Saturday, August 31, 2013

It's Neighbor Day on Labor Day with Daniel Tiger!


Daniel Tiger's new Neighbor Day episode premieres this Monday, September 2

This Monday, PBS KIDS has a treat for your preschooler with this half hour special in which Daniel learns how good it feels to be neighborly and that one kind act can lead to many. His first good deed starts a chain reaction of kindness all around the Neighborhood, culminating with the declaration of "Neighbor Day!" If you've been working on teaching your child that it is right to do something nice for others, this would be a great way to reinforce that life lesson. Take a look...



Oh, and BTW, if your preschooler is a Daniel Tiger fan, you should know that the show has a new toy line for children ages 2-4 that includes an adorable Daniel Tiger Feature Plush sporting his signature red cardigan sweater and matching red sneakers as well as one of Katerina Kittycat in her lovely green dress and bow, plus quite a few other toys. (¡Que preciosoooo with his little red sweater!!) Check it out:



But that's not all! Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is also releasing a new app just in time for #NeighborDay on Monday, September 2! Based on the show, Daniel Tiger’s Day & Night app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch helps kids learn basic morning and bedtime routines from Daniel Tiger as he gets ready for school in the morning and ready for bed at night.

Designed for children ages 2-4, the app’s songs and games encourage kids to tap into their imaginations as they make believe with Daniel. Kids can set the breakfast table, tie their shoes, and listen to a bedtime story – all with Daniel Tiger!

Additional features include:
  • 8 games about morning and nighttime routines
  • Good Morning and Good Night strategy songs
  • A timer for parents to help with routines


Happiest Labor Day weekend a todo el mundo!

Disclosure: I'm a PBS KIDS ambassador which basically means that I get to share special PBS KIDS information with you on a regular basis. xo!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Lorito Books: Pat Mora's Gracias/Thanks {GIVEAWAY}

Dear Readers,

Although I will be sharing another resource over the weekend, today is the final giveaway as part of my annual Back-to-School Fiesta! giveaway month. Phew! It has been a long month and a LOT of fabulous giveaways. I'm tired. How about you?

Today's product is no less wonderful than all the others I've shared. I've written about Lorito Books before and they remain my favorite go-to place for bilingual audiobooks.

The audiobook above is one by Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros founder and poet, Pat Mora. (Are you remembering to make the mission of Día a daily ritual at your home? Are you reading together everyday to nurture your child's love of reading?) Gracias * Thanks is one of the few award-winning bilingual books perfect for Thanksgiving. In fact it has won the following awards:  ALA Notable, Belpré Illustrator Honor, and Golden Kite Award.

Gracias * Thanks
Written by Pat Mora
Illustrated by John Parra
Narrated by Rosi Amador and Pat Mora
Original Music byBrian Amador

In a series of poetic sentences, a young boy tells about some of the everyday things for which he is thankful. Come share the joy, and think about all the things for which you can say, ¡Gracias! Thanks!

This hardcover book and CD is a new release from Lorito Books...just in time for Thanksgiving!

One lucky MommyMaestra reader will win this audiobook set:  Pat Mora's Gracias/Thanks from Lorito Books.

To enter this giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter below.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back-to-School Prize Pack from Delta Dental


Today's incredible Back-to-School #giveaway was put together by our friends at Delta Dental. You know that part of a child's education includes teaching them good hygiene habits to keep their body healthy. Our family has experienced a lot of dental issues with my daughter, who despite her mostly good dental hygiene practices, has inherited her dad's soft enamel and has suffered through 6 (SIX!!) cavaties in her 9 years, while her little brother who has my teeth hasn't had a single one. So I'm sort of maniacal about brushing and flossing and swishing.

Anyway, la gente de Delta Dental are super and have assembled the Back-to-School Prize Pack you see above. Here's a list of EVERYTHING in it:
  • (1) Delta Dental bilingual coloring book -- Ratoncito Pérez Saves the Day... One Tooth at a Time!
  • (1) Delta Dental book -- My Loose Tooth
  • (1) The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez 
  • (3) Delta Dental toothbrushes -- 2 kids, 1 regular
  • (1) Delta Dental Frisbee
  • (1) Delta Dental lunch box
  • (1) Delta Dental notebook + pen
  • (1) Delta Dental mirror decal
  • (2) reams of lined wide-rule paper
  • (2) composition books
  • (5) spiral notebooks
  • (3) folders
  • (1) 2-pack glue sticks
  • (1) bottle of glue
  • (1) pack of pencil erasers
  • (1) 2-pack erasers
  • (1) 24-count crayons
  • (1) 12-count colored pencils 
  • (1) sharpener
  • (1) flexible ruler
  • (1) 2-pack scissors
  • (1) 12-count dental-themed pencils
  • (1) 2-pack highlighters
  • (1) White-Out roller
  • Dental-themed stickers

Isn't that simply AMAZING?? Maybe you'll have EVERYTHING your child needs to start school as far as school supplies go?

And because they are just great people over there at Delta Dental, they've even put together this tip sheet for dental hygiene for you to share with your child:



Guess what?

TWO (2!) lucky MommyMaestra readers will win a Back-to-School Prize Pack from Delta Dental. 

