Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Learn Spanish with Super Stolie

This is a sponsored post.

I'm always happy to discover new artists who are sharing their love of Spanish with children in fun and educational ways. Music is such a great way to help children learn and retain information and new languages. So today, I'm pleased to introduce you to Super Stolie!

Rebecca Stoelinga, performing under the name Super Stolie, is a musician and performer. For the last 11 years, she's been writing and performing for children. The great thing is that she recently began to offer bilingual shows - ¡Super Stolie Guacamole! - to encourage children to learn more about the Hispanic culture. Her bilingual shows intertwine nursery rhymes to entertain her younger audience with movement activities for the energetic ones. Older kids get to participate through volunteer opportunities.

Her website says that Stolie took "Honors Spanish in high school and revived her Spanish learning in 2015 with an immersion program in Guadalajara, México. She then visited Pacific coastal town, Puerto Vallarta, where she now spends all of the winter months — practicing Spanish, playing music for tourists, booking her summer shows, and avoiding the cold."

Honestly? I'm always a skeptic when I read things like this until I actually hear a person speak Spanish to see if there's any kind of accent.

But after I saw this video, I was sold. How fun is it? You can find it on her Super Stolie 10 album, which also has the "Boca, Boca, Boca" song. You can listen to it using the link above.

Since starting out, Super Stolie has released four albums of original music. This year, Super Stolie will release a bilingual album with more songs like those I mention above, so be on the lookout!

She'll also be offering her original songs as sheet music for young piano and guitar learners, as well as translate her songs into readable book form — in both English and Spanish! 

I love her rhythm and energy. And I like how much time and effort she's put into her music. She performs more than 100 shows each summer across the country, but mostly in Chicago. To find out if she'll be somewhere near you or to print out her show schedule, click here to view her 2018 Tour dates.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Super Stolie. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Canticos on Nick Jr.

I always love it when I find out about bilingual products being featured in mainstream media. Especially if it is for children because I think about all those Latino kids out there who see their culture being reflected back at them and take pride in their heritage.

So I wanted to tell those of you who watch (or whose children watch) Nick Jr., to be on the lookout for Canticos!

Oh. My. Goodness. It is ADORABLE!!! Eeek. I just love these short little music videos that feature animated sing-along nursery rhymes. Los pollitos, Un elefante, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and others. And they are in BOTH English and Spanish.

My favorite is Sol, Solecito. I can't hardly stand it. The cast of characters are so sweet. If you are a fan of Canticos' books, then you will love these videos that teach your kids to count, the days of the week, opposites, and more.

If you have babies or toddlers at home, go watch now!

You'll be happy you did.

You're welcome!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Puerto Rico: La Isla del Encanto - The Island of Enchantment

A few weeks ago, I received an email asking if I'd consider sharing a new book on Puerto Rico. I frequently get emails asking for me to share new books with MM readers. There's a pretty long waiting list. But here's what caught my eye: ALL of the profits are being sent back to the island to help with its recovery. So I agreed.

Puerto Rico: La Isla del Encanto - The Island of Enchantment is a bilingual coloring workbook with 210 black-and-white pages about Puerto Rican history, culture, and traditions. Although the author wrote the book primarily for children of Puerto Rican descent living outside of PR, it can be enjoyed by any child who is a lover of the world and its beauty!

Melissa López Charepoo, the author and illustrator, says...

"As a Puerto Rican, the suffering after the island was struck by two hurricanes touched me deeply. Today, after six months, thousands are still struggling to obtain basic necessities. In the spirit of service, 100% of the profits for the next year will go to small organizations that have empowered themselves to help others in time of need, and it’s the hope that the funds collected will assist in this later stage of recovery."

The workbook covers a LOT of topics, though none of them in depth. She basically provides the introduction and the reader must find out more using their local library or online resources. It's important to note that this book does require a lot of parental (or teacher!) involvement...especially when it comes to monitoring online resources. So this wouldn't be an informational read so much as a starting point for further exploration. Here are some examples:

But I do love that as I flipped through this book, I found names of people and places that I had never heard of before. I don't know their significance yet, as I haven't had time to research them. But I do think that this book would be a great resource for doing an in-depth study of the island of Puerto Rico.

And the other cool thing is that this comes with full text in Spanish and English...and the Spanish comes first!

So if you'd like to contribute to the island's recovery efforts through the purchase of an educational resource, consider this lovely book. You can find it here on Amazon (aff).

