Anuncios de San Valentín

I LOVE using anuncios in class – probably way more than my students do, but it is a fantastic way to expose your students to authentic language, different accents and sometimes culture too! Here are some for El día de San Valentín that I came across. This year, because of how our winter break falls, we won’t get to them but maybe you can find a good use for them! I’d love to hear about it if you do 🙂


Infografías para el día de amor y amistad

Infographics are a great way to present new concepts to students as well as a way to do authentic reading in the target language.  Here are a two of my favorites for el día de amor y amistad. Do you use infographics in class? How?

¿Qué regalar en el Día de Amor y Amistad?

Resultado de imagen para que regalar en el dia de amor y amistad infografia

¿Cómo celebran el amor en distintos países?

infografía del 14 de febrero




El día de San Valentín & Poemas de amor y amistad

Valentine’s Day is coming up!!!! and although the celebration varies throughout the Spanish-speaking world it is always nice to do something with your students on this day so they can learn and have fun with new vocabulary.

This is an idea I got from a colleague years ago and I have adapted it for my classroom.  For this activity, the students are to come up with things that just can’t be with out something else – so for example – peanut butter with out jelly or Spongebob without Patrick.  The students then  brainstorm a list of things in English and then write a poem in Spanish.  I don’t usually EVER do translating, but my students are novices, so their vocabulary is still very limited and I emphasize and teach how to use a dictionary, not a translator, which in the end is a great skill for language learners.

The students just love this activity and in the end learn a ton of vocabulary.  Their end product is a Valentine poem on a card.  This activity can be purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers in a word document format so you can adapt it as needed.

What is really cool about this activity as well is that all of the languages at our school do this at the same time.  They are all posted on a bulletin board and we do a follow up activity where the students see the similarities and differences between Latin, French and Spanish.

Do you have your students do anything special for El día de San Valentín?  Do you ever do cross-language activities?  Please share!


¡Febrero… el mes de amor, amistad… y vacaciones!

With El Día de San Valentín coming up in two short weeks, I’ll be posting a Valentine’s Day resource for you every day!  Since today I taught Zumba – what a better way to begin than with a fun, love inspired playlist 🙂

Here are some of my favorite love songs en español… ¡ojo! Listen to the songs before sharing with your students – not all the songs work with all age groups.

What are your favorite canciones de amor?  Do you do anything with your students for this day? This year, it is tricky for us since 2/14 is the Friday before our winter break – but it might just be what we need to get them hooked on that last Friday!

Share your thoughts below!

Here is my Día de San Valentín Playlist on Spotify:


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Slides, slides and more slides!

How do you set up your agenda and every day class activities? In our department we have found that the easiest way to go from activity to activity is to use a slideshow. Whether it is google slides (my fave), powerpoint or other slideshow format, it is a fantastic way to organize your agenda for the day!

Here is a sample of what I include in mine. Keep in mind that my students don’t come in and sit at desks but stand in a circle, so pretty much everything here is for them to do interpersonally, however at times they will use a clipboard or a whiteboard and write.

Here’s how I set it up, by lesson for each week.  I have each slideshow labeled by the week in the year and saved in folders that I can access and change up year after year.

The warm-up: súper importante because I need them to get into Spanish mode the second they walk into my space. This can be anything from a ¿Cómo estás? slide to a prompt that has them asking each other questions.

Here are two examples, both I have projected as the students walk in and they know they need to get into circle and start talking.  I then usually will have students share out. Depending on time and class size I might have them all share or just select some students to share out.

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The daily routine: While I try to spice things up every so often, this stays the same most days. And while it does get repetitive – that’s the point. And guess what? I now never need to formally teach numbers, weather, seasons, time or clothes!! Woot! Woot! Who doesn’t love more time????

The first few weeks of school I have a lot less language and as I see students get more comfortable with the vocabulary I add on more questions, vocab, etc.

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The bulk of the lesson:  The rest of my slides have all of my activities, vocabulary, games, circle transitions, brain breaks and videos labeled.  This not only helps them with visuals, seeing our daily goals and input but helps me stay on track! Here are some examples!

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Stay tuned! I will have a routines slide show available on TPT soon! How do you keep your classes organized? Do you have a set routine?

Anuncios de Navidad/Días Festivos

Have you jumped on the Navidad commercial wagon yet? As a way to incorporate more authentic listening to our students we began showing them commercials from Spanish-speaking countries as a way to introduce and practice new vocabulary and look at different aspects of culture.  With our transition to more culturally themed units and our discussion of holiday traditions in Latin America and Spain commercials are a perfect fit and the students LOVE them!

I teach Spanish 1 and you might be wondering how one might use an authentic commercial at this level if they are often very fast paced. The answer is to change the TASK not the resource! I now only use authentic audio (commercials, songs, shorts) in my lessons and the students vocabulary and listening comprehension has soared to new heights. The trick is to pick just one or two things to focus on during the listening and to keep it SIMPLE!