Ready to enter? Just use the Rafflecopter below. GO!

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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, nor did I receive any samples. (I wish I could enter this giveaway.) All thoughts, opinions, and gushing are mine!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3-Month Subscription to MOMables {GIVEAWAY}



Today's Back-to-School Fiesta! giveaway is not to be missed!! Laura Fuentes is the Founder/CEO of MOMables, the first meal-planning service for healthy and fresh school lunches. She helps thousands of parents every day make lunches their kids will actually eat. Born in Spain and raised with tapas, Laura loves all things lunch! She lives in what she calls southern suburbia and is mom to 3 kids ages 6, 5 and 17 months.

I received a free trial so I could understand how the program works, and I love it. Once you subscribe, you just login to the website and you'll be taken to the Subscribers' Weekly Menu Page where you can find your current menu plan, as well as the one for the previous week. You'll also find links to specific recipes to try for breakfast or dinner, and downloads of helpful guides. The Homemade Resource Guide helps you get away from boxed/processed foods at the store with these homemade recipes. You'll be able to make your own whole wheat pancakes, tortillas, croissants, and even oreos! The Gluten Free Resource Guide is, of course, especially helpful for families with gluten allergies.

For your current menu plan, just click on the link to download it to your computer. You can see a sample menu here. Each week's menu comes in a pdf format and includes:
  • Kitchen Notes with time saving tips and schedule of recipes
  • 5 individual recipe plans with picture
  • 1 page with complete recipes for all 5 lunches
  • And a shopping list with all the ingredients you'll need for the week


All of the recipes I've seen so far look healthy and delicious. This website service is pure genius! The site also includes a long list of recipes in their Recipe Index, and you can always follow their blog for mouth-watering ideas (check out their Easy Homemade PopTarts Recipe!).

And if you aren't ready to subscribe to MOMables, you can still use them by signing up for their free, weekly newsletter to get great school lunch ideas delivered to your inbox.

One lucky MommyMaestra reader will receive a 3-month subscription to MOMables.

To enter this giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Good Night Captain Mama Teacher Pack {GIVEAWAY}


This post uses affiliate links. By using them you are helping to support this website. ¡Gracias!

Today's giveaway is perfect for teachers and librarians.

The Gracefully Global Group
has created a Good Night Captain Mama Teacher Pack (affiliate link) just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month. This pack comes with a copy of the bilingual book, Good Night Captain Mama/Buenas noches Capitán Mamá, as well as an embroidered patch. The pack is available in a set of 21 and 31 for classrooms.

Last month I wrote a review of this ground-breaking book for Latino children. It is the first bilingual picture book that features Latinas in the military and is a powerful tool for teachers and parents who want to help empower their students and children. Good Night, Captain Mama/Buenas noches, Capitán Mamá is lovely story about a young boy and his mother, who happens to serve in the U.S. Air Force. In addition, there is a template in the back of the book that you can copy and give to your child/students so that they can create their own patches. But the teacher's pack actually comes with real patches as you can see in the picture above.

Wouldn't this be a great activity for your classroom during Hispanic Heritage Month??

One MommyMaestra reader will receive one Good Night Captain Mama Teacher Pack.

To enter this giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter below.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Música Amiga & Educents $25 Gift Card {GIVEAWAY}


This post uses affiliate links. You can help support MommyMaestra by using them.

Today's giveaway is a delight for immersion teachers and parents alike. It was donated by the talented, award-winning authors, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy.

Música Amiga is an anthology of folklore and original poems that uses the power of music and poetry to build literacy. Parents, teachers, librarians, and homeschoolers will find Música amiga to be a valuable tool for developing their students' phonemic awareness and supporting language acquisition, both of which are basic foundations for reading success. To create this anthology, Ada and Campoy joined forces with the talented Suni Paz, who arranged and sings all of the songs on the CD.

You can find a complete description of each book on the Latin Baby Book Club website as it was shared by Sra. Campoy. It is also available for purchase through Del Sol Books.

In addition to the great Música Amiga collection, I'm also giving away a $25 gift card to Educents (affiliate link). If you don't know about Educents, you should. They are one of my favorite new education websites, so when I had a chance to sign up as an affiliate, I did so as quickly as I could. Educents is sort of like a Living Social or Groupon for educational products. I've seen so many awesome products offered at amazing discounts since the site launched earlier this year. From English language arts to science kits to foreign language learning, there's tons of great stuff on there each week. You can use this gift card and apply it to purchase their already discounted products and save BIG!

One MommyMaestra reader will win a Música Amiga collection, and a $25 Educents gift card.

To enter this giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter below.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Super Grammar {GIVEAWAY}


Earlier this year, I discovered Super Grammar. It's a fun guide for teaching your kids about grammar using a superhero theme that engages readers and describes all those pesky grammar rules in a way that most kids can understand.

It was written and illustrated by two Latino illustrators: Tony Preciado and Rhode Montijo. In an interview, Tony told me that he wondered, “Why was English grammar so hard for me when I was a kid in grade school?” I suspect that a lot of us feel that way, especially those of us - and our kids - who are visual learners.

