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Monday, 17 June 2019

New course, new game!!

I have just finished the new course that ELEInternacional offers on designing materials with Powerpoint and so with this comes new resources and some new ideas.

This past two weeks, I have learned all about designing essentially what I was able to do with Canva without the need to be online.

The result of both courses put together, learning about typographies and color matching etc has paid off and with new courses to design for 5th and 6th grade in French, it has gotten me started on some new resources that I will surely use next year.

The first thing was designing a weekly planner. I am a big fan of planning and if you are a beginner teacher, I can not stress the impact of planning on having successful classes. So instead of drooling over other TPT teacher author planners, I designed my own and some stationery to go with it for the folders I use for each class.
I need to get my schedule to be able to fully finish the product but I like the cactus themes so I went with it and here is how it looks to start with. I used a watercolor background from Freepik for the cover and the rest I designed following the steps taught by Laura Caldas  (@eltarrodeidiomas)

 The next activity was to design a boardgame. Nothing new here. But I needed some new material for my 5th grade  French class so ...PERFECT! I found hippie icons in Flaticon to design this one and rest is just following the tutorial again.
I had to design a set of cards so I designed the cards that go with the game and it is now available on my Tpt store here
 Finally, the last task was to make little medals or token of good work for your class that you can use as rewards. I decided to base my token on a system so that my kids in the 6th grade can keep track of their progress. I selected 5 skills that are basic but essential for them to have secured by the end of the year and as they go through the course, they get the token.

So here is what I have been up to this first week of vacation. I am taking a break from planning ( maybe) as I am putting my tourist cap back on at the end of the week. Wishing all the followers a great summer break full of creativity and relaxing times!

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Tomorrow we close another chapter...

Hello Everybody,

Tomorrow is our last day with the kids.  Another year ends and with it many changes to come.
So how was this year... Fun, for the most part, creating resources for my three classes, 5th grade Spanish, 7th grade French, 7th grade Spanish. I took kids to Qu├ębec with a set of new chaperones. I continued with community service and with the yearbook elective.
It has been a busy year and some things are about to change.

 Next year, it looks like I will be switching from Spanish 5 to French 5. I am going to adapt the Spanish program to French and have already started pinning like crazy on Pinterest ( follow me if you are not yet!)

 I am also changing from French 7 to French 6 and this is also very exciting, I have not yet taught 6th grade but I have taught 95 % of the kids who chose it! I have to say that will make things a little easier at the start of the year. They had 3 months of French and did a unit on town in the 5th grade, we will start right back to basics, but I might need some guidance so watch for those Instagram stories!

 We are also switching to a new platform, ditching Bien Dit/ Expresate for Descubre and D'accord. I would love to hear your thoughts on that. We are not per se using every page as you can see here we make most of our resources based on the vocabulary from the book and will use the platform to assign homework and have them do more listenings and review for assessments.

I am not sure how many of you will be looking at blogs over the summer, I guess I will since I'll be researching for next year.

The TPT store stays open. There will be a sale for four days this week to celebrate the vacation! There will be a lot more product coming up next year...

Thank you so much for all the support this year and I look forward to seeing you on all the various platforms,  and maybe some of you at ACFL too!
Have a great vacation everyone!

Sunday, 5 May 2019


...this post is all about being a reflective teacher... especially when things go wrong.
This week, I tried a new thing. I don't think it as best as it could have...It was my first attempt to a breakout activity. I have designed the four puzzles to do in 60 min; the ideas are good, the kids managed most of the tasks and understood what they had to do quickly. The gap between what I thought they would manage and what they did manage was the issue I think on one particular task. I have to mention that I allowed the student the use of the dictionary to support them. 

The first task was a paragraph to put back together, each paragraph has a different color and the code element for the breakout is the 6th paragraph color. 
Theoretically a pretty good puzzle, but here is the catch I wrote the text a while ago which what the kids would have covered in mind and yet, they still had difficulty figuring the order of the text because I think it was too long. Also when one of the kids tried to use purple on the padlock... it wasn't here! 
So here is the reflection I'm still thinking the long reading is certainly an exercise I want them to do but I will give them a little bit more guidance, including that the 6th paragraph is not purple and that they it would be most logical to start with the part in the present tense. 

The second task went very well with the kids who knew their vocabulary. It is a version of  la palabra oculta and they have a series of code cracking to do :
1. find the word for the picture all  these combined will reveal a word we studied in the unit
2. they have to find a certain letter from each word, these combine make the code breaking word and the 3 rd letter is the letter to use in the padlock.
I think this went well for two reasons. My kids are used to working with visual cues, this was broken into smaller peces so more manageable as a group too. 

The third task worked well too it was a crossword puzzled designed to be done on the computer ( www. and again the clues I used were things we had worked on , either vocabulary or conjugations from this chapter. The clues were in Spanish and the kids needed very little help on that one.  

The forth one was also something my students were used to. It was of course a very different version. they have had puzzles before this one is a nonagon ,9 sided shape, and the work they had to do was to match a verb and the tense with the conjugated form that corresponded. The only hard pieces on this one were the fue, which could be either ser or ir,  and the nosotros -ar and -ir verbs  which could be either present or preterit. To me it is important that the kids have something to think about when they are doing these puzzles. The pieces have various colors and the final clue is a certain piece's color. 

