Saturday, September 17, 2016

Open House Activities for Elementary Spanish Class

THIS WEEK WE HAD OPEN HOUSE AT SCHOOL, and I wanted to make it more meaningful this year...our principal had referenced parents 'learning something' as they traveled through the many classrooms in our school, which inspired me to go beyond the typical 'meet and greet' I had always done. After searching on Pinterest for far too long, I came up with the following:

THREE THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU COME TO THE SPANISH ROOM: I created a printout of three things kiddos could do while visiting me:

1) Greet me with 'Hola'

2) Introduce their parents to Pepita and friends (they are such a part of our class I thought it would be fun to have parents introduced to them)

3) Do an estimation activity with a jar of Guatemalan worry dolls (which also gave practice for numbers) You can download my estimation activity for FREE here!

The kids had a lot of fun, especially with the estimation jar, and it was a great opportunity to showcase how well kids comprehend Spanish- many parents witnessed me speaking and prompting kiddos with the estimation slip, demonstrating how I teach in the target language while kids completed the task. I would love to hear how you do Open House!




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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hispanic Heritage Month- Making Cultural Connections by Comparing a Taco

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH is a wonderful opportunity for our elementary Spanish students to learn more about how the influence of Hispanic culture has contributed to their own. Since we are talking elementary, I particularly like to provide concrete, tangible examples of how, in our everyday lives, we experience the many contributions we enjoy and which have become a part of the culture here in the US. I could get very sentimental and say that, after all, we are a melting pot, and our culture is an amazing amalgam of traditions, values, and customs from the world over... it truly brings tears to my eyes!

BUT, BACK TO HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH! So, if you ask yourself the question, what does a 5, 6, 7 year old experience in his/her daily life that has come directly or in part from a Spanish speaking country, for the majority, the answer is mostly likely tacos and nachos and salsa! (Or, at least in my neck of the woods here in Maine...) And, most likely they have no idea that these yummy foods came originally from México AND most likely do not know or have ever had an authentic representation of either.

SO, WHY NOT TAKE THIS CONCRETE EXAMPLE OF MEXICAN CULTURE and share with your students the real deal? If you aren't able to bring in food, or have too many students to make it feasible, you can still show your students via videos and pictures more traditional representations. Here are some resources to compare and contrast Mexican tacos and those often eaten in the US:


THOUGH THE SPANISH in the video is most likely above your students' language level, the visual representation of a step by step recipe is a great way for kids to SEE the difference in tacos we frequently eat here (Ortega, anyone?). After viewing the video, and talking about the differences (both in how they are made and the ingredients) between a taco in México and the US, have your students do a Venn diagram with visual representations of the differences- here is a FREE downloadable Venn diagram activity page! This is also a great activity to meet ACTFL Standard 4.2 (Students develop understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own)

HOW ABOUT PICO DE GALLO? Check out our post here on making salsa tipo pico de gallo! And don't miss our 'Olivia hace chocolate caliente' Activity Pack- two great additional opportunities for cultural comparisons!


olivia hace chocolate caliente culture comparison


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Friday, August 26, 2016

Hispanic Heritage Month- 16 Pop Songs for Elementary Spanish Class

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH BEGINS SEPTEMBER 15, and is a wonderful opportunity for elementary Spanish teachers to highlight the many ways Hispanic culture is part of our students' daily life. One tangible aspect is music- our students hear quite a bit of music sung and created by Latin artists, but don't always think about the connection between the artist and the country they, or their families,  are from. Whether you teach your students salsa while playing Celia Cruz, or play 'Freeze dance' with 'La Bamba', bringing music into class and highlighting the connections make a significant contribution towards your students being more aware of Hispanic culture and the contributions it has made to our own. Here are 12 songs I like to play with my elementary students, some of which are very familiar to them, while others are new but lots of fun:

