Monday, August 31, 2020

Resources for Bless Me, Ultima

The one book that changed my life and opened up a whole new world to me was Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. I read it my Junior year in high school while taking a Multicultural Literature class. Before this I had NO IDEA that there was a whole genre dedicated to Latino lit. And I was so overwhelmed to see so many of the traditions and, yes, even figures from my childhood it literally made me weep. Until I was around 14, my childhood was steeped in Mexican culture. Mostly thanks to my great grandmother, with whom we lived. But she passed away when I was 12, leaving behind a giant hole that I never knew was there until I read Anaya's book. 

A year or so after her death, my mother and I moved away and I started at an all-English school where I think that maybe I was one of only two or three Hispanics in the upper school. My mother was busy working and all the traditional customs or events that we would participate in were left behind. My heritage and culture quietly slipped away a little more and more each day. 

Until I read that book.

I never met Anaya. But when he died not long ago, I felt so deeply grieved. I think it was because of that precious gift of my past and myself that he gave to me. And today, now that both my great grandmother and mother have passed away, I feel that my connection to my culture tries to quietly slip away every day. And if it weren't for my children and my decision to continue MommyMaestra and my work writing education materials, I think I would sadly drift into the mostly white culture that surrounds me. I fight every day to hold on to the little girl who celebrated las posadas, ate authentic chalupas, received "limpias" from my 'Buelita, and wore traditional dresses to celebrate every 16 de septiembre. 

So in honor of Señor Anaya, I want to dedicate today's post to his remarkable book that saved me. I've been thinking of having my older kids read it this year and watch the movie. Perhaps you'd like to do so, as well.  

The following links are affiliate links.

The Book

There are actually two versions of the cover, but the content is the same...

And did you know it is also available in Spanish?

The Study Guide

This probably excites me more than anything else. The Study Guide Student Workbook has 114 pages and works for both public/private school and homeschool classrooms. But note: it is only available in English.

Here's another one:

And on TpT, there is a whole ton of downloadable resources!

The Movie

Sadly, the price of the DVD has soared in the last few weeks. But you can still rent or buy it from Amazon Prime for a reasonable price:

An Interview with Rudolfo Anaya

Here's a few fabulous interviews with the author...

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Free Typing Lessons & Games Online

Another unexpected result of the distance and online learning has appeared! There have been a lot of parents asking about typing lessons for their kids. For many, typing isn't taught in schools (and I bet those schools are now re-evaluating that!). So parents are looking for online programs. And it's a bonus if those programs are FREE!

So I started looking at some of the suggestions that many veteran homeschoolers have been sharing. Here is a short list of awesome online typing programs. I've noted if the language can be changed for Spanish and English instruction.

Online Typing Programs

Typing games for younger students:

Image © Can Stock Photo - zurijeta

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Reading Passage Boom Cards in English & Spanish


Are you looking for distance learning resources? I have a new series of reading passages on Boom Cards with comprehension questions available in English and Spanish. 

These are based off of my printable one-page reading passages, but have been reformatted for digital learning. They include a colorful layout and new images. The best part about them is that 8 comprehension questions are SELF-GRADING! (Awesome!)

So far I have uploaded Spanish and English versions of three different subjects: Las Adelitas, Los Mariachis, and Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

The Spanish versions are excellent for heritage speakers, immersion students, and advanced Spanish speakers.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Free Online Piano Lessons: Encore Music Studio

Are you looking for a way to start or maintain your child's piano lessons from home during the pandemic? Or maybe you're looking for lessons that fit your budget? Check out the free online piano lessons from Izzie Chea! Ms. Chea teaches voice, piano, and flute out of her home in Texas. Her Facebook page is Encore Music Studio.

Free Piano Lessons via YouTube 

Oh, my gosh, friends. She is the nicest and so much fun. Ms. Chea is a virtual piano teacher giving FREE fun piano lessons on YouTube and Facebook live. She gives full, 30 minute piano lessons to kids, teens and adults. She gives LIVE lessons on Facebook every Friday at 1:00pm CST!

