Monday, April 24, 2023

Día de los Niños PowerPoint Presentations

Día de los Niños presentations in PowerPoint and Google Slides in English and Spanish.

Are you teaching about Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros this week? If so, be sure to download my Día presentation for PowerPoint and Google Slides!

What is Día de los Niños

Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros, also known as Children's Day and Book Day, is a holiday celebrated here in the U.S. on April 30th. 

This day is dedicated to celebrating children, their unique qualities, promoting their well-being and happiness, and the love of reading. Children's Day was brought to the U.S. in the 1990s and combined with a love of books by the children's author, Pat Mora, who was inspired by the Mexican holiday.

In Mexico, El Día del Niño's roots lie in ancient Mesoamerican cultures, and the holiday has evolved into a day of fun activities, special events, and traditions that highlight the importance of children in society.

Today, Día de los Niños y Día de los Libros is a time for families and communities to come together to celebrate and cherish the children in their lives and the joy of reading.

Día de los Niños presentations in PowerPoint and Google Slides in English and Spanish.

Día de los Niños Presentations for PowerPoint & Google Slides

The best way to introduce a new topic, in my opinion, is when you can start with a visual presentation that explains the key points. Because my Día Activity Packet is so popular, I thought it would be great to put together a slide show to help kick off a lesson. 

This 12-slide presentation introduces children to the holiday in a fun way. The slides talk about what exactly the holiday is about, and even gives a brief history of how it came to be here in the United States.

I've also included a slide on the symbols and traditions associated with Día and ended with a list of 10 ways that anyone can celebrate the holiday.

This product comes with four files:
  • English-only PowerPoint
  • Spanish-only PowerPoint
  • English-only Google Slides
  • Spanish-only Google Slides
You pick the format that best suits your home or classroom.

To Use with In-Person or Distance Learning

The best part is that this presentation can be displayed on your classroom whiteboard, or assigned through Google Classroom, and soon it will be available on TpT's Easel, too. 

Online classes can use the file in their lessons by directly sharing their screen with their students.

Día de los Niños literacy activity packet in English and Spanish.

How to Use it in a Lesson

Use this presentation at the beginning of the lesson to introduce the holiday.  Follow up with one or more of the literacy activities available in my Día Activity Pack.

Or you may want to have your students do a literacy craft instead. Here are a few that I recommend:

Día de los Niños book list in full-color or black-and-white.

The Día Book List

You can end your lesson by handing out a copy of my free Día de los Niños book list that's been newly updated for 2023. This list features books mostly written by Latinx authors and that highlight stories and folklore that children will love. 

You might also prefer to print the list ahead of time and select a few books from it to read to your class before or after the presentation.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2023

15+ Earth Day Crafts & Printables for Kids

Check out these Earth Day crafts and printables for kids to celebrate the holiday. They're suitable for children who speak or are learning any language!

Why Craft on Earth Day?

Using crafts to celebrate Earth Day has numerous benefits for children and adults alike. 
  • It's a fun and engaging way to learn about the importance of taking care of our planet. 

  • It can also inspire creativity and encourage problem-solving skills as individuals think about ways to repurpose or recycle materials. 

  • Crafts can also foster a sense of community as people come together to work on projects that benefit the environment. 

  • Crafting can be a therapeutic activity that helps to reduce stress and promote mental well-being
  • Making crafts out of recycled or repurposed materials, individuals can reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable future.

The best part of making crafts, in my opinion, is that they can usually be done in ANY language. I hope you and your children or students enjoy this compilation of some pretty great crafts and printables to do for Earth Day.

Earth Day Crafts for Kids

Here's a list of hands-on crafts for kids to make as they learn about and celebrate Earth Day.

  1. Cascarones Activity
    If you have any cascarones left over from Easter, then use them! If not, don't waste those expensive eggs you are buying: use the eggshells to create your own Earth-friendly seed starter pots!

  2. Recycled Earth Day Craft
    I really love this simple confetti planet Earth from No Time for Flash Cards. It's just lovely and easy for little fingers to make.

  3. Earth Day Printable Headband
    This is a great printable craft from Simple Everyday Mom to get things started, and to get kids excited for the day’s activities. Coloring and wearing this headband will put them in just the right frame of mind. 

  4. DIY Earthy Rock and Fossil Fridge Magnets
    These DIY magnets from Sustain My Craft Habit are a neat idea that can keep the concept of Earth Day in their minds all year round every time they look at the refrigerator. The supplies list is short, but worth picking up ahead of time, as it isn’t all stuff people keep laying around.

