Masks for Spanish Christmas Songs {Freebie}

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
 
The third day of sharing Christmas activities! This time I am sharing masks to use while singing some Santa and Rodolfo Christmas songs. If you missed my previous posts you can find them here:

Here are a few of my favorite songs about these charming characters:



How to print?

Drag the pictures individually to your computer's desktop and you will be able to print from there. Thank you to Polka Dot Please for illustrating these Christmas faces so beautifully! 






Have fun singing!
Carolina


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Christmas Fortune Teller in Spanish {Freebie}

Monday, December 4, 2017


Before you read, if you missed my last freebie, make sure you click here to visit my post to download a fun Christmas puzzle.
This time I am sharing a fortune teller origami, known as "comecocos" in Spanish. This activity is geared toward upper elementary and middle school students. It will be a great way for them to talk about their holidays. Introduce and model the sentences in class before diving into making the "comecocos."

Download your "comecocos" here!

Enjoy!
Carolina

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Spanish Christmas Puzzle {Freebie}

Sunday, December 3, 2017

During these last weeks of December before winter break, I'm sharing some activities and ideas for you to use in your classes. This first activity is a simple puzzle with basic Christmas vocabulary. It is a great way to review colors. After coloring and cutting out the pieces, you can describe one of the pictures of the puzzle and ask your students to find it. If using the black and white version you could say "dice "¡Jo, jo, jo!", ask a volunteer to tell you the name and describe the colors she used to color it. You can also set up a timer and organize a competition around putting the puzzle together. Whoever wins the competition will have to name all the vocabulary in the  puzzle. This is a simple activity that works great with grades K-1. There is no right or wrong way to put it together. 

Download  your puzzle HERE!

Enjoy,
Carolina

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5 Movements Songs for Preschoolers

Sunday, November 26, 2017


If you have ever taught preschoolers you already know that they need to move a lot! Moving is part of their learning and growing, so why not use it as a tool to engage them? Here are five songs that are part of my Spanish & Movement program.


La Pelota:
I use a big inflatable beach ball with this song. I toss it around while we practice the phrases "pasa la pelota" and "tira la pelota." I also have small inflatable balls for children to use in pairs. I do have to admit that it gets crazy, but children love it. Something that works great for me is modeling the phrases before playing the game.




Burbujas:
Through teaching Spanish to babies and toddlers I discovered these awesome bubbles by Gymboree (please note that I am not associated with them or endorsing their brand, but the reason I do really like their particular bubble formula!).  The best bubbles need to be light enough to float and hang in the air and not pop immediately when touching other bubbles. This is so that children can capture them and then pile them up on their hands in bunches, giving me time to count and also practice repeating "más, por favor." I haven't yet met a preschooler who doesn't like bubbles!




La Batalla del Calentamiento:
This song is great to practice naming the parts of the body while moving. I love adding other parts of the body that are not included in the song. I also sing the song without the music and ask the children to choose a part of the body they would like everyone to sing in class.




El Ritmo del Tambor:
Use TPR to introduce the vocabulary of the song to the class. Start playing the drum. Have the group stand in a circle and follow every movement in the song: baila, camina, marcha, salta, corre, duerme and despierta. 



Danza de Paracaídas:
Nothing like parachute time! If you don't have a play parachute, a big piece of fabric works well, too. Click here to find more ideas.


If you are looking for more tips for teaching Spanish to preschoolers, I have a whole post dedicated to that topic. Please click here to visit the link to it!

Have fun!
Carolina

Latin American Christmas Tradition: Año Viejo {Giveaway}

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


It has been a long time since I've hosted a giveaway, but I couldn't exist this great opportunity to host one that allows me to share one of the traditions that I miss the most when I'm unable to be in Colombia for the holidays.

Growing up in Colombia I remember all the hurried confusion that suddenly erupted during the last five minutes of every year: listening to "Faltan cinco' pa las doce" and the poem called "El brindis del bohemio", getting the 12 grapes ready, looking for a suitcase if you hoped to travel, putting dollars in your pocket to become rich in the new year, making sure you have "los cucos amarillos" (yellow underwear) and last, but not least, the excitement of burning the Año Viejo. Traditionally a full-sized stuffed mannequin and filled with fireworks or gunpowder and straw, an Año Viejo symbolizes starting anew, leaving bad things behind and setting goals for the new year - like a reset button (in addition to making political statements). Due to safety issues, many cities have opted to ban full-sized Años Viejos. So instead of coming together neighbors, blocks, or small communities, Años Viejos are now more of an individual family thing, reduced to a smaller, safer size. But no matter what, burning the Año Viejo is always followed by the sound of a new song on the air, "El año viejo"!

I have written all about this tradition in the past. Please visit this post to learn all about it!

Ready to participate in the giveaway? 



If you would like to participate in this giveaway and have the opportunity to win this awesome Año Viejo set,  just enter below to participate. The winner will be announced on November 30th, 2017. Participants in the continental United States only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

¡Buena suerte!
Carolina

Songs to Greet Your Elementary Spanish Class

Monday, November 13, 2017

I consider myself lucky that I get to see my students for 5 days out of a seven-day cycle schedule. I see my Kindergarten students for 25 minutes per class session and my first graders for 40 minutes a class. I always start my class with a greeting song and since the school year has started I have now used about five songs. YouTube is always a great place to find all those songs. I am sharing with you the ones that I have used so far, and I know for sure that my students love, and some that I plan to use in the future!








