La clase de confesiones -Spanish Level 1+ Reader: Glossary and TM included!

                                        La clase de confesiones

A Spanish 1+ novel written mostly in the present tense novel with under 150 new words (non-cognates, basic level 1 vocabulary with a few other gems). 

Now available to order at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pIu4VS.   Let the confessions begin!

Synopsis: Carlos hates Spanish class with a passion but finds the will to survive when he lays eyes on Jessica. She is the reason he “tolerates” his boring class. However, his secret crush is compromised when his teacher decides to “shake things up a bit” in class. A simple writing assignment turns out to be a lethal injection to his social life and by extension his chances with Jessica. First, his nosy teacher tries to “set him up with Jessica,” this plan immediately backfires. Then, the unthinkable happens and Carlos is stunned. This turns into one of the most embarrassing moments in his life. But all is not lost. If Carlos plays his cards right, he could have a winning hand.   Carlos invites you to come along on this adventure into “La clase de confesiones” where…”todos tienen una confesión,” even the teacher!

Excerpt from chapter 2: El profesor Martín (Free Teacher’s Manual of Confesiones)

...Carlos mira a Jessica. Ella saca su cuaderno, una pluma rosada y su móvil. Él piensa que Jessica es muy hermosa. Le gusta su cara. Le gustan sus zapatos y su ropa.  Pero, lo que más le gustan, son sus ojos. Le gustan los ojos de Jessica. Sus ojos son grandes y cafés. Carlos ya no mira a Jessica porque alguien está bloqueando su vista.

Carlos- no la mires tanto– dice el profesor Martín. 


El profesor Martín mira a Carlos mientras él mira a Jessica.  


¿Tienes la tarea? – dice el profesor. 


No, no la tengo. ¿La puedo traer mañana?– pregunta Carlos


Si no miras a Jessica tal vez puedes hacer tu tarea- dice el profesor. 

Carlos mira al profesor. 


Yo no acepto el trabajo tardío– dice el profesor


-¿Puede usted hacer una excepción? Yo tuve práctica de beisbol. ¿Puedo traer la tarea mañana? – pregunta Carlos, otra vez.  

-Más te vale- dice el profesor. 


Preview


This is just the tip of the iceberg for Carlos. Not only does the teacher shakes things up in class, but a normal run-of-mill- writing assignment turns fatal for Carlos’ social life. In an attempt to “pair” Carlos with the girl he has been crushing on, the teacher makes a critical move that backfires and throws Carlos’ life into a tailspin. As Carlos tries to dig himself out of this hole, he actually digs it deeper! He endures endless teasing and gossipy teachers as everyone discovers his secret. He is literally in a “camiseta de once varas.” Carlos soon realizes that his mentiras can only get his so much mileage and that only can the truth set him free….but will it be enough for Jessica?


Themes: Friendship, Love, Bullying, Decisions, and Character.

The story features most vocabulary associated with the classroom such as school supplies, classes, class furniture, prepositional phrases and activities related to the classroom activities. Stretching their vocabulary a bit, there is a little bit of poetry from one of the characters such as “ ella es el sol que ilumina mi día” in addition to common idiomatic expressions such as más te vale, no lo aguanto ni en pintura.  Phrases such as these are footnoted, listed in the pre-reading vocabulary and practiced in pre-reading exercises.  My student also used some of this vocabulary to talk about their other teachers (what happens in Spanish class stays in Spanish class!).

 

 As students read this story, they were on the edge of their seats (they wanted to read aloud because it was fun. I was the narrator to keep the flow). There is a considerable dialogue for it to be read aloud. There are also some lines for the whole class such as “¡Vaya!” and “!Ohhhhhh!” during an intense debate in chapter 10 of the sequel; La bella mentira.  The boys were rooting for Carlos the whole time (Dude, why did you do that?- Jamal), and the girls fell in love with his attempts to woe Jessica (and other funny characters- Rubén is a riot). I had originally written only 5 chapters, but they wanted to know what ever happened with Carlos and Jessica, so I finished with La Bella Mentira. The ending will not disappoint. 

La clase de confesiones partes 1 &2 Novel Bundle! Twice the fun… after reading part 1, your students will be begging for more…¡ te lo garantizo! 

Click here for Confessions Bundle 

Amazing Side Note 

As a post-reading assignment, they begged to write a sequel and prequel so I have them class time to do this (We were at the end of the unit and it was time to assess and move on). One of my students, who came with no experience whatsoever in Spanish, wrote one of the best alternative endings. I included the brief synopsis below. 