Some examples of tasks Spanish 1/novice students can do…

  • circling or checking off vocabulary words they hear
  • circling or checking off images of things they see
  • a cloze (fill in) activity
  • writing the words they recognize
  • circling or checking off the aspects of culture present in the video
  • answering comprehension questions in English
  • answering comprehension question using true/false statements


Need some inspiration for your holiday unit? Here is a listing of commercials from all over the Spanish-speaking world!



La Noche de Las Velitas

La Noche de Las Velitas is the official start of the holiday season in Colombia.  It is a very special night in which families gather to light candles and lanterns in honor the Immaculate Conception. The festivities begins at sunset on 7th December and ends at sunrise on 8th December. People place paper lanterns and candles on their windowsills porches, balconies, streets, sidewalks, squares and parks.

Here is a video with more info!

In my 8th grade classes we do a unit on December holidays and focus on holidays in Colombia and Spain.  We begin the unit by talking about holidays they celebrate and the first holiday we learn about is this one.  One special video we watch is this Home Center video – it is a great video to build vocabulary and if you have higher level students talk about indigenous tribes, environment and giving back to the community.


Here are two activities I do with La Noche de Las Velitas – one reading and one listening. Do you teach December holidays? Which ones?! Share below!

Una canción de Acción de Gracias

I came across this funny song about Acción de Gracias while searching for authentic ways to introduce this topic. It covers a lot of vocabulary the students will be practicing in the coming days in our unit on celebrations.

A word of caution – it does mention “digestivos” which is an after dinner drink – I decided to use it anyways as 1. My students don’t know what that is even in English and 2.  It can also mean something that can help you use the bathroom so in the event they did ask that is what I would tell them and 3.  My activities are really focused on food so they don’t even have time to think about what that word is.  I made an activity for it and if you’re interested it can be found here.

Do you do a unit on Thanksgiving? Do you use any authentic resources to supplement your lessons?



To give or not give lists…

To give or not give vocabulary lists… this seems to be a pretty hot topic and I’ll share with you all what works for our program and maybe you can share some ideas in the comments below!

We are totally on board with 90%+ Spanish, we do the circle, we’ve tossed the book but we decided as a team to keep our cultural units along with reference sheets for the students. Why? 1. Because they appreciated having something to reference while working on assignments at home and the dictionary sites aren’t always easy for them to use and 2.  their parents, caregivers and liaisons wanted something to reference if they were helping their student practice or do an assignment.

What do you do?

I’m back & Acción de Gracias!

It has been a long time since I’ve posted here! A lot has changed since I posted regularly and I can’t wait to share with you all of the things that have changed in my teaching practice since then.

Let’s talk about staying relevant and student buy in.  I don’t use a text book – why? well when I used the text book I always felt like my curriculum was a boring, rigid with little wiggle room for creativity and authenticity. For me, culture should be the means by which we teach the language because those two can’t and shouldn’t be disconnected. I also have strong feelings about English being used more than the Target Language in classroom. So, about 5 years ago tired of trying to find balance with the book I said GOODBYE and began my own journey in creating a culturally relevant thematic curriculum. It has been challenging, but I am so lucky that I have the support of my department and my PLC and no one telling me I shouldn’t! And… the results have been pretty amazing!

I am excited to teach.

No more front loading of boring topics and grammar terms – culture and authentic resources first!

The students are HAPPY and EAGER to learn.

I will share more on how I started this journey in future posts – but now let’s talk Acción de Gracias or Thanksgiving.  It is coming up quick! Do you talk about this in your classes? Why or why not?

In my 1A classes, we will be soon starting a unit on Celebrations – this includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Posadas, New Year and many, many more as we have a very diverse population and are always cognizant of including everyone so they can have something to talk about too!  We started this unit a few years ago and felt it was a perfect fit for us because it is the time of year where many holidays are celebrated and there is holiday decor, signs and commercials everywhere so it is hard not to talk about celebrations.  Students enjoy talking about things that are current and apply to them AND we connect it with how holiday time is celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries. There are SO many resources out there that talk about Thanksgiving in Spanish, how Thanksgiving is celebrated in places like Puerto Rico and how Latinos in the US celebrate Thanksgiving here with their own toque latino!

If you’re looking into incorporating Acción de Gracias here are some authentic resources to get you started.  Here is a vocabulary reference sheet (yes, I still give these – more on why later) if you’re interested. Stay tuned on how I use these!

El Pavochón, una variante puertorriqueña para Acción de Gracias | Noticiero | Telemundo

Hispano ayuda por años a su comunidad en “Acción de Gracias” | Noticiero | Noticias Telemundo

Molegiving 1