Saturday, June 24, 2017

Narrating Your Actions in the Target Language to Provide Comprehensible Input

THERE ARE MANY WAYS WE PROVIDE COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT in the target language during our time spent with students. A simple way to do this that allows students to intuitively understand what you are saying, and over time they pick up vocabulary, is to narrate your actions as you do them. So, for example, if I am tying a kid's shoes, I narrate the entire process, step by step, in Spanish. Or if I am getting materials out, or helping a kid with an activity, whatever I might be doing, I narrate my actions. This input is not always the key vocabulary we are working on, but it fosters genuine communication in the language and creates an environment where the language is used all the time as the mode of interaction, just as you would talk to a child in any other setting- in a natural, interactive way that just happens to also provide loads of input.

Teaching with Comprehensible Input in the Foreign Language

A KEY PART OF TEACHING IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE is keeping up your own language skills- follow pages and accounts on social media that provide the kind of input that helps you provide this kind of 'narrative' input. For example, on Instagram, I follow a lot of primary teachers from Spanish speaking countries- I love reading their posts about activities they are doing in the classroom! Here are a few of the accounts I follow (and don't forget to follow us! @mundodepepita)
* @elauladecarla
* @letratouille
* @aprender_jugando
* @laclasede_elena
* @maestrasmolonas
* @maestras_activas
* @maestra.primaria
* @maestra_lis


Happy teaching!
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tips for Having Your High school Students Teach Spanish to Elementary School Kids

MY DISTRICT IS VERY LUCKY IN THAT WE HAVE AN ELEMENTARY SPANISH PROGRAM starting in Kindergarten (I started the program in 1998, if you can believe that!), but I know that many districts are not so fortunate. One way districts have found to provide a fun language connection in the elementary school is to have high school students come down to teach basic vocabulary to the littles. Here are some quick tips to make that a successful venture in your district (until there's enough funding to start a full on elementary program! :) ) :


*CHOOSE VOCABULARY SETS THAT ARE CONCRETE, such as numbers, colors, animals, foods, etc and that of high interest to little kids. These also provide a great base to work off of!

*KEEP THE ACTION GOING! Little kids have short attention spans, so having a variety of activities is key! Mix up the lesson with movement activities, songs, games, and LOTS OF HANDS ON activities. The average attention span in minutes is approximately the same as the age of the kiddo- so, a five year will be focused for about 5 minutes before he/she is heading to squirrel town... yep, I live this every day! Four Corners is a great activity to keep them moving and practicing vocabulary-here's how I get the most out of it!

*DID I MENTION HANDS ON? Toys, counters, cut out pictures, games that involve manipulatives, play food, etc are always going to increase the motivation of elementary students, so incorporating them in lessons will keep more focus on your budding teacher and less on the ant crawling across the floor. My students LOVE pom poms- click here to see a post I wrote on activities you can do with them!

*WHOLE GROUP ACTIVITIES are extremely helpful for class management, especially for the really young ones (Kindergarten and First Grade). Waiting to take turns is hard for littles, especially with their short attention spans (yes, I mention it again!), so songs, whole group games, stories, poems, etc are great ways to keep everyone together and learning. If your high school student does want to do a turn-taking activity, look for something that has a surprise within it, or something that the whole class can take part it even while one kiddo is taking a turn.

Go fishing game to practice numbers in elementary language class
Attach paper clips to pictures of fish (ours have different amounts of fish on each card) and have a kiddo 'go fishing' with a magnet attached to a ribbon or string... in our set we also have a shark- if he's caught, he eats all the fish already caught! Chomp! Part of our Numbers Activity Pack here.
*CUTTING AND WRITING ACTIVITIES are challenging for many little kids, especially the younger ones, so having fewer of these is probably a good idea. Five and six year olds often still lack in these skill areas, so it is best to steer clear... instead, gross motor activities like rolling a ball for a greeting activity, categorizing items by color, acting out/ following commands for actions, dancing, etc are great ways to keep kids engaged.

