Friday, April 19, 2019

Guatemalan Alfombras During Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Today, I'm delighted to share this post written by Shannon Alvarez, who is living in Guatemala with her family and agreed to write up what she observed about Guatemalan alfombras during Semana Santa. Thank you, Shannon!

Hola A Todos!

Our family has now been living in Guatemala for the past eight months! We live about 15 minutes outside the city of Antigua. What a beautiful country Guatemala is!

After many years of watching from afar, we were finally able to be here during the Easter/Holy Week season. Every weekend in Antigua, there are processions and alfombras (carpets) made during the month preceding Easter.

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa


Here's a link to the churches and convents of Antigua, Guatemala.

And here's a link to see the live route and more information.

There are local families, art schools, and other organizations who create their alfombras in Antigua.  The tourist season is very high and the traffic is crazy! We were happy to stay home and watch the local procession from our rooftop. Many of the little towns have set days when their church does the processions through their town.

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

The alfombras cover the streets - a beautiful display of art! The alfombras are all unique and designed by the families displaying them. There is no set area assigned, but many people make theirs outside their house.  Some are made of grass, flowers, vegetables, and/or fruit. Some are made of sawdust (serrín). The serrín is bought in its natural color and then each family dyes it to the colors they want for their design. Many use natural methods for dyeing, using fruits, herbs, etc.

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Stencils are made for the designs you want to create with your sawdust.  Depending on the complexity of the design made, some families begin their alfombras around 3 to 4 am. The procession in our area began at 10am outside the Catholic Church, where there gathered a large group of the town who attend that church. There are two platforms/floats in this particular church’s procession.

Each year, the decorations and forms change. Urban areas may have more extravagant decorations, while the smaller towns tend to be more simple. The larger floats may be so large they require over 100 people to carry them. The ones in our town require around 60 people to carry them, with people taking turns as they pass through the streets. Men carried the float with Jesus and the cross, while the women carried a float with the Virgin Mary. The men wear purple and white gowns to symbolize the royalty and purity of Jesus.

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

The procession begins at the church when the people carry the floats through the main streets of the town, and hours later, return back to the church,  The people walk surrounding the floats, singing, praying, some carrying incense. There are musicians who follow behind as well. Everyone walks over the alfombras!

Once the procession has passed by, the alfombras are swept up and thrown away. It was very sad to see all that hard work gone within such a short amount of time. The procession returned to the church around 3:00 and by 3:30, there was little sign of the alfombras on any of the streets! A fleeting work of art!

Guatemalan Alfombras during Semana Santa

I learned other interesting bits of information from talking with a local friend. Cascarones are made here, but only used on the Tuesday of Carnival. During this time of year, families will eat a cabbage salad called curtido, which is made purple from the ingredients in it. This is also the only time of year when people will eat empanadas. They can be found other times of the year, but the majority of people will only eat them during the Semana Santa season.

This is a very special time for families here as they spend time together and reflect on their faith and lives going forward in the year. We are so blessed to be able to witness the beauty of the culture around us!


If you'd like to see video of the procession, check out the one Shannon took. The video is rough between :10 and 1:15 (probably due to internet connection during upload), but the video portions before and after that are clear.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Free Kindle Books from Amazon


Did you know that Amazon is celebrating World Book Day by giving away free books on Kindle?

As summer (and thus summer reading!) approaches, parents, please remember to model good reading habits for your children. If you're looking for some good reads... read on! And maybe if you have a teen who is looking ahead to summer reading, you'll be interested in this collection of nine FREE titles from authors around the world that are featured on Amazon.

The countries represented include:

  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • Argentina
  • Japan
  • Norway
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Israel
  • Sweden
Click here to visit the site and read more about each book. (aff) But you'll have to hurry to access these free titles because the offer is only good for a week.

Or to explore more books that feature other countries, check out Amazon Crossing, whose mission is to connect readers across cultures with books from around the world.

As a parent raising global citizens, I love, love, love it! And I want to read some of these myself!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

MommyMaestra Newsletter

Are you subscribed to the MommyMaestra newsletter? Because if not, you're missing out on free downloads! As a way of saying thank you to my followers, I occasionally create fun printables that are available for free only through my bi-monthly newsletter.



My latest issue, which goes out Wednesday morning, shares a set of bilingual Easter-themed writing papers for free. Just decide on a topic to give your kids or students, print, and go!

You'll also find out about new and updated products, as well as sales, coupons and timely resources. I know how hard it is to stay on top of my online reading, so the newsletter is a way for you to catch up on anything you don't want to miss!

As always, I promise not to sell or share your personal information with ANYONE.

You can sign up here.

Happy Easter!

