Thursday, March 31, 2011

Resources for Parents of Children Learning to Read in Spanish

Okay, so this is the post where I share a bunch of miscellaneous resources related to teaching your children to read in Spanish. These are tools, websites, books, etc that don't necessarily fit into other categories and should get placed together. I think that I will place some of the resources mentioned over the last few days here, too - but an abbreviated version - so that everything is located in one spot. And I do plan to add to this page as I discover new resources, so be sure to bookmark it if you are teaching your child to read in Spanish, or if you are planning to do so eventually.'

Previously mentioned resources will be simply listed with a link to the previous post for more description. The other fantastic tools will have a more lengthy commentary. And check back tomorrow to read how a homeschooling mami has taught her daughter to read.


Reading Programs, Curricula, & Activities (Go here to read more information about each one.)

• *Hagamos Caminos* - This is MommyMaestra's #1 recommendation for a Spanish reading program. Created by acclaimed children's author, Alma Flor Ada, the program combines the benefits of both phonics and whole-language approaches. This program is a first reading, writing and printing program with workbooks. You can read our fabulous review here.

Monarca Language - This is a subscription-based online program for 3 & 4 year olds. They even include phonetics instruction, in addition to letter recognition. I was impressed to read that 85% of the participating children finish the program reading and writing efficiently.


Lectura Para Niños- Download your free printables from our sponsor here. 



Español: Primero Grado Lecturas - Spanish curriculum available on Amazon. Take a look at Teaching Español's excellent review.

Actividades del Primer Grado - 100 activities for First Graders (Kindergarteners?), linking school to the home. This is an AWESOME resource!!! If you don't look at anything else, look at this site.

Comprensión de Lecturas I - A downloadable reading comprehension lesson plan for 2nd and 3rd grades. 



Blogs and Articles

En la escuela de Mabel - Possibly one of the best educational blogs in Spanish. Written by Mabel Gutiérrez with many fascinating articles on primary and elementary education. The link will take you to a page that lists all her articles dedicated to lectura y escritura, but take the time to explore her site. From the blog: "Un blog dedicado al intercambio de experiencias e innovaciones educativas de Educación Inicial y Primaria que permita fortalecer las debilidades en el aula de clase."

• "Cuándo los niños deben comenzar el aprendizaje de la lectura" Guía Infantil

• "Reading in First Grade: How reading relates to ELLs" by Colorín Colorado. Available in English and Spanish.

• "Etapas de desarrollo de la lectura" PBS in Spanish and English.



Websites

AMPA Colegio Público Alhambra - This is a great site with stories for children who are learning or who have recently learned to read. Spanish only.

Cosicosas - An online poetry magazine for children. Their objectives are to inject poetry into the field of infant and juvenile literature, to create a space where writers of children's poetry can be inspired and exchange ideas, and to develop unity among Spanish-speaking countries. The site was created and is published by children's writer, Carmen Gil Martínez. Spanish only.

Centros de Excelencia para la Capacitacion de Maestros de Centroamerica y Republica Dominicana - An excellent site with links to online stories for beginning readers.

SoloEducativos - More educational links.

Guía Infantil has a lot of resources, too, including a section of poetry, fables, and more.



Books

• You can read about the Primeros Lectores series and the Jovenes Lectores series.

• For chapter books in Spanish, here's what I recommend.

• ISSUU - I am so very grateful to Lori Langer de Ramirez from Mis Cositas for sharing this site! ISSUU is a self-publishing site where many Spanish writers and illustrators have added their work. Here are a few of my favorites: La Gallina Cocorina, La luz de tu corazón, and Versos que el viento arrastra.



Con mucho cariño....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

First Readers in Spanish

Finding early readers in Spanish is easy. Finding good ones that are not simply translations of English versions is hard. But if you spend some time searching through Spanish literacy sites, you'll find some great Latino authors and series of early readers.

first_readers_Spanish

One of these is the Primeros Lectores series by Bambú. This full-colored series is published in Spain and has age-appropriate text. These are original stories by Spanish-speaking authors, not translations.