I encourage you to read my full review of the book and how I've been using it to teach my own kids grammar. They absolutely love it. It is an EXCELLENT tool for both teachers and parents whose students/children are struggling to understand all the tedious grammar rules. Honestly? Kids of ANY age (and maybe some of you parents, like me!) will benefit from reading this book.

TWO (2) lucky MommyMaestra readers will receive a Super Grammar set that includes the book, plus four posters that feature the four Super Teams, like the Completion Team that is made up of The Subject and The Predicate who must work together to form a complete sentence.

To enter this giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter below.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sesame Street Now On PlayTales Gold {GIVEAWAY}


Today's Back-to-School Fiesta! giveaway is from PlayTales Gold. This app provides unlimited interactive storybooks and activities for kids ages 1 to 10. The stories are designed to help children learn new vocabulary, spelling, numbers, word pronunciation, and more. You can purchase a monthly, semi-annual, or annual subscription to PlayTales Gold, which gives your family unlimited access to interactive books, games, drawing activities, and sing-along songs (English & Spanish), for the duration of the subscription. The app also features universal subscription so users can access PlayTales Gold from their iPhone and iPad using the same iTunes account. You just select a book and download it to your bookshelf so that your child can enjoy it at any time.

My son, who is 7, really likes the interactive element of the storybooks. Knowing he can manipulate the images and make them move is really fun for him. I like the fact that I can choose whether he reads it on his own (to me), or listens to the book being read to him using the audio option. I can use this as reading practice while we homeschool, and he enjoys the digital aspect of it.

One of the neat features of this app is that users can choose from 8 languages to read/hear the books, including, English, Spanish (Castellano, Catalan, & Latino!!), French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin), and Japanese.

Today, PlayTale Gold is announcing a new partnership with Sesame Street, and is offering new storybooks by Sesame Street in four languages, including Barrio Sésamo (in Castellano Spanish) and Plaza Sésamo (in "Latino" Spanish).

TEN (10!) MommyMaestra readers will win 1 month of PlayTales Gold, which provides unlimited access to ALL books, songs, and games for 30 days.

To enter the giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter below.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ana-Tommy and Friends: Making Anatomy Fun! {Giveaway}


Today's Back-to-School Fiesta! giveaway is from author, Lina Anton-Echeverria, who's book, Ana-Tommy & Friends is all about teaching children anatomy in a fun and memorable way. This delightful book features two children, Ana and Tommy, who introduce your child to some of the important organs that live in our body. The rhyming verse makes it easy for your child to remember the organs and their primary functions. Along the way your child will "meet" organs like Dart the Heart, Lily the Liver, Pete the Pancreas, and Gail the Gallbladder, just to name a few.

Lina says, "Most kids can't name their organs, don't understand how they work, and aren't able to visualize the inside of their bodies." This books is a wonderful introduction to anatomy for young children. It is written in English, and best suited for kids ages 4 to 8.


One MommyMaestra reader will win a copy of the book, Ana-Tommy & Friends.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

3-month Free Trial to TabTor Math #Spon {GIVEAWAY}



This is a sponsored post and uses an affiliate link. The Tabtor service, information, and additional free trials have been provided by Tabtor.

Today's Back-to-School Fiesta! giveaway is from TabTor Math, a personalized tablet tutoring service for students in K - 6th grade. I just signed up for a free, two-week trial and so far, I love it.

My daughter has a love/hate relationship with math. Even though she is great at math, she is not fast at it (I'm okay with that) and sometimes she struggles with certain applications (like word problems). So when I was asked to review TabTor, I said yes.

Let me tell you about my experience with them so far. After we signed up, my daughter logged on with our iPad and completed a sample worksheet. She then went on to complete a diagnostic test for her grade level (3rd), and was disappointed when there wasn't another worksheet available yet for her. Ummm, excuse me? Who is this girl? My daughter does not ask for worksheets to do - especially math worksheets. But she wanted to do more. Maybe it is the novelty of doing them on the iPad instead of a plain sheet of paper. I don't know, but I was surprised and intrigued.

In addition, TabTor provides plenty of space on the screen to allow your child to write down the problems. A stylus is helpful, however, my daughter was able to simply use her finger to write out number sentences and make notes to help her find the solutions.



An hour or two later, I had a phone call from a TabTor teacher who analyzed my daughter's diagnostic test (she scored 19 out of 30 right) and noted which problems she was struggling with. I actually missed the call, so our tutor followed up with an email that included a detailed view of the diagnostic test and a description of the areas where my daughter needed work - word problems! Big surprise. And some missing multiplication digits, which I think was because she didn't notice that the number hadn't been entered correctly. What a great way to encourage her to go back and double check her answer before moving on to the next question!  She left me her phone number so I could call her back to discuss a "study plan" for my daughter, or I could just email her, if that is how I prefer to communicate. The tutor assigns worksheets customized to my daughter's needs.

If you find your child struggling with math this year, but you don't have time to take him or her to a tutoring service, or don't like the idea of a stranger coming into your home to tutor your child, then TabTor may be right for your family. Your child can complete the customized digital worksheets anywhere - at home, in the car (like my daughter does), at the library, etc. And you can communicate with your TabTor tutor via phone or email.

