Friday, March 29, 2013

Design-It-Yourself Cascarón Activity

cascarones activities


I simply can't resist this one last activity that I created for my own kids. If you need a last-minute activity to keep your kids busy for a few minutes while you work in the kitchen or hide those eggs, then simply print up this sheet, give your kids a couple of dice, and some crayons or colored pencils.




Available in English or Spanish, you can find this printable in my TpT store.

¡Felices Pascuas!



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Free Spanish Easter-Themed Vocabulary Worksheets {PRINTABLE}

Another freebie for those of you with beginning writers and spellers! These vocabulary worksheet pages come in English or Spanish, and with directional arrows or just dotted lines. There's also room at the bottom of each page for your child to write their own sentence(s) using the vocabulary. And your little ones may enjoy coloring them in when they finish.



Don't forget to leave me some feedback in my store if you download them!


Enjoy!

Free Spanish Easter-Themed Note Cards {PRINTABLE}


More Easter freebies! (Be sure to check back tomorrow, too. ;)

Many of you enjoyed the blank Spanish Christmas note cards and Día de los Muertos note cards, and have asked for more. So here ya go! They are so great for inspiring your kids to write. Yo sé que many of you may have already printed up your Easter cards (wow, they're everywhere this year!), but you can always use these next year, no?
Yes, yes, I'm slow, pero don't forget I'm homeschooling, too!


And one favor: If you download (or purchase) ANY of my printables, won't you please consider leaving me some feedback on TpT, por favor?

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: Basher Science


Don't let the subject title of the books turn you away as they have in the past for me! If I see "Physics" anywhere, I just keep going. These books definitely caught my eye. I judged the books by their cover and they didn't disappoint. Because of the subject matter, these books are clearly intended for children in grades 4 through 8. Nevertheless, an introduction to any of these science subjects to younger children is a possibility due to the fact that the creators, writers and illustrators of these books are simply amazing at relating to kids.

Talk about knowing how to hook students to science! Talk about the ability to connect with kids and make teaching science so much fun and interesting. Just like many kids his age, Diego, who is in kindergarten, has been talking about space and planets for a long time. Recently though, he went from reciting the planet names to asking questions about gravity, dwarf planets and orbits so I had to think about a way to help him explore beyond me Googling for answers.

Lucky for all of us, during one of my volunteer shifts at his school's library, I came across Basher Science! Ooooh, how I wish I had these books when I was growing up! I remember sitting through countless science classes in grade school through high school and being bored out of my mind while the teacher gave us notes on atoms or force or rocks and minerals. I also remember now that while teaching literature to middle school kids, novels with graphics (whether it was handwriting style or with photographs) helped many of my students stay interested. Basher Books have created anime style illustrations and are explaining science the way kids talk: the recipe for a successful method of teaching all types of science material to students.

I checked out Basher Science: Astronomy: Out of this World!and Basher Science: Physics: Why Matter Matters! for Diego as I know these are his current obsessions. "Mami, gravity keeps us down! And did you know that speed and acceleration are different??" Um, no. Let's look it up!! And there is so much to look up! I love the tone in these books. A great example: "Acceleration: Forget the need for speed-I've got what it takes to get you going. I'm what makes things pull away from one another, like cars at traffic lights. I'm a total adrenaline junkie who likes to live in the fast lane."

There are titles in our library such as Rocks and Minerals, The Human Body, Biology, and Planet Earth. Also, while doing research for this post I see they have just created new titles such as, Basher Basics:Dinosaurs (Santi, my two year old will LOVE it), Basher History:U.S. Presidents, and Basher Basics:Creative Writing (coming out July 2013)! As a teacher, I believe in taking any material that inspires the educator and applying it to any type of student; young or old (I too have learned a lot with these books). As a mother, purchasing reference books are an investment. I need them to last for all three boys, and I need them to be "meaty" as I like to call them. In other words, I want to own a modern encyclopedia with lots of information that we can go to in the upcoming years.  The fun factor is definitely a bonus and Basher Books are doing it all!


Disclosure: All links to Amazon are my affiliate links.

 ---------------------------------------------



Betty Galvan, is helping her readers "find the positive and seek the benefits" over at her blog, MyFriendBettySays.com.