Bambú also has a series for older children called Jovenes lectores. This series has black-and-white illustrations to accompany the age-appropriate text. Can I just say that both their series look fantastic? Has anyone used these? If so, please let me know what you think!

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Sometimes you have to look for certain authors. They might be writing orignal stories like the ones mentioned above, or they might be doing REALLY good translations. Not literal ones that translate word-for-word, but rather ones that convey the meaning and feeling of the story without butchering the Spanish language. Here are a few that come highly recommended:



Yanitzia Canetti - A superb translator and author in her own right. Hers are some of the few translations of Dr. Seuss that are not simply nonsense. I have several of her original works and translations available in la librería. But take a look at her beautiful site, too. 


Maria Brandan Araoz - Born in Buenos Aires, Maria is a writer who has received numerous awards for her work. She specializes in infant and juvenile literature. Most of her books are published in Argentina. I have listed a few of her early readers here, but she has many more books available on Amazon. You can also take a look at her cute and fun website.



Ana Maria Machado - Has been writing for over 40 years and has published more than 100 titles for adults and children. You can find Amanda, con cien pies anda and more here. Her website is in Portuguese, but you can take a look at her other titles for children and maybe keep an eye out for their Spanish editions?

Con mucho cariño...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spanish Reading Programs: Lectura Para Niños {FREE DOWNLOADS}


Update: Lectura para niños is now a MommyMaestra sponsor. Click here to find free downloads just for MommyMaestra readers!


Lectura Para Niños has been one of the most accessible and most helpful companies that I have encountered so far. Created by Kindergarten teacher, Leah Meiser, the components of this program can be purchased separately, making it more affordable, as well as more practical for parents who are teaching their children to read.

In this video, Leah talks about using the program with the Washington area children....




Leah, also took the time to answer some questions I had about the program. Here are her responses...

Can you tell me if you've had any homeschool families use your program? Is your program designed for a parent to use?

I haven't had any homeschool families inquire, but yes, parents from my classroom do use the program at home. Parents [who homeschool] can easily use this program as home as well! If a parent is wanting to purchase, and they have questions, they may call me anytime. I explain how to play the games, and they reinforce what has been taught in the classroom. What I usually tell people who purchase the program is to buy the CD. If you buy the CD, you can copy and print as many materials as you want for your classroom (and or school if a site license was purchased). If a school has purchased the program, the school is more than welcome to print for the family within their boundaries and send it home with parents as a check out program from their school. I have a few copies in my classroom where I send the "theme of the month" with the family to practice.


Is this program a complete reading curriculum?

It's not a complete reading program, but more a phonics and phonemic awareness program to learn to read. This program teaches vocabulary development, but lacks the comprehension aspect of reading.


Is the program designed to teach more than one child?

When I use the program in my classroom, I use my document camera and play the phonic's center "games" as the children call them with the entire class, then break up into groups of 8 students. There are usually more than 10-20 words in each "set."

We practice in small groups segmenting and blending the words orally before the students get to practice individually. I pass out the words/envelopes to each child to make their own word. When all students have formed their word, I have all children focus on 1 child. They say the word in syllables underlining each, then pull down the letters into individual sounds, then again to form the entire word. Once one child has finished, we go around the circle so each child has had an opportunity.

All children in my group are to say the syllables, sounds and words together with the child who has their turn. This keeps all kids focused and reinforces the segmenting and blending of each word. Once all kids have had their turn, they put their letters back in their envelopes and choose another word. The kids love this!

I have 24 students in groups of 8, 8, 8. All students have opportunities to segment and blend at their "developmentally appropriate level." I have students at all levels ranging from my new student who knows only 18 letters to my more advanced child who can read anything I put in front of him. This child was the only one who entered my room with any sort of letter knowledge. 99% did not. These kids have learned so much, and I do have to say, I know it's because of this program. I believe in this program and it works.


Can parent's purchase the products individually and use the products to supplement their child's formal education?

