Back to Spanish Class: 5 Back-to-School Purchases that I LOVE

August 29, 2017 admin
5 Back-to-School
Purchases that I LOVE
Hi everyone!  I am so happy to introduce our guest blogger for this week!  Laura Lee from
Señora Lee – for the LOVE of Spanish is a good friend and fellow Spanish teacher author She has taught Spanish at the
elementary and middle school levels for over 18 years and is a wealth of information regarding fun and engaging resources for the classroom.   I know you are going to love her ideas!  Enjoy!


¡Hola! I am Laura and my favorite part of back-to-school
is the shopping! I love receiving a big check from the school district to
purchase the best resources for my classes. The resources I’m suggesting today
have been favorites of my middle school / Spanish 1 classes.
 A Señor Wooly Subscription. This has been number one on my wish
list for many years, and it is worth every penny and more!  $35 gives you access to all of Sr. Wooly’s
hilarious and captivating videos. Students and teachers absolutely LOVE them.  
My favorite video to begin the school year is “¿Puedo ir al baño?  I’m pretty sure my students know every single line.  After one showing,
they want to watch it again…and again. Which is ok because
I can never get enough! No one will ever ask, “Can I go to the
bathroom?” in English again. 
Sr. Wooly has videos to go along with almost every
unit. When teaching about descriptive adjectives and “ser,” sing along to
“Guapo.” (It is hard
not to sing
along!) Watch “No Voy a Levantarme” when teaching the use of “ir + a +
infinitive” and daily routines. You’ll love the surprise ending! Teach the
structure “tener + que + infinitive” with “Los Quehaceres.” All videos use high
frequency vocabulary and have a lot of repetition. They are easy to understand
and come with the option of Spanish or English subtitles.


Sr. Wooly’s
videos make students want to learn and practice Spanish inside and outside of
class. I will never forget one Monday morning when three of my 8
grade Spanish 1 students excitedly came into class. They told me they had
practiced a Sr. Wooly skit (“Es una Ganga”) all weekend long and wanted to
perform it in front of the class. Wow! Imagine, students volunteering to do an
unassigned presentation. If you want your students to be excited about learning
and fully engaged, this is one of my favorite ways to MAKE LEARNING FUN. And
your students will
love you for
it.  [If you are a 1:1 school you will
want the Pro account for access to the entire curriculum. Read
Allison’s post for more information! 


Quizlet – Teacher Account.  Another must-have resource that
everyone loves is Quizlet. This fantastic app is free! And, in case you have not heard, Quizlet Live is about the
best collaborative game ever! (For more on Quizlet Live, read Spanish with Sra. Shaw’s post.) 
If you are a
1:1 school, have more than 8 classes and love data, you will want the $35 upgrade!
You can track student activity – exactly how and when students practice. You’ll
find data to answer these important questions: Are students challenging
themselves with more rigorous activities? How frequently do they review? Which
terms are the biggest struggle for them?
I assign
specific activities for students to complete each week. It is a great setup.
Most students have the app downloaded to their phones and can practice any
time. In class, students use Chromebooks. As a teacher, you can see exactly
where students are struggling (for example, most commonly missed vocabulary
words) and gauge student progress. You are also able to quickly see who has (or
has not) studied.


As a teacher,
you can see the high scores and use that data to bring out the competitive
spirit in everyone. The high scores from previous years still remain, and current
students continue to compete against past years’ top scores. Other perks
include being able to upload your own images and record your voice to each
flashcard. These features help you to create the very best sets full of
engaging content – personalized with your own voice! I LOVE QUIZLET.
[Compatible with Google Classroom!] 


Cultural Videos from Teacher’s Discovery by Moo!  Out of all the videos I have ever
purchased, these are my favorites for integrating culture into the classroom.
Students watch authentic footage filmed on
location in Spanish-speaking countries that feature a dialog between a native
speaker and an American student. They experience the rich traditions of Día de
Los Muertos, Las Posadas and Cinco de Mayo through an engaging, thought-provoking
video. Students think about the meaning behind their own holiday traditions,
which sets the stage for a thoughtful discussion. Watching these videos is like
taking a mini field trip. It really brings the culture to life to watch actual
interactions with native speakers, learn about the customs, and get introduced
to the food. The Day of the Dead video was filmed live in Oaxaca and is
completely unrehearsed. The interactions are real. Students relate to it and
are engaged the entire time. No wonder it received an Emmy Award! 


My favorite
videos include the holiday videos listed above, The Culture of Mexican Food, Ordering
and Weekend in Mexico. Each
video is about 25 minutes long and packed with rich content. They vary in price
between $27 & $33 each and are available for instant download. To read more
about the Las Posadas video,
read my blog post
Novels. I was very fortunate to have the district purchase
a set of novels for our classroom. I chose Agentes Secretos y El Mural de Picasso  by Mira Canion. This is an excellent
first novel for beginning Spanish. It is a mystery and is set in 1937 during
the Spanish Civil War. The story is intriguing and the language is
comprehensible. Students learn vocabulary naturally while they read, through
the use of cognates and use of consistent language. 


I love that the novel
incorporates art, history and culture into the storyline. Students are
introduced to Picasso’s masterpiece
and are naturally curious about its significance. My students develop confidence
as they read aloud, are able to understand each chapter and are fully engaged. (Especially
the boys!) This is a great reader to add to your collection.
To learn more
about using novels in the classroom and how to get funding for a class set,
read Allison’s post from Mis Clases Locas. 
Resources from Teachers Pay Teachers. Teachers Pay Teachers is the largest
online marketplace for teachers. It has over 2.7 million resources created by
teachers for teachers. Over 93,000 of those resources are for Spanish alone.
And almost 10,000 of those are FREE!   I
first discovered TpT in 2014. They had current and engaging resources that I
could download in an instant at an affordable price. My students benefitted from
the creativity and expertise of a variety of Spanish teachers with many years
of experience. 
I found comprehensive resources that taught culture in the
target language.  
The site also had cooperative learning activities that built
community in my classroom. The reading assignments were interesting and
meaningful. The games brought excitement to my lessons. 
Teachers Pay Teachers
is the only place where I buy resources now for my students. I wish I had found
out about TpT ten years ago. It would have saved me so much planning time and
would have really enriched the curriculum! Talk to your school administrators
about the resources available on TpT.


What purchases
are on your back-to-school wish list? 




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