She is the mother of three beautiful little boys and a teacher.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter-Themed Freebie: Bilingual Plural Words Worksheets {PRINTABLE}


A few Easter freebies this week! My kids always need practice on plural words, so I put together these quick and easy worksheets - one in English and the other in Spanish. Children just match the words with their plural counterparts and then color in the picture.



Enjoy!


PS - Yes, I'm aware that eggs and cascarones are not the same thing. But was trying to make it relevant for both languages. ;)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Let's Develop Your Child's Early Math Skills - It's EASY!


© Paulus Nugroho R - Fotolia.com

Many of you are the parents of children who are almost ready to start school. And because you read MommyMaestra, I know that you care about your child's education and are ready to help him or her succeed academically. We've talked a lot about the importance of developing pre-literacy skills with your preschoolers, and supporting their reading and writing skills once they start kindergarten.

But we haven't talked too much about the importance of math skills in early education.


PBS KIDS recently released the data of a survey they conducted which showed that parents tend to place less emphasis on their child's math skills because many see literacy as being the most important skill their child needs to succeed in school. The survey also indicated that parents are less comfortable supporting their child's math skills at home, and may even feel some anxiety about it.

But helping your preschooler develop basic math skills at home doesn't need to cause you any stress. It doesn't require you to sit your child down with worksheets, or to teach them algebra. 

Perhaps you'd feel better if you knew that your preschooler needs to learn:
- How to count from 1 to 10 (or even 1 to 20!)
- To recognize basic shapes (squares, circles, rectangles, and triangles)
- How to group items by size, shape, color...or some other common characteristic

- How to recognize simple patterns

Easy, no? Yes! It is! All of these are easy to teach in your daily routines. And it doesn't matter which language you use to teach them. 


Over the next year, I'll be sharing simple ways to teach these concepts to your child using everyday situations and items you find at home.

But I want to start off with a valuable resource about which you should know.


A few weeks ago, PBS KIDS announced its newest initiative dedicated to supporting the development of early math and literacy skills in children ages 2-8 from low-income families. "It All Adds Up" focuses on providing parents with the tools they need to develop their child's math skills.

They've started off by launching a BILINGUAL app for PARENTS. It is free. And it is a must-have app for parents of children up to age 5. You can read my condensed review of the PBS Parents Play & Learn App here on LatinaMom.me, but I'll be sharing a more thorough review here on MommyMaestra in the weeks to come.

In addition, PBS KIDS has put together a team of early childhood educators and educational bloggers who will provide tips and ideas for parents to help their children learn early math concepts and to integrate math activities into their daily lives. I'm super thrilled to be one of them. We'll be sharing our tips and ideas over at the PBS KIDS Lab. In fact, Maria Lando (TheMathMom.com) has already started off the conversation by sharing how we all use math in our daily lives in ways you never would have thought about.

And if you've never visited PBS KIDS Lab before - you'll love it! Not only does it contain dozens of educational online games geared to develop your child's math and literacy skills, but it also offers activities you can do at home, in the classroom, during the summer, or after school. And did I mention it is available in Spanish, too?

Looking forward to sharing more resources with you soon!

Con mucho cariño...

Friday, March 22, 2013

The #1 Reason I Celebrate World Water Day Each Year

Happy World Water Day! Did you read my post yesterday? It had some resources you might be interested in. And I write about WWD each year, so be sure to check out the links to those posts since I've shared some great bilingual websites and books to help kids study water. 

But the number one reason why I celebrate World Water Day is shared below in this beautiful minute video by Social Good Moms...


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Celebrate World Water Day!

Every year, I celebrate World Water Day here on MommyMaestra with a post sharing resources in English and Spanish for teaching your children about the importance of water. And tomorrow, on March 22nd, we'll be celebrating it here at home again. Having fresh water is a basic necessity for not only humans, but nearly all living things.

783 million people, or 11% of the world’s population, do not have safe water to drink and that this, coupled with poor sanitation, results in 2,000 children dying every day. And this is why tomorrow, my kids and I will be discussing how precious this natural resource is, and why it is our responsibility to manage it in a thoughtful manner. 

By now, most of you know that I am a former zookeeper and that I take nature and our role as stewards of the Earth very seriously. You know I have a virtual zoo here on our little farm, and that our lives (and yours) are closely tied to the rhythms of the land. I look around and see how water can make or break our local farmers. 