Yes, parents can purchase the program and use it at home with their children. If they are purchasing for their home, I would recommend purchasing the bundle and not the CD because they wouldn't need as many copies as a classroom would.


Yes, you may purchase any item on an individual basis. The costs are on the website if you want to purchase particular items and not others. Depending on what the person wants, some things are cheaper purchasing in bundles.

FREE DOWNLOADS!

Lastly, Leah was kind enough to put together some sample pages for Kindergarten and First Grade that you can download for free. Take a look and see what you think!

And I want to tell Leah thank you for taking so much time to answer questions and put together these packets for me to share with all of you! If you download these worksheets, por favor, leave her a little message in the comments section of this post. 

To learn about more Spanish reading programs and other resources, visit my Resources for Learning to Read in Spanish page.

Con mucho cariño....

Spanish Reading Programs


Finding a good reading program can be a hit or miss affair. For most English reading programs, though, there's usually a fair amount of feedback or reviews available by families who have used the programs. Unfortunately, this isn't necessarily true for the Spanish curricula, of which there are few.

Teaching a child to read in Spanish is very different from teaching one to read in English. (Though some would argue that it is actually easier.) First of all, there is a different alphabet - different sounds and even extra letters. There is quite a bit of discussion, though, among the academic community about including rr and ch in the official alphabet.

At anyrate, here is a list of Spanish reading programs that I have discovered. Some are more expensive than others, just as you would find in English programs. I want to make it very clear that I have no experience with any of these programs. I have not used them. And as a parent, I would encourage you to carefully explore each one before purchasing. Don't hesitate to call or email the company to ask them your questions. Take the time to find one that is right for you and your familia.



ESTRELLITA Reading Programs for Pre-K Through First Grade

Last year, I wrote a post introducing you to this program. Their website is currently under construction, and it looks like they are redesigning it. But if you take a look at my post, you'll find most of the information there. You can also find them on Facebook.



Lectura Para Niños

I am pretty excited about this program. Technically, Lectura Para Niños is not a reading program, but rather a set of Phonics Centers and homework books for students that are just beginning to learn the alphabet, as well as advanced readers. I like the fact that you can choose what exactly you want to buy, and are not obligated to buy an entire kit. But I would caution you to put together your supplements carefully. Don't hesitate to contact Leah for more information or for help. I am including an introduction to this program in a separate post, today, so please read more about it. 




Both of these complete reading programs are published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. They are unquestionably created for the school system, not private/homeschool use. They have an impressive collection of materials, but they all seem to come packaged in sets of 5 or more. You can, however, contact them directly to inquire about individual sets. Villa Cuentos is an older, more establish program, while Senderos is their more recent program. Here's a description from their site:

"Welcome to our most comprehensive Spanish reading program Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Senderos from all over Latin America. This great diversity is celebrated along with multicultural literature in our program. Students are also able to see their faces in our engaging selections while experiencing the diverse cultures and traditions embedded in the fabric of our American neighborhoods.


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Senderos takes unprecedented steps to provide students and teachers with an equitable program which not only respects the beauty of the Spanish language but meets the needs of schools across the nation. Our parallel program provides “component - to - component” equality while embracing the unique challenges of Spanish reading and its language arts. It is with pride and excitement that we can offer Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Senderos and its English reading counterpart Journeys while leading the path to bilingualism."


Now here's the secret: You can find many of the textbooks, workbooks, and readers to these programs available at reasonable prices on Amazon.com. Take a look here for Senderos  - and here for Villa Cuentos.








This last program also has a lot of potential. Scholastic seems to recognize the fact that children who have strong literacy skills in their native language, can learn to read in a second language more easily. According to the website, it features authentic Spanish-language literature and favorite books sensitively translated into Spanish; well-known Latino authors including Pat Mora; bilingual teaching cards that address phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension, plus strategies for moving students into English literacy; and a teacher's guide written by Dr. Gay Su Pinnell and leading bilingual educators.


Take care when looking through their Guided Reading en español order page, as many of the products listed are for classrooms with 6 copies of each title. Here, I think, is their Level 1 set for a single student. Pay close attention to the price, as that will help you to recognize the individual sets depending on the level (and yes, they go all the way through 12th grade!)


