Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Reader Appreciation Bundle....Thank You All!

Thank you to everyone for the generous support of my blog. I have the best readers! As in nEARLY celebration of Dia de los Muertos & as a way of saying "Thanks" I am offering my Nice to Meet You Unit for $6.99

In the past, I priced it at $18.99 and had it on sale at $15.99. Feel free to check out the video to see what all is included :) 

Thank you all again. 

Here is the link to the Mega Bundle:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I'm changing my classroom...

Well, I'm ditching the desks! Yep, getting rid of them. My mentor teacher at school has turned her room into a cafe, a little coffee shop and of course I  was salivating at the mouth. I love the comfortable, no pressure modern-day, interactive atmosphere. I love how the students feel like they are older, more sophisticated, able to socialize, and able to interact at their finger tips. 

I literally walked out after being in her class and said yep, I'm next. I have literally been playing the role of vulture in every goodwill & flea market in the central KY area. 

I have a rule: no more than $5 per seat. So if I buy a small table for $10 that will fit 3 people, $45 for one comfy chair...nope, not worth it! 

Stay tuned...I really want to show you all what I have so far, BUT I'll wait for the FINAL product :) 

God Bless,

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Extra Infinitive Practice

If you saw my previous post, I have fully completed the Extra Infinitive Practice Packet. I will be using this for my "advanced learners" to push them a little more in levels of Spanish 1 & 2. Once I feel like they have mastered this set of infinitives, I will be teaching them a few more. 

My goal is that by the time my kids get to Spanish 3, my kids know a HUGE VARIETY of Spanish infinitives AND can recognize them in different conjugated forms. This will save lots of time in advanced levels! 

Here is the link if you all are interested in using my own:

Also, here is the link to my quizlet which has all the extra Infinitive Practice:

Let's Teach Them Some Verbs!!!

Hoping to have it ready by 10:00 pm tonight, est! Let's get these advanced learners rolling on :) 

God Bless, 
Britt B.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Transition: Going from Teacher-Centered to Student-Centered

I'll admit...I am a leader, a do-er, and until these past few years I didn't think "teaching" included anything else but the teacher being in front "teaching" the class. 

Through some professional development, the teacher evaluations constantly changing, and observation: I am starting to see a NEW way of learning. I'm starting to realize: I need to STEP BACK! I need to trust my kids! I need to let them learn on their own! That doesn't mean Mrs. Baxter's taking "15" but rather even the Master has to sit back and watch his apprentice "do".  

I love my job and I love teaching, and I also love holding my kids' hands a bit too much! (Guilty) I want them to know I am always right there and "WE" can do it together, but I am starting to see that sometimes you have to let them DO! (And I'm not talking about the worksheet you gave them, the quiz you designed, or the project we just went over but actually let them discover)! 

I am right now in the transition mode of taking my traditional techniques of teaching and turning them into student-led practices. You just can't expect to shut the door, say "We're learning Reflexive Verbs today" and expect them to teach themselves BUT after displaying the content, I am learning it's okay to let them explore. 

I read an article:

(Love this article by the way) 

This article basically talks about how Kindergarten is full of exploration and discovery, I love his comparison to how the kids move like well-oiled machines from one center to the next. 

But think about it? Why are we running our classrooms differently in high school? Is there no time for exploration and discovery? Is it too hard to fit our content knowledge into this style of learning? 

I, myself, am asking these questions because I want to take my kids BACK to exploration and discovery. I want them to have the learning at their finger-tips, and I want to know as a teacher "What can I do to make this happen?" 

Here are some of my tips I am learning to transition my classroom into a student-centered classroom: 

1. You have to give choices to the students. 

2. Don't be scared of technology. 

3. The kids MUST work together. Pick strong leaders from the beginning. 

4. If a kid is sitting (without moving, doing, talking) for more than 5 minutes...too much of the attention is on YOU! Time to make "THEM" do something! 

5. It will get a little crazy at times, but they are still learning. 

6. Make use of EVERY minute!

7. Assign chores, roles, procedures the kids can follow day by day. 

8. Make sure there is always accountability for each student. 

So these are just a few...and I am learning a few more here and there. 

