Free Spanish Christmas Cards


I have been in the Christmas spirit, and I decided to create some Christmas cards in Spanish.  I used Christmas pictures in color and black and white.  Some teachers like to give their students the opportunity to color and decorate Christmas pictures on cards.  I used Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo as Christmas greetings.  I used the Spanish Christmas greetings only.

Teachers can print all of the Christmas cards and use the colored cards or the black and white ones.  The students can always write the English Christmas greetings on the cards and have bilingual cards.  

You can get these cards for free right here on our blog, or you can visit Creative Expressions on Teachers Pay Teachers and download the free Christmas cards there.

My sister Diana and I would like to thank you for the purchases that you have made at Creative Expressions and we look forward to your visit in 2015.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!



I am so excited because my sister and I are getting everything ready to make our Christmas tamales on December 2nd and 3rd.  We have been trying to get a tamalada going for months.  What is a tamalada you ask?  This is when family members get together to make a large amount of tamales, especially during the Christmas Holidays.  There can never be too many tamales.

First, we purchase masa or dough that is already mixed and made at a tortilleria.  Then we get the corn husks because they need to be placed in water so that they can be soft when we place the masa on there.

Next, is the carne de puerco or pork meat for the filling.  We use pork, chicken, and beans as fillings.  My favorite types of tamales are when we add raisins to the masa or dough.  The raisins add moisture and sweetness to the dough, and the best tasting tamales.

We used to cook tamales with our mother all of the time when we were growing up, but my mom is now too old to make tamales.  So, my sister and I enjoy carrying the tradition forward.  I love the feeling of family that is generated when making tamales.

How many of you are making your own tamales?  How many of you are paying someone to make tamales for you? 

Happy Tamaladas!! 


Improving the Self-Esteem of At-Risk Students

                                IMPROVING THE SELF-ESTEEM OF AT-RISK STUDENTS

            Maria Paula Ramirez, M.Ed. and Maria Diana Gonzales, Ph.D.

We have too many students who are at risk, and as teachers we need to help them improve their self-esteem whenever possible.  Sometimes, we just do not know how to make students feel good about themselves.  This article provides eight tips that we can use to help at-risk students improve their self-esteem.

#1 Smiles – Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with the responsibility of teaching that we forget the easiest thing that will help our students feel better about themselves….A SMILE. We start believing that we have to frown until Thanksgiving to help discipline.  But, when we don’t smile students think that we don’t enjoy our jobs and that we do not enjoy having them in our classrooms.  Many times, a smile will make our students’ day and will make them feel like someone cares how they feel.  At-risk students will feel like the teacher with a smile is approachable.  They will feel comfortable about approaching this teacher when they have bigger problems or are feeling all alone in the world.

#2 Part of the Group – Many of our students who are at-risk have learning challenges, can’t speak English, or can’t sit still, but we can make them feel they are part of the group.  How can we do this?  If these students have problems keeping up with assignments, find a buddy for them who will help make sure that the students understand what is happening in the classroom.  You can assign a different buddy every day, or have students volunteer to be a buddy.  Teachers can also provide tutoring time to help these students keep up with learning in the classroom.  Don’t forget that students will be more successful with learning if we provide differentiated assignments.  Yes, it takes a lot of precious time to provide differentiated lessons, but our students and their self-esteem are worth it.

#3 Meaningful Assignments – Too often we think we are doing at-risk students a favor by providing them easier assignments than the rest of the class.  At-risk students want to learn what the other students are learning.  Maybe, they need a differentiated assignment for them to learn, but they can do it.  You may have to provide at-risk students with additional notes or sometimes an assignment with a different language.  Easier and different assignments is not the answer.  An example of a meaningful assignment is giving students an opportunity to write about their childhood.  You can provide students with Childhood Stories and Activities written by Creative Expressions for secondary students.  These stories are about a young person making the right choices to make her feel better about herself and her culture. 

#4 Resources – Students need tools to make them successful in the classroom.  Many times, we have these resources in our classrooms already.  Do they need a special dictionary to help them complete their assignments?  Provide them with one.  Do they need a bilingual student to help them understand an assignment?  Provide them with a buddy who speaks their language.  Maybe, they need a special visit to a counselor who will provide that special student with some special information during a fifteen minute discussion.  Refer them to the counselor.  I’ve seen teachers sit students at their desk so that they can monitor their work and eliminate distractions for the student.  If this is what it takes, why can’t we do it?

