2015 - Island Teacher

Maestros de Español...Fall/Winter Blog Hop


I'm so excited to be teaming up with some of my fellow Maestros de Español for a blog hop! We'll be sharing fall/winter tips and activities that you can use in your Spanish classes, doing some super awesome giveaways, and give info on a sale going on during our blog hop that you may want to check out!
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And we knew it wouldn't be forever...

Taking a time out from the "teacher posts" for more of a "life post". When I began blogging (although very rarely) almost 3 years ago, my blog was all about our upcoming move and settling in to a new life on an island in the Caribbean. 10 months ago, it transitioned into a Spanish teaching/life on an island blog. Well, now the time has come for yet another transition. 4 weeks from today, we board a plane to head back to the US on a new adventure. It's hard to even write about it. It makes it seem more real. While we knew that we wouldn't be here forever, it still doesn't make it any easier to leave. 

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Spanish Freebie Friday: 2 Interactive Resources!

¡Hola! Thanks for checking out Spanish Freebie Friday. I hope you'll stop by on Fridays to check out a new FREE resource that you may find useful in your classroom. I've dropped the ball on Spanish Freebie Fridays lately...there are some big changes going on for me (a whole other blog post for another day, ha!). I hope to continue the quest to cover a wide range of resources as I attempt to post a new freebie each Friday this year. I love discovering new, helpful, fun resources and I'll be sharing them with you! Additionally, from time to time I'll offer a Friday FLASH Freebie where I'll list an item in my store for FREE for a very limited time. You'll want to follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on any FLASH Freebies! You can follow my blog via email (sign up on the side bar) OR Bloglovin to remember to check back on Fridays.



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Hooray for Spring BREAK...and a SALE!

This past week I jetted off of Grand Cayman back "home" to Georgia for Spring Break. We actually get a week and a half off, so I went in to full-fledged relaxation mode last Wednesday at noon. Earlier in the week, before relaxation began, my elementary students had some fun reviewing colors and numbers with Color-by-Number Easter Eggs.




The big purpose of our trip was to see family, meet my twin nieces who were born in September and spend time with them and their big brother, B. Here are a few highlight pics. :) 






We built a campfire and made s'mores. 



We spent a day at a nearby ranch enjoying some train and pony rides and enjoying the awesome weather.



We visited with my 97 year old granddaddy. Doesn't he look great?!

Did I think much about school? Was I productively working on resources or lesson plans? No! And I'm glad! Sometimes we just need to take that mental break for ourselves and for our families. I'm happy to say that this was an accomplishment for me this Spring Break. To celebrate this happy, awesome, successful break, I'm throwing a Spring Break 15% off SALE in my store Friday and Saturday April 10th and 11th.


What about you? What did you do for your spring break?
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Tired of Traditional Note Taking? Try Flip Books!

Before I decided to take the interactive notebook plunge this school year, I began exploring the idea of spicing of note taking with flip books. I often hear heavy sighing when announcing "Saquen los cuadernos para tomar apuntes", so it's good to change things up every now and then. The idea behind flip books for me is that students are able to create a more meaningful study tool while being more engaged with the learning experience. I have my students add their flip books to their interactive notebooks, but they can just as easily stand alone or be 3 hole punched to add to a binder. I created a template using PowerPoint which I now just edit each time I'm making a new flip book...it involved a bit of trial and error at first with printing, cutting, and stacking the pages, but now I'm good to go when a new idea pops in my head. 




You can pretty much create a flip book for any topic or theme. I like to use my grammar point flip books as a way for students to take notes, practice acquired info, and then use as a study tool when reviewing for an assessment. In the example above, students write in the meaning and conjugations of the given verb during the note taking time, they then write original sentences in Spanish using the verb and illustrate one of the sentences during the classwork practice time. The final page of the book is a conjugation practice page where students conjugate the given verb or choose between 2 verbs and conjugate. It takes the idea of a traditional worksheet and incorporates it into the flip book. This last page works well as a homework assignment. They then use these books to review for quizzes. So, there you have it...an all-in-one note taking, practice and study resource! Do you use flip books in your classrooms? I'd love to hear about it!

For more examples of Spanish Flip Books, click HERE.
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Spanish Freebie Friday: Imperfect Tense Task Cards

¡Hola! Thanks for checking out Spanish Freebie Friday. I hope you'll stop by every Friday to check out a new FREE resource that you may find useful in your classroom. I hope to cover a wide range of resources as I embark on this project to post a new freebie each Friday this year. I love discovering new, helpful, fun resources and I'll be sharing them with you! Additionally, from time to time I'll offer a Friday FLASH Freebie where I'll list an item in my store for FREE for a very limited time. You'll want to follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on any FLASH Freebies! You can follow my blog via email (sign up on the side bar) OR Bloglovin to remember to check back on Fridays.


This week's freebie comes from La Profe Plotts. She and I share I love of task cards! You can read more about using task cards in foreign language classes in this post. She's created a sample of imperfect tense task cards that would be perfect for a Spanish II or III class. You can check them out HERE.


