Sunday, November 9, 2014

Chocolate caliente mmmmm!


It's that time of year, the days are getting colder and you just want to snuggle up with a warm cup of hot chocolate...o sea, chocolate caliente! I'm not a big fan of packet-made hot chocolate- but Mexican? Ay, pero sí!

Every year I make a big batch of chocolate caliente for my students, usually either my Kinders or First Graders (that's enough for 60-85 kids each grade level depending on the year!), we learn the Bate, bate, chocolate song, and have fun sending the molinillo around so kiddos can try it out. Here is a basic recipe with amounts adjusted in parenthesis indicating enough for a class of 20 kiddos. Note: when serving to my class, I usually fill a styrofoam cup about 1/2 way to be sure everyone gets a taste.

Ingredientes:
2 tazas de leche (un galón de leche)
una ramita de canela (2-3 ramitas de canela)
una tablilla de chocolate (6 tablillas de chocolate, a veces más)

Preparación:
-Poner la leche en una olla o cacerola con la ramita de canela
-Calentarla hasta que esté a punto de hervir
-Agregar la tablilla de chocolate a la leche y dejar que se derrite
-Retirar del fuego y quitar la ramita de canela
-Batir el chocolate con un molinillo hasta que se espume
-Servir en tazas

dos molinillos


Now in English :)
Ingredients:
2 cups of milk (1 gallon of milk)
1 cinnamon stick (2-3 cinnamon sticks)
one bar of Mexican chocolate (6 bars of Mexican chocolate, sometimes more)

To Prepare:
-Put the milk in a pot with the cinnamon stick
-Warm the milk until it is just about to boil
-Add the chocolate and let it melt into the milk
-Remove from the stove and take out the cinnamon stick
-Beat the hot chocolate with a molinillo (or beater if you don't have one) until it is frothed
-Serve in a cup :)

If you are inspired to make chocolate caliente, let me know! And visit our TpT store to find our minibook 'Olivia hace chocolate caliente' + Activity Pack

Get it here!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Making Paper Marigolds Step by Step in your classroom

Making paper marigolds is a wonderful way to bring a hands on activity to your classroom during El Día de los Muertos, something your students will surely remember! Over the years, I have found being prepared ahead of time, and going step by step, using kid friendly instructions, makes all the difference, especially when class only lasts a short time (in my case, I have kiddos for 30 minute classes). Here is what it looks like in my room:

The Prep:
I usually do this project with my Second Graders and since my classes are short, I like to have some steps done ahead of time to be sure we can get the flowers done in one shot. First, I cut green pipe cleaners in half. I also create name tags, put their names on them, punch a hole in each one, and attach a pipe cleaner to each one. Next, I take four sheets of tissue paper (I buy it already cut into squares) and make the first fold- folding the square in half. 



In class:
Since I have three colors of tissue paper, I call each kiddo up and have them choose which they would like (using manners vocab of course!) I also give them their stem at this time.

Once every kiddo has their tissue paper and stem, we begin the construction process. Here are two scripts, one in English (for those who aren't teaching Spanish) and one in Spanish, great for those  shooting for 90%. Projects like this one really lend themselves to using the target language, as long as you go step by step. Note the Spanish is much simpler and more direct than the English, making it perfect for novice learners. Don't forget to demonstrate each step as you give the instructions.

-"Holding the rectangle like a taco, open part up, fold the rectangle in half. Now we have a square."
-"Okis, tenemos un taco. Vamos a doblarlo por la mitad, así'

-"Now we are going to make a pizza slice. Put your scissors in the hand you cut with, and hold the square at the bottom, folded point." (I usually go around to every kiddo to be sure they are holding the right point. Otherwise, there is always at least one flower that ends up being cut in the wrong place and when unfolded, is no longer able to become a flower.)
-"Vamos a hacer una porción (trozo, rebanada) de pizza."

-"Now we are going to cut from one corner to the other in a curve. This will make our pizza slice shape." (I demonstrate before they cut so they can see how it should go. I then walk around and monitor the cutting to be sure they are cutting between the right corners.)
-"Corta el papel de una esquina a la otra así."


-"Now we are going to cut the fringe to make the petals. We are going to cut straight down, not the whole way, along the crust of the pizza slice." (Again, I demonstrate)
-"Ahorita, vamos a hacer los pétalos, cortando así."

-"Now we are going to put the scissors down because we won't need them anymore. Gently unfold the pizza back into the taco shape." (The key word here is gently! I demonstrate this)
-"Guardar las tijeras. Con cuidado, desdoblar las hojas de papel (las capas) así."

-"Now we will unfold the taco into a tortilla. Let's do this gently." (Some kiddos have difficulty with this step, so I go around and help)
-"Desdoblarlas una vez más."