*PREPARE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BEFOREHAND; they are not teachers, so giving them some guidelines and tips on how to behave with the elementary students is very important. Be sure they have prepared ahead of time what they will be doing, and double-check the content of what they will be teaching to ensure it is accurate. And it goes without saying you want to have students participate that are reliable, want to work with little kids, and are outgoing and cheerful :)

*NEED IDEAS FOR SONGS & GAMES? Click on our category 'Games' right here on this blog to find lots of games perfect for elementary school, and for songs, head over to our Pinterest board here!

Have fun!
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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Activities for Summer Camp Part Two, DAY 5- New Ideas for Camp Programs that Integrate Spanish Language & Culture

IT'S OUR FIFTH AND FINAL DAY OF SUMMER CAMP ACTIVITIES, and we hope you have found some great ideas, both on our blog and on Fun for Spanish Teachers! Be sure to visit Carolina's final post by clicking here! And, don't miss our activity below- a take on the traditional game 'I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing....

Activities for Summer Camp in Spanish

I ALWAYS HAD FUN WHEN I WAS A KID PLAYING the picnic game... I confess, I have a decent memory, so even when I was one of the last kids to have a turn, I could often remember what everyone else had put in the basket- but even when I could, it was still always a challenge (I LOVE challenges!). When playing with my students in Spanish class, I make a few modifications to make the task a little easier, primarily as a scaffold for vocabulary recall, which can be tricky for some kiddos.

I'm going on a picnic activity for Spanish class

BEFORE STARTING TO PLAY, I PUT OUT A SET OF FOOD IMAGES that represent vocabulary my students already know- these serve to jog the memory and help those kiddos who have a harder time coming up with a word without assistance. They also serve to corral the possibilities to those shown/ provided, which helps to move the game along.... no 'Señora, how do you say ____?' which can bog down forward movement, and the unfamiliar word is harder for the rest of the crew to remember since it is...well, unfamiliar. By scaffolding the game, everyone has a lot more fun! And, you can encourage kids to add adjectives or quantities to what they say, so instead of... 'I'm making a picnic and I'm bringing a donut', a kiddo could say 'I'm making a picnic and I'm bringing a huge, chocolate donut.' :)

Have fun!

And don't miss our other posts for summer camp activities!
*Make worry dolls with a clothespin
*Make agua fresca
*Mount a puppet play (with FREE downloadable script)
*Make a paper arpillera

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Activities for Summer Camp Part Two, DAY 4- New Ideas for Camp Programs that Integrate Spanish Language & Culture

IT'S DAY 4 OF OUR COLLABORATION WITH FUN FOR SPANISH TEACHERS, highlighting activities for summer camp in Spanish...we hope you are finding some great ideas (I know I am- loving Carolina's posts!). Her post for today features a parachute-be sure to head over there and read it! Click here to read it! Today we bring you another fun traditional craft, la arpillera.

Summer Camp Spanish Activities

I LOVE ARPILLERAS, and they are a wonderfully tangible authentic example of culture that kids love, too. Since I am not overly excited about needles and thread with little kids, making paper arpilleras is the option of choice! Provide campers with a piece of blue paper for the background, along with lots of other colors they can use to cut out shapes (houses, trees, shrubs, mountains, a sun, clouds, hills, llamas, sheep, etc) and glue in layers on the background piece to make their own arpillera.

Make a paper arpillera

WANT TO BE SURE AND INCLUDE LANGUAGE ALONG WITH THE CULTURAL COMPONENT? Arpilleras are a perfect vehicle for talking about colors, numbers, and all the items one sees in an arpillera. Here's an example of me asking my class questions related to how many of each thing are in an arpillera to give you an idea:



HAVE FUN!

