Spanish Writing Fluency

Spanish Cohesive Devices- Conjunctions

Is your school or district phasing in Common Core Standards?  At mine in Charlotte, NC there is a major push for all subjects to incorporate more argumentative writing. Not an easy endeavor for Spanish novices! When we looked closely at the PALS rubrics (from Fairfax County, VA) that our district is using for World Languages we saw that they were very specific and challenging.

A Level One student must use several COHESIVE DEVICES- or conjunctions- and at least 5-6 different verbs in a

presentational or argumentative writing piece.  Wow.  So, I’m taking the time to teach Spanish conjunctions separately and in a variety of contexts. The students are really proud of themselves for speaking and writing compound sentences in Level I and we’re thrilled with their progress with something pretty rigorous.

Here is a  Spanish Cohesive Devices Paragraph Model

Tell your students that they need to use and, then, later, after, finally, and more as much as they can!

Spanish Past Tense Practice- Preterite Verbs

April 13, 2011 · Posted in SPANISH CLASS NOW, Spanish Grammar, Spanish I · Comment 

We can always use a little practice with past tense Spanish verb phrases, and the preterite is on today.

Remember, you use the preterite for actions in the past that:

  • Have begun and ended in a finite way; completed actions.
  • Clues:  ayer-yesterday, anoche-last night, por . . . minutos/horas/meses.  Time markers that frame the past action.

See this preterite practice using the context of going to the movies.  Spanis Preterite Verbs Practice or Assessment

Click HERE for more Spanish language learning materials.

Using the Spanish Conditional- or el potencial simple

April 4, 2011 · Posted in SPANISH CLASS NOW, Spanish Grammar, Spanish II · Comment 

Practice the Spanish conditional mode or the I COULD way of expressing actions as in: I could eat the whole enchilada. Comería la enchilada completa.   A couple of pointers:

  • The infinitive stays intact, or as is, for REGULAR VERBS
  • Irregular verbs do have a stem change; they’re irregular.

Check out this simple, basic explanation: The Conditional Mode

Practice some Conversational Questions

  1. ¿Comerías una pizza entera?
  2. ¿Irías a un parque en el tiempo bonito?
  3. ¿Si tuvieras much tiempo libre en el fin de semana, que harías?
  4. ¿Qué películas verias si tuvieras el chance de ver tres en sequida?

And, here’s some practice or an assessment for using the conditional and double object pronouns in the context or situation of air travel. Spanish Conditional: Air Travel

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Basic Spanish Verbs Podcast

Here are some basic Spanish verbs in the third person, present tense.  He walks or It flies.

Spanish Verbs – third person, present tense

Visit for more Spanish materials and activities.

Free Spanish App!

Now you can get all of the vocabulary, conversational phrases, and content from in a FREE APP for your itouch, ipod, iphone, or ipad!  So much Spanish information now at your fingertips.  click APP to download it from itunes for free.

  • Instant Spanish ideas, content, games, activities, and more!
  • Easy, quick Spanish vocabulary
  • Instant culture lessons
  • Quick links to podcasts

It’s Oscar time in Spanish

The excitement and oohing and ahhing of the Academy Awards is here.  Spanish learners need current, relevant topics like the Oscars to use Spanish in Every Day Spanish.  The word BEST is used so much during the Oscars, why not practice MEJOR in Spanish?

Remember that mejor means best for the singular, and mejores is used for the plural.

Here is some Academy Awards Spanish Vocabulary for the Oscars

  • el mejor actor= best actor
  • el mejor actor secundario= best supporting actor
  • la mejor actriz= best actriz
  • la mejor actriz secundaria= best actrice
  • la mejor película= best movie
  • el mejor guión= the best screenplay

Click HERE for a Spanish Academy Awards 2010 set of activities.

Spanish Verbs & American Football

January 29, 2010 · Posted in Middle School Spanish, Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary · Comment 

Yes, it can be done. Combining Spanish grammar with fun content like American football just makes the process of learning and acquiring Spanish better. Learners remember interesting, relevant, or unusual contexts for the Spanish that is presented tot hem.  And the Super Bowl, or Súper Bol, is almost here!  Here are some Spanish Super Bol terms:

El Súper Bol

  • el jugador= the player
  • el equipo= the team
  • el entrenador= the coach
  • el estadio- the stadium
  • el campo- the field
  • el tanto= the score
  • lanza= he throws
  • patea= he kicks
  • atrapa= he catches
  • bloquea= he blocks

Click here for Spanish Verbs & American Football Printables.

Spanish Back to School Activities & Lessons

un libro

It’s almost here, la aperatura de las clases, or the opening of school!  New or recycled school supplies, or unos materiales escolares, are on eveybody’s mind.

Hispanic Country Cultural Note

Spanish speaking countries have big-box stores that sell school supplies, but there still remains the small office supply or school supply store, la papelería.  Many people head there to get the following:

  • unos lápices= some pencils
  • unos bolígrafos= some pens
  • un bloc de papel= a packet of paper
  • unas carpetas= some binders
  • unos cuadernos= some workbooks
  • unas gomas= some erasers
  • unos marcadores= some markers

Gender & Articles

School supplies, unos materiales escolares, are perfect for teaching and practicing gender, definite articles, and indefinite articles.  Articles are used much more in Spanish than in English and the correct gender is required.  La, Las are for feminine things and El, Los are for masculine.  Un, unos, una, and unas mean “a” or “some.”

For more practice with materiales escolares click here.

For a simple, easy story with materiales escolares click here.

For a Classroom Phrase activity collection click here.

Spanish Game: Prepositions & the Pool

Practice those Spanish prepositions, location words, with the pool!  Use basic Spanish prepositions and a picture of a swimming pool to play a great game full of repetition, but fun.

Goal: Learn Spanish prepositions well enough to recall and say or write them.

Materials: 1.  a list of basic Spanish prepositions.  See previous post on this site.  2.  index cards: one Spanish preposition per card.  Enough cards for entire group of students necessary; repeats are fine. 3.  a picture of a bright blue swimming pool on an 81/2″” by 11” piece of paper (Use plenty of Spanish to describe this.)  4.  Spanish prepositions song.  See previous post


  1. Practice saying, chanting, & singing the Spanish prepositions to the chant and song
  2. Pass out 1 Spanish preposition card to each student
  3. Place the swimming pool picture, la piscina, in the middle of the circle of players, en el centro.
  4. Teacher counts- uno, dos, tres.  Then all players reveal their card.  The teacher chooses the first player to say the Spanish preposition on the card, demonstrate it with la piscina, or even say a Spanish sentence with the preposition & the pool.  This player chooses the next player, and so on.
  5. Players all switch cards.

Once you have a class set of cards, the possibilities for card games are endless.  Use your own ideas, experience, and creativity to come up with even more.  Charades are fun and all sorts of races are exciting too.

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