Wednesday, April 20, 2016

CharlaELE: A Place on Twitter for Spanish Teachers


CharlaELE is a special place on Twitter created by Spanish teachers for Spanish teachers! How great is that? It's an opportunity to participate in a live discussion about the topics that we, as Spanish teachers, care the most about. And each discussion happens completely in Spanish! Teachers from different parts of the world dive in to participate in dialogue and share their expertise on topics related to teaching Spanish at different levels. When you participate in the chat you will always leave with the feeling that you really learned something new. 

If you are on Twitter, just make sure to follow @CharlaELE1 and keep your eyes open for the tweet that will give you the discussion topic of the live chat, which uses the hashtag #charlaELE1. If you can't participate during the live chat, the team of CharlaELE has you covered! You can visit the WikiPage to learn about every past discussion. 

Need a little more information about how CharlaELE works? The video below tells you all about it!


Isn't this wonderful? An opportunity for professional development from the comfort of your own home or favorite cafe!

Make sure to follow CharlaELE's moderators on Twitter since they are always sharing interesting topics and insights related to teaching Spanish.

Cristina García Sánchez@EducaGlobalEle
Leyte Alejardre@ELEdeLeyre
Diego Ojeda: @DiegoOjeda66


Hope to see you at #CharlaELE1!
Carolina

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Routines to Take Your Spanish Class "Out of Routine"



Yes! The title sounds a little bit redundant, but we all have our own "ritualitos" (little rituals) that we do in every class. 
I  have been teaching for over 17 years now, and my experience is mostly in the United States as a Spanish teacher in a FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School) program. Back when I was a PreK/First grade teacher in Colombia, I rarely felt that I was getting into a routine, which I equated with a rut or "getting bored" of doing the same things in class over and over. And while teaching in a world language program means you need to have a lot of repetition to help your students retain the language, this doesn't mean you have to do the same thing every class!
When teaching in a world language program at the elementary level, we have to make sure we provide a sense of routine in the class to create a safe space for the children. I strongly believe in teaching in the target language as much as you can, which means having to use the language a lot and at the proficiency level of your students. This can sometimes limit the amount of activities you can do to vary your routine.

Here is a list of routines I do in my class. Please feel free to add more in the comments below! I would love to hear yours!

I always start my class with the "Plan de la clase" which tells my students what will be happening in class. I go over it with them and keep it very simple. This also can eliminate the stress in some of the anxious students who need to know what will be happening in class.
This is an example of how it might look depending on the grade level. The message below is for a second grade class, and I see them only twice a week for a 40-minute period each time. You can decide how to have the class read it. You can have one volunteer read the message or the whole class may read it together.

Plan de la clase
1. Saludos: ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?
2. El calendario
3. Canción: La familia sapo
4. ¡Vamos a jugar!: Pasa la bola
5. Describe a tu familia: ¿Cómo es tu familia?
6. Tiquete de salida

Since greetings are a key aspect of world language classes, here are some ideas to greet your students:

1. Try to change the greetings. One day you can use ¿Como estás? and then the other day "¿Qué tal?".
2. You can pass a ball to students in class and ask the question yourself.
You can give turns to the children to respond and then pass the ball to the next person, and the child who responded will take a turn asking.


3. You can divide the class in pairs where one student asks then the other responds and vice versa.
4. You can divide the class into teams, one side answers and the other responds.
5. You can use puppets and let your students improvise their greetings for the class.



6. Play music in the classroom, have your students dance to the music, stop the music and choose a volunteer to greet the class. For example, "clase, ¿cómo estás?"
7. Place a picture of a famous person or movie character with information about themselves (see picture below). You can read this information to your students, then give turns for them to introduce themselves to the character or famous person by sharing the same information. See more here


Another option is creating a short video using Morpho Booth. Warning! Some of your young students might think that this is creepy. My third graders love it!

video


8. Place a simple picture that your students will have to use to complete their face. They can take turns doing this. Download the picture here!

