June 2019 - Mis Clases Locas

Box 1

Box 1
Teaching with Novels

Box 2

Box 2

Box 3

Box 3
Meet Sra. Wienhold

Fewer Things, Better - a review for teachers who want to focus on what matters most

Inside: A review of the book Fewer things, better: The courage to focus on what matters most from Angela Watson. How doing fewer things better will set you up for the best school year yet. 

Fewer Things, Better - a review for teachers who want to focus on what matters most from Mis Clases Locas


Mis Clases Locas Curriculum for Spanish 1-4

Inside: Scope and Sequence for Spanish 1-Spanish 4 using novels and comprehensible input curriculum without a textbook. Mis Clases Locas updated curriculum for 2019-2020
Mis Clases Locas Curriculum for Spanish 1-4 using novels - updated for 2019-2020


How I Create a CI Curriculum for Spanish 1-4 - including yearly and weekly plans

Inside: Curriculum planning for a year of comprehensible input Spanish 1, Spanish 2, Spanish 3 & Spanish 4, as well as weekly lesson plans. 

How I Create a CI Curriculum for Spanish 1-4 - including yearly and weekly plans

I have been working on my next year CI curriculum without a textbook and due to some requests I thought I would do a pre-curriculum post explaining exactly how I planned it. As a disclaimer, remember I am the only World Language teacher in my entire district. I have a supportive administration who trusts me as the Spanish expert and allows me complete freedom in my curriculum. I understand that this is rare, but hopefully this will help you see some possibilities if you do get the chance to help create your won scope and sequence. 

Also, please remember this has been a multi year process and did not happen overnight. I just tried things out, failed on some attempts, had success with others and then tried again until I found what worked best for my students and I. Here has been my curriculum journey. 

Curriculum year 1 - ancient textbook - I taught how I was taught

Curriculum year 2 - new textbook - I tried to spice it up with projects

Curriculum year 3 - CI baby steps - got 4 novels, some SOMOS Units & El Internado in III & IV

Curriculum year 4 - Full CI at a new school, novels, SOMOS Units & El Internado (Sp1-4 + Explore)

Curriculum year 5 - Added more novels & Sr. Wooly Pro units (thank you curriculum budget)

Curriculum year 6 - Added in Super 7 Units & finally hit my groove

Curriculum year 7 - Refining curriculum with a few new novels. Back to Spanish 1-4

As a department of one, I also have to have a sustainable program for me to implement with four separate preps. For me personally, this means I can not do story units or special person interviews in all levels at the same time. It is too exhausting for me and I am prone to loosing my voice. 

Novels are my bread and butter because I have gotten them down. Since I have done all the prep work up front, once we get rolling, I know I have a couple weeks of a well oiled comprehensible input novel machine. But, once again this is after four years of teaching with novels. I did the math and I have taught 53 full class novel units using 16 different novels. You can find all posts for these novels here or using the label novels. If you want to get started, check out Teaching a Novel 101 to help research, find funding, organize, plans teach and assess your first novel. 

So where do you start if you are dabbling in comprehensible input and want to try something new?

Spanish 1 or 2
Super 7 Units - Depending on the previous knowledge of your students, I would start with a Super 7 Unit either present, either as a review or to introduce important words. You could even keep going with the Sweet 16 as well. 

SOMOS 1/2 Units - Then I would do units from Martina Bex's SOMOS curriculum. It was how I figured out skills like personalized questions, movie talk, story asking, and many other activities as well. She lays everything out great for a beginner. 

Novels - If you are able to get funding for a class set of novels, I would start with El capibara con botas in Spanish 1. (after about unit 5 of SOMOS). If your Spanish 2 students have not yet read a novel, I would start with Brandon Brown quiere un perro or Tumba. If they have read a book, I would do Esperanza or Fiesta Fatal. 

Sr. Wooly - These songs hook students on Spanish class and provide a nice break from always giving the input yourself. 

Spanish 3 or 4
Super 7 Units - I would start the year with upper level classes Super 7 Unit either in imperfect or preterite, depending on your goals. It is a great class community builder and helps solidify important past tense words for future novels. 

SOMOS 2 Units - If your upper level classes have not had much CI, I would do some of Martina Bex's Somos 2 curriculum units. They will help build your skills and lay a foundation as well. 

Novels - There is no such thing as too easy of a novel, especially if it is the first one a group has ever read. My goal is to build confidence and have students feel successful with their first novel. I read Robo en la noche with my level 4 class to start the year for their first novel ever. At my new school we started with Esperanza and Felipe Alou in upper levels as their first novels. I like to pick ones with rich culture, but that are at a lower level to start. I like to include a variety of countries of study during a year as well. 

Sr. Wooly - Upper level students still love the dark, goofy Wooly humor and the break it provides from the deeper books we read and themes we explore. 

Also see this post for more information on Spanish 3/4 - Curriculum Planning for Upper Levels

So how do you put it together in a scope and sequence?

I start with the school calendar and make a Google Sheet with each week of the year. I add in breaks, conferences, and other pertinent information to see the year at a glance. I have all levels side by side, so I can see what everyone will be doing at the same time. This way I can spread out my own sanity savers like movie and Sr. Wooly units. It also makes sure I am not introducing a new unit in every class on the same day, as that is super draining. 

I start with cultural holiday units. These are some of my favorite things to teach and I have found that if I do not plan for them, I get caught up in other units and do not have time for them. I block out the week of The Day of the Dead, as well as before and after winter break for a variety of holiday activities related to the Spanish Christmas lottery, 3 Reyes, etc. I also like to do Las Falls in Spanish 1 or 2 in March, as well as La Tomatina in Spanish 2 to start the year. We also learn about Mexican Independence Day in September and Cinco de mayo in May to make sure they know the difference!

Then I put in the big novel units. I like to have about one per quarter. This does not mean that we read a book for one quarter, but we may do many activities and films related to the themes in the book. 
For example here is a rough plan with the novel Esperanza:
1 week - Intro of Guatemala, with the song Ave que emigra and the film Living on $1
1 week - the film Which Way Home and immigration
1 week - Intro the Guatemalean civil war and vocab in the book
2-3 weeks - Read the novel Esperanza 
1 week - the film La Misma Luna
1 week - assessments putting everything together

I put all of this together in a monthly plan, that I share with students as well. That way we are all on the same page and can see the end goals. 

I add in shorter units to round out the quarters and provide a break. These are usually about a week long and include Super 7 Units, SOMOS storytelling units, Sr. Wooly and film units. 

I understand that this is a rough plan that is self imposed by myself and that things will change. Some things will go longer than expected, some novels will bomb so we will power through to be done and things will come up that change the whole schedule. 


Pachamama in Spanish class

Inside: Resources for Spanish class for the Netflix movie Pachamama. Teach a cultural unit centered around Pachamama in Spanish class. 

Pachamama in Spanish class - resources to teach the film from Mis Clases Locas

Summer Reading list 2019 - 10 books you need to read

Inside: 10 books for your 2019 summer reading list from a teaching mom. 

Summer Reading list 2019 - 10 books you need to read - shared by Mis Clases Locas

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