Thursday, August 13, 2020

Act It Out Shakespeare

Today, I have the pleasure of a special feature. 

There's no giveaway associated with this because the creator is using the profits from her sales to pay for her ballet class. She's 12 years old. 

Julie Cerdas is the writer at the site, Nurturing Learning. Her family homeschools. A few years ago, while studying King Lear with another family, they tried to find paper puppets to supplement their lessons and make it a little more interactive for the kids. But they couldn't find any. Her daughter was inspired to create her own, and then, Act It Out Shakespeare was born. 

Her daughter has created a set for Shakespeare's The Tempest. But she didn't stop with just puppets. She also adapted the play to include only the characters for which there are puppets, but still presents the complete story arc of the play. So in all, her digital set comes ready for download with 11 puppets to cut out and glue to popsicle sticks (if desired), a play, and a list of characters per scene so you can easily assign roles without going through the entire play.

She's also created a set for A Midsummer’s Night Dream and is working on Much Ado About Nothing. I love that she's made the former available in different versions: full-color or outlines to allow children to color their own should they so choose. 

Children are amazing. Their creativity knows no limits. And parents who nurture not only their child's creativity but their entrepreneurial spirit deserve praise. 

So if you are studying Shakespeare in your home or school classroom and would like to buy a set, visit their online shop

Well done, young one!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Spanish Alphabet Books for PreK & Kindergarten

So many families raising young bilingual children are searching for resources right now to help their preschoolers and kindergartners learn to read in Spanish.

We are lucky to have Spanglish Schoolhouse participating in this year's Back-to-School Fiesta! They have generously offered their Spanish Alphabet Books Bundle. And what I love about it is that parents don't have to be native speakers to help their children learn!

Why? Because this set comes with QR codes . And although the student resources are 100% Spanish, the teacher instruction pages are in English.

This DIGITAL DOWNLOAD bundle is fantastic for practicing letter identification, syllable counting, and beginning sounds in Spanish (or sonidos iniciales).

Every consonant book has all five vowels represented. (The exception is c & g, because there are two versions for those letters: hard and soft.)

Each letter comes with five resources:

Flipbook with QR Code

A printable book children can color, cut, staple, and read to practice beginning sounds in the context of a predictable sentence. These have QR codes, so children can scan and read along with the flipbook using any QR code reader on a phone, tablet, or computer.


This is a full-color version of the above flipbook being read. NOTE: The QR code connects children to files in Google Drive. You will want to be sure your district does not block Google Drive files. 

Trace & Match

Trace the word and match it to the correct picture.

Word Puzzle & Syllable Count

Children use the word bank to match the word to the correct picture, then count and circle the correct number of syllables.

Word & Picture Puzzles

Use these to introduce the vocabulary for each letter, as matching puzzles, or to play memory or Go Fish.

What a FABULOUS resource, no?!?

Visit Spanglish Schoolhouse to learn more and watch the video

The Giveaway

Spanglish Schoolhouse is offering their Digital Download Spanish Alphabet Book Bundle to one MommyMaestra reader.

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Spanish for You! Homeschool Package


Friends, we have been so fortunate to have Spanish for You! as a MommyMaestra sponsor for years now. If you follow this blog, you know how awesome they are. The monthly freebies the offer you are some of the most popular posts on this blog. So many Spanish learners with children in middle school use these freebies to supplement their lessons. 

And Spanish for You! continues their generosity by providing one of their themed homeschool packages for this year's Back-to-School Fiesta!

Giveaway Product Description: 

Spanish for You! Themed School-Year Homeschool Package for Grades 3-4, 5-6, or 7-8, plus coordinating optional workbook and supplemental song set. Value: $70.89. 

Choose any ONE of our year-long themed packages in the grade level of your choice found here. Grade levels indicate the age/grade of your child, not Spanish experience. 


• This prize is not for co-op class use. 

• If you choose Estaciones, Fiestas or Verbos, there are no optional workbooks and no supplemental song sets available yet for these school-year themes. 

Special Discount for ALL entrants: 

Get $6 off any school-year homeschool package with code: MM6 through August 2020. 

Spanish for You! Program Highlights: 

• No Spanish experience needed by parent or child. 

