La Maleta: An End of the Year Tradition {Freebie}

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Running around with a maleta (suitcase) in one of the most fun traditions to do at the end of the year. This tradition requires some preparation, but not many things. All you need is a suitcase, some clothes in it, desire to travel during the new year, and a passport if you have one.You only have five minutes to run around the block before the year ends, thinking about all the places you want to go in the new year. 
I have to be honest that I have done this a few times and have gotten great results!

This is an opportunity to pull out a map and point out all the Spanish speaking countries in the world. If possible, use GoogleEarth to take a virtual trip, then invite your students to get their suitcases ready (see freebie below). 

Depending on the level of your students,  you can choose the difficulty of their task. They could complete simple sentences such as "Yo quiero visitar _______________" or write a longer paragraph about the place where they want to go. For example:

1. Yo quiero visitar Colombia.
2. Colombia está en América del Sur.
3. En Colombia se habla español.
4. Los colores de la bandera de Colombia son amarillo, azul y rojo.

Make sure your students have their pasaportes in their suitcases, and have fun running around the room!
Grab your freebie HERE!

Have fun!

Las Doce Uvas {Freebie}

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
December 31st  is an exciting day in Colombia and many other Spanish speaking countries. Everyone is focused on family and fiesta, and the resolutions and wishes for the New Year come to mind.
Those five minutes before the year ends are especially important. Yellow underwear for  good luck, suitcases filled to go around the block, a dollar bill in your pocket and many other exciting and fun thing for a New Year. 
My favorite tradition is "las Doce Uvas". The tradition of eating twelve grapes that represent wishes for the New Year.  Every grape is eaten when the bell of the end of the year strikes. It strikes 12 times before the New Year stars.

This is a fun tradition to share with your students. Depending on the level you teach have your students make pictures or write about their wishes on every grape (see freebie below). You can also create bunches of grapes (see freebie below) in class and have your students work on just one wish.

Here are some examples of wishes you can teach your students:
1. Yo deseo más recreo.
2. Yo deseo paz.
3. Yo deseo amor.
4. Yo deseo jugar.
5. Yo deseo ver películas en clase.
6. Yo deseo tomar una siesta.
7. Yo deseo comer dulces.
9. Yo deseo tener más amigos.
10. Yo deseo bailar.
11. Yo deseo aprender más español.
12. Yo deseo una fiesta.

A freebie for you! Download it HERE!

¡Feliz Año!

Fun Activities Using a Snowman

Monday, December 9, 2013
Winter has finally arrived here in Boston. It's time to start building snowmen, but even if snow never gets to the where you are, you can create opportunities to teach about seasons and weather in different parts of the world.

Here are some ideas:

1. Create your own snowman with felt fabric. Use it to teach or review colors, shapes, parts of the body, clothes and sizes.

This is how my snowman looks now:

2. Pin the Nose on the Snowman: I sing the fist part of "El Hombre de Nieve" song while one of the students puts the nose on the snowman.

3. Teach "El Hombre de Nieve" song with this video:

4. Snowman is also known as "Muñeco de Nieve"in Spanish. Here is another song.

5. Use this worksheet for your students to read the colors and color the different pieces according to what they read.

I have included two versions, one for readers and one for non-readers. I also included two versions: "El Hombre de Nieve" and "El Muñeco de Nieve."

Download the coloring pages here!

Stay warm!

La Noche de las Velitas in Colombia {Freebie}

Monday, December 2, 2013
Every year on December 7th, Colombia celebrates "La Noche de las Velitas" (also known as El Día de las Velitas), a night filled with candles and joy to celebrate Virgin Mary. This night also marks the beginning of all Christmas activities in Colombia. 

What a good opportunity to bring some culture to your Spanish classes. Use a map and invite your students to find Colombia. You can also use Google Earth to make the trip more interactive and use a play passport for the trip. Share with them some information about this important celebration. Here are some useful resources for teachers to learn about the celebration:

La Fiesta de la Luz (Historia)
The Beautiful Noche de la Velitas in Bogota

Some videos of the celebration:

 Families get together to light the candles outside their homes. It's a long night filled with happiness, fiestas and tons of Colombian goodies.

In the main parts of the big cities, people gather together to watch fireworks and shows.

Click here to view pictures

Invite your students to decorate the flag or the map of Colombia  with the candles! 