The students were asking me the feminine version of Patán (jerk), the name Jessica calls Carlos in the story (intense scene, but funny). So I could only think of mosquita muerta. Well, Hannah ended up using it in her story. Also, one of the motivations of Carlos’ lie was that he had been rejected. She included this, the past tense phrase (not many) in the story into her narrative. It was beautiful and made me think of how students really are sponges. 

I wish I could say that was the end but..Carlos’ adventures don’t stop here… Carlos mete la pata otra vez

Part 2, takes the adventure up a notch.

Carlos is having a bad day, and it’s about to get worse. He leaves Spanish class utterly embarrassed.  He had no idea that the teacher was going to partner him up with Jessica, the girl he actually writes about in his class essay. Adding insult to injury, the teacher reads his essay in front of the class, even the mean-spirited things he wrote about his teacher. After running into a few more problems in math class, he is faced with the big showdown in the lunchroom. Now, Carlos is between *”la espada y la pared.” However, a short story in Spanish class may hold the key to all of his problems, and may ultimately lead to his biggest confession of all.  Find out in part 2! 

Excerpt from chapter 2: La Bella Mentira 

Es jueves y Carlos está triste. Está triste porque tiene la clase de español. La clase de español ya no es su clase favorita. No es su clase favorita porque Carlos escribe sobre Jessica y todos los estudiantes escuchan el reporte de Carlos. La clase de español ya no es su clase favorita porque Carlos dice comentarios muy malos del profesor. Ahora Carlos está triste porque Jessica está en la clase de español. Carlos piensa en el mensaje de texto de Jessica << Eres un patán.>>


Antes de la clase, Carlos ve a Lucas, su amigo en el pasillo: 


Hola Carlos, ¿cómo andas? hermano- dice Lucas. 


Bastante mal, lee esto- dice Carlos. Carlos le enseña a Lucas el texto de Jessica.  


Lucas lee el primero texto de Jessica 


<<Tengo una confesión: tú eres el chico de la clase de español.  También me gustas.>>

Lucas responde: 

-Enhorabuena, ¡Jessica te gusta!


No exactamente. -Ahora, lee el otro mensaje- dice Carlos


<<Carlos, yo pienso que te gusto pero veo que no. Eres un mentiroso y todo que escribes en la clase de español es una mentira. No me gustan los mentirosos. Yo soy alérgica a los mentirosos.  Yo no quiero hablar contigo… y otra cosa… Eres un patán- Jessy.>>


Lucas lee el segundo mensaje de texto y responde:


 ¡Caray! Esto no es bueno. 


Sí, yo sé- dice Carlos con un tono triste. –Y ahora tengo la clase de español. 


Jessica está en la clase. Carlos le explica la situación a Lucas. Después, Lucas dice:


-Carlos, ánimo. Yo te ayudo. Tú tienes que ser honesto con ella.  


-¿Honesto?… pero ¿cómo?- pregunta Carlos.  


Pues, habla con ella. Dile que tú eres un chico estúpido y que todos necesitamos  una segunda oportunidad.  


-¿Eso es todo?- pregunta Carlos.  

-Sí, no es muy complicado- dice Lucas. 

Pero, ¡Carlos mete la pata otra vez! Find out in part 2!

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pzd1SZ

Check out my TPT Store activities, informational historical texts, and video activities for class 

Click here: http://bit.ly/2pAnP33

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Infuse problem-based thinking in your Spanish class with this project

pic of kid with technologyHow to infuse problem-based thinking into your world language classroom

A few year back when I was teaching in an International Baccalaureate middle school, I started the year dreamy-eyed with this cool social media project.  I could not wait to implement it.  Coming off a summer of PD around the Personal Project, a design cycle research project for students, I was sure this was going to be the year that we do big things and tackle relevant themes such:

  • How do we interact with social media? 
  • What digital footprints are we leaving on the world? 
  • How to use social media thoughtfully and responsibly?

I’d walk my students step by step in the target language. Then it happened. My hopes were dashed.  This critical and awe-inspiring week was met with three challenges:

  • We had no working technology in school
  • We had no access to computers 
  • We could not use the textbook 

This was not going to work because the whole  crux of my plan was to get them to design their own websites of something of import to them; then it hit me:

  • How am I teaching them problem-solving skills when I am vexed with a problem like this? 

Limited connectivity, no problem!