But I also am aware that people across the globe are fighting to survive and their access to clean water is crucial. 

So that is why tomorrow, I'm going to do more than just teach my children about the importance of water. I'm going to be developing their sense of social responsibility by talking about what we (as a family and a nation) can do to be a solution for the water crisis.

I'll be tweeting and retweeting WaterAid America's that water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty. You can follow the conversation too, by simply following the hashtags and on Twitter.

You can also join the World Water Day Google+ Hangout Friday at 1.30pm EST. WaterAid and other water organizations will be discussing the world water crisis and solutions in a session moderated by YouTube star Justine Ezarik.


RESOURCES:

In 2011, I asked you if you know where the water in your sink comes from and if you know what is in it (do you?), then I shared some great sites with lessons plans, printables, and other resources for you to download or use.

In 2012, I focused on books in English and Spanish for you to read with your children. (But I still shared some really awesome websites in English and Spanish for your kids to enjoy, so be sure to check them out because they're still super cool.)



This year, I'm recommending the new WWD website again - but this time, my favorite part is the Logo Builder! I made the logo above and the one at the right here using it. It is really a fabulous idea and allows you to create your own logo in one of 19 different languages and using various color/pattern combinations.

We're also putting together this super cute water cycle craftivity from Sweet Tea Classroom. It comes in both English and Spanish, so you can choose which one you prefer.


You can also find instructions in Spanish here for making your own terrarium so you can create your own water cycle experiment.

And last, we'll top it all off by watching this video together...



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nonfiction & Literature Lists from Scholastic


Have you taken a look at Scholastic's Common Sense for the Common Core site? There's a lot of really useful information there for parents. One of their newest pages is the Nonfiction & Literature Lists that makes book suggestions based on a child's grade and subject matter.

I was especially pleased to see multicultural books included in the lists. So if you are looking for a good resource to help develop your child's reading abilities with materials that are common core aligned, be sure to check out this great page.

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Bilingual Minibook On the History of Cascarones

cascarones activities

Easter is less than two weeks away, so I just wanted to remind you about my bilingual minibook on cascarones. The little booklet includes black-and-white images for your children/students to color in, as well as a brief description of the history of cascarones. Your kids will learn where cascarones originated, what they originally carried, and who introduced them to Mexico. There is even instructions on how to make your own cascarones included. The bilingual pages include full text in both English and Spanish.

You can find it here in my TpT store. 


Enjoy!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The PBS 2013 Online Film Festival

The PBS 2013 Online Film Festival runs March 4th through the 22nd. The festival takes place on all PBS digital platforms, You Tube and PBS social media channels. It showcases 25 short films that feature a diversity of subjects, voices, and viewpoints. And people like you and me have the power to determine this year's winner. The film with the most online votes receives the People's Choice Award, and the winner will be announced in early April.

ALL of the films are fantastic. But, OF COURSE, I have my favorites. Embedded below are the ones that I'm voting for. I hope that you'll take a few minutes to watch them if you have the time...and maybe even go and vote?

I'm sure you won't be surprised at my #1 pick, Hoverboard...

 



And running a VERY close second is Sin País...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Multicultural Homeschooling Webinar TODAY

© Andres Rodriguez - Fotolia.com
Are you thinking about homeschooling your child next year? Do you have questions about how to get started and where to find resources? Are you worried about socialization, how much it will cost, or if you are capable of teaching your own child?

Today, the HSLDA is hosting the FREE webinar, Homeschooling Is for Everyone!, which talks about mutlicultural homeschooling. I'll be a guest, along with Joyce Burges, cofounder of National Black Home Educators (NBHE). We'll be talking about our own experiences in homeschooling, how we started and what we see happening in our communities.

If you'd like to know more about homeschooling, or have questions, we'd like to help. Join us today at 2 pm. EST. The webinar is free, just sign up here.

Hope to see you there!

~Monica

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Comprehensive List of Spanish Learning Programs


One of the emails that I frequently get is from parents looking for Spanish learning programs. So since my Master List of Spanish Curricula has proven to be so popular, I thought maybe it would be a great idea to have one place listing Spanish learning programs. To make it easy, I'll be adding a button in my sidebar, so you can find this list easily. (But feel free to bookmark it anyway!)