#5 Self-Esteem Activities – All activities can be connected to learning, and sometimes, we need to have our students participate in something that is going to make them feel better about themselves.  There are some easy to follow activities that can help students feel better about themselves.  A good example is what I call the Compliment Circle.  I have students form four or five circles with 5 students in each.  Each student gets an opportunity to give the student to his right a compliment.  There is no such thing as a bad compliment as long as it is sincere.  I allow students, especially at the elementary level, to tell a student that he likes his shirt or her dress.  I prefer more in depth compliments at the secondary level, especially when they know each other pretty well.  A more in depth compliment is when a student tells another student, “When students have a problem, we can always depend on you to be a good listener.”  Another example of a good self-esteem activity is Sombrero Sentences developed by Creative Expressions on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Students get the opportunity to decorate a sombrero, and they get the opportunity to tell their classmates and teachers information about themselves in English and/or Spanish.  

#6 Consistent Praise – Many at-risk students will say negative things about themselves.  Teachers can turn these negative comments into positive ones.  They can constantly praise the students and remind them that they can achieve and learn.  Teachers can consistently praise students about their strengths so students believe they can be successful in spite of their challenges.

#7 Role Modeling – Teachers can role model by discussing their own strengths and challenges.   Students sometimes see teachers as being perfect, but they should see and hear teachers describe and explain how they have succeeded in spite of their challenges. Teachers can also provide activities related to other successful role models from various cultures who have achieved great things in spite of many challenges that they faced. Role modeling of this type can help students believe in themselves.  We think students might understand this concept if you have them read, The Geometry Lesson, a Narrative of Unconditional Love, written by Creative Expressions.

#8 Believe – Teachers should believe that every single student can learn and be successful.  Educators need to avoid talking to other teachers about the students with behavioral issues.  When we talk about other students, it is easy to label students negatively.  Sometime students behave negatively because they are desperate for attention. Believing that students can succeed means that we have to engage in reflective thinking ourselves to identify misconceptions and stereotypes we might hold. Identifying those beliefs allows us to change them. Once those misconceptions and stereotypes are changed, we firmly believe that every student can achieve to their utmost potential. Guess what….they do!
Self-Esteem activities are important in the classroom. There are many great self-esteem activities to help students improve in this area.  Teachers can definitely help students improve their self-esteem by smiling at students and making them feel part of the group.  Providing students with meaningful assignments and resources are very important to help students feel better about themselves. However, if we don’t believe in their ability to learn and succeed, then how can we expect them to achieve their dreams? Hopefully, you will find these eight tips useful in your classroom so that improving students’ self-esteem can become a daily activity in all of your classes.



Blog Feature: Spanglish Senorita


Spanglish Senorita is a TpT teacher-author who inspires me because of everything that she does and how she does it.  She is a single mother of a 5 year old son, Gabriel.  She taught High School Spanish for 3 years and then decided to go back to school to get her masters in elementary education so that she can do what she always dreamed of doing.

Melissa also has a photography business and an inspirational blog at http://www.spanglishsenorita.blogspot.com.  Her beautiful pictures will delight you.  She introduces exciting resources and lessons that I would definitely enjoy, even though I am a former secondary teacher.

One of the things that she learned while teaching at the high school level is that you can never have enough time to develop great lessons, especially when you have 3 preps.  She decided that she could develop resources to help other bilingual teachers in her profession.  Visit SpanglishSenorita's store and read about her inspirational life.


Hasta luego,


Sol Azucar by Catharyn Crane

Sol Azucar By Catharyn CraneCatharyn of Sol Azucar TpT store has taught High School Spanish I, II, and III for the last six years.  She learned Spanish growing up in Arizona and studying abroad in Valencia, Spain and Santiago, Chile.  Catharyn has worked, volunteered, and traveled all over the Spanish-speaking world.

In 2013, she won a Century Link Grant for Technology Innovation which supplied iPads for her classroom.  She believes in being a facilitator in a classroom by helping students participate in relevant collaborative activities.

You will love her resources and eye-catching covers.  Enjoy her Meet and Teach activity.  You will not regret it.


