Mini Book: ¡Viva Colombia!

Saturday, July 15, 2017
This year marks the 207th year since Colombia gained its independence from Spain on July 20th, 1810. Colombians observe this day by taking the day off from work. Many of the main celebrations happen in Bogotá, Colombia's capital city. The Army puts on various parades, and the president delivers a speech to commemorate the day. It is also common for Colombians to show pride by wearing the colors of the Colombian flag (yellow, blue, and red), and many people put flags up outside their houses.

What a great way to celebrate by sharing this librito with you! Please click on the picture to download your copy!

This is a video tutorial showing how to make the book.


Just in case you need one more video, this one shows the steps more slowly. 



If you want to learn more about how this holiday is celebrated in Bogotá, this video is quite elaborate and has plenty of detail.



¡Qué viva Colombia!

More resources for teaching Spanish available on Teachers Pay Teachers


Virtual Field Trips in Elementary Spanish Class

Friday, July 7, 2017


There is nothing children enjoy more than pretending! Role playing games are such valuable tools for teaching languages. Planning a virtual trip requires some planning. You have to make sure the content is suitable for the level you teach. 

Introduction of a country or cultural activity:

1. Passport: You can create a simple template that your students will have to fill out with basic information such as name, age, and country where they were born. They can draw a small picture about themselves. 
2. Ticket: The ticket will have their seat and arrival country.
3. Sitting on an airplane: You may need to adapt this based on your space and the amount of time you have available to set up. I usually like making single lines and numbering the chairs from 1 to 20, depending on the number of students you have. Each student gets assigned a number. You can have two students pretend being the flight attendance to greet everyone when getting on the plane. This might take up to 5 minutes.  You can also pretend that you have a pilot who will welcome everyone and let them know where they are heading to. For example, "Buenos días, Bienvenidos al vuelo de la clase de español. Vamos a Colombia."
4. Google Earth: This requires some advance planning. You might want to choose the pictures of the places you would like to visit. I found a post written by The Teacher's Prep with great information on using Google Earth: Create a Virtual Trip Using Google Earth

5. Choose a few short videos about the country you plan to visit.6. Postcard: Have the children make a postcard that they can pretend to send to a family member. The postcard can have information about what they learned during the virtual trip.

Steps 4 and 5 might require a few class sessions to complete while the children do the cultural exploration. This also depends on how many times you see your students and the kind of program in which you teach. Some teachers prefer to do the cultural part in English , while others keep the target language basic and at the level of their students. 

I have a "Travel Set Activity" in my TpT store that I have used successfully with my students. Everything is ready to set up, and it even includes printable stamps that students can add to their passport every time they visit a new country. Click on the picture to learn all about it!
     

Have a fun trip!
    
                                                    

4 Facebook Communities for Elementary Spanish Teachers

Thursday, July 6, 2017


One of the things I love about Facebook is how easy you can find online communities related to any topic and interest. And teachers really do know how to take advantage of Facebook. Just type keywords into the search bar to reveal different groups and pages related to them.

I want to share with you some groups that have been created for teaching Spanish at the early and elementary level. Please note that for some of the groups you will have to request to join the group; this is because they want to make sure only Spanish teachers join. Also in some of them the moderators will have to approve your question before it is posted on the wall. In an effort to keep the group clear of spam, some moderators will delete anything that is not related to teaching at this level. The language of interaction changes according to the group; some groups use English and Spanish, while some of them just use English, and some only Spanish. You will have to find the one you think works best for you.

Here are the names of the groups:

  1. Elementary Spanish Teachers
  2. Teaching Spanish to Children
  3. Actividades de ELE para niños
  4. Hablando de ELE


Hand Signals for Spanish Class

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Nothing like being in the middle of a fun and engaging lesson when suddenly you have a student interrupting because he or she needs to go to the bathroom, or even worse, you have a student who you thought was raising his/her hand quietly for a while when you realized it was a request to go to the bathroom and the student had been holding it for a long time. Then the feelings of guilt flood in.  Time is precious for teachers, but no one wants to cause a student pain!

I  taught in a Responsive Classroom school, and using signs was part of the classroom management model. So I borrowed some ideas from the Responsible Classroom framework and have added more to fit the needs of my classroom. I also teach my students useful sentences to ask for permission to go to the bathroom or drink water in Spanish. There are times when I see the hand signal for bathroom but still ask them what they need to give them an opportunity to practice the language or I also say you need to go to the bathroom or drink water. Once I started using hand signals with my students, I felt that I was able to teach a class with less interruptions, and it was also helpful for the students who were not yet ready to use the target language. I now introduce hand signals during the first class, and we practice them to make sure that they are clear for everyone. 

Recently I found a set of images that go perfectly with the hand signals I use, and I will be updating my classroom signs this fall. I am sharing them with you. I hope you find this helpful!


Download your cards HERE!

Happy teaching!


More teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers!









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