By clicking on the title of the product, you will be taken to the publisher's/company's website where you can purchase it or read more about it.

Because some of the materials have already been reviewed on MommyMaestra, if you click on the word "REVIEW" next to the title, you will be taken to review article so you can read our thoughts about the product.


Items with the word "RECOMMENDED" next to them were submitted/presented at the suggestion of someone else. Some link to reviews.

IF you would like to review a product on MommyMaestra, or submit your product for review, please contact me.  

Curricula

Calico Spanish - Comprehensive Curriculum (REVIEW)


Sonrisas Spanish School - Complete Pre-K & Elementary Curriculum (REVIEW)

All Bilingual Press Spanish Curriculum - Introductory curriculum for Pre-K thru Kindergarten. Supplemental curriculum for Elementary students. (REVIEW)

Little Pim - Language acquisition program for kids up to 6 yo (REVIEW)

Kid Start Spanish - Immersion program (REVIEW)

Spanish for You! - Complete curriculum  

Conversa Books - Spanish curriculum (REVIEW coming soon)

La Clase Divertida - Complete Spanish curriculum (REVIEW coming soon)

Risas y Sonrisas - Complete Homeschool Spanish curriculum (REVIEW)

Sube - Complete Spanish curriculum (REVIEW)

Language Tree - 6 month, online learning course

WhistlefritzComplete Pre-K & Elementary Curriculum




Online Programs

PetraLingua.com (REVIEW)

1 2 3 Teach Me - Free online Spanish Resources

Monarca Language  - PreK to Kindergarten only (REVIEW)

Games for Language - Subscription-based online learning program best suited for teens and adults. (REVIEW)


Apps

NOYO - for iPad (REVIEW)

• Lingual - for iPad (Launching soon)



Last updated on 6/9/2014

Saturday, March 9, 2013

3 Fun St. Patrick's Day Activities

Saint Patrick's Day is just a little over a week away, so I wanted to share a few resources if you are looking for something fun to do with your children/students. Family Fun Magazine is one of our favorites when it comes to finding ideas for kids crafts, activities, and games. They've kindly shared the following three craft ideas, including the simple directions. If you make some of them, I would love to see pictures!! (You can share them on the MommyMaestra Facebook page!)

Don't forget that I have a bilingual St. Patrick's Day activity pack on sale in my TpT shop. It's perfect for children in Pre-K through 1st grade. Enjoy!


Swinging Shamrocks

Materials
Cardboard tubes
Scissors
Glue
Green paint
Fishing line/string

Directions
1. Cut four half-inch rings from a flattened cardboard tube, then cut through one of the folds on each ring.
2. For three of the rings, bend and glue the two ends to form a heart-shaped leaf.
3. Fold the fourth ring into a triangular stem and glue the ends together.
4. Glue the stem between two leaves, then glue on the third.
5. Paint the shamrock green. When it’s dry, hang it with fishing line or string.

Leprechaun Artist

Materials
Printable beard template from familyfunmag.com
Faux fur
Corrugated cardboard
Glue
Bamboo skewer

Directions

1. Print out beard template from familyfunmag.com
2. Cut the shape from a piece of faux fur and a piece of corrugated cardboard (with the corrugations running vertically).
3. Glue the fur to the cardboard.
4. Place a bit of glue on the end of a bamboo skewer, then insert it into one of the center flutes of the cardboard.
5. Let the glue dry before employing the disguise.

 
Over the Veggie Rainbow

Ingredients
Small bowl
Dip of choice (we used guacamole)
Bell peppers – various colors
Cauliflower
Carrots

Directions

1. Fill a small bowl with dip.
2. Slice four long strips of bell peppers in various colors and arrange them as shown.
3. Cut two small cauliflower clouds, skewer each with a toothpick, then position one on each side of the peppers.
4. Place sliced carrot coins beside the bowl for the leprechaun’s pot of gold.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

There Should Be No Kid Hungry

 
No child should ever go hungry. Not just because our kids shouldn't suffer from such extreme poverty that they have to forgo a meal, but because when our kids go hungry, it affects our whole country. Children who are malnourished struggle academically. Kids who don't eat breakfast have a harder time focusing and learning.

