Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pinterest Successes and Pinterest Fails

Being the only Spanish teacher in my school, I have to depend on myself, my brain, and the Internet (Pinterest, in particular) when it comes to planning. We're also on a 90 minute block schedule in our middle school - crazy right? So needless to say I've got a TON of time to fill and need to keep my 12-14 year olds occupied and engaged. This is where I try out some of the things I find on Pinterest.

Some of the ideas and activities I've found are incredible, and some are pretty worthless. Here's my personal Spanish class Pinterest Review...


I've tried these on multiple occasions when we have a craft making day for certain holidays. I use construction paper, model an example for the students, give them scissors and a hole punch and let them loose. We work as a class to string them together and then I have my good helpers hang them from the ceiling! They're awesome.

This game is incredibly successful over and over again and my kids REQUEST to play it often. I renamed it "Ay Caramba!" and made my own versions out of tissue boxes and laminated word strips. (Metal buckets will work too). You can use this with ANY unit that has several new vocab words.
Here's the description: Students take turns drawing cards out of a container. If they can define the vocabulary word they keep the card. If not, the card goes back in. Whoever collects the most cards wins the game. Beware of the CARAMBA cards though. If you draw one, you have to put back ALL of the cards you have collected! Game ends when teacher puts a time limit up - Best in groups of 4+ and when no one peeks in the bucket/box!

This is a GREAT resource from zachary jones for conjugating verbs at any level. It's challenging and it allows my more artistic students to show their creativity while conjugating verbs. Even the non artistic students enjoyed filling in the squares. I bought the entire packet for about $14 and it includes all kinds of verb conjugations.

I absolutely LOVE this idea. Here's my problem with the average word wall that we're all required to display: if I had to display EVERY new vocabulary word that my students learned, my entire classroom would be covered. Yes, I understand that Spanish builds on prior knowledge and it's important to keep these words present, but I think word walls need to be constructive and ever changing. 

Except for the above, which displays KEY words that students will forever and always need. For example, during writing prompts, I often get asked how to say the word "but." I find this interesting because it's not a word that pops up in any of our units, but it's so useful. So, for the upcoming year I'm creating a Key Word Wall full of useful single words and prepositions that they can reference for the entire year. I think this will be extremely helpful and I plan on making it stick out (I still remember certain signs and words from my high school Spanish classroom!). Pictures soon to come :)

And my fun Spanish meme door! 

My kids LOVE looking at this and they're always trying to figure out what they say. Yayy for Real World Target Language Use! Here are a few examples of what I had on my door this year:
just a teaser :) I was so excited for summer that I took it all down before I could take a picture!

(only one so far)

 Here's my enthusiastic pin from about 2 years ago..... "Car wash mittens - 1$ from the dollar store - kids can use them to clean white boards!"

Great idea, right? WRONG. Although they're a great alternative to the average square eraser for your white boards, these ink sucking mittens do just one thing: suck. They literally suck marker ink up, never to let it go again. Even after 2 washes! Not only that, they don't even work that well - my boards are left with marker residue which creates even more work. My advice? Stick to the regular ones.

Here's what they looked like after 12 weeks of mild use.


  1. Here is a link to my High Frequency Word Wall!! And check out my post from August 2015 (classroom decor 2.0) to see how it looks in the classroom!

  2. I LOVE your word wall!!! It's so colorful and eye-catching! ❤💯🎉