To me, Scholastic has always seemed more in tune with the needs of the Latino community and have worked hard to provide us with literature in Spanish and English. If memory serves me correctly, they are the largest distributor of Spanish-language books in the U.S.


Con mucho cariño...

Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Teach Your Child to Read in Spanish


Since starting this blog, I have been absolutely amazed by the number of people who have asked me for advice on teaching their Spanish-speaking children to read. "Where can I find a Spanish reading program?" and "Where do I find books?" and "How do I start?" are the main questions I've received.

This has been a difficult subject for me to find for you, as I have taught my children to read in English because that is their dominant language. But over the past nine months, I have done a lot of digging and research. So I'm happy to be able to dedicate this entire week to sharing with you the resources that I have found on teaching children to read in Spanish. I really, really hope that these are helpful. And if they aren't - let me know in the comments! If you have any experience in this area, I hope that you will share with the other readers your tips, suggestions, and resources.  

So to start us off the answer is ¡Sí! You can teach your child to read in Spanish at home. Or if you are simply looking for ways to supplement what they may be learning in their (Spanish immersion) school, stay with me, because this week has got (I hope!) some great resources!!

Maybe by the end of this week you'll have the tools to have your child reading like this one...




You can also take a look at one of my favorite bilingual homeschooling blogs that I have often shared with you in my Weekend Links, Mi Escuelita Montessori. Last week, Karen shared a video of her daughter reading in Spanish. It is so inspiring!

Let's start this week off with this short video by Priscilla Monserrate-Sanders who shares some great advice for teaching children to read in Spanish...



Is your child reading in Spanish? Have you taken video? Share it with us!

Con mucho cariño....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Celebrate Earth Hour TONIGHT


Tonight we will be joining millions of people around the world as we celebrate Earth Hour.

At 8:30 pm tonight, people and businesses are encouraged to turn off all of their lights to take a stand against climate change and to support responsible management of our Earth's resources. But this year, world citizens are encouraged to go beyond the hour and commit to a more responsible lifestyle and stewardship of our planet.


Earth Hour has a wonderful website that you can visit for more information, or to create your own lantern, like the one above.

You can download a free education pack here (scroll down the page). In addition, Pocoyo is supporting this event as well, and has some great activities for children on their site.

Won't you join us tonight?

Con mucho cariño...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why We Can't Hardly Wait for Summer: Cars 2

Okay. It is March. Almost April. The time when we all start slugging our way through school and wishing el verano was already here. We are restless and itching to run and stretch our bodies. Our daily list of things to do now includes kick a ball, climb a tree, dig in the dirt, or ride a bike.  

The good news is that now's the time when we can finally bust out of the house and take our classes outside: science fair projects, art classes, math, and even reading. There's nothing quite like reading a great book with the spring sunshine warming your body, a gentle breeze rustling the pages and filling your nose with the scent of green grass and blooming flowers.

After a fun Spring Break that included a visit from los abuelos, we are now re-energized and ready to buckle down and get this school year done. I am already planning what subjects we will be "studying" this summer (astronomy, Ancient Egypt, maybe some anatomy) for fun.

And I will admit. There is one more thing that has us itching for summer to get here:



Cars 2 hits theaters on June 24th.

I read this promo to my kids:

"Star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in Disney*Pixar's "Cars 2" when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix. But the road to the championship is filled with surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British super spy Finn McMissile (voice of Michael Caine)."

Mi'jo is beside himself with joy.

And my daughter - who is currently fascinated by anything spy/detective related - is excited, too, but trying not to show it. The only thing that has me slightly worried is that it is coming out in 3D, which is okay for me, but my kids have had a real hard time keeping the gigantic 3D glasses on their faces and wind up watching the blurry show without them. My husband and I opted to avoid 3D versions for now and go with the regular ones. I'm hoping our theater offers both.

So what about you? What is your family looking forward to the most this coming summer?

