Monday, September 25, 2017

Cántale a tu bebé - Sing to Your Baby

For those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you know that I recently had a baby. That's why posting here on MommyMaestra has been super sporadic lately. My baby has been demanding ALL of my attention - as he should these first few months. We're busy bonding, talking, smiling, nursing, and singing our days (and nights!) away.

This is also why I'm super excited to share with you this resource for new (bilingual!) parents! A few years ago, the picture book Sing to Your Baby (aff) was published by award-winning musicians Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. Their intention was to help parents get over the idea that they need to have a beautiful voice to sing to their children. (Wha-what?!?) I guess lots of parents are too self-conscious to sing aloud to their babies.

But do you know what? Your baby doesn't care if you sound like Linda Rondstadt or Placido Domingo. Your baby DOES, however, need to be spoken to on a daily basis as much as possible. AND studies show that from their first day of life, babies can discriminate rhythmic patterns. Their young brains are primed for music. In fact, we know that singing to your baby can improve both their communication skills and their pre-literacy skills.

When my first child was born, I instinctively sang to her. I think most moms do? I didn't worry about what I sounded like (let's face it - she had nothing to compare me to anyway!). I chose to sing the songs of my own childhood. From "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" and Ernie's "Rubber Ducky" to "Duérmete mi niña" and "Naranja dulce limón partido" to nonsensical little ditties I just made up myself on the fly. I sang away to my first two children born over a decade ago, and my new baby is no exception. But I'm not the only one. Seeing my example, my older son now sings to our new baby, too. :)

Back to the book! Sing to Your Baby is a collection of 11 original songs. They are simple and sweet and will develop your baby's vocabulary. The cool thing is that the book comes with a CD and there are 22 tracks - two for each song. Why two? Because the authors recognize that women and men sing in different keys, so they've recorded each song in different keys (each with a female and a male singer). Just listen and sing along to the CDs. Before you know it, you'll be singing the songs on your own anywhere and everywhere!

The picture book itself begins with a note to parents, then has a few of pages with words of encouragement, and then pages with the actual lyrics to each song. At the back of the book is a Parent Guide written by psychologist and educator, Laura G. Brown, Ph.D. She shares tips for developing your baby's learning skills and ways that you can nurture their developmental transitions.

Now for the BEST PART: This month, the authors released a Spanish version of the book! Cántale a tu bebé (aff) is a lovely translation of the original book. The songs are sung by bilingual musicians and native Spanish speakers, Sonia de los Santos and Jorge Anaya.

What I found to be especially touching is that both of these books have been adopted by the Celtino Foundation, who uses the books in schools in Honduras with families who are learning English or simply want to sing to their babies in Spanish.

So if you are the parent of a new baby or if you are expecting or know someone who is, consider investing in this beautiful book!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Dolores Huerta Lesson Plans, Activities, Coloring Sheets and More



A few days ago on Instagram, someone asked me about resources for studying Dolores Huerta. Something similar to this post I put together for Cesar Chavez. And after thinking about, I realized that I was guilty of having highlighted Cesar and his work while ignoring Dolores, who was equally important in the work they did...if not more so! And isn't it a shame that her contribution to U.S. history has largely been overshadowed by Cesar's, the activist with whom she partnered to fight for the rights of farm workers. In fact, that iconic phrase - "Sí, se puede!" - that was adopted by our former president, was coined by Dolores in 1972.

While researching for this post, I discovered that a new movie featuring Dolores has just been released. That was a very pleasant surprise! Visit the website to see if it is playing at a theater near you. 


Lesson Plans




Printables





Coloring Pages


Sadly, I couldn't find any coloring pages that I like. So, I made one for preschoolers! Pair it with this one I created for Cesar Chavez to talk about the two of them and their fight for farm workers. 



Videos




Books (the following are affiliate links)



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Printable Downloads for Hispanic Heritage Month


Time is flying away for me. I was shocked when I realized that this week, Hispanic Heritage Month begins! I love this time of year when there is an extra effort to highlight the contributions of Hispanic figures to U. S. history.

As such, if you are looking for some fun but educational activities to do with your kids/students, don't forget that I have quite a few available in my TpT store or here in my MommyMaestra shop!

Hispanics in History Character Crowns

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by playing "Who Am I?" with this set of character crowns featuring 30 influential Hispanics in History. It is SO much FUN!

Each crown comes with a fact sheet and extension strips for making the crown. Directions for assembly and instructions on different ways to play the game, as well as different ways to use the crowns are included.

