As an elementary Spanish teacher with limited class time, finding ways to keep students engaged and motivated is key so we can get the most out of our time together, and as a teacher, I’m able to support and facilitate their language acquisition journey better.

Here are some useful tips to keep your students’ motivation going:

Understand the age group you are teaching

I highly recommend the “Yardsticks” book by Responsive Classroom, which outlines developmental traits and interests of children according to their age.

Understand the proficiency level of your students

This will help you develop goals that support their acquisition journey. Visit the ACTFL website to download the updated Proficiency Guidelines.

Make sure that your activities support the different modes of communication

Remember that students acquire language at different paces and that in one class you might have students who are at different proficiency levels. Including activities with different communication modes ( Interpersonal, Interpretative and Presentational) will reach out to different students.

Connect with your students

Building a strong teacher-student bond should extend beyond the initial weeks of the school year. Continuously engage with your students by learning about their interests, hobbies, and family celebrations, and incorporate these aspects into your lessons. Bring topics that are relevant to their age group too!

Use Comprehensible Input

Students need to be able to understand the language, but also the language have to be challenging to support and help students move beyond their current proficiency level.  Not only comprehensible input but also compelling! Making sure that the input is interesting for the students. Visit Dr. Stephen Krashen’s website to read more about comprehensible input. You can also explore comprehensible input strategies and methods in this post. 

Use Stories

Stories are super useful for teaching languages because they make learners feel things, give them real-life situations to learn from, show them how people actually talk, help them connect emotionally, and demonstrate different ways to use language. All of this makes learning easier and more comfortable. After listening to stories, students can act out scenes or pretend to be characters, which keeps them interested and involved.

Use Games

Bring games to your classes, especially non-competitive games .Explore options like memory games and bingo, which integrate vocabulary, phrases, or story sentences. These activities are easy to set up and can even be tailored to your students’ preferences. Movement-based games like Four Corners and A mí también add an extra layer of fun. Additionally, Total Physical Response (TPR) games such as Follow the Leader, Simon Says, and Charades are highly effective for language learning.  Find different types of game in this blog!

Have fun!

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Every year comes with its share of highs and lows, and though this particular year brought its challenges, I’m grateful to say that I’m in good health. I’ve found immense joy in conducting training sessions for teachers, and I hope the coming year will bring even more opportunities for me to do so.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to continue using my blog as my primary platform for sharing my experiences. While I have a presence on other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, I believe my blog allows me to provide deeper insights and support to others.

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for your presence and support. Thank you for being a part of this journey. and wish you peace for the new year.

Here are the top three most visited posts on my blog this year:

1. Activities to Foster Mindfulness in the Spanish Classroom

From calming breathing exercises to mindful storytelling in Spanish, this post covers practical and creative ideas to help your students develop essential life skills while improving their language proficiency.

2.  Comprehension Trough Cognates

Explore exciting activities and strategies that will help your students gain vocabulary and confidence. Whether you’re a new or experienced teacher, this post provides valuable insights and practical ideas to add enthusiasm to your Spanish lesson

3. Story Asking in the Elementary Classroom

Create engaging stories with your students effortlessly! This post offers valuable tips for incorporating story asking into your lessons.

I’m always grateful for all the readers here! Thank you for your support in this blogging adventure. Wishing you a Feliz Año Nuevo!



There are several things that can be done after telling or reading stories to young students. Here are just a few:

Picture Talk

Choose some pictures or illustrations from the story and discuss them with your students. Ask questions about what they see. For example, inquire about the type of animal depicted, whether it’s a cat or a turkey, its color, the sounds it makes, and its current location in the story.

Use TPR  (Total Physical Response)

Identify key vocabulary words in the story. This can be done before or after reading. Create flashcards, use gestures, or provide simple definitions to help students understand and remember new words. Introduce interactive games such as the freeze dance game, where you play music, students dance or move around the room, and when the music stops, you call out a word, prompting students to perform the corresponding gesture. Alternatively, engage them in a game of charades!

Act It Out

Allow students to act out parts of the story through role-playing or dramatization. This not only reinforces comprehension but is also excellent for repetition. Another option is to provide your students with props to act out the story.


Ask students to draw their favorite parts and use their pictures to retell the stories. You can also encourage them to complete drawings related to the stories and use these as conversation starters.

Play Games

You can look for games that support the story. For example, in the story “Pavo prepara su pastel”, my students and I love playing the hot-cold game with a soft toy turkey.

How do we play the game? One student leaves the room, and we hide the turkey somewhere in the room. Then, the student returns to the room, and we help them find the turkey by saying “frío”when they are far away, “tibio” when getting closer, and “caliente” when the student is next to it.

