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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ideas to build children counting skills!

   Fun Counting Cards
These fun counting cards are an excellent way to help your preschool child or students build number sense and counting skills! Even though they were created for my Spanish class it can also be used for English or any target language.
Here are a few ideas you can use with these cards: (the ideas and examples will be in Spanish but can be apply to any language)
1.                              Give each student a card. Tell them to count in Spanish the objects on the card. Students should say in the target language how many objects are on their card and then find the corresponding number to place on the card. You can ask students: ¿cuántos objetos hay en tu tarjeta?( how many objects are on your card?) Student respond saying for example: “tres”
2.                              The cards are also great for learning new vocabulary words. So you can be more specific and ask the student for example: ¿cuántas mariquitas hay en tu tarjeta? students response should  be: “seis”

3.                              For older preschoolers 4 and 5 years of age you can give them each one or more cards depending on size of the group and allow them to count the objects on the card then you can say: ¿quién necesita el número cuatro? (how needs number four?) and so on. Students will say: “yo necesito cuatro”. I work with students that do not come from a Spanish speaking background so we go over this many times and they pick it up very fast. When teaching a foreign language I realized that kids learn faster when you just speak the language. Doing translation is not as effective as just speaking it and allowing the kids to understand by logical deduction. Demonstration rather than translation is very effective.  
4.                              The cards can also be use to find out who has what. For example you can ask: ¿quién tiene la tarjeta con la rana? student with that card can say “yo”. It’s good for practicing how to say “me” in Spanish  which is “yo”
You can also use blank cards for this game and use manipulative to fill the cards instead. See examples below.
Some of the manipulative you can use are: different size and color buttons, counters, foam stickers, stones, etc…. you can even use foam or plastic numbers instead of the card numbers like in the example below. You may need to help your child or students as they count.
These kinds of game help encourage and engage students in speaking the target language.

You can access the blank cards and number cards here for free. 
If you will like to purchase the Fun Counting Cards click here.

Have fun!

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Five fun ideas to reinforce Spanish adjectives

      Adjectives on Stones
Here is a fun way to engage your older students in practicing adjectives.
You can purchase decorative stones or find stones and write the adjectives on them using white paint pens. (I used Sharpie oil based paint) You can get them at office stores for less than $3 (you can use either white or black color paint depending on the color of the stones)
It will help for students to be already familiar with the adjectives before doing the adjectives on stone.  Spanish adjectives flash cards will come in handy for learning and reviewing adjectives. I will provide a link at the end should in case you would like to purchase these adjectives cards.
Once students are more or less familiar with the adjectives the following activities can be done:

1.      Display the adjective stones in the classroom for reference and review.
2.      Have students pick up a stone to describe something or someone.
3.      Allow students to describe their friends by selecting stones to give to them. (you will need extra stones for this)
4.      Students can write on the stone an outstanding quality they like about someone and give that person the stone. (On one side of the stone they can write the person’s name and on the other side write the qualifying adjective of the person. (They could do it as a project for friends and or for family members)
5.      Play a game by selecting more than one qualifying adjectives to describe someone in the classroom. The group tries to guess who the person is. Select a student to describe someone in the classroom and have everyone else guess including the instructor.
These are just some ideas but I’m sure you will come up with some other ideas too! Feel free to share :-)

There is also another activity a came up with to help students practice and identify adjectives. This activity is called “Árbol de Adjectivos”  It’s a freebie on my TpT store.


To access it click here.

To purchase Spanish Adjective Flash Cards click here.

Have fun!

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