Mystery Student in Elementary Spanish Class

Sunday, August 20, 2017

At this point in the year, some of you are already back to school or getting ready for it!  I still have a few days left until I see my students. I have some new things I would love to try this year. At a conference I attended this summer, a teacher shared with me that at the beginning of the school year she sends home a survey for her students to fill out along with their parents. I know homeroom teachers do it, and I recall getting a few of these when my own children were in preschool. How in the world is it that it never occurred to me that I could do this with my students? That's why I love the teaching community, so much sharing and helping each other! 

After doing some research, I adapted one that I will share with my students. I plan to use it in class in something like "el estudiante misterioso"which basically will be like sharing with the class special facts about this person, taking a few guesses, and then revealing the name of the mystery student. After revealing the name, I will again ask the class to give some facts about this person.  For example,
1. ¿Cuántos hermanos tiene Anna?
2. ¿Quién tiene hermanos en la clase?
3. ¿Cuántos hermanos tienes?
This way other student can relate with the mystery student.

I'm not sure where I will take it from there.  Maybe the mystery student will have a special place to sit in class or will have a special job.  Please share your ideas in the comments. I will be so excited to hear them all and update this post with them!

Download your pages for "El estudiante misterioso" HERE!

Have an awesome school year!



Available on Teachers Pay Teachers
 

Create Your Own Interactive Sock Puppet Book

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I had a lot of fun making this sock puppet book so I thought it was a good idea to share with you here the template I used. I printed the pages on stock paper, and it was easy to create. What took the longest was the puppet, but there is no science behind it. 

I included in the video below a quick tutorial on how I made my puppet, but there are more elaborate ones on YouTube - just search "How to make sock puppets," and you will get tons of results. 

I included a blank template you may use to add more emotions in the book. You can also write a story about the puppet. Ready to make your book? Click HERE to download the files. 





Have fun!

More teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers!


Curriculum Ideas for Preschool and Kindergarten

Monday, July 31, 2017

I am sharing general ideas for teachers based on how a “typical” school year might look in a Preschool and Kindergarten Spanish class. All the ideas I’m sharing here are geared toward programs that meet once or twice a week. In this schedule, there is not that much contact time with the students in the target language, so some of the concepts should be recycled and taught in a spiral way. In other words, if you teach numbers during the first month or two of the school year, continue to make time throughout the year where students may continue to be exposed to the vocabulary. For example, count apples in September and have them guess how many hearts you have in a bag in February.


I like using my students as a guide to know how long I should be exploring the content, but make sure to always go back to it and weave it throughout the school year. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, please note that many of the suggestions have links to resources in my Teachers Pay Teachers store or affiliate links to Amazon. I invite you to also explore many of your local libraries to find some of the books suggested below. The activity packs that are available on Teachers Pay Teachers have teaching tips, suggested ideas, and games.

I hope this serves as a good starting point to help you create your own curriculum. You might also find new ideas here that you would like to incorporate into your existing curriculum. 

Click HERE to download your document. Please make sure to click on the pictures to see the links.


Happy teaching!



Colombian Classroom Décor {Giveaway}

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It has been a while since I have hosted a giveaway here on my blog! I went to Colombia this summer for a few days and thought of bringing something home that I could share and help one teacher decorate his/her classroom or cart.

I decided to bring back a hat that has come to represent Colombia as a symbol, "El Sombrero Vueltiao." I feel strongly connected to this symbol because my parents are both from the Atlantic Coast of Colombia, and although I was born and raised in Cali, I was always surrounded by the Sombrero Vueltiao, las abarcas (traditional sandals) and all the flavors from the Coast: suero, pescado seco (dried fish), yuca (cassava), and more. I have memories of listening to Vallenatos everyday at home with my parents who loved to host simple fiestas on Saturdays with some other Costeños and neighbors.

Sombreros are a big part of the rural Colombian culture and the different festivals and carnivals around the country. There is a sombrero for everything, and they all look different. Some of the sombreros are engrained in particular cultures, which is the case of the Guambiano people in the Cauca Department who have a very special bowler hat. This said, not everyone wears sombreros in Colombia, so don't get disappointed if you ever visit and don't see any sombreros.

Since the Sombrero Vueltiao has also become an icon in attempts (which has been pretty successful!) to attract tourists, I am sure you will at least see one sombrero and some pictures of it in Colombia.

