• Middle School Señora

Back To Middle School Spanish Class - a little of this...a little of that along with some changes

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

The start of the school year is upon us and I'm beginning to plan for what I'm going to use to complement my curriculum. My school's curriculum is based on Realidades 1/Autentico 1 organized into thematic units. I have never been a strict textbook follower or a grammar-centered teacher, I do believe that there should be a little bit of it, but my goal is always to move towards a comprehensible, acquisition-driven classroom. I always do a little bit of this or a little bit of that but have never felt cohesion and, with the way school has been in the last 2 years (wow!), I had been looking to use readers with my middle schoolers to accomplish that goal. Last year I purchased a subscription to Flangoo. A digital reader platform with a wide variety of readers that I felt were an excellent addition for my students. Last year being the way that it was, having readers online was an easy way to deliver readers to my students, but I also discovered that it was excellent in the classroom as well. This year, I am excited to start using Flangoo again as part of my curriculum. Student engagement was high, stories were enjoyable for both my students and me and I also felt that it helped to boost their proficiency levels especially in a year where learning loss was a real problem.

Additionally, this summer, I attended 2 virtual workshops/conferences that helped to make me feel that I was moving in the right direction and gave me the confidence to just start. The key takeaway is to start slow, it doesn't have to look like what anyone else is doing and you as the teacher know what works for your students. I have been following Claudia Elliott's Growing with CI Facebook page and everywhere else she is on social media. I love how clear her explanations and examples are. She gave a free workshop - Summer CI Series with 4 videos where she discussed and provided a clear understanding of CI. She helped me tremendously in figuring out what I needed to do to move toward a comprehensible input-driven classroom. The other conference I attended was the La Libre Language - Practical & Comprehensible Virtual Conference a three-day conference jam-packed with world language teacher presenters. I highly recommend it if you are looking to learn and implement comprehensible input strategies, this is an amazing conference to attend! From that conference, I connected with Amy Marshall. Her presentation was fantastic and has inspired me to model my teaching with some of her ideas, routines, and strategies. From that conference, she has most graciously started a PLC on Facebook - TCI, Support on the Journey, which I immediately joined, and am so looking forward to participating during this school year as I implement comprehensible input more and more.

I have chosen 3 readers to start the year with Flangoo. My 7th graders will be reading Las Aventuras de Miguelito by Fabiola Canale and my 8th graders will be reading Apestoso by Sonia Dolores Estrada Morales and Marco y Su Mascota by Denise Hatcher. Each reader provides the vocabulary and structures that are part of the Para Empezar A/B and La Familia unit that I start the year with my students.

8th Grade

My 8th graders will be starting the year talking about their families. They will be reading Apestoso which I find fits very nicely with the family vocabulary associated with our unit. Apestoso is a family mystery narrated by the family dog who goes by the name Raúl. It's got some potty humor, but what middle schooler doesn't joke about that? Apestoso also is an "enhanced reader". Flangoo features enhanced readers which provide and include resources such as pictures, videos, and links to authentic resources. It helps me with scaffolding and sheltering vocabulary - what a bonus! This particular reader includes audio of family members describing who they are in the family. So not only are my students receiving written input but aural input as well. Awesome! I will also be using this Jamboard Activity I created - La Familia de Angelita - Un árbol genealógico - family tree activity in which students have to read the sentence "clues" and label each picture with the name of the family member they think the clue represents. I partner them up and assign them each to a frame. Lots of input! This activity was a hit with my 8th graders last year. Last year I used Marco y Su Mascota at the end of the unit as an extension activity. I highlighted the importance of pets as family members and it was engaging for students (you can read about it here). I will be using Marco y Su Mascota at the end of our unit again as an extension because it flows well with the Mascotas son Familia También Activity.

This year I will be implementing strategies such as Calendar Talk, and Picture Talk (there are many CI teachers that blog about these strategies but I have mostly been reading and listening to Tina Hargaden and Claudia Elliott), I will be reviewing at the beginning of class with some slides that I put together based on what I learned from the workshop with Claudia Elliott and the conference I attended (I got some amazing ideas from Amy Marshall, La Zona de Profes) that includes a student check-in, the date that includes days of the week, months of the year, weather, etc. I will also be attempting to do Persona Especial (Bryce Hedstrom) (we also talked about this with Amy Marshall in our PLC meeting). I say "attempt" because most if not all my students have known each other since Kindergarten, but I feel it's a great way to get them to talk about what they have already learned, so I will give it a shot! We will then start reading. If you are a Flangoo subscriber, I will be posting the activities that my students will be doing based on this reader on my Flangoo Digital Reader Users Facebook page.

7th Grade

The best part of 7th grade is that they don't know me and have not idea how and what I teach, so this is the perfect opportunity for me to start with CI out of the gate. I'm so excited about that! Last year I did not use a reader with my 7th graders until the school unit, but for this year I found a reader that includes all the vocabulary and structures that the Para Empezar is about. Each chapter of Las Aventuras de Miguelito allows me to provide them with input about greetings, months of the year, school, etc. It's perfect for the beginning of school. We will begin with our check-in slides and then They will use the Saludos y Despedidas activity that I

created (I'm also creating clipart, more about that later!) we will then jump into the reading. As we read each chapter, we will use it to talk about the topic of that particular chapter. I will be posting about each chapter and what we will be doing on my Flangoo Digital Reader Users page. Hope to see you there!

I hope these ideas and resources are helpful to you. I hope that I have been able to and can continue to contribute and help in any way I can. We are all in this together. Let us support each other! I'm excited to start the school year and grow in my journey with CI. Please follow my Facebook Page for updates on what I’m doing in class and join my Facebook Group for Flangoo Digital Reader Users where I post what I’m doing with the readers I am using, please join me!

If you are interested in any of my resources you can find them in my TpT Store.

Hasta la próxima!

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*****DISCLAIMER***** I have attempted to give credit where credit is due, if I have inadvertently not done so, please don't hate, communicate and I will lovingly make a correction to give credit to a fellow educator with the utmost of respect. Thank you! I am only human and I always come from a place of kindness.

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