Maestros de Español Fall/Winter Blog Hop

Spanish Teacher Sale Alert! A bunch of the top Spanish sellers on TpT have gotten together and we are having a sale on 4 items in our stores and many of us are also offering a giveaway! You can search #fallwinterspanishsale on and all the sale items will come up. Sale runs November 1-4. Stock up on fall and winter items!  

Those of us with blogs are also taking part in this Blog Hop, so at the bottom of my blog post you will find links for the other Spanish sellers that are participating! Show everyone some love and hop on over to their blogs!

Fall/Winter Tips & Activities

Planning is honestly one of my most favorite activities. I love planning vacations, lessons, and anything else that needs to be planned. #nerdalert

When I sit down to plan, I start with a unit in mind, as opposed to a lesson that will only last one period, because I need to know where I'm going. It's like getting in the car and driving without any destination. Why would you do that? Who has that kind of money to spend on gas? When planning a unit, I first consider my objectives for what students should be able to do. What should they be able to talk about? What should they be able to understand and respond to? What specific vocabulary and grammar should they know? I like to make a list of all the vocabulary, phrases, and grammar topics I want students to be learn. It's usually several pages in Word single-spaced.

These 3 Word docs are gems from my second year of teaching
Then once I have my Master List of Vocabulary and Grammar Topics, I group everything. For example, for a clothing unit, I group all the clothing items together. I group all the ways you can describe clothing together. I group all the names of stores together. And I list all the verbs I want to teach (for a clothing unit these might be llevar, quedar, parecer, costar, etc).

Then I put my Master List into some sort of chronological order and I start matching vocabulary with grammar topics. I teach vocabulary words in context, so they need to have a grammar topic (old or new) to be given a context!

This is from my second year of teaching, before I truly mastered color coding!
Finally, I open up a blank calendar in Word (or a year's worth if I'm really good) and I start putting groups of vocabulary and grammar onto the calendar, one day at a time. Those will be the lessons for each individual day. For a clothing unit, I start by teaching clothing vocabulary with the verb llevar, 10-14 words at a time. I broke up all the vocabulary over two days, plus a third day with accessories vocabulary. If you squint at the picture above, I started this clothing unit on March 18th way back in 2009 (why do I still have these calendars from my second year of teaching?). Then I teach colors vocabulary, and on March 25th I put colors and clothing vocab together. Students should have been able to state what color clothing items they were wearing. Then I teach students how to describe how clothing items fit with the verb quedar. And then we move on to numbers with costar so we can state how much clothing items cost - first with numbers they already know (0-100), then with new vocabulary 100-1,000,000. And I just keep chugging along, plugging all my vocabulary and grammar requirements into the calendar in the way that makes the most logical sense.

I was always given the chapter and unit tests either by my department chair or my school system, to ensure uniformity across teachers. I never had to sit down and create a big period-long test, so I create my Master Lists by combing through the test so I knew everything students had to know and exactly what context they had to know it in. If you don't have tests handed to you, then I suggest creating a unit test before sitting down and planning each day's lesson. Or a skit. Or whatever culminating assessment you plan on using for students to demonstrate what they did (or didn't) learn. It matters how you teach students the vocabulary and grammar and how they have to demonstrate their understanding and those two hows should align with each other.

Once I have the big picture and I know everything the unit will include, I get down to the nitty-gritty and plan each day's individual lesson. For my first couple years of teaching I wrote out the objective (in a Word doc for that day's lesson - I <3 Microsoft Word) and brainstormed listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities that would help my students achieve that objective, but after a few years I would just start creating the exit ticket, then the powerpoint lesson (I also <3 Microsoft Powerpoint), then the classwork, and finally the bell ringer.

The calendar above is from May 2015. I clearly became a master of color coding!

Planning out the whole unit (deciding what vocab and grammar to teach, and in what order) honestly only takes an hour or two. It's the creation of each day's lessons that is time-consuming. I use the calendars in Microsoft Word to keep track of what I'm teaching each day, what has and hasn't been done in terms of preparing the lesson, which days I assign homework, which days there is a quiz, which days there is no school or a half-day or a dress down (avoid important things like quizzes on a dress down day if at all possible) or any other reason for shortened periods (no need to plan a 50-minute lesson when you're only going to have a 35-minute class!).

