A Peek Inside My Deskless Classroom

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I hope everyone is having a great school year so far! This will be my 4th week with students. We spent the first week and a half making it a safe place for our students, getting to know to know one another and giving them a chance to get to know the space. I teach K-5, and this week was my first full week with my K students. Everything is so new for them that our school principal and their teachers feel that for specialists to start teaching them subject material from day one could be terrifying! I love this new approach of getting to know our students before we dive into our curriculums.

I have been working on classroom routines, classroom rules and encouraging them to use hand signals when we are in class. I have decorated my classroom with some input for them but will be adding more little by little. I feel that it doesn't make sense for me to fill every space on the walls of my classrooms with signs that they don't yet understand, and I know I am not in need of them yet. 
I have been making some changes around the room according to the needs of my students. I have a deskless classroom. My K-2 students sit on the rug, and grades 3-5 have assigned seats.  Each chair has a pocket where we keep our notebooks and pencils. That saves me time when we do writing activities. 




I have a calendar, but I mostly use an online version projected on the board. The online version of the calendar has links to guess the day's temperature in different Spanish countries.




I have about 115 students, so this poster has been helpful to remember dates. Every month we change it, and the children quickly write their name and date of their birthday.






I have a class list and have assigned a number to each of my students in each grade. I use these popsicle sticks (not a new idea!) to choose participants in the different games we play, since sometimes it is hard to choose. Students also have the choice to say "paso" to indicate "I pass."




I added a reading corner to my classroom. I haven't use it yet, but I plan to add copies of the TPRS® stories we do this year. I have some students who are heritage speakers, so I think they could benefit from other stories as well.






I also like comparing the time zones in different countries. I have a clock that shows Colombia, one for Austin and one for Equatorial Guinea. I might change the countries later. 

I have decorated the classroom with some useful language, question boards and signals, and classroom rules. At the top of the board, I keep the flags of the countries of study. We do about 8 per school year with grades 2-5. One more thing is that this year the interactive board comes with a microphone which is great for the little ones. They can hear me better and are more engaged.




I have a projector that I can use to work on rewriting stories together or simply filling out worksheets in class. Best thing to have ever!



Next to the projector, I have a table with different props and with some Yoga cards that I use as brain breaks with my students.






                       
I also have use this fun game called "La caja mágica de pañuelos"  or "Magic Tissue Box." You can read all about it here!





I also keep a chime handy when the attention getters I use don't work. Voice saver!


I have decorated the classroom with art from different Spanish speaking countries. I wish I had one to represent each country. So far I have a lot from Colombia, Panamá, La República Dominica, Guatemala, Ecuador, México, and Chile. I write the name of the country under the piece of art so students know where it comes from.


I also have have other small decorations around the room, mostly around my computer. I have a chair next to some furniture that is part of the classroom.










I use this chair for students to sit when we sing the birthday song.



 This is a Friday selfie! Feeling ready to go home!


How is your school year going? Do you have a classroom, or are you traveling? I used to be a traveling teacher and wrote a post a while back about how I used to roll! You might find the post helpful!


¡Feliz año escolar!
Carolina

Using Rockalingua in the Elementary Classroom {Giveaway}

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Rockalingua was created by an elementary Spanish teacher who really knows the needs of Spanish teachers in the classroom. Cesar and Rockalingua make our jobs as Spanish teachers easier. Rocaklingua has engaging songs with different online components to engage students. The videos are appealing to an elementary level audience. They all love the online games! Rockalingua has now added a student tracking system for us for teachers to know how much they have been practicing in our classes and at home! Teachers are now able to print not only supportive worksheets but also stories and flash cards.  I am so lucky to be able to host a giveaway where one teacher will get to win a one-year subscription with a full access membership to Rockalingua's website.  Scroll all the way down to participate!
 I also got inspired by Rockalingua so I am sharing some supportive ideas to use in your classes. I am using the video "Los animales de la granja" as a reference. This post ended up being quite long, so please bear with me! You are also welcome to go all the way to the end to enter to participate!