This video below explains the history of the Sombrero Vueltiao and its meaning for the people from the Atlantic Coast of Colombia.



Ready to participate in the giveaway? 

If you would like to participate in this giveaway and have the opportunity to win this awesome set of Colombian decorations for your classroom or cart, just enter below to participate. The winner will be announced on August 5th, 2017.  Participants in The United States Only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

¡Buena suerte!

Monarch Butterfly Migration to Give Your Spanish Curriculum Wings!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


A few years ago the science teacher at my school approached me with an exciting idea. It was September, and she started the year off teaching about the Monarch butterfly migration. She wanted to create a cross curricular connection and shared with me the idea of joining a symbolic butterfly migration through an organization called "Journey North."  It was the best idea ever!

She taught the butterfly life cycle in her science class, which included raising the butterflies in her classroom. She also taught the Monarch migration and why they are important connectors of ecosystems and landscapes. 

In our Spanish class we learned about the butterfly migration traveling from north to south because it was the fall. These are some of the questions we used and might help you start a conversation in class. Having a map and a paper butterfly helps a lot!

¿Dónde vivimos? ¿Vivimos en Colombia o en Estados Unidos?
¿Cuál es la estación? ¿Es el verano? ¿Es el otoño?
¿Qué animal es? ¿Es un perro? ¿Es un gato? ¿Es una mariposa? ¿Es un gato o una mariposa?
¿Qué clase de mariposa es?
¿Por qué van las monarcas al sur?
¿Adónde van las monarcas?
¿Adónde en México van las monarcas?
¿Cuándo van las monarcas a Michoacán?
¿Qué se celebra en México el 1 y 2 de noviembre?
¿Qué representan las monarcas para las personas en Michoacán?

Each student decorated small paper butterflies and wrote basic information such as:
Yo me llamo _________.
Yo tengo ______ años.
Yo vivo en __________.
Mi color favorito es___________.



We also decorated a bigger butterfly the size of a filing folder and added a picture of our class in the middle. We also needed to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (10” X 13”) in order to get our butterflies in the spring. I uploaded a picture of a big butterfly to the Journey North website and shared it with parents. On the map, we were able to see the schools that were participating in the country, as well our our big butterfly.

We made a connection with the homeroom teachers. During their reading time students had different books related to butterflies and also to "El Día de los Muertos." It's believed that Monarchs are the souls of the departed and loved ones, and they arrive in Michoacán to join the celebration. Students read "Uncle Monarch" in their classrooms, and that helped us make a connection to explore the Day of the Dead celebration.


 
We also got to say "adiós" to our real butterflies before they embarked on their journey south.  
In Spanish class, we read a bilingual book called "El Día de los Muertos." It led us to make a comparison between Halloween and this beautiful celebration for them to understand the meaning of the Day of the Dead and why it's important to the Mexican people - and how it differs from Halloween.



When the spring came, we had an awesome surprise! We got mail from Journey North with beautiful paper butterflies made by children in Mexico and other parts of the United States. This was an amazing experience not only for the teachers who got to work together, but also for the children who were excited about their paper butterflies. This is also an opportunity to raise awareness about Monarchs and what could happen if they go extinct. 



Thinking about joining the journey this year? 
Click here to visit the link to learn how to participate and download the "Teacher Packet" with all the steps to join the symbolic migration. The deadline to join is around the first week of October, so make sure you don't miss the date. 

Visit Señora Speedy's blog  to read what she has done in her class with the Monarch butterfly migration. Also, visit Mundo de Pepita's blog to read up on her experience too! 

Have an awesome journey!

Available on Teachers Pay Teachers

  


Mini Book: ¡Viva Colombia!

Saturday, July 15, 2017
This year marks the 207th year since Colombia gained its independence from Spain on July 20th, 1810. Colombians observe this day by taking the day off from work. Many of the main celebrations happen in Bogotá, Colombia's capital city. The Army puts on various parades, and the president delivers a speech to commemorate the day. It is also common for Colombians to show pride by wearing the colors of the Colombian flag (yellow, blue, and red), and many people put flags up outside their houses.

What a great way to celebrate by sharing this librito with you! Please click on the picture to download your copy!

This is a video tutorial showing how to make the book.


Just in case you need one more video, this one shows the steps more slowly. 



If you want to learn more about how this holiday is celebrated in Bogotá, this video is quite elaborate and has plenty of detail.