I am allergic to paper plan books because I can't copy/paste or delete or move things around as easily as I can digitally. The first school I worked at gave everyone a paper plan book like they didn't know what computers were, so I used mine as a mouse pad. It made an excellent mouse pad.

How do you like to plan? What have you found to be most helpful in the planning process?

Fall/Winter On Sale Products

I don't have many fall- or winter-themed holiday products in my store, so I found my 4 best-selling products in early November of 2014 and I put those products on sale with a 20% discount for this blog hop! The sale runs November 1-4 and you can search for everyone's sale items with the hashtag #fallwinterspanishsale. My sale items are:

The Alphabet Unit is actually my all-time best-selling product! It doesn't surprise me that it's still a top-seller in November. It is designed for a Spanish 1 class and teaches the alphabet over 5 days (for 50-minute periods). I use a song to teach the alphabet, so a youtube link is included, as well as bell ringers, a vocabulary sheet, classwork assignments, listening scrips, exit tickets, and lesson plans for the first two days. The classwork assignments include listening, speaking, and writing activities. The next three days are for a project where students create an alphabet book with vocabulary for all 30 letters of the Spanish alphabet. Students will be able to spell their names in Spanish, as well as vocabulary words, and they will get practice with sound discrimination. Everything is editable!

It surprises me that the -AR Verbs with Adverbs of Frequency Lesson sells well in November! I didn't teach that until March or April! Lots of teachers must teach verb conjugation in Spanish 1 early in the year or review it in Spanish 2 with adverbs of frequency around this time. This lesson is meant to be a review of regular -AR verb conjugation and adverbs of frequency - students should already be familiar with both, but not together. The lesson includes a bell ringer, powerpoint, classwork, an exit ticket and a lesson plan for a 50-minute class period! The powerpoint teaches ¿qué haces todos los días?, ¿qué haces los fines de semana? and 5 other adverbs of frequency. The classwork includes listening, speaking, and writing activities. Everything is editable.

The Definite Articles Lesson also makes sense that it sells well at the beginning of the year. It teaches what types of nouns commonly fall into the categories of el, la, los, and las, and also teaches common irregular nouns (la mano, el problema, etc). The lesson includes a bell ringer activity, powerpoint, classwork, exit ticket, and a lesson plan for a 50-minute period. All documents are editable!

The Future Tense Bundle also surprises me for selling so well in November! I never taught the future tense until the third quarter probably. This bundle includes a lesson on regular verbs (for a 50-minute period), a lesson on irregular verbs, a homework assignment, and a quiz. Both lessons include a bell ringer, a powerpoint that teaches the verb forms, a notes page for students, a classwork with 2-3 pages of writing activities, an exit ticket, and a lesson plan. Everything is editable.

Fall/Winter Giveaway

I'm also including a giveaway for this blog hop.  Yes, for those of you keeping track, that is TWO blog hops and TWO giveaways in less than 10 days for me and my little blog!  This giveaway is for a $25 gift card to TpT and you can enter either by following my facebook page, following my Instagram, or by commenting on this blog post!

I'd love to hear what planning tips you have and if you use anything better than Microsoft Word calendars and a lot of color coding!

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Check out some of the other Spanish blogs participating in this Blog Hop!


  1. I love your organizational talent and thank you for your hard work and resources!

    1. I'm so glad my resources have been able to help you! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thanks for your great ideas and for participating in this hop! I've enjoyed it! :)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and I'm glad you've enjoyed this hop! Emilie from Island Teacher gets a million gold stars for putting it all together! :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and I'm glad my resources have been useful for you!

  4. Your process for planning makes a lot of sense to to find the time. Well done! Thanks for sharing!

  5. It took me a while to put all my thoughts together and try to make this blog post coherent! I hope it has been helpful for you!

  6. Very well organized! I love your planning routines, and maybe one day I'll get there :)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, Hilda! :)