• Daily Lessons 15-20 min. or at your own pace. 

• Teach multiple ages together with lessons tailored to their age/grade. 

• Fun and interactive bite-sized lessons kids enjoy! 

• All materials reusable. 

• Kids can work independently, together, or you can learn as a family. 

• Kids learn to use everyday vocabulary, verbs, and grammar to communicate in complete sentences through listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. 

• Affordable at $39.95 for a school-year package that you can reuse! 

Great for Homeschool Co-ops too! Makes teaching your classes EASY and FUN! And, transitions for teaching online easily. Learn more here.

The Giveaway

As stated, Spanish for You! is generously offering one of their homeschool packages to one MommyMaestra reader. 

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 10, 2020

Giveaway: 6-Month Subscriptions to FLANGOO

Do you guys know about Flangoo? It is the digital Spanish eReader service from Teacher's Discovery. All the books have full-chapter audio, comprehension questions, and other neat features (like QR codes). It's like Netflix for Spanish readers.

There are currently 18 readers available, but I know that they are working on adding a lot more, so it will be expanding its content significantly. Currently, their library of readers include Mira Canion, Jennifer Degenhardt, Blaine Ray, and more.

I reviewed some of the titles from their enhanced readers last September. Go take a look if you'd like to see the features and images of the inside pages.

One subscription is good for the teacher plus up to 150 students! So teachers, this is a really good giveaway for YOU!

If you want to try it out first, they are offering a free week trial. Go see all the high-quality readers they have!

The Giveaway

Teacher's Discovery has generously offered a pair of 6-month subscriptions to FLANGOO!

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 7, 2020

Bilingual Children's Albums by Nathalia

Friends, I love today's giveaway.

We frequently talk about how important music in education is. In fact, it's critical in early education. Children instinctively love music and they learn concepts and skills much faster when music is involved. That's why I love it when artists use their music not just to entertain, but to educate.

And Nathalia does just that!

A native of Colombia, Nathalia moved to the US to attend the Berklee College of Music and later began her career as a music therapist and early childhood music educator. Since 2012, she has recorded and released four children’s albums, which were all co-produced and performed by Grammy award-winners. In her albums, Nathalia demonstrates how her unique style of bilingual songwriting, undefined by genre, can sound both mainstream and family-friendly. She has been a featured guest on Univision's Despierta America, CBS's The Talk, and her music has been played on a number of parenting blogs and online radio stations. Nathalia’s South American heritage and passion for bilingual education serve as major influences in the music she creates.

Nathalia has recently launched 'Un Momento con Nathalia' a bilingual children's web series that explores and introduces different themes and concepts based on Nathalia's original songs. Follow her at

Nathalia is just a natural educator and I love her bilingual web series. Here's one of my favorite episodes:

She also hosts virtual preschool music classes via ZOOM for ages 1-5 in both English and Spanish. For more information visit


Instagram: @nathaliamusica


The Giveaway

Nathalia has graciously offered a copy of her two albums - When I was Your Age and En la radio - to one lucky MommyMaestra reader.

To enter to win, just use the Rafflecopter below. 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Lee & Low Bilingual Book Set

Today's Back-to-School Fiesta giveaway is for those of you looking for bilingual picture books! Our friends at Lee & Low have so kindly put together this set for a MommyMaestra reader. They would be a great addition to lessons for children in PreK through third grade.

Here's a quick review of the titles:

(The following links are affiliate links. See my sidebar for an explanation.)

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match / Marisol McDonald no combina

by Monica Brown

Marisol McDonald has flaming red hair and nut-brown skin. Polka dots and stripes are her favorite combination. She prefers peanut butter and jelly burritos in her lunch box. And don’t even think of asking her to choose one or the other activity at recess—she’ll just be a soccer playing pirate princess, thank you very much. To Marisol McDonald, these seemingly mismatched things make perfect sense together.

Unfortunately, they don’t always make sense to everyone else. Other people wrinkle their nose in confusion at Marisol—can’t she just be one or the other? Try as she might, in a world where everyone tries to put this biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American girl into a box, Marisol McDonald doesn’t match. And that’s just fine with her.