DON'T MISS OUR OTHER POSTS THIS WEEK!
*Make Worry Dolls with Clothespins
*Make Agua Fresca
*Put on a Puppet Play (with FREE script download!)
*Play I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...in the target language

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Activities for Summer Camp Part Two, DAY 3- New Ideas for Camp Programs that Integrate Spanish Language & Culture

WELCOME BACK TO DAY 3 OF ACTIVITIES FOR SUMMER CAMP! We are so thrilled to be teaming up with Fun for Spanish Teachers for this week of great ideas for summer programs, whether they be camps. Vacation Bible School, or even for after school! Be sure to head over to Fun For Spanish Teachers blog to see today's post!

Activities for Summer Camp in Spanish


HOW ABOUT MOUNTING A PUPPET PLAY? Stick puppets, shadow puppets, finger puppets, puppets made from paper bags...it is always fun to make a puppet and then put on a show with friends! Why not encourage your campers to act out a story or make up a short dialogue in Spanish to be performed with puppets? The backdrop can be as simple as some plants outside, or kids can illustrate their own to go along with the play. Need a simple script to use for camp? Click on this link for a free downloadable!

Put on a Puppet Show in Spanish for Summer Camp

INTERESTED IN OUR OTHER POSTS FOR SUMMER CAMP ACTIVITIES? Check out:
 Make worry dolls with clothespins
Making Agua Fresca
Make a Paper Arpillera
Play I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing..in the target language

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Activities for Summer Camp Part Two, DAY 2- New Ideas for Camp Programs that Integrate Spanish Language & Culture

IT'S DAY TWO OF OUR ACTIVITIES FOR SUMMER CAMP FUN! Be sure to visit FUN FOR SPANISH TEACHERS to see today's post on a fun beach ball game! And don't forget to follow us both on Facebook so you never miss another great event or post!

Activities for Summer Spanish Camp
Visit Fun for Spanish Teachers!
I LOVE TO COOK WITH KIDS AND SHARE CULTURAL FOOD AT THE SAME TIME! Since it's summer (well, almost here in Maine!) and the days are getting hotter, how about making AGUA FRESCA? This is a simple recipe that kids can help make (be sure they are old enough/ supervised when using a knife!) and is a yummy, refreshing treat on a hot day- our fox, Olivia, just loves it! 


Agua Fresca con Fresa Receta Recipe

TO MAKE AGUA FRESCA CON FRESA you will need:
1 pound strawberries, cleaned and cut in half- un medio kilo de fresas, lavadas y cortadas por la mitad
3/4 cup sugar- 3/4 taza de azúcar
6 cups water- 6 tazas de agua
slices of lemon- unas rodajas de limón 

Place the in a bowl and sprinkle them with the sugar and let them sit for about 15 minutes, then macerate them (crush them somewhat, they do not need to be mashed to a pulp!). Add them to a glass of water with ice, add a lemon wedge if you wish, and you are done! 

Colocar las fresas en un tazón (cuenco), agregar el azúcar y guardarlas por 15 minutos. Después, molerlas un poco, y verter la fruta molida en una jarra. Agregar una rodaja de limón y unos cubitos de hielo. ¡A disfrutar!

AN ALTERNATIVE to macerating is putting the strawberries, sugar, and water in a blender and blending the mixture, which gives you a completely different texture!


Making Agua Fresca con Fresa

STRAWBERRIES ARE BUT ONE FRUIT YOU CAN USE TO MAKE AGUA FRESCA! Try mangos, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, guava...or combine fruits for additional yumminess!

Enjoy!