Tabtor allows instantaneous grading feedback and guarantees 24-hour feedback to issues or questions. Providing comprehensive analytics, Tabtor can track every student activity – keystroke, penstroke, eraser, etc., to help teachers and parents understand student performance and potential intervention points. The analytics are so in-depth that they can tell instructors how long it takes a student to complete a problem and can identify key areas of struggle for the students Tabtor currently has 500 active students enrolled and students have shown a 20 percent improvement in just two months.

If you are interested in exploring TabTor with your child, you can sign up for a free 2-week trial using my affiliate link. And if you absolutely love it, have used my affiliate link, and decide to subscribe you can get a GREAT discount for MommyMaestra readers: you get a $10 discount and pay $40 a month instead of $50!

One MommyMaestra reader will win a free 3-month trial of Tabtor plus a $50 Visa gift card. 

To enter the giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter below.

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¡Buena suerte!

Disclosure: This is a compensated post. I received a free trial to TabTor for the purpose of this review. All opinions, however, are strictly my own.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Handwriting Without Tears Spanish Sample Pack {GIVEAWAY}

Spanish cursive program

I'm pretty excited about today's giveaway because several months ago, someone asked me on Facebook about resources in Spanish for teaching cursive. It wasn't easy to find many (more about that next month), but one of the companies that had the best materials was Handwriting Without Tears. This company is nationally known among homeschoolers, as well as public teaching circles for their curriculum which teaches handwriting (letter recognition, print & cursive), but who knew they offered materials in Spanish, too?

How progressive is that? Their Spanish line is actually one of their newer ones and includes teaching materials for children in pre-K through 4th grade. The best part of HWT is that they not only provide the teaching workbooks, but also the tools that help your child master their handwriting skills more quickly.

I've used their English books with my own children and found them to be fantastic. But you don't have to take my word for it. When you look at the materials on their website, you can also download sample pages (I love it when companies do that because I like to flip through books before I buy them).

At any rate, the lovely people at Handwriting Without Tears have put together this sample collection of their materials. You will not find this set for sale on their website, though you can certainly purchase the individual items.

TWO (2!) lucky MommyMaestra readers will receive this custom set of El poder de la imprenta y más (Printing Power Plus) which includes a book for printing mastery and introduction to cursive, as well as a double line blackboard, little chalk bits, and little sponge cubes. This set is best suited for students in 2nd grade, though you know your child's/student's level best.  Go and download the sample pages for this set of books from their website (I love them).

To enter the giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter below.

Remember that the only mandatory entry is to leave a comment! And yes, I do check to see if you have done so and if I don't see the same name that appears in my Rafflecopter when I pick the winner, I draw another name. 

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Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. I bought and used similar products with my own kids and asked the company to donate items to my annual Back-to-School Fiesta! giveaway month. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Latino Children Are Less Likely to Take Multivitamins than Adults

Disclosure: This is a compensated post in collaboration with a LATISM campaign to support healthy living habits in the Latino community.

With the start of school, you know I'm going to be talking about nutrition again and how important it is for your kids to receive a good breakfast before they head off each morning to school. (See all of my great posts on nutrition, how it affects academic performance, and healthy but yummy recipes and snacks here.)

But I haven't talked about vitamins. However, a recent study conducted by Consumer Reports en Español and LATISM shows that Latinos are actually pretty big on using multivitamins as adults - but not so much when it comes to their kids.

Dr Jose Luis Mosquera, Medical Advisor for Consumer Reports, says that children should start taking vitamins "after they start chewing food properly – age 3 on, but most doctors allow after age 2."

He says that many kids don’t like dairy products or have allergies. Other sources of vitamins are good like orange juice, lentils, cold water fish like salmon and sardines, and soy milk. But there is little scientific evidence they do work, Dr. Mosquera says.

So a multivitamin doesn't hurt your child if given as directed and can prevent vitamin deficiencies caused by sedentary lifestyles, poor diets, and other factors. Consider a multivitamin for your child, especially if he or she spends a lot of time indoors, doesn't drink milk/dairy products, doesn't eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, **drinks sodas, or suffers from being overweight.

Do you give your children a multivitamin on a regular basis?




Bebe Lanugo Lunch Set {GIVEAWAY}


I'm ending this Back-to-School Fiesta! week with this SUPER cute giveaway from our amigas at Bebe Lanugo. If you don't know about them, you need to check them out and get your kids some of their T-shirts that express our Latino pride in an adorable fashion. On their site you can Meet the Characters that are the subjects of all Lanugo's designs.


After you meet all their characters, you can then download their FREE Lanugo Coloring Book for your nenes.

But in addition to children's clothing, they also carry totes, bottles, and even music. And because they are super and champions of Latino children's education, Bebe Lanugo has graciously offered the lunch set shown at the top of this post: One lunch tote and one small water bottle with the "La vida es un carnaval" (shown above) design on both. The tote is 100% cotton and measures 11″W x 9″h x 3″d. The water bottle is:
  • Made of 18/8, food-grade stainless steel
  • No lining & no BPA or other toxins
  • Wide mouth for easy drinking
  • Durable, BPA-free & phalate-free screw-on top
  • Holds 0.35L (nearly 12 ounces)
This set is perfect for those of you with children in preschool through elementary and great for taking snacks/lunch to school, or a picnic at the playground.