Meet and Teach: Sol Azucar by Catharyn Crane



Hasta luego,


Woodward-Education (Blog Feature)

Woodward EducationRob, a New Zealander, and Angelica, a Chilean, are the teacher-authors of Woodward Education.  They have owned a language school in Chile since 2002.  They started creating materials for their own children and ended up creating materials for the school.

If you are a Spanish teacher and want wonderful resources and ideas, be sure to visit their blog.  You will not regret it.  Woodward Education has the most professional looking materials.

Their favorite product is the Easter Island Super Reading Pack.  It contains original photos that he and his wife took.

Easter Island Reading Activities and Worksheets

Hasta luego,


Tim Sensei

Tim has lived and taught ESL in Japan for the last eight years.  When you visit his TpT store, Tim Sensei, you will see the brightest and crispest resource covers that I have ever seen.  He creates his own beautiful clip art and uses songs to help students learn the English language.  Tim has spread his talents to include a website, The Magic Crayon (www.themagiccrayon.com) that he owns with three of his teaching friends.  In his TPT store, you will find large numbers of ESL resources such as songs, lesson plans, flash cards, and posters. 

I think one of the wonderful things about TpT is that you can admire and purchase resources from someone on the other side of the world.  It looks like his students are lucky to have Tim on their side.

Hasta luego


The Kindergarten Kitchen (Blog Feature)

 The Kindergarten KitchenHappy Greetings to Ashleigh Mathew, the teacher-author of The Kindergarten Kitchen from St. Louis, Missouri.

She was nominated Best New Teacher in 2012 and nominated Teacher of the Year in 2014.

Ashleigh is fluent in Spanish and enjoys creating bilingual resources to benefit Spanish speaking parents.  She has also taught in the Spanish Immersion K/1 Program.

Be sure to check out her store and resources.  Her Presentation for Parents in English and Spanish is a wonderful resource to have if you have Spanish speaking parents. 


Kindergarten and the Common Core: A Presentation for ParentsHer presentation for parents in English and Spanish is a wonderful resource to have if you have Spanish speaking parents in attendance.



Hasta luego,


La Profe Plotts (Blog Feature)

La Profe Plotts La Profe Plotts is from Oregon and earned her B.A. in Spanish from Willamette University in 2003.  She received her M.Ed. in 2009 from Portland State University.

La Profe Plotts has taught English as a Foreign Language in Ecuador for two years and taught high school Spanish for five years.  She likes to teach language through music, games, hands-on-activities and other engaging lessons.

La Profe Plotts began her TpT store to support her baby boy's college fund.  Her husband is also a teacher.

Visit her store:  La Profe Plotts Store

Feel free to browse through her resources!!! 

Hasta Luego!!


Sra Sol (Blog Feature)

Welcome, Sra Sol, from Illinois. 

She has taught Spanish for 10 years.  One of her greatest accomplishments has been to take students abroad to have them experience language and culture in the real world to become global citizens. 

Sra Sol       Visit Sra Sol Store

Most of Sra Sol's products are in Spanish because that is what she teaches, but she does have some French resources since that was her minor in college.

Her most popular product is the Back-to-School Decor Kit which is perfect for bilingual elementary classrooms.

Back-to-School Decor Kit            Classroom Labels and Decorations in Spanish

Hasta luego,


Miss Senorita (Blog Feature)

Welcome to Jessica Hall, the name behind the TpT store, Miss Senorita.  She lives in New York City and has two guinea pigs named Honey and Pepper.  She enjoys camping and kayaking and sometimes likes to knit.  Jessica has taught Spanish 1, 2, and 3 during her six years of having been a teacher.

Visit Ms. Senorita

Ms. Senorita has a little over 100 resources in her store.  You can find several items for Spanish 1, 2, and 3.

Make sure to get her freebie with a list of adjectives and several activities for students.

Get Freebie

She has many games in her store because she likes to make teaching fun for her and her students. 


Kid World Citizen (Blog Feature)

Becky Morales is fairly new to TpT, and is ready to make things happen with her enthusiasm.  She is a mother, wife, and teacher in the state of Texas.  She has traveled extensively in more ways than one, and has made the teaching of multiculturalism her passion and mission in life.

Her husband is from Mexico City and they have two daughters of their own.  They have adopted one son from China, and a second son from Ethiopia.

Becky founded Kid World Citizen and has developed several global activities to instill multiculturalism in her students and children.  Visit and read her website kidworldcitizen.com to be inspired about teaching multiculturalism to your students.