Hispanic Heritage Month Songs for Elementary Spanish Class

*'Ven a bailar' by Pitbull and J Lo
*'La Bamba' by Los Lobos
*'Echa Pa'lla (Manos Pa'arriba)' by Pitbull
*'Oye como va' by Santana
*'Rie y llora' by Celia Cruz
*'La vida es un Carnaval' by Celia Cruz
*'A Dios le pido' by Juanes
*'La bicicleta' by Shakira and Carlos Vives
*'Dímelo' by Marc Antony
*'La Copa de la Vida' by Ricky Martin
*'Volaré' by Gypsy Kings
*'Noche y de Día' by Enrique Iglesias featuring Yandel and Juan Magan
*'Qué viva la vida' by Wisin
*'La Gozadera' by Gente de Zona featuring Marc Antony
*'Canción del Mariachi' by Antonio Banderas and Los Lobos (yes, Antonio Banderas!)
*'Soy yo' by Bomba Estéreo
*'Bailando' by Enrique Iglesias
*'Yo voy ganao' by Systema Solar
*'Salsa y choke' by ChocoQuibTown featuring Nejo
*'Baila conmigo' by Juan Magan featuring Luciana (in both English and Spanish)
*'Bailamos' by Enrique Iglesias (this is primarily in English but does have some Spanish)

Happy dancing!




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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Activities for the First Days of School in Elementary Spanish Classes

WE'VE TEAMED UP WITH Fun for Early and Elementary Spanish Teachers for a fun week on Facebook, sharing activities for the first days of school in Elementary Spanish Classes. Be sure to follow both of us on Facebook (click here to go to our page!) so you don't miss out- this week, and every week!

I AM ALSO POSTING ALL OF OUR ACTIVITIES here on our blog! Here we go! (I'll add each activity here as we progress through the week)

Activities for the First Days of School in Elementary Spanish Classes

Activities for the First Days of School in Elementary Spanish Class

Activities for the First Days of School in Elementary Spanish Class

Activities for the First Days of School in Elementary Spanish Classes Back to School

*Here is a great Youtube video with two little girls demonstrating 'Por aquí pasó un caballo'

Activities for Back to School in Elementary Spanish Classes

Activities for Back to School in Elementary Spanish Classes

Activities for Back to School in Elementary Spanish Classes



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Monday, August 15, 2016

Routines for the End of Spanish Class- Cleaning Up and Saying Goodbye

I CONFESS, I'VE DONE A FAIR SHARE OF POSTS highlighting greeting activities, but have yet to write a post starring END OF THE CLASS ACTIVITIES! ¡Qué locura! Well, I am here to remedy that with a round- up of closing activities you can do when cleaning up and saying goodbye to your class, which are just as important as greetings in that they bring your class closure in an orderly and meaningful way, and send them to the next teacher ready to transition.

Routines for the End of Spanish Class-Cleaning Up and Saying Goodbye

*CLEANING UP is one of those times when having a routine is super helpful; whether it is simply putting away pencils and activities, or cleaning up a big mess made from a project, my goal is always to do this as efficiently and quickly as possible. Several years ago I stumbled upon an authentic song 'A guardar' which has become my staple for signaling it is time to clean up and get ready to go. Although only about 30 seconds in length, you would be amazed how much can be accomplished in that time frame- if you MODEL and PRACTICE what kiddos need to do as soon as they hear the song start playing! You can download the song on ITunes: 'A guardar' by Sari Cucien


*SIDE NOTE ON COLLECTING FOLDERS: This is a two-parter- if you use a seating chart AND you hand out folders containing activities, at clean up time, collect those folders in the order in which your kiddos sit, following your seating chart. This will, in turn, make it much easier and quicker to hand them out again the next time you use them! I have also added to this routine that they need to hold their folders upright (rather than on their head like a graduation cap, in their hand like a pizza box, or as high as they can possibly get it- all of which frequently end up in folders falling and activities scattered all over the place).


*REFERENCE A WELL KNOWN REFRAN with this quick chant I modified, which is perfect as a call and response to signal the end of class! You can download it for free here on our drive!


*SAYING GOODBYE: Sadly, we have to say goodbye to our little critters as they have places to go and people to see...but it's always nice to do so with a smile on our faces! Here are two songs that are perfect to sing as they are lining up, on their way out the door, or as a closing circle activity.



I also videoed myself demonstrating how I instruct my students to clean up, all in Spanish, to give you a sense of how that can be done in a 90% CI classroom.


Hope I've given you some good ideas for ending class!


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Monday, August 8, 2016

Fast Finisher Activities for Elementary Spanish Class

I'M DONE, WHAT DO I DO NOW, SEÑORA? Yes, we've all heard that question! Those kiddos who finish early and need something to do... here is a round up of the activities I provide for my FAST FINISHERS... please add yours in the comments! We would love to hear them!

