Friday, September 22, 2017

Foster Output in the Target Language by Holding Students Accountable

HOW DO WE GET OUR STUDENTS TO SPEAK IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE in a 90% classroom rather than in English? I am asked this question frequently, and see it posted regularly and there are a lot of answers to that one! Here is one tip that seems obvious on the face of it, but requires the teacher to consistently hold the line when students try to slip into English rather than use the TL. (sometimes harder to do than you think!)

Foster Output in the Target Language with this Tip

EVER NOTICE THAT EVEN MANY OF THOSE PHRASES, WORDS, ETC that you have taught, reinforced, practiced umpteen times still get the English treatment? If you really want your students to use the language they are learning, you ultimately have to establish the expectation that THEY WILL USE THE TARGET LANGUAGE....in other words, when a student says to you "Can I get a drink of water?" and this phrase has been practiced frequently, your response is not 'Yes', 'Si', 'Да' (you get the picture), it is 'En Español por favor' or ¿Cómo? ...and when they repeat the English again, you respond (again) 'En Español por favor'... and you keep doing that until the student restates in the target language. By doing this, you are holding your students accountable for what is being learned rather than sending an unintentional message that even though you are teaching content, it doesn't really have to be remembered.

THIS APPLIES TO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING YOU ARE DOING IN CLASS, whether it be a single word, a phrase, a request, you name it. If it's something they have worked on, hold them accountable. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU DO NOT HELP THEM! If a student needs help to get the phrase (word, etc) out, OF COURSE you prompt them, guide them, encourage them. The key is that, even with the prompts and help, the utterance is still in the target language and there is a lot of power in this moment for the student. And the more you help them through saying what they want to say in the TL, the more confident they will become as they realize just how much they really know, and the more they will try to express themselves in the target language. It's a beautiful thing!

GIVE IT TRY NEXT CLASS AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT GOES! And for another tip on encouraging output with students, check out this post! :)
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Saturday, September 16, 2017

How to Talk Like a Pirate in Spanish- Fun Vocabulary for Class

SEPTEMBER 19TH IS INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY, and, knowing the popularity of pirates amongst kiddos, why not incorporate some authentic pirate speak into your Spanish classes? Here's a list of some common phrases you can use in class- have fun!

Phrases to Talk like a Pirate in Spanish Class

*ARRRRRR (it's a classic lol)
*¡Yo-ho-ho! (yo-ho-ho)
*¡Al ataque! (Attack!)
*¡Barco a la vista! (Ship ahoy!)
*¡Tierra a la vista! (Land ho!)
*¡Camina la plancha! (Walk the plank!)
*¡Todos a sus puestos! (Everyone on deck!)
*¡A dormir con los tiburones! (You'll sleep with the fishes!)
*¡A toda vela! (Full speed ahead!)
*¡Rayos! (expression of surprise)

LOOKING FOR A FUN SONG ABOUT PIRATES? My 4th graders LOVE this song!


And don't miss our Activity Pack, 'Mateo y el mapa del tesoro', perfect for upper elementary and lower middle school! Grab it here!
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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Los símbolos patrios de cada país hispanohablante- National Symbols for Each Spanish speaking Country

UN ASPECTO CULTURAL MUY POTENTE PARA TRABAJAR EN LA CLASE DE ESPAÑOL son los símbolos patrios de cada país. Podrías enseñarlos durante el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, para celebrar unos días patrios, o como parte de un tema sobre un país específico. De todas maneras, los símbolos patrios son una gran parte del orgullo de cada país, y para los peques, especialmente, una cosa bien tangible para aprender. Aquí un listado de las flores, animales, y árboles nacionales:

Los símbolos patrios National Symbols for Spanish Speaking Countries

ARGENTINA:
*la flor nacional: ceibo
*el ave nacional: el hornero común (Rufous hornero)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: ceibo
BELICE:
*la flor nacional: la orquídea negra
*el ave nacional: el  Tucán de Quilla o Picoiris (Keel billed toucan)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: la caoba
BOLIVIA
*la flor nacional: cantuta y patajú
*el ave nacional: el condór andino (Andean Condor)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: palma
CHILE
*la flor nacional: copihue
*el ave nacional: el condór andino (Andean Condor)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: araucaria
COLOMBIA
*la flor nacional: orquídea colombiana
*el ave nacional: el condór andino (Andean Condor)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: palma de cera
COSTA RICA
*la flor nacional: guaria morada (orquídea)
*el ave nacional: el Yigüirro (Clay colored thrush)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: El árbol de Guanacaste
CUBA
*la flor nacional: mariposa
*el ave nacional: el tocororo, el trogon cubano (Cuban trogon)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: la palma real
ECUADOR
*la flor nacional: chuquiragua (no oficial)
*el ave nacional: el condór andino (Andean condor)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: cascarilla
EL SALVADOR
*la flor nacional: flor de izote
*el ave nacional: el Torogoz, Momoto ceja turquesa
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: El Maquilishuat
ESPAÑA
*la flor nacional: clavel
*el ave nacional: no hay
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: la encina (carrasca, chaparra/chaparro)
GUATEMALA
*la flor nacional: monja blanca (orquídea)
*el ave nacional: el quetzal
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: la ceiba
HONDURAS
*la flor nacional: orquídea de la Virgen
*el ave nacional: la Lapa Roja (la guacamaya) Scarlet Macaw
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: el pino
MÉXICO
*la flor nacional: dalia
*el ave nacional: el águila real (Golden Eagle)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: Ahuehuete o El Árbol del Tule
NICARAGUA
*la flor nacional: sacuanjoche (plumeria)
*el ave nacional: el Guardabarranco (Turquoise browed Motmot)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: madroño
PANAMÁ
*la flor nacional: flor del Espíritu Santo
*el ave nacional: El Águila Arpía (Harpy Eagle)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: camoruco (el árbol panamá)
PARAGUAY
*la flor nacional: mburucuyá
*el ave nacional: el pájaro campana
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: tajy
PERÚ
*la flor nacional: cantuta
*el ave nacional: el tunqui (el gallito de las rocas) (Cock of the Rock)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: quina
PUERTO RICO
*la flor nacional: flor de maga
*el ave nacional: el carpintero puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican Woodpecker)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional:
REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA
*la flor nacional: Rosa de Bayahíbe
*el ave nacional: la cigua palmera (Palmchat)
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: la caoba
URUGUAY
*la flor nacional: ceibo
*el ave nacional: el tero
*el árbol/ arbusto nacional: ciebo
VENEZUELA
*la flor nacional: flor de mayo
*el ave nacional: el turpial venezolano
*árbol nacional: araguanay