WANT OTHER IDEAS FOR SUMMER CAMP? Check out:
*Make Worry Dolls with a Clothespin
*Put on a Puppet Play (with free script!)
*Make a Paper Arpillera
*Play I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...in the target language


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Monday, June 12, 2017

Activities for Summer Camp Part Two- New Ideas for Camp Programs that Integrate Spanish Language & Culture

LAST YEAR Fun for Spanish Teachers and Mundo de Pepita (us!) teamed up to bring you some SUMMER CAMP ACTIVITIES and as this school year comes to an end it occurred to us to write a sequel! (Click here for last year's post!) EACH DAY this week we will post a new idea perfect for summer camps, Vacation Bible School, or an after school program! BE SURE TO VISIT FUN FOR SPANISH TEACHERS to see today's post, too! And follow us both on Facebook so you never miss another great event! :)

Spanish Language and Culture Activities for Summer Camp
Visit Fun for Spanish Teachers Blog!
One thing I love about summer camp is the extended time you have with students, especially younger ones with whom we elementary teachers often have only short bursts of time, which can really curtail the type of activities we can do. Here is today's activity that brings language and culture to your summer camp program:

*MAKE WORRY DOLLS: Use clothespins and yarn to make Guatemalan worry dolls... this project is best for older kids as winding the yarn can be a little challenging for small hands. I created a quick video tutorial which you can see here:


I think they come out pretty cute! Students can then describe them in Spanish, using colors and clothes vocabulary, or have them make up short dialogues with the dolls! And don't miss the opportunity to share a map of Guatemala or a wonderful video such as this one!



How to Make Worry Dolls with a Clothespin

WANT TO CHECK OUT MORE IDEAS FOR SUMMER CAMP? Click here:

*Making Agua Fresca
*Put on a Puppet Play (with free script!)
*Make a Paper Arpillera
*Play I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing..in the target language


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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Simple Activity to Incorporate STEAM (STEM) in Your Elementary Foreign Language Classes

I AM A HUGE PROPONENT OF TEACHING CONTENT IN THE FLES CLASSROOM, teaching using the foreign language, rather than just teaching the language itself. This has traditionally taken the form of thematic units where science, geography, math, and more are explored and integrated into class- and kids LOVE it! So as STEAM/ STEM gather momentum in the educational arena, I am excited to reflect on activities I already incorporate into my classes, and to learn from others so I can integrate new ideas and activities. (NOTE: a cautionary thought of mine- like doing very involved craft or other types of projects in class, I want to be sure that with STEAM/ STEM I am keeping in mind that my ultimate goal is for my students to acquire language, so designing activities that foster lots of interaction with the language is key, rather than unintentionally set up unstructured situations for which my students do not have enough target language and therefore devolve to English).

EXPERIMENTATION IS A KEY COMPONENT in any science endeavor, and can be brought into the foreign language classroom in a variety of ways. A simple opportunity presented itself today in one of my Kindergarten classes, and though definitely not earth shattering in it's complexity, was rich with language while at the same time providing a fun way to do our greeting activity.

Simple STEAM STEM Activity for Elementary Spanish Class

ONE OF OUR GREETING ACTIVITIES WE DO IN KINDERGARTEN is rolling a ball to one another and greeting the person (see our post here on greeting games with a ball!). As the year progresses, I begin giving them choices of what type of ball we will use, voting on them and then using the ball that gets the most votes. Our last theme of the year is 'Julieta y Mateo hacen un picnic' which introduces fruits and the verb 'querer'...to be a little silly, I start giving fruits as a choice along with a couple of the balls. Today, I opted to have students choose the three items we would vote on, and 'queso' (cheese) was one of them- and won the vote!

HERE'S WHERE THE STEAM STEM comes in! As you can see in the photo above, I have a variety of play cheese, none of which roll very well! But, instead of me choosing one, I decided to have the students decide which rolled/ moved best by experimenting with each. I gave one cheese to five different students and instructed each (all in the target language, btw) to roll/ fling/ send the cheese across the circle. As each was tried, we all gave a thumbs up/ down as to whether we thought it worked well. As it turned out, the flat piece of swiss cheese slid very well across the carpet, so that became the cheese we used for our subsequent greeting!

AS I SAID ABOVE, this was an incredibly simple way to incorporate the concept of experimentation, but was full of language interaction and gave the students lots of chances to add their comments to the process. And, we had a blast!