You can find the complete version for free on Rockalingua's website

Basic vocabulary and expressions:
La granja: Farm
Hay: There is/There are
Perro: Dog
Gato: Cat
Cerdo: Pig
Pato: Duck
Vaca: Cow
Oveja: Sheep
Gallo: Rooster
Caballo: Horse
Mi animal favorito: My favorite animal

Materials:
Animals flashcards from Rockalingua (multiple copies), bag and Rockalingua's video.

Activities

Introducing the vocabulary: Place cards of different animals in a bag. Invite the children to take turns taking the flash cards from the bag. Introduce the name of the animal and the sounds it makes, one at a time. Talk about their colors. You can also count to see home many animals are in the bag.
You will need to choose the amount of vocabulary you would like to introduce depending on the time and frequency with which you see your class.
Place the flashcards around the room and have the children jump next to the one you name.
You can also make a line with the flashcards and have the children jump next to them while naming them.


Mi animal favorito: Make a chart with the animals and have the children place their name under their fruit they like the most. Talk about the chart with the class.

More games: Divide your classroom into two spaces. You may use tape to divide the space. One side, place a sign with the expression “Es mi favorito" and the other side “No es mi favorito." Have the children make a line. Name an animal, have the children jump to the side according to what they decide. A variation is for the teacher to speak a sentence in which he or she decides whether the response is "es mi favorito" or "no es mi favorito", and to make it a game that stresses listening skills. For example, the teacher might say: “El perro es mi animal favorito,” and all the children must jump the “es mi favorito” side. If they jump to the other side, they will be out of the game.

Animales, animalitos (tagging game): This game is based on a popular game called “color, colorcito”. This game works best in an outdoor space, but it can still be done in the classroom. In preparation for this game, you will need the flash cards, two or three copies per animal. Spread the flash cards across the field. Have one child be the tagger. The tagger will have to say “animal, animalito” and then name an animal. The tagger will have to tag a person who is not touching the flash card for that animal. You and your students can decide on the amount of time you would like to play this game.

TPR® (Total Physical Response)

  • Your students and you can create gestures or movements to go along with each animal.
  • Play “Simon says”: Play this game and sing the gestures that you and your students agreed on. Have your students make a circle. The teacher or one of the students should be the caller for the game. The caller has to say “Simón dice, "gua, gua, hace el perro" and everyone in class will do the gesture for perro. If someone does something different, then that person will be out. If the caller says “gua, gua, hace el perro” without saying “Simón dice” and someone still does the gesture, then that student will be out of the game. The game continues going until there is one player left.
  • Play charades: Show the card to one student and have that student show the gesture to the class. Whoever guesses the name of the animal gets a turn.
  • Reverse charades: Have a student close his/her eyes. Show a card to the class. The class will show the gesture for the animal. The student has to guess. You can decide on the amount of turns or opportunities you give the student to guess.

Introducing the video: Once you are sure the children know the vocabulary and structures for the song, show the video. A recommendation is to show the video by frames and talk about what students notice in the picture.See the picture below:

1. Talk about the animals they see, their colors and how many.
2. Talk about the expression “Mi animal favorito.” Ask questions of your students using this expression.
3. Ask them which one they like the most and which one they like the least.
Talking about the song is also a good way to provide repetition without making it obvious.
Once you have talked with the children about different parts of the video, show it without interruptions.

Playing with the song: Caiga en la nota: Invite your students to play along. Play the song for a few seconds and the mute the sound. Your students should continue singing. Turn the sound back again and see if they were on track with the video.

Make a video with your class: Record your students singing and dancing to this song, and share it with their families. 

More activities: Download Rockalingua’s worksheets and have your students take them home to sing their song to their parents. If you want to assign it as homework, you can ask your students to bring their worksheet back with a parent’s signature, noting the number of times they sang the songs for them.

Giveaway!