PARA VER FOTOS DE MUCHOS DE ELLOS, HAZ CLIC AQUÍ

PD: Esta es la primera vez escribiendo un blogpost en español; hay errores? déjame saber!

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Four (Five!) Corners Activity with Spanish Vowels

I LIKE TO START FORMALLY TEACHING THE SPANISH ALPHABET TO MY ELEMENTARY STUDENTS WITH THE VOWELS-I find that, along with certain  consonants, the vowels are the most difficult for my students to grasp, especially 'a', 'e' and 'i' so sufficient practice and exposure is essential to them internalizing the sight-sound phonetic connection. I wait until Third Grade to directly teach the alphabet (see my rationale at the bottom), but my students are exposed to, and interact with, print and early literacy skills in Spanish from the beginning of Kindergarten onward. Here is a simple movement activity I do when introducing the vowels to help my students match the sound of each vowel with it's written letter.

Vowels Movement Game for Spanish Class

*PREPARE A LIST OF FAMILIAR VOCABULARY, each word of which is comprised of only one vowel. The list I work off of is below :) Place each of the five vowels around the room, like you would place images for playing Four Corners. Say a word from your list and instruct students to head over to the vowel that's in the word. So, if you say 'mamá', students will move over to the 'a'. Once students have moved to the correct vowel, say another word and have them move to that vowel. Continue in this manner, mixing up the vowels out of order after the first few rounds so they need to play close attention. This is a great activity to review vowels also (and you can add in consonants, especially those tricky ones!) when you have 5 minutes at the end of class that suddenly appear unexpectedly!

MY LIST:
A: mamá, papá, casa, banana, manzana, naranja, salsa, mal, va, mar
E: bebé, nene, tres, sé, me, sed, ve, es, pez
I: gris, sí, bici, kiwi, picnic, rin rin, mi
O: ocho, dos, rojo, flojo, yo, lobo, loco, globo
U: cucú, tutú, glu glu, un, tú, muuuu

*YOU CAN FOLLOW UP THIS ACTIVITY WITH MINI WHITEBOARDS, saying a word out loud and having students write the vowel they hear on the whiteboard, again using the same list.

AND DON'T MISS THIS VIDEO OF US LEADING UP TO THE VOWELS ACTIVITY! I introduce the vowels with actions and key words...click here to view it on Youtube.

REGARDING WAITING UNTIL THIRD GRADE to formally teach the alphabet- over the years I have found that up until this point the majority of my students in class do not have secure early literacy skills and may lack foundational understanding of the concept of sight-sound matching (looking at a written letter and telling what sound it makes). I have made the conscious decision to wait until these concepts are more secure for most of my students before introducing formal conversations about the Spanish alphabet and phonetics. This helps them access our activities much better, and at a more confident level. As I stated above however, my students are exposed to, and interact with, Spanish in print right from the beginning of Kindergarten, through the mini books we read, the print I have all around my room, simple reading and writing/labeling/copying activities we do, and so on. These activities prime my students for being ready to look at the alphabet more closely at the start of Third Grade, and then applying that knowledge going forward in the course of subsequent class activities (more mini books, more writing and reading activities, entrance slips, and so on). Each teacher needs to find what is most appropriate for their students; some start earlier, some later, it all depends on what works best for the program you teach in :)

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

First Days in My Elementary Spanish Classes -What I Do to Welcome My Students Back & Begin the Year

THANK YOU TO OUR READER, LAUREN, for suggesting this post about what I do in my elementary Spanish classes during the first days back to school- what a great idea!