  5. Bird-Friendly Seed Mosaic Bird Feeders
    Feeding birds is great. Feeding birds safely is a major concern, though. These planet-friendly, bird-friendly feeders by Barley & Birch allow for a lot of creativity, and only take a few cheap ingredients. Great way to learn about reduce, reuse, and recycle. 

  6. Fairy Greenhouse Egg Carton Seed Starters
    Also by Barley & Birch are these super clever egg carton seed starters! I mean, seriously, recycling at its best. We eat the eggs, use the eggshells as seed starter pots, and then re-use the plastic carton as a mini greenhouse. It's what Earth Day is all about!

  7. Sprout House
    This Sprout House from STEM Education Guide is such a cool idea, and one that will keep kids engaged for some time after Earth Day. Build a small house out of sponges, and line them with sprout seeds. Put water in the dish, and watch day by day for the sprouts to grow.

  8. Recycled Plastic Bottle Planters Craft 
    These Recycled Bottle Planters by Craving Some Creativity are the perfect size for succulents and help keep single use plastics out of landfills. Younger ones will need help, but they will love the adorable animal faces.

  9. Hot Rock Melted Crayon Craft
    Older kids will love this craft from by Simply Well Balanced. It may take a fair amount of supervision based on your child's age and skill level, but the results are so fantastic. Crayons partially melt when used on hot rocks to create unique patterns. This is a great outdoor activity on Earth Day!

  10. Earth Day Daisies 
    Oh my gosh, these are just the cutest things! Buggy and Buddy has this gorgeous little craft made out of cupcake liners. I think you will love displaying them as much as your kids will making them!

  11. DIY Upcycled Toilet Paper Seedling Pots and Painted Stone Garden Markers 
    Toilet paper rolls can be recycled in multiple ways. But this option from The Forked Spoon creates another gorgeous planter that kids can check back day after day to watch their plants magically grow.

Earth Day Printables for Kids

If you prefer print-and-go activities, consider this list of Earth Day downloads.

  1. Earth Day Acrostic Poem Activity
    This packet of bilingual Earth Day acrostic poem templates includes directions and examples in both English and Spanish. There are five different acrostic pages with prompts of varying length and difficulty. There's also a blank page to allow children to use their own focus word.

  2. Bilingual Earth Day Activities for PreK - 1st
    This bilingual packet full of Earth-Day-themed activities is also available in English and Spanish. 

  3. Free Download: Bilingual Earth Day Puzzle Cards 
    This activity is good for language learners and preschoolers. These bilingual puzzles are made up of 12 cards that feature different ways to be kind to the English and Spanish.

  4. Free Printable Earth Template 
    There are so many different crafts and learning opportunities with these Earth templates by Lil Tigers. Print several to take advantage of multiple crafts on Earth Day. Can be used in any language.

  5. Earth Day Color by Number Printable
    Younger ones may enjoy helping with some of the other projects, but they aren’t going to be fully engaged in several of them. These colorable printables by Mommy Made That offer a project that they can tackle on their own. Kids can make some very cute pictures, and will love figuring out which colors go in which parts. English only.

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Monday, April 17, 2023

April Roundup of Spring Activities in Spanish

Bookmark this roundup of spring-themed activities in Spanish from Spanish for You! to teach your middle schoolers. 

This post contains affiliate links.

Using Spring-Themed Activities to Teach Spanish

Incorporating spring-themed activities into Spanish language teaching can be a fun and effective way to engage students and help them learn new vocabulary and grammar structures. Spring is a season that brings new life and growth, which can inspire many creative activities that teachers can use to teach Spanish.

This month, we're sharing a roundup of great resources from MommyMaestra sponsor Spanish for You! This roundup of free activities is focused on spring and they can be found here on this site. 

Spanish Children's Books About Spring

You may wish to pair your lessons with some of these Spanish children's books centered around spring and/or spring characters. :)

Caracolito Primavera

Overall, using spring-themed activities to teach Spanish can be a creative and engaging way to help students learn and practice the language. It allows them to connect with the natural world, practice new vocabulary and grammar structures, and learn about Spanish culture and traditions.

Budget-Friendly Spanish Learning Program

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!

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Selena Reading Passage & Comp Questions

Introduce your children or students to the famous singer, Selena Quintanilla Pérez, with this printable one-page reading passage and comprehension questions.

And if you're looking for more information and ideas to use with your students, check on my post, Resources for Celebrating Selena Day.

Who was Selena?

Selena Quintanilla Pérez was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and fashion designer. 

