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!


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,


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.

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,


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.

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,


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?

 Spanish Christmas Bingo by Anne Karakash 

¡Hasta pronto, amigos! 


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