I am lucky enough to have my very own membership and enjoy the full benefits of it. I would love one of my readers to have that benefit too! To participate, just enter below. The giveaway will closed on Sunday, September 3rd, 2017. The winner will be announced on Monday, September 4nd, 2017. WORLD WIDE participants are welcome! ¡Buena suerte!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mystery Student in Elementary Spanish Class

Sunday, August 20, 2017

At this point in the year, some of you are already back to school or getting ready for it!  I still have a few days left until I see my students. I have some new things I would love to try this year. At a conference I attended this summer, a teacher shared with me that at the beginning of the school year she sends home a survey for her students to fill out along with their parents. I know homeroom teachers do it, and I recall getting a few of these when my own children were in preschool. How in the world is it that it never occurred to me that I could do this with my students? That's why I love the teaching community, so much sharing and helping each other! 

After doing some research, I adapted one that I will share with my students. I plan to use it in class in something like "el estudiante misterioso"which basically will be like sharing with the class special facts about this person, taking a few guesses, and then revealing the name of the mystery student. After revealing the name, I will again ask the class to give some facts about this person.  For example,
1. ¿Cuántos hermanos tiene Anna?
2. ¿Quién tiene hermanos en la clase?
3. ¿Cuántos hermanos tienes?
This way other student can relate with the mystery student.

I'm not sure where I will take it from there.  Maybe the mystery student will have a special place to sit in class or will have a special job.  Please share your ideas in the comments. I will be so excited to hear them all and update this post with them!

Download your pages for "El estudiante misterioso" HERE!

Have an awesome school year!



Available on Teachers Pay Teachers
 

Create Your Own Interactive Sock Puppet Book

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I had a lot of fun making this sock puppet book so I thought it was a good idea to share with you here the template I used. I printed the pages on stock paper, and it was easy to create. What took the longest was the puppet, but there is no science behind it. 

I included in the video below a quick tutorial on how I made my puppet, but there are more elaborate ones on YouTube - just search "How to make sock puppets," and you will get tons of results. 

I included a blank template you may use to add more emotions in the book. You can also write a story about the puppet. Ready to make your book? Click HERE to download the files. 





Have fun!

More teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers!


Curriculum Ideas for Preschool and Kindergarten

Monday, July 31, 2017

I am sharing general ideas for teachers based on how a “typical” school year might look in a Preschool and Kindergarten Spanish class. All the ideas I’m sharing here are geared toward programs that meet once or twice a week. In this schedule, there is not that much contact time with the students in the target language, so some of the concepts should be recycled and taught in a spiral way. In other words, if you teach numbers during the first month or two of the school year, continue to make time throughout the year where students may continue to be exposed to the vocabulary. For example, count apples in September and have them guess how many hearts you have in a bag in February.


I like using my students as a guide to know how long I should be exploring the content, but make sure to always go back to it and weave it throughout the school year. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, please note that many of the suggestions have links to resources in my Teachers Pay Teachers store or affiliate links to Amazon. I invite you to also explore many of your local libraries to find some of the books suggested below. The activity packs that are available on Teachers Pay Teachers have teaching tips, suggested ideas, and games.

I hope this serves as a good starting point to help you create your own curriculum. You might also find new ideas here that you would like to incorporate into your existing curriculum. 

Click HERE to download your document. Please make sure to click on the pictures to see the links.


Happy teaching!



Colombian Classroom Décor {Giveaway}

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It has been a while since I have hosted a giveaway here on my blog! I went to Colombia this summer for a few days and thought of bringing something home that I could share and help one teacher decorate his/her classroom or cart.

I decided to bring back a hat that has come to represent Colombia as a symbol, "El Sombrero Vueltiao." I feel strongly connected to this symbol because my parents are both from the Atlantic Coast of Colombia, and although I was born and raised in Cali, I was always surrounded by the Sombrero Vueltiao, las abarcas (traditional sandals) and all the flavors from the Coast: suero, pescado seco (dried fish), yuca (cassava), and more. I have memories of listening to Vallenatos everyday at home with my parents who loved to host simple fiestas on Saturdays with some other Costeños and neighbors.

