Saturday, February 21, 2015

Veinte Mundos {Helpful Website and Free Printable}

This past year I have been using Veinte Mundos with one of my advanced students to improve his Spanish listening and writing skills. This online magazine is perfect for students to increase their skills and learn more about the cultures that speak Spanish.

Looking through the library of articles you can see that there are all sorts of topics to choose from. Here are some that I have used in the past that are good...

Dulce de Leche-The delicious caramel of Latin America
Quitapenas-Worry dolls
El Guarani en Paraguay-The native tongue of Paraguay
Silbo Gomero-A language of the Canary Islands that consists of whistles

Each article (either categorized as intermediate or advanced) can be listened to as your students read it on the screen. Within the article students can highlight a word and click it to see a definition. Besides the article there are tabs like the "lenguaje" tab that goes over grammar points, vocabulary, and has comprehension questions. Many articles have videos (under the "multimedia" and "viaja" tabs) to watch related to the article.

I created a worksheet to be used with any of the articles on the site. It is a place for students to record new vocabulary, color in a map of the country or countries in the article, and then write a summary of what they learned.  

This site is such an awesome way to bring Hispanic culture to you high school students in the target language! Not to be missed!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rainforest Unit in Spanish {Free Printables}

This semester I will be doing a rainforest unit with my younger Spanish students. It will be an opportunity to learn nouns and adjectives related to animals and to learn how to do comparatives and superlatives in Spanish.

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Here is a look at what I have rounded up...

These books: 
Un Recorrido por la Selva
El loro tico tango
El Gran Capoquero: Un Cuento de la Selva Amazonica

I am using these resources from Teachers pay Teachers...

La Selva Tropical
Rainforest Math Game {For the game I laminated the cube, then cut along the black lines before putting it together with Zots Clear Adhesive Dots. This made the cube sturdier to use with multiple kids.}

Here are some of the other activities we will be doing...a few have links for free printables:

-Using a map of South America color in the area of the rainforest. Also, my older students will have to label and memorize the Spanish-speaking countries.

-The vocabulary list we will use.

-We will use these rainforest stickers and the outline picture of a forest (see La Selva Tropical unit) to review prepositions. I will call out an animal sticker and tell them where to put it on  the picture in relation to items and animals on the picture.

-Roll and draw a parrot

-Teach comparatives and then call out two rainforest animals. Can the students create a sentence comparing them like "El mono es menos perezoso que la serpiente."?

-Teach superlatives. Give the students a group of animals and have them create sentences like "La mariposa es el menos grande de los animales."

-With the book El loro tico tango use these graphics to make cards to play Memory or Pesca (Go Fish) with. The students have to match the correct animal with the fruit it had in the book. With Memory students are supposed to say the words of the cards they pick up each time in order to learn them better.

-Use Spot It Junior Animals at the end of the unit as a fun review game. NOTE: Not all these animals are from the rainforest, but this game is so worth it. My students ADORE it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Teaching Supplies {for World Language Teachers}

As a language teacher there are certain supplies that I come back to again and again.  Here's a list of the top ten supplies I use in teaching...

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1. Dice are useful in playing games and creating sentences in the target language. Read more about using dice to teach a language here. 

2. I recently invested in a classroom calendar which I find helpful for young kids. Reviewing dates, days of the week, weather, and seasons on a regular basis helps solidify the vocabulary. What I love about doing a calendar at the beginning of a lesson is that it only takes a few minutes, yet if you are consistent students really learn the information.

3. File folders are great for making games like this game to tell the difference between the preterite and the imperfect or this one for the days of the weekLibrary Card Pockets are also useful when making file folder games.

4. Speaking of games, there are some pre-made ones that work well in a language classroom like Spot It! AlphabetSpot It Animals, and Guess Who.

5. Stickers are also great for listening activities. These monster stickers are great for reviewing body partsPenguins stickers are great for reviewing prepositions {See this post.}

6.Color bean bags can be used to not only review colors, but also to work with prepositions. For example, you can give commands like "Put red next to blue." or "Put the yellow one under the black." I also use the bean bags with other items like plastic food or plastic animals so that I can review colors, prepositions, foods, or animals as the need arises.

7. An atlas in the target language is also invaluable to have. So many times students (elementary through high school) don't know where countries or landmarks are located. When you are teaching history or culture it is great to have an atlas in the language you are working with.  Here are some atlases in Spanish:
Atlas del Mundo
Mi Primer Atlas

8. Sharpie Permanent Markers can be used by students (especially high schoolers) to take notes. I like to have my students put verb endings in a different color to highlight that the endings are what need to be memorized.  See this example:


Or to emphasize a stem change in verbs:


9. Having a laminator can help preserve any items that you create for your lessons or classroom. Even if you have access to a laminator at your school, it can be helpful to have a small one at home. This laminator works really well and is compact and not very expensive. I love mine!

10. Literature or reading material can play a big part in your teaching. Check out this post on literature for high school students and this post on children's books in Spanish.

So what are your favorite supplies when you teach? I would love to hear what you use!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mi Calendario {Teaching Dates, Seasons, and Weather with a Free Printable}

Over my years of teaching Spanish to young kids, I have found that the calendar, seasons, and the weather can be a challenge for them to cement in their brains. It takes a lot of review, and the best way is to talk about it each day for awhile until the concept of the passing of time becomes familiar to them. I recently purchased this calendar at half price and have been using it with my students. I am seriously wondering if I bought the last one available {I know I did from the company I ordered it from}. I wanted to have a smaller take-home version for my parents to be able to use with their kids at home.

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So I created this calendar that reviews yesterday, today, tomorrow, the date, season and weather for the day. You can download it and print it using the link below. {On the screen the page looks off, but print it out and it will be fine.} I then laminated these pages using this laminator {If you are looking for a laminator to use at home this is it! Inexpensive and works really well!!}. By laminating them I can give one copy to each parent and they can have their kids use a dry erase marker to pick the date, days, etc. It can be used over and over again. {Note: Some colored dry erase markers are harder to remove. The black seems the easiest. Also, rubbing alcohol helps the cleaning process.}

So here is the file...There is also a second page with questions in Spanish that parents can use as they review the calendar each day.

Mi Calendario

Here are some more items to use with kids to teach weather and seasons...

Weather and Clothes Puzzle-With this puzzle you can go over clothes, weather, colors, and seasons.

Pink "Mi Calendario"-Similar to the one above that is no longer available.

Laminated Weather Chart in Spanish