Teacher Posts

“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” -Miguel de Cervantes

Working Vocabulary

Working Vocabulary Quiero eso (I want that) ¿Dónde está? (Where is it?) Necesito eso (I need that) ¡Oye! (Hey!) ¡Eso es mío! (that’s mine!) Dime (tell me) ¡Mira! (Look!) Pues… (well…) ¿Puedo? (Can I?) Otra … Continue reading Working Vocabulary

Vocabulary Lists

Yes, I was that Spanish student who went home and memorized any and every list of vocabulary my teacher gave me. Believe it or not, my nickname in ninth grade was, “Diccionario” (dictionary)! While this … Continue reading Vocabulary Lists

The Bread Castle

There are moments in your life when you have to make serious decisions. And then there are moments in your life when the PSA (Professional Stuffed Animals) in your classroom have to make serious decisions. … Continue reading The Bread Castle

In Theaters Now!

The “Pato” Play (2021-22) On Thursday, fourth graders performed a play in Spanish about our beloved stuffed animal hero, Pato (Duck). This was a play within a play about two best friends, “Pato” and “Oso”, who … Continue reading In Theaters Now!

Train Rides (PK4)

This morning, students in PK4 danced to our newest class song called Chumbala Cachumbala, and then went through the “How are you?” daily routine. Next, I asked in Spanish, “What is this?”, pointing to images of different currencies from … Continue reading Train Rides (PK4)

Racing Along (2)

Some days in Spanish class, we lollygag and I allow time for vocabulary and Culture Projects to sift through students’ minds. It doesn’t feel–at least on paper–like we accomplish all that much, but I know that they … Continue reading Racing Along (2)

Quechua & MJ (3)

This morning, third graders tapped into their “One Voice Can Make a Difference” theme in Spanish class. First, they learned some basic linguistic facts: there are about 7,000 languages in the world; that Mandarin Chinese is the … Continue reading Quechua & MJ (3)

Gold Fairy Dust

In class this afternoon, first graders came to Spanish and happened to notice that my classroom was–almost literally–coated in glitter: from the carpet to the tables, to even the teacher’s chin [I learned that after class], specks … Continue reading Gold Fairy Dust

Fly Away With Me

Waves of cerulean lapped onto the shore, back and forth, back and forth—carelessly, yet with purpose and intention. My toes reveled in delight at the mixture of wet sand and water, so distinct from their claustrophobic … Continue reading Fly Away With Me

Spanish Soccer Skills

Grade 4: Spanish Soccer (Outside) Respond instinctually in the target language. Gain confidence speaking the target language (~shouting as opposed to speaking). Simplify thoughts to communicate a basic message in the target language. Students learn about the cultural … Continue reading Spanish Soccer Skills

Duolingo Skills

Grades 3-4: Duolingo Create and build the habit of studying a language in short spurts, on a regular basis. Work independently at his/her own pace. Students began the year working on the Duolingo app in class for … Continue reading Duolingo Skills

Floor Map Skills

Grades K-4: Floor Map Name and locate all 21 Spanish-speaking countries (jumping on a floor map). Transfer knowledge to other maps (find countries on globe, paper, poster, etc.). Connect country names with class Culture Projects. Apply map knowledge in … Continue reading Floor Map Skills

Center Work Skills

Grades K-2: Center Work Make connections with the written and spoken word in the target language (e.g., phonetics). Combine and relate new and old ideas, especially in written work. Apply memorized key phrases in meaningful contexts, especially in spoken work. … Continue reading Center Work Skills

Storytelling Skills

Grades K-2: Storytelling (Interactive) Combine new and old knowledge of the target language. Repeat key phrases and vocabulary and create movements/gestures to match each one. Follow and comprehend short stories in the target language. Apply words and phrases in everyday conversation (spoken). Read lines … Continue reading Storytelling Skills

Town Simulation Skills

Grades 2-3: Town Simulation Locate country on the map and identify as Spanish-speaking. Combine and relate new and old ideas, especially in written work. Create a relevant product or business pertaining to said country. Apply memorized key phrases in meaningful contexts. Understand that … Continue reading Town Simulation Skills

Theater Unit Skills

Grade 4: Theater Unit Memorize lines in class play. Relate/match Spanish meaning with English; understand what their characters are saying (do not just repeat). Choose appropriate body language/dramatization and expression for lines. Apply lines from play in different contexts … Continue reading Theater Unit Skills

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy I believe in multi-sensory and experiential learning, in involving all of the senses on a regular basis and in meaningful contexts. I want students to not only see and think about the textual … Continue reading Teaching Philosophy

The Top Twelve

Curriculum 1) Expectations: Students will be reminded of the academic and behavioral expectations on a regular basis. Students in my class are expected to be smart, kind, and strong (have ‘grit’), and to work hard … Continue reading The Top Twelve

Breaking News!