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Little Passports is Perfect for Summer Learning

Are you looking ahead to summer and planning activities that will keep your child busy learning while having fun at the same time? Maybe you've been hearing about the dreaded Summer Slide in which students forget key concepts over the course of the summer and you want to prevent it in your own child.

This post contains affiliate links. 

Why not take the time to help your child explore world cultures? Most schools don't even teach this as a subject, but in today's global society, it's critical that our kids learn about other countries, the people that inhabit them, and their respective cultures.

That's why I love Little Passport (aff). We've used three of their four programs and have loved every one. When my children were younger, they would get so excited every time a new package from Little Passports arrived. It was hard to decide, but my son says his favorite program was their World Edition, which comes with all the goodies you see in the image above. The first month's delivery is perfect for building excitement about the program because it comes with the little suitcase in which your child can store all the other goodies and future memorabilia from the various countries they visit. There are maps and stickers, a camera and a passport. and much, much more.

I have written about this program a lot over the years because I think it is absolutely fantastic. It was an important part of my journey to raise global citizens. You can scroll through my posts about Little Passports to read my reviews and the experiences we've had with its programs and decide which one might be a good fit for your little one!

And to sweeten the pot, they have a current deal giving new subscribers a 15% discount. To redeem it, just enter the code BLOOM at checkout. This offer is good through next Monday, May 14th.

Find out more when you visit their website!

Disclosure: I signed up as an affiliate for this program because I believe in it so much. So the links in this article are affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The 2018 L4LL Latino Children's Summer Reading Program

Did you know that May is Bilingual Literacy Month?

So it is with extreme pleasure that I can share that the 2018 L4LL Latino Children's Summer Reading Program is now live!

Five years ago, my business partner Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D. and I launched the first national online summer reading program for Latino families. Our goal was to support literacy among Latino children, who consistently come in last when it comes to literacy.

Our mission has been to raise literacy rates through pedagogically sound, culturally relevant content, and technology is rooted in our belief that all educational and professional achievement, as well as economic empowerment, rests on the mastery of basic reading skills.

The program has changed a lot over the course of these five years as we strived to find the right way to make it accessible to families and educators. And, in fact, Viviana and I stepped back from it for the last year or so as she started a new job and I managed my pregnancy, move to Texas, caring for my mother, and the birth of my baby. But we knew that we had a really great program, and we are happy to say that we think we have found the best way to bring it to bilingual families and educators. All of our reading programs are now available as direct downloads from both our newly updated website and our new TpT store

We have three programs available.

Our free BASIC Summer Reading Program 

This consists of printable resources to help your kids have fun reading in English or Spanish during the summer. It contains:

Our 2018 Summer Reading Lists
• Reading passport
• Reading logs
• Bookmarks
• Postcards
• Pledges
• Certificate of completion

You pick the materials that best suit your family’s/student’s needs.

Each year, we update our Summer Reading Lists to include new titles. You’ll only find Latino children’s literature on our lists as we strive to highlight this small – but important! – genre by Hispanic authors and illustrators. Choose books from our suggested 2018 reading lists of Latino children’s literature, or pick your own. Our program is easy, flexible, and fun!

ALL of the activity pages are available in English and Spanish.

Our Summer Reading CAMP 

This is a 10-week DIY Summer Reading Camp with culturally-based activities to develop reading and writing skills. It is for children ages 6 to 12 years old and includes more than 100 activity sheets designed to boost literacy skills over the summer break, as well as additional tools for educators and students. The program also includes original reading passages and illustrations by Latino children’s authors Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy, René Colato Laínez, and Lulu Delacre.

Each week covers a different theme:

  1. Art/Arte
  2. Family/Familia
  3. Folklore/Folclore
  4. Food/Comida
  5. Immigration & Heritage/Inmigración y herencia
  6. Music/Música
  7. Nature/Naturaleza
  8. Poetry/Poesía
  9. Sports/Deportes
  10. Summer/Verano

You can now buy the individual themes or save 10% when you buy the complete CAMP!

Again, all the activities are available in English and Spanish.

The L4LL Latino Children’s Year-Round Program 

For those of you who really enjoy our Summer Reading CAMP and want to use it during the school year, this extension is for you!

We’ve created three additional themes for educators who would like to use our CAMP during the school year. These three themes are:

  1. Holidays & Traditions/Fiestas y tradiciones
  2. Famous Latinos/Latinos famosos
  3. Seasons/Estaciones

The third theme, Seasons/Estaciones, is meant to replace the Summer/Verano theme in our Summer Reading CAMP.  This then gives you an additional 75 pages and a total of 12 full weeks of materials to complete over the course of the semester or year. You decide your time frame, we supply the base materials.