SEE OUR POST ON A SANDWICH TOWER for another fun way to bring STEAM to your class!

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU INCORPORATE STEAM STEM in your classroom? Please share in the comments!
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Friday, May 19, 2017

A Tip to Motivate Your Students to Stay in the Target Language

ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING PARTS OF TEACHING 90% IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE is keeping your students in the target language, too. What are some strategies we can implement to encourage and support our students? Here is an idea that works really well in my classroom for my elementary Spanish students, and is applicable for all levels:

Teaching in the target language

INCORPORATE ACTIVITIES THAT STUDENTS don't want to "lose"...in other words, activities that act like privileges that continue in the classroom as long as the target language is spoken. For example, this spring my 4th graders followed an Iberian Lynx breeding center in Spain via a live cam on the net (link here!). As long as their reactions and comments were in Spanish, the live cam stayed on the whiteboard. If English became the mode of talking about the lynxes, the cam went off. Since it was of such high interest for my students, they stayed in Spanish the vast majority of the time because they didn't want the cam turned off.

THE SAME DYNAMIC can be created with other live cams, videos, games, and more that are high interest and motivating. If speaking in English means the game is now over, for example, most students will strive to use what they know rather than have the game end. As the teacher, in order to support this output, you have to be sure to choose activities that are accessible to students in terms of what they know and can do in the language; if they don't have enough vocabulary to interact, it's not going to work for them, and they will revert to English.

Happy teaching!


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Saturday, May 13, 2017

How I Made a Take a Break Space for my Elementary Spanish Classroom

IN THE FALL, I SET ABOUT ESTABLISHING ROUTINES & PROCEDURES IN MY ELEMENTARY SPANISH CLASSES, with an eye to classroom management being the glue that keeps us all together and moving forward smoothly. I am a Responsive Classroom teacher, which means I work hard at proactively modeling and practicing our expectations and building community in my room. A tenet of Responsive Classroom is the 'Take a break' space where students can go when they need to get themselves back in focus. Over the years, I have included a variety of things at the Take a Break space to help kids with this, rather than just have them sit there. I am continually refining what these are; two years ago our entire staff made glitter jars during a staff meeting, which I then included and has been very successful! (Want to know how to make your own glitter jar? Click here)

How to Make a Take a Break Space in an Elementary Spanish Classroom

ALONG WITH THE GLITTER JAR, I have a stuffed polar bear to snuggle, and copies of some of our mini books for mental engagement. Some years I've included crayons to go along with the mini books, but since a Take a Break space isn't intended for a long term hang out, I decided to do away with them and just encourage kids to read (or "read" if they are really young) the books and look at the illustrations (they are all old familiar favorites or new adventures they can read on their own).

How to Make a Take a Break Space in an Elementary Spanish Classroom

THIS SPRING I DECIDED I NEEDED TO INCLUDE some sort of activity that would help really active bodies slow their motors down; we have a number of ADHD kids who struggle mightily to keep their impulsivity under control. This unfortunately results in a lot of distracting behaviors and classmates becoming frustrated with them, so finding ways to help them helps everybody. Although I do not practice yoga myself, I have heard and read so many good things about how it can be incorporated in the classroom, I thought I would give it try at the Take a Break space. I had created a set of yoga poses cards on the request of a fellow Spanish teacher and wondered if they could be used  at the Take a Break space. I decided to include them plus a little timer so my kids would know how long to hold the pose. Like all routines and procedures, it's important to introduce how to use the cards and the timer so that it will be effective and kids will know what to do. I would love to hear how you use yoga in your classroom!

How to Make a Take A Break Space in your Elementary Spanish Classroom

INTERESTED IN OUR YOGA POSES CARDS? We have them in Spanish, French, German, Russian, and English!

Yoga Poses 12 Cards for Spanish Class
Click here to grab this resource!