                                       Imperfect Tense Task Cards FREE SAMPLE


Do you know of a freebie that you would like for me to consider sharing this year in Spanish Freebie Fridays? Feel free to send me a message! Have a fabulous weekend!
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Spanish Freebie Friday: Cartoon Listening Activity

¡Hola! Thanks for checking out Spanish Freebie Friday. I hope you'll stop by every Friday to check out a new FREE resource that you may find useful in your classroom. I hope to cover a wide range of resources as I embark on this project to post a new freebie each Friday this year. I love discovering new, helpful, fun resources and I'll be sharing them with you! Additionally, from time to time I'll offer a Friday FLASH Freebie where I'll list an item in my store for FREE for a very limited time. You'll want to follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on any FLASH Freebies! You can follow my blog via email (sign up on the side bar) OR Bloglovin to remember to check back on Fridays.



The freebie for this week comes from Spanish Sundries. I'm always on the lookout for listening activities and this looks like a fun one! You can check it out HERE



If you know of a freebie that should be considered for Spanish Freebie Fridays, feel free to send me a message! Have a great weekend!

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Encouraging Student Creativity with Spanish Interactive Notebooks

Since I began using interactive notebooks at the beginning of the school year, one thing that I have really enjoyed is seeing creativity shine in notebooks of my students. Several times I have created an activity to be used in a specific way in my mind, but, then, my students have managed to make it more interesting than I had anticipated. I love seeing this! Not only are they learning Spanish in a different way, BUT they are really "owning" their learning experiences by making their notebooks unique.



This past week we reviewed school supplies vocabulary. We viewed a PowerPoint with school supplies and students filled in a vocabulary list to add to one side of their notebooks. I had created an interactive notebook activity to go along with the topic. You can check that out in my store, HERE. My idea was for them to cut out and attach an entire pocket with a picture of a mochila to their notebooks and then add the school supplies. Here is what I came up with as an example before.



I decided that I wanted students to draw the school supplies on blank templates and add their pictures, along with the Spanish term, to their mochila pockets. That way, students could review by matching the words with pictures or play a memory game with a partner. I passed out the materials and students got to work. As I circulated back around, I noticed that one student had cut out the picture of just the mochila instead of the pocket. Because I harp on the importance of READING the directions on the templates before beginning to cut, I began to remind the student of this. He had a different plan in mind though, and told me that it would be ok! The result? He cut a slit in the top of his backpack (instead of using the entire pocket), and showed me how he could add all of the school supply inserts and create a more "realistic" mochila for his notebook page. Hmmm...maybe I should just hire my students to make my activities?


The point is that, even though this was a whole class activity, students were able to individualize their own notebook page however worked best for them. I LOVE it! I am inspired by and learn from them daily....for that I am thankful! Have your students taught you anything recently?

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Easy Meals for Busy Teachers!

Ok, so I'm definitely not a chef, nor am I cut out to be a food blogger, but, besides scouring Pinterest and other blogs for teaching ideas, I'm always on the lookout for a meal idea. The easier, the better... especially when it comes to weeknight meals.



Here's an idea that I got from a friend a long time ago. It is super easy AND fairly healthy, so that's a huge plus! I don't even know what it's called, so I'll call it Roasted Italian Sausage and Veggies. 

Ingredients:
Package of Italian Sausage (I like Johnsonville mild Italian sausage)
Potatoes/mushrooms/your favorite veggies
Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning

Cut the Italian sausage into small slices. It's easier to slice if it's partially frozen. Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes and veggies. Toss the sausage slices and veggies in a pan. Drizzle olive oil over everything. Add a generous amount of Italian seasoning. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. I sometimes turn the broiler on for about 3-5 minutes to help everything get a bit crispy at the end



You can throw everything together in one pan. Here I used sausage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, red, green and orange peppers, mushrooms, onions, broccoli and cauliflower. To save time, we have an awesome salad bar in our supermarket that has pre-chopped veggies, so I'll just load up a container with these.


How it all looks when it comes out of the oven! I love to serve it with crusty French bread. Best of all, you only have one pan to wash or add to the dishwasher. :)

Do you have a favorite easy meal to share? Snag the graphic at the top and link up with a blog post below!

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Spanish Freebie Friday: Song Cloze Activity

¡Hola! Thanks for checking out Spanish Freebie Friday. I hope you'll stop by every Friday to check out a new FREE resource that you may find useful in your classroom. I hope to cover a wide range of resources as I embark on this project to post a new freebie each Friday this year. I love discovering new, helpful, fun resources and I'll be sharing them with you! Additionally, from time to time I'll offer a Friday FLASH Freebie where I'll list an item in my store for FREE for a very limited time. You'll want to follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on any FLASH Freebies! You can follow my blog via email (sign up on the side bar) OR Bloglovin to remember to check back on Fridays.


This week's freebie comes from Spanish Plans. If you aren't familiar with his website, you can check that out HERE. His blog is a wealth of information. One of the things that I would like to do more often in class is incorporating Spanish pop songs. In this free resource, students complete a song cloze activity. It also includes several other ideas for classroom use of the song, "Agridulce".  You can download it on TpT HERE.