First Spanish class lessons of the school year

Here is an outline of how I start off in my First through Third Grade classes; Fourth Grade looks a little different, though I still start the same way with a greeting- I've described my system for Fourth in this post-click here. Kindergarten is also different as they are new to their school and my class.... I videotaped my first class last year which you can watch here:


OK, FOR FIRST THROUGH THIRD GRADE, my first class for all grades looks very similar, though the specific games/songs are individual to the grade. Since all of these classes are returning, meaning I have had them before, I don't need to get to know more than a few new friends, whom I do greet and welcome to our school and ask them if they've had Spanish class before, reassuring them that we will all help him/her out and have lots of fun! Here's a run down of a typical first class (my classes are 30 minutes):

DAY 1

*I MEET THEM IN THE HALLWAY outside my room (when I was traveling on a cart, in the homeroom classroom) and welcome them back to school, greet new friends and have a student introduce me.

*I WELCOME THEM INTO MY ROOM and have them stand in a large circle around our rug. I then give them their "Spanish spots", their assigned seats in circle. These spots allow for a very quick transition into class throughout the year, rather than having kids change it up each class, often causing bickering and hurt feelings which I would rather avoid. (I had assigned seats when I traveled also)

*WE DO A SIMPLE GREETING GAME- whether it is just rolling a ball across the rug (see this post for some ideas!) or a more energetic game like 'INSIDE/OUTSIDE CIRCLE', I choose a greeting activity which is familiar to them and allows us to get back into the groove with something they (most of them) know already, which also keeps the affective filter way down. #winwin

*WHERE DID YOU GO OVER VACATION? POLL- this is another simple way to get back in the groove and allow kids to share some news about vacation while still staying in the target language. Depending on the grade level, kids can answer with just the destination or with a full sentence. Since I do this same question after all of our vacations, they are accustomed to this as well! Here I am last spring asking this question to one of my Fourth Grade classes so you can get a sense of how it works:


This is how I set up the question- I give them some answers to get started and they can add as appropriate. For those kids whose families don't do a lot of traveling, I always include local shops like Hannaford's Grocery Store and Walmart.
For First Grade, they might only respond 'Boston' or 'mis abuelos', whereas my Third Graders can provide most, if not all, of the sentence I've provided as a prompt. I provide the prompt to give support to my kiddos who need it, and also provides some structure and boundary to the activity, which also lends support.

*GOOD BYE... we wrap up class with a high five good bye or wave and I send them on their way.

NOTES:

Often I will do a quick model and practice of our call and response routine which I use to get their attention (I say 'Nachos' and they respond 'Salsa' and then look to me); other routines and expectations I model, practice and reinforce as they come up since my students are already familiar with them from years past. I do make a point of being sure that there are plenty of situational opportunities where these WILL come up to be sure we have that chance to practice them in the first few weeks. I also use my 10% in English to remind my students why we have expectations in the first place: so everyone is safe, can learn, and feels good, not frustrated, at the end of class.

DAY 2

*STUDENTS ARRIVE AT MY DOOR, I CHOOSE A SECRETARIO/SECRETARIA (a helper for the class) who picks a stuffie from the basket. We do a call and response related to our expectations- I ask '¿Preparados? and they respond "Listo/ lista" depending on their gender. We do this in the hallway at the beginning of EVERY class...it serves as a reminder that they are to be ready to follow and meet our expectations. (Ready to use your best manners, ready to be your kindest self, and ready to be in the game/ participate)

*I WELCOME THEM IN AND WE CONTINUE WITH A GREETING ACTIVITY.

*REVIEW ACTIVITY OR GAME RELATED TO THE FIRST THEME we will be learning for the school year. Depending on what the first theme is for the grade level, I purposely bring back at least one activity or game we did the previous year which ties into what we will be learning in the current year. This serves to spiral our curriculum and prime them for the new learning that will start on DAY 3. For example, in Kindergarten, one of our themes is 'Julieta y Mateo hacen un picnic' during which fruits are introduced and practiced. We have our mini book, we act out the story with props, and play a variety of games to practice fruit vocabulary in context. So, since our first theme in First Grade is 'Me gustan las frutas' where I introduce likes/ dislikes phrases (me gustan, no me gustan) in context with fruits, during this DAY 2 I re- read our mini book, and we play a game such as 'What's missing?' to prime and practice las frutas. With each grade level I plan activities that will allow this spiraling to take place-it is a great way to connect the past and present and keep old vocabulary alive even as we add new. It also is a "soft entry" for my students, meaning there is lots of success because they are familiar with the activity/ vocabulary.

*BLAST FROM OUR PAST SONGS... if there is time, I usually will pull up some of our favorite songs from the past on Youtube such as 'Bate, bate, chocolate', 'Los pollitos dicen', 'La familia dedo', etc, again to give a soft entry and keep the positivity going.

*GOOD BYE AND HAND OFF to next class.

DAY 3

*AS ABOVE IN THE HALLWAY, GREETING, ETC

*THIS IS TYPICALLY WHEN I WILL START OUR FIRST THEME of the year, passing out their folders with the first mini book, and following our routines for beginning a new theme (putting their name on the mini book, I introduce the book, we read it together, and so on). I may have a song or poem that is related to the theme which I may incorporate; depends on the theme. THIRD GRADE I formally introduce the calendar, being sure they understand that it is set up with Monday first. We don't do regular calendar activities; instead I reference it throughout class as appropriate when we are talking about anything related to timeframes. (I am working on a post about this and will link it when it's done!)