Have fun singing!
Carolina



5 Easy Yoga Poses for Spanish Class

Sunday, November 5, 2017
A few months ago I shared a story I wrote using some yoga poses. Now I am sharing five easy poses to add to your repertoire that will be great to use just as a "brain break" in class. I don't really do a full yoga session in class, but these are great to get your students moving while also exposing them to more vocabulary. I am always surprised to see how much more they can remember when we take the time for quick brain breaks in class. I also use the cards to play a game in which the children have to do what I say, but not what I do. They love it!

These are the new yoga poses that I am using with my students. I hope you like them! 








How to print? Drag the pictures individually to your computer's desktop and you will be able to print from there. Thank you to Educlips for illustrating these yoga poses so beautifully! 

Enjoy,
Carolina


Día de los Difuntos Celebration in Bolivia

Sunday, October 1, 2017

El Día de los Muertos is celebrated in many countries around the world on November 1st and 2nd. This holiday is celebrated nationwide in Bolivia, mostly on November 2nd, and is known as "El Día de los Difuntos." They celebrate the return of the souls of their ancestors. In preparation to receive them, people typically set up altars with pictures, candles, flowers, fruit, and a special bread called "Tantawawas" which in the Quechua language means babies made out of bread. They also have a bread called "Tantachachis" which means grandparents made out of bread. This tradition is also shared with Perú, Ecuador, Argentina, and a specific region of far south Colombia called "Nariño," where this kind of bread is called "guaguas." Bolivian Tantawawas have a specific characteristic in which the faces placed on the bread are made out of clay.

Recordando mujeres. La Paz.

This video below explains how this beautiful holiday is celebrated in Bolivia. People go to the cemeteries to paint graves and decorate them.  They also set their offering at home where it is important to have horses to help the souls arrive to the table. There are also stairs made out of bread to help the souls go back to the sky. The videos below have been helpful for me to educate myself about this holiday, as well as exploring Bolivia's official website for tourism and culture. Please feel free to watch the videos to learn more.





Get inspired and create your own Tantawawas in class. I know time is limited, so I recommend you use modeling clay with your students, acknowledging that we need to be respectful of this tradition and share with your students why a different material is being used in class.

I was able to find white and brown clay. I mixed them up to produce a shade closer to the real bread. I drew the face of the Tantawawa on a piece of white paper and cut it out to place it on the Tantawawa shape. Here are the results:



More resources
Story: La Fiesta de las Tantawawas (Perú)
Recipe to make Tantawawas

You might like to learn how this holiday is celebrated in Guatemala and México. Also stop by Mundo de Pepita's blog to read about how El Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Ecuador and about making  paper Marigolds in class.
Have fun teaching!
Carolina


A Peek Inside My Deskless Classroom

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I hope everyone is having a great school year so far! This will be my 4th week with students. We spent the first week and a half making it a safe place for our students, getting to know to know one another and giving them a chance to get to know the space. I teach K-5, and this week was my first full week with my K students. Everything is so new for them that our school principal and their teachers feel that for specialists to start teaching them subject material from day one could be terrifying! I love this new approach of getting to know our students before we dive into our curriculums.

I have been working on classroom routines, classroom rules and encouraging them to use hand signals when we are in class. I have decorated my classroom with some input for them but will be adding more little by little. I feel that it doesn't make sense for me to fill every space on the walls of my classrooms with signs that they don't yet understand, and I know I am not in need of them yet. 
I have been making some changes around the room according to the needs of my students. I have a deskless classroom. My K-2 students sit on the rug, and grades 3-5 have assigned seats.  Each chair has a pocket where we keep our notebooks and pencils. That saves me time when we do writing activities. 




I have a calendar, but I mostly use an online version projected on the board. The online version of the calendar has links to guess the day's temperature in different Spanish countries.




I have about 115 students, so this poster has been helpful to remember dates. Every month we change it, and the children quickly write their name and date of their birthday.






I have a class list and have assigned a number to each of my students in each grade. I use these popsicle sticks (not a new idea!) to choose participants in the different games we play, since sometimes it is hard to choose. Students also have the choice to say "paso" to indicate "I pass."




I added a reading corner to my classroom. I haven't use it yet, but I plan to add copies of the TPRS® stories we do this year. I have some students who are heritage speakers, so I think they could benefit from other stories as well.






I also like comparing the time zones in different countries. I have a clock that shows Colombia, one for Austin and one for Equatorial Guinea. I might change the countries later. 

I have decorated the classroom with some useful language, question boards and signals, and classroom rules. At the top of the board, I keep the flags of the countries of study. We do about 8 per school year with grades 2-5. One more thing is that this year the interactive board comes with a microphone which is great for the little ones. They can hear me better and are more engaged.




I have a projector that I can use to work on rewriting stories together or simply filling out worksheets in class. Best thing to have ever!



Next to the projector, I have a table with different props and with some Yoga cards that I use as brain breaks with my students.






                       
I also have use this fun game called "La caja mágica de pañuelos"  or "Magic Tissue Box." You can read all about it here!





I also keep a chime handy when the attention getters I use don't work. Voice saver!


I have decorated the classroom with art from different Spanish speaking countries. I wish I had one to represent each country. So far I have a lot from Colombia, Panamá, La República Dominica, Guatemala, Ecuador, México, and Chile. I write the name of the country under the piece of art so students know where it comes from.


I also have have other small decorations around the room, mostly around my computer. I have a chair next to some furniture that is part of the classroom.










I use this chair for students to sit when we sing the birthday song.



 This is a Friday selfie! Feeling ready to go home!


How is your school year going? Do you have a classroom, or are you traveling? I used to be a traveling teacher and wrote a post a while back about how I used to roll! You might find the post helpful!


¡Feliz año escolar!
Carolina

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