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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tree of Spanish Adjectives

Árbol de Adjetivos  (Tree of Adjectives)

Árbol de Adjetivos is a free activity to help teach and reinforce adjectives in Spanish. It is an addition to any Spanish program.
This activity is for older students from grades four and up. Depending on your group you could also use it for third graders as well.

This activity also includes a tree with out the adjectives on it and an entire page full of leaves for students to cut out and paste only the leaves with adjectives.  At the end of this article there will be a link to direct you to this fun activity :-)

Before doing any of the activities suggested students should be already familiar with the adjectives and the meaning. There is also available Spanish Adjectives Flash Cards to help students learn the adjectives and how they can use them. More information on that on my next blog.

Here are some ideas to use with Árbol de Adjetivos (Tree of Adjectives):

1.  You can have students individually select an adjective and paste on the  tree. 

2. Give each students a leaf. Some will have adjectives and some will have other words that are not adjectives. Instructor can ask those with the adjectives to paste the leaf on the tree. (this is one of way
for doing an assessment to see how well students are learning and are familiar with Spanish adjectives.)

3. Have students search for the leaves with adjectives. Students with the most adjectives wins.

4. Write on  half sheets of papers an adjective or a noun. Crunch the papers up and through it one at a time and the student that catches the paper opens it and say if it is and adjective or not. And students should also say the translation in English. (For this activity I suggest making rules and if students do not follow the the rules teacher and discontinue the game at his/her discretion.)

These are just some ideas. Feel free to create your own games and ideas to use with this activity as well as with the Spanish Adjectives Flash Cards.

To access "Árbol de Adjetivos" click here

To access Spanish Adjectives Flash Cards click here

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tips for helping children with number recognition

Tips on Helping Children with Number Recognition

In teaching numbers in sequence to young children or even older ones too, we  find that kids learn the numbers in the order it is taught to them. What I have noticed in my years of teaching Spanish is that most children can pretty much count from 1 to 10 or 1 to 20 with no problem. But when presenting those same numbers isolated or in a different sequence it becomes a little difficult. To help with this problem I have created several activity sheets to help young children ages 4 and 5 identify the numbers even when they are presented to them by itself.  I am sharing two of those activity pages with you here.  A link will follow where you can download these two activity pages for free!!!

The tips I will share with you here have proven to be effective and I have seen a huge progress in the recognition of numbers in Spanish. But the same idea can be applied to English as well.

Tip #1:  Take the two numbers you want children to identify. (it can be any two numbers) Let's  use for example 10 and 20. Present both numbers to children one at a time back and forth.

Tip #2: Create two set of small cards. Each set can be 10 cards depending on group size. On the first set of cards would be the number 10 and on the other set of cards would be the number 20 (remember these can be any two numbers you select) Mix both sets of cards and give each student a card. Then ask each student what number they have. In my class I teach my students to say: "yo tengo..." (which means: I have) So each student will say "yo tengo diez" or "yo tengo veinte" depending on which number they have. My students enjoy this activity very much especially when they see which of their little friends have the same number as they do. So this activity can be done over a period of time. But it should only take two to four classes for students to identify the two numbers with no problem.

Tip #3: To further reinforce the recognition of these two isolated numbers I then give then a page to color. On this page students will find and color the target number. Let's say the target number is 10, I encourage my students to say: "I found diez" each time they find and color it. Depending on the class I'm teaching I teach them instead how to say that in Spanish, so they will say: "encontré diez" Most of the students are able to say it and because they are saying it each time they find the number it becomes easier and easier to remember each time. On a different day we do the same activity with the number 20.

You can create a game out of tip #1. Children love games. Make it fun for them!
For tip #2 at the end of the activity before children turn in the cards you can ask: "¿quién tiene diez?" and "¿quién tiene veinte?"(who has ten/ who has twenty?) and students practice saying: "yo tengo diez or yo tengo veinte"  (I have ten/I have twenty)

If you are working with older children you can use three or four numbers at a time. For it to be more effective the numbers selected should not be in sequence. Other examples of two selected numbers can be:  5 & 15; 6 & 16 and so on.....

If you would like me to create the small set of cards I use with my students but with specific numbers feel free to email me at: and I will send the cards to you via email as a courtesy. (This offer is for a limited time only)

Here is a class doing the activity sheet. They are finding and coloring the number 20

To access these two activity sheets click on the link below.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Common Spanish Phrases and questions

Common Spanish Phrases and Questions

 Common Spanish Phrases and Questions are a set of 35 yellow cards with phrases and questions that are commonly used in Spanish.   Each yellow card has its corresponding card in English. The English cards are the purple ones. The yellow cards with questions have an answer card. These answer cards are the blue cards. The number that’s on the blue cards corresponds to the same number on the yellow cards.

Here are some ideas on how these cards may be use: Here are some ideas on how to use these cards:
1. Practice by saying the phrases to someone else.
2. Use the phrases regularly so that it becomes natural.
3. Use them as a game to match each Spanish card to its corresponding English card. (The English cards are not numbered for this reason)
4. Randomly pick out a Spanish card and try translating it to English.
5. Randomly pick out an English card and try translating it to Spanish.
These are just some ideas.
These cards are a fun way to increase knowledge in the Spanish language and engage students in learning effectively. 

A translation and pronunciation guide is included.

To access these cards click on the link below.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A fun way to teach commands

A Fun Way to Teach Commands

A command is a specific instruction to do something.

Children learn their natural language at a very young age by hearing commands from their parents, family, caregiver and so on. 
This same idea can be practice when teaching a foreign language. 
One of the things I incorporate in my classes are commands in Spanish. Some examples of these commands are: marcha (march) salta (jump) corre (run) camina (walk), etc....

When giving commands to students try to avoid translating what a command means. Instead physically show them what to do as you say the command. Student will retain it much better and will most likely remember what the command means as they do the action along with you. My students and I have lots of fun as we command each other to do different things. Once students are familiar with the commands they can practice giving commands to each other. Students really enjoy doing that especially giving their teacher commands and I do them :-)

To teach these commands I created a set of cards called: Las Acciones (Actions) 
I select the actions I'm going to teach and show students the cards that goes with each action.  So for example I would say: "marchar" and I do the marching action; or I would say "saltar" and I do the jumping action. Students repeat and follow. Once students are familiar with these actions, saying a command becomes easy and understandable for students. All I say for exmple is "marcha" or "salta" and students automatically understands what to do.

Another idea to use with these cards is to have students say the actions they like. For example they can say: "Me gusta marchar" (I like to march)

Another idea  is to have students say the actions they can do. For example they can say: "Yo puedo saltar" (I can jump)

These are just some ideas. There are many more ideas you can use with these cards. Creativity is all that's needed!

If you would like to purchase Las Acciones click on the link below.

Click here for Las Acciones

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Create a book of colores!

   Los Colores

Teaching colors to young children is fun. I find creative ways to teach them the colors in Spanish. With young children I start out with one or two colors at a time until we complete the first six colors: yellow, red, blue, green, orange, and purple.

To reinforce each color that is learned I created : "Mi Libro de Colores para Colorear" (My coloring book of colors)
This will be the cover to assemble the booklet.

Each sheet represents a color to be reinforce. When learning a specific color  we do activities involving that color, then after doing those activities over the next week or so we start the project of creating the coloring book of colors. If yellow is the color we've been working on then children color the yellow page as a reinforcement. I do the same for all the other colors. This activity is intended to create a booklet.  After all six colors are completed the book can be assembled .

We are working on yellow here. I encourage my students to say the color in Spanish.

Another set of students working on the color red. Lots of fun!

This activity is great for preschoolers and kindergartners. To access this free activity click on the link below. Have fun!

Click here for coloring book of colors!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Foreign language and its benefits for children

How Does a Foreign Language Affects Children

Studies have shown that learning a second language not only benefits a child linguistic abilities but also their cognitive and creative abilities as well.

Learning a second language makes it easier for learning more languages.

The earlier children learn a foreign language increases the probability of developing a  close to native pronunciation and intonation.

The question most parents will ask is how to expose their kids to a foreign language if it is not spoken at home or at school.  My suggestion is to buy Cd's in the target language that contains poems, songs, rhymes, etc... try playing the Cd every day or as much as possible for 30 minutes or more. This will help the child with proper pronunciation and sounds of the target language.

There are many Spanish Cd's out there that are good for listening and getting familiar with the language. One that is very good and highly recommend is:

1. Baby's first words in Spanish. (includes sounds, rhymes and songs) by Living Language

Monday, September 22, 2014

Understanding how children learn languages

Understanding how children learn languages

Studies have shown that humans from birth have the capability to differentiate all the sounds from languages. As these sounds become less and less frequent or completely eliminated in a child’s surroundings, brings as a consequence the loss of the capability that once existed to differentiate these sounds.
Because languages work with a sound system, the earlier we expose children to the target language, the better.

It is recommended that young children and even babies listen to songs, stories, rhymes and so on in the target language or languages. By doing this neural connections are established and making it easier for children to learn the target language.

I highly recommend purchasing Spanish CDs with songs and stories and play it during the day as your child plays, eat, and even when it is time to sleep. The Spanish sounds will greatly help with the child’s linguistic development.