Many Spanish teachers will soon begin learning about Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and its related celebrations throughout América Latina. One hard part about this time of year is navigating conversations with caretakers who aren’t sure that they want their children to participate in lessons about Día de Muertos or any other celebration,…Read More
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Stick with what works in the classroom!
Yesterday was Earth Day 2020, and I celebrated with a romp through the woods and a spontaneous interview with Elicia Cárdenas during our #SOMOSathome launch party. The three big questions were: What have you REDUCED in your teaching in recent years? What activities do you REUSE over and over again? How do you RECYCLE content…Read More
I’ve got a new Spanish class!
I’m back to teaching…not in a classroom, and not with adolescents. And not with 35 students. Buuuuuut…. For the first time in five years, I have students that I get to call my very own <3 <3 My friend Adriana over at Vermont Commons posted that one of the parents at their school was looking…Read More
What is Proficiency Oriented Language Instruction?
As language teachers, our goal for our students is to be more proficient in the target language when they complete our course than when they began. We probably have other goals for our students (being more kind, more empathetic, more responsible, more culturally aware), but all of these objectives fit into the overarching mission of…Read More
Parent letter for proficiency oriented language classes
Here is a really brief, one-page overview that SOMOS/Nous sommes teachers can share with parents of their students about what to expect from the class. Click here or on the image below to download. What key information do you think is missing? What do you think is important to share with parents?Read More
10 ways to talk with your students about their weekend
When I first ditched the textbook, Weekend Chats was one of the very first routines that I learned about and started using in class. I was introduced to it by Michele Whaley, and I remember reading about it on Ben Slavic’s blog soon thereafter. I used Ben’s idea of having students illustrate posters of places…Read More
Best Brain Breaks
Reading and listening are the core components of comprehension based language classes. We know that students acquire language when they hear and read messages that they understand–so read and listen they will! Sometimes, we share short, easily digestible texts with students. Other times, we need to read a text of a significant length in order…Read More
Peace begins with you – PPT for Spanish classes
Tonight, I am sad for my country. The events that transpired this past weekend in Charlottesville are not unique. As language teachers, we are about communication. We are about comprehension. We are about connection. We are about community. Let’s also be about change. I’ve been reading a lot of posts about what teachers are doing…Read More
SOMOS Curriculum: Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you are planning to use the SOMOS 1 or 2 Spanish curriculum for the first time this fall or have been working with it for several years already, I hope that this post will answer most of the ‘big’ questions that you have as you are planning for the upcoming school year. For everything…Read More
What to teach in Spanish 1 and 2?
I taught Spanish 1 and 2 for 3 years after switching to TCI, and here is what I ended up creating–keep in mind that this is just what I did, and even if you are using my curriculum, you are free to do it differently than I did! Use the curriculum maps provided below to determine what…Read More