She was born on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas. Selena came from a family of musicians and she began performing with her family's band, Selena y Los Dinos, when she was only 8 years old. As she grew up, she became the lead vocalist of the group and helped to popularize Tejano music, a genre that blends traditional Mexican folk music with country and rock music.

In the early 1990s, Selena began to achieve mainstream success with the release of her album "Entre a Mi Mundo" and her collaboration with fashion designer, Martin Gomez, on a clothing line. She continued to release successful albums, including "Dreaming of You," which was released after she died.

Sadly, when she was only 23 years old, Selena was shot and killed by her former fan club president, Yolanda Saldívar. Her death was widely mourned, and she remains an icon of Latin music and fashion. 

If you haven't seen it, Selena's life and career were later the subject of a biopic film, "Selena" (1997), starring Jennifer Lopez in the title role.

What is Selena Day?

Back in 1995, while fans all over the US, Mexico, and throughout Latin America were still grieving the death of their beloved star, George W. Bush (who was at the time the governor of Texas) declared that April 16th, Selena’s birthday, would be an official Texas holiday.

One of Selena's greatest achievements was breaking barriers in the music industry. As a Latina woman, she faced many challenges, but she never gave up on her dreams. She showed that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

In honor of Selena's legacy, many people celebrate her life and music every year on April 16th. This day is known as Selena Day, and it's a time to remember her and all the joy she brought to the world.

Selena One-Page Reading Passage

Selena One-Page Reading Passage

This year, in honor of the rock star, I've put together a one-page reading passage that shares Selena's life story.

Geared for children in 4th grade and up, this file also comes with reading comprehension questions. The 8-question quiz also comes with a separate answer key.

AND it is available in English and Spanish (as always)!

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Monday, April 10, 2023

10 Fun Facts about Dolores Huerta

10 Fun Facts about Dolores Huerta

In honor of her 93 birthday, I put together these 10 fun facts about Dolores Huerta for you to share with your children and/or students.

Dolores Huerta is a civil rights activist and labor leader who has spent her life advocating for the rights of farmworkers, immigrants, and women. She is perhaps best known for co-founding the United Farm Workers (UFW) with Cesar Chavez and organizing the Delano grape strike in 1965. 

Born in New Mexico in 1930, Dolores grew up in California and worked as a teacher before becoming an activist. Over the course of her career, she has fought for better working conditions, voting rights, and equality for all. Today, she is recognized as a pioneer in the fight for social justice and continues to inspire others to make a difference in their communities.

10 Fast Facts about Dolores Huerta

I thought it would be fun to put together a quick list of things that your students/children may not know about Dolores. 

  1. Dolores Huerta was born on April 10, 1930, in the mining town of Dawson, New Mexico, USA. Her parents were Mexican-American farmworkers who taught her the value of hard work and education.

  2. She grew up in Stockton, California, and was the second of three children. Her parents, Juan and Alicia, were Mexican-American farmworkers who taught her the value of hard work and education. As a child, she helped her mother run a hotel and restaurant business.

  3. Dolores worked as an elementary school teacher in California for several years before she became an activist. She saw firsthand the poor living conditions and lack of resources that many farmworker children faced.

  4. In 1962, Dolores co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) with Cesar Chavez. Later, the organization merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to become the United Farm Workers (UFW).

  5. One of Dolores' most famous accomplishments was organizing the Delano grape strike in 1965. The strike lasted for five years and involved grape pickers boycotting California grapes to demand better wages and working conditions.

  6. Dolores was a lifelong advocate for women's rights and co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962. She helped pass laws to protect women from discrimination in the workplace.

  7. In 2012, President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. She was recognized for her tireless work on behalf of farmworkers, immigrants, and women.

  8. Dolores has received numerous other awards and honors throughout her life, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights in 1998 and the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship in 2002.

  9. Dolores has 11 children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her children have also been involved in social justice causes and activism.

  10. Dolores is still active in social justice causes and continues to speak out on issues like immigration, education, and women's rights. She is an inspiration to many and a reminder that one person can make a difference.

2 Children's Books About Dolores Huerta

Here are two of my favorite children's biographies about the activist.

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers

Side by Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/ La Historia de Dolores Huerta y Cesar Chavez

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Thursday, April 6, 2023

New! Online Homeschool Elementary Curriculum

The following post is in collaboration with Homeschool+. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Are you looking for an online homeschool elementary curriculum that offers customized learning to support your home education? Homeschool+ may be for you!

