Category Archives: Teaching Tips

Mad Libs en Español

I’m always looking for creative ways to get my students using the material we have been learning and practicing in class. One of the ways I have tried and liked is to create a mad libs activity for them.

I created this activity for my Spanish 1 students who were practicing the following concepts:
-sequencing words
-adjective/noun agreement

Here’s what my students filled out on the front:


Here’s what the story looked like once they plugged in their answers from the front:


I heard lots of giggles and laughs when they were reading how their stories turned out. I let my students work in pairs, but the one or two kids who preferred to work alone did just fine by themselves.

In the attached file, you will find two different stories. I did this to just add some variety to what they were writing.


Mad Libs




I find that each year I teach interrogatives I try to find new activities to help practice this difficult concept.

Here’s a new one I used this year:


I had students grab a notecard. On their notecard, they had to create an original question using an interrogative we’ve been practicing. They also had to draw a quick illustration of that question. Then, I had them tape their card outside of my room next to the interrogative word they chose to use in their question.

Here’s an oldie but a goodie:


This is a fun way to help kids remember the interrogatives. It’s sung to the tune of Jingle Bells. (Ignore the colors; I teach interrogatives in two chunks)


Frida Kahlo

This chapter, my students are learning about Mexico. One of the topics we discuss is Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican artist. This year I did what I did last year, which was to come to class dressed up as Frida. I told my classes about “my” life and art, and I even managed to stay in character the entire class. After learning about “my” life as an artist, we painted.

In preparation for this day, I went in search of age appropriate videos or activities to share with the kids in Spanish. During my search, I came across two really great resources:

  1. Zamba: Excursión al Museo de Bellas Artes
    1. This was a cute video which nicely explains Frida in just under 4 minutes.
  2. La Casa de Frida
    1. This was a great, interactive website, in Spanish, that allows students to investigate into Frida’s house, La Casa Azul.


New Ideas for the New Year (2015)

Last year, I posted about a few new things I used in class for the 2014-2015 year. You can see those ideas here. My favorite of those new ideas I implemented last year was the entiendo/no entiendo chart. I really LOVED being able to get a quick glance of how the kids felt after class was over, and they really easily got into routine and would even move their magnets when they had a sub. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

Here’s what’s new for me this year:

  1. New room = new wall

For this school year I moved into a new room. The only bad thing about that new room is that it doesn’t have windows. Every time I would walk into the room, all I saw was dull, blah colors. I was trying to ponder ways to bring some life and creativity to the room, and one of the solutions I came up with was to paint windows on the back wall. After getting administration’s approval, I worked with the art teacher to recruit some of my kids/her art students to volunteer to come in and paint something for me. I thought that painting windows would be a creative fix, but I left what was actually painted up to the students themselves. I am really impressed with how everything turned out.

Original window-less wall

Original window-less wall

The outline of where the windows will be painted.

The outline of where the windows will be painted.

Squares with primer.

Squares with primer.

Left "window"

Left “window”

Right "window"

Right “window”


2. “I see Spanish” wall. 

As part of my students’ homework for week 1, I asked them to bring in a label/instructions/sign that they found around their house that is written in Spanish. Since it’s only day two and not all students have turned in their homework yet, the picture below just reflects a few items. I will update in a week or two with another picture.

I See Spanish

I See Spanish


Fun with Verbs

Fun with Verbs! It’s not often that I can say that with a straight face, but in this case, my students really are having fun with verbs. Last chapter my students learned how to conjugate -er and -ir verbs in the present tense. Since they already had an understanding of how to conjugate -ar verbs, I wanted to create an activity to build on their knowledge of verb conjugation and to apply the new rules. So here’s what I created:

unidad 6 una foto misteriosa pic

I created this coloring activity for my students. I titled sections with colors (rojo, verde, etc.) and they had to color the verb according to the conjugation.

Here’s what I like about this activity:

1. Good with any verb tense: While I used this for the present tense, you could easily adapt this for the future, past or whatever.

2. Repetition: While doing a big list of verb conjugations can get boring, this helps spice up really good repetitive practice.

Here’s the activity: Unidad 6 Una foto misteriosa with all verbs

Here’s a blank one: Una Foto Misteriosa – blank

Top Posts of 2014

Wow. This has been a great year for blogging for me. When I started my blog in the beginning of the year, I didn’t anticipate having so many people visit my blog and so many followers. I am overjoyed each time I get a new follower notification, like or comment on any of my posts. Huge thanks to you all for your support. It means A LOT.

Here are my top five most popular posts this year:
1. Monstruo: One of the many easy games I use in class.
2. Canción de la semana: “Mi Persona Favorita” por Rio Roma: Great song with lyrics.
3. Canción de la Semana: “Waka Waka” por Shakira: Classic.
4.  Canción de la Semana: “ángel cruel” por CD9: Just like One Direction.
5. Los Colores: Neat way to practice the colors.

Thanks again and I’ll be back in 2015 with some more ideas and songs!

Los Colores

I love teaching colors. While most of my students know a lot, if not all, of the colors before they come into the class, I find so much excitement in using colors to describe things, like clothes. Of course, I also love giving my artistic students the chance to really shine.

In the past I have used color-by-numbers to practice colors in Spanish, but last year I started something different. Take a look at this!

period 5 el ojo


And this…

period 6

The idea behind this activity is that instead of coloring their picture, they write the Spanish name for the color IN that color. For example, the student who did the drawing above wanted blue waves, so instead of shading in blue, she wrote “azul” in blue.

I love how creative some of my students were with this, and that, as opposed to a color-by-number, THEY got to choose what they wanted to draw.