Sunday, August 23, 2015

¡OSOS! Dos Nuevos y la Colección Entera

A kind reader asked if I had all of my osos availabe in one place, to which I had to reply no.  But it gave me the idea to do a repost of all the osos together so they can easily be found. 

Additionally, I made two new osos to join the collective - poderoso and milagroso.


Y ahora, los anteriores . . . todos juntitos y convenientes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Craftividad" - Otra Vez Con El Pretérito E Imperfecto

My school is digital.  By that I mean that I teach in a 1:1 iPad environment and the vast majority of what we do on a daily basis is all taken care of digitally - worksheets, quizzes, listening activities, videos, etc.

I love the fact that we save so much paper.  I also love that students can personalize their learning more than ever - by that I mean that a student can listen to a passage just once if that is all he needs or a dozen times if he prefers.  Students can pause videos to look up information.  They can do interactive practice activities.  They can even record their voices and turn in an audio file so I can assess their pronunciation.  Hooray!

But still I feel like there are times when we lose something by making it digital.  Some things just seem to be better accomplished in a hands-on and crafty way.  For example, I miss tri-fold travel brochures, posters, handmade books, and topographical maps made of salt dough.  (Am I dating myself just a bit?)

We can still engage in those things, of course, but some of these crafts are really icons of a lost world.  What do I mean?  Well, take bookmarks for example.  I used to do a splendid activity with bookmarks in the preterite and imperfect.  We then stored them in our textbook for the remainder of the year and they were so useful.  But these days I ask myself what the purpose of a bookmark is when there are no books?  Is it better to just give my students a handy PDF that they can use as reference?

I grappled with this for a year or so and ultimately decided that crafts hold their own place and have usefulness in and of themselves.  Kinesthetic learners benefit greatly from doing things with their hands and everyone benefits from a variation in the routine from time to time.  And there is an artifact that is created in the process, rather than just a collection of ones and zeros.  To me, that is worthwhile.
So, it is with great consideration and contemplation that I share my Preterite and Imperfect Bookmark.  (This might be a re-share, but I cannot find an old post of mine about preterite imperfect bookmarks anywhere.)  To make it more relevant to today's learners, I included a digital how-to file with pictures and instructions.  The digital directions make it easier for us to leave as extra credit, or maybe (if you're feeling adventuresome) with a substitute.  You can click to download the instructions and you will also want to download the template.  Or you can click the pictures above.

Today as I was circulating in my Spanish III classroom, I walked by a student who had her bookmark out from last year.  She was looking up irregular preterites.  She had her iPad open on her desk, but picked up the bookmark instead.  That is something.  I have nothing against technology, but that is definitely something.

What activities do you find work better the old-fashioned way?  Do you have any pet projects that are nearing obsolescence but you still hold onto them for your own reasons?  What are the benefits of paper over technology with certain activities?

Hasta pronto amigos,


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Otro Oso . . . es una adicción

We were going over our Spanish III vocabulary in class and one of our words was orgulloso.  One of my students pointed out that I hadn't made an oso graphic for that one yet.

And so it was.

And so it is that I had to make one.

One day this osomania will stop, but I do not know when.

Sadly my PC is dead, which means I don't have access to Corel Draw, so I had to do this on my Mac with Pixelmator.  Pixelmator is certainly a great program and I mean them no disrespect, but Corel Draw and I have been together for the better part of two decades now and nothing is easier than what you already know.  So, I might have done this oso a bit differently if I had all my tools at my disposal, but this is what I was able to accomplish with Pixelmator.  (The original graphic is not mine - just the modifications and the Spanish.)

Hope it's a good day, amigos!

Hasta pronto,


Saturday, August 8, 2015

50 Chistes Gráficos - Para Principiantes

There is something magical about getting a joke in a foreign language.  The experience of figuring it out, triumphing over the language barrier, and making the connection somehow makes the joke more funny.

Each day I try to put up a little joke or a graphic that will bring a smile to the faces of my students.  Some days I'm more successful than others and honestly, finding the perfect graphic each day is the most time-consuming part of my lesson planning process.  (No kidding.)  So, now that I'm teaching Spanish 1 again, there is a big challenge to find things that are funny and are also still within the reach of beginners.

Some are funny, most all of them are going to require at least a little bit of prompting and scaffolding, but here are my offerings.  Fifty one of them!  Even if you elect not to use a few of them, you still have enough for your entire first quarter.


I hope you have a great school year and that your year is filled with a lot of laughter and positivity!