Hope you enjoyed today's post. 

How is your classroom? How do the kids learn? Any tips, advice, concerns, questions to share? 

God Bless & Happy Teaching,
Brittany B. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Something New I'm Using Which Is SOOOOO Exciting!

Hey guys! So I am so excited to talk about something new I learned at KWLA, and I'm so excited that I had to share! I went to a session called "Movie Talk" At first, I was really hesitant to check this session out because I don't like showing movies, but this is not about showing movies at all. This was about using "short clips of movies" as a tool for teaching Spanish.

Our kids are living in a technological world where they use video games, movies, shows, the internet, and apps to learn. Sadly, if we don't use these devices in our classroom...everything else seems "foreign" to our kids and outdated.

One thing for me is I don't teach advanced level Spanish until mid-year and I often catch myself saying "There is only SO much you can do with Spanish 1 and 2." Well, I'm so glad I went to this session because it showed me that, yes, Spanish 1 and 2 can go outside the box.

So first things first:
1. I did not invent Movie Talk.
2. Not everybody DOES Movie Talk the exact way.
3. You can use ANY clip you want - Pixar & Disney are great. You can use commercials, music videos, etc.
4. The clip does NOT have to be in the language you're teaching. Often times they are in English. The example I am using is in English.

So, I was so excited to do this...I started getting all my stuff together immediately. I found a clip from a movie called Monster House, it's actually the movie trailer on youtube and it's about 2:34. First of all, I had not SEEN the movie but after watching the clip 50 times developing my Movie Talk, I rented it that weekend on Amazon Prime! :) Yes, it was awesome!

Side note: Your kids do not HAVE to see the movie to be able to do the Movie Talk but they will probably want to go home & watch it afterwards!

Okay, so how do you begin:
1. Pick any clip & watch it (2 to 5 minutes)
2. I jotted down stuff I thought that was important and I could "Connect to Spanish"
3. Pick out the vocabulary you want to teach. Side note: You can't teach EVERYTHING. Movie Talk experts actually recommend only teaching 3 to 5 highly-used structures. (I know that is hard for us---they must learn EVERYTHING!!!) With the first one I did, I admit I did WAY too much but it went awesome AND my kids are STILL using the vocabulary!
4. Develop your Movie Talk Guide.

Okay, so I'm not saying you HAVE TO BUY mine BUT I did already do one and if you are interested, I have it for a hot price, already completed, ready to go next school day for $3.99 on TPT.

Here is my TPT Movie Talk Link for Monster House:

Okay, so here's what I did...Vocabulary Group #1 this is BASIC BASIC vocabulary. You have the freedom to do this ANY way you want: Partners, as a class, individuals, make them write on flashcards if they don't know it, random call out, whatever you want to do to get "them" to get that basic vocabulary. Okay, they got it.

Next, on my guide is the question words...they MUST know their questions words because you're going to be saying them A LOT: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, & HOW (but in Spanish).

The next part is predictions: I love this...I wrote a few questions (all in Spanish - language THEY know) and they have to pick A, B, or C of what THEY think the answer is. I show them about 10 seconds of the clip, the front cover which I googled, and they answer. See, already using Spanish.

I then included a few vocabulary exercises & some grammar lessons. How you teach the vocabulary, grammar, etc. is totally up to you. You can just easily go over it or go into a greater depth...your choice.

I personally show the clip right now! :) I am ALWAYS going to show it again but right here is where they need to see it.

After, they answer questions that specifically have to do WITH the movie and all this is in Spanish. They also have some quotes that they will put in Spanish. They really loved these! At the end, we had 2 minutes and I let some of my goofballs act them out now that they knew the Spanish!

At the very end, there are some practice activities that deal with the learned grammar.

Also, something I did is that we went through each little section and I told them the Spanish "el chico tiene miedo porque la casa es muy vieja y rara." I called out to them "What does that mean?"

I'm an awesome listening activity!

Here is the link to the youtube clip I used:

Please let me know if you have any questions. I am by no means a Movie Talk expert, but I am learning and really really like how my students responded. Feel free to create your own or try mine out. 

God Bless Everyone,
Brittany B.