*FREEZE DANCE: for my Kindergarteners and First Grade I usually try to get movement in before they head out; Freeze Dance is an easy activity that they love and doesn't require them to do anything more than pay attention (which also teaches self control, a HUGE bonus!).

*GOOD BYE AGAIN.

I hope this has given a decent sense of my first few days- I will be videotaping the classes this year (hopefully!), so be sure you are following our Youtube channel so you don't miss those! I would love to hear how you start the year, too!


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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Activities to Teach about Solar and Lunar Eclipses in Spanish Class

ECLIPSES ARE ALWAYS AN EXCITING EVENT, and, although they are rare, they are a fantastic opportunity to incorporate science in Spanish class, something I have found to be a HUGE motivator for my elementary students- they LOVE to learn and talk about all things having to do with science. August 21, 2017 brings us a solar eclipse visible throughout much of the US-here are some resources and ideas to bring solar and lunar eclipses to your classroom:

Activities to Teach about solar and lunar eclipses in Spanish Class


ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE VIDEO SERIES is Zamba from Argentina- this video is about a solar eclipse:


ANOTHER VIDEO I LIKE IS THIS ONE, it is well illustrated and simple- great to pause and give comprehensible input about the event:


THIS EDUCATIONAL VIDEO, LIKE THE ABOVE, can be used to introduce vocabulary and highlight various moments throughout an eclipse:


RIMAS DE COLORES has a great post with ideas to teach about both eclipses- you can read it here!

One of our readers, Kenna, kindly shared a link to this song on Cantoalegre (thank you so much!)


ANOTHER GREAT BLOG POST IS this one from CIENCIA Y LAPICERO. They've included a demonstration on how you can re-create both types of eclipses with a flashlight and balls. Neat!

HAVE FUN!
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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Word of the Week Activity with Teams to Encourage Language Use in Class

HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE STUDENTS IN LANGUAGE CLASS to use vocabulary INDEPENDENTLY? outside of directed activities? and not just vocabulary, but content you really want reinforced and practiced? This was a challenge for me for a number of years, most specifically with my 4th Graders who are often more intent on socializing than focusing in on the task at hand (you might have a few of those, too!). The answer did not come to me until I was trying to come up with a classroom management system that would address pre-middle school behaviors which were running rampant in my classes, such as calling out across the circle and cracking jokes like madmen. I decided to organize my classes in teams of 4-5 students and have them sit in pods around the circle (the clumping seems to interrupt the cross-circle calling out). I was also searching for a way to add more community-minded behavior to class, which I thought the teams would foster. As the idea began to crystallize, I also realized that a way to encourage language use along with team-related behavior was to have a word of the week that would allow teams to earn points and beyond that, rewards for those points.

Teams System and Word of the Week for Foreign Language Classes

NOW, I HAVE TO SAY THAT I AM PHILOSOPHICALLY AGAINST REWARD SYSTEMS, so this was a huge adjustment for me to even contemplate. However, I made the concession in hopes of seeing a positive return- I have now been using this system for three years and I am happy with the results, on the whole (there have been some class/personality dynamics that have challenged the system, but we worked through them). Here is how I set it up:

HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS in essence (please ask clarifying questions for anything that is confusing- it's a little hard to explain everything and not miss something!):

Teams are formed, with each student in the team having a role- captain, mascot, secretary, and trainer.  (Captain: keeps the team on track and focused; Mascot: cheers everyone on and keeps things positive; Secretary: organizes the folders, holds onto the coupons in their folder; Trainer: helps whoever needs it- these are rotated at the beginning of every month so everyone has a turn at all the roles) Teams choose a country as their name and receive a flag which serves to identify them. Flags need to be displayed at all times so I know which team to award any points. Students use the word of the week (posted) in a sentence to earn a point for their team. I keep track of the team points on charts, one for each class. For every 5 points earned, the team gets a coupon with a privilege (see below) which they can turn in on their designated day. The team can turn in as many coupons on their day as they choose, or can hoard them and not turn in any. Team members need to work together, helping one another, and being sure that all members are contributing. If I notice that one student is earning all the points, I will "mute" that student until others begin contributing. NOTE ON BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT: sadly, there have been individuals whose behavior is a great challenge to his/her team and to the class. Rather than the whole team receiving a consequence, I let the class know that the particular individual will not be able to take part in the privilege on the next designated day. Although a bummer, this has been necessary, though very infrequently.

BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS (the prep):

*I LOOK AT THE CLASS LIST and form the teams. I think about who will work well together, and try to mix up the teams so there are a variety of learning strengths and personality types. I also take into consideration friendships, attendance record (there are some kiddos who just don't come to school regularly unfortunately), and past conflicts. Because we have been together for 4 years already, I know them well and can usually put effective teams together.

*I CREATE AND PRINT OUT COUPONS for privileges they can earn (in my class we have tickets for: the whole team holding a stuffed animal, laying down, sitting on cushions, earning an extra point for the team, and a wild card which can be turned in for any of the above privileges). I print out a load of these tickets and keep them in a basket in my room

*I SET UP A POCKET CHART WITH THE HOMEROOM CLASS NAMES in it. This will serve to track designated coupon days. Once students choose their team names, I print out flags for each team and put them in the pocket chart next to the homeroom name. One team gets a turn each class to turn in coupons; when the class arrives, the next flag in order across the chart is the one who has a turn that day. I turn the flag over so we know they've had a turn for that round. Once all five teams have had a turn, I flip all the flags over and we start a new round. When they sit down, they have the responsibility of turning in any coupons within the first 5 minutes; during the first few months I remind them as needed, but by mid year I give them the initial reminder when they enter and if they forget, then they have to wait.