Watch her introductory lesson below. It is the first lesson in her children's series. She tells you which books to purchase for the lessons, explains how a piano works, how to hold your hands/fingers, where the different keys are, and more.  If you love it, you can join her private Facebook group Encore Music Makers.

Now, guys here's the thing. Ms. Chea is SO NICE to offer these lessons for free. She's made this a donation-based studio. So if you decide to participate in these lessons, after you buy your books, PLEASE consider donating whatever you can on a weekly or monthly basis via

We're here to help each other and $5/mo or even $10/mo if you can spare it for piano lessons is a deal you won't find anywhere!

The Piano Lesson Books You'll Need

Here are the books that you'll need for these lessons. I've included links to them using Ms. Chea's affiliate links so when you purchase them, she'll get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. It's one way to support her in exchange for her free lessons. ♥

Piano Lesson Book: Complete Level 1, for the Later Beginner

Alfred's Basic Piano Library Theory Complete, Bk 1: For the Later Beginner

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Friday, August 21, 2020

Cultural Bytes Online Spanish Courses

A lot of parents are looking for online courses as part of their homeschool lesson plans for this fall... especially first-time homeschoolers and those whose children were in immersion programs last year.

So I'm excited to share that Cultural Bytes has offered one of their foreign language courses to be part of the Back-to-School Fiesta!

Cultural Bytes is based in Southern California. It provides immersion classes for Spanish, French, and Mandarin. In addition to teaching the language, they also focus on cultural awareness. And the classes also focus on four skills:
  1. reading
  2. writing
  3. listening
  4. speaking
Their classes are fun and engaging thanks to their differentiated learning approach and game-based environment.

The Giveaway

Cultural Bytes is offering 1 FREE online class (35 minutes) of the language of your choice! The options are: Spanish or French or Mandarin.

Try it out and see if it is a good fit for your family!

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

Good luck!

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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Back-to-School with 123 Andrés

Learn Spanish with your Kids -- a fun Back-To-School Giveaway with 123 Andrés

For a few years now, we've been highlighting the amazing albums and videos by 123 Andrés. The musical duo, Andrés and Christina, are well-known among bilingual and Spanish-speaking families. In fact, they won a Latin Grammy for Best Children’s Album in 2016 for their album, Arriba Abajo.

I love 123 Andrés because of the educational component that comes with ALL of their songs. And it is no surprise because Christina has a Masters in Education and was once a public school teacher. 

I'm so delighted to be able to offer a great giveaway for a MommyMaestra reader!

Win this bundle of musical learning fun:

  • Hola Amigo: Songs of Friendship  album
  • Hola Amigo/Hello Friends picture book from Scholastic
  • Una Idea Tengo Yo album
  • Canta las Letras (2019 Latin Grammy-nominated album!)

123 Andrés is releasing a surprise digital album – Hola, Amigo: Songs of Friendship. The album, due out Aug 21, contains remastered versions of Hola, Amigo in Spanish and English, and eight more songs that explore the theme of friendship, in two languages. The album and the picture book with Scholastic both celebrate 10 years of  123 Andrés music for kids. The bundle also includes two recent and acclaimed albums by 123 Andrés.

For more information and the latest live stream concert schedule, please visit

The Giveaway

One MommyMaestra reader will win this great package!

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Making the First Day of School Special (Free Downloads)

One of the things I've strived to do each year is make the first day of homeschool special. It doesn't matter when you start - summer, fall, or some other time. That first day is important. I want my kids to look forward to the new year and start the whole thing off with a positive mindset. 

Here are five ways to make that first day special.

Start it off with breakfast

Lots of people make special breakfasts on the first day of school. Maybe it is their favorite meal. Or maybe you get really creative with their food to make them smile and brighten their mood.

Perhaps, you involve your kids in the making of breakfast and take time to talk. Ask them what fun things they'd like to do this year in school - make a list of their ideas, then try to incorporate as many as possible.

Or maybe making breakfast together IS the first lesson of the year! So many great concepts for math, science, and literacy can be taught this way. And the best part is you get to eat the yummy results of your work.