Out of the 6 groups I had working on the tasks as they were, one finished 10 mn before the 60 mn was up and had three trials and broke the code. another two groups came very close to finishing the tasks. 

Second time around with a different class, smaller in size so  students worked in pairs this time, much better, the kids were really into it and the code was found and the candy was had. Also it was clear that these students paid more attention to the puzzle as they noticed that two verbs were repeated, so they are now all different and I am going to take a break form puzzle making!!

Saturday, 6 April 2019

POP ! French boardgame on daily routine=

Two weeks ago my students tried this new game. I was, as usual, very exited to see how they would like it and they did like it, I only had a 15 mn so they did not get too far but groups of three worked well for this purpose. I have not played KABOOM with them so this OP game, a board game version of it made working with reflexive verbs a little more interesting. 
Here is the TPT link if you are interested.

Here is the game description.

Groups of 3-4 students
To play you will need:
A dice and 1-36 cards cut

Students roll the dice to move around the board and find out what card they receive.
There are three kinds of cards
1. Picture card -> students need to say the word / they go back if they do not get it right
2. Word card -> students roll the dice and conjugate the verb for the form they roll ( 1-je, tu-2 etc)
3. POP card- students who turn a POP card go back to square 1.

How to win? Students collect the cards they get right, the first student to get to the end of the board wins.
Two students cannot be on the same square, if someone is already on the square they should land on then, they move back one square.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

A new grammar game!

Spring break has sprung and with the free time an idea that germinated and became to fruition.
First of all the inspiration.
I have been using the Burrito builder for years, but recently I've had increasing difficulty having the kids play it, between the ads and the Flashplayer updates, it's never ending.
I play board games, sometimes, at our friends house, and once we played this sushi building game.
So here I go creating a new game mixing it all up.

In Spanish la Taqueria, in French La maison du Croque-Monsieur,.

I used Canva of course and Flaticon to create the boards.
I just google  taco and France color palettes and these came out great ( I think)

These have been created with present tense in mind and I think as I go along I will create new card packs for other tenses. 
Here are some example of the cards.


How to play: Students are given one card of each color to start with and will pick one extra as they start the game, then roll the dice, they land on a box and take the action on the box :
- take a blue card ( for example) they will take the card form the blue card pile
- take a yellow card from your neighbor to the right ( for example)
- Bonus! take an extra card
- take a green card and pass in one to the neighbor to the left. (for example)

At the end of the game the students have to put the ingredients together to make grammatically accurate combinations and they may use each card only once.

So for example they could have a 1 pt card with yo or je +a two point card with com- or habill+ a one point card with -o/-e result: Yo como/ je habille for 4 points altogether.

My kids cover stem and accent change verbs in Spanish and French and reflexives so they are featured in the game.

The super dooper combination would be je m'habille which would give 1+2+1+4= 8 pts...

It's not super complicated and I think it would make for a fun review game at the end of the year. 

I sure will be using it!
for other ideas don't hesitate to check out the other entries!
Here is a link to the French version

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Using movies in the language classroom

This is the end of the post about using Coco the movie in my 5th grade Spanish class.
The 5th grade in my school rotates between three languages over the course of the year. I am about to start the third rotation and as this is my first year teaching fifth grade there is a lot of reflection going on. The first rotation did not get the movie study they did learn about the colors, animals and emotions though, so content wise, classes will have similar prior knowledge when they go to 6th grade if they choose Spanish. 
During the second rotation, we had time to go over celebrations and the culture of the Day of the dead through the movie. I also though I would continue studying the movie including emotions. The material I created for the class was based on screenshots while I watched the movie, the kids still enjoyed watching and writing captions for the screenshots of the various emotions the characters felt. The kids did great and are impressed me with their use of the adjective endings as well. The third topic we looked at was colors in the Alebrijes and the various animals that make up some of the Alebrijes that can be identified in some scenes.  
 There are so many other topics than could be studied at that level with this fantastic movie. 
Are there any other movies that you use in your classroom that have inspired you to make resources?

Monday, 4 February 2019

Using Freepik to enhance your resources

    Just like using or to put together resources, I recently started using If you create an account ( free ) you get to download some of the their pictures for free. You have a link to give the author recognition if you sell your resources.
I needed groups of pictures ( they call it vectors in the design industry) and also scenes.
     As you can see in the examples here it is pretty useful for worksheets reading materials based on pictures. ( see left on clothing and bottom left of the cluster picture on house)
 Again if we focus on the TL at beginner level it is pretty useful!
     I also use Freepik scenes and vectors for presentations.
It was time I gave my house unit a revamp, and I really liked the modern and clear look of some of these houses. I was able with the same picture to do a presentation on rooms of the house and prepositions.  For chores, I found a vector ( top right) that had most of the vocabulary I was looking for. If you use Prezi this would be great too as I used circle shapes to highlight the chore I am talking about in each slide. 

       Using the same picture as a base for various slides keeps it simple and clear for our students, they also help our visual learners who will be able to work from the same picture.
      Once downloaded the picture is essentially yours to have fun with, so the vectors could be cut up into all the various smaller pictures and used for a memory game, a card game or what ever else you want to do!

      Want to see some of these closer?
Check them out in my TPT store.
Thank you for you support as always!