This set features the following people:

  • Cesar Chavez
  • Dolores Huerta
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Ellen Ochoa
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Tito Puente
  • Celia Cruz
  • Roberto Clemente
  • Rita Moreno
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Dara Torres
  • Mario José Molina
  • Diego Rivera
  • Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • Sylvia Mendez
  • Salvador Dalí
  • Pura Belpré
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Carolina Herrera
  • Isabel Allende
  • Miguel de Cervantes
  • Carlos Santana
  • Sammy Sosa
  • Tomás Rivera
  • Plácido Domingo
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Sandra Cisneros
  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
  • Bernardo de Galvéz
  • Sonia Manzano

TpT   |   MM Shop

Reading Comprehension Passages: 10 Latinas in History (vol 2)

This reading comprehension packet can be used for Women's History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, or any time of the year. It comes with one-page reading passages about the following 10 famous Latinas:

Ellen Ochoa
Isabel Allende
Dara Torres
Frida Kahlo
Linda Ronstadt
Dolores Huerta
Sonia Sotomayor
Carolina Herrera
Rita Moreno
Sor Juana de la Cruz

I've also included reading comprehension worksheets that focus on facts and vocabulary from the passages, a matching activity, dictionary reference, and complete the sentence. Answer key included.

TpT   |   MM Shop

Reading Comprehension Passages: Famous Afro-Latinos (vol 1)

This reading comprehension packet can be used for Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, or any time of the year. It comes with one-page reading passages about the following 7 famous Afro-Latinos:

  • Celia Cruz
  • Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • Soledad O'Brien
  • Roberto Clemente
  • Martina Arroyo
  • Pelé
  • Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez


I've also included reading comprehension worksheets that focus on vocabulary from the passages, a matching activity, true or false, describing words, and a Venn diagram for comparing characters. Answer key included. The reading passages are available in full color or black and white.

TpT   |   MM Shop


Hispanics in History Fandex

These fact files may be used as individual bookmarks or a fandex. It features 36 historical figures:


  • Cesar Chavez
  • Dolores Huerta
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Ellen Ochoa
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Tito Puente
  • Celia Cruz
  • Roberto Clemente
  • Rita Moreno
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Dara Torres
  • Mario José Molina
  • Diego Rivera
  • Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • Soledad O'Brien
  • Sylvia Mendez
  • Martina Arroyo
  • Pelé
  • Salvador Dalí
  • Pura Belpré
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Carolina Herrera
  • Isabel Allende
  • Miguel de Cervantes
  • Carlos Santana
  • Sammy Sosa
  • Tomás Rivera
  • Plácido Domingo
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Sandra Cisneros
  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
  • Franklin Ramón Chang Díaz
  • Narcís Monturiol
  • Bernardo de Galvéz
  • Helen Rodríguez Trías
  • Sonia Manzano


Directions for fandex assembly and use, as well as Individual worksheets, cut-outs and answer key included.

NOW UPDATED per request with women on one sheet, men on a separate sheet for easier color paper printing.

TpT   |   MM Shop


Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Activity Pages

Introduce your students to the famous Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and their respective forms of art with this set of activity pages. In this packet, you’ll find…

• a child-friendly reading passage about the couple and their marriage
• reading comprehension quiz
• short reading passages about each artist’s style of art
• activity pages for creating a self-portrait and a mural
• recommended reading to extend the learning

TpT   |   MM Shop

Friday, September 8, 2017

Free Download: Spanish Numbers in the 30s & 40s


As I mentioned last month, our wonderful sponsor, Spanish for You! is focusing on numbers for the rest of the year. Counting through 20 is commonplace in foreign language learning, but a lot of programs do not focus on those higher numbers, so this is a valuable lesson available for download and I'm super thankful to Spanish for You! for sharing this free download with MommyMaestra readers. 

This month's 3-page mini-lesson will help your young Spanish learner memorize their numbers in the 30s and 40s, including how to spell them. The file includes a page of directions, memory cards, and an activity sheet. As always, it comes with an audio file to help you learn proper pronunciation. 

Remember! Spanish for You!'s program is geared for middle schoolers and is the perfect choice for homeschoolers and afterschoolers alike because their concepts are carefully divided up into manageable bundles that are available for immediate download from their website.

If this is your first time here, you can find other free samples from Spanish for You! here. There are some fantastic downloads of games and activities for you and your family to enjoy. If you enjoy this activity, be sure to visit the Spanish for You! website where you'll find tons of additional resources for you to help your young Spanish learner!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Every Kid in a Park...for FREE!



If you've followed me for some time, you may recognize the photo above. It was taken a few years ago when my husband and I decided to take our kids on an epic road trip that included visits to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. The trip was truly a remarkable, wonderful experience my family will NEVER forget!

So I'm kicking off September with a reminder for all of you who have a fourth grader in your family: You can get a free pass to visit ANY national park in the United States for free this year! 

Just go to www.everykidinapark.gov to print out your special pass. It's valid from September 1 through August 31, 2018, and it grants free entry for fourth graders and up to three accompanying adults. You need to print your pass and take it with you when you visit the park. Electronic copies aren't accepted.

Not sure where the closest park to you is located? The website above includes a trip planner that lets you explore parks and sites. You can even reserve a cabin or campsite. There's also a suggested list of things to take with you.

And many of the sites are set up for groups/field trips and have programs created specifically for fourth graders.


PSST! Don't forget about this book (aff) from National Geographic Kids! Your child will LOVE it!


BONUS!!


Make it even more unforgettable! Amtrak is offering fourth graders a discount on train tickets. When an adult buys a full-price ticket, you'll get 75% off. Visit the site to learn more.


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