-'Now we will need to insert the stem. Take one sheet at a time and poke the stem through the middle. If we do all four sheets at once, we will increase the chance of ripping the paper, so let's go with just one sheet at a time." (Again, I help with this as necessary)
-"Vamos a pasar el tallo por el centro de cada una de las hojas de papel (las capas), una a la vez, así."



-'Now that all four sheets are on the stem, we need to fold over the top of the stem so the paper stays on the stem." (I demonstrate and help as necessary)
-"Hacerle un doblez al tallo en la punta, así."

-"Right now we have a parasol, but we need a fluffy flower. We are going to scrunch each sheet of paper toward the middle to make it a poofy flower. Be gentle and don't pull the sheets off the stem :) (Again, I go around and help. There is always at least one that comes off the stem lol. Usually it is an easy fix to put it back on the stem. If it is completely ruined, I always have a few in reserve.)
-"Vamos a arrugar las hojas de papel (las capas) para realizar la maravilla, una hoja a la vez, así."



-"Now look at your flower and smile :)"
-"¡Y ya!"
I like to use the flowers to decorate my door and give them back after El Día de los Muertos is over. They make quite an impression! Have fun and enjoy making your own! (And let me know if you use different vocabulary- I love learning new things!)

And check out our printable Spanish minibook perfect for integrating El Día de los Muertos in your classroom. You can purchase it in our shop here.








Making Paper Marigolds Step by Step in your classroom

Making paper marigolds is a wonderful way to bring a hands on activity to your classroom during El Día de los Muertos, something your students will surely remember! Over the years, I have found being prepared ahead of time, and going step by step, using kid friendly instructions, makes all the difference, especially when class only lasts a short time (in my case, I have kiddos for 30 minute classes). Here is what it looks like in my room:

The Prep:
I usually do this project with my Second Graders and since my classes are short, I like to have some steps done ahead of time to be sure we can get the flowers done in one shot. First, I cut green pipe cleaners in half. I also create name tags, put their names on them, punch a hole in each one, and attach a pipe cleaner to each one. Next, I take four sheets of tissue paper (I buy it already cut into squares) and make the first fold- folding the square in half. 



In class:
Since I have three colors of tissue paper, I call each kiddo up and have them choose which they would like (using manners vocab of course!) I also give them their stem at this time.

Once every kiddo has their tissue paper and stem, we begin the construction process. Here are two scripts, one in English (for those who aren't teaching Spanish) and one in Spanish, great for those  shooting for 90%. Projects like this one really lend themselves to using the target language, as long as you go step by step. Note the Spanish is much simpler and more direct than the English, making it perfect for novice learners. Don't forget to demonstrate each step as you give the instructions. And see my video step by step in Spanish on Youtube (please forgive any errors!):



-"Holding the rectangle like a taco, open part up, fold the rectangle in half. Now we have a square."
-"Okis, tenemos un taco. Vamos a doblarlo por la mitad, así'

-"Now we are going to make a pizza slice. Put your scissors in the hand you cut with, and hold the square at the bottom, folded point." (I usually go around to every kiddo to be sure they are holding the right point. Otherwise, there is always at least one flower that ends up being cut in the wrong place and when unfolded, is no longer able to become a flower.)
-"Vamos a hacer una porción (trozo, rebanada) de pizza."

-"Now we are going to cut from one corner to the other in a curve. This will make our pizza slice shape." (I demonstrate before they cut so they can see how it should go. I then walk around and monitor the cutting to be sure they are cutting between the right corners.)
-"Corta el papel de una esquina a la otra así."


-"Now we are going to cut the fringe to make the petals. We are going to cut straight down, not the whole way, along the crust of the pizza slice." (Again, I demonstrate)
-"Ahorita, vamos a hacer los pétalos, cortando así."

-"Now we are going to put the scissors down because we won't need them anymore. Gently unfold the pizza back into the taco shape." (The key word here is gently! I demonstrate this)
-"Guardar las tijeras. Con cuidado, desdoblar las hojas de papel (las capas) así."

-"Now we will unfold the taco into a tortilla. Let's do this gently." (Some kiddos have difficulty with this step, so I go around and help)
-"Desdoblarlas una vez más."


-'Now we will need to insert the stem. Take one sheet at a time and poke the stem through the middle. If we do all four sheets at once, we will increase the chance of ripping the paper, so let's go with just one sheet at a time." (Again, I help with this as necessary)
-"Vamos a pasar el tallo por el centro de cada una de las hojas de papel (las capas), una a la vez, así."



-'Now that all four sheets are on the stem, we need to fold over the top of the stem so the paper stays on the stem." (I demonstrate and help as necessary)
-"Hacerle un doblez al tallo en la punta, así."