Con mucho cariño...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Smithsonian Latino Center's Young Ambassadors Program


Do you have a high school senior in your family? Or maybe you know someone who does? Then make sure you pass along this information: The Smithsonian Latino Center's Young Ambassadors Program is currently accepting applications for this year's program.

A national, interdisciplinary leadership development program for graduating high school seniors, the Young Ambassador's Program selects up to 24 students to participate in an all-expenses paid training seminar in Washington, D.C. AND a four-week internship during the month of July, in museums and cultural centers across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The goal of the program is to empower young Latinos by developing their leadership and academic skills, as well as to encourage pride in their own cultural heritage.

The deadline for this year's applicants is April 8th. Students can apply online.

I strongly believe that Latino youth need to be encouraged and supported academically, but especially in the fields of science/technology and math, where Latinos are grossly underrepresented. I appreciate that the mission of the Young Ambassador's Program is to foster the next generation of Latino leaders in the fields of arts, sciences, and humanities.

If you have more questions, or want to explore this program some more, take a look at their website.

Con mucho cariño...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Work from Home Parents: How to Keep Your Kids Busy


My amiga, Melanie, from Modern Mami, wrote a post yesterday about how she's looking for tricks to keep her five-year-old busy during the day. Melanie is a work from home mami, who recently had a baby. She's cut back on the hours that her daughter attends a local preschool, and is now struggling to find time to get her work done.

Wow. Sounds really familiar. I'm jealous that she even gets 2 hours to work! But I think that whether or not you work at home, mamis often struggle to find some quiet "me" time at home. Is it really important to have your own quiet time? ABSOLUTELY! Not only does it help you to stay sane, but it allows you to take care of your own desires and reduce any frustration or resentment that comes with ANY job you work 24/7. And it is important for your children to see you as a person - not just a dishwasher/chef/butler/maid/chauffer/etc.

Before I give my own secrets away, I think it is important to say that once you have a child, your entire world changes. (I know you already know this.) And they always, ALWAYS come first. Work has to take a backseat. So if you work from home, expect the road to be rough. You can't expect your routine to be set in stone, though you can - with a little work - establish a regular schedule. Just remember that to have harmony in your home, you have to be flexible and not sweat it too much when your schedule changes.

Parents who are homeschooling more than one child may find themselves in a similar situation. Next year I'll begin homeschooling my son, but even now, I find that I have to find him some "busywork" to keep him entertained while I am working with my daughter.

For the most part, I work at night after the kids have gone to bed (needless to say they are usually in bed by 8 or 8:30!) but there are days when I am on a deadline or need some time to work. To help me get some (relatively) uninterrupted time here are a few of the activities or methods that I use:

Set aside special toys. Buy a tote/chest/box and keep some fantastic toys in it - but the key is that the kids can only play with them during the hour or two that mami is working. These toys can be exciting ones like a Leapster or even a vSmile, or simple ones like puzzles, boardgames, dress-up dolls, legos, etc.

Assign an official Movie Day. In my casa, movies are a no-no during the week. I only allow the kids to watch an actual movie on Saturdays. By the end of the week, they are excited beyond measure and work really hard to be good. If they have worked hard during the week on school and chores, and their behavior has been great, I may even allow them to watch two movies. But the second is usually a family movie that we can all watch together after dinner. The first movie almost always takes place after lunch.

Create a "Special Space" or activity. If your child has a playroom then only allow them in that room during your work time. This falls along the same lines as having special toys set aside for work time. If they are only allowed in there from say 1 until 3 pm, you can bet your bippy they'll take advantage of that time. Although we usually have some sort of craft or art project every day, my kids don't get to paint on a regular basis so it is a novel activity. In the spring and summer, I set them up on our side porch with easel and paints. Then I get an hour or so while their imaginations take flight.