Team System with Word of the Week for Foreign Language Class

*I FILL OUT THE ROLES FORM FOR THE FIRST MONTH- after September, students fill these forms out, but to get them going (and save time!) I fill out who will be who, captain, mascot, etc for Sept.

FIRST CLASS:

*I ORGANIZE STUDENTS IN THEIR TEAMS and tell them where they will sit.

*I INTRODUCE THE IDEA OF BEING A TEAM using a photo I printed off of Equipo Barcelona- since most of my students are familiar with soccer, and more specifically the Spanish leagues, it's an easy way to convey meaning. I give the class a rough outline of how the system will work and organize them into their teams. I then instruct them to choose three countries that they would like as their team name. After about 2 minutes, I call on each group and ask them what their first preference is, writing it on the board. If there are repeats, I designate a number to each team, put the numbers in a basket and choose one. The team I choose gets first preference; the other team goes to second preference, and so on. I also hand out the roles form at this time. (You could choose any cultural aspect- famous people, foods, capitals, etc- for the team names).

*I SHOW THEM THE SMALL WHITEBOARD I HAVE at the front of class and give them examples of how they can earn a point using a word. So, for example, if the word is 'Tengo' (I have, I am) they could say 'Tengo calor' (I'm hot) or 'Tengo un diente flojo' (I have a loose toothe) or 'Tengo dos gatos' (I have two cats) and so on. By 4th grade, most of my students can utilize pattern sentencing to create short sentences and phrases in the target language. I also emphasize that it has to be a full sentence but it can certainly be silly! NOTE: Regarding grammatical correctness and their sentences- I am not looking for full accuracy for every sentence, but I do encourage and, in some instances, expect a close approximation. If what they attempt is significantly off, I will help them put it together better. And, if it is a sentence structure we've used a lot over the course of the previous four years, I am stricter about getting it "right". (an example: if a kiddo says 'estoy calor' instead of 'tengo calor' I will ask them to look at it again and fix it before awarding a point- we've been using that phrase since September of First Grade)

*WE PRACTICE MAKING SAMPLE SENTENCES so they understand what the expectation is.

Teams System with Word of the Week in Foreign Language Class

AFTER THE FIRST CLASS (prep):

*I PRINT OUT SMALL FLAGS of the countries chosen and glue them to pieces of stiff paper- these are for the teams to put out at the beginning of each class so I can identify them. I remind them at the beginning of every class to take out their flag and put it on the rug in front of their team so I can see it.

*I CREATE SCOREBOARDS for each class with the appropriate flags and post in my room

Team System and Word of the Week for Foreign Language Class

*I SET UP THE DESIGNATED COUPON 'TURN IN' DAY CHART with flags

*I PUT ONE FREE COUPON in the folder of the secretary for each team so they all have one to start with.

AND THEN WE ARE OFF! It takes my students a few weeks to get used to the system, but once they get a hang of it, they are very successful. I try to choose a variety of words (nouns, adjectives, verbs, country names, culture vocab, etc) over the course of the year; sometimes they are directly related to the theme we are focusing on, sometimes it's a word I want reinforced regardless of theme. We have class twice a week, so students have two opportunities to create sentences with the word. I will say as another classroom management piece, depending on the class and what else we need to get done, I will limit how many sentences are shared out. I don't want to interrupt their enthusiasm and use of the language, but sometimes we need to move on to other content. If they are super excited and we need to get other things accomplished, I encourage them to write the sentences out during recess or lunch and bring them to me later in the day. I award the points accordingly. I would love to hear how you organize teams in your classes!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Where did you go? Fun Back to School Activity for World Language Classes

I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I ALWAYS ENJOY A NEW BACK TO SCHOOL ACTIVITY for my elementary Spanish classes....even though I have a whole host of ones I've done and loved, I am always on the search for something different, especially as I like to differentiate what I do at each level so I don't hear "we did this last year, Señora" (gotta keep it fresh, my friends!). This past year, after every vacation we did a poll to find out where everyone went during the time off. I framed it as a simple question "¿Adónde fuiste durante las vacaciones?" and gave the sentence starter "Yo fui a ____" as a prompt along with some possibilities (locations such as the name of various states, towns, stores & restaurants, as well as My grandma's house, My friend's house, etc). It was a great way to re-enter school after vacation, and allowed us to expand on the conversation via follow up questions and reactions in the target language.

Write a Postcard Back to School Activity for Spanish Class

TO BUILD ON THIS IDEA, having students write a postcard telling where they went is a natural next step! Whether it is as simple as one sentence for younger students, or several lines for middle or high school, telling about your vacation is an authentic way to communicate, and is very relevant- AS LONG AS THE INFORMATION IS SHARED. Having students tell about their vacation only to have the information turned in makes little sense and doesn't give meaning to the activity.

AN EASY WAY TO SHARE WRITING for younger students is to have them read their postcard aloud to the class while you record the answers on the board. As repeats come up, you can put tally marks next to the answer. Once all postcards have been read, debrief, counting up as a class how many people went where, asking follow up questions such as asking other classmates whether they, too, had gone to destinations named during the activity, whether they liked it, etc.

