Mar de plástico Centers

Yesterday was “¿Qué es el océano?” day. In this Center activity, my students read infographics, tweets, and talked to me about what the ocean is.  I had the chance to introduce them to the 5 oceans of the world, to find out what they were learning from the other centers, and to see what they remembered from their Mar-mory memory game the Thursday before!  They had the chance to investigate the topic on their own, to show off what they could produce, and to ask me questions to clear things up!  It was GREAT conversation!  The 5 minute center time made it go quickly and we were able to get through all 7 centers AND have a post-center discussion in our 48 minute period.

Here’s a little clip of one of the question/answers at our “chat” center.

I had to start a little behind some of the other teachers using the unit and I am SO excited to be digging in!

Full unit

2 week adaptation

1 week mini

Today, we moved on to the next activity in the full unit, Ocean Threats.  Students had to identify which threats they thought were severe/moderate/or minor and why.  We finished by sharing what groups had selected as the greatest ocean threat!  All groups (and I) picked the same one!! We are never unanimous about anything! We ended the hour watching the Lonely Whale commercial “Stop Sucking” and their homework is to ditch the straw tonight and tweet their drink #sinpopote with the hashtag #nochupo.

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

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