Like our CAMP, these themes contain culturally-relevant literacy activities to boost your students’ reading and writing skills. You’ll also receive reading suggestions relevant to each theme.

If you want to learn more about what activities are found in each theme, visit our website's shop or our new TpT store!

Oh, and YES! We're participating in TpT's sitewide sale in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, so if you take a look there, you'll find all of our products on sale up to 25%!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Free Download: The Letter "O"

Before I share this month's freebie, I just want to give them a huge shoutout to Spanish for You! They have been a MommyMaestra sponsor for several years now and each month they provide free downloads for MM readers who are Spanish learners or teachers. Their free downloads remain extremely popular and if you are one of the people who downloads their materials and like them, then I want to encourage you to consider visiting their website and purchasing their actual program.

You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a huge program that you aren't sure you'll use. Instead, they offer packets with different themes that are manageable for educators and parents to use with their middle schoolers. It's fabulous and well worth the time and money you spend to help your young Spanish learners.

If you've been following along with our monthly free downloads, then you know that Spanish for You! has been focusing on the Spanish vowels, and today's easy mini-lesson focuses on the letter "O."

It is a 3-page mini-lesson to help Spanish learners use and pronounce the letter "O." The file comes with an introductory page that is to be used with the audio file to learn how to pronounce the letter O as it is used in words and sentences. There is also a worksheet and a board game. As I mentioned, there is also an audio file to help you learn proper pronunciation.

And if you are looking for books about the Spanish vowels, check out last month's post!

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!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Teacher Appreciation TpT Sitewide Sale May 8 - 9

You've worked hard this year. And you deserve something special for your dedication and commitment to teaching.

All of us over at TpT recognize that fact and want to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week! It doesn't matter what kind of teacher you are: public school, private school, homeschool, librarian, Spanish, ESL, whatever... We appreciate you all!!

I'm joining TpT in observing Teacher Appreciation Week so my ENTIRE TpT store will be on sale Tuesday and Wednesday, including these new items I recently posted:

Yes, I FINALLY bundled my popular 1-page reading passages. This particular bundle is made up of Hispanic holidays. Each one comes with a one-page reading passage on the history of the holiday, followed by a quiz with 7 - 8 questions, and the answer key. And yes, they are ALL available in English and Spanish.

Find it here in my TpT store.

I. Love. This. Packet!

I really do. It's made up of 7 fun activities for kids, all of them with a Mother's Day theme. Most (all?) of them would make great gifts for mom. Just make them in class and send them home.

You can find it here.

And don't forget that there are lots of fun printables for use during the summer, too!

Shark Week starts on July 22nd this year. I actually just finished adding three more activities to this kit and it is super fun. 

NOTE: It is only available in English and the moment, but I'm already working on the translation to Spanish, so if you purchase it, the Spanish will be available soon and I'll be sure to message you so you can download the file for free.

And are you road trippin' this summer? Say "NO" to boring car rides and "WEPA!" to fun bilingual travel games!

Find them here on TpT.

Are you introducing your children to the Magic Tree House series this summer? Or maybe you're reading it in Spanish? Check out my activity pages to accompany the first three books in English or Spanish!

You can either get it with both languages or save money by choosing just one language.

Find them all here.

I've already combed through my wish list on TpT and have moved some of my favorite materials over to my cart in preparation. ;)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

English & Spanish Crossword Puzzles for Kids

Are you stocking up yet on books, crafts, and activities for summer? I'm always looking for materials and ideas to use to keep my kids busy learning and having fun during downtime, but especially during the hot summer months. If you're the same way, then I want to share with you a new book that I received recently!

English & Spanish Crossword Puzzles for Kids (aff link) contains 80 puzzles that will boost your child's vocabulary in English or Spanish (or both!). It's perfect for ELL and Spanish learners alike.

The crossword puzzles cover 40 different topics, such as Family/Familia, Hobbies/Aficiones, Emotions/Emociones, Professions/Profesiones, Time/Tiempo, and many more.

I love the fact that when you open the book, the puzzles with the same topic are on opposite pages, so you can do the English on the left and then complete the Spanish on the right. This makes the book a perfect fit for parents raising bilingual children!

Of course, all of the answers may be found in the back of the book.

While I think this would be a fun way to pass the time during the summer at home, on vacation, or on long car rides (road trips?), it's also a great resource for homeschoolers and bilingual educators. All of the pages are reproducible for teachers, parents, and librarians.

The book is published by Woo! Jr. Kids Activities. If you haven't visited their website, you should! It's got tons of great crafts and printables. :)

To purchase this book, click here to find it on Amazon.