Take a back-to-school picture

ALWAYS take a picture of their child sometime during the first week of  a new grade. Even if you don't do it on the first day because things happen (you forget, you're waiting for new photo props, the kids didn't cooperate, someone has bedhead, whatever!), take it the next day or sometime that week. 

In fact, take LOTS of pictures throughout the year because you can make your own yearbooks at the end of the year. 

And let me give some advice for this year -- make sure you put "2020" somewhere in the picture, such as on the board they are holding: "First day of 9th grade - 2020!" Because you're going to want to remember this year. And even if you'd rather forget it, this is a great photo for your child to have years from now as proof they made it through!

Begin with a field trip

Well, that's a little harder to do this year. But if you can make it to a state park or other outdoor venue, go for it! And if you can't, don't worry. There are a whole ton of virtual field trips you can take. I have a whole page full of them listed in my free 2020 Life Skills Lists (in English and Spanish!).

Make a time capsule

This is super fun! It doesn't have to be big. You can even use a Tupperware container or coffee tub that is just for this purpose.  Be creative about what you include. You can take a video of your child and ask them to describe what this year has been like (2020!!). Or if you are going to use this time capsule every year, put a journal in it and have them write about what the year has been like so far and what they hope for in the months to come. Throw that back-to-school picture in there. Let them put whatever they want in there. If they have successfully gotten rid of their pacifier, throw it in. If they made it through reading War and Peace, add it! 

You can also have them fill out this FREE Goal Worksheets for the School Year. It's been updated this year to include pages with graphics and font better suited for older children.

Give gifts

Throughout the year, I set aside money to purchase new school supplies that I know my kids are going to need for the next school year. I think getting new supplies helps get their excitement going. So for my daughter this year, I bought her gel pens, an assortment of pens with colored ink that she was begging for, new headphones for all her online classes, a new case for her phone, and books. My middle kid, who is entering 9th grade got a graphing calculator, craft tools, and books. My youngest who's starting preschool got a LOT of manipulatives, games, and books to help teach all those fun skills and concepts that kids learn in PreK. 

I usually wrap things up and I add special labels that remind them what grade they're going into (when you homeschool, you tend to forget what "grade" you're in!). Here's a peek at my daughter's gift bag: 

And here is another example from years gone by:

If you'd like to use these labels, you can download them for free here. They've been available for a few years here on MommyMaestra, but I just updated them also with a variety of graphics to account for a variety of children and ages.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Martín y Pepe - Spanish Beginning Reader Books


Friends, I'm excited about today's giveaway! (I know, I'm excited about ALL of them!) But this one is special to me because this series of books is loved by my 3yo. 

Last year, I shared these books with you in a sponsored post. Not only did I fall in love with the simple storylines and the beautiful illustrations, but so did my youngest. 

THEN, when I was hosting the Migrant Children's Book Drive last year, Dana Ryan - the author of this series - reached out to me and donated 40 copies (10 of each book). Y'all, I just really love this series and both the author and the illustrator. 

Rosa C. Lopez is the artist. She's brilliant. I actually had her create some art for me for a current project I'm working on and it was remarkable the choices she gave me. I had such a hard time narrowing it down and had to ask my own children to help me choose. And they had a hard time, too. Rosa is THAT good. 

Here's a time-lapse video of her working on the most recent book released in this series. Watch her brilliance in action... 

The Giveaway

Dana has SO kindly offered to give away one complete set of these beginning readers to one MommyMaestra reader! 

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

Good luck, friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 17, 2020

Nacho Books

One of the things that I see coming up a LOT these days from parents raising bilingual children is a request for materials that teach children how to read in Spanish. Especially from parents who had children in immersion PreK and are now homeschooling them for Kindergarten.

A few years ago, I reviewed the Nacho (lectura) books from Susaeta. They have been SO POPULAR! So many parents have said that these were the books they used to learn to read. 

But the biggest hangup was that they are published in Latin America. Fortunately, there is one place here in the States where you can order them: Cultural Bytes

The Giveaway

But I'm very happy to announce that our friends at Cultural Bytes are offering a set of these awesome books for one lucky family.