One MommyMaestra reader will win this lunch set from Bebe Lanugo.

To enter the giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter below.

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Disclaimer: This is not a compensated post. I contacted Bebe Lanugo and asked them to participate in my Back-to-School Fiesta and they said yes! Thanks! All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

An Honest Boy, Un hombre sincero {GIVEAWAY}


Today's giveaway is a new book by a new author. Magdalena Zenaida has written a lovely, bilingual, picture book for children introducing them to the famous Cuban poet, José Martí. Centered around one of Martí's first books of poetry, Versos sencillos, this book talks about his life as a young man and touches on a few of the events that influenced his writing, as well as the many places he lived while exiled from Cuba.

Don't let the title fool you. (It was the first thing I noticed, too.) I don't believe it is meant to be a literal translation as we typically see in most bilingual titles. The book is written in English, with some of the Spanish verses from the poem scattered throughout the text. And at the back is an excerpt from Versos sencillos along with a translation that is again, not a literal one, but rather one that conveys the meaning within his poem perfectly.

In addition, Zenaida has included a couple of pages with a more informative biography of Martí's life in the back of the book that includes more details about his role and influence in Cuba's revolution for independence. You'll also learn more about his works, including AbdalaLa Patria Libre, Ismaelillo, and La Edad de Oro.

This is the first picture book I've seen about José Martí, and Argentinian Gastón Hauviller's illustrations are sweet and engaging. I'm glad to finally see Martí as the subject of a children's book. It's available in paperback and best suited for kids ages 4 to 8.

THREE MommyMaestra readers will win a signed copy graciously donated by the author.

To enter this giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter below.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fascinating Facts Human Body Game {GIVEAWAY}

Today's Back-to-School Fiesta! giveaway is perfect for strengthening your child's science skills. The Fascinating Facts Human Body Game by Lakeshore Learning is a fun way to help your kid learn anatomy. Which organ sends messages to your body at speeds of up to 180 miles per hour? Kids find out with this captivating game! It has over 60 fun questions for kids to explore, plus a 10 1/2" anatomical torso with body parts kids can remove.

This game is geared for students in third and fourth grade, but older and younger children can certainly benefit from playing, too. This game is available with playing cards in English only.

Lakeshore Learning is offering one of these sets to a MommyMaestra reader.

Enter to win below using the Rafflecopter.

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Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. The company agreed to offer one of these games to a MommyMaestra reader after I contacted them.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

MamaYala™ Flash Card Set {GIVEAWAY}


Today's Back-to-School Fiesta! giveaway is one of my favorites. MamaYala™ is a design studio that develops cultural education materials. You may remember this post that I shared last year when I discovered MamaYala (they were just a Kickstarter campaign). I loved the concept and designs, so I supported. Imagine my joy when they achieved their fundraising goal and became an actual business. Above is a picture of the products I bought through their Kickstarter page.

The package included a set of alphabet flash cards, stickers, postcards, and memory cards (not shown). My kids and I have really enjoyed them. The flash cards have a letter of the Spanish alphabet printed on one side and an image on the other. They also come with a booklet, or a glossary, that includes a pronunciation guide and brief description of each item. The first time we laid out the cards and started learning about each design, my daughter would say, "Let's read about it!" when we discovered an instrument, animal, or food that we didn't recognize.


The cards are easy to store in the 100% cotton, drawstring bag with which it comes.

Of course, stickers are ALWAYS fun and the postcards are so lovely, we can't bring ourselves to write on them or part with them, so we keep them to look at and have even toyed with the idea of framing them to hang on the wall.

My favorite part of the products is that they are printed on paper made from sustainable forests and printed with soy-base ink.

And in case you didn't see it, last year MamaYala generously shared a printable food coloring book with MommyMaestra readers. You can still download it for free here.

One lucky MommyMaestra reader will win a flash card set from MamaYala™ that includes the stickers and postcards.


To enter this giveaway, just use the Rafflecopter below.

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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I purchased the products. All opinions are strictly my own. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Free Epic Downloads and a Giveaway!


Happy Monday! 

Today's Back-to-School Fiesta! resource is a free download plus a giveaway. 

This summer, we mostly took advantage of the dollar movies showing at the local movie theater. But there were two movies that I actually paid full price to take the kids to see. And the main one that I waited anxiously for was Epic. (You may remember me writing about our creepy adventure.) 

Anyway, as I mentioned back in June, I have a nice surprise for you. Because the kids and I just loved this movie so much, we're happy to share two educational printables from the movie with all of you.





But I'm also giving away a copy of this movie! On August 20th, EPIC debuts on Blu-ray and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. If your kids love nature and spending time outside, this is the perfect movie for them. 

One MommyMaestra reader will win an Epic DVD.

To enter this giveaway, just use the rafflecopter below.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

The Complete PetraLingua® Multimedia Spanish Learning Set




I have another great giveaway for my annual Back-to-School Fiesta! Today I have a complete Multimedia Spanish Learning Set from PetraLingua®.