A mestiza Peruvian American of European, Jewish, and Amerindian heritage, renowned author Monica Brown wrote this lively story to bring her own experience of being mismatched to life.

Family Poems for Every Day of the Week: Poemas Familiares Para Cada Dia de la Semana

by Francisco X. Alarcón 

This bilingual collection of poems takes us through the week, day by day. Children spend Sunday visiting their grandparents, play with school friends on Monday, daydream on Tuesday, eat popcorn at the local market on Wednesday, and more until we arrive at Saturday when they get to play nonstop all day. Along the way, we also learn how the names of the seven days came to be. Partly based on the real-life experiences of Alarcon's own family, this festive, celebratory collection of poems highlights the daily life of children while also honoring the experiences of the poet's Latino family in the United States. 

Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del Arcoiris

by Linda Elovitz Marshall 

Ixchel wants to follow in the long tradition of weaving on backstrap looms, just as her mother, grandmother, and most Mayan women have done for more than two thousand years. But Ixchel's mother is too busy preparing her weavings for market. If they bring a good price, they will have money to pay for Ixchel s school and books. And besides, there is not enough extra thread for Ixchel to practice with.

Disappointed, Ixchel first tries weaving with blades of grass, and then with bits of wool, but no one would want to buy the results. As she walks around her village, Ixchel finds it littered with colorful plastic bags. There is nowhere to put all the bags, so they just keep accumulating.

Suddenly, Ixchel has an idea! She collects and washes the plastic bags. Then she cuts each bag into thin strips. Sitting at her loom, Ixchel weaves the plastic strips into a colorful fabric that looks like a beautiful rainbow just like the weavings of Mayan women before her.

Quinito, Day and Night / Quinito, Dìa Y Noche

by Ina Cumpiano 

From the author and illustrator of Quinito's Neighborhood comes this delightful story full of opposites.

From first thing in the morning until he goes to sleep at night, Quinito is up and running-fast or slow, depending on the day. If it's sunny, he's off to the park to swing high and low. If it's rainy, Quinito stays home, where he can be quiet at nap-time and loud at playtime. There's so much to do before the sun sets.

Ina Cumpiano teams up with José Ramírez once more to show young readers that everywhere they look, opposites abound. Quinito, Day and Night is a delight for all kinds of readers: young or old, tall or short, messy or neat.

Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

by Monica Brown

A fascinating bilingual picture book biography of Peruvian archaeologist and national icon Julio C. Tello, who unearthed Peru's ancient cultures and fostered pride in the country's Indigenous history.
Growing up in the late 1800s, Julio Tello, an Indigenous boy, spent time exploring the caves and burial grounds in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Nothing scared Julio, not even the ancient human skulls he found. His bravery earned him the boyhood nickname Sharuko, which means brave in Quechua, the language of the Native people of Peru.

At the age of twelve, Julio moved to Lima to continue his education. While in medical school, he discovered an article about the skulls he had found. The skulls had long ago been sent to Lima to be studied by scientists. The article renewed Julio's interest in his ancestry, and he decided to devote his medical skills to the study of Peru's Indigenous history.

Over his lifetime, Julio Tello made many revolutionary discoveries at archaeological sites around Peru, and he worked to preserve the historical treasures he excavated. He showed that Peru's Indigenous cultures had been established thousands of years ago, disproving the popular belief that Peruvian culture had been introduced more recently from other countries. He fostered pride in his country's Indigenous ancestry, making him a hero to all Peruvians. Because of the brave man once known as Sharuko, people around the world today know of Peru's long history and its living cultural legacy.

The Giveaway

To enter to win this awesome set of bilingual picture books, simply use the rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Beginner Microscope Kit Giveaway

MommyMaestra's Back-to-School Fiesta

Microscope Kit Giveaway

Introduce your children to the world of microscopy! Today's giveaway includes a beginner's microscope kit, a project and activity book, and a free download of my (bilingual) microscope worksheets.

Six years ago, I wrote a post on how to introduce your child to a microscope. I shared my family's adventure into the microscopic world and talked about how we used our microscope. It was one of the most fun subjects we studied. So I'm super excited to have this opportunity for MommyMaestra readers in this year's Back-to-School Fiesta!

