Monday, June 11, 2018

¡Vámonos! Spanish Curriculum for Elementary Grades


Thinking about starting Spanish lessons with your child or students this coming school year? Then let me tell you about another new Spanish curriculum, whose creators recently reached out to me and asked me to take a look at their program. Today's sponsored post is written in partnership with ¡Vámonos!, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Name of program: ¡Vámonos!
Target age: 1st - 5th grades
Amount of materials: Moderate
Price: $140

¡Vámonos! is a new activity-based Spanish course for kids that uses an adapted immersion approach. I've reviewed quite a few programs over the years and each one is different. Some are literature based while others focus on TPR. Some only use videos, while others offer multimedia resources.

What I really love about the 
¡Vámonos! program is that the lessons are completely centered around activities that engage young children. From games and art to outdoor exploration and cultural activities, the lessons are designed to be fun and help children quickly learn grammatical patterns and vocabulary.

There aren't a lot of materials that come with this program, which helps reduce the cost. Though you will have to provide many of the tools used in the lessons. For example, you would need to have access to an indoor ball, colored paper, marbles, craft supplies, etc. Most everything is something that you probably have already if you have/teach children in the elementary grades.

Basically, you receive one book - the Teacher's Manual - that contains 28 lesson plans. The manual is divided up into six sections:

  1. Lessons
  2. Seasonal Lessons
  3. Music
  4. Games
  5. Printables
  6. Resources

Let's take a look at each one.

The Lessons


Each lesson has a specific theme and focuses on a particular grammar pattern. Then you'll read the following:
  • the objective of the lesson
  • the materials you'll need
  • Activity 1 (Welcome routine - 5 mins)
  • several more activities (up to 7 total) that teach and reinforce the concept being learned.
  • and immersion tips to help teachers create a functional immersion classroom.
The number of activities varies from lesson to lesson because some are games or crafts, others are stories or songs, and others might be "Pair Work" that encourage students to pair up to practice speaking Spanish. I don't think I saw any activities that lasted longer than 15 minutes, which is perfect considering the age of the students for whom this program is intended. In total, each lesson is designed to last 50 to 60 minutes.


For example, take a look at Lesson 1:





As you can see, the focus is on counting. Specifically, the lesson concentrates on teaching students to learn how to ask how many or answering/telling how many. It's not just vocabulary, but rather how to actually have a conversation in Spanish.

I like that you can see a list of the target vocabulary and grammar straight away in the sidebar. And I appreciate that the lesson gives an estimate for how long each activity should take.

Seasonal Lessons


I absolutely love that the program creators have added a separate section for seasonal lessons. That means that these lessons can be used at ANY time during your school year. If you are a homeschooler who starts these lessons in summer, you can just flip to that lesson and boom. You're ready to go! Or if you start this in the winter, no problem.



Music


The music section contains both the lyrics and scores for traditional children's songs from Latin America, with a few modified ones from the U.S. thrown in. But, yes, they are all in Spanish.



Games


Fun, fun, FUN! I love all the games, which include popular ones from Latin America. Some are meant to be played inside, while others are best done outside. And the creators have been nice enough to include links to online demonstrations where needed, such as with jueguemos en el bosque and la olla de los frijoles.



Printables


Of course, many of the activities in the lessons just need a printable resource, so this section includes all the blackline masters. Just choose the one you need and make as many copies as necessary for you to use in your classroom.


Resources


And finally, we have the Resources section which includes a list of the suggested Spanish books used in the lessons, a list of music products, useful books and articles, as well as a list of craft websites.


Overall, I think this curriculum would be great for homeschool co-ops and community groups, as well as traditional schools. Does the teacher need to be fluent in Spanish? Yes, or at least they need to be familiar enough with the language to create an immersion-style classroom.

I think that I would have liked to see a list of all the materials needed for the program listed in the beginning. but perhaps, the creators will incorporate one for Book 2, which is scheduled to be available in 2019? 😉

If you'd like to purchase Book 1 (described here), learn more about the program, or download a sample lesson, visit VamonosForKids.com.


Disclosure: I received a copy of ¡Vámonos! Book, 1 for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

2 comments:

  1. Hola Monica. Did you use this curriculum with your kids? If so, how was it? Did they like it? I was looking at Risas y Sonrisas and I like some elements to their curriculum,but I really like the students-teacher engagement with this curriculum. I'm looking for a fun and interactive curriculum for preschoolers and elementary school aged kids for my startup tutoring business.Thank you for the review. I look forward to your response.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Shan. I received this curriculum a few months ago for the purpose of sharing with MM readers. I did not use it with my children who are too old (7th and 9th grade) or too young (1 year old). However, I looked through this teacher's manual very carefully and can honestly say it is very well done, carefully thought out, and engaging for the target age range.
    Both Vamonos and Risas y Sonrisas are excellent curricula - I do not think you could go wrong with either one. However, I would encourage you to download the sample lesson plans that each one offers on their websites. Then you can see for yourself which one you like better or is a better fit for your needs.
    They are both fun for little ones, but one comes with more materials (and a higher cost), while the other requires you to collect some of the materials you'll need for the activities (but you probably already have these materials at home or in your classroom).

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