November 2014 - Island Teacher

Vocabulary Pictures Activity Idea

While my amigos y familia in the US celebrated Thanksgiving this past week, I carried on with school as usual. It was a good week though! We've had cooler than usual weather...75 degrees, lol...for the past few days. My mom is visiting from Georgia, so while she's been lounging in tank tops and shorts, I've preferred jeans and cardigans. :)

This week in la clase de español, students used their current vocabulary list (-AR verbs), and created a picture or graphic. The only requirement was that they had to include all of their words somewhere within the picture. Here's one that really represents the island!


Teaching Tips for the Verb Gustar

Today I wanted to fill you in on how I teach the verb GUSTAR but, first, a real life message. ;) 
Teaching Tips for the Spanish Verb Gustar

I feel like I've reached THAT point. You know the point I'm talking about, right? The one where you're just trying to make it until the next break? For me that next break is Christmas (4 weeks and counting!). I'm sure I'm not alone in my feelings because it seems the same thoughts are shared often in the staff room at break and lunch each day. I think this is combined with the fact that this upcoming week is just a normal week. I'll go to work this Thursday (Thanksgiving) and teach on just like an average day. While it has gotten easier since this is our third Thanksgiving in Grand Cayman, it's still tough because, as an American, Thanksgiving is BIG. It's difficult not to be surrounded by lots of family on this day. We have amazing friends though and still put on a big get together with the traditional meal. This year, our friends that are hosting are even DVRing the Macy's parade, so we can all watch as we eat our Thanksgiving dinner after work on Thursday. :)


Engaging young language learners

As I've mentioned before, I'm currently teaching at a private school where I teach quite a wide range of classes including several elementary Spanish classes. Even though I did spend my first 2 years out of college teaching elementary school Spanish, I spent the next 7 years teaching high school Spanish. I definitely considered older students to be more in my "comfort" zone if that makes sense?? At my current school I do a bit of switching back and forth between grade levels and now that I am also mom to a 1st grader, I've really enjoyed getting to work with these younger language learners again. In my opinion, one of the cool things about teaching a second language is the ability to use similar ideas across grade levels especially in the beginning levels of language learning. Singing, movement, role playing, basic reading books in the target language, culture crafts, etc. could all fit with a 2nd grade class, as well as a 9th grade class!

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