National Geographic's Climate Hub


With Earth Day coming up on Monday, now's a great time to explore different resources available for discussing climate change and the importance of taking care of our planet.

I really love this slide show from National Geographic's Climate Hub. It does a great job of focusing on just the facts and presents them in a simple, clear format. The slides have a few graphics to help visual learners, as well as clean charts to help the reader understand the numbers being presented.



And it isn't all doom and gloom. It does end with a positive message on how we can make a difference.

Overall, I think this slide show is a perfect jumping off point for students in 5th grade and up (as well as adults!). The facts are presented and the kids can continue researching on their own.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Earth Month on PBS KIDS Starts TODAY



PBS KIDS has a whole new set of episodes that celebrate Earth Month that will begin airing TODAY!

Any Wild Kratts lovers out there in MommyMaestra readerville? I have two here at my house. So they've been ticking down the days ever since they heard that WILD KRATTS, NATURE CAT, and READY JET GO! will all be airing new episodes this week.

And, of course, we are especially excited that Wild Kratts will be featuring flamingos in their episode today. In fact, they filmed part of this episode at the bird park where my husband worked before we moved back to Texas. So cool!

It's also exciting that there will be the first-ever crossover episode of NATURE CAT that includes a guest appearance from Chris and Martin Kratt of WILD KRATTS.

The awesome thing about these episodes is that they inspire kids to go outside, explore, and have their own nature adventures.

So don't miss out! If you have little ones who are PBS fans, be sure to watch your favorite shows all this week!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Free Download: Bilingual Easter Counting Mats


I was unpacking a box the other day and found a collection of miniature Easter-themed decorations that my kids used one year when they decorated a shoebox float. So I started thinking about how I could use them next year with my toddler (who is just a little bit too young to play with them this year), and - Bing! - I came up with several ideas.

This one was too good not to share.

So I sat down at my computer and pulled up my Easter-themed clipart and quickly put together these counting mats for children learning to count from one to five. So much fun, they can easily be used with ANY small objects...decorations, buttons, beans, etc. **IMPORTANT! Be careful with little objects that can be choking hazards if your child is prone to putting things in his or her mouth. Use only with supervision!



I think that I will probably laminate mine next year so that I can use them as an activity to keep my child busy while I am cooking dinner or doing school with my older son.

But if you didn't want to do that, then they would be more versatile because you could also use Easter-themed stickers or just let your child draw shapes, eggs, or whatever they want!


I hope you enjoy this free set of counting mats to use with your own toddlers or preschoolers!


And don't forget that I have several other popular downloads related to Easter, such as this one for preschoolers...


These fun activities for K-2nd:




This set of coloring pages on the history of cascarones for elementary school students (most popular!):


And this one-page reading passage for older students:



ALL of them may be found here in my TpT store.

Enjoy!






Monday, April 8, 2019

Free Download: Spanish Verbs Easter Egg Activity



Easter is just a few weeks away, my friends! So today's Spanish download from MommyMaestra sponsor, Spanish for You! comes at just the right time. If you are looking for an Easter-themed activity to incorporate into your Spanish lessons, this may be just the one you need!

The Spanish Verbs Easter Egg Activity is designed to help students practice verb conjugations. 

The four-page download includes one page of directions and three different charts for subject/verb stems and endings. There's no audio file with this particular activity because there's really no need for one.


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!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The 2019 3M Young Scientist Challenge

The 2019 3M Young Scientist Challenge


The 2019 3M Young Scientist Challenge is now accepting entries!

Created for students in Grades 5 – 8, this challenge is designed to help nurture and reward a child's interest in STEM during the time when most young students begin to lose interest.

To enter, students should review the six entry topics presented at the Website, then identify a solution to an everyday problem that aligns with one of the six entry topics and that directly impacts them, their families, their communities, and/or the global population.

For example, the 2017 winner, Gitanjali Rao, created a sensor-based device to detect lead in water faster than other current techniques. (Think Flint, Michigan water crisis!)


Then your child must create a video based on his/her own original idea that addresses the challenge outlined in the contest entry information. The contents of the video are up to your child, but it may contain your child's likeness, image, voice or other identifiable features.

Students are competing for a Grand Prize of $25,000 plus a 3M mentorship.

But you must hurry because the Challenge closes on May 7th.

For information on the other prizes to be awarded and the complete details of the Contest, please see the Official Rules and entry form for the Contest or visit www.youngscientistlab.com.

 

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Empowered Community College Student



For several years now, I've been hearing experts recommend that to make college affordable for everyone, the most sensible choice is for high school grads to concentrate on a local community college to knock out their basic requirements before transferring to a 4-year university to pursue their degrees. Doing so, they say, saves you tons of money. 

