Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hooray for Sundays

Hey all!  I was going about my business scouring TpT for lesson plans this morning when what did I see??

ME!  It caught me off guard and I may have even shouted a little.  Buuut, in order to celebrate and just because I'm loving everything about today... everything in my store will be 10% off for today only!

Nerd Alert, Nerd Alert!!

Y'all... I am such a teacher nerd.  Like, TpT Lovin, marker hordin', pen obsessed, binder enthusiast, and clipart addicted.  {Aren't we all though?}  However, I'm slowly realizing that while this is the norm for me in the schools back home.  It is SO not the norm here.  And by the people surrounding me.  WHAAAAT???

The program I am working through is organized by the Spanish government.  In order to teach English in Spain, you do not need to have an education degree.  So almost all of the people who do this program come straight out of college and have different degrees.  I do not know of any other actual teachers in the program.  I feel like I definitely have an upper hand because I am comfortable in a classroom, but nobody else gets the teaching aspect.  Nor do they have a love for all things TEACHER!  Like, when I suggested that we create a tub full of all our lesson plans and games we make... I got blank stares.  That would've killed in a teacher's lounge!  And when I purchased an uber cheap printer at a local store... I got asked why I would spend the money.  And when I told them to let me know of any game ideas they have so I can make them online and share them... they thought I was crazy.  And the teachers here are not much different.  At least the teachers I work with.  They love themselves some workbooks.
My collection of teacher supplies so far.. Meager but a start!
So maybe this isn't the same teaching environment.  Maybe I really am a SUPER teacher nerd.  I think I'm okay with it.  Who's with me?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up with the adorable Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday!  Be sure to go check it out!

(1) I am really enjoying teaching esl.  It's allowing me to work with so many different ages AND do fun stuff that you couldn't exactly get away with in 5th grade :)  Such as The First Grade Parade's adorable Are Bat's Cute or Creepy Graphtivity and this book I made all about Bats!

(2)  This is the view from my classroom window.  It's cloudy but in the distance you can see mountains :)  I try to get a glimpse out that window as frequently as possible.

(3)  Mmmmm... I really can't think of a much better way to spend a morning but drinking apple spice tea and updating the blog!

(4)  My hubby and I celebrated our **4 Month** anniversary this week :)  We went out for some yummy tapas!  One of my favorite things about living in Spain is the TAPAS!

(5)  My bookshelf which is slowly starting to fill up with fabulous school supplies!  Just need some colored paper, colored pencils, and a hole puncher... and maybe a few {thousand} more items :)

HAPPY FRIDAY everyone!!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

5th Grade Opinion Writing Unit!!!

Hooray!!  I have recently uploaded a new writing unit to TeachersPayTeachers! It's specifically for 5th graders and is a 6 week unit on Opinion Writing- one of the major standards in 5th grade!  

Included in this unit is all sorts of goodies!

All in a Writer's Workshop format
Just glue them into your student's notebooks and viola!  You're good to go!  Students can take notes, add their own personality, and always have something for them to refer back to in writer's workshop.
Seriously... everything you could possibly think of and need- right here!
I created these units to help support teachers in writer's workshop.  There's already enough on our plate and it's so tricky to keep track of student work.  Well, here is the solution!  All of my writing units will makes writer's workshop, lesson planning, and writing conferences a breeze!  Not to mention how much easier it will make report cards and parent teacher conferences... 

Go check it out and download the preview to see the organization, layout, and table of contents!  And of course, don't hesitate to e-mail me with any questions or concerns you may have.  My e-mail is

Happy Thursday, sweet friends!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Hola chicos!

All is well here in Spain.  I cannot believe we're nearing the end of OCTOBER!!  Where has the time gone!!?  I am trying my darnest to finished my 3rd writing unit, like yesterday.  Please bear/bare {just had to google which it was... turns out it's bear} with me as I adjust to this new life and no wifi thing. 

Found this adorable guy while searching for the correct phrase
I am enjoying my sweet ninos.  But to be truthful, this entire process is a struggle for me.  I feel like I am struggling just as much as the little kiddos.  Not only can I not speak Spanish, they cannot speak English.  I am just trying to keep my head above water most days because what else can you do when little ones can't understand you?