Homeschool+ is a new online elementary curriculum

Quick Overview

Program: Homeschool+

Religious Perspective: Secular

Format: Online Curriculum presented in a variety of formats

Grades: PreK - 2nd

Price: $49.99/mo until canceled or $479.88/yr until canceled

A Customized Learning Program

My youngest child is 5 this year and it quickly came to my attention that the homeschool curriculum I used with my first two children, wasn’t going to work for me OR my child.

When I first began homeschooling 13 years ago, I had no clue what I was doing. I needed a complete curriculum that not only taught the subject matter that my kids needed to learn, but one that taught ME how to teach THEM. I needed a curriculum that showed me what to do and say. At least until I became comfortable with teaching my children.

Fast forward to now. I consider myself a veteran homeschooler. My needs are completely different today. So are the needs of my youngest child. Like all children, he is advanced in some areas and behind in others. That’s okay. He’s learning at his own pace and skill level.

But what I want this time around is a customized learning program or curriculum that I can easily modify to meet our needs and supplement our lessons. Homeschool+ has been just that.

Game-based math lesson that teaches numbers 11-20 on Homeschool+

Online Homeschool Elementary Curriculum

Homeschool+ is a new online elementary program that comes from the creators of ABCmouse and Adventure Academy. I had heard of these programs, of course, but had no experience with them. So when I learned that there was a new program from an established education company that was doing its best to help homeschool families, I was willing to give it a try. I am really, really glad I did.

Homeschool+ doesn’t take the place of our kindergarten curriculum. Instead, it serves as a supplemental activity that I can use to target those skills that my son is still learning or with which he needs help. It covers three main areas: 

  • Math, 

  • Reading, 

  • and Arts, Sciences, and General Studies.

This curriculum is a game-based learning program. So it’s very interactive. From what I’ve observed, it includes the following for students:

  • Educational videos

  • Games

  • eBooks (my child can choose from the online library)

The fully customizable lesson planner on Homeschool+

Lesson Planner for Parents

And for parents, it provides a Lesson Planner and Progress Tracker. Both are available through the same app, so I don’t have to add ANOTHER app to my phone or have a separate login. SUCH a relief!

The Lesson Planner is password protected, so I don’t worry that my son will accidentally get into it and disrupt or change the schedule I have in place.

I absolutely love the amount of control I have over:

  • the amount of time my son spends online (I can set time limits for each subject)

  • which subjects are presented to my son on any given day (I can assign each day’s lessons)

I can only assign lessons Monday through Friday. The app designates the weekends as Freeplay. This is fine, if you have a M-F learning schedule. But if, like many homeschoolers, you take Mondays & Tuesdays (or different weekdays) off because those happen to be the days you and/or your spouse don’t work, then you may have to adjust accordingly. But from what I understand, weekend scheduling is in the works. 

Lastly, I love the ease with which I can quickly adjust the schedule for any given day or week. Adding lessons in a particular subject is as simple as clicking a button. 

And I can also download supplemental lesson plans if I want to be involved in the day’s subject matter or incorporate it offline. Each of the lessons come with a printable offline lesson plan, which I totally appreciate!

Progress Tracker for Parents

From my Parent Dashboard, I can also access the Progress Tracker to see the lesson details, how many lessons my son has completed overall and how many he has completed each week. I can also filter the data by subject matter/course. Here’s a peek at my kid’s progress in My Math Academy to give you an idea:

The Progress Tracker on the Parent Dashboard on Homeschool+

I absolutely love the amount of control I have over:

  • the amount of time my son spends online (I can set time limits for each subject)

  • which subjects are presented to my son on any given day (I can assign each day’s lessons)

Establishing a Grade Level

The one thing that I wish I could also control is the grade level for my child. Unless I missed it, I think that it is based on his birthdate. I’ve only been testing out the BETA version, so it’s possible that this will be added soon. But I have kept in mind that the program has fully adaptive math and reading programs, so the lessons should (and do appear to) progress in difficulty, based on my child’s mastery of each skill. 

What My Son Likes About the Program

If you’ve read this far, then you know what I think about the program. But let me tell you about my 5-year-old. He absolutely loves the game-based lessons. The stories keep him entertained, and both the characters and the interactive lessons make him laugh. 

But what he likes best is to show me his work and how each activity works. ❤️❤️

Home Educator Curriculum Support

I love what I’ve seen so far, and am eager to see this program grow. My favorite part is how hard they’ve worked to keep parents in charge of directing their children’s learning, while supporting them with lessons and interactive online activities that nurture children’s learning. 

If you are homeschooling a child in elementary, Homeschool+ is a great tool to add to your arsenal of educational resources! Visit Homeschool+ today to learn more and sign up!

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