Beginner's Microscope Kit

This beginner's microscope is perfect for young students in 4th through 8th grade. AmScope 120X-1200X 52-pcs Kids Beginner Microscope STEM Kit (aff link) is a (beginner) compound microscope and provides high magnification for educational applications. It has a monocular viewing head with LED and mirror illumination and built-in color filter wheel. Forward-facing rotating turret provides 120x, 240x, 300x, 480x, 600x, and 1200x magnifications. Coaxial coarse focus has a rack-and-pinion focus mechanism on a durable and stain-resistant white metal frame. This kit comes with a 52-piece accessory kit and hard-sided plastic ABS case.

Here is what is included:
AmScope M30 microscope
Shrimp hatchery
Brine shrimp eggs
Specimen slicer
Petri dish
Plastic tweezers
Plastic scalpel
Plastic spatula
Plastic stirring rod
Graduated cylinder
Gum media (bottle)
Sea salt
(5) Prepared slides
(7) Blank slides
(7) Slide covers
(7) Statistical slide covers
(7) Slide labels
(2) Collecting vials
(2) AA batteries
Spare LED bulb

Tips from a professional: If you are inexperienced with microscopes, here are a few tips: make sure that what you are trying to view is in the center of the aperture (where the light comes through), and always start on the lowest magnification.

The World of the Microscope

In addition, the winner will receive a copy of the book, The World of the Microscope (aff) by Chris Oxlade. This is an excellent book that I used as part of our lessons when my kids were younger. The World of the Microscope investigates the enormous variety of objects too small for the eye to see, from insects, bacteria, to rock crystals and microchip circuits. The Step-by-step diagrams will show you how to get the best results from a microscope and how to make and keep slides. The book covers different types of microscopes, from magnifying glasses to electron microscopes, and there are plenty of exciting suggestions for projects which reveal the incredible detail of everyday objects. The book also contains a section on the use of microscopes in science and industry.

Printable microscope worksheets

And finally, I am throwing in a copy of my printable Microscope Worksheets (in English and Spanish) to use in your adventures with the microscopic world!

The Giveaway

To enter to win this fabulous giveaway, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Free Digital Libraries of Bilingual Materials

This is a truly amazing opportunity. If you will be homeschooling, you need to know about TeachersPayTeachers. The site sells downloadable lessons, activities, craftivities, and a bajillion other things that are designed directly by teachers. It helps them supplement their incomes, but more importantly, you know that the materials cover the concepts you are teaching. And if you just need a quick reading passage or experiment to supplement OR you need a complete curriculum for (example) 5th-grade math, you can find it on TpT. 

This is especially important for those of you with Spanish/bilingual children because you can find resources on here that you are looking for and can't find elsewhere. There are a lot of dual-language/immersion/Spanish teachers that sell their materials for as little as $2. 

NOW, that said, many of the Spanish educators have gone in together to create two amazing FREE packages. 

The first is an Elementary Spanish Distance Learning Resource Library. It contains 27 FREE resources for Elementary Spanish teachers and includes things like Boom Cards, digital stickers, minibooks, stories, and more. My new set of alebrije counting Boom Cards is included. 

And the second is a Secondary Spanish Distance Learning Resource Library. This is great for older children and includes 26 amazing resources. From vocabulary to verb conjugation to cognates and lesson plans, this is such a great set!

Both of these are worth signing up (for free) on TpT to download.

And while you are there on TpT, take advantage of their two-day Back-to-School Sale! Most sellers participate... and you know I am! My entire shop is on sale. Check out my freebies while you are there! And stock up on items in your wishlists that you need for the coming year.


Monday, August 3, 2020

Risas y Sonrisas Homeschool Elementary Program

We're kicking off the MommyMaestra Back-to-School Fiesta with a great program for homeschool parents wanting to teach their child a second language! I reviewed this program six years ago and it has done nothing but get better, year by year. 

Leticia Smith is the founder. She's passionate about her program that she's perfected over the last 20+ years. We're happy to have Risas y Sonrisas as a MommyMaestra sponsor for the last several years.