-"Right now we have a parasol, but we need a fluffy flower. We are going to scrunch each sheet of paper toward the middle to make it a poofy flower. Be gentle and don't pull the sheets off the stem :) (Again, I go around and help. There is always at least one that comes off the stem lol. Usually it is an easy fix to put it back on the stem. If it is completely ruined, I always have a few in reserve.)
-"Vamos a arrugar las hojas de papel (las capas) para realizar la maravilla, una hoja a la vez, así."



-"Now look at your flower and smile :)"
-"¡Y ya!"
I like to use the flowers to decorate my door and give them back after El Día de los Muertos is over. They make quite an impression! Have fun and enjoy making your own! (And let me know if you use different vocabulary- I love learning new things!)

And check out our printable Spanish minibook perfect for integrating El Día de los Muertos in your classroom. You can purchase it in our shop here.








Monday, October 13, 2014

Rigor is a new buzzword



This past Friday we had an inservice workshop in my district to discuss rigor in teaching. To be honest, at first I was at a loss...how do I create rigor with my littles who are still learning and digesting the concept of a foreign language, let alone using that language for communication? And then it hit me- that alone is the rigor (or at least a big element of rigor) in the elementary foreign language classroom! Just saying 'Hola' to me instead of 'Hello' is a change in mindset, answering questions posed in the target language, comprehending instructions, interacting in the TL all require a new way of thinking. But, I wanted to know more- what are other teachers experiencing? thinking? doing?

 I found an interesting article about rigor in the FL classroom on 'Latin Best Practices' which, in my opinion, encapsulates what we are striving for. Here is an excerpt which highlights the main points:
(*TCI- Teaching comprehensible input)

There are four elements of rigor:
1. Sustained Focus – you ask students to do that daily by being physically and mentally present and attending to the class conversation (see jGR)
2. Depth and Integrity of Inquiry – you pursue topics in depth by remaining with a subject until students have explored it satisfactorily
3. Suspension of premature conclusions – there are many ways that TCI meets this
4. Continuous testing of hypotheses – it is here that TCI is far superior to any grammar-driven method; students are asked to test their hypotheses about the language continuously as they hear the language and formulate ideas about how it is constructed (Grammar-driven methods tell students without giving them opportunity to test their own hypotheses)
In their discussion of this, the Department of State includes asking “mediative questions”, which means we ask open-ended questions that encourage students to think about their thinking instead of just producing a single correct answer.

Relevance is addressed as well. Here are elements of relevance:
1. prior intellectual or emotional connection to content – how can they not have it if the topic is about them; we also explore topics in which students are interested (I have talked extensively about films and Harry Potter, for example) and with which I as the teacher have a connection that I can mediate to my students. (Yes, students will often get excited about something because the teacher is excited.)
2. It is connected to real life – again a “duh!” for TCI
3. It is appropriately timed – not much we can do about this one except observe, for example, that first and fifth periods are not optimal times for class
4. It actively engages or involves us – we demand that students become engaged; we can also plan activities that are both comprehensible input as well as engaging
5. Someone else has a contagious passion or enthusiasm – we should teach our passions; I’m sure that part of the reason Ben’s students engage with “Le Petit Prince” is because Ben loves it so much, and they have a prior connection to him; I once had a student tell me that she wasn’t terribly interested in the Middle Ages but enjoyed my unit because I was so obviously enthusiastic about it
6. It is novel – which brings us to the much-maligned flying blue elephants; there are, however, other ways to make something novel

How do you bring rigor to your classroom? What are your opinions about this blossoming trend?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop # 19


We are thrilled to be part of the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop! We are joining Multicultural Kids Blog along with wonderful bloggers dedicated to sharing and supporting all things multicultural with an eye to kids.

We are spotlighting a yummy Puerto Rican treat, Limber de Oreo, featured by Discovering the World Through my Son's Eyes.
Check out the recipe on her blog!



<div align="center"><a href="http://multiculturalkidblogs.com/?p=5802" title="Creative Kids Culture Blog Ho


The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can't wait to see what you share this time!


Created by Frances of Discovering the World through My Son's Eyes and previously co-hosted by Kristin of Toddling in the Fast Lane and Leanna of All Done Monkey, the blog hop has now found a new home at Multicultural Kid Blogs.  And now, our members can co-host as well, so look for some fresh faces in the coming months!
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place for you to share your creative kids culture posts. It's very easy, and simple to participate!Just follow these simple guidelines:
       
  • Follow us via email, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook. Please let us know you're following us, and we will be sure to follow you back.
  •    
  • Link up any creative kids culture posts, such as language, culture, books, travel, food, crafts, playdates, activities, heritage, and holidays, etc. Please, link directly to your specific post, and no giveaways, shops, stores, etc.
       
