Comprehensible Input, Spanish CI Readers

El mensaje: New Reader for Level 2 Spanish Class

I am happy to announce the newest addition to the A.C. Quintero collection of novels: El mensaje. The novel delves into issues related to teen life, especially their obsession with their phones, and penchant to believe everything they see. This novel is perfect for FVR or a thematic unit with a relationship/technology focus. In addition to an engaging storyline, students can look forward to the following:

-Present tense with a spattering of past tense phrases (Novice High/Low Intermediate range)

-Spanish-speaking countries and capitals (relevant to the storyline)

– Vocabulary related to geography, technology, relationships & family

-A little bit of poetry from our overly dramatic protagonist

Synopsis (see preview below)

Adán’s life is turned upside down when he gets an unexpected and  heart-wrenching text message from a friend. It is a text about his beloved girlfriend, and it’s not pretty. At first, Adán does not think much of the text, as he knows students love to spread rumors and gossip. He would rather focus on his upcoming test on the capitals of Spanish-speaking countries than indulge in petty high school drama. But  as he considers the last few days talking to Fiona, a startling picture starts to emerge. Why has she been incredibly secretive and avoiding him like the plague? Adán tries to keep his cool. So, instead of going into full panic mode, he hatches a plan. He may be risking everything to uncover the truth, but he knows that the truth will set him free. Will it be worth it? 

Synopsis in Spanish!

Teaching Materials will be available late August. 

This book is available on:  

Click here to go to Amazon:

Click here for preview

Click here for preview

Novels and Resources by A.C. Quintero 

Comprehensible Input, Movie talks

¿Eres tú? A detective series for Spanish I: Free Resource Included!

 I am always looking for ways to inject more readings and structured conversation into my curriculum. My level 1 students need it!  With Novice- low students being fairly new to the language, this can be problematic. However, I am learning that with a little dose of creativity, peppered by resourcefulness, I can make my class a language laboratory! And I may have found my niche with this older series from Realidades: Eres TÚ María.  I have never used the textbook from which the series hail, but the first 10 videos are on Youtube and/or Vimeo. Each year, we see about 5-7 episodes, and they are well worth it because: 

  • The language goes from simple to complex 
  • In terms of content, it is very safe (you don’t have to preview it)
  • It is fairly interesting, last year we talked about the sexism that the main character experienced as a female detective among her male counterparts 
  • You can provide ample input, and get ample output as well. 

With the accompanying text that I created, you can get even more input!

Download Reading Here 

What is the series about? 

Eres Tú María is a detective series created by Realidades (by Prentice Hall). The main character is Lola, who is a detective, and a darn good one at that! The series kicks off when Lola observes some suspicious activity in her neighborhood. Her investigative senses kick in immediately and the plot begins to unfold. 

I have found this to be a great way to include Movie Talk activities (click here for more information on Movie talks) as you can circle and ask tons of questions about the character. For example, you could ask questions about: 

  • The main character’s clothing
  • The city where she lives 
  • Her personality traits 
  • Her physical traits 

It is quite interesting, and my students are usually engaged as it is the only series they will see in the first couple months of school. 

This past week we just watched our first episode, and it went really well. Prior to the episode, they had just finished up talking about our the things we like with this activity here: Las cosas que me gustan. That is why you will see references to Netflix and Snapchat in the article below for Eres Tú María

Last year, when I included this episode, I had students focused on writing the date and describing the character (boring!)- lots of output-oriented activities. This year, we read, I circled a bit, I asked them questions and it was more suitable for their level. It was also enjoyable. Many students actually wanted to talk (which was not required), and they did and felt successful.  Check out the activity below!

Free Reading Download 

¿Eres Tú María?

Extra Series 

Christy Lade, an amazing CI Teacher created some amazing resources for Extra, another short video series in Spanish. Click here for the first episode. Click here for her resources. We used the first episode resources and it was very complete. Students had a chance to read through and get acquainted with the vocabulary and themes before diving in. I highly recommend it!

What a “novel” idea! Check out the new novels for Spanish class!

Click here:

TPT Store!

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Comprehensible Input, Word Walls

The Writing on the Wall: The Role of Word Walls in a Comprehension-based Classroom

During my last full day classes, students had an opportunity to share about their top five lessons and activities of the school year. Of course, they raved about Free Voluntary Reading (click here to read post), the Telenovela project, Conversation Circle the assortment of level 1 readers we explored, and of course, the Netflix mystery, El gran hotel. However, when given the opportunity to ask about their upcoming Spanish II class, I was surprised that they weren’t as concerned about “leveling up” as were their predecessors in the previous years. They were more curious about the class itself as a few students asked: “Will there be “Word Walls” in Spanish II?” 

As a former colleague shared with me years ago, “Our classroom walls should be like Hogwarts in where the walls actually speak to the children.” She was a fourth grade teacher, whose classroom caught the eye of our district administrator. Needless to say that she’s now coaching and training teachers full-time. And her point was well taken; the learning environment needs to serve the needs of our students. 

Argentine Street Art

I put her advice into practice last school year, when I noticed that my classroom walls were littered with posters, cliché decorations, and outdated student work; I made giving my class a facelift, a reigning priority. I had to nip, cut, and tuck to engineer an environment that would have an impact on student learning. I ordered verb posters (Teacher’s Discovery), downloaded question words from the TPRS website, and curated a bevy of teacher created materials from TPT (I have some more in my cart for next year!). I can testify that those aesthetic changes proved to be a HUGE practical help to my students. They relied on these “talking walls” to assist them through interpersonal speaking tasks, and presentational writing. I can’t believe that I went so many years without having this compensatory aid for students. We have to do our best to surround learners with the language.

 Since all the the teachers in my department made a similar shift last year to cultivate an “acquisition friendly learning environment”, I was able to affirm with confidence, “Yes, there will be Word Walls!