Take advantage of on-line learning opportunities. Allow your kids to learn on their own computer at the same time that you are working. My daughter thinks this is the best and like to pretend she is at the office. Some of my favorite sites include:
  • Foreign Language Friends - Let her learn/practice Spanish!
  • BrainPop - Also available in Spanish. This is an incredible site with lots of education-based activities and videos.
  • PBSKids - I know this doesn't need any introduction.
  • Activity Village - They have loads of printable games and much, much more!
  • FunSchool - A really creative site
  • FunBrain - I like math arcade, but most of the games on here a good.
  • Starfall - Love this site's reading games! Really strengthens my daughter's reading abilities.
  • National Geographic Kids - To boost your child's science skills.
  • Nasa Kids' Club - Love it!
  • Cool Math for Kids - Yes! Actually, I just discovered this site, but I'm already excited about it!
  • Crayola - They have tons of art activities to keep kids busy.
Stock up on craft kits. This works best for children ages 4 and up. I make regular trips to Michaels. In fact, I think I am keeping them in business. But they have a fantastic collection of craft and science kits. To make them more affordable, be sure to save your coupons or sign up for their online newsletters, which also include 40% off coupons. Surprisingly, you can sometimes find good kits at your local dollar store. But be sure to double check them for safety. And especially beware of kits with tiny parts if you have an infant or toddler at home. Oriental Trading also has loads of inexpensive crafts. MAKE SURE TO GET KITS YOUR KIDS CAN DO ON THEIR OWN. If your child can't read directions, you might have to get her started.

Let them scrap! Pick up an inexpensive scrapbook and some decorative papers, then give your child some photographs (or better yet, buy her a camera and let her take her own) and let her go!

Make it newsworthy. Give your child a couple sheets of blank newsprint and have him design the Family Newspaper. Let him interview relatives and snap some photos. Be sure to provide a sample newspaper or two so that he can study the layout and design his own.

Send them on a treasure hunt. Put a list together of household items and send them on a scavenger hunt. If they can find everything without asking me once for help, they get a special prize (stay up an extra 15 minutes, their favorite dish for dinner, a new book from the bookstore...)

Get them on the case. My kids are crazy for anything having to do with detective work or spying. Allow them to put together their own spy/detective kit and then print up some related activities. Secret code breaking will keep my daughter entertained for hours! You can find some great code puzzles here.

Other fun, time-consuming activities that I use are:

LEGOs - Sometimes I give them an assignment to help keep them focused. I usually try to keep this pretty broad. For example, I might say, "Make me something from Ancient Egypt/Toy Story/Star Wars/the universe/an animal/your favorite storybook character/etc." And sometimes this is all they need to get them started and their imagination takes over afterwards.

Play dough - I am forever in debt to whoever created the first batch of play dough. With enough dough, and a few tools (or even a LOT of tools!) my kids will while away the afternoon.

Puzzles - The trick is to buy ones that are just hard enough to be challenging and they must be active and pleasing to the eye. Most of mine tell a story (an escape at the zoo, a car race gone haywire, a busy city, the museum exhibits come to life, etc.)

Magazines - Give your child some (pre-approved!) magazines, a pair of scissors, glue, and some posterboard and you have a winner. I sometimes ask them to create a collage of their favorite things, things that are red/purple/etc., mammals...  Or I may ask them to create a habitat and include some animals found there.

And remember, you can never, NEVER have too many markers, crayons, colored pencils, paper, construction paper, poster boards, erasers, glue, and kid's scissors.

What about you? Do you have some fabulous ideas to share with Melanie? Leave a comment below!

Con mucho cariño...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Celebrate World Water Day!


Have you ever thought about water?

Seriously, the water that comes out of your sinks - Do you know where it comes from? Is it clean? How do you know? What exactly is in it?

Today, March 22nd, 2011 we celebrate International World Water Day (WWD). This year's official event is taking place in South Africa's Cape Town. But events are taking place all over the world to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

Each year, since 1994, WWD has highlighted a specific aspect of freshwater. This year's theme is Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge. You can go here to take a look at the various websites and posters from previous years.

I also like how they have free printables - many in English and Spanish - related to Water and Cities.

For more information, you can visit World Water Day's website in English, Spanish, and even French!