Risas y Sonrisas Homeschool Program

Kindergarten-5th grade

For Homeschools, Parents, and Tutors

The Homeschool Program is perfect for teaching and learning Spanish at home! It can be used in-person or remotely with students of all ages and abilities. Our curriculum is comprehensive and easy to follow, making repetition fun and accelerating learning. You don’t even need to speak Spanish to start teaching and learning with Risas y Sonrisas today!

The Homeschool Program includes a comprehensive Instructor Manual with over 100 hours of lesson plans as well as a complete set of high-quality, full-color printed materials. All this is complemented with our complete Online Program, the digital version of our curriculum, encouraging multi-modal practice and allowing you to teach and learn remotely!

The Giveaway

Leticia has generously offered one of her Homeschool Programs (a $220 value) to one MommyMaestra reader!

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 2, 2020

MommyMaestra's 2020 Back-to-School Fiesta!

Hola, MommyMaestra Readers!

August is here and that means that it is time for my annual Back-to-School Fiesta! And I'm so excited about the lineup! Several Spanish-learning curricula for different age levels, music albums, science kits, books and more are on the list. You don't want to miss this.

Normally, this comes after a quiet summer spent with my family, but it has been nonstop busy for me this year. Still, I'm excited about the upcoming weeks. During my BTS Fiesta, I share new, helpful, or just plain fun products and services that will help you make your coming school year more effective and/or enjoyable. You'll find resources for homeschoolers, parents, and teachers. So keep an eye on this website because I have a wonderful lineup for you every Monday through Friday this month.

A few notes on important things I want to sneak in today because the other days are already full.

First, don't miss the TpT Back-to-School Sale this coming Tuesday & Wednesday, August 4th and 5th. Everything in my shop will be on sale at their maximum 25% off... including new products. This is the perfect time to go through your wish list and stock up on items that you've been waiting for!

The coupon code is also good for my shop here on, but it doesn't have all the items that are listed on TpT. However, the discount will be good through the end of the month!

And finally, if you aren't already signed up for my newsletter, please consider doing so. There will be a few freebies available only to my newsletter subscribers. This month's free download is an updated version of these Back-to-School Labels. I use them to make the first day special for my kids. I leave them a little gift to open, usually fun school supplies and books. I wrap them up to make it a little more exciting and leave one of these labels being sure to write the grade they're entering in the space provided. 

If you are shopping for the coming school year, please check here because you might win something!

Good luck to all and ENJOY!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

MommyMaestra Mid-Summer Update

I just wanted to pop in and give you all an update to let you know that I'll be taking a break for the next week as I prepare for my annual Back-to-School Fiesta, which starts in August.

If you are an education company or business owner, and would be interested in participating in this year's fiesta, feel free to reach out to me via email or my contact form.

In the meantime, you'll still be able to find me over in the Facebook group Hispanic & Bilingual Homeschoolers.

Thanks for your patience. And come back in August for some fabulous giveaways to help families get started with school at home!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

What It Means to Be a Teacher


Right now, teachers from public, private, and charter schools are having a real time of it. So many of them are feeling the pressure to get back into the classroom in the middle of a pandemic and put their lives at risk. They are being asked to seriously consider what it means to be a teacher.

Our teachers are community heroes. And as they navigate these difficult times and make difficult decisions, we need to support them. 

What It Means to Be a Teacher - excerpt

I spotted this book in the pile next to my desk. After opening it and reading the entries, I knew I wanted to share it with you. 

What It Means to Be a Teacher (aff) is a small book dedicated to celebrating teachers. Inside are 150 entries that are meant to uplift or encourage teachers when they're having a rough day. 

What It Means to Be a Teacher - excerpt

This book is a vibrant and amusing way of recognizing the many hats that teachers wear as nurses, counselors, coaches, PR specialists, librarians, technology experts, writers and SO much more.

All the entries are presented so creatively that you could literally tear the pages of this book out and frame them to give as gifts. But the real gift is the book itself which is page after page of quotes that will make teachers laugh and smile. 

If you are looking for a way to tell your child's teacher(s) how much you appreciate them, then this is a lovely heartfelt gift that you can mail to them. 

What It Means to Be a Teacher - excerpt

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