9. Start with a Zumba or dancing routine to get everyone into the Spanish mood.
10. Use "brain breaks" during the routine or any time you see your students need help focusing and tuning again into class.
11. Read the days of the week with a feeling for each day. Find the picture here!



12. Make your calendar interactive. If you have an interactive board or a projector, a computer connected to the internet, take advantage of it and add a cultural/geographic aspect comparing seasons, temperatures and weather to your calendar. My students always love guessing what the temperature could be like in Colombia or any other Spanish-speaking country. See video below!


video


To add a more adventurous part, take a trip to any of the Spanish-speaking countries using Google Earth! Also check out my "Facebook Corner" for more ideas on routines for Spanish class!


Have fun!
Carolina

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Froggy se viste: Activities for Elementary Spanish



"Froggy se viste" - written by Jonathan London - is one of my favorite books to use during the clothing unit. I mostly use it with first and second graders, but third graders enjoy it, too. The story is engaging to young learners and the pictures are vivid. The amount of repetition is key, and the vocabulary is presented in context, making it easier for children to decode the meaning of the sentences. I always use the cover of the book as a conversation starter in class. Here are some useful questions you could use to introduce the book.
  1. ¿Qué animal es Froggy? ¿Es un perro o un gato? ¿Es una vaca o una rana?
  2. ¿De qué color es Froggy? ¿Es de color negro? ¿Es de color morado? ¿Es de color verde?
  3. Froggy es una rana. ¿Las ranas vuelan? ¿Las ranas saltan? ¿Las ranas vuelan o saltan?
  4. ¿Las ranas se visten? ¿Las ranas se visten con pantalones y chaquetas?
  5. ¿Cuál es la estación? ¿Es el invierno? ¿Es el verano?

I also ask questions while reading the story.

  1. ¿Qué canto Froggy? ¿¡Sol, sol!? ¿¡Nieve! ¡Nieve!?
  2. ¿Quién dijo "vuélvete a dormir, Froggy"? ¿La mamá de Froggy o el papá de Froggy?
  3. ¿Qué se puso Froggy? ( You can go over the vocabulary pointing at the pictures)
  4. ¿Quién llamó a Froggy?
  5. ¿Qué olvida ponerse Froggy esta vez?
  6. ¿Cómo se siente Froggy? ¿Triste? ¿Emocionado? ¿Cansado?
  7. Froggy se regresó a su cama para terminar de dormir durante el invierno. ¿Cuál es la siguiente estación?
I found some cute props by Kiz Club, which are perfect to retell the story!


We also stretched the story a little further and a talked about the different seasons and clothes for different kinds of weather. To make it a little silly,  I show pictures of different seasons and types of weather, and we pretend to be the mom calling him to dress according to the season. For example,


  1. ¡Frooooogy, hace calor, no necesitas tu chaqueta!
  2. ¡Frooooogy, está lloviendo, necesitas tu paraguas y tus botas para la lluvia!
  3. ¡Frooooogy, hace sol, necesitas tus lentes!
  4. ¡Frooooogy, es la primavera! ¿Qué te vas a poner?
And so on!
I put together a set of props that are available in my TpT shop.  The children really enjoy dressing Froggy, and I also incorporated this in our calendar routine in which we dress Froggy according to the weather for the day.


Happy teaching!
Carolina


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Five Zumba Routines for Spanish Class


I already made it clear in my last post that you don't have to wait until Friday to dance in class. It's important to get your students moving to help them stay in tuned with you. The Zumba routines below are easy to follow and the songs are very catchy.

Ready, set, go!


Vivir mi vida - Marc Anthony



La gozadera - Gente de Zona & Marc Anthony



Madre Tierra - Chayanne



Bailando - Enrique Iglesias


La Tierra del Olvido - Carlos Vives


Happy dancing!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Making Every Day a "Viernes" in Spanish Class

Download PowerPoint here!