Now, here are my water finds:

• At the top of my list is the EPA website which has a TON of lesson plans, activities, and much more for parents and teachers to choose from. Specifically, check out their Water Source Books page.

Water.org has some incredible downloads, too. And they are listed according to grade for easy access.

• You can also find science & math lessons, as well as art/language arts lessons at the Community Science Action Guides site.

Air & Water, Inc has a good page on the water cycle that includes some great educational links to videos, articles, diagrams and more.

• I also like this coloring page of the water cycle from Miss Rioux's Rockin Web Site. :)

• For water sampling lessons, take a look at this one from K12science.org

• As for where your house water comes from, take a look at this fun site from the City of Orlando.


Con mucho cariño...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan with Love, From Mommy Maestra



Tomorrow, Friday, March 18th, I will be joining bloggers in a Day of Silence in honor of the many victims (and indeed the whole country) of Japan's recent catastrophe. If you'd like to know more about the project, or to donate money to Shelter Box, one of the first organizations contacted by Japan to help with the disaster relief, you can visit www.ForJapanWithLove.com

Feliz Día de San Patricio, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Be sure to check out yesterday's post with a list of great bilingual activities to celebrate Saint Patrick's day. I have added a few more links as updates :)


And now, in honor of today:




Con mucho cariño...


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bilingual Activities to Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day


Mañana we celebrate St. Patrick's Day (SPD), or el día de San Patricio. To get you all in the mood, here are some resources in English and Spanish to keep the kids busy!


Printables

• First off, be sure to check out my 15-page bilingual activity pack on St. Patrick's Day.

KinderLatino has a free printable syllable activity in Spanish.

Bilingual Teacher Clubhouse has a free downloadable St. Partrick's Day card in Spanish.

• Yvonne Crawford has several activities in English or Spanish in her store, including a SPD Writing Workshop, Mathbooking (Gr. 1-2, K), Math Glyph (Gr 2-3, 4-5), Spanish Worksheets, Ireland Copywork and Activities, and Mathbooking Journal Prompts.

• Mrs. Morrow's Kindergarten has lots of games and worksheets in English.

• Katie Hoss also has a good SPD BINGO activity.

Arts and Crafts/Manualidades:

• First, be sure to check out my Pinterest board on St. Patrick's Day. It has a lot of crafts and bilingual activities on it.

Primera Escuela has a great page with activities and crafts for young children to make. They also have several downloadable coloring pages.

Nourish Interactive also has some awesome activities in English and Spanish for celebrating the holiday.

Bilingual Fun! Has put together a post with some bilingual activities.

The Crafty Crow has some really great crafts that kids and parents will enjoy - no matter what language you speak! Take a look here and here and here.

• Don't forget YoDibujo for some excellent games, coloring pages and more!

• When I did a search on Family Fun for St. Patrick's Day, I got 1627 results. Gulp! (...and good luck!)


Recetas/Recipes:

Family Fun also has some great recipes for kids.


Books/Libros:

Celebra el Dia de San Patricio con Samantha y Lola (Cuentos Para Celebrar) by Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Campoy

Jack and the Leprechaun by Ivan Robertson

The Story of Saint Patrick's Day by Patricia A Pingry

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola



Con mucho cariño...

The 2011 New York International Children's Film Festival


It is North America's largest film festival for children. The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) has already begun and is taking place now through March 27th. If you are in the area, you and your children/students might enjoy catching some of these films at one of the theaters around Manhattan. This three week event includes not only the showing of 100+ films from around the world, but also retrospectives, filmmaker Q&As, production workshops, receptions, audience voting, and the NYICFF Awards Ceremony.


Tickets are on sale now at the NYICFF website, http://www.gkids.com/.

Possibly one of the most exciting things may be the SPECIAL EVENT: NYICFF Awards, Best of Fest, and Closing Night Party which takes place this coming Sunday, March 20th. And the ticket prices are absurdly reasonable: only $15. (But tickets are going FAST!)

