Friday, August 30, 2019

Spanish 1A (Expanded and Updated) 2017 BUNDLE on TPT!

Hi everyone! Well, after getting really bogged down trying to create an ebook (and a print book) with the umpteen jillion individual documents that are in my updated Spanish 1A 2017 files, I changed my mind (again) and decided to just go ahead and offer the lessons as a bundle instead. It's August and I'm just too busy to make ebooks and paperbacks right now (I'm sure you can relate...)

I was concerned about the stealing and plagiarism I have read about on TPT but after spending all my free time for two weeks struggling to combine and format these 400 or so documents into a single manuscript (it's VERY complicated in Word when you have columns, headers, footers, etc. for each individual document,) I realized, it's Labor Day weekend, I need a break, and honestly it's going to take me all weekend to finish this beast...IF I work on it several hours a day...and even then, it might not be done by bedtime Monday.

And then I just rebelled.

And then I said to myself, if somebody wants to steal all my stuff and spend all their free time for two or three weeks making an ebook out of it, MORE POWER TO THEM, because it's so much work that I just can't face it right now.

Okay, end of whining session. The Spanish 1A bundle (First Day - Lesson 30, all lessons including final exam, containing around 500 documents) should go live sometime tonight or Saturday. If you buy this bundle, you do not need to buy my 1A 2009 ebook or print book on Amazon; the bundle has everything you need.

Whew! TGIF! Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Survival Skills for Teachers: Essential Items To Own, Wear, and Carry to School

Black jeans, grey t-shirt, and a cardigan. I like to keep it simple and comfortable.

Some of you probably have boundless energy and emotional stamina for all your classes. Others of us are past the age of 40 and need all the help we can get to make it to 3:00 pm Friday with a couple of nerves intact.

With that in mind, here is my list of must-haves for the Teaching Life... 

Essential Items to Own, Wear, and Carry to School:

1. Nice-looking athletic shoes with gel in the soles + supportive socks. If you teach standing up, your feet, ankles, and legs will thank you. Also, you can go walking at lunch if you manage to find the time and energy. (If you have plantar fasciitis tendencies, I recommend ASICS or New Balance.)

2. A backpack. Not a heavy bag you carry on your aching shoulder or a cross-body bag slung across your body. Those things pull your body out of alignment and cause shoulder and neck pain. Trust me on this.

3. Colored/nice jeans or comfortable casual pants. Preferably with stretch. You might be able to get away with leggings if you have long shirts and sweaters, and God knows leggings are the most comfortable attire known to man. (If you're a dude, best stick with jeans and khakis...But hey, no judgment. ;-))

4. Comfortable t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, and cardigans. Guys can do polos and belts and look really nice.

5. Bling (watch, earrings, bracelet, ring, etc.) to dress up the fact that you're basically wearing jeans, t-shirts, tennis shoes, and sweaters every day.

6. Water and healthy snacks. Things you can sneak-eat in class when your energy dips. I like raw nuts, electrolyte powder packets I can put in my water, edamame, raw zucchini sticks, and vegan sugar-free chocolate (Lily's brand usually.)

7. Escapism tools. (Earbuds, book to read, Pinterest/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram on your phone, journal, tea, anything that helps you calm down and regroup when the day gets overwhelming. Find a place you can go in the school, like a quiet corner of the library or somebody's unused office or conference room, when you need a moment to yourself. If your school is like mine, students will come try to hang out with you when you're in your room without a class.)

8. Your entire-semester planner (pocket sized.) You will jot a couple of words/phrases that explain the main gist of what you're planning to do each day that week (or two, or three, or the whole month if you can manage it. It's okay to change this later, but it's a lifesaver when you can't think of what you're supposed to be doing the next day.)

9. A movie and video guide/quiz sitting out somewhere and ready for a sub when you call in "sick" in order to lesson plan the next 2-3 weeks out and assemble all the copies you need.

10. Liquid Kava Kava with a dropper that you can add to your water bottle when you feel stressed during, after, or before class. I like "Anxiety Soother" by Herb Pharm. (You can order it online at, I just noticed.) It takes the edge off almost immediately.

Bonus item #11 - supportive colleagues. Teachers are second to none when it comes to helping each other out of the pit of despair when times get tough. <3

What are YOUR essential items to take or wear to school? Comment below if you have suggestions for new teachers!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Lesson Plan Book Giveaway!!!!!

No more hauling these guys around in my car. :)

Hi everyone!

As most of you know, I have been transitioning my printed lesson plan book business to and Teachers Pay Teachers over the past year. I am no longer getting books printed myself and shipping them out of my house...due to growth in sales (yay!)

I have some remaining spiral-bound inventory that I am running a giveaway contest for on my Facebook Page. Up to 4 books per person will be given away on a first-come-first-served basis. You will only pay to have them shipped to your home or school. (I use FEDEX Ground...they are FAST...and it costs about $10 to ship 1 book in the continental US, $15 to ship two books, $20 to ship three books, and $25 to ship four.)

All the details are in the pinned post on my Facebook Page:

Go there, meet my requirements, and let me know which book(s) you want! Go, go, go! No, wait...first glance at my current inventory:

3 Spanish 2A
3 Spanish 2B
1 Spanish 3A
5 Spanish 3B
1 Spanish 4A
4 Spanish 1B for middle school
1 English Version 1A
2 English Version 1B (one of them was misprinted double-sided. There is nothing wrong with it other than it looks really thin.)

Okay, now...go to my Facebook Page and get you some books!!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Unit 1 for AP Spanish Language and Culture - La vida contemporánea

Guess what? Due to the consistent nagging by awesome AP teacher Stella D., I finally got around to packaging and uploading the first unit I use in my AP Spanish Language and Culture classes to my store in Teachers Pay Teachers!

If you are following my TPT store, you should get an email when the product goes "live" and is ready to purchase ($20.)

This is the first unit in my AP Spanish Language and Culture Class: La vida contemporánea, with a focus on the culture of Chile.

Included in this unit:
  • 12 "Tópicos del día" - culture topics with links to authentic resources to present and discuss in Spanish in class
  • Teacher Notes explaining what to do/say in class for each topic/link)
  • Authentic Readings taken from web articles, blog posts, etc. and simplified to use in class
  • Questions, activities, and worksheets to go with the Tópicos
  • Practices for the Free Response section of the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam (email, essay, conversation, and presentation)
  • Two debate topics for fun Debate Days in Spanish (I sometimes do this with a food activity, where students bring a dish from Chile to share)
Please share this post with any AP Spanish teachers you know who are looking for ideas for the "Vida contemporánea" theme!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Back To School Coupon Code on TPT!

August 6th and 7th are Teachers Pay Teachers' Back To School Days. Use the coupon code BTS19 sitewide to get up to 25% off...I think my store is that percentage off, anyway...and buy, buy, buy while the prices are hot!

Update on a Spanish 1A 2017 "bundle:" I have decided not to bundle all my 1A lessons on TPT into one huge bundle. I've researched the issue of copyright violation (people stealing and re-publishing your stuff) on TPT and I feel the best way for me to protect my income is to publish Spanish 1A 2017 as an ebook and print book on Amazon. That is planned for this month, hopefully by August 25th. In the meantime, if you are looking for killer Spanish 1 first semester lesson plans with individual Word docs you can download to your computer, that would be the lessons for sale in my TPT store right now. I think my new assistant and I only have 2 or 3 more lessons to upload to have all 30 of them available there. :)

Announcing My Online, On-Demand Spanish 1 Course!

Click ↑ to go to my new YouTube Channel! It's here! I'm teaching my "Jalen Waltman"  standards-based high school Spanish 1...