But what do you do when you complete your first two years and are ready to transfer? What happens if you find out that you didn't take the right courses? How do you ask for letters of recommendation?

Enter the Community College Lady.

Before you even enroll in community college, check out this new eBook to help you navigate your way through the system. Inside you'll find information on how to:
  • Create a transfer plan by choosing the right classes that count for transfer.
  • Revise personal statements and essays.
  • Take advantage of dramatic changes to statewide placement test policy standards to enroll directly into transfer-level classes, which are not guaranteed.
  • Time management to stay on the transfer plan.
  • On-and-off campus resources for success.
  • Much more!
So if you know a college-bound high schooler, share this book with them and their family. It might save them time, money, and even hardship.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Taíno Exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian


Photo by Mark Raymond Harrington, 1919. National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. (N01404)

If you are in the New York area - or plan to be sometime before October - be sure to check out this temporary exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian. Taíno: Native Identity and Heritage in the Caribbean presents a more complete history of the Taíno people by looking at their culture and movements after the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

The exhibit is a collaboration between the NMAI and the Smithsonian Latino Center. Over the past thirty years, a diverse Taíno movement has taken form. This movement challenges the prevalent belief that Native peoples became extinct shortly after European colonization in the Greater Antilles. It is spurring a regeneration of Indigenous identity within the racially mixed and culturally blended societies of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, as well as other areas of the Caribbean.

The picture above is of the Barrientos family. The family was formed by a Spanish ex-soldier and an Indigenous woman from Baracoa, Cuba, more than 400 years after Spanish colonization.

I have a lot of MM readers who identify or are familiar with the Taíno people. Here's a wonderful way to introduce and explore the people and their culture with your children and students.

The exhibit runs through October 1st, 2019.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Las Adelitas for Kids & Young Adults



Las Adelitas for Kids


Are you looking for information on las Adelitas to share with your children or students? If so, MommyMaestra has you covered with several resources for different ages.

4th through 8th Grades:


Today is the last day of Women's History Month, so I created this one-page reading passage with a brief history of las Adelitas.

Mexico's soldaderas played a crucial role in the Mexican Revolution. They were the military women who cared for or fought alongside their male family members and sweethearts. Some were camp followers who helped feed, clothe, or care for the sick. Others fought valiantly in their respective militias. And they could be found in each of the groups, or armies, battling for control

But their story has been largely ignored by history. We've had to rely on family histories and even corridos to learn about them. But word-of-mouth is powerful and the image of Adelita has persisted and spread. It's even featured in a children's picture book by the popular children's author and illustrator, Tomie dePaola. Titled “Adelita,” it is the Mexican version of the Cinderella story and tells the tale of a young woman fighting for her future.



My one-page reading passage (shown at the top of this post) comes with an 8-question reading comprehension quiz and answer key. As with all of my one pages, the file includes both the English and Spanish versions.

To extend the learning, you can pair it with this excellent video from PBS about las Adelitas. You might watch it in class and use the reading passage as a history center or homework.



High School & College:


• Here is an excellent article on Medium about the Revolution and the Adelita's role in it. The article is packed with great information and has beautiful photos. How the Women “Adelitas” Helped Win the Mexican Revolution of 1910: Women played an essential role in Mexico’s cultural shift towards economic and racial equality during the early 20th century


• For a more in-depth study, check out this article (thesis?) in the McNair Scholars Journal from Grand Valley State University:: From Soldadera to Adelita: The Depiction of Women in the Mexican Revolution.



Enjoy!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Purposeful Talk Anchor Charts in English & Spanish



A little over a week ago, I had someone write and ask me if I had any Purposeful Talk anchor charts available. I didn't, so I tried to find her some online. But I couldn't find any with the Spanish version. So after doing a bit of research, I made these.

The struggle I had, though, came when I was putting the Spanish version together because after talking with several teacher friends and asking in a group, I realized that different districts use different terminology for "Purposeful Talk." Some were more laid back with "Una charla intencionada," while others used a more formal "Conversaciones académicas."

In the end, I went middle of the road with "Hablar con intención," but if you are a teacher who uses one of the other phrases (or something completely different), just drop me an email and I'll be happy to change the titles for you to reflect the language you use in your classroom.

I also had to create my own acronym for the Spanish version since S.L.A.N.T. didn't translate the same. :)

You can find these new posters/anchor charts in my TpT store.

And while we are on the subject, I want to remind you that if there is a particular printable that you'd like to see created or are looking to use with your students, but you can't find what you are looking for, don't hesitate to email me. I'm always open to suggestions and happy to create something just for you.

Happy Monday!

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