This set includes (all shown above):
1- Nacho Lectura Inicial De Lectura (estados unidos)
1- Leo y Escribo 1
1- El Gran Nacho

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 14, 2020

3-Month Subscription to Booklandia

Friends, for a few years now, I've been sharing about Booklandia. It is such a remarkable company and I'm excited to include them again in this year's Back-to-School Fiesta.

Booklandia - based out of Oakland, CA since 2016 - specializes in Spanish and Bilingual books for kids and teens. They assist families and schools in building inclusive and representative libraries through their subscription boxes, online store, book sets, and book fairs.  

Here's a note from the owner, Maceo Cabrera Estevez:

We are happy to offer Mommy Maestra's audience an opportunity to join the Booklandia community in this giveaway of a 3-months subscription.  The winner will choose from our Board Books, Bilingual Books, Spanish Picture Books and Spanish Chapter Books Boxes and will also receive a coloring page and bookmark each month.

Visit us at

The Giveaway

As stated above, Booklandia has graciously offered a 3-month subscription of the Booklandia Box of your choice to one MommyMaestra reader!

To enter, simply use the rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Act It Out Shakespeare

Today, I have the pleasure of a special feature. 

There's no giveaway associated with this because the creator is using the profits from her sales to pay for her ballet class. She's 12 years old. 

Julie Cerdas is a member of our Hispanic & Bilingual Homeschoolers Facebook group. Her family homeschools. A few years ago, while studying King Lear with another family, they tried to find paper puppets to supplement their lessons and make it a little more interactive for the kids. But they couldn't find any. Her daughter was inspired to create her own, and then, Act It Out Shakespeare was born. 

Her daughter has created a website to seller her creations. It's called Bluebirds and Blackberries Studio. That's where you can find this set for Shakespeare's The Tempest. But she didn't stop with just puppets. She also adapted the play to include only the characters for which there are puppets, but still presents the complete story arc of the play. So in all, her digital set comes ready for download with 11 puppets to cut out and glue to popsicle sticks (if desired), a play, and a list of characters per scene so you can easily assign roles without going through the entire play.

She's also created a set for A Midsummer’s Night Dream and is working on Much Ado About Nothing. I love that she's made the former available in different versions: full-color or outlines to allow children to color their own should they so choose. 

Children are amazing. Their creativity knows no limits. And parents who nurture not only their child's creativity but their entrepreneurial spirit deserve praise. 

So if you are studying Shakespeare in your home or school classroom and would like to buy a set, visit their online shop

Well done, young one!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Spanish Alphabet Books for PreK & Kindergarten

So many families raising young bilingual children are searching for resources right now to help their preschoolers and kindergartners learn to read in Spanish.

We are lucky to have Spanglish Schoolhouse participating in this year's Back-to-School Fiesta! They have generously offered their Spanish Alphabet Books Bundle. And what I love about it is that parents don't have to be native speakers to help their children learn!

Why? Because this set comes with QR codes . And although the student resources are 100% Spanish, the teacher instruction pages are in English.

This DIGITAL DOWNLOAD bundle is fantastic for practicing letter identification, syllable counting, and beginning sounds in Spanish (or sonidos iniciales).

Every consonant book has all five vowels represented. (The exception is c & g, because there are two versions for those letters: hard and soft.)

Each letter comes with five resources:

Flipbook with QR Code

A printable book children can color, cut, staple, and read to practice beginning sounds in the context of a predictable sentence. These have QR codes, so children can scan and read along with the flipbook using any QR code reader on a phone, tablet, or computer.


This is a full-color version of the above flipbook being read. NOTE: The QR code connects children to files in Google Drive. You will want to be sure your district does not block Google Drive files. 

Trace & Match

Trace the word and match it to the correct picture.

Word Puzzle & Syllable Count

Children use the word bank to match the word to the correct picture, then count and circle the correct number of syllables.

Word & Picture Puzzles

Use these to introduce the vocabulary for each letter, as matching puzzles, or to play memory or Go Fish.