¡Qué viva Colombia!

More resources for teaching Spanish available on Teachers Pay Teachers


Virtual Field Trips in Elementary Spanish Class

Friday, July 7, 2017


There is nothing children enjoy more than pretending! Role playing games are such valuable tools for teaching languages. Planning a virtual trip requires some planning. You have to make sure the content is suitable for the level you teach. 

Introduction of a country or cultural activity:

1. Passport: You can create a simple template that your students will have to fill out with basic information such as name, age, and country where they were born. They can draw a small picture about themselves. 
2. Ticket: The ticket will have their seat and arrival country.
3. Sitting on an airplane: You may need to adapt this based on your space and the amount of time you have available to set up. I usually like making single lines and numbering the chairs from 1 to 20, depending on the number of students you have. Each student gets assigned a number. You can have two students pretend being the flight attendance to greet everyone when getting on the plane. This might take up to 5 minutes.  You can also pretend that you have a pilot who will welcome everyone and let them know where they are heading to. For example, "Buenos días, Bienvenidos al vuelo de la clase de español. Vamos a Colombia."
4. Google Earth: This requires some advance planning. You might want to choose the pictures of the places you would like to visit. I found a post written by The Teacher's Prep with great information on using Google Earth: Create a Virtual Trip Using Google Earth

5. Choose a few short videos about the country you plan to visit.6. Postcard: Have the children make a postcard that they can pretend to send to a family member. The postcard can have information about what they learned during the virtual trip.

Steps 4 and 5 might require a few class sessions to complete while the children do the cultural exploration. This also depends on how many times you see your students and the kind of program in which you teach. Some teachers prefer to do the cultural part in English , while others keep the target language basic and at the level of their students. 

I have a "Travel Set Activity" in my TpT store that I have used successfully with my students. Everything is ready to set up, and it even includes printable stamps that students can add to their passport every time they visit a new country. Click on the picture to learn all about it!
     

Have a fun trip!
    
                                                    

4 Facebook Communities for Elementary Spanish Teachers

Thursday, July 6, 2017


One of the things I love about Facebook is how easy you can find online communities related to any topic and interest. And teachers really do know how to take advantage of Facebook. Just type keywords into the search bar to reveal different groups and pages related to them.

I want to share with you some groups that have been created for teaching Spanish at the early and elementary level. Please note that for some of the groups you will have to request to join the group; this is because they want to make sure only Spanish teachers join. Also in some of them the moderators will have to approve your question before it is posted on the wall. In an effort to keep the group clear of spam, some moderators will delete anything that is not related to teaching at this level. The language of interaction changes according to the group; some groups use English and Spanish, while some of them just use English, and some only Spanish. You will have to find the one you think works best for you.

Here are the names of the groups:

  1. Elementary Spanish Teachers
  2. Teaching Spanish to Children
  3. Actividades de ELE para niños
  4. Hablando de ELE


Hand Signals for Spanish Class

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Nothing like being in the middle of a fun and engaging lesson when suddenly you have a student interrupting because he or she needs to go to the bathroom, or even worse, you have a student who you thought was raising his/her hand quietly for a while when you realized it was a request to go to the bathroom and the student had been holding it for a long time. Then the feelings of guilt flood in.  Time is precious for teachers, but no one wants to cause a student pain!

I  taught in a Responsive Classroom school, and using signs was part of the classroom management model. So I borrowed some ideas from the Responsible Classroom framework and have added more to fit the needs of my classroom. I also teach my students useful sentences to ask for permission to go to the bathroom or drink water in Spanish. There are times when I see the hand signal for bathroom but still ask them what they need to give them an opportunity to practice the language or I also say you need to go to the bathroom or drink water. Once I started using hand signals with my students, I felt that I was able to teach a class with less interruptions, and it was also helpful for the students who were not yet ready to use the target language. I now introduce hand signals during the first class, and we practice them to make sure that they are clear for everyone. 

Recently I found a set of images that go perfectly with the hand signals I use, and I will be updating my classroom signs this fall. I am sharing them with you. I hope you find this helpful!


Download your cards HERE!

Happy teaching!


More teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers!









10 Fun Songs for Teaching Numbers in Spanish

Thursday, June 29, 2017

From 1 to 5
 


From 1 to 10

 

From 1 to 20  

From 1 to 50  

From 1 to 100



 
From 1 to 100


Have fun counting in Spanish!

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