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New Spanish materials for a new year

January 17, 2017

Now that all teachers (all?) have at least one week of school under their belts in 2017, you are probably feeling that mixture of excitement and dread as you are still full of thrilling ideas that you hoarded over break yet all-too-aware of the months that loom ahead of you.

Here are a few new things from me to throw into the mix!

I haven't been able to produce much new content this school year because I am drowning in news summaries (and obsessed with BreakoutEDU, both on the Spanish and the toddler fronts ;-)), so let me start by announcing that the subscription to EL MUNDO EN TUS MANOS for the 2017-2018 school year is ready for pre-order! After polling the SOMOS Curriculum Collaboration group, I decided to reduce the frequency of the publication to bi-weekly. Therefore, I am selling one subscription that will last the entire school year (this school year, you had to purchase one subscription for the fall and one for the spring). Subscribers will receive a new issue with 5 news stories once every two weeks. Click on the image to view the product details, including dates of publication. I am hoping that even with another baby to care for and jumping into homeschooling with my 5 year old, a biweekly subscription will allow me more time to work on all of the projects I have sidelined this last year. A girl can dream, ya?

Next up is one of my favorite songs from recent years! We have a new and amazing babysitter named Sophia who happens to be a sophomore in a Spanish immersion program. Imagine my horror when she said that she was not familiar with the song "Sofía" by Álvaro Solar!

Click on image to access activities and readings

I immediately sat down to write extensive lesson plans for her to share with her Spanish teacher so that she can get all of her immersion buddies to serenade her in the halls of her high school. What other option did I have??? The end result is the kind of song activity that I am really proud to put my name on. I wrote a back story for the song that uses some of the important vocabulary from the lyrics, embedding them in language that students [most likely] have already acquired. I also wrote a biography for Solar in Spanish and created a few activities that students can do with the song lyrics. I love using music in class, and it is important to me that I find ways to make song lyrics comprehensible to students so that they know what the heck they are singing about! It doesn't always happen, but when it does...I'm a happy Martina :) Hope you love this too! Click here or on the image to view the product.

Click on image to access activities and readings

I threw together a new set of logic puzzles last week after a day that I felt like my brain needed some exercise. I LOVE LOGIC PUZZLES--I have since middle school--and I would have devoured them as a Spanish student!! The new set uses the verbs 'tiene', 'puede', and 'es de', as well as 'hombre' and 'mujer'. High frequency structures, baby! The puzzles themselves are fairly easy to solve (if you are familiar with logic puzzles, anyway), and the clues are easy to read because there is lots of repetition. I typically use these as Fast Finisher activities, although they also make great fillers for Emergency Sub Plans or homework/absence/ISS assignments when needed.

Click on image to access plans about the idiomatic expression

This set of readings was born out of a need to find alternate content for one of my Spanish 1 curriculum teachers for teachers that teach in ultra-conservative schools. After months of communication with the most patient teacher ever, and promises to for sure have plans to her next week...the week after...definitely by the end of the month...I finally did it! Whew! And just in time for her to use them. I found out about this expression by a google search. I needed to use the structures 'llora', 'tiene hambre', 'come', and 'está triste', so I started googling them in pairs. When I googled "llora" and "come", a link to an article about the history behind the idiomatic expression 'lágrimas de cocodrilo' popped up--perfect! It is an expression that means 'fake tears'; you know, like when your kid starts crying to escape the consequence for something that they don't regret in the least. TRICKSTER! One reading is a story and the second is explanatory. It goes along with Unit 10: Como agua para chocolate in the SOMOS 1 curriculum, and it would work well in mid-Spanish 1 and beyond in most classes regardless of curriculum used. Click here or on the image to check out the full product description.

Click on image to access reading about Fidel Castro

Finally, I created this slideshow reading about Fidel Castro soon after his death at the end of last year. I wrote two articles about him for the late fall issues of El Mundo en tus manos, but Cuba and Castro are such complex subjects that it is impossible to present an unbiased summary in a half-page news article. This slideshow is an attempt to examine Castro's life and works from both sides, trying to understand why to some people he is a hero and to others a villain. I hope to share a much more in-depth resource with you later this spring, one that I started working on with the formidable Mira Canion (whose novel El escape cubano is both easy to read and timely!), but like I said...I am drowning in news articles. We'll finish it someday! Click here or on the image to view the complete slideshow description.

And there you have it, folks! Not much to show for the last few months, but I do have four mostly happy kids, a sometimes clean house, an occasional date with my husband, and a daily appointment with a latte and my Bible that helps me to survive the inevitable three hours of total toddler meltdown that happen each day from about 3-6pm. Ugh, I need to go to bed!

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