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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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Have Fun!