makes it seem like I don't want to be at school with my students.  Hopefully that isn't the message they are getting.  Most days I love my job and I'm happy to do it, but weekends are still fun.  Right?

And these cute little graphics have nothing to do with Friday, but still came up on my search for some reason.  I do wish the one with Frida were in Spanish but it's adorable and positive, so here goes:



¡Feliz viernes, amigos!

--AnneK

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Video Sobre Venezuela

I wanted to take a moment and share a student project with you.  Over the years we have all gotten our share of wow projects and our share of disappointing ones as well.

However, it is rare that students do a project that is something really worth sharing with the outside world and that could potentially serve as a resource to others.  I think this video about Venezuela is just such a project.


My student did the research, found beautiful photography, cited his sources, and put it all together in a nice little video that lasts about six minutes.  It is very professional and I am quite proud of him!

The one drawback is that the video had to be in English because it is for our school's International Festival this weekend.  (More about that later!).  So, because our audience is not made up of Spanish-speakers, all our projects had to be in English.  We will have the video running on a loop on a television at our Venezuela table so everyone can enjoy it.

I think it would make a nice accompaniment to any lesson about Venezuela you might have.  It might even make a nice bell-ringer.

Oh, and here's a picture so we can pin this post over at Pinterest.

Student video about the country and culture of Venezuela from AnneK at Confesiones y Realidades

I hope you like it as much as I do!

Hasta pronto,

--AnneK

Friday, February 12, 2016

Mil Años - Una canción romántica para celebrar el 14 de febrero

I was at our homecoming dance recently and when the song A Thousand Years came on, there was a definite excitement in the air as everyone scrambled to find a partner for this special slow dance.  The song has been with us a couple of years already, so I was surprised that it still generated so much glee on the part of the students.

But, after giving the lyrics another listen, I can see why it is still so popular.  It is one of those forever love songs that never really goes out of style.  Anyone that has loved deeply can relate to it and it has a great vibe for a romantic dance with someone special.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6hv6ye80ztr6q56/Mil%20A%C3%B1os%20-%20Thousand%20Years.pdf?dl=0


Today I decided to put together a little activity for my students that involved this romantic song - you know, for Valentine's Day.  <3

Step one was to find a version of it in Spanish.  Kevin, Karla y La Banda didn't disappoint.  They have a great version of the song filled with impassioned vocals and sweet lyrics.  And, instead of making a cloze-style activity, I decided instead to swap the order of the verses.  So students listen and number the lines in the order they appear.  This is a simpler activity than cloze and it made the song easier for my Spanish 1 classes to enjoy.

I put a couple discussion questions and a little blurb about the band in the margin and viola!

I hope your students enjoy it as much as mine did.

Hasta pronto,

--AnneK

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

¡Ya Era Hora! - y un proyecto para San Valentín

If you've been following my blog for awhile now, and especially if you are a fellow teacher, you know how hectic things can get sometimes.  So, from time to time, I put the blog on a mini hiatus and take the time I need to attend to the chaos that I call life.

Right now, I'm working on updating my National Board Certification, getting my students ready for the National Spanish Exam, and my department is putting on an International Festival for our town.  Yikes!

Still, I wanted to share this with you so I've fought for a couple free minutes here to update the blog.

Every year at Valentine's Day, I take an hour of class time to have my students make valentines for the staff here at the school.  They are appreciation cards for those teachers, administrators, and staff who make a difference in the lives of our students.  We do them in Spanish (of course) but, since our audience is primarily English-speaking, we make bilingual cards.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27495706/2016/Valentine%20Card%20Project.pdf


The trick to doing this successfully is to make sure that the students express themselves in Spanish first and then translate their ideas back to English.  When students express themselves first in English, they tend to use expressions and vocabulary that they cannot yet say in Spanish.  So I give them a number of phrases and words they can use to express themselves in Spanish on the sheet. 

My students will be making their cards in class on Wednesday and Thursday so I will try to post pictures of some examples as they become available.

Update:  Here are some photos, as promised!





I hope you have an amazing San Valentín, amigos.

Hasta pronto,

--AnneK

Thursday, December 3, 2015

La Nochebuena ¡Bilingüe!

First let me say that I do not claim ownership of the following.  I was just lucky enough to find it online and, though I cannot track down the original source, I think it might be from Plaza Santillana.  Normally I would say no to Spanglish, as I'm sure you would too.  But I have to admit that this little poem delighted me and I cannot wait to share it with my students!

Also, here are a couple of funnies to share with your students!



 

 

And, in case you are looking for Navidad classroom materials, may I make a couple suggestions?


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Navidad-A-Photographic-Tour-1013305

 Spanish Christmas Bingo by Anne Karakash 


¡Hasta pronto, amigos! 

--AnneK

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Humor Para Noviembre

I'm often amazed by the sorts of things that are popular on Pinterest and other social media.  I try hard to make good lessons that will interest students and teachers, that use authentic language, and that are culturally relevant.  But what gets pinned  and re-pinned are the jokes.  I guess that makes sense, really.  Jokes appeal to everyone and lessons only really are of interest to teachers, so I'm not complaining.

But try to find seasonal jokes in the fall that aren't all turkeys morbidly trying to avoid their demise!  Yikes!  I don't think I find that sort of thing very humorous, but I must be in the minority on that particular opinion.  I only included a couple of those jokes here, but there are plenty of them online if you are interested.

Without further ado, here is the November humor roundup:
























And, if you are looking for an activity to do on Thanksgiving with your Spanish classes, I have one available on TpT for a song.  You get vocabulary, reading comprehension, Power Point with foods and traditions, and a cultural comparison.  It's awesome, I'm just sayin'.  (Spanish 2-3)

Acción de Gracias - Reading, Power Point, & Cultural Comparison by AnneK



And, at the request of my 6-year-old son, I have delved into designing elementary school content as well.  This Thanksgiving Fun Pack is approved by him as fun and got a thumbs up - though the crossword puzzle was a bit hard for him.  It is intended for grades 1-3 but some of it might be appropriate for older or younger learners.

Thanksgiving Fun Pack in Spanish - for Elementary Kids: Puzzles, Hidden Messages, Vocabulary, Coloring, Fun!!


Hasta pronto, amigos.  --AnneK