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Reloj A Fun Card Game from Spain for Spanish Classes of all Levels

AS THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR APPROACHES, and my elementary Spanish students are getting a bit squirrelly, I like to incorporate authentic games in class, whether that be going outside or playing games in the classroom. Many years ago I was introduced to RELOJ, a card game from Spain that is perfect for most levels of students, from upper elementary to high school. (I wish I could remember the teacher's name! It was during a presentation here in Maine about 15 years ago, if my memory is jogged I will give her credit) The object of the game is to go out first, to get rid of all your cards. Students can play in small groups, or as a whole class, which is how I do it with my 4th graders when introducing the game. Once they are familiar with it, I break them into groups of 4-5 to play.

Reloj A Card Game from Spain


PREPARATION
I purchased several decks of cards at the Dollar Store; I particularly like the oversized ones as they are easier to see and manipulate for my students. Remove the jokers and queens- Spanish decks do not have queens, and the jokers are not used in this game.

TO PLAY
Shuffle all the cards- if you are playing with the whole class, combine 4-5 decks, shuffling as best you can.
Deal out the deck(s), just as you would when playing War; all cards are dealt out face down. Students cannot look at their cards, they keep them in front of them in a pile. When playing with the entire class, I usually only deal out 8-10 cards per student, especially while they are still learning how to play.
Going clockwise, first student flips over the top card on his/her pile, puts it in the middle (discard pile) and says 'Reloj' (this card has no penalty for saying it- you will see what I mean!)
Next student flips over top card and says 'Uno', next student does the same saying 'Dos', and so on "around the clock" until you get to 'rey' whereupon you start again with 'reloj'. NOTE: a ten is called 'caballo', the jack is 'sota', and of course the king is 'rey'.

If a student flips over a card and says the same number as is the card he/she flips, he must take the entire discard pile! And since in order to win, you must go out, grabbing the discard pile is not what you want! You can see now why having 'Reloj' be the penalty free card is great- since there is no corresponding card, it's like a safety card. Game continues until one player goes out.

*I usually write the numerals and their corresponding names on the board for my 3rd & 4th graders as an additional support. For older students, this might not be necessary.

Have fun!

AND, TO HELP YOUR STUDENTS STAY IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE while playing, check out our Games Vocabulary Posters! You can find them here.

Games Vocabulary Posters for Spanish Class





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Friday, April 28, 2017

Summer Reading List with a Spanish Flavor for Children and Families 2017

AS WE WAVE GOODBYE TO OUR LITTLE TREASURES heading off to summer vacation, I can't help but want them to keep some Spanish and/ or Hispanic culture in their lives, even as they are enjoying the sun and fun of being away from school. One way I do this is to give a list of book recommendations to families, books in English they can readily find at our local library or bookstore, all with a Spanish connection, whether it be non fiction or a fun read at bedtime. Here is this year's list- see our list from 2015 here.

Summer Reading List with a Spanish Flavor for Children and Families 2017

PICTURE BOOKS

*THE STORY OF FERDINAND: This classic by Munro Leaf continues to be a favorite of mine, and with the animated movie coming out in December, all the better to have kiddos read it before seeing it!

*A MANGO IN THE HAND: I love the incorporation of authentic proverbs in this story, a great way to keep that Spanish going through the summer! Interested in getting it yourself? Here's the link to Amazon.

Summer Reading List with a Spanish Flavor for Children and Families 2017

*THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR A TALE OF TWO VOLCANOES by Duncan Tonatiuh is the retelling of the Aztec legend of the two volcanoes, Izta and Popo. A wonderful way to introduce ancient culture and a great read both kids and parents will enjoy!

*WAITING FOR BIBLIOBURRO ESPERANDO A BIBLIOBURRO by Monica Brown is the endearing story of Luis Soriano Bohórquez, bringing books to children in Colombia via his burro. A must read!

CHAPTER BOOKS FOR UPPER ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL

*WHO WAS CESAR CHAVEZ? continues the series of biographies of famous people for kids.

