Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Risas y Sonrisas Online Program {GIVEAWAY}

Long time MommyMaestra sponsor, Risas y Sonrisas, has one of the best elementary Spanish curricula available for schools and homeschools alike. You can read more about their K - 5 program here

Did you know, however, that they just launched an online program? It is designed with kids in mind - full of color, music, and more.

Once you log in, you're taken to your dashboard which features 25 different options from which you can select. Each category has a variety of activities that you can enjoy. From a video lesson to animated songs and matching flash cards, all of the options are meant to help your child learn and remember new vocabulary. The games are engaging and super fun for kids.

Here's a peek at some of the pages and activities included in the program:

The Giveaway

Risas y Sonrisas has graciously offered to giveaway a single user annual license to 5 (FIVE!) MommyMaestra readers.

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mozartistic CD {GIVEAWAY}

I love it when people take educational concepts and transform them in order present the information to kids in a way that makes learning fun. I have to give the creators a slow clap of appreciation.

And today's giveaway falls into this category.

Mozartistic is a new CD from 2017 Grammy winner Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, who recorded with the highly respected pianist Orion Weiss, DJ Marley Carroll, and the entire cast of Asheville Symphony.

This CD is so unique! It breaks new ground in blending symphonic music with hip hop technique, combining the rich and deep strains of classical with the boom bap drums of classic hip hop. Says 23 Skidoo “By combining Mozart’s music and the story of his youth with hip hop we hope to reach new ears with the timeless message that talent can be awakened and its gifts of beauty and love shared with the world.”

The title track is a lush and funky take on the story of young Wolfgang. As a child prodigy, Mozart toured across Europe with his sister and father, not only performing for the locals but often besting them in improvisational competitions as well. This became the creative window into this unique song. A high energy, raucous reframing of Mozart’s most famous works in hip hop format provides the backbeat for rhymes telling his story, relating it to an audience of kids who may themselves be dormant prodigies. You and/or your children may recognize some of Mozart's most famous pieces embedded in the music and merged with the hip hop beats.

The Mozartistic EP debuted as part of the Asheville Amadeus Festival, an Asheville community-wide music event celebrating the music and life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Asheville Symphony’s Executive Director, David Whitehill said “The Mozartistic album provided us each with the opportunity to create something really unique and dive into each other’s worlds of classical music, hip-hop and children’s music. The album is also an opportunity to tell Mozart’s story and share this wonderful message for kids that everyone has their own inner prodigy and we all have something special inside of us.”

Check out this behind-the-scenes peek of the making of Mozartistic:

MOZARTISTIC is available on both iTunes and Amazon (aff).

The Giveaway

I'm happy to have the opportunity to giveaway a copy of the CD to two MommyMaestra readers!

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 11, 2017

Spanish Mini Books by Lectura para niños {GIVEAWAY}

Today's giveaway comes from one of my favorite Spanish immersion resources, Lectura para niños. If you've followed MommyMaestra for a while, then you may remember many of the free downloads that they've shared on the site. Their focus is on creating educational printables for students in PreK through 2nd grade, mostly materials for learning to read in Spanish, like this set of mini books.

They are aligned with the same letter of the week and site words as the Maravillas Reading series. You can read more about this series on the McGraw Hill website, or order books directly from Amazon using this search...

Leah, the owner, says...

"I created these little books to work on during small groups. Students will reinforce the beginning sounds, syllables & automaticity with their sight words taught throughout the week. They will also practice segmenting words into syllables as well as blend syllables to form words.

To use them, print enough books for one group. Then laminate and bind them together.

One teacher or assistant will go through this book with the students at the pacing of the students in your group. My more advanced group will be able to get through more pages than the others. I will also be using this during my intervention time with my students who need extra time.

My small group reading happens for 45 minutes. My students are required to switch between myself and two assistants. We rotate groups every 15 minutes. One of my assistants will work on this with my kiddos.

My materials are in no way associated with or endorsed by McGraw Hill - Maravillas reading series. I have created these small books to complement the program and our small reading groups.

How to play the board games:

1. Practice reading around the board, tracking and following the letters and words. We do this a lot before we start playing the game. These game boards really help students with tracking and staying together. The colors help, as well. If the student loses their place, the colors help when I say, "We are on the word yo. The color is red," etc.

