Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teaching Spanish to Preschoolers

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Although teaching preschoolers could be one of the most rewarding activities in the whole world, it's is also tiring if you are not ready for their energy and to keep them engaged. A great thing about this age group is how honest they could be. They immediately will let you know if something dislike them or makes them feel bored. They also get excited with simple things too! And yes, their memories are photographic! There have been a few times when I rely on them to help me remember songs or games we have played in class.

They all want to get a turn in the same class, so be ready to keep track of who has gotten turns because they will complain if give turns to the same people. Get used to see them moving a lot on the rug, because the tiny chairs don't work for them! We are better off to have our classes sitting in a circle on a rug.

They really benefit of knowing the rules of the class and what you expect from them. Constant reminder of what you expect from them is important! You also have to make you extra plan for them because their attention spam is short that they will need a rich variety of activities. I say plan a little extra because you never know what will caught their attention. You need to be able to read how engaged and excited they are with certain activity.

And yes, let's talk about germs! When one of the gets a cold, everyone else gets it. If you are using props that you will need to pass around  cleaning after using them will help you stay healthy and stop spreading the germs.Those cute little voices singing will fill your heart. Be ready to love them and to feel loved!

Props They Love!


This is a list of props I know my students really enjoy! Please feel free to add more in the comments! I would love to hear yours!

Puppets: They enjoy having  puppet friends in class, but make sure they are not spooky. Some of them are really afraid of clowns! Here you can find some tips for using puppets in your class! 

Parachute: Parachute time is one of the activities where everyone can participate at the same time. They love it, and they can fairly easily get out of control, so make sure you talk about the rules every single time you use it in class. My rules are simple: don't get on it or under it, wait for me to shake it, and the let go of the handles when I sing our clean up song.  We use the parachute to count, placing a ball on it and counting for how long they can keep it going. I also use the parachute to review vocabulary; for example, I can ask them, what do you want on the parachute? A fish or a dolphin? I have them chant their choice. You can find more ideas and a song to use the parachute in this post.

Magic Box/Bag: I have never seen a preschooler not get excited about what could be inside the magic box I bring to class. This is a wonderful way to get everyone engaged. I hide flash cards, plastic animals, pieces of felt of different colors, whatever can support what we have been learning.

Small White Boards: I recently discovered that my kindergarteners love using dry erase boards with markers and tiny erasers in class. We mostly use them to write numbers.





I once had a dream of being a singer for children, but I gave up and left the job for Rockalingua and other talented singers out there. 
I recorded a few songs and decided to put them in a playlist to share them with you. I have used them with my students because they don't really care how I sound. I know for sure that they have fun with them! Enjoy and let me know how it goes!



Have fun!
Carolina

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine's Day Songs for Elementary Spanish


El Día de San Valentín, also known as "El Día del Amor y la Amistad" or  "El Día de los Enamorados" is celebrated in the United States, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Cuba, Spain, Panamá, Paraguay, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on February 14th.
With posts like this one I only hope I am saving some teachers time on the internet. I teach at the elementary level, so the songs I choose are basic and sometimes with little vocabulary. Here are my top choices:


El Día del Amor y la Amistad by Music with Sara (Bilingual)



Un amigo me enseño by Baby Radio




Los Corazones Amigos by César García



Corazón de melón by "Valentina y los valientes"



Nuestra Amistad by Plim Plim



Te Quiero by Barney




Te Quiero by Spanish Together


Here is a free resource to help you celebrate in your class.  Please stop by my store to grab it!

Have fun!
Carolina





Monday, January 2, 2017

Actividad "rompe-hielo" para el regreso a la escuela


¡Feliz Año Nuevo! ¡El tiempo pasa muy rápido! En estos momentos muchos profesores han regresado a la escuela y el año escolar ha arrancado de nuevo.

Aquí les propongo una actividad rompe-hielo para el primer día de regreso a la escuela después de este período corto de vacaciones. Esta actividad invitará a sus estudiantes a moverse un poco por salón de clases y hacer uso del español. Para ponerle un poco más de ánimo a la actividad, les recomiendo hacer una competencia.

La actividad es simple, consiste en que los estudiantes se entrevisten y conversen sobre las actividades realizadas durante las vacaciones. En las hojas de actividades he recomendado un período de cinco minutos para recoger las firmas, pero obviamente esta actividad se puede adaptar a las necesidades de la clase. He incluido una página con instrucciones en español y otra página con instrucciones en inglés. De esta manera he dado la opción para elegir la que se adapte más a su metodología de enseñanza.

¡Feliz regreso a la escuela!
Carolina


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

El Año Viejo: A Latino American End of Year Tradition


El Año Viejo is a common year-end tradition in Colombia and other countries in Latin America. On December 31st, everyone gets excited about the New Year and its obligatory resolutions for change. Años Viejos are used in many places to symbolically leave behind bad things from the previous year. Traditionally, this involved burning effigies full of firecrackers or pockets of gunpowder, but for safety reasons, the practice has evolved into something less spectacular but no less important. Below you can find a video of how intense and exciting this celebration can be.





