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Deskless classroom activities

30 Apr

I have gone to the deskless classroom and I LOVE it!!  I just ended my 18th week of no desks and have noticed the following improvements:

  • We can get into partners or groups in 30 seconds.
    • I timed them and they loved the competition with my other classes.
    • With 37 desks in my classroom, getting into groups was frustrating….
  • We are doing much more listening and speaking.
  • My students cannot put their heads down.
  • They cannot hide their phones under the desk.

Student writing is a challenge but I have my personal size whiteboards out if they need something firm to write on.
I do have two tables in my room.  One of them is for students who need a desk (I have one accommodated student who uses an iPad).

I know many other teachers are going deskless.  I would love to know what routines and activities you have designed since.  I am trying to mix things up a bit and get some ideas together for summer planning.  Also, having just attended the Comprehensible Input conference I would like to have more of those types of activities.  Please share below!!


Reading Unit Day 3

16 May

For day 3 we did more pre-reading activities.

First, I projected a page from a Clifford book.  It was a page from a book that none of them had selected.  In their class notebooks, they wrote what they thought the page read in English.

They shared their thoughts, then we talked about what strategies they used to decide what the page said.  As they were announced, a student listed them on the board, they did a great job!

Photo 1



Next, I gave each pair of students a QR Code that linked to the Linoit page for their book.  If you remember, they were in the computer lab last Thursday.  I had a Linoit canvas set up for each book and the students typed predictions in Spanish for each book.  Today when they received the QR Codes and read the predictions about the book they chose to read, they copied the predictions into their notebook and said whether they agree or disagree (in Spanish).

The final activity was to fill out this worksheet:  Verbos de Clifford.  They had to list the verbs they found in the book, decide what the infinitive is, the English translation, and what tense the verb is.   This worked well since they are just learning the preterite and most of the books are present and preterite tense.

Just before the end of the hour they completed exit slips .  I love this style of exit slip.  I have borrowed it from another blog, I think the Creative Language Blog but I cannot remember….  If it is yours, please let me know and I will change the credit!

A good day!

Gracias,   Penny

Now using centers

24 Apr

With the start of a new trimester I began using centers in my classroom.

The main reason I am using centers is because I have many more students in my classroom with Individualized Educational Plans.  This is because 2 years of World Languages are required now to graduate in Michigan, beginning with this year’s Freshmen.

Our high school World Language classes have typically included mostly college bound students who are in the top 20% of their class.  We are all happily learning to differentiate and accommodate learners of all skill levels.  I have found with centers that I can accomplish this in many ways.

1.  I can be available to all students by monitoring the classroom and checking in on their work.

2. One of the centers is occasionally just for students struggling with the current concept.  These are not just students with IEPs, I include other students as well who can use some extra guided practice.  We sit at a table together and go through the material together in a variety of ways.

3. It is a great way to differentiate student work.  All groups have the same objectives, but can complete them in different ways.

Prepping for centers is a lot of work for the first time through, but I have found it to be very much worth it.

I have gotten great ideas for center work form the Creative Language blog.  These gals have great ideas!

Let me know if you have some great ideas for centers in a World Language class.

Gracias, Penny


Travel project help please

27 Jan

Hi everyone,

I am planning a travel project for my Spanish students.  I did an online search for rubrics, but didn’t quite se what I had in mind.

I would like to have the following components:

  • Students work in pairs and each pair is going to a different Spanish speaking country.
  • They must consider each place they will visit, including the airport, hotel, restaurants, and any attractions they visit.
  • They must create a dialogue they will have to have in Spanish with someone they will meet in each place.
  • They will have to create and resolve a problem with that person.
  • They must plan three excursions for their trip.
  • Products they will turn in would include an itinerary, postcards from the three excursions, the dialogues, and a menu typical to the place they visit.
  • They will also have to create a short video of one of their dialogues.

    I feel like there should be more products. What am I missing? I am not sure how long the project would take, but I plan on assisting with a different list of vocabulary each day. Things that they may not find in their texts. Or do I let them find it on their own? I was thinking to give it to them to use as pronunciation practice as well as making sure they know the correct words for the context. They will have to come up with the structures for the dialogues on their own.

  • I appreciate any input you have!
    Gracias, Penny


Dynamic HTML – Spanish Activities

6 Nov

Dynamic HTML – Spanish Activities.

Teacher Paul Widergren has posted many of his original creations online, including a collection of PowerPoint presentations for teaching Spanish and a collection of dynamic HTML activities in which students categorize or match written vocabulary with pictures.


15 Jul


Nice list….

Websites with info about Hispanics and their culture

23 May

These are my favorite sites regarding Hispanics.  I am sharing because I know there must be a whole lot more out there.  Share what you have….

Infoplease: Hispanic American Biographies

Hispanos famosos

Six Hispanic Literary Giants

Hispanics in America: An inforgraphic

Explore Hispanic Culture

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Culture Online

Art, Culture, Music, History:  Scroll down to see “by Country”

Hispanic Culture Movies: from Screen Junkies, nice summaries

10 Myths about Immigration

Música Del Pueblo

Gracias, Penny

El Mundo de Birch – NECTFL Workshop 2012

29 Apr

El Mundo de Birch – NECTFL Workshop 2012.

Updated spanish music database 846 songs searchable by artist/title/grammar/vocab/country.

Can’t wait to check this out over the summer!

A Lucky Mother


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