Some of this year's films are:


:: Aurelie Laflamme's Diary (Canada)



:: A Cat in Paris (France)



:: Chandani: The Daughter of the Elephant Whisperer (Sri Lanka)
You can also take a look through their on-line shop, where you can rent or buy DVDs of some of the more popular films shown at the festival over the years, like these...


:: Under the Same Moon



:: White Mane



:: The Secret of Moonacre



:: Viva Cuba!


Con mucho cariño...


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book Review: Mundo Océano

Summer is quickly approaching and if your familia is like mine, you will be looking for fun and technically-not-school-but-still-educational lesson plans or topics to learn about. We studied the beach last year, and we'll probably do so again at some point this summer...it is a popular subject here in our casa. If any of you are interested in exploring this subject with your children as well, you might be interested in this book from Discovery Kids that I also found on one of my bookstore adventures.

Mundo Océano is a fabulous book that is FILLED with information about ocean life. Written completely in Spanish, the book includes quizes, stickers, and a poster. It is divided into four parts: beaches and coastlines, coral reefs, the open sea, and polar waters. Each section touches on important elements related to that particular subject. I love that each page is filled with pictures and short facts that won't overwhelm young children. This is the perfect book to capture a child's interest, and will encourage them to learn more.

Here are some photos from the inside of the book to give you an idea of the layout and presentation...




This book is best suited as a supplement for a comprehensive lesson plan on oceans, or as an easy read to introduce the topic of ocean habitats. Children and adults both will love this book and the information it contains.

I love this book. I would sell it if I knew I could find another copy. But I've searched the web with not a lot of success.  However, I think I may have found some available (I'm not sure - there's no picture!) for a reasonable price at Barnes & Noble. (But if you are really desperate, email me and I'll consider parting with it.)

If you'd like to purchase the English version, click here. (Why would Amazon carry the English version and not the Spanish one?) 

I also have a lot of great ocean books in English and Spanish available in La Libreria. There are new and gently used copies available.

Con mucho cariño...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Links: 1001 Libros Infantiles to Tres Leches Cake

Articles, Books, and Lessons:

1001 libros infantiles que hay que leer antes de crecer :: Paper Blog (Thanks to ORCA for sharing!)

Working at Home & Homeschooling: 7 Life Lessons from a WAHM :: Simple Homeschool

Homeschooling the First Year: Living with (and without) Labels :: The Homeschool Classroom

Funny Bone Reader Give Away! :: The Homeschool Post

Manifestación en apoyo a las familias procesadas por educar en casa en España :: BAJO EL DIENTE DE LEÓN (Show your support!)



Crafts:

Action Pack :: Whip Up (A downloadable mini-magazine for kids ages 7+ who want to do stuff!)

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts :: The Crafty Crow

Mas Arboles :: Reciclando en la Escuela (Great ideas for recycling all those crayon bits!)



Recipes:

Tres Leches Cake, An Easy Recipe :: The Tiki Tiki Blog



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Upside Right Encourages Children to Be Active


While we are on the subject of exercise (read the previous post), I want to share with you a great resource that I received a week or so ago in the mail. Upside Right: A Children's Guide to Movement is a new picture book that encourages children to be active. I was so happy to receive a digital copy of this story, which is written in verse by Gaetano Amato, a movement specialist who has developed movement programs for children.

The book is filled with colorful illustrations depicting children enjoying various types of activity. As they turn the pages, your children/students will learn about - and be encouraged to explore - spacial awareness, changes of direction, locomotor movements, changes of speed, traveling on different body parts, body shapes, and balancing.

Parents and teachers can also purchase a Teacher Edition, which includes lesson plans to accompany the text, and helps you to create effective physical education lessons.

I might just mention that the book also contains 75 words from the Dolch Sight Word list for children through third grade. It is so great to find a book that serves a double purpose: reading practice and movement lessons!

Upside Right has also led to the formation of Get Kids Moving Now, a private organization whose goal is to get kids involved in physical activities through reading. To learn more about the book, or to place an order, visit their website: www.GetKidsMovingNow.com. You can also follow them on Facebook.


Con mucho cariño...

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