What a FABULOUS resource, no?!?

Visit Spanglish Schoolhouse to learn more and watch the video

The Giveaway

Spanglish Schoolhouse is offering their Digital Download Spanish Alphabet Book Bundle to one MommyMaestra reader.

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Spanish for You! Homeschool Package


Friends, we have been so fortunate to have Spanish for You! as a MommyMaestra sponsor for years now. If you follow this blog, you know how awesome they are. The monthly freebies the offer you are some of the most popular posts on this blog. So many Spanish learners with children in middle school use these freebies to supplement their lessons. 

And Spanish for You! continues their generosity by providing one of their themed homeschool packages for this year's Back-to-School Fiesta!

Giveaway Product Description: 

Spanish for You! Themed School-Year Homeschool Package for Grades 3-4, 5-6, or 7-8, plus coordinating optional workbook and supplemental song set. Value: $70.89. 

Choose any ONE of our year-long themed packages in the grade level of your choice found here. Grade levels indicate the age/grade of your child, not Spanish experience. 


• This prize is not for co-op class use. 

• If you choose Estaciones, Fiestas or Verbos, there are no optional workbooks and no supplemental song sets available yet for these school-year themes. 

Special Discount for ALL entrants: 

Get $6 off any school-year homeschool package with code: MM6 through August 2020. 

Spanish for You! Program Highlights: 

• No Spanish experience needed by parent or child. 

• Daily Lessons 15-20 min. or at your own pace. 

• Teach multiple ages together with lessons tailored to their age/grade. 

• Fun and interactive bite-sized lessons kids enjoy! 

• All materials reusable. 

• Kids can work independently, together, or you can learn as a family. 

• Kids learn to use everyday vocabulary, verbs, and grammar to communicate in complete sentences through listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. 

• Affordable at $39.95 for a school-year package that you can reuse! 

Great for Homeschool Co-ops too! Makes teaching your classes EASY and FUN! And, transitions for teaching online easily. Learn more here.

The Giveaway

As stated, Spanish for You! is generously offering one of their homeschool packages to TWO MommyMaestra readers. 

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 10, 2020

Giveaway: 6-Month Subscriptions to FLANGOO

Do you guys know about Flangoo? It is the digital Spanish eReader service from Teacher's Discovery. All the books have full-chapter audio, comprehension questions, and other neat features (like QR codes). It's like Netflix for Spanish readers.

There are currently 18 readers available, but I know that they are working on adding a lot more, so it will be expanding its content significantly. Currently, their library of readers include Mira Canion, Jennifer Degenhardt, Blaine Ray, and more.

I reviewed some of the titles from their enhanced readers last September. Go take a look if you'd like to see the features and images of the inside pages.

One subscription is good for the teacher plus up to 150 students! So teachers, this is a really good giveaway for YOU!

If you want to try it out first, they are offering a free week trial. Go see all the high-quality readers they have!

The Giveaway

Teacher's Discovery has generously offered a pair of 6-month subscriptions to FLANGOO!

To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 7, 2020

Bilingual Children's Albums by Nathalia

Friends, I love today's giveaway.

We frequently talk about how important music in education is. In fact, it's critical in early education. Children instinctively love music and they learn concepts and skills much faster when music is involved. That's why I love it when artists use their music not just to entertain, but to educate.

And Nathalia does just that!

A native of Colombia, Nathalia moved to the US to attend the Berklee College of Music and later began her career as a music therapist and early childhood music educator. Since 2012, she has recorded and released four children’s albums, which were all co-produced and performed by Grammy award-winners. In her albums, Nathalia demonstrates how her unique style of bilingual songwriting, undefined by genre, can sound both mainstream and family-friendly. She has been a featured guest on Univision's Despierta America, CBS's The Talk, and her music has been played on a number of parenting blogs and online radio stations. Nathalia’s South American heritage and passion for bilingual education serve as major influences in the music she creates.

