Theme by Meme

Its no secret, I’m in a new school this year… and I miss my former students and coworkers so much… but the technology vacuum no longer exists for me.  It was such a fun yet frightening start to the year!  How was I (the one with no WiFi and no devices) going to adapt quickly and seamlessly to a school with smart-boards, 1:1 iPads… and my husband who is one of the two directors of tech even set me up with dual monitors on my computer so I could use both the PC and the smart board… Um… what?

My first thought was this smart board.  I wanted it to be in use, every day… even when we weren’t directly using it.  So I started theme by meme.  First order of business, secretly teaching Spanish 1 the days of the week… I put up a new meme every day… EVERY DAY… for 1 quarter.  Each meme was specifically targeted to the day of the week.  Not only was it great for Spanish 1, it was great review for Spanish 2-4.  I didn’t have to waste valuable class time with a “calendar project”, I subliminally packed those days into their minds!  🙂

From there, the memes turned to comedy.  I looked for some idiomatic expressions I’d like to share, cute pets, etc.  Just anything that would get a laugh.

At Christmas time, we shifted to all holiday memes and after break, we came back to los 3 Reyes.  Since then we have been in “love mode” with both sweet and sarcastic love memes every day.

My big moment is yet to come!  After Valentine’s day, I am shifting to ALL travel memes.  It is my subliminal message to them that America IS GREAT! but that it is just a corner or an amazing globe!  I want them to love their country but long to see ALL the countries.  My hope is that in the 9 weeks I spend meme-ing them messages about wanderlust, they’ll have this unexplainable desire to GO… and if they GO… they’ll never be the same again!

Tips for meme by theme:

  1. Google!  Just type your theme in your TL plus the word meme and see what you find.
  2. PINTEREST!  There are memes galore on Pinterest!
  3. Keep a folder within a folder.  My folder is called “a desktop background for everything”.  Inside the big folder I have “haven’t used yet”.  This folder contains all the memes I collect when I have a few free minutes… It helps me NOT need to search every day!
  4. Change the meme before you shut down your computer.  If it is already there in the morning, you don’t even have to remember to change it!
  5. Be prepared to be called the master of dank memes. 🙂


Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas" and "Bananas" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at

5 thoughts

  1. I love this, Carrie! Makes me SO wish I were with my students every day so we could do one every day!

  2. How Carrie, I feel so silly, I just realized you wrote Vector! I want to compliment you, I have truly enjoyed your books. I am using novels for the first time this year. La hija del sastre was my students favorite novel this year! I hated to see it come to an end when we finished. Thank you so much for providing an interesting book option for use in my upper level Spanish classes. I found it was just about perfect for my students level of Spanish. It was slightly challenging, but not overwhelming. The best part was that we were all interested in the history of Spain and the characters. Great work!

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