The Complete PetraLingua® multimedia language learning sets include:

  • 2 Language course DVDs
  • Audio CD with songs
  • Activity Book with picture dictionary
  • Audio CD with listening exercises for the activity book
  • PetraLingua ID Card with 12 months access to the online course
  • Parent's Guide Brochure
  • Wuffy Dog Handpuppet
  • Playing cards
  • Audiovisual dictionary DVD
Available languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Chinese

The giveaway set comes with:

2 Animated Spanish Video DVDs

The PetraLingua® multimedia Spanish course for children consists of 21 everyday lessons.
You can see the list of lessons here.

Each lesson includes an introductory video followed by a revision version to repeat the words and sentences spoken by a native speaker in the video.

A large number of lessons include animated vocabulary songs composed to repeat and practice the vocabulary from the lesson. Each song is followed by the instrumental version.


Audio CD with songs

All the Spanish Songs from the course are recorded on a separate audio CD as well.


Spanish Activity Book with audio CD

The Activity Book includes all the topics covered by the PetraLingua® Spanish course and gives your children a great opportunity to practice their reading and writing skills.
Furthermore, to focus on their listening skills as well, the activity book includes a large number of Spanish listening exercises, recorded on audio CD.


Wuffy Dog Handpuppet

The kids will sure be happy to recognize the puppy from the language videos.
Our Wuffy handpuppet is not only a cute toy, but also a wonderful teaching tool that can be used in the classroom and at home.

Learning through play is fundamental to our children’s education. Puppets provide a creative learning structure for language students, encouraging them to explore language in a safe way.
By stimulating the children’s imagination, creative play and discovery, the puppets encourage speech and language development.

Even the children who are shy about speaking in a new language will easily relate to the puppet and feel free to start talking and express their thoughts.

The handpuppet can be used to introduce new vocabulary and sentence structures, repeat the knowledge, tell stories, sing songs, play games or act out dialogues.


PetraLingua® Parent's Guide Brochure

The parent's guide brochure gives you detailed information about the PetraLingua® multimedia Spanish course and practical guidelines on how to learn a new language with your child.


PetraLingua® ID Card

By purchasing the complete PetraLingua® multimedia Spanish learning kit you get a year acces to all the interactive activities that are available online.

Apart from the videos and songs from your Spanish set, the PetraLingua® online Spanish course includes a set of various interactive Spanish exercises and a talking picture dictionary for each lesson.


Playing Cards

PetraLingua picture cards offer a fun and easy way to pactice new vocabulary.


Audiovisual dictionary on DVD

The set includes a separate DVD with the talking picture dictionary, so the kids will be able to watch it on TV, without using the computer or accessing the Internet. It is especially suitable for smaller children, who already know how to use the DVD remote control.


One MommyMaestra reader will win a complete PetraLingua® Multimedia Spanish Learning Set

Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Maya: Amazing Inventions You Can Build Yourself {GIVEAWAY}


Today's Back-to-School Fiesta! giveaway is best suited for older kids ages 9 - 12 and grades 4 to 6. Nomad Press may very well be one of my favorite publishers. I discovered them a year ago or so and simply love their books for homeschooling (thought I would love them even if my kids were not homeschooled).

They were kind enough to send me copies of their book, Maya: Amazing Inventions You Can Build Yourself, in both English and Spanish. I've had them a while, waiting on my shelf for a review (look for a more thorough review next month).

This book is a treasure trove of information and activities. If you want your child to study the ancient Maya civilization, you need to pick this up. The books starts off with a timeline of important dates in Maya history. From when the Mayan written language was developed in 700 BC to when Christopher Columbus learns about the Maya in 1502 to when Maya woman, Rigoberta Menchú, wins the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her fight for human rights for the Maya. Your kids will also learn important names and places.

From there your child can dive right into the culture as they explore the history of the Maya by learning about everything from heiroglyphs and folklore to the number system and calendar just to name a few. There are dozens of crafts and activities for your child to make and do using common household supplies. They'll love making a sand art picture of the cosmos or their own royal "Jadeite" burial mask or even their own musical gourds. And they can even learn how to play a version of Pok-a-Tok with their friends. There is so much fun and learning to be found within the pages of this great book.

One MommyMaestra reader will win a copy of this amazing book. 

Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win.

Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a copy of these books to review. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Letter M Counting Book in Spanish {PRINTABLE}



Today's Back-to-School Fiesta! resource is for EVERYBODY, and it is from our newest sponsor. Lectura para niños is a Spanish reading program complete with phonics centers and workbooks for children in preschool through 2nd grade who are learning to read in Spanish. You can read more about them in this interview and watch a video that I shared 2 years ago here.

This is their first Letter of the Week Counting Book for students to learn picture vocabulary. There are many other counting books that teachers and parents can purchase for just $1.00 each on their TPT store. These are new and have just recently been added to the site.

I love that the counting book is so interactive. Not only does your child learn numbers, but there is also a space at the bottom of each page where your child can practive their writing skills. And of course, each page comes with fun illustrations for your child to color. Math and reading and writing all in one librito!

They just launched their Facebook page last week, so let's show them some love! You can learn more about some of the amazing materials they offer.