Nathalia has recently launched 'Un Momento con Nathalia' a bilingual children's web series that explores and introduces different themes and concepts based on Nathalia's original songs. Follow her at

Nathalia is just a natural educator and I love her bilingual web series. Here's one of my favorite episodes:

She also hosts virtual preschool music classes via ZOOM for ages 1-5 in both English and Spanish. For more information visit


Instagram: @nathaliamusica


The Giveaway

Nathalia has graciously offered a copy of her two albums - When I was Your Age and En la radio - to one lucky MommyMaestra reader.

To enter to win, just use the Rafflecopter below. 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Lee & Low Bilingual Book Set

Today's Back-to-School Fiesta giveaway is for those of you looking for bilingual picture books! Our friends at Lee & Low have so kindly put together this set for a MommyMaestra reader. They would be a great addition to lessons for children in PreK through third grade.

Here's a quick review of the titles:

(The following links are affiliate links. See my sidebar for an explanation.)

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match / Marisol McDonald no combina

by Monica Brown

Marisol McDonald has flaming red hair and nut-brown skin. Polka dots and stripes are her favorite combination. She prefers peanut butter and jelly burritos in her lunch box. And don’t even think of asking her to choose one or the other activity at recess—she’ll just be a soccer playing pirate princess, thank you very much. To Marisol McDonald, these seemingly mismatched things make perfect sense together.

Unfortunately, they don’t always make sense to everyone else. Other people wrinkle their nose in confusion at Marisol—can’t she just be one or the other? Try as she might, in a world where everyone tries to put this biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American girl into a box, Marisol McDonald doesn’t match. And that’s just fine with her.

A mestiza Peruvian American of European, Jewish, and Amerindian heritage, renowned author Monica Brown wrote this lively story to bring her own experience of being mismatched to life.

Family Poems for Every Day of the Week: Poemas Familiares Para Cada Dia de la Semana

by Francisco X. Alarcón 

This bilingual collection of poems takes us through the week, day by day. Children spend Sunday visiting their grandparents, play with school friends on Monday, daydream on Tuesday, eat popcorn at the local market on Wednesday, and more until we arrive at Saturday when they get to play nonstop all day. Along the way, we also learn how the names of the seven days came to be. Partly based on the real-life experiences of Alarcon's own family, this festive, celebratory collection of poems highlights the daily life of children while also honoring the experiences of the poet's Latino family in the United States. 

Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del Arcoiris

by Linda Elovitz Marshall 

Ixchel wants to follow in the long tradition of weaving on backstrap looms, just as her mother, grandmother, and most Mayan women have done for more than two thousand years. But Ixchel's mother is too busy preparing her weavings for market. If they bring a good price, they will have money to pay for Ixchel s school and books. And besides, there is not enough extra thread for Ixchel to practice with.

Disappointed, Ixchel first tries weaving with blades of grass, and then with bits of wool, but no one would want to buy the results. As she walks around her village, Ixchel finds it littered with colorful plastic bags. There is nowhere to put all the bags, so they just keep accumulating.

Suddenly, Ixchel has an idea! She collects and washes the plastic bags. Then she cuts each bag into thin strips. Sitting at her loom, Ixchel weaves the plastic strips into a colorful fabric that looks like a beautiful rainbow just like the weavings of Mayan women before her.

Quinito, Day and Night / Quinito, Dìa Y Noche

by Ina Cumpiano 

From the author and illustrator of Quinito's Neighborhood comes this delightful story full of opposites.

From first thing in the morning until he goes to sleep at night, Quinito is up and running-fast or slow, depending on the day. If it's sunny, he's off to the park to swing high and low. If it's rainy, Quinito stays home, where he can be quiet at nap-time and loud at playtime. There's so much to do before the sun sets.

Ina Cumpiano teams up with José Ramírez once more to show young readers that everywhere they look, opposites abound. Quinito, Day and Night is a delight for all kinds of readers: young or old, tall or short, messy or neat.

Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

by Monica Brown

A fascinating bilingual picture book biography of Peruvian archaeologist and national icon Julio C. Tello, who unearthed Peru's ancient cultures and fostered pride in the country's Indigenous history.
Growing up in the late 1800s, Julio Tello, an Indigenous boy, spent time exploring the caves and burial grounds in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Nothing scared Julio, not even the ancient human skulls he found. His bravery earned him the boyhood nickname Sharuko, which means brave in Quechua, the language of the Native people of Peru.

