Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I discovered that my whiteboards were magnetic somewhere along the way last year, but I didn't fully take advantage of this feature until this year.  When I was picking up other supplies at a teacher store, I found a bag of 100 magnet stickers to stick on the back of posters or other objects.  My mind started racing with the possibilities, and I have already started using this new tool in my class.

I took a map of the world and cut it up to highlight the Spanish-speaking countries and then added magnets to post it on the whiteboard.  Then I took small pictures of each country flag and put magnets on them so we can move them around and post them on the correct countries.  I also have large titles like "South America" and "North America" we can use to categorize the countries.  My Spanish 2 starts the year with a unit on the countries and capitals.  Yesterday, I gave each student a flag (some had more than one because of my small class size) and asked them to go place it on the board on the country it belonged to.  There are so many other things we can do with this map, especially because we can write on the surface right next to the map. 

I have also used the magnets on my calendar and weather board to make it easier to move the arrows around that say which day it is.  I used this board last year with tape and that magnets really help to make my changes less permanent. 

While at the teacher store, I also found a box of Spanish magnet letters.  This kit includes
ch, ll, ñ, and rr.  A regular English magnet letter kit that parents of young children traditionally use on their refrigerators would also work (just draw a ~ over the n).  This kit has been fun to use for my Spanish I class.  Though I could just as easily write the letters on the board in marker, they like that they get fun "toys" to use in class and it makes the lesson feel more exciting to them.

I can't wait to find more uses for magnets on my boards this year!
~ La profesora

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The night before the first day

Tomorrow is my first day back to class.  It is always strange to answer the question, "When does school start?" because it never starts the first day of class.  I have been working for weeks on setting up my classroom, planning lessons, attending teacher meetings and training, and working pre-season athletics and orientation events for students.  That doesn't even include a whole summer of thinking about my classes, researching ideas on pinterest and other places online, and collecting things I can use in lessons (like Spanish magazines, cultural objects, and teacher tools like popsicle sticks).

After tomorrow though, I can say without a doubt, that school has started.  My classroom looks ready, but it still feels a bit empty. 

My bulletin board is ready to display their work, but it is empty.

My whiteboards are set up and decorated with magnets for lessons from the first week, but there is no writting.

The desks are in a perfect semi-circle perfect for communicating and viewing the whiteboard, but none have been sat in yet. 
Even my teacher's desk just looks too organized.
Tomorrow, it will be a used space, and I'm excited.

~ La profesora

Citas rapidas - Hablamos

Getting students to talk (in the target language) is a challenge in all Foreign Language classes.  There are many different tricks to get th...