Thursday, February 27, 2014

Descuento de 20%

There is a big sale going on today and tomorrow (February 27-28) at Teachers Pay Teachers and I'm taking part.  Everything in my store will be on sale at a discounted 20% off - including my brand new Weather Mini Unit with Geography, Science, and Math Connections.

If you've ever downloaded something of mine here for free and you found yourself feeling grateful and appreciative, please do me the honor of stopping by my store to see what I have for sale.  I put all my love into my products and create the kinds of things that I can feel proud of and can use in my own classes.  So I sincerely believe that anything of mine you buy there will serve you well for years to come.

The money I get from TPT goes into a special travel fund so that I can attend conferences.  I was hoping to go to Panama City this summer to attend the national AATSP conference.  I would so love to see the Panama Canal and take pictures of all kinds of things to share online, but I'm going to be shy of my goal.  But that's okay!  I'm not going to get gloomy about it or anything.  I'll keep saving for next year and who knows!  But every little bitty bit helps, so know that I am grateful for anything you purchase.

Hasta pronto, amigos.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

El Imperfecto del Subjuntivo

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly students in Spanish IV learn new conjugations.  I mean, in comparison to the introduction of conjugation in Spanish I and the present tense and, heaven help us, the crucible that is the preterite in Spanish II, the other tenses just seem to come easier.  Even when I stood up yesterday and announced that there was (gasp!) another subjunctive tense and we would be learning it, no one batted an eye.

It helps that the imperfect subjunctive technically has no irregular verbs and that students already know when to use the subjunctive by the time it rolls around.

What didn't help was that there were no fun activities to be found online.  I wanted puzzles, pictures, skits, you know . . . but I guess that producers of educational materials figure if you've made it this far into Spanish then you must be mature.  That is mostly true, but it does not mean that we don't want to have fun.

I didn't have time today to come up with a rip-roaring, hooting-tooting board game - sadly.  But I did have enough time to create a crossword puzzle.  You can click here to download it or click on the image above.  This particular crossword focuses on when to use the present subjunctive and when to use the imperfect subjunctive.  My students literally just learned the tense yesterday and were ready for this today, so you can plan to do it very shortly after you introduce the tense.  I included all the trouble verbs: poder/poner, decir/dar, ir/ver, hacer, querer, etc.  You know, the usual suspects.

Obviously, a topic this advanced is going to be for a Spanish IV or V class or an especially gifted Spanish III group.  You might want to throw it in as a quick grammar review for AP, though I admit that it has nothing to do with any of the AP Themes.

Oh!  I made an answer key too.  Click here for a copy of the answers.  

I hope yours is a great day, amigos!

Hasta Pronto,


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Expresiones Con Tener

Oh those expressions with tener!  The concept of idiomatic expressions is difficult for many language learners.  I recall being a middle schooler myself and being shocked when I first learned that one could not simply translate things word for word in the exact order.  It was an eye-opener!

However, in my experience, most students can get their heads around wildly imaginative words and phrases being different from language to language.  They generally don't expect unusual phrases to be direct translations.

It's raining to beat the band.  ( ≠ Lovía para derrotar a la banda.)
She looked like death warmed over.  ( ≠ Se veía como la muerte recalentada.)
That's my two cents.  ( ≠ Son mis dos centavos.)
It came out of the clear blue.  ( ≠ Vino del azul claro.)

Sometimes though, I find that it is even more difficult for students to get the concept of idiomatic expressions that are close.  I think I might have to be hauled off to an asylum  if I hear "tener divertido" one more time.  Ja ja ja.

The expressions with tener are one of those things that are perennial problems for my students and I don't think most textbooks give them enough time and attention.  I think a lot of fun activities can be done with these expressions like charades, drawings, skits.  But as a review I put together a brief Power Point with clip art.

I do not own the license to any of the clip art in the file.  It is used here simply for educational purposes.

Click here to download the file, or click on the picture above.

As always, it would be great to hear from you if you download the file or use it in your class.

Hasta pronto,


Monday, February 10, 2014

Si Los Besos Fueran Agua . . .

 . . . yo te daría un mar.

Hi again, amigos.  I've been taking a break from blogging for a bit because I've been dealing with some personal issues, but I'm ready to poke y head back in here, at least for today, and share some work.

Two of the classes I teach this semester (Spanish IV and AP Spanish) are fairly advanced for high school and I'm often discovering that there is a lack of good material available online to supplement my lessons.  To that end, I create a lot of my own material and I thought I might share some with you here today.

This lesson is intended as a review to students who have already learned the conditional tense and the imperfect subjunctive.  (Advanced, as I was saying.)  I am fortunate to have such high achievers in my 5th, 6th, and 7th period classes so I put this little review and practice activities together for us to go over in classes as we go into the dreaded "Sequence of Tenses."  It focuses on the use of imperfect subjunctive to express unreal situations and the conditional to discuss what one would do under those circumstances.

On the sheet there is a link to a really weird video - really weird, that gives and example of the two tenses used together.  You might want to take a look at it before you share it with your classes - just to prepare yourself.  

I hope the lesson is useful to you, amigos!  Click on the image above or click here to download the activity.

Hasta pronto,