To wrap up the year and review several units all at once, third graders hosted their very own news show in Spanish. Students enjoyed adding something new to the rehearsals each class, and even tried … Continue reading Breaking News!

The Fruit Gang

The “Pato” Play (2020-21) On Wednesday, fourth graders performed a play in Spanish about our beloved stuffed animal hero, Pato (Duck), who was (gasp!) framed for robbing the bank. Students not only excelled academically–impressing the audience … Continue reading The Fruit Gang

Yes to Pizza.

Once upon a time, there was a Spanish teacher who awakened very early one Friday morning and knew–without a doubt–that it was going to be an amazing day: no ifs, ands, or buts. As if … Continue reading Yes to Pizza.

Quantum Leaps

LANGUAGE IS weird. Bizarre. Quirky. Odd. Let me clarify: yes, language encompasses all of those things–each and every language has its own particular quirks and oddities (in the grammatical sense)–but I am referring here more to language … Continue reading Quantum Leaps

Just Keep Walking (4)

Week #2: This week, students in fourth grade had another dance party–see video below–making sure to sing, “Es viernes (‘bee-AIR-nace’)/It’s Fri-day” as they settled into their seats. The former is our “class song” and was … Continue reading Just Keep Walking (4)

Pato Who? (1)

This week, following introductions, students in first grade named as many words that they could think of in the target language (e.g., red/rojo, blue/azul, green/verde, uno-dos-tres, dog/perro, etc.), and then listened to their get-up-and-dance CLASS … Continue reading Pato Who? (1)

Just Play

As a child, I played “school” a lot. My mother says that in kindergarten, I would coerce others to be my students and scribble lessons on a Raggedy-Ann chalkboard. Even as a teenager, I lived … Continue reading Just Play

Imports & Exports

The current political/media state has brought to the world’s attention how incredibly dependent and interdependent we–along with millions of people–are on other country’s products and services. An Apple iPhone does not just magically make its way into our … Continue reading Imports & Exports

Memoir Excerpt

In what seems like a lifetime ago, I used to take ballroom dance lessons. This “phase” lasted for close to seven years. While my dance journey began gracias a mi padre—“You really need to know how … Continue reading Memoir Excerpt

Native Speakers

Recently, I have had several questions about native (and heritage) speakers and how to improve their reading and writing skills in the target language. In list form, here are a few ideas: Doblajes, o covers en inglés. … Continue reading Native Speakers

Museum Exhibits

*To see the digital collection and your child’s work, please visit THIS LINK. Students in Lower School have been working for the past few weeks on creating a Spanish museum with a wide variety of science, … Continue reading Museum Exhibits

Language Challenge

Week #1: The Challenge This year, students in grades 3-5 have been using the language-learning app Duolingo to supplement their Spanish study. I want to lead by example, and therefore have chosen German to study alongside my … Continue reading Language Challenge

Country Presentations

Today, kindergarteners and third graders had a special presentation about Mexico [from Regina and Isabella’s mom and grandmother]. In it, students learned that the Aztecs were warriors, or guerreros, who needed to eat very good food to … Continue reading Country Presentations

Food for Thought

LANGUAGE-LEARNING IS HARD- TRUE OR FALSE?: We live in an ‘instant-gratification’ society these days. In a way, the time it takes to pronounce the word ‘instant’ is counterproductive to the actual definition of the word. … Continue reading Food for Thought

AP Spanish

“El ‘ahora’ que es ahora, ese momento, nunca ha existido antes, desde que el mundo fue creado. Y ese momento no existirá ya nunca más. Antes había otro ‘ahora’ y más tarde habrá otro ‘ahora,’ … Continue reading AP Spanish