Stone-Age-Man So I had this paper website idea. The idea was for students to create a futuristic social media outlet dissimilar in style and purpose from the ones we have today. Essentially, they could not rebrand Facebook.  My 6th graders had to include the normal suite of buttons such as upload, download and the like (see activities below). They also had to think of a novel idea for the media outlet and a purpose it would serve- in basic Spanish. We charted our course with these essential questions:

If I could design a website in the future, what will it look like? 
How will it be useful? 
Who will be my targeted audience

For the final product (more to come on the brainstorming sessions and planning documents), they had to include the following on their paper website all in the target language:

  • Title (creative title in Spanish)
  • About me section (Descriptive adjectives, gustar, family)20131003
  • Tabs and links (vocabulary for technology use)
  • Picture or description of service
  • Testimony (very simple) (persuasive writing)
  • Email links
  • URL

 

The assessment for this activity as a presentation of their website to the class. I neglected to mention that students worked in pairs.

(I will be doing this again this year, so stay tuned for the final format)

How did we prepare? 

To prepare, we work with the vocabulary beforehand. Students used something similar to this Vocabulario para la tecnología sheet to familiarize themselves with the verbs. Students used activities such as   This activity helped students to:

  • Practice core verbs needed to discuss how they use technology 
  • Familiarize themselves with core vocabulary such as redes sociales, aplicación, etc. 
  • Engage in conversation about their social media usage. 
  • Share about their favorite sites and usage. 

An expansion of these activities in all including but not limited to reading texts, debates and student experiences with social media in the target language are included in my social media school unit.   I actually spread these throughout and because this was the middle school we used only use the reading and for the short debates the story Yo no puedo vivir sin mi celular. This text is about a boy who:

  • Talks about his phone 
  • His use of technology 
  • Why cellphones should be used in school  

The second story is  “El uso de celular destruyó mi vida is more for Spanish 2 (or the end of Spanish I as it has some preterit).  This story narrates the negative side of technology, cyber bullying, and students’ insensitive behavior.

If you are interested in combing your love for technology with a crime thriller, this short story may satisfy your fancy… oh, and did I mention the Teacher’s Manual was absolutely free? 

Click here for Freedom!

1
Click here to enter into a labyrinth of suspense 

Infographics on the use of technology

Eres adicto al celularEres adicto al celular

This was a tesoro that I found online and I am considering using this as an interpretive assessment.  Stay tuned for more activities!

How do you infuse technology into your class? 

Creative detective activity to practice dates, numbers, time and more!

Use this detective activity to practice dates, days of the week, numbers, time and more in Spanish 1

I  am always looking for creative ways to teach important vocabulary and grammatical points that form the ABC’s of learning Spanish.  I have become a detective in a way myself,  constantly looking for ways to spice up a lesson to deliver content that is original and fun for me as well.

I love role play, creating stories and dialogues that contextualize to such a way that students learn more than they bargain for incidentally. This method has earned many dividends over the span of my 11 year career.

This year, I have found a new twist to teaching the days of the week, dates and other ancillary but important building blocks to the language.

At my school, we do not use the Realidades series, but I happened to stumble upon the connected series Eres Tú María a few years ago; and I have shown it ever since. It can be found on Youtube and Vimeo. This series is wonderful in starting with basic Spanish and then getting more complex.

I usually show the first 10 episodes sprinkled throughout the school year as each one builds on the  other in terms of vocabulary, structures, themes and storyline. My students love when it is Maria time. At first, I was showing it as a treat more or less. After an arduous 90 minutes of class, this was a good brain break every couple of weeks. However, now that I have a better idea of how best to engage students in the first couple week of my Novice Level Spanish I class, I will use this resource to maximize and capitalize on input for listening and practicing:

  • Days of the week

  • Dates in Spanish
  • Highlighting countries
  • Greetings
  • Simple vocabulary words such as libro, periódico and some verbs to get them started.

Since Lola is a detective privada in the series, I created this investigative report/ detective activity in where students will:

  • View content with a specific purpose
  • Write for a specific purpose and have an audience in mind

In this role play activity, students are tasked with watching Lola (who is investigating a possible crime). As such the activity calls for them to:

  • Answer 7 basic questions related to the video. They actually get the information while watching the video the first or second time. The video is about 10 minutes.
  • Investigative cloze-text report template with word bank
  • Section to fill out their own information (includes writing out numbers and email)
  • Directions for filling out the report.