Do you know of a freebie that you would like for me to consider sharing this year in Spanish Freebie Fridays? Feel free to send me a message! Have a fabulous weekend!

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Structuring a 30 min World Language Class...ready, set, go!

As THE Spanish teacher at a small, private school, I teach a wide age range. I'm currently teaching Spanish to grades 2-10. I see my elementary classes for 30 minutes, one day a week. I sometimes feel like I'm spinning my wheels because we spend a lot of time recapping previous material and it often seems that we move at a slow pace with new material. I thought I'd share an example play by play of 30 minutes in one of my elementary Spanish classes!


Structuring a 30 minute world language class; tips and resources.



Min 1-2 Students enter, greet me at the door (Hola, Buenos días, etc) as they pass by to their seats. I have my students keep folders which they leave in my room. I may hand these out now or wait until later in the lesson depending on what we're doing.
Min 3-5 Oral Review Practice: This may be a Q&A ¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo te llamas?, etc. We may do a few quick rounds of "I Spy": "Yo veo algo (insert color)" to review colors or we may count around the room.
Min 6-9 Singing: Songs are a great way to teach and reinforce vocabulary. Calico Spanish Songs on YouTube are elementary geared and can be found in a variety of topics. I project these onto the SmartBoard and students sing along. I generally will choose a song or 2 over a topic we have covered or we may learn a new song to introduce a new topic.
Min 10-15 Direct Instruction: This past week we began going over La Familia vocabulary. I showed a PowerPoint on basic family words with graphics. Student practiced pronouncing the words and filled in a vocabulary sheet as we went through the slides. This sheet gets added to their folders.
Min 16-25 Activity/Game: This week, my lower elementary classes are making La Familia vocabulary books, so they began coloring their templates and adding the correct word to the pictures. My upper elementary classes began a family tree diagram from my Mi Familia de Superhéroes set.



While I created this packet for my secondary students, I've found that, with slight adapting, I can use it with my 4th graders on up. They write the appropriate label on each family member and assign a name to each character. Next class, we'll use the diagrams to do some basic oral practice. ¿Cómo se llama la madre? ¿Cómo se llama la hermana? etc.
Min 26-30 Clean up, collect folders, vocabulary recap, final song, line up, back to class....BREATHE! :) 

Do you have short language classes? I would love to hear how you structure these! 
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Spanish Freebie Friday: La Maestra Dice Game!

¡Hola! Thanks for checking out Spanish Freebie Friday. I hope you'll stop by every Friday to check out a new FREE resource that you may find useful in your classroom. I hope to cover a wide range of resources as I embark on this project to post a new freebie each Friday this year. I love discovering new, helpful, fun resources and I'll be sharing them with you! Additionally, from time to time I'll offer a Friday FLASH Freebie where I'll list an item in my store for FREE for a very limited time. You'll want to follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on any FLASH Freebies! You can follow my blog via email (sign up on the side bar) OR Bloglovin to remember to check back on Fridays.



This week's freebie comes from I Speak Your Language. It's a game to practice Spanish -ER and -IR verbs along with a conjugation worksheet. Students will practice filling in sentences, trying to make their sentence match with the sentence written by the teacher. Check it out HERE
Spanish  -ER/IR Verb Game - La Maestra dice
Do you know of a freebie that you would like for me to consider sharing this year in Spanish Freebie Fridays? Feel free to send me a message! Have a fabulous weekend!
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4 ways to get your students back after the holidays! :)

So it's back to school on Monday for me...I'm imagining it is for many of you as well. It seems that something happens to students over these breaks. I'm going to go ahead and predict it now that I will have students who walk in this week who will appear to have forgotten everything about Spanish that they've been taught....EVER! Does this happen to you too? You're in such a groove with a couple of tiresome weeks heading into the winter break, but you feel like your students are making progress and then...WHAT?! I get a blank stare when asking a simple question. Here are 3 things (plus an extra to think about in the future) that I'm doing this week to get my Spanish superstars back! ;)



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Spanish Freebie Friday: Numbers Task Card Set

¡Hola! Thanks for stopping by the first edition of Spanish Freebie Friday. I hope you'll stop by every Friday to check out a new FREE resource that I like that you may find useful in your classroom. I hope to cover a wide range of resources as I embark on this project to post a new freebie each Friday this year. I love discovering new, helpful, fun resources and I'll be sharing them with you! Additionally, from time to time I'll offer a Friday FLASH Freebie where I'll list an item in my store for FREE for a very limited time. You'll want to follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on any FLASH Freebies! You can follow my blog via email (sign up on the side bar) OR Bloglovin to remember to check back on Fridays.



This week I'm going to direct you back to an old post on using task cards in world language classes. If you haven't used task cards before, it should help to give you some ideas of how you may want to implement them in your classroom. My students really enjoy them and it's a nice change of pace. Here's a Task Card freebie to help students practice writing or speaking big numbers in Spanish! 


Do you have a freebie that you would like for me to consider sharing this year in Spanish Freebie Fridays? Feel free to send me a message! Have a fabulous weekend!

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