 Click HERE to download the freebies! 

Conversation tips in a FLES class

1. ¿Dónde se celebra la noche de las velitas? ¿En Costa Rica o Colombia?
2. ¿Dónde está Colombia? ¿América del Norte o América del Sur?
3. ¿Quién celebra la Noche de las Velitas? 
4. ¿De qué color es la bandera de Colombia?
5. ¿Qué lengua se habla en Colombia? ¿Inglés o español?


Thank YOU! ¡Gracias!

Sunday, November 24, 2013
I am so thankful for your support! Thank you for stopping by to read my blog!

Here is freebie that I know many of your students will enjoy. 
"Ponle el sombrero al pavo"

Download it HERE!


Find here all the resources you need to celebrate Thanksgiving in Spanish class!

Roll A Thanksgiving Dinner in Spanish {Product}

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Buy here!

This is a fun activity that I used to introduced and late reinforce vocabulary about Thanksgiving. 
This set includes:


Roll A Thanksgiving Dinner Game

Worksheet and  simple art activity for students to decorate their own table and label each item on it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Snacks That Teach Spanish {Review and Giveaway}

Sunday, November 17, 2013
Have you ever thought of a snack that brings some excitement to your Spanish class? I just found a great one! Dick and Jane Educational Snacks are the perfect snack to share with your students. They are not only educational, but made of wholesome ingredients and are nut free, which means they're safe to have in your classroom if you have any students with allergies to nuts.

I also have to say that the cookies are deliciosas. I ate a whole box while writing this review! This product will add a lot of fun to your classes and students get good brain food while learning new vocabulary in Spanish. Each cookie has a clear and simple picture with bilingual writing to accompany it, which helps everyone understand the vocabulary.

Each box contains some of the most common vocabulary words explored in Spanish classes. Cookies are produced in categories such us family members, greetings, weather and seasons, animals, fruits, numbers from 1 to 10, and more! So far you can find 50 words and 10 numbers, and Dick and Jane aim to expand the range of vocabulary to 360 words. The  more the merrier for us, the Spanish teachers :)

How to eat these yummy cookies while learning?

These yummy cookies can be used to introduce, review, or reinforce vocabulary in your classes.


To play this game you will need to download the free call-out cards here for you to announce one vocabulary word at a time. Once you have the cards ready, distribute two or three cookies to each child in the class. They can eat a cookie only when you call that item from your call-out card. A student can win once she devours all her cookies. To make it harder, you can also tell students that they have to wait to eat until you call the names of all the vocabulary on their cookies. They can say "lotería", and then enjoy the cookies in one yummy moment of indulgence!
Download cards HERE


Post different sentences on the board. Distribute the cookies among the children and invite them to complete the sentences according to the vocabulary represented on their cookies. Again, they can only eat them after they complete the sentence.

Guess the word!

Cover a cookie with a napkin and have your students guess the word. You may use the call-out cards from the Lotería for this game. Students can earn a chance to eat a cookie when they guess the word.

Spell the words

What a great opportunity to review the alphabet in Spanish. Ask your students to spell each word in the cookie before eating it.

If you would like to learn more about Dick & Jane Educational Snacks, visit their website. Stay up to date with them and tuned in for more fun on their Facebook page.

The Giveway!
If you would like to have 10 boxes of these fun, yummy, and educational snacks (yes, 10 boxes!), here is an opportunity for you to win them and bring more learning to your class. Just enter below to participate. The winner will be announced on Saturday, November 23rd, 2013. United States only.

¡Buena suerte!

10 Cultural Games to Play in Spanish Class

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I am always looking for ways to bring some culture to my Spanish class. One way to do it is through the use of traditional games. Below I am sharing links of some games that can be easily used in foreign language Spanish classes. Just click on the links to learn more about each game.

1. La Thunkuna (Boliva)

2. La Pirinola (Mexico)

3. El Patio de Mi Casa (Latin America)

4. Nerón, Nerón  (Nicaragua)

5. La Gallinita Ciega (Latin America)

6. El Ratón y el Gato (Latin America)

7. Juguemos en el Bosque (Latin America)

8. Color, Colorcito (Spain)

9. Pase Misí, Pase Misá (Spain)

10. El Semáforo (World)

Have fun playing!