*COLORING & PARTNER READ WITH OUR MINIBOOKS: This is the first go to in my classes- since every theme begins with one of our minibooks, every kiddo has his/her minibook tucked in their folder, easy to grab and color and/ or partner read with a friend.

Pepita lee sobre Frida Kahlo
*BOOK BASKET: I always have two baskets of books for kiddos to look at and read in my classroom. One has chapter books, while the other has a variety of picture books, non fiction books about countries, animals, geography, etc, and simple picture dictionaries. Many of the books in the second basket are in Spanish, but not all. Consider putting cookbooks in there, too! The pictures are beautiful and show authentic food, always a popular topic!


*MEMORAMA: Memory is always a favorite! Easy to play with 2-3 friends, I create Memory cards that require matching a word with a picture, increasing the challenge somewhat, rather than simply picture to picture. I always have a few sets in our fast finisher bin!

*PUZZLES: I have 3-4 puzzles of maps that are great for kiddos who love to do puzzles and/or are interested in geography. Since my room is small, I let students take the puzzles out into the hall to do them. Can't find good ones, or don't have access? Take a picture from a magazine or print out a page from a book, affix to stiff paper, laminate, then cut apart in wonky shapes to create your own paper "puzzles". Tuck the pieces in a ziploc baggie and have them ready to go!



*STORY TREASURE BASKETS: As I stated above, all of my themes revolve around my minibooks so I sometimes create story treasure baskets filled with props from the story, along with some extras to fuel their imagination. You can see my post here for some fun examples!


*SORTING ACTIVITIES, much like Memorama, are great opportunities for youngsters to practice vocabulary, and muffin tins are perfect for sorting little items like pompoms, beads, counters, and more. Label each muffin cup with a different category word, (colors, numbers, size, etc) provide a set of objects to sort, and away they go! To increase the challenge for older kids, have a mix of objects and word cards to sort.


*COOTIE CATCHERS: Older learners can make their own cootie catchers in the target language, then play them with classmates. Have vocabulary prompts available in writing so kids have direction when creating them. Here is a pattern for making them (not mine):


*WORD SEARCHES, COLOR BY NUMBER, CROSSWORDS, ETC are always a great activity to have on hand for fast finishers, tailored for age level. I like to have ones out that are related to the theme we are currently engaged in, or ones that review vocabulary from previous themes.

*GAMES OF ALL KINDS can be adapted for fast finisher activities- I love Dominos for little learners and, since it is popular in a number of Spanish speaking countries, it is authentic yet familiar. Provide a map of the Caribbean with Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic highlighted to give them context! Another fun game I started with my students I call 'Tapatodo', where students try to be the first to cover their board, a great review of vocabulary. You can find our set of 16 gameboards here!



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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Snapchat Cortos for the Olympics- How to Integrate them in your Classroom

EL EQUIPO "MUNDO DE PEPITA" ESTÁ LISTO PARA LOS JUEGOS- ¿Y TÚ? Yes, you read that right, Pepita and the gang have headed off to compete in the Olympics...well, Mundo style! Hop onto Snapchat, and check out their adventures as they take part in a variety of sporting events. Here are some ways you can incorporate the photos and videos we are posting in your classroom (I've put a variety of activities for different levels):


*HAVE YOUR STUDENTS FOLLOW US ON SNAPCHAT and do a quick writing activity around what happens in the day's videos or describe the pictures posted.

*HAVE APPLETV? Show the day's cortos or fotos on your screen and ask kiddos questions about them. ¿Qué hace Olivia? ¿De qué color es el traje de baño de Olivia? Nada rápido Javi, ¿sí o no? ¿En qué deporte va a competir Arturo? etc Your questions can be tailored to your students' level.

*HAVE YOUR STUDENTS SELECT ONE CHARACTER to follow specifically, and write a Facebook or Twitter post for that character, describing what their day is like while competing.

*FOLLOW THE MEDAL COUNT! We'll be posting our very own "medal count" on Snapchat, which will provide numbers practice in a very simple context for novice or elementary school learners.


OH, AND IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T MET PEPITA & THE GANG YET, here they are! From left to right, Olivia, Arturo, Mateo, Julieta, Pepita, and Javi :)



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