I'm especially happy that today's resource isn't a giveaway and can be downloaded by anyone and everyone!


And feel free to leave a comment thanking Lectura para niños below...

¡Abrazos!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Math Masters Learning Games {GIVEAWAY}


Today's giveaway is geared toward helping your 1st or 2nd grader master the math skills they'll be learning in class. Math Masters Learning Games (from our friends at Lakeshore Learning) make it easy and fun for kids to master math skills while playing colorful board games and using super cute manipulatives.

The first grade games focus on teaching addition, subtraction, time and measurement, while the second grade collection teaches problem solving, money, and fractions.

Girls and boys both need to be strong in math, especially if they grow up with an interest in the STEM fields. Help your child learn that math isn't hard, and can be a lot of fun to learn. Both of my kids are hands-on learners and learn faster and more easily when they have activities that reinforce the concepts I'm trying to teach them. If your kids are the same way, don't miss this great giveaway!

Lakeshore Learning is offering one of these sets to a MommyMaestra reader. 

Enter to win below using the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sonrisas Level 1 Curriculum {GIVEAWAY}



Giddy. That's what I am. Or maybe just plain loca because my annual Back-to-School Fiesta! week this year has turned into a MONTH of giveaways. Now you probably have noticed that I've been doing less and less giveaways lately. Mainly because there's so much time and work that goes into them and I've been stretched thin. But this is the one time of year when I know MommyMaestra readers deserve the chance to win some awesome educational items to help boost their children's education.

SO for the next FOUR weeks, I'll be having a different giveaway every day during the week. I really hope you'll enter to win each and every one (oh, okay, at least those that your child could really benefit from), or the companies may not give me the opportunity to offer other great giveaways again here on the site. (You know how it goes.)

So we're starting off with an awesome Spanish curriculum!



One MommyMaestra reader will win a Level 1 Curriculum from Sonrisas. 

This is an amazing 2-year program for kids in Pre-K through 5th grade. There is a heavy emphasis on culture and a strong literature component to it. You can read my full review here and decide if this sounds like the right curriculum for your children/students.

The Level 1 Curriculum comes with one Teacher’s Guide and two CDs; one with Spanish songs, poems and chants for children to accompany the lessons, and the other with cultural songs. It has a retail value of $189.00.

Enter to win below using the Rafflecopter.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

#SummerLearning: Friendship Bread & a Discount for You!




This post contains affiliate links.

Happy National Friendship Day! Are you celebrating?

For some of us, school has already started, but that doesn't mean that summer isn't still in full swing. For others, the start of school is still weeks away. But either way, summer learning should still be weighing heavily on our minds. So as a Little Passports Ambassador, I'm happy to share with you another learning activity that can take place at any time of year, really. And one of the best ways to make learning fun is in the kitchen.

Has your family ever made Friendship Bread? It is frequently given the name Amish Friendship Bread, but there is no actual connection to the Amish, though the recipe has been around for a very long time. Friendship Bread is a type of bread or cake made from a sourdough starter that is usually passed around and shared with friends and family.

So in honor of National Friendship Day, below is a fun recipe for creating your own Frienship Bread starter from Sam and Sofia, our Little Passport (affiliate link) friends. Invite some of your child's friends over and help them make their own batch! It's a long-term activity that your child can enjoy doing every day for 10 days.

And because we are all friends, at the end of this post, you will find a special discount for MommyMaestra readers! 

Happy baking!

FRIENDSHIP BREAD STARTER RECIPE


In honor of friendship day, Sam and Sofia are cooking one of their favorite recipes together! Why not invite a friend to come cook with you?


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 cups white sugar, divided
  • 3 cups milk

DIRECTIONS


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.


  1. On days 2 through 4, stir starter with a spoon. Day 5, stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Days 6 throughout 9, stir only.

  1. Finally, on day 10, stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, and give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe. Store the remaining 1-cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10-day process over again (beginning with step 2).




MommyMaestra readers: Because my own kids have enjoyed their monthly packets from Little Passports so much, and because LP is such a great supporter of global learning, I'm happy to offer you this special discount for 40% off the regular monthly subscription price! Remember, "You don't have to be rich to enrich your child!" Just click here (affiliate link) and enter the code above to take advantage of this discount. 

Abrazos!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Free Spanish Jungle Animal & Action Printables

Jungle Animals in Spanish Booklet

It's already August! And that means it is time for some new free printables from Monarca Language. Today's set includes pages on jungle animals that your nene can color, cut, and put together to form a booklet, as well as action cards for coloring, cutting, and acting out.


The jungle animal booklet was extra fun for my kids because it gave them the opportunity to get out their daddy's wildlife collection (they don't get to play with it very often). This really reinforced the vocabulary and made learning more interactive. The book focuses on animals and colors.

And if you subscribe to Monarca Language's newsletter, you'll find a free printable in this month's newsletter that allows your child to cut and paste jungle animals onto a jungle scene. It's a great complement to this booklet. And super fun!


The action cards can be printed up on one sheet, colored in and then cut up. Then your kids can take turns pulling a card from the pile and acting it out for everyone else to guess. Charades anyone?

