Tuesday, August 6, 2013

They Did It!!!!

Okay, so I am going to try to not let my excitement take off on me! As most of my readers have figured out...I teach Spanish 1, Spanish 3 (our school does not have a Spanish 4) and AP Spanish. Teaching upper level has been a journey as well as a challenge. Every year I get to fight the battle of my students close to forgetting every lick of Spanish I have taught them and then of course....I have to get them ready for one of the most difficult exams to ever walk the earth...the AP Spanish Exam...yikes!!!

After years of first day disappointments that my "UPPER LEVEL ADVANCED" kids forgot how to conjugate a freaking present tense verb...I knew something had to change. Sooo....last May I introduced the lovely "SUMMER HOMEWORK". It was a little shocking at first and I'm sure I probably ticked off a few kids but my thought was...you want to learn Spanish bad enough...you want to take AP bad enough...you'll do it.....and.....they did! I still have a few stragglers that need to turn in their assignments and they have until Friday with a small late grade attached but wow, look at those completed books, papers, etc!

So...I decided to share my assignment since it turned out to be pretty darn successful! 

First, every AP student (no matter what subject) needs to be familiar with the college board website and familiar with the class they are going to take and the exam that is attached to it. Now, I know we preach we are educators, not "exam prep instructors" BUT in this case...they have to know what is sitting at the end of that very dark and challenging tunnel.

First assignment....easy easy....get on the site, look around, read about YOUR class, YOUR test, and then send me an email and tell me what you think. What are you scared of? What are you confident in? What do you need me to do this year? What can you do to prepare? At least two paragraphs and bam, you just completed your first "summer homework" 

SUCCESS...I was ALREADY getting emails by the first week of break...chu-ching! 

Second, 10 hours of  logged Spanish work....2 for writing, 2 for reading, 2 for speaking, 2 for listening, and 2 for grammar work. 

 I said...for writing...journal, make a blog, write letters, text, etc.

 I said for reading...read a novel, read twitter stuff in SPANISH, read texts, read CNN Espanol, etc. 

I said for speaking...visit little mexico communities (and we have them where I'm at), visit the Mexican restaurant and order a 1.50 taco if you're broke but talk to the employees, use a friend in our class to chat, visit groups of people that will just speak Spanish...

for listening...everything in reverse with speaking...

and grammar...get online, buy an AP prep book to work in, download a Spanish practice APP on your 500.00 iphone. 

They had to bring in their writings, provide proof of their speaking/listening, and bring me proof (written) of their grammar practice.


If anyone is interested in copies of my AP summer work...please send me a message and I would be happy to share my assignment with my readers as a "thank you" of support! :) 

You guys excited about going back?! Let's make it a great and fun year! 

God Bless,
Brittany B. 


  1. i just found your blog, and it is interesting the way you made summer homework. this will be my first year teaching spanish, and i would like to know how do you start a class where no one speaks spanish? thanks.

  2. Hey Melba. First, thanks for visiting my blog. :) I highly appreciate it. Second, I think you have to take into consideration what level you are teaching...if it's Spanish 3...They "should" be able to speak a little. If it's level 1...then that's totally understandable. I just posted a new post tonight called "The Challenged of Teaching Advanced Levels" and I highly recommend reading it. If you can't do the full-out plan, I would start off small. I am getting ready to post a new one called "Get off your butt and talk" :)

  3. Wow! I just found your blog. I can totally relate! My school is also trying to do Spanish 1-3 then AP. I gave summer work for the first time this year... 7 mini immersion a with a diary entry for each emailed in... What did you do? What did you learn? What do you need to work on? Five new words you learned?... Simple. They had to send two by the end of June, three by the end of July, two more before school started. It was a good way to weed out the ones who weren't serious. I LOVE the idea of having them get on the college board site! I am gonna do that next week!

  4. I would love a copy of your summer work. That is pretty easy and it gets them thinking about next year without it being overwhelming. Great job!

    My email is yesenia.barajas @ ectorcountyisd.org

  5. this is so awesome! Could you please send me a copy? my email is sayama.mandy.m@muscogee.k12.ga.us

  6. ¡Super bien! Me gustan las ideas.
    Mi E-mail es profesoraluft@yahoo.com
    Me encantaría recibir fotocopias electrónicas de los planes de trabajo del verano.
    Mil gracias,

  7. Love it! I would love to incorporate a summer assignment for those taking my AP course next year! Could you please send me a copy? My email is grayr@gobearsgo.net

    Thank you so much for sharing!