  • Please grab the button code above and put it on your blog or the post you’re linking up. You can also add a text link back to this hop on your blog post. Note: By sharing your link up on this blog hop you are giving us permission to feature your blog post with pictures, and to pin your link up in our Creative Kids Culture Feature board on Pinterest.
       
  • Don't be a stranger, and share some comment love! Visit the other links, and comment. Everyone loves comments!
Thank you for linking-up, and we can't wait to see what you've been up to you in your neck of the woods!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Receta para salsa tipo pico de gallo



The yumminess....a simple recipe which transports my Mexican friends back home :)

Ingredientes:
dos jalapeños picados (two jalapeños, chopped)
tres jitomates picados (three tomatoes, chopped)
una cebolla picada (one onion chopped)
dos dientes de ajo picado (two garlic cloves, chopped)
jugo de un limón verde (juice of one lime)
una rama de cilantro picado (a sprig/branch of cilantro, chopped)

Mezcla todo y ¡ya! (Mix all ingredients together and there you go!)

After my kiddos tasted the salsa, I had them fill out an exit slip indicating how they felt. You can download it here.

I love this video illustrating how pico de gallo is made- even though they may not understand every word, the visual representation is great!



Our own Olivia illustrates this recipe in our printable minibook 'Olivia hace salsa'! Find it here!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Salsaaaaaaaaa


My Fourth Graders have been reading 'Olivia hace salsa' and this week are enjoying the real thing! It's quite a feat to make enough salsa to feed a whole class, let alone four classes (have to do it in stints lol), but boy is it worth it. Many of my kiddos have only had jarred salsa, which has its merits, but fresh salsa can't be beat! After eating the salsa, I had them fill out an exit ticket indicating how they feel about the salsa :) It's been a yummy taste test treat!

FOR THE WHOLE CLASS of 20 kids, here are approximations of how much I use of each ingredient:

*7-8 tomatoes (chopped)
*1-2 large onions (chopped)
*3 jalapeños, sometimes more (chopped)
*4 cloves of garlic, minced
*2 limes (their juice)
*cilantro, chopped

*1 bag of Santitas brand tortilla chips (these have been approved by my wheat free, nut free parents so I use them without worrying about allergies)

Mix altogether- I give each kiddo about 3-4 chips and a spoonful of salsa- it's just a taste, but they can go home and make more! :)


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Illustrate the recipe! Salsaaaaaaaaa!

My Fourth Graders are engaged in our Salsa theme, reading 'Olivia hace salsa' (our printable minibook..find it here in our TpT store), and using plastic fruits and veggies to 'make' salsa in class. Part of the theme is for my kiddos to illustrate the ingredients (this is a way for me to assess also whether they have acquired the vocab). Here is the activity page they use to illustrate: Ilustrar los ingredientes
Next week we will be making salsa for real...which not only provides a cultural experience, but each kiddo will have to fill out an exit ticket indicating how they liked the salsa (me gusta, me gusta mucho, no me gusta)- there is always an opportunity to use those favorites!

my kiddos reading the book and acting out the story

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Practicing Manners Vocabulary Authentically

I am a huge fan of kids using manners, so incorporating activities and situations where they are necessary to use is important to me. But, as we all know, sometimes it's challenging to create authentic situations for vocab usage, rather than artificial ones.  Here are a few ways I provide those opportunities:
*At the beginning of each class I choose a helper (secretario/secretaria) for that day. That kiddo gets to choose a stuffie to hold, all with names, from a basket I have in my classroom. Of course, in order to get the chosen stuffie, the kiddo has to ask for it using 'por favor' and then has to say 'gracias' once he or she gets it. In the older grades, two kiddos go to the basket, one making the choice and the other giving the stuffie to him/her. This second person of course needs to say 'de nada' once the other has said 'gracias'. This stuffie is the biggest perk of being the helper!
*I give out birthday pencils for each birthday- I have a range of colors, so the birthday boy/girl needs to request which color they would like along with 'por favor' and 'gracias'.
*During our greeting activities in Third Grade, I offer a selection of props kiddos can use (fake mustaches, different types of phones, loads of masks, puppets, etc). Kiddos need to ask for the prop of their choice using their manners.
*Classroom requests (may I go to the bathroom, may I get a drink, etc) need to be accompanied by 'por favor'.
*A number of activities/projects we do offer choice- choice of color of paper for a book cover, choice of art materials for crafts, choice of manipulatives for imaginative play, etc- all asked for politely!
*Any replaying of a song, video, game, etc needs to be asked for using manners.
*If a child sneezes and I say 'Salud', the kiddo needs to respond with 'gracias'.

And of course, I model this vocabulary as well! I am very conscientious about using please, thank you, and you're welcome all through class, every class. Ahhhhh....so nice to be polite!