That's why I support the No Kid Hungry campaign. This week was National School Breakfast Week. Does that sound silly? It shouldn't. Because children who eat a healthy breakfast are far more likely to remember what they've learned and are better equipped to learn more.

Perhaps the fact that I homeschool has made me better able to understand the ramifications of my kids skipping breakfast. If fact, just two weeks ago, when I picked her up from a morning piano lesson I was distressed to see that she couldn't remember the names of the notes that she'd had absolutely no problem reading the day before. Confused and a little embarrassed, I told the teacher I'd help her more at home. When we got in our car to leave, my daughter started crying upset that she couldn't remember and that she'd had a bad lesson. By the time we got home, she was sobbing. This was so unusual, I didn't really know what to do and wracked my brain trying to figure out the problem. Just before we arrived home, an idea entered my head and I asked her what she had eaten for breakfast. Guess what? Yep! She hadn't eaten one. I thought my husband had fed her, or that she had made her own. 


I remember getting this same kind of reaction from her two or three times when she was younger and learning to read...but having forgotten to eat breakfast. It was hard for me to determine what was wrong back then...just imagine how confused parents who don't homeschool are if their child starts to struggle academically as a result. I would imagine that eating breakfast might not even be considered.

And what about those low-income families who might not be able to buy breakfast products and rely on their child's school to provide food?

I want to share with you five fast facts from the No Kid Hungry website about the importance of school breakfast programs... 

  1. STUDENTS DON’T EAT BREAKFAST: Even though more than 21 million low-income kids in the U.S. rely on a free or reduced-price school lunch, only half – about 11 million – are also getting a school breakfast. [FRAC School Breakfast Scorecard, 2011-2012]
  1. TEACHERS SEE HUNGER: Nearly two-thirds (62%) of K-8 public school teachers said they had children in their classrooms who regularly came to school hungry because there wasn’t enough to eat at home. [No Kid Hungry’s “Hunger In Our Schools” survey, 2012]
  1. BREAKFAST IS KEY TO LEARNING: Teachers said school breakfast led to increased concentration (95%), better academic performance (89%) and better behavior in the classroom (73%). [No Kid Hungry’s “Hunger In Our Schools” survey, 2012]
  1. BREAKFAST CHANGES LIVES: According to an analysis of the long-term impact of school breakfast, this morning meal does more than simply provide children with essential daily nutrition. On average, students who eat school breakfast have been shown to achieve 17.5% higher scores on standardized math tests and attend 1.5 more days of school per year. These factors are linked to a child’s improved chance of getting a high school diploma, and high school graduates are more likely to be employed, earn higher wages and see greater self-sufficiency as adults. [“Ending Childhood Hunger: A Social Impact Analysis,” 2013]
  1. YOU CAN HELP MORE KIDS GET BREAKFAST:  The No Kid Hungry campaign has found that innovative ways of serving breakfast – like moving it from the cafeteria to the classroom – can give many more kids a chance to benefit from breakfast at school. Increasing participation in school breakfast is just one way No Kid Hungry is making sure all kids get the food they need every day, and you can help. We’re building an online map that paints a virtually unprecedented view of school breakfast programs across the country. We’re asking people to call a school(s), ask three simple questions about school breakfast and report their findings into our online map. Visit NoKidHungry.org/Breakfast to get started.

So what can you do?

1. Make sure your child gets a healthy breakfast every day. Their little bodies need the fuel to function properly.


2. Spread the news. Get to know the other parents in your child's class and share with them how important breakfast is for their child.

3. Get together with your child's school to promote the No Kid Hungry intiative. Enlist them to reach out to parents and promote the message.

4. Follow No Kid Hungry on Facebook and learn more about what resources are available to parents and educators. 


5. And if you are an educator, register for the No Kids Hungry toolkit.

Spanish App Review: National Geographic Kids Spanish Edition

By Betty

Name: National Geographic Kids Spanish Edition
Subject(s): Reading, Science, Geography
Brief Description:  A magazine-style app for your iPad and at your children’s fingertips in Spanish! Full of facts, beautiful photography and engaging word games.
Price: $1.99
Language: Spanish
Ages: 6 and up

What my kids like:  My son just turned six, speaks Spanish and currently reads it as a beginner. He immediately started to scan the National Geographic app on his father’s iPad and his eyes lit up at the realistic images displayed. He particularly enjoyed the water facts. There were 20 different facts on this article alone and they were each displayed as icons, a cool effect when opening up each fact. He also enjoyed learning about pirates and reading a tender story about a turtle and its “friend.”  Some of the Spanish was difficult for him to understand and he demonstrated some frustration. We used my iPhone to look up words in the dictionary (two gadgets!), so he enjoyed that very much!

