Tag Archives: reading

500 Words Story


For a couple of years, BBC Radio 2 (UK radio channel) has a contest for elementary students called 500 Words (Official page). The prize are books for the winner and his/her school.

The idea is amazing and really imaginative. 500 words is enough.

For EFL, you can encourage students to write their own or make listening comprehension exercises with the audios.





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I take it back… I love the Kindle too


Okay. I know I said the Nook Simple Touch was better. I still think the same because the practibility of EPUB format, and that’s it. I am probably hearing some ‘Judas’ in my back.


My husband got me a Kindle (7th Gen) for Christmas and he heritage my Nook. We are now reading together at bed at night. So cute!

For a month, I have been debating myself whether to talk about it or not.

Well, I got now the $79 version (Wifi, ads included). The overall format is pretty much like the Nook in terms of font, size and margins.

Advantages than my lovely beloved Nook:

  • Goodreads. I’m not a fan of this social network but it’s good to have it… just in case.
  • The ads. This is a depends. I like that I can personalize the screen savers in the Nook (You can’t on the Kindle), but the ads sometimes have really good offers or suggestions.
  • Dictionaries. I love the dictionaries, free, handy and bilingual included (I have my English-Spanish, RAE and Oxford)
  • Translation. You select a section in a book and you can translate to a lot of different languages. It’s handy to have fun of the translations made by the kindle.
  • Multilingual support. As Kindle is for an international audience, you can customize to a lot of different languages. I mostly use it in English but I sometimes switch it to French or Japanese just for the kicks.

OVERALL, If you are going to buy a e-reader, Kindle doesn’t disappoint. They are not making Nook Simple Touch anymore, so there are not exactly other choice unless you want a Kobo or Sony Reader which are a little more difficult to find in Mexico. The books in the Amazon store are sometimes cheap, or free. There are deals everyday. On the other resources, it’s difficult to find some titles.

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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Misc


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YotaPhone 2


Last year, exactly on January 16 (4 days earlier) I posted about my dream cell phone in the post titled Cellphone + Tablet + e-ink = OMG!

I waited the whole last year like a good girl for being released in Mexico and nothing. It was actually good because 1sts versions are not always good. The second generation or version, that’s the one. AND IT’S HERE!


YotaPhone 2 by the Russian company Yota released this amazing I-totally-want cell phone. The design is nicer looking than the first one. This is more round and slick. The e-ink screen is totally functional and amazing. I think I would use that screen all the time.

Some news around the WWW claims that it will arrive to Mexico after May. I cross my fingers. It will be pricy. That’s for sure.

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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Misc


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In E-readers, Nook vs Kindle


If you haven’t noticed, I’m an avid reader, completely obsessed with Percy Jackson lately, but that’s for later.


Anyway, when it comes to Nook vs Kindle. I believe in the power of Barnes and Noble, though they are losing the battle against Amazon. This year, the current models are the Nook Glowlight by Barnes and Noble ($119) while in Amazon we have the Kindle Basic ($79 or $99), Kindle Paperwhite ($119, $139, $189 or $209) and Kindle Voyage ($199, $219, $269 or $289).kindle

You are probably thinking that I’m completely biased, well, not. I had a Kindle back in 2011, so I know what I am talking about.


Both products are really good to read. I don’t deny their hardware, firmware and software. Both are amazing to buy, to read and enjoy… and they just don’t disappoint you at all.

HOWEVER… Why do I like Nook better? Mostly, only because one single fact because it’s easiest to find EPUB books files around the web.

I don’t deny the price of the cheapest Kindle model of $79 is super really appealing but I am still sticking up to B&N. However, if you want to buy me one, I won’t say NO.

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Posted by on December 4, 2014 in Misc


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Fanfiction – Definition and Ideas

I am an avid reader also an awesome mom, teacher, wife and blogger, but that’s not the point.

I will say loud and clear one of my biggest guilty pleasures: Fanfiction.

What is it?

According to the ever amazing Wikipedia: It’s a broadly defined fan labor term for stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator. Works of fan fiction are rarely commissioned or authorized by the original work’s owner, creator, or publisher; also, they are almost never professionally published.

In other words, stories made by the fans based on their favorite original work or at least using the characters or universe.

Why use it?

  • It’s ever growing and some are incredible not so shabby. According to rumors and Wikipedia, the best selling trilogy 50 shades was originally a fanfic of Twilight. I agree, I read the books and I swear you just change the names and it is.
  • It’s natural and real.
  • It’s free.
  • It has different lenghts and genres.
  • Students have a choice according to their favorite piece of original work like cartoons, anime, manga, movies, books, etc.

Teaching uses:

  • Read and make a review.
  • Write your own. You might have a best selling author in your hands and you don’t know
  • Find errors in grammar and spelling. Trust me are some with a LOT.


The BEST PLACE to look here:

I found this cool article to read to: The Growing Phenomenon of Fanfiction: A new Marketing Tool?

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Posted by on March 6, 2014 in 4th cycle, Misc


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Morning letters

This a excellent tool to start every day at class.


The idea is to write everyday a letter to the students to read like this one. The students will get and idea about what to expect for the day also to make small comments like holidays, even to review something.


You can work with it for the spelling and reading. After a while students will find the mistakes more easily.

You have to try it at least once .


Posted by on February 6, 2014 in 1st cycle, 2nd cycle, 3rd cycle, 4th cycle


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The Rally 2.0


This school year is a new school, new kids and cycle 1. I decided to perform the rally again but with a twist: less words and more visuals. A challenge!


The mechanic didn’t change: a team of 4 will perform a race against time and mental and physical challenges throughout 4 stations about Spanish, Math, English and Mystery

For more info, check last year posts:

Pumpkin Rally 2012
Turkey Rally 2012
Snowflake Rally 2013
Heart Rally 2013

If you want to give a try this school year, the questions that I used last year for:

Note: the key is 1, 6 = A; 2,7 = B; 3,8 = C; 4,9 = D. For 6th grade, the key is attached.


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The Raven, The Simpsons style (200th post)

We are getting near to Halloween.

On The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror I, the third story is the animated version of the poem: The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

I used this video to introduce the poem. (Also I found a Spanish version video)


This is the post to celebrate my 200th post.

Thank you for everything. It has been almost 2 years on this endeavor. Sleepless nights thinking how to do this and that. Countless hours on the computer searching, making, writing, checking stats and reading comments.

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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in 4th cycle


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Mexican Heroes

For this very patriotic holiday, I decided to make minibooks with facts of the heros of Independency annd review past tense.

Printable right below:

For folding instructions, check out here

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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in 2nd cycle, 3rd cycle, 4th cycle


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Early reader science book: What is an Insect?

For 3rd graders, this is fantastic and easy way to start, introduce or warm up the Guide of Curious Questions.

This is totally handy for lower grades.

I took the idea of What is an insect? by Susan Canizales and Mary Reid. I made my homemade version to read along with the students. Then I decided to expand my homemade version into a series:


  1. Let students color the pictures (optional)
  2. Cut the dotted line.
  3. Fold in half
  4. Staple

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in 1st cycle, 3rd Grade


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