At the age of twelve, Julio moved to Lima to continue his education. While in medical school, he discovered an article about the skulls he had found. The skulls had long ago been sent to Lima to be studied by scientists. The article renewed Julio's interest in his ancestry, and he decided to devote his medical skills to the study of Peru's Indigenous history.

Over his lifetime, Julio Tello made many revolutionary discoveries at archaeological sites around Peru, and he worked to preserve the historical treasures he excavated. He showed that Peru's Indigenous cultures had been established thousands of years ago, disproving the popular belief that Peruvian culture had been introduced more recently from other countries. He fostered pride in his country's Indigenous ancestry, making him a hero to all Peruvians. Because of the brave man once known as Sharuko, people around the world today know of Peru's long history and its living cultural legacy.

The Giveaway

To enter to win this awesome set of bilingual picture books, simply use the rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Beginner Microscope Kit Giveaway

MommyMaestra's Back-to-School Fiesta

Microscope Kit Giveaway

Introduce your children to the world of microscopy! Today's giveaway includes a beginner's microscope kit, a project and activity book, and a free download of my (bilingual) microscope worksheets.

Six years ago, I wrote a post on how to introduce your child to a microscope. I shared my family's adventure into the microscopic world and talked about how we used our microscope. It was one of the most fun subjects we studied. So I'm super excited to have this opportunity for MommyMaestra readers in this year's Back-to-School Fiesta!

Beginner's Microscope Kit

This beginner's microscope is perfect for young students in 4th through 8th grade. AmScope 120X-1200X 52-pcs Kids Beginner Microscope STEM Kit (aff link) is a (beginner) compound microscope and provides high magnification for educational applications. It has a monocular viewing head with LED and mirror illumination and built-in color filter wheel. Forward-facing rotating turret provides 120x, 240x, 300x, 480x, 600x, and 1200x magnifications. Coaxial coarse focus has a rack-and-pinion focus mechanism on a durable and stain-resistant white metal frame. This kit comes with a 52-piece accessory kit and hard-sided plastic ABS case.

Here is what is included:
AmScope M30 microscope
Shrimp hatchery
Brine shrimp eggs
Specimen slicer
Petri dish
Plastic tweezers
Plastic scalpel
Plastic spatula
Plastic stirring rod
Graduated cylinder
Gum media (bottle)
Sea salt
(5) Prepared slides
(7) Blank slides
(7) Slide covers
(7) Statistical slide covers
(7) Slide labels
(2) Collecting vials
(2) AA batteries
Spare LED bulb

Tips from a professional: If you are inexperienced with microscopes, here are a few tips: make sure that what you are trying to view is in the center of the aperture (where the light comes through), and always start on the lowest magnification.

The World of the Microscope

In addition, the winner will receive a copy of the book, The World of the Microscope (aff) by Chris Oxlade. This is an excellent book that I used as part of our lessons when my kids were younger. The World of the Microscope investigates the enormous variety of objects too small for the eye to see, from insects, bacteria, to rock crystals and microchip circuits. The Step-by-step diagrams will show you how to get the best results from a microscope and how to make and keep slides. The book covers different types of microscopes, from magnifying glasses to electron microscopes, and there are plenty of exciting suggestions for projects which reveal the incredible detail of everyday objects. The book also contains a section on the use of microscopes in science and industry.

Printable microscope worksheets

And finally, I am throwing in a copy of my printable Microscope Worksheets (in English and Spanish) to use in your adventures with the microscopic world!

The Giveaway

To enter to win this fabulous giveaway, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Free Digital Libraries of Bilingual Materials

This is a truly amazing opportunity. If you will be homeschooling, you need to know about TeachersPayTeachers. The site sells downloadable lessons, activities, craftivities, and a bajillion other things that are designed directly by teachers. It helps them supplement their incomes, but more importantly, you know that the materials cover the concepts you are teaching. And if you just need a quick reading passage or experiment to supplement OR you need a complete curriculum for (example) 5th-grade math, you can find it on TpT. 