Write a Postcard Back to School Activity for Spanish Class


FOR OLDER STUDENTS, have them come to the center of the room and form two circles, one inner and one outer, forming pairs. Provide the supportive language "I also went to ___" and "I didn't go to ____". The activity starts by one partner reading their postcard to the other- the second student has to respond with one of the above. If they both went to the same place, they can raise their hands and you can mark a point on the board. (See more about this in a moment!). They then switch and the second partner reads his/her postcard and first student responds. Again, if they both went to the same place, they raise their hand and a point is awarded. Monitor the conversation, ring a bell or other sound to have the inner circle move over one space to a new partner, and start again. Keep going in this fashion until students have gotten all the way around the circle. Tally up the points and have a competition between classes in the same grade level- winners get a 5 minute dance party or other fun activity!

NEED POSTCARD TEMPLATES TO INCORPORATE THIS IDEA IN CLASS? We've got them in both Spanish and French!

Write a Postcard Back to School Activity for Spanish Class


https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA

Saturday, July 22, 2017

How to Send Your Stuffie or Mascot on an Imaginary Trip for Spanish Class

PEPITA, OUR INTREPID BUNNY RABBIT, has gone on trips to visit her family in South America every year for almost two decades. Yes, that's right! And with the advent of email and social media more readily accessible in the classroom, bringing this to life with my elementary Spanish students has been even more fun and meaningful!

Send Your Class Mascot on an Imaginary Trip

MOUNTING AN IMAGINARY TRIP FOR YOUR STUFFIE is a great way to incorporate travel, culture, and communication skills in the target language and most importantly, taps into young childrens' imagination, which is still very much intact. Little kiddos still believe that stuffed animals talk and go on adventures, which means they will be very motivated and excited by their class mascot going on a trip. Here are some tips to make this successful:

*HAVE YOUR STORY THOUGHT OUT BEFOREHAND: In the first few years of doing this activity, I was not prepared for the many questions my students would ask about how Pepita got to the airport, plane details, who would pick her up at the airport in Argentina (that's where her family lives), and so on. I quickly learned I had to have these details thought out so the questions were easy to answer- 'Oh, I bring Pepita to the airport.', 'Yes, the stewardess will take good care of her on the plane and help her at the layovers', 'Yes, she loves the pretzels on the plane!', 'Her parents will definitely be at the airport!', 'Yes, her family has a computer.' and so on.

*PLAN AN ITINERARY: Before your stuffie heads off, you and your students can go over her 'itinerary'- this is a great way to incorporate maps and travel plans! You can also "pack" her suitcase!

*TAKE SOME PHOTOS OF YOUR STUFFIE WITH OTHER STUFFIES: These will be great to "send back" to the class during her trip! One year I bought 7 rabbit puppets (it was Easter time) and kept them hidden- they were Pepita's family. I actually started having one come back with her for a visit after she returned- that was hilarious!

*WRITE A POSTCARD TO YOUR STUFFIE: Writing a postcard to the stuffie while he/she is away is a great communicative activity that little kids love to engage in, and because they believe the stuffie is real, it is an authentic activity for them. Before starting the activity, brainstorm and review postcard writing conventions such as appropriate greetings, leave takings, messages and so forth. For little kids, post these on the board so they can copy them without having to try and sound out / spell the target language- this allows them to focus on the message.

*HAVE YOUR STUFFIE WRITE TO THE CLASS: Whether your mascot writes an email, a postcard, sends messages via Instagram or Snapchat, this is a great way to share culture with your students while your stuffie is on vacation. You can find photos on Pinterest or the internet to "send" to the class or use your own from travels. You can also pose your stuffie in front of a picture in a book to make it look like she/he is in the location.

WOULD YOU LOVE TO HAVE YOUR STUDENTS WRITE POSTCARDS but need a template? Grab ours here!

Write a Postcard Activity in Spanish Class


https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Resources & Ideas for Teaching About Colombia in Your Elementary Spanish Class

COLOMBIA IS ONE OF MY "PAISES ADOPTADOS", one of several countries I am particularly attached to outside of my native US. I have many dear friends from Colombia, who have made the culture a treasured part of my heart. Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate this amazing country in your elementary Spanish classes:

Resources for Teaching about Colombia in Elementary Spanish Class

*NATIONAL SYMBOLS: Just as here in the US, national symbols are a great introduction to the culture and identity in other countries, ones which little kiddos are typically really interested in. Coloring the flag is a great place to start, along with looking at the map and identifying regions and/or landmarks. Colombia's national symbols are:
-National Flower: Cattleya Trinnae, May Flower, which is a species of orchid
-National Bird: Andean Condor
-National Tree: Wax Palm Tree

*MUSICALIBRE.COM.CO is an incredible website from Colombia full of children's songs, games, and more. And don't miss Cantoalegre, another AMAZING resource of songs and videos from Colombia!

