I recently came across a post by the Comprehensible Input Classroom featuring a special guest, Benjamin Tinsley, discussing Map Talks. I love how he suggested having a script ready for the Map Talk. Although I’ve been using Google Earth™ for this purpose with my students, I never considered providing a script to guide our conversation. Typically, I engage my students in quick Map Talks, prompting them to guess temperatures in different parts of the world. Following their guesses, we virtually explore pre-selected locations to ensure the images spark curiosity among my elementary students.

Benjamin recommends changing the language to the target language in Google Maps™ by clicking on the three lines, then selecting the target language. Ben also recommends starting with your school community first if it’s your first Map Talk. I find this genius! I encourage you to check out Benjamin’s Map Talk and explore his blog for more insights and ideas to bring to your classes. Although he teaches high school French, much of what he shares can be adapted for different grades and proficiency levels.

When using Google Maps™, you can explore different layers to view the map. I personally love using the Global View and Satellite map types because, in my opinion, they provide more details.

After completing your community-focused Map Talk, consider broadening your horizons. I extend an invitation to explore Cali, Colombia—a city nestled between breathtaking mountains. Here are some of the questions you might ask during your Map Talk:

  1. Vamos a visitar Colombia.
  2. Colombia está en América del Sur.
  3. La capital de Colombia es Bogotá.
  4. Los colores de la bandera de Colombia son el amarillo, el azul y el rojo.
  5. El idioma oficial de Colombia es el español.
  6. Colombia celebra su independencia el 20 de julio.
  7. En Colombia hay ciudades grandes y pueblos pequeños.
  8. Una ciudad importante en Colombia es Cali.
  9. Cali está en el suroccidente de Colombia.
  10. Cali es una ciudad entre montañas.
  11. Cali es famosa por la salsa. A muchas personas les gusta bailar salsa en Cali.
  12. En Cali hay muchos lugares especiales: (these are some landmarks you can type in Google Maps and explore) El Museo del Oro de Cali, El Zoológico de Cali, la Biblioteca del Centenario, y el Barrio San Antonio.

You can also show the map and talk with your students about words they might already identify, and what things they can find in the city.




Have you always wanted to have a website for your class? Here is a quick and beautiful way to have one!  First, make sure you have a Canva account which is free for educators! You just need to use your school email to open the account.

Follow these steps :

  1.  Open Canva.
  2.  Click on “Create a design” and search for “website”.
  3.  Title your website.
  4.  Choose a template or customize your own by searching on images in the “elements” section.
  5.  Add the titles you want. Choose your colors, fonts, and images.
  6.  Always click on the plus symbol to add more pages or the three dots to duplicate a page.
  7. Once you have all your pages, have fun adding content to them! Add pictures and link them to videos on YouTube, websites or other platforms.
  8.  Get ready to publish your website. Choose “Classic Navigation” for a better look. Click on “Open Website”.
  9. Share the link with your students’ families!

You can also resize your website to use on different devices. Let me know when you create your own website!

Watch the tutorial on Instagram!

Note: Make sure you have different ways to share details about your class with parents.


You might like these resources available on Teachers Pay Teachers:



I might be going back to the beginning of my teaching career (when I was a teacher traveling from classroom to classroom). I did it for about 8 years in Boston and for a few months in the school where I currently teach due to some renovations.

A few years ago I wrote a post for traveling teachers, but a lot of things have changed since then and now that I am looking into possible options because I might become a traveling teacher again, I thought it might be nice to share with you what I have been exploring.

My experience as a traveling teacher has mostly been using hard tote bags since they can easily stay open. I had the one in the picture (size L) below and I really liked it because it also had pockets inside. As I mentioned in my older post, I used one per grade with duplicate materials.

Hard Tote Bag ***

I also used a collapsible cart to give my shoulders a break. I had to travel between different buildings, so sometimes it was not great when there was snow on the ground, but it was still handy when the weather was nice.

Collapsible Cart*** 

I wish there had been something like the cart below when I was traveling. I like that it has many pockets to hold tiny things like a laser pointer and markers.

Rolling Cart and Organizer Bag Set***

In my current job, I had to travel for a few months during my first year, and I had a cart like the one in the picture. To be honest, I used it for about two months because I was not comfortable taking it to other classrooms and it made a lot of noise while I was going from classroom to classroom, so I went back to tote bags.

Copernicus Teacher Trolley*** 

If I end up traveling from classroom to classroom I think I will keep a tote bag and the awesome rolling cart with organizer set. I  think I will carry fewer manipulatives since, due to the current situation, I won’t be doing activities where the children have to pass anything around. I will use Google Slides and other online resources to each and will use the classroom’s projector and keep some flashcards because you can’t trust technology 100%! I will also have a few puppets to bring smiles to my younger students! And yes, since I love telling stories while drawing, that will be one of my most valuable teaching tools!

I will also carry my awesome laser pointer. I can’t live without it! I like this one because it can be charged and I also like the green light.

