Powerful Units for Back to School

The summer has been so wonderful! I got to visit Costa Rica with a group of students who were SO excited to use their Spanish in the real world! I got to float in my pool sooooo many days because it has been unseasonably warm! My hibiscus plants were the most beautiful I’ve ever had. The bird feeders have been busy now that our trees are bigger! I had an amazing cohort and got some good quality time (and food) in St. Petersburg at iFLT. I wrote a new book! (Watch for Bananas this fall!) From time with my family and pets to lots of lunches with friends, I have milked this summer for all it’s worth. Now my brain is starting that slow transition back to “planning mode”.

As I consider what units I will shift around this year, I thought I would make a short summary of some of the things that you’ll find in the units I write! Remember that the structures you want or need to teach can be added to any unit! If something seems to have a lot of present tense, add reps of past tense structures by retelling stories, asking what students (or people in general) used to do. Make predictions to get future reps! Need to teach subjunctive? Just ask for recommendations, give suggestions, or find out what they think is important! The value of a good unit is that the CONTENT you are delivering can be the vehicle that helps them acquire language that can be used in any context!

I’m attaching a document with a break down of (and links to) some of my content based units that might help with your planning as you go back to school! I am working on one last one… green energy Costa Rica style! (The research for this one was fun!) Hope I can have it ready to kick off the year and talk to my students about my trip! Like them all? Try the SUPER BUNDLE!

Happy planning! I hope that as you enjoy your last few weeks of summer, these ready-made units let you relax a little longer!

Whats in a unit PDF
Whats in a unit DOCX

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 gmail.com.

9 thoughts

  1. Hi there, I’m searching for STEM type activities that my students could work hands-on together for the first day(s) of school. I, of course, want them to be related to Spanish and I thought you would be the person to start with since you have a passion for science and Spanish. I want students to have to think outside-of-the- box and construct something that is related to my content area (high school Spanish I). My idea is that they will “race” against other groups to construct their product and then we can discuss differences, benefits, and processes afterwards. I’ve searched high and low on TPT and all I can find is a STEM activity in which students work in groups to construct chinampas from a study on Aztec floating gardens. Any ideas or directions you can offer would be appreciated. Thanks so much and happy planning!

    On Fri, Jul 26, 2019 at 7:23 PM Somewhere to Share wrote:

    > senoracmt posted: ” The summer has been so wonderful! I got to visit Costa > Rica with a group of students who were SO excited to use their Spanish in > the real world! I got to float in my pool sooooo many days because it has > been unseasonably warm! My hibiscus plants were the” >

    1. I think repurposing products to keep plastics out of the landfills could be a cool stem activity. We do that in my zero waste unit and Marta Yedinak did it as a follow up to Mar de plástico. You could do something with green energy sources. I’ve seen several solar ovens that are classroom experiments as I’ve been researching my green energy unit!

  2. Thanks for all you do and all you share! In your post, you mention that there are some links in your What’s in a Unit? share. I couldn’t get any of them to work. Which ones are active links?

    1. SO weird. When I save it as a PDF, it is killing all the links. I’m going to re-upload it as a word doc. The links work there! Thank you for seeing this!

  3. Carrie,
    Thank you for your inspiring units! I too have a passion for the environment and taking care of our natural resources, and I love that you’ve incorporated those values through your love of science and travel. They are a wonderful springboard for teaching upper levels in an engaging and current way!

  4. Hi! I downloaded this doc, but I cannot click on any of the links. How should I find the specific units you mention? I googled some, but I want to make sure they are the right & complete units you reference. Thank you!

    El jul. 26, 2019, a la(s) 20:23, Somewhere to Share escribió:

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