Thanksgiving:  Family, Food, Football…and naps!

One of the things I miss the most during the school year compared to the summer is afternoon naps.  When living abroad, I relished the cultures that said let’s just chill out for a while this afternoon.  Though there are many places where the tradition of the siesta is waning, I still feel that it’s a valuable point of discussion in class–especially when discussing our daily routines.  As a result, I use the siesta as one of our first intermediate level topics to explore daily life and culture around the world.

Did you know that there was a national siesta competition in Spain?  How awesome is that?!!?  After discussing the siesta for a few days with materials available here and here, we had a day with about 20 minutes left over in one class period.  The kids were dragging, it had been a long week, and the kids had kept asking when we were going to “try out” the siesta.  Imagine their surprise when I announced that we were going to have a siesta lab/competition of our own.

We laid out the categories similar to the one in Madrid and then said “go!”.  I was shocked at how fast some of them fell soundly asleep–it reinforces my belief that we should start high school later!  The next day students wrote a brief opinion pieces about their experience, and their thoughts on adopting it in the US and we had prizes for the winners.  Though the experiment wouldn’t necessarily work in all schools and all classes, it was one that worked well for us.

siesta almohada.001

One of the winning contestants



Welcome ACTFL 2014!

I have the honor of presenting at this year’s conference with Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell (musicuentos.com) and Laura Sexton (pblinthetl.com) about personalizing students’ experiences in our classes.   We hope to see you at 2pm on Saturday, November 20, but in case you missed it, here is our handout.  More to come soon!

UPDATE:  I made mistake in the citations in the handout that have been corrected in the edition below.  The amazing Kara PARKER–along with marvelous Megan Smith– is the original source for the Real World material.  See their blog here.

I apologize to Kara for getting her name wrong on the original materials. The updated handout is below.

ACTFL student choice handout

ACTFL 2014 Homework Choice (slides)