Halloween Set: Guessing Book, Flashcards and Coloring Pages! {Giveaway}

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Halloween will be here soon! This activity set is simple and will bring a lot of fun to your Spanish class. Enter below to participate to win this set!

Click HERE to learn more about this set!

Giveaway ends tonight!
The names of the five lucky winners will be announced on my Facebook page.

¡Buena suerte!

Enter here to participate!

Halloween Finger Puppets {Freebie}

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Looking for a simple activity to celebrate Halloween in class? Look no further! Here is a freebie for you. This is also perfect for language teachers to introduce or review feelings.

Click HERE to download the freebie!

Happy Halloween!

Las Molas {Cultural Exploration}

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Every year I do this project with my second grade classes, and they are amazed at how beautiful and well crafted Molas are. I like to pretend that we are taking a trip together to the border of Panamá and Colombia to visit the Kuna-Yala people so we can learn firsthand about their art.

I use a map to locate the city and country where we currently live, and I use a paper airplane to travel from our homebase to the lands of the Kuna-Yala.

I also love using Google Earth to show pictures of the Kuna-Yala people and the places they live.

Many live on a small island in Panamá called San Blas, and they also live in small villages in Colombia in the "Darien Gap." They speak the Tule language, and some of them speak Spanish. They are famous because of their art which is called “Mola,” a term which also means clothes in the Tule language. The Kuna women are the ones in charge of making the molas that are part of their clothing. I take this opportunity to share pictures of a few molas with the children and ask them to describe them by naming the colors they see.

I observe the pictures with my students and share with them the fact that molas are made of three layers. Two of the layers are the same shape, but with different sizes, a small shape and a big shape, laid on top of one another to expose the different colors. Then, simple shapes are used around the main part of the art to decorate it. All the layers are usually of different colors and are sewn by hand.

The "Make Your Own Molas"  Art Project

In this project we will use the same basic technique, but instead of sewing, we will be using paper and

You will need:
1. Construction paper
2. Glue
3. Scissors
4. Mola templates. Grab them HERE!

Once you have the template, print them on pages of different colors. Have your students cut the shape out and they will look like the ones on the pictures below:

Putting your Mola together

1. Glue the bigger template on the blank sheet of paper (red on top of blank yellow here).

2. Glue the slightly smaller fish (red here) in the fish shape of the template.

3. Glue the smallest fish (yellow one here) on top of the small fish (red here).

5. Use a different color and glue strips and dots of paper on the other shapes (green bits here).

6. Add some shapes to the fish (green strips here), and you will have a beautiful Mola!

Download the template HERE!

Happy crafting!


My Classroom: Make Over - Home Edition

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I used to be a traveling teacher, visiting classrooms all over the school, carrying heavy bags with everything I needed for class. After a few years of traveling, my school decided that I needed a room to settle and put a stop my itinerant ways :) I was so excited, but I forgot that to keep a classroom efficient and effective also takes time and energy. Somehow, it doesn't just happen magically!!

I decided to call this post "My Classroom: Make Over - Home Edition" because in the end, my classroom is the place where I spend most of my waking hours during the school year, maybe even more than my own tiny house.

This picture shows how everything looked when I first moved my stuff in:

First, I felt challenged to decide what theme I wanted in my classroom, and I finally decided that it was better to keep it simple for my sanity and my student's clarity of thought. I find it overwhelming when teachers put so many decorations in the room that cause children to get distracted - staring at colorful eye candy but not paying attention to the teacher or classmates. This is especially true for me, since I'm basically a big distractable kid, and I get attracted to whatever is around me in my environment. When there's too much, my head spins! So, I focused on what I needed to make a safe space for learning a foreign language with minimal distraction but still enough color and cultural elements.

This is what my room looks like now:

Flags that represent Spanish speaking countries.

A place to keep binders and folders for students' work.

Family photos to share with my students.

A place with pictures of important personalities and books about Spanish speaking countries.

A little peace "garden"

Classroom materials with labels
Art from different places in the world

A homemade puppet theater for my younger students

Useful phrases in Spanish

Monsters mimicking conversations about the calendar in Spanish.

Reminders in Spanish.

Maintaining one's classroom is a work in progress. I am sure I will rearrange it a few times before I optimize every single space for my students.

Happy teaching!

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