Wireless Presenter***

And we all know that we need to wear face coverings and carry wipes, hand sanitizer, some gloves, our own markers, erasers, a lot of patience and love! If you are a traveling teacher this year, please share in the comments what your plans are!

***Affiliate links

¡Muchos abrazos virtuales!



I put all songs for these season in one post to make everything easier if you decide to use them in your classes with your students.

Click here to find free  resources to teach the song “Hojas, hojas”!

Resources for teaching “Cinco calabazas” ara available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Resources for teaching “Yo soy un pavo” are available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Click here to find free  resources to teach the song “¿Cuántas manzanas hay?”!


You might like these resources available on Teachers Pay Teachers:



“La frase de la semana” or phrase of the week is a great opportunity to teach useful language. I try to use phrases that I know we can incorporate into our classes. I teach grades K-5, but I only use it with my students in grades 3-5.

We make it part of our routine. I keep a poster with the phrase of the week taped on the door.  I sometimes teach classes back to back, and having this routine can buy me an extra minute while I am getting everything ready for the next class. My students wait for me in a line outside my class.

La frase de la semana serves as their password to enter the classroom. It takes about two minutes on average, so children know that they need to find their place quietly in the room and read the “Plan de la clase” to find out what we will be doing (although there are days when this goes more smoothly than other days). I don’t have a variety of classroom jobs because I find the logistics hard for me, but I do have a “secretario” and “secretaria” who help by passing out materials when needed, sharpen pencils, turns lights on and off, and so on. After children have practiced with it and have the routine down pat, I sometimes ask the secretarios to help me by staying by the door and listening to their classmates say la frase de la semana. I love when they start using those sentences in natural ways and in the context of the class. It’s magical when I start to hear spontaneous remarks like “¡Qué chévere!” or “¿Qué tal Sra. Gómez?” when students see me during recess or in the hallway.

Here are some of the phrases I have used:

¡Qué bueno!

Para nada


¡A mí también!

¡Qué chévere!

¡Me encanta!

¿Qué pasa?

You can also find more phrases on “Mis cositas.” Lori Langer de Rámirez is so generous and shares tons of resources on her blog. Make sure to stop by her blog and download “Passwords perfectos.”

Ben Slavic also has a wonderful site with tons of  CI/TPRS resources. He shares a list of great rejoinders that can also be used with la frase de la semana.

Feeling ready to start with la frase de la semana? Download this free resource that will help you get ready!

Have fun!



This a list of what I have in my classroom and can’t survive a school year without any of these materials.

Chime: Sometimes we need breaks from using call-and-response chants or clapping our hands. I have found a three tone chime* that works well because it gives enough time for my students to settle down.

Map: I had a hard time finding a map that was simple enough for my elementary students. Luckily I came across this map on Pinterest, and it has been the best purchase ever. You can find it at Spanish Cuentos.

Puppets and Plush Toys: Puppets and plush toys are a great tool in language teaching. I love when my students make connections with some of them. They become one more member of the class. Visit my post where I talk about the use of puppets in a world language class.


Special Chair: I have a chair that my students use when we sing to them to celebrate their birthdays in class. They all look forward to having a chance to sit on that chair in class. They also get a small gift from me which is usually a pencil, eraser, or small craft from Colombia. They also get a birthday certificate. Click here to download some free ones for your classes!

Play Parachute: Every single one of my students seems to love parachute time, no matter how old they are. It’s always fun to use parachutes for a brain break. I have written a few posts about how I use them in my classes:

Authentic Art: I love displaying art from different Spanish speaking countries. I usually label items to show where they come from.

Favorite Music Playlist: Thank goodness for YouTube! I love how you can easily make lists of your favorite songs. I like creating playlists by grade levels. Here is a list of some of my go-to channels:

Flags: I have flags and posters from the different Spanish speaking countries. You can display them all at once or take them out one at a time when you do the country of study. This pack is available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Pointers: I found a really awesome set of pointers* that I use while looking at our “Plan de la clase” as well as when we play interactive games on the Smart Board. These ones have been the best so far! I have had them for about two years now:

List of Brain Breaks: Brain breaks are great not only to get your students’ attention back, but also for you to take a break as a teacher. I keep a list of brain breaks and yoga cards handy. Download free yoga cards here!

Simple Picture Books: Last year I started a library in my classroom. So far the books that have worked best are books with minimal text and also books that the children are already familiar with in English.

Movies: Sometimes I like using movies right before the break when I know a lot of my students will be missing. I also use them when I am out and can’t find a sub that speaks Spanish, or just being honest, to take a break!

Balls: Yes, balls of different sizes to play games or ask questions!

Instruments: Playing with these is something my younger students really enjoy!

Apron: This is not a “must,” but it has been great for me to stop putting things in my pockets when I am teaching. I used to always end up emptying my pockets of an assortment of things at home that should have stayed at school instead of hitching a ride with me – things like tiny pointers, markers, pencils, and the classroom keys. This is the one I plan to use this school year. I am especially excited about the llamas on this one!


What is something you think I should add to this list? Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments box.

Have fun!

*Indicates Amazon affiliate link.