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

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Free Cinco de Mayo Writing Pages

If you are a subscriber to my newsletter. be sure look for the one that just went out. It has these free writing pages for you to use!

If you haven't signed up yet, I hope you'll consider doing so. You can sign up at the bottom of my shop page, or just wait for the pop up when you click on this link.

Cinco de Mayo is just a week away! Are you ready? Are you looking for quick and easy materials to share with your kids or students? Don't forget that MommyMaestra has several excellent downloads available. Learn all about them here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

New from 123 Andrés: La Luna

For my 123 Andrés fans and those with little ones at home, this post is for you!

One of our favorite bilingual artists has released a new album and this one is just perfect for putting your nenes to sleep.

La luna: canciones para soñar (aff link) from 123 Andrés is lovely collection of lullabies, mostly in Spanish. From the opening song, De 1 a 10, your children will be captivated by both the tune and the child singers. (I, of course, love it because even as you put your babies to sleep, you'll be teaching them how to count!) In fact, there are a number of U.S. and Latin American artists who have contributed to this album, including Latin Grammy nominees Mariana Baraj and Sophia.

ALL of the songs are soothing and great for calming down our hyper balls of energy. :) And Andrés does with such creativity! He's has incorporated Latin American rhythms into his songs, including loncomeo (a form of Patagonia Folk Music), candomble (Afro-Brazilian music), huayno (Andean music), and merengue (the genre from Venezuela), to name a few.

There are also original songs mixed with traditional tunes that you probably recognize, such as Un elefante. Take a look...

How sweet is that?

What I might love best about the album, though, is the fact that Andrés and Christina, his partner, took the time prior to creating the songs to poll their followers and find out what words they use to send their little ones to sleep with love. AND THEN they incorporated those messages throughout the album!

I love it. And I think you will, too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bilingual Earth Day Activities for PreK - 1st

This Sunday, we'll be celebrating Earth Day. A wonderful reminder (especially with our current political climate) that we have a responsibility to take care of our planet so that it will take care of us!

And it is never too early to start teaching our kids responsible habits, such as recycling. So I've created and expanded this bilingual packet full of Earth-Day-themed activities.

The picture above is just a peek at the fun printables you'll find. This packet actually contains:

• "Things I do to help the Earth" chore chart
• Tracing worksheet
• Shadow match
• A counting activity
• Vocabulary words
• Notecards
• Recycling craftivity
• puzzle cards

And, yes, they are ALL available in English and Spanish! It's geared for kids in PreK through 1st grade.

You can find it in my TpT store.

Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 16, 2018

6 Children's Books that Feature Latino Poets

A few days ago, I recommended three books of Spanish poetry for children in honor of National Poetry Month. This week, I'm sharing six children's biographies featuring Hispanic poets.

This post contains affiliate links.

by Emma Otheguy

This is the most recently released picture book featuring a Latino poet, and it is a beautiful tribute to the Cuban poet and activist, José Martí. Beautifully written, it is the story of Martí's life, how and why he left Cuba and his subsequent fight for Cuba's independence. With gorgeous illustrations by Beatriz Vidal, the book also includes excerpts from Marti's most famous work, Versos sencillos
Ages 7-12

by Monica Brown

Another remarkable picture book whose illustrations are poetry in and of themselves, Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People is a tribute to the Chilean poet. He, too, was passionate about his country and served as a diplomat and a senator. But he was outspoken about its people and his criticism led to his becoming an activist and, eventually, a fugitive. 
Ages 7-12

by Monica Brown

Another Chilean poet, Gabriela Mistral was a passionate supporter of children's education. In 1945, she became the first Latin American author to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature for her poetry. This book is the lovely story of her life and an inspiration to all who read it.
Ages 7-12

by Pat Mora

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a 17th-century nun, self-taught scholar, and poet.
Her poetry is recited by schoolchildren throughout Mexico and is studied at schools and universities around the world. Here is the story of her life, an incredible one full of knowledge, achievement, and inspiration.
Ages 7-12


by Margarita Engle

For tweens and teens, this book is a close look at the life of Cuban poet, Juan Francisco Manzano. Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty. Powerful, haunting poems and breathtaking illustrations create a portrait of a life in which even the pain of slavery could not extinguish the capacity for hope.
Ages 12-18

by Margarita Engle

Opposing slavery in Cuba in the nineteenth century was dangerous. The most daring abolitionists were poets who veiled their work in metaphor. Of these, the boldest was Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, nicknamed Tula. In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.
Ages 12-15

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