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,