Read the Story Again Changing Your Voice

Use different tones and pitches to portray different characters in the story. This adds excitement and helps maintain the children’s interest. Additionally, ask your students to choose an emotion for you to incorporate while reading the story, such as happy, sad, or crying.

Add More Extension Activities

Encourage students to write or create their own endings, or craft simple projects related to the story. If possible, provide your students with mini-books containing versions of the stories that they can take home and share with their families!

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You might like these resources available on Teachers Pay Teachers:



The “Roll a Story” activity is an engaging and easy-to-use activity that is excellent for providing input at the novice or beginner levels. You will need dice and a “Roll A Story” template with predetermined details. This template includes words and pictures, making it more accessible for lower elementary students. This activity can be done individually, in groups, or as a whole class.

Students take turns rolling the die, with each roll representing a sentence in the story.Students can write the story in their notebooks or complete a template, as seen below.

After your students have finished rolling their stories, encourage them to create an illustration to go along with it. If students worked in small groups, have them share their stories, or you can read them aloud to the class. Take this opportunity to pause and ask questions about their stories.

Click on the picture to download the template!

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Have you ever wondered why your students seem to struggle with retaining the vocabulary you teach them? Or why they sometimes lack interest and motivation when learning new words in your classes? You’re not alone in this struggle. In the exciting world language teaching, making vocabulary come to life can be both an intriguing and achievable challenge. This webinar was hosted and made possible by Klett World Languages. My colleague and friend, Valentina Correa, and I share some tips that have helped us support our students in their language acquisition journey.

In this webinar, we offer practical tools and creative approaches to make vocabulary an integral and exciting part of the language acquisition process. Effective vocabulary teaching goes beyond the simple memorization of words; it’s about arousing curiosity, presenting content that your students can connect with, and promoting communication while respecting their individual process of acquiring the target language. If you’ve felt frustrated due to your students’ lack of retention and motivation, this webinar will provide you with some tools that will assist you in tackling these challenges.

I invite you to relax and enjoy this webinar, which will help you gain new ideas or refresh past ones!



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Incorporating calendar time into your classroom routine provides ample opportunities to engage and educate your students. I typically begin introducing the calendar in my first grade classes, focusing on numbers one to thirty-one, days of the week, months, and weather. As students progress to second and third grade, we expand our discussion to include temperatures in our school’s city and other places worldwide, not just Spanish-speaking countries.

At the start of each school year, we establish a “birthdays of the month” routine, assigning different days on the calendar for students with summer birthdays. Additionally, we add school events and holidays and discuss who is being honored or recognized each month.

What sets my calendar routine apart is that I allow my students to put their unique spin on our classroom calendar. At the beginning of the year, students decorate the calendar, which they enjoy seeing come to life.

While it’s essential to incorporate different parts of the calendar routine into your lessons, it’s not necessary to do everything in every class. It’s okay to skip certain parts occasionally, such as discussing the weather.

Here are some examples of how you could incorporate calendar time in an elementary Spanish class:

  1. Counting in Spanish: Begin by counting from one to thirty-one in Spanish. This can help students learn the numbers in Spanish and practice pronunciation.
  2. Days of the Week: Teach the names of the days of the week in Spanish. You could have students recite the days of the week in order, and also discuss what each day means or represents.
  3. Months of the Year: Teach the names of the months in Spanish. Similar to discussing the days of the week, you could have students recite the months in order and discuss what each month represents or what holidays fall within it.
  4. Weather: Discuss the weather for the day and week in Spanish. You could ask students to describe the weather in Spanish, or ask them to guess what the weather might be like in different parts of the world where Spanish is spoken.
  5. Holidays and cultural events: Incorporate holidays and cultural events that are celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries or holidays that are important for your students and school community. You could discuss the meaning and significance of these holidays, as well as traditions that are associated with them.
  6. Seasons: Discuss the different seasons of the year in Spanish. You could have students talk about what they like to do during each season, and discuss how the weather changes throughout the year. You can also talk about weather and seasons in other parts of the world.
  7. Birthday Celebrations: Discuss how birthdays are celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries. You could ask students to talk about their own birthday traditions or share stories about how they’ve celebrated birthdays in the past.
  8. Poem of the Month: Incorporating a monthly poem into your elementary Spanish class is a simple but effective way to introduce new vocabulary, improve reading comprehension, and teach cultural significance. By selecting a poem that relates to the season or a particular holiday, you can engage your students in a fun and educational activity that helps them improve their Spanish skills.

I hope these examples have given you some ideas on how to incorporate calendar time into your elementary Spanish class. Remember to make it interactive and engaging for your students, and tailor it to their Spanish proficiency level.

You might like these resource available on Teachers Pay Teachers: