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Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Theme Math & Spanish Fun Work Sheets

Free Math and Spanish Fun activity sheets

Here we are again at the end of another year. At this time of the year, kids are looking forward to all the holidays and activities ahead. 
With my Spanish learning group of young children, I embrace this time of the year to do lots of reviews and fun activities for reinforcement.  I created some fun Spanish and math worksheets with Christmas holiday theme to keep the expectation of the upcoming holidays engaging, fun and alive. 
Oh by the way, in looking for ways to help young children learn and identify numbers in Spanish randomly, I created “number recognition sheets.” These sheets present two or three target numbers to help students learn them faster. After students have mastered these number recognition sheets they are ready to do the fun activity sheets pages 1 to 3. More detailed explanation is included in the free download!

Here are short videos of the “number recognition sheets” been used with 4 year old students.

The Christmas theme math and Spanish fun worksheets can be used at the beginning of your class or at the end or even as a break in between assignments.
This is the time of the year when we mostly give and share. So I’m so happy to share with you as a holiday gift until the end of the Christmas season some of my worksheets I created for my students.
I hope you find these activity sheets useful and helpful as we approach the Christmas break.
You can access the free Christmas Spanish fun worksheets here.
You can access the free Christmas fun math worksheets and games here.
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Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year 2016 and as always don’t forget to ….
Have fun!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Spanish Sentence Cards

            Spanish Sentence Cards
Spanish Sentence Cards are manipulative that engage children at an early age to build short and simple sentences as well as help them with Spanish sight words. Even though these cards are to be use with children 5 to 7 years of age, I have had success using it with some 4 year old as well.  So depending on your group you can decide is you will use it with the 4’s.

Instructions on how to use the cards are provided along with the product.

I will share here some games and additional suggestions on how Spanish Sentence Cards can be use.

1.      The pairing game: Make sure to have an even number of students for the pairing game. Give cards with words to half of the students and to the other half pictures. At your command have students find their partners by matching the correct word with the picture.

2.      Memory game: Students sit in a circle. Have cards with words and pictures face down on the floor in a structured order. Students take turn turning over one picture card and one word. If it matches, the students take the pair. The student with the most pairs of cards wins.

3.      The asking game:  Have students sit down in a circle. Place the picture cards facing up on the floor. Ask students questions like these: “¿qué es azul?” students should respond: “la mesa es azul.” If they do not know how to respond, then the instructor should respond. Another questions could be: “¿qué es blanco?” students response should be: “el muñeco de nieve es blanco”.  Another question could be: “¿qué es anaranjada?” response: “la pelota es anaranjada.” And so on. Suggestion: It is preferable for the students to respond in complete sentence as reinforcement in building Spanish sentences with the cards.

4.      Select the adjective game: With this game students have the opportunity to select the correct adjective to complete the sentence. Have students sit in a circle. Place a picture card on the floor and start the sentence and allow students to take turn picking the appropriate adjective to complete the sentence. For example you could have the picture of the car, and then place the word below it that says: “El carro es….. A student selected by the instructor select the adjective that describe something about “el carro”. And so on.

Suggestion: To help students learn these sight words even faster you can make several copies of two or three words and have students repeat after you. Doing this over a short period of time will greatly increase students ability to recognize and pronounce the words easily as well as increase their ability to correlate each word with the correct image. You can even have a specific number of words you want to teach and make several copies and have students turn the words over and read it. Because you have several copies of the same words, it will become more and more familiar when students encounter the words over and over again.

To purchase Spanish Sentence Cards click here.

Your feedback, comments and suggestions are welcomed. Please share any of your experiences using the Spanish sentence cards and as usual…….

Have fun!

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Discover a fun game for reinforcing any subject ¡Bárrelo!

Bárrelo (A fun game for reinforcement)
Bárrelo is a fun game to help reinforce anything you are teaching in Spanish. But it’s equally useful for any language.  I use the game bárrelo for reinforcing numbers, shapes, and vocabulary words in Spanish.  I came up with the idea of this game when I was at the dollar store earlier this year looking for things to use with my students.  Then I saw this mini cute brush and dust pan set. 

So I bought it even though I did not know then how I will use it. Then the bright idea came to me to use it for some type of game and that’s how “bárrelo” which literally means “sweep it up” came into existence. I ordered a few more sets online since the dollar store didn't have any more.
This game can be played with one student but it is definitely more fun doing it in pairs or even three or four at a time depending on how many of the brush and dust pan set you have. So here is how the game works:
I will use for example numbers since it’s the most common one I use with this game activity. Select the number of students who will be playing at the same time. Give each one a brush and dust pan set. The game is to be played on a smooth and hard surface.  I recommend using the table.  At first try two students, one on each end of the table.  Give each student small number cards from 0 to 10. They can arrange it however they want on the table but it’s preferable to arrange it in random order.  Tell each student that you will call out a number but only when you say “bárrelo” is when they can sweep that number in the dust pan.
If a student sweeps in the number before you say “bárrelo” the number is taken away from that student. After calling out a number, give a few seconds for students to visually locate the number and then say “bárrelo”.  When playing the game, do not call out all the numbers because it would not make it possible to know who the winner is. So after calling six or seven numbers (you can use a little more or a little less. It all depends on your group) then you can check and see who has all the numbers you called out, in the dust pan.

Recommendation for keeping score of the numbers you call out:
You can have a sheet of paper with the numbers 0 to 10 or up to whatever number you are teaching. As you call out the numbers you can cross them out helping you to remember which numbers you called out. At the end the winner or winners are the ones who have all the correct numbers you called out. 
This game is a favorite with my students, especially the 5 years old. They always say to me: “are we going to play bárrelo today?” Here is a short video of the game to give you an idea. This was with one of my 5 year old groups.

To engage the other students that are not participating as yet in the game, you can have those students take turns calling out a number and then the whole group can say “bárrelo” . You could also select students to cross out the numbers that are been called out.
As I mention earlier, this game can be played with pretty much any subject you are teaching. Here are some suggestions you can use this game with:
·         shapes
·         vocabulary words
·         alphabet
·         animals
·         sight words
·         colors
·         etc…
The numbers, shapes and vocabulary pictures to be used with this game can be obtained here for free! Make as many copies needed, laminate and cut them out and use over and over again!
You can create your own sheets for keeping track of the numbers, shapes and vocabulary and so on, but if you prefer you can use the free ones I have provided here
Your feedback, comments, ideas are welcomed! Please share and as usual:
Have Fun!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fun Ideas for Teaching Colors

       Fun Ideas for Teaching Colors        
Fun activities for teaching colors in Spanish to young children.
Hello and thanks for visiting! Today I will share some activities I recently did with my preschool students for reinforcing colors.

I was at a dollar store sometime ago and I saw party plates in different colors. I then thought of the idea of buying a set of each color to engage my young students while teaching them the colors in Spanish.
Here are some ideas.
1.      Have a basket full of different color items.  Introduce a color and take out everything in the basket that is that color.
2.      Do the same activity above but instead of taking out the target color have students take it out instead.
3.      Use a cloth bag and place the different color items in it. Display on the floor  4 to 6 different color plates. Have students sit in a circle and pass the bag around taking out an item. Student say the color of the item in the target language and place  it on the same color plate. (Here are some pictures to illustrate)

4.      For the older preschool students and kindergarteners you can do a variation by putting items of the same color on a plate and an extra item of a different color. (you can say something like this: “este objeto no pertenece en el plato verde.” Then you can go ahead and ask the question: “¿a dónde pertenece?” “pertenece al plato amarillo”. You can even go further and give a command to a student by saying for example: “Felipe, ponga el objeto amarillo en el plato amarillo.”  These are just some  ideas of what you can say to engage students in thinking, speaking and listening. The ideas are endless.  Obviously they will not be speaking the target language right away but what I have noticed is that as time goes by and they  listen to me speak the language, imitation and repetition starts to take place; so after they are comfortable they start to repeat what they hear me say. Some students do it sooner than I expect! Activities like these are excellent for language development.
5.      Another activity that my students love very much and have great fun is when I tell them to help me find a color. I will use “rojo” for example. So I tell my students: “voy a buscar el color rojo” then I pick something out of the bag that’s azul for example. Then I will ask: “¿es rojo? they all will laugh and say no it’s azul! and so on. Once I pick the right color out  I encourage them to say: si es rojo! It’s a good time to introduce affirmative and negative in the target language.
Hope this was helpful. I will share more on my next post!
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Monday, September 28, 2015

Caritas -Fun activities for teaching emotions in Spanish.

 Fun activities for teaching emotions in Spanish to young children.
Caritas are cute little faces created to teach young children about emotions in Spanish.
Here are some ideas and suggestions for using caritas as an activity.
1.      Introduce three to four caritas at a time. Each carita represents a Spanish emotion.
2.      Create or use stories that involve the emotions you are teaching.
3.      Allow students to select the appropriate emotion depending on the circumstance.
4.      Sing the Spanish song: “Buenos días, buenos días, cómo estás. and replace “muy bien gracias” with  the emotions you are teaching. Here is an example of how the complete song including the emotion feliz will sound like:
Buenos días, buenos días, cómo estas, cómo estas
estoy feliz, estoy feliz, y usted, y usted. (this tune is sung to the song are you sleeping)
 Every one sits in a circle with the caritas in the middle and can start singing the song. Each student gets a turn to say how they are by selecting the appropriate carita while saying in Spanish the emotion. When they get to the part that says “y usted” student points to the person next to him/her and so on until everyone gets a turn.
5.      Ask students to make specific faces by calling out different emotions in Spanish. For example you can say: “hagan una carita triste” or “ hagan una carita enojada” etc.
6.      Cut a set of caritas and laminate without the craft stick on it. Place the caritas down and ask a student to pick a carita without anyone seeing which one it is, then student imitate the same carita that was picked up and have the other students guess what emotion it is. Encourage students to say the emotions in Spanish.
7.      Have a set of caritas without the craft sticks on them. Have a set of craft sticks with an emotion written on each one. Students match the carita with the correct stick.
These activities can be easily adapted to any language!

You can access these free caritas here.

Check out Flash Cards las emociones by clicking here.
Flash cards -Las emociones                                     

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Have fun!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Games to reinforce colors and shapes

Games to reinforce colors and shapes.

School year is back and we teachers are geared up and ready to teach our little ones with new ideas or at lease create a variation to our teaching methods.
Well, here I will share some variations on activities I’ve been doing with my preschool students in our Spanish class to reinforce colors and shapes.
When introducing young children to shapes, I prefer to use neutral color shapes. Once students are well familiar with the shapes, I introduce different color shapes. Prior to teaching the shapes, students should already know the colors that have been taught to them.  (I use the same colors we have been working on). So for example, I’ve been working with four colors in Spanish (yellow, green, blue and red) so I will make shapes in those colors. That way we are reinforcing shapes while keeping the colors present. That way I’m always incorporating what we have learned with new material.
So here are some ideas and suggestions that have worked for me.
1.      The asking game: Have three or four shapes of the same but with a different color each. Ask students: “¿de qué color es el círculo?” and son on with the other shapes. (suitable for students 2 -5)
2.      The mistake game: My students love this one because they like the fact that they are helping the “teacher”. Have a basket with different color shapes in it. Tell students:  “Voy a buscar un triángulo azul” and after looking for a few seconds take out a different color triangle from the one you are looking for and then ask students: “¿es el triángulo azul?” they normally say while laughing a big “no”. Let’s say I took out green instead of blue, I have had students even say the color. They will say: “no, it’s verde”  So I keep looking and do the same two or three times until I finally take out the right one and they will say “yes”. This is a good time to introduce to them how to say yes in Spanish.  (suitable for students 4 -5)
3.      The finding game:  Place the different color shapes on the table and pick students one at a time to find the shape and color you select. (suitable for students 3 -5)

4.      Variation to game 3: Have students sit in a big circle and place all the color shapes in the middle and have students take turns in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion finding the shape and color you select. (suitable for students 3 -5)

5.      The basket game: Have a basket with different color shapes. Pass the basket around and when you say “alto” the person with the basket takes out the color shape you asked the student to find.

(suitable for students 3 -5) Suggestions: you can put on a lively music as students pass the basket and stop the music and who ever has the basket at that time takes out the shape and color you select. Similar to hot potato game.  
This is a good time to introduce negation in Spanish for the finding game and the basket game. When a student takes out the wrong shape or color you can say: “no es el círculo rojo”, for example.  After doing these activities for a while, students will become more and more familiar with them and will naturally answer in the affirmative and negative in Spanish.
6.      Patterns and sequencing games: Use the shapes and colors for creating games where patterns and sequence are introduced as shown in the picture below.  (suitable for students 3 -5)

They can also create groups by color or by shape. All these different activities done over a period of time will help students remember and internalize the shapes and colors in a fun and engaging way.
7.      You can use these shapes to introduce or practice “yo tengo”. Have each student take out a shape out of the basket. Then ask questions such as: “¿quién tiene el círculo rojo? the child who has it should say: “yo tengo el círculo rojo” and so on.
I’m sure you will come up with your own ideas as well. Feel free to comment and share your ideas, comments and feedback!

You can access the neutral color shapes and different color shapes for free here.

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Have fun!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Six Benefits of Using Commands for Language Learning

Six Benefits of Using Commands for Language Learning

I was first introduced to commands when I read Dr. James Asher book on Total Physical Response (TPR). I found it to be very insightful and logical. His book is based on his own experience and tons of study cases done with students and adults.  I would recommend reading the book to get the full scope of his experiments, study cases and for an extensive guide on how to apply TPR. For those that are interested in reading the book , you can find more information at the end of this post.
When I started incorporating TPR in my Spanish class, I noticed how children will rapidly remember what to do when a command was said. This experience corroborates with Dr. Asher concept that the assimilation of information and skills can be significantly accelerated through the use of the kinesthetic sensory system.
In using TPR, I also noticed how much fun they have when doing these simple actions. At first, I thought it was just fun for the preschool children since they love moving around; but I also noticed how the older students enjoyed it as well. After students get comfortable in doing the commands they hear, I then challenge them to say the commands for me and/or the other students to do. This is probably more fun for them!

 Students learn faster when an action is associate with what’s been said.

These are the six benefits I experience with my students:
1.      It boosts memory and helps internalize concepts.
2.      It creates a fun environment for learning and retention.
3.      It diminishes intimidation for the target language.
4.      It encourages participation even with shy students.
5.      It helps develop gross motor skills in young children.
6.      It prepares students for verbal expression down the line.

Just by telling my student to performed one word commands like: corre, camina, salta, etc (run, walk, jump, etc.) they have so much fun. So to add to the fun, I create these 20 hilarious commands which include more than just a one word command. 

Some ideas and suggestion to use with the command cards in Spanish:

1.      Introduce one or two commands at a time.
2.      Between each command use the word “alto” which means stop. This will help manage for how long students do a specific command.
3.      Once most of the commands are learned, you can have students select a number or a card and perform the command.
4.      Once students are comfortable with the commands, have them say the commands to their companions.
5.      Have students perform the command in groups of two’s  or three’s for added fun.
6.      Use the command cards to play the game "Simon says"

7.      Avoid translating a command. If a student does not remember the meaning of the command, then demonstrate by acting it out.

Hope these ideas are helpful. Your ideas and feedback are welcome! J

                                                     You may also like

The book I mention earlier in this post is:
Learning Another Language Through Action By James Asher (6th Edition)

Click here to purchase 20 Hilarious Commands in Spanish.

Click here to purchase 50 commands in Spanish.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fun Learning with Clothespins

         Fun Learning with Clothespins!
Here is another way to use clothespins!
Just write the Spanish name of nouns on clothespins and attach them to the correct image on card.
This is very useful for practicing vocabulary words in Flash card sets 1 through 4.
 You can use them on pretty much anything you are teaching such as numbers, shapes, foods, etc….
This fun activity helps older children connect words and images together. It’s also useful for practicing sight words.

To get you started on this fun activity, I have available for you eight free sheets or cards you can use to start having fun with your students! 
One card has some of the foods that’s on my previous post entitled: Fun Ideas andActivities with la comida, then, there are four cards that have vocabulary words from Flash Cards sets 1through 4, then there are two cards with numbers and one card with shapes! All you need now are some wooden clothespins that are easily found at dollar stores and a fine point Sharpie marker and you will be ready for this fun activity!

Here are some quick ideas to use with the clothespins activity:
·         Have student complete one sheet at a time using the clothespins.
·         Have one student call out the Spanish name of the images on the card and another student hand over the correct clothespin with the word.
·         Create two groups and see which group completes a sheet correctly by placing all the clothespins in the right place.
·         Do the activities above using a timer.
·         Put clothespins with words written on them in a basket.  Give several students one card.  Have a student or the instructor take out a clothespin from the basket and reads it. The students with the cards should raise their hand if they have the image of that word on their card. The first student to complete the card wins. (to make it more engaging and interesting, you can give the same card to several students and the first one to raise their hand gets the clothespin. This will help keep students alert as they listen for the next word and try to beat their opponents. ) Lots of fun!

To download the eight free cards just click here.
Hope you have lots of fun with these ideas!
Please share your comments and feedback!
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Have Fun!