The Año Viejo is now crafted as a small doll in a tin. People take small pieces of paper and write all the bad things that have happened during the year. They then burn them and the doll in the tin as a symbol of renewal.

Some towns in Colombia and Ecuador host daylight parades on December 31st to show the effort and artistic talent that has been put into making the doll before it gets burned in the middle of the night.

There is a song about not forgetting the "Año Viejo" and being grateful for the great things in life. This song was composed by Cresencio Salcedo, a Colombian songwriter and made famous by Mexican singer Tony Camargo. The song is played all over Latin America during the December celebrations and and has been danced to for over 60 years! Below is a video of the original singer who never got to meet the writer of the song.

Yo no olvido al año viejo
Porque me ha dejado cosas muy buenas:
Me dejó una chiva,
Una burra negra,
Una yegua blanca
Y una buena suegra.


This is one of those traditions you can easily share with your students. Have them decorate their Año Viejo and have them think about what they would like to do in the future. I have a simple and fun activity where students put together their own paper "Año Viejo" and write about their goals for the new year. This resource is available on Teachers Pay Teachers.





¡Feliz Año!
Carolina

Thursday, November 24, 2016

La Noche de las Velitas (Part 2)


La Noche de las Velitas is one of the most exciting celebrations in Colombia since it marks the beginning of the Christmas season.  What a great opportunity to share this with your students and make it part of your class! I have written some blog posts in the past that provide more background and introduce you to some activities you may use to bring this celebration into your classroom.


Last, but not least, I just added a PowerPoint that's ready for you to use anytime! Click on the picture below to download it.

¡Feliz Noche de las Velitas!








Sunday, November 20, 2016

Christmas Songs in Spanish


Yes! I can't believe! It's that time of the year again! Smells like Christmas, one of my favorite times in the year. I am excited about all the new videos that came out on YouTube, and the best parts is that many of then include the lyrics which makes it perfect for a sing along. Some of the songs could be a little bit fast, so I recommend that you change the speed of the video on YouTube. You have to make sure you open the video on YouTube, once you are there, click on the settings icon, then click on speed and change from "normal" to "0.5". You are now with a perfect speed and the song still sounds great!  

Here are some of my favorite songs! If you have one that you would like me to add to the list, please share it with me in the comments. 




Mi Burrito Sabanero



Campana Sobre Campana



Polo Norte, Navidad y Rudolph el Venadito


Cascabel


Los Peces en el Río


Tutaina


Arre Burriquito y la Marimorena


Happy singing!
Carolina

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thanksgiving Songs in Spanish


Here is a collection of four fun songs that can be used with different ages at the elementary level.



El Día de Acción de Gracias by Music with Sara



Al Pavo Pavito 



Yo soy un pavo




Hola Señor Pavo



Here is a short video which is perfect for "Movie Talk."

¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias!
Carolina

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Day of The Dead Songs and Videos for Elementary Students





It's always great to have all these videos in one place! Hopefully this will save you some time. I recommend you take the time to watch the videos before presenting them to your students to make sure they are appropriate not only for their developmental age and level of Spanish, but also to ensure they fit your school culture. Watching the video will also give you time to think of important questions of points you would like to discuss with your students. 

Videos to introduce  or talk about this celebration in class



 
Global Wonder Series - I stop the video after second 35, you will see why!




El Día de los Muertos vs Halloween
Click here to find version in Spanish









Songs


La Calaverita de Azúcar


Huesitos


Las Calaveras

Have fun sharing with your students about this important celebration!
Carolina

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Five Halloween Songs for Elementary Spanish


Halloween is an exciting time in elementary school. There is always so much vocabulary that could be explored around it: colors, shapes, likes, costumes and so on. You don't have to go anywhere else to find great songs for your class. Below I am sharing five of my favorite ones!


Los Monstruos



¡Es Halloween!



Chumbala Cachumba



Tumbas, Tumbas



Cinco Calabazas


Happy Halloween! ¡Feliz Día de las Brujas!
Carolina


Monday, October 17, 2016

Day of the Dead Celebration in Sumpango, Guatemala

                                                                                            Foto: Multiturismo Moca

El Día de los Muertos, also known as El Día de los Difuntos or Todos Santos in other places in Latin America is celebrated in different ways all throughout the continent. In Guatemala, the Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1st. People around the country gather in cemeteries to celebrate and remember their loved ones who are not here anymore.
One of the most unique celebrations takes place in the Sumpango, Sacatepéquez where a giant kite festival is held. It's believed that the kites will fly to communicate with the spirits of their loved ones. Preparations for this celebration start months before the celebration. Take a look at these two clips to learn about this beautiful tradition!




Have your students decorate barriletes to celebrate El Día de los Muertos in your class. Download the printables here.


Have fun!
Carolina


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