On a bit of a whim, Alina Filipescu and her family decided to come see Alaska and stay with me! It has been more fun than I can possibly describe to spend time with her and her husband and watch her girls play with our kids and our neighbors. If a house on our street ever comes up for sale, we will be trying our darnedest to get them to move up here 😉 Not likely, since they live in Southern CA. Ha!
With Alina here, we have had lots of time to talk about what we do in class. We’ve had some great conversations about Volleyball Translation (Blaine adopted it after observing Alina use it; she had adapted/expanded it from a Betsy Paskvan activity, I have written about my mixed feelings on it before, and there are several benefits to it that I had formerly overlooked–still not sure where I stand, so it’s a good thing that I reserve the right to be wrong about anything that I write!!). We’ve talked about our favorite novels and what we like to do with them, and mostly I have just been in awe of her humility, grace, and deep thinking about the things that she does in class and as a trainer.
One morning, we were talking about the beloved character Brandon Brown and, in particular, his shenanigans from Brandon Brown quiere un perro. Alina was sharing some personal stories that she tells to her students to personalize the reading, and I gasped. “OH MY WORD!”, I exclaimed, “I HAVE THE PERFECT STORY!”
(Side note–an even easier-to-read Brandon Brown novel came out a few months ago, Brandon Brown dice la verdad, and it’s fantastic!)
A few days prior, I had read about the “Poopappening”, or the “Poopacalypse” on Facebook when a friend shared the story, of course accompanied by the laughing till you’re crying emoticon. It’s a terrifying tale of woe that involves dog poop and a Roomba®, a robotic vacuum cleaner that runs where it is programmed to run whether there is poop on the path or not. You can probably imagine what transpired!
At first, I planned to write up the story to match the vocabulary level of Brandon Brown quiere un perro, but I later decided that I would make it more challenging so that it could be used as-is as an ‘advanced’ reading for teachers that want to use Brandon Brown in a multi-level class or a class with some native speakers that have a broader vocabulary and need a bit of a challenge. You can also just print it out, laminate it or put it in a 3-pronged report cover, and pop it in your class library as an FVR option. If you don’t have the money to purchase books for your library, fill it with free readings that you find online! It’s a start. You can find many in my TpT store (sort by price, then you’ll have to sort through the almost 100 free products to find the readings), and Bryce Hedstrom has a ton of excellent ones on the Free Stuff page on his website.
So here you go…Popocalipsis, as I call it in Spanish! Hope you enjoy cringing as you read it as much as I did!
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