Now, time for some additional resources to complement the jungle animal printables:

YouTube:
Alex en la selva. I love this little series for preschoolers! And you will, too. Actually, there are many episodes exploring wildlife, but only three that are dedicated to the jungle are free on YouTube. You can subscribe to their channel and see more episodes here. Check out this episode where Alex encounters a lion...




Books in Spanish:
• Jungle Animals /Animales de la selva (Two Little Libros) (English and Spanish Edition) by Mike Lowery
• Animales de la selva: Pequediccionario en imagenes (Spanish Edition)by Inc. Susaeta Publishing

Audiobook:
Cha-cha-cha en la selva by Debbie Harter
• (and in English) The Animal Boogie

On Kindle:
• Cuentos de la selva by Horacio Quiroga
• Jungle Tales by Horacio Quiroga, Bert Van Wijk, Jeff Zorrilla and Natalia Cortesi


Back-to-School Must-Haves!



This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Kleenex. All opinions and lists are strictly my own!

Okay, you knew it was about time for another Box Tops post, didn't you? I mean NOW is the perfect time to be thinking about Box Tops, no? Well, I am. Because it's the beginning of the school year, and I'm buying supplies, and going with several brands that carry the Box Tops coupons on their packaging. I also prefer to take advantage of the opportunity to stock up on school supplies for the year while the prices are low and I can enjoy tax-free weekend. (Check out this chart from Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company to help figure out when the tax free holiday is happening in your state!)

Back to Box Tops: Did you know that Box Tops for Education is one of the nation’s largest school fundraising loyalty programs and has been helping schools succeed since 1996? In fact, it is an easy way to help your child’s school earn funds through the products you already purchase. All you have to do is clip Box Tops coupons on the product packaging, including many of the products on your child’s back to school list. (Pstt! Kleenex is the only facial tissue brand that participates in Box Tops for Education – and is a must-have on your child’s back to school list. It has also donated $13 million to Box Tops for Education so far!) Then turn them into your school so they can redeem them for cashola.

With school budget cuts across the nation, Box Tops for Education has become increasingly important as it provides unrestricted dollars to help schools offset this loss of funding. And if you've read my post a few years ago, then you'll know that even homeschoolers can benefit from the program.

Right! Now on to my BTS Must-Haves! I can tell you right now this is sort of a long post because I'm going to show you everything on my shopping list. Some I'll purchase right away, but some might take a little longer to buy.

So this year, here's what's on my list of back-to-school must-haves:


Office Supplies:
First up, is some of the stuff that I need as a teacher. (And it just so happens that all of the items shown above have Box Tops coupons!)

1. Three binders: Two for storing each of my kids' school work throughout the year, and one for my stuff like daily charts/record sheets, a calendar, assignments for the next day/week, notes, etc. The ones above are from Avery.

2. Colored paper. I use it for signs or to highlight important docs, and also for various printables. The kids use it for crafts and other activities.

3. Highlighters! In the past, we've mainly used these to identify grammar elements. But this year, I vow to be more organized and use them for keeping track of things not covered or areas of difficulty and that need extra attention.

4. Full sheet labels. I can't teach without these because I have two kids, but frequently I only buy one subscription or one set of stickers, etc. All I have to do is make copies on these and then have the kids cut them out to make stickers and labels.




Tech:
This is in addition to the tech devices we already own, like computers and iPads.

1. Each kid finally needs their own flash drives for backing up and storing all their written reports and such. This three pack is on sale at Target.

2. Last year, I gave the kids a "school" camera. They use it for everything. BUT they keep grabbing my SD cards and I'm afraid they're going to accidentally delete my pics, SO ta-da!


Art Supplies:
This is always my biggest list because my kids are hands-on learners (aren't all kids?) and so I try to provide them with as many activities as I can to help reinforce concepts.

1. Drawing/Sketching pencil set. We do a LOT of drawing in school. My kids are very visual and when they draw out concepts (life cycles, types of geographical features, etc.), I know they are processing them.

2.Chalk pastels. There's a lot of lesson plans available for free online using chalk pastels. We'll be exploring them this year.

3. Tape. We use it for EVERYTHING. (And we never have enough.)

4. Kleenex. Seriously. We need it when fall and winter colds strike. And it's not just good for blowing your nose, you know. We use them for art projects like blending colors and various crafts.

5. Erasable colored pencils. My girl has been begging for them. I'm cool with that.

6. Pencils. I think I have a pencil monster in my house that gobbles them up at night while we are sleeping because they're always missing by class time the next morning. :/

7. Q-tips. Again, they are great for so many art projects. From studying pointilism to blending chalk and pencil marks.

8. Drawing/sketch pads. We go through a LOT of these, and I really like this set from Amazon.com



Clothes:
All of these clothes are from Land's End, just because I like the simple styles without all the bling. 

1. My daughter wants a button up, "uniform" shirt. Boom!

2. But I like relaxed polos.

3. Sweaters are a must in the winter.

4. Did I mention we homeschool? Warm, fuzzy sweatpants are our uniform of choice.

5. And no girl (or woman) can have too many of these!


What about you? What's on your list of Back-to-School Must-Haves?



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