What I like: I always think that if I am going to pay for an educational app (or any app) I want to make sure we can use it over and over again. I started to read aloud to my son and realized the Spanish was not going to be easy for him. I saw this as an opportunity to help him figure out and look up words he didn’t recognize. I translated a lot but I consider that great practice for him. He made a great effort at reading the captions and short paragraphs. Although he was a little frustrated, I like that National Geographic Kids is so visually stunning and full of great fun facts that it kept my son interested. I wish the app had more games. The word game “Completa y diviertete” was difficult for me! I don’t know Spanish grammar that well and I needed my husband’s help! The only suggestion I would make to the developers of National Geographic Kids would be to add a variety of age appropriate games. Technology like iPads and their applications make children believe they are “playing,” and mothers like me love it if they are learning as well.



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Betty Galvan, is helping her readers "find the positive and seek the benefits" over at her blog, MyFriendBettySays.com.

She is the mother of three beautiful little boys and a teacher.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

5 Books to Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

My dear friend, Lisa, who also happens to be one of my fellow co-founders of Latinas for Latino Literature, brought it to my attention that today is World Read Aloud Day.

Doesn't that just sound like the most fun day so far this year?

I have written numerous articles on the importance of parents reading to their children and even on the benefits of audiobooks. So I'm not going to go there with this post. Instead, I'm going to share my top five Latino children's literature read-alouds. I hope that you will share yours, too, by leaving a comment.


But before you do, grab your nene and your favorite book and snuggle up on the couch for at least 20 minutes of reading-aloud goodness! Don't forget - you can read-aloud any time, any day, whenever you want! Free fun. Who could ask for more?




by F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada





The World's Best-Loved Stories for Parent and Child to Share
edited by Maite Suarez-Rivas
Translated into Spanish by Alma Mora




compiled by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
illustrations by Lulu Delacre

by Samantha R. Vamos
Illustrated by Rafael López



On the Pampas
by María Cristina Brusca

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Classic in the Jurassic Jr. App


Last week, I shared a list of Spanish reading apps. This week, I'm focusing on a new math app from PBS KIDS.


Name:
Dinosaur Train Classic in the Jurassic, Jr.!
Subject(s):
Math
Brief Description:
Kids play through 3 math-based games focused on sorting, balance, and counting to help Gilbert get Troodon Town ready for a big event.
Price:
$1.99
Language: English
Ages: Pre-K through 1st grade

What my kids like:
My son likes anything having to do with dinosaurs, and is a Dinosaur Train fan. So he enjoys the subject matter and the fact that he recognizes many of the characters. But he also likes the challenges of the different activities even though he is already in 1st grade. He also likes the sticker book activity that is just for fun and allows him to drag and drop images of dinosaurs, trees, rocks, and plants to different spots on the screen creating his own little picture.

What I like:

This app has three different activities that develop math skills like measuring, adding, sorting, and how to use a balance. In the Bridge Builder section, your child has to measure the distance across a chasm, then drag the right number of logs across to make a bridge for the dinosaur to cross. In Chow Time, the player must learn how to use a balance scale by selecting the right amount of food for a dinosaur to eat. The food's weight must equal that of a small (or big!) stone placed on one end of the balance. And finally, in All-Star Sorting, the player must put the dinosaurs in order from shortest to tallest and then help them get home by dragging them to the correct sized doorway.

Additional notes:

This app is currently only available in English.
 






Sunday, March 3, 2013

Celebrate National Grammar Day with Super Grammar! {GIVEAWAY}


Happy National Grammar Day!

Last year, a little update on Scholastic's Facebook page caught my eye. They were sharing some free grammar worksheets with a superhero theme.  Thinking this might be fun for my kids, I downloaded the five pages and shared them with my children. Naturally, they loved the Super Grammar superheroes. In fact, they liked it so much, I went back and read the page with a letter to the teachers from the author and illustrator. And then I noticed something else - their signature. Tony Preciado and Rhode Montijo. Hmmm. Now I am REALLY interested.