Summer Reading List with a Spanish flavor for Children and Families 2017

*UGLY CAT AND PABLO by Isabel Quintero is a fun little treasure I found at our Scholastic Book Fair this year. A silly read, there is lots of Spanish sprinkled through the book, and is great for emerging readers who don't want too long a book.

*STEF SOTO, TACO QUEEN by Jennifer Torres is one of those books I happened upon in Barnes and Noble while trying to search out more books with Hispanic protagonists (not an easy feat!). I haven't read it yet, but it looks fun and is on MY summer reading list!

*GHOSTS by Raina Telgemeier was all the rage this past fall with my 3rd and 4th graders! A graphic novel, it highlights Days of the Dead, making it a great connection with our curriculum.

Summer Reading List with a Spanish Flavor for Children and Families 2017

*MOVING TARGET by Christina Diaz Gonzalez is the first in an adventurous mystery series that is a great read! One of my Fourth Grade students and I read this almost simultaneously, making for awesome conversations at bus time! Set in Rome, Cassie Arroyo finds herself in the middle of an ancient tug of war, and must find a missing scepter in order to save her father. Gonzalez also wrote 'The Red Umbrella' which I recommended in my 2015 post and which I loved!

Happy reading!


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Make Tiny Books in Spanish Class for el Día del Libro

AS SOME OF YOU KNOW, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE EL DÍA DEL LIBRO and find every excuse to celebrate it. Something about it just captures my imagination and heart! Over the years, I have had my 4th graders make simple books for our Kindergartners as part of learning about, and celebrating this holiday, but one challenge always is the time it takes to make even the easiest of books... until now! I take NO CREDIT for this idea- I stumbled across it while surfing Pinterest the other night and was enthralled! Here is the link to the original post from Manualidades Infantiles. Their tiny little books are just too cute! In thinking about the idea for my own classroom, (upper elementary, my primary grades just can't write this small!) or for middle or highschool, I wanted to adapt it to suit language learning goals, and ensure we didn't spend oodles of time on the creation. So, here is my rendition:

Make Tiny Books in Spanish Class for el Día del Libro

THE KEY TO EACH BOOK IS ITS SIZE which limits the amount of content one can include, yet makes for good practice of sentence structure and meaning. With only 8 total pages (4 sheets of paper folded), the "story" is a very short one- in fact, just one sentence long. Depending on the language level of your students, you choose the verb tense (or leave it open for upper level students) and instruct them to create a sentence that can be broken down into several parts, each of which goes on a separate page. Tiny illustrations can be added to each page, providing a comprehension check for you as you peruse the stories and pictures.

Make Tiny Books in Spanish Class for el Día del Libro

FOR EXAMPLE: Había una vez   Pepita   que descubrió   una llave misteriosa   al lado   de un árbol. (breaks indicate the text for each page) Again, because they are so small, they don't take long to actually create, but are a meaningful way to integrate this holiday, and therefore more culture, into class. You can follow it up by having students give their book to someone else, and/or have an additional writing activity where they continue the story found in the book.

SO, HOW TO ACTUALLY MAKE THE TINY BOOKS? You will note in my photos I got a little over the top and used hemp cord, punching holes in the "spines" of each book and using the cord to tie the book together. Super cute, I know! For classroom purposes, I would suggest using a stapler as it is much quicker. I would also suggest either having the books already put together (especially if you are doing this with upper elementary), or at least having the covers and pages already cut to size to save time. Dimensions of mine pictured: 3 inches x 1 1/2 unfolded, 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 folded. I used brown card stock for the covers and drawing paper for the pages- you could use construction paper, scrapbooking paper, copy paper- whatever you have handy! Fold all sheets in half and staple spine. ¡Ta-chán!

Make Tiny Books in Spanish Class for el Día del Libro

THESE MINI LIBRITOS are also perfect for an after school program, summer camp, or culture class! Enjoy and have fun!