Resources for Teaching about Colombia in Elementary Spanish Class

*FERNANDO BOTERO is a famous artist whose paintings and sculptures (the ones appropriate for littles) can be used to practice colors, numbers, shapes, and lots more! Along with images of his works, here is a great short video for kids from Argentina :


*MAKE PATACONES...MMMMMMMM! One of my favorite Colombian foods, I can't get enough of them! And, since they are so easy to make, they are a great choice for class (as well as not having to worry about nut allergies or gluten free!). Here's a link to a simple recipe from Una pizca del hogar.

*SPEAKING OF DEAR FRIENDS, CAROLINA from Fun for Spanish Teachers has a series of great resources about her native country. Here are a few, and be sure to explore her blog for more!
-A FREE downloadable mini book featuring various aspects of Colombia- grab it by clicking this link!
-Super cute BULLETIN BOARD SET!! I love the photo booth props that go along with it! Click here

Resources for Teaching about Colombia to Elementary Spanish Class

*EL BIBLIOBURRO is truly an amazing man (Carolina has met him!) and an inspiration to all. Team up with your school librarian to teach about him and reinforce the importance of reading and books in one's lives. 'Waiting for the Biblioburro Esperando el Biblioburro' by Monica Brown is a great picture book to share with elementary students.

*PEPITA VA A COLOMBIA Activity Pack is part of our travel series featuring our rabbit, Pepita, and introduces students to Colombia in context with simple sentences in Spanish, and includes additional activities to teach about this terrific country! You can find it here!

Resources for Teaching about Colombia in Elementary Spanish Class

Have fun!

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Using Photos of Yourself and Family to Convey Meaning in a 90% Target Language Classroom

I'M A BIG PROPONENT OF TEACHING FROM 'I' OUTWARD in foreign language classes, meaning beginning with autobiographical information and working outward from there. When I think about novice speakers and what situations they might find themselves in in relation to native speakers, most likely they will be introducing and/or answering questions about themselves, so vocabulary and structures that help them interact is key. To that end, learning the first person singular becomes quite important, and serves a secondary purpose as well- building community in your class. There are loads of activities you can do that involve students talking about themselves, such as graphing and polling the class about how many brothers/sisters they have (or pets!), what their favorite color/fruit/animal/number/etc is, sharing likes/ dislikes/ preferences with food, and so on. All of these are very accessible activities for novices, and helps them stay in the target language rather than tasks which see students devolving into using English because the task really isn't at the right language level for them. But I digress....

Strategies for teaching 90% in the target language

OF COURSE, IF WE WANT OUR STUDENTS TO SPEAK IN THE FIRST PERSON SINGULAR, and we also teach 90% in the target language, I believe we need to model the construction. Yes, you can also translate, or go through an explanation of the 'why', but most specifically with little kids (and with all ages, in my opinion), modeling concrete sentences works very well for these types of simple autobiographical constructions. I find that one of the best ways to help me convey meaning when modeling sentences using 'yo' is to point to photos of myself WITH my family, my pets, my house, etc. My students quickly intuit that I am talking about myself, because I am in the picture! The construction(s) we are focusing on then becomes all the more comprehensible and I can ask them questions whose answers use that construction, without needing to translate.

Señora: Soy yo. Yo tengo un perro. Es mi perro, Yosha.
Señora: Mason, soy yo, Señora. Yo tengo un perro. ¿Cuántos perros tienes tú?
Mason: dos
Señora: Ah, bueno, yo tengo un perro. Tú tienes dos perros, ¿cierto?
Mason: Sí.
Señora: Ah, repite 'Yo tengo dos perros.'
Mason: Yo tengo dos perros.
Señora: ¡Qué súper! Y Lila, ¿cuántos perros tienes tú? Yo tengo un perro, y Mason tiene dos perros. ¿Y tú, Lila? ¿Cuántos perros tienes tú?

and so on, coming back to kids who have already answered, sometimes asking them the question again to elicit the answer a second time (I like to keep them on their toes! :) ) and gradually adding in more questions, always modeling and pointing to the photo as I go. This example activity can be done completely in the target language with the aid of just one photo! (and my adorable Yosha :) )

So, get your camera out, co-opt your family into a photo shoot and corral the pets! Have fun! :)

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA

Monday, July 3, 2017

Reflections on Teaching Kindergarten Spanish 100% in the Target Language

SO, THIS PAST YEAR I DECIDED, SOMEWHAT LAST MINUTE, TO TEACH MY KINDERGARTEN CLASSES ALL IN SPANISH, 100% in the target language....oh, and not only that, but I pretended that I didn't understand English either, which as I look back, was one of the best professional decisions I have ever made. I'll come back to that in a moment, but suffice to say, the language learning I saw taking place in my students was amazing, even better than all my other kiddos being taught at 90%, which I had been thinking was astounding in and of itself. Here are my reflections on how my year went, a year where after 23 years teaching, it was so exciting to still be learning, growing professionally and trying something new!