This is especially important for those of you with Spanish/bilingual children because you can find resources on here that you are looking for and can't find elsewhere. There are a lot of dual-language/immersion/Spanish teachers that sell their materials for as little as $2. 

NOW, that said, many of the Spanish educators have gone in together to create two amazing FREE packages. 

The first is an Elementary Spanish Distance Learning Resource Library. It contains 27 FREE resources for Elementary Spanish teachers and includes things like Boom Cards, digital stickers, minibooks, stories, and more. My new set of alebrije counting Boom Cards is included. 

And the second is a Secondary Spanish Distance Learning Resource Library. This is great for older children and includes 26 amazing resources. From vocabulary to verb conjugation to cognates and lesson plans, this is such a great set!

Both of these are worth signing up (for free) on TpT to download.

And while you are there on TpT, take advantage of their two-day Back-to-School Sale! Most sellers participate... and you know I am! My entire shop is on sale. Check out my freebies while you are there! And stock up on items in your wishlists that you need for the coming year.


Monday, August 3, 2020

Risas y Sonrisas Homeschool Elementary Program

We're kicking off the MommyMaestra Back-to-School Fiesta with a great program for homeschool parents wanting to teach their child a second language! I reviewed this program six years ago and it has done nothing but get better, year by year. 

Leticia Smith is the founder. She's passionate about her program that she's perfected over the last 20+ years. We're happy to have Risas y Sonrisas as a MommyMaestra sponsor for the last several years.

Risas y Sonrisas Homeschool Program

Kindergarten-5th grade

For Homeschools, Parents, and Tutors

The Homeschool Program is perfect for teaching and learning Spanish at home! It can be used in-person or remotely with students of all ages and abilities. Our curriculum is comprehensive and easy to follow, making repetition fun and accelerating learning. You don’t even need to speak Spanish to start teaching and learning with Risas y Sonrisas today!

The Homeschool Program includes a comprehensive Instructor Manual with over 100 hours of lesson plans as well as a complete set of high-quality, full-color printed materials. All this is complemented with our complete Online Program, the digital version of our curriculum, encouraging multi-modal practice and allowing you to teach and learn remotely!

The Giveaway

Leticia has generously offered one of her Homeschool Programs (a $220 value) to one MommyMaestra reader!

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below. 

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 2, 2020

MommyMaestra's 2020 Back-to-School Fiesta!

Hola, MommyMaestra Readers!

August is here and that means that it is time for my annual Back-to-School Fiesta! And I'm so excited about the lineup! Several Spanish-learning curricula for different age levels, music albums, science kits, books and more are on the list. You don't want to miss this.

Normally, this comes after a quiet summer spent with my family, but it has been nonstop busy for me this year. Still, I'm excited about the upcoming weeks. During my BTS Fiesta, I share new, helpful, or just plain fun products and services that will help you make your coming school year more effective and/or enjoyable. You'll find resources for homeschoolers, parents, and teachers. So keep an eye on this website because I have a wonderful lineup for you every Monday through Friday this month.

A few notes on important things I want to sneak in today because the other days are already full.

First, don't miss the TpT Back-to-School Sale this coming Tuesday & Wednesday, August 4th and 5th. Everything in my shop will be on sale at their maximum 25% off... including new products. This is the perfect time to go through your wish list and stock up on items that you've been waiting for!

The coupon code is also good for my shop here on, but it doesn't have all the items that are listed on TpT. However, the discount will be good through the end of the month!

And finally, if you aren't already signed up for my newsletter, please consider doing so. There will be a few freebies available only to my newsletter subscribers. This month's free download is an updated version of these Back-to-School Labels. I use them to make the first day special for my kids. I leave them a little gift to open, usually fun school supplies and books. I wrap them up to make it a little more exciting and leave one of these labels being sure to write the grade they're entering in the space provided. 

If you are shopping for the coming school year, please check here because you might win something!

Good luck to all and ENJOY!


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