Sombreros are a big part of the rural Colombian culture and the different festivals and carnivals around the country. There is a sombrero for everything, and they all look different. Some of the sombreros are engrained in particular cultures, which is the case of the Guambiano people in the Cauca Department who have a very special bowler hat. This said, not everyone wears sombreros in Colombia, so don't get disappointed if you ever visit and don't see any sombreros.

Since the Sombrero Vueltiao has also become an icon in attempts (which has been pretty successful!) to attract tourists, I am sure you will at least see one sombrero and some pictures of it in Colombia.

This video below explains the history of the Sombrero Vueltiao and its meaning for the people from the Atlantic Coast of Colombia.



Ready to participate in the giveaway? 

If you would like to participate in this giveaway and have the opportunity to win this awesome set of Colombian decorations for your classroom or cart, just enter below to participate. The winner will be announced on August 5th, 2017.  Participants in The United States Only!

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¡Buena suerte!

Monarch Butterfly Migration to Give Your Spanish Curriculum Wings!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


A few years ago the science teacher at my school approached me with an exciting idea. It was September, and she started the year off teaching about the Monarch butterfly migration. She wanted to create a cross curricular connection and shared with me the idea of joining a symbolic butterfly migration through an organization called "Journey North."  It was the best idea ever!

She taught the butterfly life cycle in her science class, which included raising the butterflies in her classroom. She also taught the Monarch migration and why they are important connectors of ecosystems and landscapes. 

In our Spanish class we learned about the butterfly migration traveling from north to south because it was the fall. These are some of the questions we used and might help you start a conversation in class. Having a map and a paper butterfly helps a lot!

¿Dónde vivimos? ¿Vivimos en Colombia o en Estados Unidos?
¿Cuál es la estación? ¿Es el verano? ¿Es el otoño?
¿Qué animal es? ¿Es un perro? ¿Es un gato? ¿Es una mariposa? ¿Es un gato o una mariposa?
¿Qué clase de mariposa es?
¿Por qué van las monarcas al sur?
¿Adónde van las monarcas?
¿Adónde en México van las monarcas?
¿Cuándo van las monarcas a Michoacán?
¿Qué se celebra en México el 1 y 2 de noviembre?
¿Qué representan las monarcas para las personas en Michoacán?

Each student decorated small paper butterflies and wrote basic information such as:
Yo me llamo _________.
Yo tengo ______ años.
Yo vivo en __________.
Mi color favorito es___________.



We also decorated a bigger butterfly the size of a filing folder and added a picture of our class in the middle. We also needed to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (10” X 13”) in order to get our butterflies in the spring. I uploaded a picture of a big butterfly to the Journey North website and shared it with parents. On the map, we were able to see the schools that were participating in the country, as well our our big butterfly.

We made a connection with the homeroom teachers. During their reading time students had different books related to butterflies and also to "El Día de los Muertos." It's believed that Monarchs are the souls of the departed and loved ones, and they arrive in Michoacán to join the celebration. Students read "Uncle Monarch" in their classrooms, and that helped us make a connection to explore the Day of the Dead celebration.


 
We also got to say "adiós" to our real butterflies before they embarked on their journey south.  
In Spanish class, we read a bilingual book called "El Día de los Muertos." It led us to make a comparison between Halloween and this beautiful celebration for them to understand the meaning of the Day of the Dead and why it's important to the Mexican people - and how it differs from Halloween.



When the spring came, we had an awesome surprise! We got mail from Journey North with beautiful paper butterflies made by children in Mexico and other parts of the United States. This was an amazing experience not only for the teachers who got to work together, but also for the children who were excited about their paper butterflies. This is also an opportunity to raise awareness about Monarchs and what could happen if they go extinct. 



Thinking about joining the journey this year? 
Click here to visit the link to learn how to participate and download the "Teacher Packet" with all the steps to join the symbolic migration. The deadline to join is around the first week of October, so make sure you don't miss the date. 

Visit Señora Speedy's blog  to read what she has done in her class with the Monarch butterfly migration. Also, visit Mundo de Pepita's blog to read up on her experience too! 

Have an awesome journey!

Available on Teachers Pay Teachers

  


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