So I contacted Tony and Rhode through the Super Grammar website, and arranged to feature them in an article for NBC Latino. They kindly sent me a copy of Super Grammar to review.

I thought the book would be fun reading for my kids, but little did I know that I would actually wind up using this book as part of our homeschool Language Arts curriculum. We have been using Super Grammar for about a month now and I have been amazed at how much my children enjoy learning grammar, AND how much I enjoy teaching it!



The book itself is arranged into four main sections, each one focusing on a particular group of grammar concepts (disguised as superheroes) for children to learn. These four sections are: The Completion Team, The Amazing Eight, The Super Symbols, and The Sabotage Squad.

The sections are made up of various superheroes or supervillains who represent specific grammar concepts. The smallest team is the Completion Team, which is made up of two superheroes: The Subject and The Predicate. They are the most important team and spend their days working together to create complete sentences. Individually they are powerless, but together they are super strong!

Okay. So you get the idea. Here's how I'm using Super Grammar to teach my daughter who is in third grade. (My son is in first grade, but he enjoys watching and participating, too.)

For each grammar lesson, I focus on one new superhero. Because my kids learn best with interactive lessons, I use our dry erase board to present the superhero and his or her superpowers. To make the lesson even more memorable, I went to the Super Grammar website and downloaded pictures of the superheroes, printed them on cardstock, cut them out, laminated them, and then added a magnet to the back. Voilá! I have superheroes on the board for my kids to manipulate and focus on as we learn about each one. Take a look...




I basically use the book as a Teacher's Guide, but I don't stop my kids from looking through it - they love to study it and look at the pictures. Each of my lessons builds upon the previous one (Tony and Rhode have made this very easy, thanks to their layout and the order of their superheroes). I write the most important information on the board and read aloud the rest.

Sometimes I use the sentences that Tony gives in the book as examples, but I usually wind up making up some of my own so that they can practice. I like to pull in some of the other well-known superheroes, too, and make silly sentences which make my kids laugh. (For the record, I'm pretty sure the Green Lantern's favorite color is probably not pink. :)

My daughter has assigned each superhero his or her own color, and then uses that color to identify their role in a sentence. Now that we've gotten further in the book, we've started running out of colors. So now, I have her focus on identifying the specific superhero that we're studying at the time. It was getting a little crazy because she wanted to ID each one and we had lines and circles going everywhere. See...



The best moment for me happened a couple of weeks ago when I noticed that my daughter had not written a complete sentence in her writing assignment. She was missing the subject. When I pointed that out, she immediately cried, "Oh, no! The Fragment got me!!"

I had not been thinking of Super Grammar at all when this was happening, and I was floored that she had identified her mistake so quickly. And for the first time ever, my daughter has actually begged me to teach a grammar lesson for the day.

I am completely sold on this book. The only thing missing is that I don't have enough worksheets for my daughter to practice on in order to reinforce each concept. But I know that a workbook is in Tony and Rhode's plans for the future.


In addition, Super Grammar has created some super posters, each one featuring one of the four Super Grammar Super-teams. We got ours in the mail last week and my kids immediately divided them up equally between themselves, then ran for their rooms to hang them up.




 

THE GIVEAWAY

Now for the best part: Tony has graciously offered to give one MommyMaestra reader a copy of Super Grammar PLUS four Super Grammar posters. These would be fabulous to use at home or in a classroom
.

To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment below.
The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Monday, March 11th. The winner will be chosen using Random.org. and contacted via email - so be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment! (If I have no way to contact you, I'll have to choose someone else!)

And to increase your chances of winning, you can:

1) Follow MommyMaestra on Facebook.


3) Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: Enter to win a Super Grammar Set #Giveaway from @LatinMami
 
Don't forget to let me know by posting a separate comment for each entry!

By entering this giveaway, you agree to
the Official Sweepstakes Rules. No purchase required. Void where prohibited.
¡Buena suerte!


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, though the giveaway is offered courtesy of Super Grammar. I did, however, receive a copy of the book and posters for review purposes.

This giveaway is now closed.

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