Visit her store to purchase some of her multicultural and Spanish activities.  She does have some products that are free of charge.  Be sure to take advantage of these products and Becky's expertise from her website and store on TpT.

Kid World Citizen


Blog Feature: Mundo de Pepita

I am so happy to feature el Mundo de Pepita store on my blog.  Julie and Matt are a husband and wife team, and the driving force behind the store.  They live on the coast of Maine and enjoy hiking and outdoor activities.  

Julie teaches Spanish to elementary school children even though she has taught Spanish, Russian, and ESL to all grade levels and adults.  Matthew is a reading and dyslexia special education teacher and the marketing guru of Mundo de Pepita.

Mundo de Pepita uses a research based approach to teaching languages which is exposing students to vocabulary within context.  This is exactly what they do in their mini booklets with original and adorable illustrations with six characters.

Be sure to visit their blog at:  El Mundo de Pepita and read about some fascinating ideas to try in your classroom.

Visit TpT and check out their latest product:  Newest Booklet about Colors


Back to School Sale

Oh my goodness, it is almost time for the Back to School Sale on August 4-5, 2014.  It will be perfect to save money, 28%.  Creative Expressions has bundles at 30% discount but with the sale, it will be an additional 28% which means that you will be paying 58% less to get your flashcards.  Bundles are already at a discount, but if we include them in the sale, it will be a healthy amount of savings.  If you prefer, you can purchase the individual items instead of buying several units at once.

Come join us.  We have everything on sale.


Back To School Rules

If you haven't returned back to school yet, you will be returning pretty soon.  You need to make sure that you spend the time reviewing back to school rules.  For middle school students and high school students, these rules, which I now have in my store always worked. 

Back To School Classroom Rules

#1 Be On Time -
Be in your seat before the bell rings.

#2  Be Prepared -
Be in your seat with your materials such as paper, pencil, assignments, and working on bell ringers.

#3 Raise Your Hand -
Raise your hand and wait until the teacher calls on you.

#4 Keep Hands To Yourself -
Keep out of everyone's space and do not touch anyone.

#5 Respect Other's Property -
Touch materials that belong to you. Do not touch anything that does not belong to you.

#6 Keep Your Area Clean -
When we work on projects, pick up paper that falls around your desk.  Get a paper towel and wipe any glue or marks that are on your desk and working area.

#7 Be Courteous -
Wait for others to finish speaking.  Let others walk ahead of you.  Listen to others when they are speaking.  This includes the teacher.

#8 Be Responsible -
Bring materials to class. Bring assignments to class.  Keep your notes and handouts organized.

#9 Walk For Safety -
Walk everywhere in the school building at all times.

This unit includes scenarios and students need to explain what rule(s) are being broken and what rule needs to be applied.  My recommendation is that you and your students take the time to review the rules, examples, and scenarios.  

When I was in classroom, some years I tended to rush through the rules because sometimes, secondary students can look very bored when discussing the rules.  But, rushing through the rules, means that you will suffer through out the school year due to lack of patience.

Make sure that you reserve the bulletin board for classroom rules for constant review.  Send a copy of the class rules home, save one for the student, and create a poster board for the bulletin board.


The Small Spanish Wall Calendar

Several teachers and students have returned back to school, and the rest will be returning back soon.  Organization can become a nightmare until we have a system established and a place for everything.  One of the most important things for me was to find one master calendar to write all activities that I had to attend and remember.  Before I could find my master calendar that I would be carrying with me, I had to find a calendar to hang on the wall so that I could see it from my desk.  I wanted to be able to look at the whole month without any types of marks and symbols were marked on it.  On work days before the students were due to come in, I wanted to be able to look at the first day of the week to jot down on my lesson plans and electronic calendar.  I wanted to be able to see what afternoons I would be having staff meetings, and when I had duty.  Once I looked on the small wall calendar, I could begin to feel more organized.  I would be able to begin to jot down appointments and commitments on my master calendar.  For some reason, this small wall calendar made me feel calmer and grounded as I tried to organize my room for the coming school year.  This is one of the reasons, I created a small wall calendar in Spanish.  I could have something that would catch the students' attention.  It was definitely something in my teaching area, and something that I couldn't find in stores.  It would help me look and feel organized.  I hope you like this calendar that is in my TpT store.