2. Roll the die (In the beginning, I use a die that only has 1, 2, & 3 on the die because there aren't that many spaces. We roll the die, move that many spaces. The student needs to say the letter or word or they have to return to their prior space. The first person to make it to the end of the board wins.

The Giveaway

Lectura para niños has graciously offered a free set of these mini books to 3 MommyMaestra readers!

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Guía para padres y maestros de niños bilingües {GIVEAWAY}

I know that many MommyMaestra readers are raising bilingual children or are bilingual ed teachers. As such, this next giveaway is something I think you will very much enjoy. Even if this description doesn't apply to you, it's quite possible that you know someone who would benefit.

It's no secret that I greatly respect the work of authors Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. They have contributed a tremendous amount of materials to bilingual and bicultural education in this country. Not only books, but videos, curricula, and other materials. And at the center of their work is always the needs of Hispanic families, especially the children.

Once again, they have created an invaluable resource, this time in Spanish. Guía para padres y maestros de niños bilingües (aff link*) offers parents raising bilingual children both hope and guidance. (It's actually a second edition.) They give realistic descriptions of the joys and challenges associated with teaching bilingual children.

Most of the book is laid out in a Q & A format, and they do provide answers to some of the most common questions related to this topic. You'll find information about
  • bilingualism in the digital era
  • up-to-date research on the mixing of languages or code-switching
  • the influence that siblings have on the family language
  • the intellectual benefits of bilingualism
  • and the effect it has on a child's personality, identity, and self-esteem.
While the majority of the book is directed at parents, the authors have also included a section for educators on how to best support the home-school connection.

And one of my favorite topics, nurturing literacy at home and reading suggestions for adults and children. 

This is not light reading material. It is very informational and a comprehensive resource for parents who are serious about raising bilingual children. 

The Giveaway

Multilingual Matters, the publisher, has generously offered a copy of this book to three MommyMaestra readers!

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 7, 2017

Spanish for You! GIVEAWAY & Free Download

It's week two of my annual Back-to-School Fiesta!

Today's giveaway and free download comes from MommyMaestra sponsor, Spanish for You!

First, the free download.

For the rest of the year, the freebies from Spanish for You! will focus on numbers. This month's 3-page mini-lesson will help your little one learn their numbers in the 20s, as well as how to spell them. It comes with an audio file to help young students learn proper pronunciation. The activity includes directions, memory cards, and a game sheet.


Spanish for You! has generously offered a homeschool package of your choice to one MommyMaestra reader. Retail value $39.95 and includes 24-30 weeks of lessons per themed package. Take a look at the choices here.

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember! Spanish for You!'s program is geared for middle schoolers and is the perfect choice for homeschoolers and afterschoolers alike because their concepts are carefully divided up into manageable bundles that are available for immediate download from their website.

If this is your first time here, you can find other free samples from Spanish for You! here. There are some fantastic downloads of games and activities for you and your family to enjoy. If you enjoy this activity, be sure to visit the Spanish for You! website where you'll find tons of additional resources for you to help your young Spanish learner!

Friday, August 4, 2017

BILINGUAL One-Minute Mysteries: MATH! {GIVEAWAY}

Last year, I told you about One-Minute Mysteries, a new bilingual book series that was perfect for nurturing your kid's love of science.

This year, I'm excited to share that a second book has been released focusing on MATH! Just in time for going back to school. :)

Short Mysteries You Solve with Math!/¡Misterios cortos que resuelves con matemáticas! (aff) is an award-winning book for young mystery and math lovers. Each mystery takes exactly one minute to read and includes real-world connections to help develop your student's critical thinking skills.

Inside this book, you'll find 40 different brain teasers that require your child to use their math skills to find the solutions. PLUS a bonus science section at the end.

And the best part is that all of them are in English and Spanish, so you can choose which language you want to read. On the left page, you'll read an English one-page mystery, and on the right page, the same mystery is available in Spanish. Once you think you've solved the brain teaser, just turn the page to read the answer and see if you were right!