Teaching Kindergarten Spanish 100% in the Target Language

LET ME START FROM THE BEGINNING, as it were...the first week of school I asked my Kindergarten homeroom teachers to introduce me to their students, tell them that I teach Spanish, and that I don't speak or understand English. Honestly, I hadn't planned on that part (the no speaking/understanding English part) until a few minutes before my first class arrived, but as I said above, I am so grateful I did! Why? Because it set up a dynamic where my students had to figure out how to communicate with me in a way I would understand. This is profoundly different than the typical dynamic where we, as teachers, are the only ones in the room trying to figure out how to communicate in a comprehensible fashion, and that difference is key. I firmly believe my students' brains had to literally rewire in order to function effectively in class, a true immersion setting within the short time frame I have with them each week. Rather than relying on English when they couldn't remember a word in Spanish, they had to learn to use gestures, point, act things out, and use the limited Spanish they did know to get their requests, messages, and needs across....AND THEY DID IT!  And they did it because they BELIEVED they needed to. Some better than others, admittedly, but WOW! my kiddos picked up vocabulary and expressions on a scale I had not seen before, even my 90% students.

SO HOW DID I DO IT? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure! It was very organic, and often experimental, but here are a few things that were key:

*I took the concepts of teaching 90% in the target language and applied them to every minute of class. (Click on the categories '90%' and 'comprehensible input' to see my many posts on this!)

*I learned to be even more patient than usual... as in, I didn't expect language acquisition to happen at the snap of the fingers. Waiting for the process to unfold, without rushing it or worrying that it wasn't going to happen at all, was a true test for me...I had to have faith that, yes, they were going to understand this one word or phrase, I just had to give it time. And just like teaching 90%, as a teacher, it's necessary to make the commitment to having some things just take longer (like giving instructions for example!).

*I narrated everything I did (part of the 90% technique- see my post here on this) which provided loads of input in context.

*I didn't worry if they didn't understand every single word I said; it was my objective to surround them with language, most, but not necessarily all, of which was comprehensible. I relied on the idea that they would negotiate / intuit meaning based on the context.

*I never reacted or answered a kid who said or asked me something in English. I stayed in character the entire year; I did fudge some "understanding" on my part when they were trying to get a point across, most especially when it was a behavioral issue where a kiddo was upset. In these instances I would "understand" far more quickly than in some other situations where it wasn't key that I dealt with hurt feelings, bullying, or other issues. This 'staying in character' was one of the most challenging aspects, especially when around other adults, students, or parents in the building.

*My tone, facial expressions, and body language did a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of building relationships with my students. It is amazing how much we convey without ever saying a word, and put to bed any worries I had that I wouldn't be able to build relationships with my students without the use of English.

*As always, I was very intentional about building a common core set of vocabulary that we all worked off of- I say this because I want to be sure I am clear that I still followed my curriculum, helping my students learn the skills that I have laid out for Kindergarten Spanish. The backbone of the curriculum centers around themes in which vocabulary/ structures are introduced, practiced, and reinforced, with subsequent themes building on and expanding previous content. Without a common language to interface with, one that I've identified as key words/structures/ skills, I feel too much random action can happen which is more difficult to build upon throughout the year and, going forward, throughout the K-4 sequence and beyond. This is not to say impromptu conversation didn't, or doesn't happen; it happens regularly in my classroom, but I look for ways to tie that impromptu conversation back into, or bring into that impromptu conversation, our core vocabulary and structures so that they keep coming up, keep being reinforced and practiced. This goes back to that intentional planning behind everything I teach; it's always at the back/ front of my mind, and continued to be the focus even while teaching 100% in Spanish. Intentional planning + comprehensible input + organic, natural interactions= a great equation for learning!

*I reached out to parents and informed them of what I was doing and why. This was important to get them on board, and to reassure them that their kid would be well taken care of - which, they were!

WHAT WILL I ADD/ DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT YEAR?

*Establish a set of signs (hand signals) that I can teach the kids from the start so they can communicate certain requests with me- we already have a sign for going to the bathroom, but I would like to add a few others. (Such as 'It's an emergency!'). These I will couple with visuals to help convey meaning when they are initially introduced.

*Have a series of photos on my wall of various locations and people around the school, most especially the nurse's office and nurse. These I can then point to (or they can) when referencing these locations and people. (Other locations, for instance, include the playground and cafeteria). These, along with other key visuals, I will be sure to put at a height THEY can reach to point to!

*Model, teach, and incorporate the following key words/phrases right from the first day together: yo, tú, es mi turno, repite, quiero, esto/esta (I, you, it's my turn, repeat, I want, this). There are lots of other words that I did start with and am glad I did; I just want to be sure these are included as well, right from the beginning. I think I waited too long to realize I needed to emphasize these. I mean, seriously, how did I miss how important 'turno' is to a 5 year old??!!

*Speak with my colleagues, secretaries, principal and parents beforehand to give them a better head's up of how I was going to interact with THEM when my Kinder students are present (as in, no talking in English with them if the Kinders are in earshot). The importance of getting their cooperation and understanding around this became more and more evident as the year progressed.

*In the spirit of the above, I need to create a series of short phrases in Spanish and images to go along with them that allow me to communicate with colleagues, etc, when it is necessary without lapsing into English. Some examples include '_____ is in the bathroom.', '_______ is at the nurse's office.', 'I need to touch base with you later about ______.' I can then point to these when talking in front of the students.

CURIOUS AS TO HOW MY CLASSES LOOKED AND SOUNDED? Visit my Youtube channel where I've posted a number of videos of us in class, including this one from our very first day together:



https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA

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
* @candelaclase


Happy teaching!
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA


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!
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA

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

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA

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

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA

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! (This script is part of a larger resource we have available in our shop- you can see the complete resource here!)

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

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA

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


https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA