Tag Archives: Spanish

Teaching Goals to Students


Our first blog post of the year was inspired by my recent visit to the wonderful Maddy Brown’s Spanish 1 classroom in Greenwood. What follows is a set of directly usable resources and a series of videos from her classroom. It’s all directly aligned to Priority 3 of our Humanities Vision this year:

Generating a shared vision with students and measuring progress towards that vision.

What was remarkable about Maddy’s lesson on Goals was that it took the time, over the course of a full lesson, for students to:

  1. Identify what strong Goals and Action Plans look like.
  2. Create personal Goals and Action Plans for this year in Spanish.
  3. Understand and feel invested in the Class Goals.

At the same time, Maddy made sure that she was being responsive to students, listening to their concerns about Goals (and even fielding the tough question “Why are we spending so much time on Goals? Why aren’t we learning Spanish?”). You can also see how Maddy seamlessly integrates Spanish cognates and love for the content as they set and learn about goals. Amazing!

Check out the resources and video links below to start implementing this in your own classrooms!

Way to go Maddy! Thank you for showing us all an awesome example of setting goals in the classroom!


Foreign Language Planning Resources

From TFA’s Own

Examples of Unit Plans, Assessments, and Long-Term Plans – get some ideas here!

Unit Assessment Reflection Template – Help your students reflect on their work!

From Others

Looking to string in culture throughout a unit? Wondering what a thematic unit could look like? Here are some standard based units that target various grade levels (and most can be adapted for other grades!):

Many more can be found here (both in French and Spanish!).

TPR(S) Resources


Bryce Henderson – Check out his amazing blog, resources and example student work here


Websites full of videos!

Denver Public Schools TPR(S) videos – Awesome teachers in action!

Learner.org TPR videos – Especially strong for linking culture with TPR


Individual videos worth checking out!

Ben Slavic – From PQA to TPRS: Moving from PQA to Storytelling…complete with video!  There is commentary so it is relevant for all languages, but bonus for French teachers, it’s Ben Slavic!




Foreign Language: Pathways to Opportunity

As you formulate your vision for this year, consider what you hope will be accessible for students thanks to what your classroom is accomplishing this year. What new opportunities will be available to them? How will you prepare them to take advantage of those opportunities, and be competitive for them?

A list of potential Pathways to consider for your vision are below!

Potential Pathways for Foreign Language:


French Inspired Food:

  • Bon Ami (1220 E Northside Dr, Jackson, MS)
  • Anjou (361 Township Avenue, Ridgeland, MS 39157)

Other Competitions:

Additional food for thought:

  • Is there a nearby museum that highlights some part of the culture you are teaching?  Art?  Poetry?
  • Is there a Hispanic or French population in your town?  Could students help tutor elementary students whose first language is Spanish or French?
  • Most language programs in our high schools end after level 2.  Can you work with parents and students so that they advocate for additional course offerings?
  • There are many programs out there that can help you organize a trip out of the country.
  • Are there particular places in the United States that they could visit to learn more about the various cultures you are studying?
  • Work with students to write and perform a play in the target language
  • Preparing students to take the SAT II in their target language (if applicable)
  • If teaching middle school, advocating for Spanish or French one to be officially offered (instead of exploratory) so students are able to earn additional Carnegie Units in middle school and have a great chance of taking additional levels of foreign language in high school
  • Starting the National Spanish or French Honor Society to increase extracurriculars offered and open up more leadership opportunities for students
  • Study abroad, home stay or immersion programs available to high school students