And before you ask, yes, the Spanish is well done. Last time, I couldn't find any information on the translators, but this time, when I went to their website, I found that two translators were used for the book. The first, Yana Alfaro, is from Costa Rica with a Masters in English-Spanish Translation. And the second, Karen R. Geating, is a language services consultant born and raised in Puerto Rico.

Bonus for public/private school teachers: All Science, Naturally books align with both the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. And the content in these books also correlates directly with the math and science standards laid out by the Center for Education at the National Academies.

Bilingual materials are still really hard to find, which makes this book is a treasure for homeschooling parents who are looking for ways to make learning fun, while nurturing their child's bilingualism. Dual language teachers will also enjoy using this book as a fun time filler with their classes.

It is best suited for children ages 10 - 14.

So if you are looking for a fun way to keep your kids' science skills sharp, this book is for you! Visit the publisher - Science Naturally - website to learn more about it, read some sample mysteries from the book, and place your order.

The Giveaway

Science, Naturally has graciously offered to give away a copy of this excellent book to 3 MommyMaestra readers!

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Vocales Video GIVEAWAY

Next on my annual Back-to-School Fiesta is a giveaway of a really popular product that I shared with you earlier this year. 

"Spanish for Babies and Toddlers: Vocales" is an animated video to help young children learn the proper sounds of the vowels in Spanish. It was created by José Dominguez, a physical therapist who is raising his four kids in a bilingual home. He is originally from Venezuela and his wife is from Pennsylvania. But he noticed that his kids were struggling with learning the pronunciation of Spanish words.

If you live in a bilingual household where one parent speaks Spanish and the other speaks English and you find that your children or students are pronouncing their Spanish vowels with an English accent, then this may be just the video you need! 

Technically, it was created for children ages 0 - 5, but older students in K - 2nd might benefit as well. The video makes learning the vowel sounds fun through colorful characters, original songs, and repetition.

Watch a sample of the video and read more about José's story on my previous post.

I highly recommend this for bilingual or Spanish-immersion Pre-K - 2nd grade classes, including homeschools.

The Giveaway

José has graciously offered to give away a copy of his DVD to 3 MommyMaestra readers! (But of course, if you want to be sure you get it, you can buy a DVD or direct download directly from his website.)

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Latino Family's Guide to Homeschooling {GIVEAWAY}

It is officially August 1st and that means my annual MommyMaestra Back-to-School Fiesta begins!

I'm over the moon to finally - FINALLY! - announce the launch of my book, The Latino Family's Guide to Homeschooling!!

I didn't realize it at the time, of course, but this book has been 8 years in the making. I began writing it when I started this blog. But I didn't realize that I had the content for a book until early this year with the entrance of our country's new administration. Suddenly, I began receiving emails from parents who were scared to send their kids to school and wanted to know how they could start homeschooling. It's all here on MommyMaestra. But I know that it can be hard to navigate through 8 year's worth of content. And if you are like me, you like a physical book that is laid out in an orderly fashion that you can just pick up and reference, write notes in, and take with you.

Really, homeschooling has been around forever. Currently, however, it is considered the fastest-growing form of education in the United States. It is estimated that there are currently more than 2 million children being homeschooled in the United States. And it is quickly growing in popularity among minority families. In fact, according to this article, Hispanics now comprise 15% of the homeschooling population and that number is expected to double.

At any rate, it was reading about how recent ICE raids and an increase in bullying were scaring Latino parents into keeping their children out of school that finally prompted me to put together this guide. And for the last 6 months, I've been compiling and editing and asking permission and pleading with other Latino homeschoolers to share their own stories. Then there was the issue of formatting and the cover and...ay-yay-yay! You get the picture.

Plus I chose to self-publish because I felt it was the fastest way to get this book into your hands.

It's like giving birth to a home. By yourself. Ha!

And I'm so happy to announce that The Latino Family's Guide to Homeschooling (aff) is now available!

Whatever your reason for considering homeschooling (i.e., wanting to nurture your child's bilingualism at home, unhappy with the level of educational opportunities in your area, a mobile/travel lifestyle, fear for their safety...), this book was designed to help you get started and provides resources for those of you who are already on the journey.

Inside this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn the following:

  • what is homeschooling?
  • how to get started 
  • bilingual homeschooling
  • homeschooling children with special needs or learning differences
  • preschool & kindergarten
  • homeschooling older children
  • preparing for college

You’ll also read the stories of other successful homeschoolers, most from a variety of Hispanic or bilingual backgrounds. Learn about how and why they began homeschooling, and read their advice for teaching at home. I am SO grateful to all the wonderful parents and professionals who have shared their tips, knowledge, and stories with MommyMaestra readers over the years. Every single one that I contacted about sharing their story in this book quickly agreed, and a few even wrote a piece specifically for this book to help me make it complete.

In these pages, you’ll read about the homeschool experiences of families that represent the diversity of the Latino culture. A veteran Cuban-American mom homeschooled her four children long before homeschooling was considered commonplace, and despite negative reactions from family and friends. A Spanish-American mom decided her autistic child wasn’t getting the support and education he needed from his public school, so she took the chance to homeschool him and couldn’t be happier. And a Chilean-American mom shares five tips that may help you arrive at your final decision as you consider this option for your family. These and many other homeschooling mamis share their stories to encourage other families who may be considering educating their children at home.

Filled with resources and tips for finding great curricula, as well as advice for daily learning, this book is a must-have for every Latino family considering homeschooling.

The Giveaway

Of course, if you can't wait or want a guarantee to get a copy, you can purchase this book directly from my shop or on Amazon (aff). 

But I am celebrating by giving away a copy to three MommyMaestra readers as part of my Back-to-School Fiesta. 

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 31, 2017

Little Passports' 2017 Back-to-School Sale

August 1st is TOMORROW and that means that it is the END of SUMMER for my familia! Time to hit the books. And you know what else that means, right?

It's time for MommyMaestra's annual Back-to-School Fiesta!

Throughout the month of August, I'll be sharing some excellent resources, freebies, and giveaways from remarkable companies to help your family prepare to go back to school. From videos to Spanish programs to books and CDs, you'll find a little bit of everything for educators. :)

But before we get started with that, I want to make sure that you know about Little Passports' Back-to-School Sale (aff link).

Shop 4 days early and save 15% on all subscriptions from 7/31 until 8/14 with promo code: BTS15. 

Little Passports is one of my kids' FAVORITE subscription packages. When they were younger, they enjoyed the World Edition and the USA Edition (read my previous post describing them). I loved both because they really helped me supplement our geography lessons in a super fun way. (In fact, I love this company so much, I signed up as an affiliate because I know that your kids will love it, too.)

Most recently, we've had a ton of fun with their Science Expeditions - read my post from earlier this year to see examples of what they include and how my son enjoyed it.

If you're looking for a way to insert some educational FUN into your school lessons and get away from boring, repetitive textbooks, this is a wonderful product to invest in and worth EVERY PENNY!

So take advantage of their Back-to-School Sale now (aff)!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Celebrating Shark Week with National Geographic Kids (& Free Download)

I have to admit a secret: I'm not a fan of sharks. I never have been ever since I saw a few scenes of JAWS as a kid. And here I am a former zookeeper! Isn't that silly? Logical Me knows that what I saw on the show was a bunch of bunk, but the Illogical Me is all "Ummm. No way."

But luckily Logical Me is careful not to pass on my fear to my kids. We don't live too far from the Outer Banks here in North Carolina. And, yes, we go to the beach. (No, I don't get in the water...but my kids do. And you can bet your bippy I'm watching from the shore like una loca.)

We have books on sharks and watch occasional documentaries on sharks. My son is fascinated. So you can imagine how excited he was to get the newest National Geographic Kids 2018 Almanac (aff), which happens to feature a shark on the cover.

And on the inside, there is a new Almanac Newsmaker Challenge to save our sharks. Led by National Geographic explorer and marine conservationist, Jessica Camp, the challenge teaches kids all about sharks. And if your kids visit, they'll find

  • an interview with Jessica
  • a shark quiz and earn a SOS certificate
  • the "What kind of shark are you?" personality game
  • shark mask and poster downloads
  • a poll to select the shark photo to appear on next year's almanac
  • more stuff your kids can do to help save sharks

These Nat Geo Kids almanacs are one of my kids' favorite gifts each year. I try to keep them in the car to keep my kids busy reading on long (or short!) car rides.The "bite-sized" (see what I did there?) stories are just right for a quick, 10-minute ride, or can entertain my two for much longer trips. Of course, whoever is reading is constantly reading aloud interesting tidbits for everyone in the car to enjoy. But really, my son will take it and read it anywhere: at home, outside, at the library, at the doctor's office...wherever. It makes me happy to know they are enjoying their time reading while maintaining and developing important literacy skills.

Of course, the Almanac isn't just about sharks. Oh, no. It has more than 350 pages and 500+ incredible photos about EVERYTHING you can imagine - and some things you can't! New this year is the Your World 2018 chapter that shares things to do, places to see, and ways that your kids can change the world.

You'll also find:

  • games, jokes, and activities
  • chapters dedicated to engineering and technology, space, and Earth & life sciences
  • updated maps, facts, and reference materials
  • much, much more!
And don't forget that your kids can find extensive digital extras at

And because I simply can't help myself, I decided to put together a quick, one-page, shark-themed download for y'all. But guess what? It grew into a 20-page packet. Oops! But I had a lot of fun doing it. So, in honor of Shark Week, I'm offering it to all MommyMaestra readers for FREE THIS WEEK ONLY. And it is only available in English at this time. Don't worry, it's on my list of projects to translate into Spanish. 

Enjoy Shark Week!!

Disclaimer: I am a National Geographic Kids Ambassador. I received the products pictured at the top of this post for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Free Spanish eBook for K - 5th

Spanish teacher alert!

Parents and teachers of bilingual students, I'm so happy to tell you about a new free resource! This collaboration between 18 Spanish-language TpT authors is a goldmine for you. All of them are fantastic and brilliant at creating quality content for your bilingual or Spanish classroom. I was happy to contribute to it, as well.

The Spanish eBook 2017 for grades K - 5 is now available. It is jam packed with tips, inspiration, and FREE RESOURCES for your Pre K-5th Grade Spanish classroom! Each author contributed a free printable, an original teaching tip, and other fantastic products that they have available to help you have a stellar school year. Take a look...


Mundo de Pepita is hosting this year's eBook on her TpT page. So don't hesitate! Get over there and download your copy today.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Resources for Teaching Children About the Great American Eclipse

It seems as if the whole country is preparing for the celestial event happening on August 21st. Is your family or classroom thinking about observing the upcoming solar eclipse? It's being described as the "Great American Eclipse" since it will be visible in totality only within a band across the entire contiguous United States. Everyone in the country will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, but only those within the path of totality will see the full eclipse.

This is a wonderful opportunity for children across the country to learn about eclipses and especially about the sun and its corona. If you are looking for resources to help you teach your students or children about this event, I've compiled a list of some excellent sites and tools that you can use.


This post contains affiliate links.

Lesson Plans

  • NASA Total Eclipse website - This is seriously my favorite resource! From activities to lesson plans to citizen science, NASA has compiled EVERYTHING you need to study and prepare for not only the Great American Eclipse but any eclipse. You can even live stream the event safely from your computer - so if you aren't in the path of totality, you can still view the complete solar eclipse.
    They also have a section created specifically for HOMESCHOOLERS with family activities and free downloads.
    AND the best part is that they have a whole section available in Spanish, including a video interview with Dr. Yari Collado-Vega, a Space Weather Forecaster. (You can learn more about her here.)
  • PBS Learning Media has also put together a bunch of resources for educators and students to learn about eclipses. This page is a compilation of materials you can use to accompany their Teacher Toolkit.
  • BrainPOP Educators - A short list of their eclipse resources.



Remember! NEVER look at the sun directly - even during an eclipse! Use solar eclipse viewing glasses to protect your eyes. Here are some possible glasses available via Amazon. But remember to order them soon as there is no guarantee there will be any available in the weeks leading up to the eclipse!



  • Total Solar Eclipse - Available for iOS and Android; Gives you access to five simultaneous video streams, including live coverage in Spanish hosted by Exploratorium educators.

Commemorative T-shirts

Are you planning to watch the eclipse as a family? Or maybe your classroom is headed outside to watch. Either way, check out these awesome tees...

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