Off to a GREAT start!

It’s never perfect but this year is about as good as it gets! I finally have an afternoon prep! (I’m a morning person so I like getting a lot done before lunch and having a minute to collect myself after!) Our program is in a growing phase! Three years ago we had 17 in a combined 3/4. Two years ago, we had 40 threes (half seniors) and 12 4s. One year ago we had 40 threes (half seniors) and 20 4s. This year… We have 60 3s (12 seniors) and 20 4s… Next year we could have two sections of FOUR! I’m just so happy to see so many going on!

Now that the introductory part of the year is over we are into stuff that really gets students involved! In Spanish 2 we just finished SOMOS 2 unit 2 – La muchacha y la ardilla… I always let my students create their own story so in one class we had a boy in the park with a dragon and in the other we had an alien in area 51 with a monstruos guinea pig named Cuy Cucuy! This week we are doing a lot of past narrative that includes El banco by Señor Wooly, my unit on El cacto y el banco, and my unit on El robo loco. We are working up to our first read of the year, Bianca Nieves y los siete toritos!

In level 3 we are doing my unit on Biodiversity and Conservation! If you HAVE it, I am updating it and will post the new unit after we finish! I have some ideas for enriching the study and I want the unit to be clickable like some of my new units! If you don’t have it, buy it now! When the unit is updated, it will cost just a little more! Tuesday will be our field trip to the woods near our school! The kids are excited for that! Our first read of the year, Robo en la noche will follow this study. I usually read it in 2 but we made a switch last year for La llorona so I am throwing it in now!

In level 4 we just finished my song based unit En guerra. We are about to read Frida Kahlo by Kristy Placido and this unit was the PERFECT lead in.

I can’t wait to see how far we go (Did you know Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote that song for Moana?)!


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

4 thoughts

  1. It is exciting to see a department grow! Last year I had 12 Spanish III students. This year, I have 34 Spanish III and one lone Spanish IV student! And.. this is in a small rural town in Missouri (:

  2. Your numbers found great! Congrats on the growth! I had 1 Span 4 student last year and this year there are 14!!! So happy and excited. I do have a curriculum question. You stayed that in Span 2, you just finished Unit 2 of Somos 2. Did they complete all Units of Somos 1 in year 1 or do you just jump into Somos 2 in year 2 regardless of how far they got in year 1?

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