AND DON'T MISS OUR POST ON MAKING TISSUE PAPER ROSES for el Día de la rosa- click here!
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

How to Make Tissue Paper Roses for el Día de la Rosa & Sant Jordi

APRIL 23 CELEBRATES EL DIA DEL LIBRO Y DE LA ROSA, commemorating Miguel de Cervantes and also the legend of Sant Jordi (San Jorge), the knight who saved Montblanc, España from a terrible dragon. In many parts of Spain men give women a rose on this day as a symbol of affection and love.

How to Make Tissue Paper Roses for el Día de la Rosa & Sant Jordi

WHY NOT MAKE TISSUE PAPER ROSES in your Spanish class as part of a cultural theme on the holiday? Here are step by step instructions- NOTE: projects like this are great to do in the target language, especially if you do them step by step with your students, waiting until everyone has finished one step before moving onto the next:

How to Make Tissue Paper Roses for Sant Jordi


AND DON'T MISS OUR VERSION OF LA LEYENDA DE SANT JORDI! You can grab it by clicking here.

La leyenda de Sant Jordi Printable Minibook Libro Imprimible
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BE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR POST ON MAKING TINY BOOKS FOR EL DÍA DEL LIBRO HERE!
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Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Three Step Tutorial for Making Cascarones for Easter

CASCARONES ARE A WONDERFUL WAY TO BRING CULTURE into an after school Spanish program or club, preschool class, or even longer Spanish classes than I have in my school (30 minutes twice a week K-4th). We make them at home, though, and I share how to make them with my students and their families so they can, too. Breaking them over the head of your friends and family is loads of fun, and is said to bring good luck! Although best known as being made in México, they are also made in a number of Central American countries as well, and often to coincide with Carnaval. According to Wikipedia, blown eggshells filled with powder were first made in China, and eventually made their way to México, where the powder was switched out for confetti. (Note an interesting connection with the piñata, which also originated in China and made it's way to México!)

Making Cascarones A Step by Step Tutorial


HERE'S A SIMPLE STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL to making cascarones for Easter this year!

1) BLOWING THE EGGS: Use a knife or pin to create a hole on either end of the egg; the hole doesn't have to be tiny, especially since you will need one of them to be large enough to put the confetti in. I usually do this over a span of time, starting sometime in February or early March, depending on when Easter is, since I use the eggs themselves for baking or scrambled eggs/ quiche.. no waste here! :) Blow the egg out through one hole, blowing on the other. Once blown, rinse them gently and let them dry.

Making Cascarones a Step by Step Tutorial

2) STUFF WITH CONFETTI: I like to just cut up a bunch of odds and ends of scrapbook paper that I've been saving for just this purpose, or you can use a hole punch and punch out a load of any colored paper you like. Put a couple of pinchfuls in each egg.

Making Cascarones A Step by Step Tutorial

3) COVER WITH TISSUE PAPER: Since we have almost exclusively brown eggs here in Maine, dying eggs is a bit of a challenge, so I like to use Mod Podge or Elmer's Glue and tissue paper to cover my eggs for cascarones, but if you have white eggs, feel free to dye them instead. (NOTE: if you are dying eggs, do that BEFORE stuffing them with confetti! You will still need to cover the holes, however, with tissue paper so the confetti doesn't fall out prior to heading outside) Brush Mod Podge onto egg, then lay on strips of the tissue paper and brush over each with a bit more Mod Podge. Keep doing this until egg is covered, being sure to cover both holes as well. This can be a sticky proposition, and with lighter colored tissue paper, you will need to put a couple of layers on for good coverage. I really like the Mod Podge because when it dries it is slightly shiny, which looks really nice!

Making Cascarones A Step by Step Tutorial

Making Cascarones A Step by Step Tutorial

ONCE FINISHED, SAVE THEM TO HEAD OUTSIDE ON EASTER! Have fun!


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