In order to make the most out of our time in the classroom I'm trying to use very simple games and activities.  This past week I taught about Halloween!  In order to teach them, I used the Halloween poster you can see here.  And then made some flashcards with the pictures on them. 

My drawing skills leave something to be desired
We read the words together from the poster and then I had them form two groups.  One student from each group would come up at a time and I would hold out the flashcard for them and the first student to say the word got a point for the team.  Super simple.  And easy.  And helping build their Halloween vocabulary.  Haha.  It may not be the most practical vocabulary for them to learn but hey, they're enjoying it :)   I figure we will ease into some numbers and the alphabet this coming week. 

With my high schoolers, I am having a very different experience!  My high schoolers are much more fluent in English and can have a little more fun.  In fact, one of the teachers I am working with brought games to our class this week and we got to all play games {which is nearly unheard of from teachers in Spain!}. 
Super similar to "I Have... Who Has..."
One of the games was very similar to "I Have... Who Has..." and I thought it was great, so I went ahead and made my very own version and you can grab it in my TpT Store for FREE!  It's a great game for discussing context clues and even better for any ESL learners because it makes them think about the sentences. 

There's SO many fun ways you can use this game :)
In the mean time, I am still scouring the internet {when I can get it!} and have started a Pinterest board with tons of ESL games and activities.  Please check it out and be sure to follow me on Pinterest while you're there! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hooray for a Giveaway!!

I don't know about you, but I LOOOOVE birthdays!  Which is why I couldn't resist joining Miss Lisa over at Always an Adventure in Kindergarten for her Birthday Extravaganza!!  Enter her giveaway to win all sorts of wonderful goodies, including your choice of my writing units.  Go check it out.  And enter!  Now!  It ends this weekend :)

Click the picture to go directly to Always an Adventure in Kindergarten!

And be sure to check back later this week.  I am super excited about a morning meeting freebie idea I was inspired to make after hanging out with my ESL kiddos today.  Be sure to check it out and download it!

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's the "end" of the strike

TIL is the program the government is trying to enforce.
Well, the strike is pretty much over.  Don't ask me what that means because I'm not exactly sure.  But from what I understand, almost all of the schools are back to work and have started their school year {nearly a month after they were supposed to}.  There wasn't a complete settlement- but the government is going to provide English classes for all teachers for the next two years.   After two years, they will be expected to teach 33% of their school day in English.  I'm not exactly sure how you can do that... but that's the new expectation.  I assume I will learn more about it as the school year continues, but isn't that crazy!!?  Can you imagine having two years to become fluent in Spanish so that you could teach at least two subjects a day in complete Spanish?  Whew!  Major props to these teachers.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Holy loud Spanish kids!

Holy cow!  I love my Spanish students, but man are they LOUD!  I'm not sure if it's an excitement thing, a cultural thing, or a kid thing... or a combination of all three... but they sure are noisy!  Days 1, 2, 3, and 4 are complete and went smoothly.  It's fun getting to experience the Spanish education system {there are so many differences, but that's a whole different blog post} and work in a new environment.  For the most part, I've been getting into a routine and learning the expectations.  But on Thursday I started getting to pull small groups.  I have my own little classroom... complete with a CHALKboard, and about 20 minutes for each group.
When was the last time you used a real chalkboard?
This week I worked with 5th and 6th graders.  But next week I will also have groups of 1st graders and groups of high school seniors!  Such a large age difference!  We are going to continue building their knowledge of the alphabet and numbers, but then I'm going to start teaching some vocabulary.  If anyone has some suggestions for how to do this- PLEASE let me know!

I'm going to start with a Halloween theme since that's easy and festive.  But I don't speak much Spanish so it's hard to communicate... so I'm trying to be SUPER organized and planned out!!  I have been scouring Pinterest for lots of ideas, but our internet decides to only work half the time so I'm trying to be creative on my own.  Whew!  It's been a while since I haven't had the help of y'all's blogs and the internet to help me plan! I forgot how hard it was.