You no longer need to wait until Friday to dance in Spanish class! Get your students moving any day and at any time. Dancing in class is an awesome brain break and also an opportunity to share some culture through music. Download the PowerPoint below to choose what rhythm to dance to in class. Make sure to use the PowerPoint in presentation mode. Click on the word "girar" to let the drums roll! 

I also added some of my favorite songs so you don't have to go all the way to YouTube to play them in class.  Freestyle dancing works great during this activity!


Salsa: Vivir Mi Vida - Marc Anthony


Andina: Muñasquechay (Mi buen amor)- Los Kjarkas



Rock: Chayanne- Madre Tierra



Vallenato: Jorge Celedón - La Invitación


Have fun!
Carolina

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Celebrating Valentine's Day in Spanish Class




As Valentine's day approaches, we are looking for activities and ideas to use with our students. There are few moments in the classroom to use phrases like this one and Valentine's day is giving us a great opportunity to put language into context. This short and simple song will help your students learn two simple phrases that they can use at school with their friends or at home with their families.

Te quiero,
Te quiero,
Tú eres mi corazón.
Te quiero,
Te quiero,
Tú eres mi corazón.

After teaching the song your students can practice colors with this fun freebie that includes a memory game and coloring pages.  Download the free game and coloring pages HERE!



¡Feliz Día de San Valentín!






Sunday, December 6, 2015

Five Christmas Songs for Spanish Class



I can't believe Christmas is around the corner! Many of us are teaching Christmas songs to our students, and what a great way to teach vocabulary in context. 
Here is a group of fun songs I found on YouTube and that I think are perfect for Spanish learners. Some of the songs are more complex, and some have a great amount of repetition. You can choose the song according to the amount of time you have left to teach it to your students. This year I didn't really plan in advance so I decided to go with same old "Noche de Paz" and I am surprised that my students still love singing this song!

Anyways, here are all the villancicos I have chosen for you!


1. Mi Burrito Sabanero, a version by Colombian singer Juanes. This is a traditional song known mostly in Latin America. Click here to listen to another fun version. 



Monday, November 30, 2015

The Speekee Spanish Giveaway

I am so lucky to host this new giveaway! This time  Speekee® is offering my readers the chance to win a 1-year subscription to their ever popular, ever evolving Spanish Scheme of Work for early and elementary teachers around the world. The Speekee Spanish Scheme of Work is video-based, with 350 lesson plans and supporting resources!



What do Spanish teachers say about Speekee? 
Lisa says: 
"Learners love it - the little ones love the fluffy characters and songs whilst the older ones like to see 'real' Spanish children and compare the places with where we live. They readily join in and ask for the songs to be repeated over and over! Non-specialists love it thanks to the oodles of support it offers them" 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

La Noche de las Velitas {Farolito Tutorial}



December 7th is an exciting day in Colombia! It's the day when many people celebrate "La Noche de las Velitas" also known as "El Día delas Velitas." Although the origins of this celebration are religious (as the night when many families welcome and celebrate "The Immaculate Conception"),  it's also seen as a way for families to welcome the end of year festivities in which many people, but not all, celebrate Navidad. Farolitos (luminaries) and candles are seen everywhere.
I have blogged before about the importance of this celebration in Colombia. Visit the links below to read my previous posts and find other activities to help you share with your students about this and other Christmas traditions in Colombia.
La Noche de las Velitas 
Christmas in Colombia

Farolitos Tutorial

This is a simple way to make farolitos with your students. You will need:
1. Paper lunch bags 
2. Led tea light - battery operated
3. Templates of different Christmas shapes
4. Tissue paper - preferably green and red 
5. Glue
6. Scissors

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Brain Breaks for Spanish Class


I am "brain break" lover! I teach young students, but it doesn't matter how old your students are, a little break to get them moving will help them tune into class. I use brain breaks a lot, but depending on the time of the day, I have noticed that they are more needed, especially with classes after lunch.

Here is a list of brain breaks for different levels.




Chocolate
Choco, choco, la, la
Cho, choco, te, te
Chocola, chocote,
¡Chocolate!

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