Halloween Vocab, Flashcards, and a Crossword Puzzle!
On Friday I was invited to got to join my hubby's 5th grade class on their field trip to the nearby Bellver Castle!  It was built in 1311 by King James II of Mallorca.  It is unique because it is one of the only round castles in Spain!  Soooo cool.

I'm so happy to be back in a classroom but am very nervous to see how this new adventure goes.  I'll be back last in the week to share some more of what we're doing to build up these kiddo's English!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Back to School!

Well Wednesday was my first day back to work!  Holy long Summer.  It was orientation, where we got to learn more about the program, meet the teachers we will be working with, and meet other people who are from the US, France, Ireland, the UK, and Australia who are doing the same thing we are doing.  It just shocks me how I am reminded every single day how HUGE our world is.  There are so many people out there who are doing amazing things that I am completely unaware of. 

I think of one the coolest parts of our orientation was that I got to see more of the teacher strike up close and personal.  The director who is trying to implement this new language law, check out my post here or here for more information, spoke to us.  As soon as she was introduced, all of the teachers who are striking stood up and faced the back of the room.  Talk about awkward!  The director continued to share her speech with us in Spanish, English, and Catalan, obviously trying to make a point that she was able to speak multiple languages.  The teachers faced the back of the room the entire time she was speaking and when the director finally stopped {about 20 minutes later}, they all faced forward and sat back down. 
You can see the speaker on the stage and the teachers {in the
green shirts} facing the back of the room.
Before we went to break, the director’s assistant asked that we all went up to take a picture with the director.  It was obviously an attempt to make it appear like everything is kosher, but it was very awkward and uncomfortable.   So, it was cool that we got to see everything in action… not so cool that it was super weird. 

I start in the classroom on Monday!  My official job is to teach English to Spanish speaking students.  The most exciting part of this is that I will be working with ALL age groups {kinder to high school} and bouncing from classroom to classroom.  I can’t wait to be back in a class with kiddos!  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Hey y’all I am super excited to announce the winner of my giveaway!!  It’s Laura R over at Adventures in Mutligrade!  Be sure to check your e-mail, Laura, so you can collect your $25 gift card to TpT!  Thank you to everyone who entered!! {And be sure to check out her super blog while you're at it!}

All is great here in Spain.  We had been on a serious apartment hunt this past week and finally found one last night!  We’re going to move in this afternoon and we are SO excited to have a “home” after living in hotels for the past two weeks.  I’ve had to hold off on all shopping knowing that I would have to move anything I purchased.  I am SO ready to go hit up Zara.  It may be a little while before we have wifi.  I'm still sitting in a cafĂ© in order to get a little bit of internet :)
Today was supposed to be my first day of work but the teacher strike is still continuing in Spain.  We are living in Palma, which is the largest city on Mallorca.  But one of my school’s is in a smaller city outside of Palma, called Sineu.  We took the train out to Sineu yesterday to find my school and see how the strike is affecting the smaller towns.  Well, it seems as if the smaller towns are the ones really affected by the strike.  Which makes sense I suppose, because how often do the smaller towns have a reason to speak English?  They aren’t huge tourist destinations.  Or the base of larger international companies.  As we walked through the {beautiful beautiful} streets, we saw evidence of the strike hanging from windows and doors
Check out those green shirts

Green shirts everywhere

Even green shirts with the Catalon flag!
And on our way home, we got to even see some of the strike in action!  Teachers were holding a protest in downtown Palma.  We got to walk along, cheer, and support the teachers here, which was awesome! 

It was amazing how peaceful but LOUD it was.
Funny side story… I was telling my mom about the protest and she was very worried about “riots” or “violence”.  All it took was a reminder that these people striking are teachers. They’re like me, and any other teacher out there!  I laughed pretty hard at that one J

I hope y’all have a great week!  I am still working hard to finish Unit 3- Opinion Writing as soon as possible!  I am hoping to have it completed by the end of next week.  I apologize for the delay, life has certainly caught up to me these days, but moving into an apartment and getting into a routine will certainly help {I HOPE!!}.