Thursday, March 18, 2010

Teach Spanish to children at the park

At the park, like most kids, my kids love to play in the sand. So we do an activity that my 3.5 year old really likes.

First we dig a small area for the river.  Then we gather up a bunch of sticks to put over the "river" to make a little bridge.

So some of my narration through this playing might sound a little like this:

Cavemos en la arena.  "Let's dig in the sand."
Hagamos un rio. "Let's make a river."
¿Quieres hacer un puente? "Do you want to make a bridge"
Busquemos unos palos. "Let's look for some sticks."
Oh, mira.  Hay un palo detrás de ti. "Oh, look.  There's a stick behind you."
Este palo es largo. "This stick is long."
Este palo es corto. "This stick is short."
¿Este palo es largo o corto? "Is this stick long or short?"

Teaching Spanish to kids is so fun when they don't realize they're actually learning!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cultural/ Historical section of CSET

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Everything You Need to Know About Latino History: 2008 Edition

For your CSET test preparation, "Everything you need to know about Latino History" is the one book I recommend to help you study for the cultural and historical section of the Spanish CSET.  Another teacher who passed the test recommended it to me before I took it and I thought it was a great book.  Make sure you use it in conjunction with the outline of the test itself.

For more information on how to study for this test check out my articles on how to study for the Spanish CSET.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any questions concerning the Spanish Cset or teaching Spanish in general.

Also check out my article on how to find free college scholarships

Feliz Dia de San Patricio!

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Here's a little description in Spanish about el día de San Patricio I found on Edhelper
" El día de San Patricio se celebra el 17 de marzo de cada año. Es una celebración que comenzó en Irlanda. De hecho, en ese país es feriado nacional. Muchas personas de otros países también celebran la fecha, pero no es un feriado oficial allí. El día celebra la cultura irlandesa. Comenzó como una festividad religiosa. Una tradición que muchos conservan es llevar verde. Algunas personas creen que los que no llevan verde en San Patricio recibirán un pellizco. Ese día se conmemora a San Patricio, uno de los santos patronos de Irlanda. Su color era el azul. ¿Por qué entonces se usa verde ahora, y no azul? "Llevar verde" significaba ponerse un trébol de tres hojas en la ropa. Hace mucho tiempo, eso significaba que el que llevaba el trébol era leal a Irlanda. Los expertos dicen que San Patricio también usaba el trébol, con sus tres hojas, para explicar la Santísima Trinidad. No te olvides de vestirte de verde (¡o azul!) el próximo día de San Patricio."

Below are a few things I printed for my preschooler to work on.

 A big Shamrock
 Shapes to cut out and paste on a  leprechaun hat
Coloring page with leprechaun, rain bow and pot of gold
Shamrock dot to dot with ABC's

St Patrick's Day worksheets

Word search in Spanish with the following vocabulary:

Here's a little more on St Paddy's Day on our home school blog.
  • Irlanda - Ireland
  • Irlandes - Irish
  • trébol - shamrock/ clover
  • oro - gold
  • olla - pot
  • verde - green
  • diversión - fun
  • fiesta - party
  • arco iris - rainbow
  • duende - leprechan

When preschoolers or young children are playing, coloring or doing an activity while you're talking to them in Spanish they don't even realize you're teaching a Spanish vocabulary lesson.

Monday, March 15, 2010

"¿Cómo estás?"

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I love children's books in Spanish and I love that our library has so many of them.  We recently checked out a bunch and I plan on making it a habit.  I read to my kids all the time in Spanish and it totally reinforces the fact of how important it is to read to your kids, no matter what the language. I also love that I am practicing my Spanish at the same time as reading to my kids.  I can often find a word that I never knew.

For example in ¿Cómo estás? by Claudia Bielinsky I learned the word empapado means soaked.  I also learned that enfadado means angry or annoyed.

You might also like my post on the gingerbread man in Spanish

Spanish for Preschoolers

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Since my daughter began talking I've been working on teaching her Spanish.  (Actually the truth is that I have been talking to her in Spanish since she was born just as I would in English)

I taught high school Spanish for 8 years so Spanish for preschoolers was a whole new ball game for me. One of the things I've done is ask her several questions in Spanish and taught her how to respond.

These are some of the ones I use consistently with her and she can reply with ease to each of them.  (She is 3 and a half now.)

¿Cómo te llamas?
¿Cómo estás?
¿Cuántos años tienes?
¿Dónde vives?
¿Cómo se llama tu hermano?
¿Cuántos años tiene tu hermano?
¿Dónde está tu nariz? (or any other body part)

 I ask her these quite often: in the car, bathroom, store, whenever we're waiting.

Now I ask her them one right after the other.  When I was first teaching her I would ask her the question and then tell her what to answer. For example I would ask her "¿Cuántos años tienes?" and tell her to say "tres años" and later I progressed to having her say "Tengo tres años."

How do you teach Spanish to preschoolers?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spanish video for toddlers or preschoolers

Spanish for Beginners: Vamos a Jugar (Let's Play), 1st Edition

 I am constantly trying to come up with more ideas for helping my children learn Spanish at home. I was recently able to view 5 Spanish videos for kids that were geared towards toddlers/ preschoolers.  The only Spanish teaching video I liked was Whistlefritz
It is a parenting media award winner and was definitely great quality. We watched "Vamos a Jugar." Here is what the Parent's Choice Foundation had to say about it, "Featuring children from infants to age 9 or so, young viewers are introduced to the names of body parts in Spanish through a combination of play, song and dance."

It kept my almost 2 year old and my 3 and a half year old engaged the whole time and we've watched it about 4 or 5 times now.  The other videos we reviewed aren't even worth mentioning.  I would definitely buy the other WhistlefritzDVD's in this series.  It seems to supplement the foreign language lessons we are doing at home quite well.

You might also want to check out this article on choosing videos for your preschooler/ toddler. 

Do you recommend any other Spanish language videos?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fill in the blanks/ Mad libs

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I found a fill in the blank type of story for your Spanish I students to do.  It is all about their school.  You can have it be factual or make up something, which I think would be more fun.  What I think would be even more fun would be to set it up in a type of Spanish mad libs game.  In order to do this you'll need to number the blanks and specify what each blank should be ("nombre de una persona" for example)

I can't remember who's blog I was reading that had this.  If it was you please leave a comment.

Cabeza, Cara, Hombros, Pies

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This is a  great song to help teach children parts of the body in Spanish.

Cabeza, cara, hombros, pies,
hombros, pies, hombros, pies,
cabeza, cara, hombros, pies y una vuelta entera.

It is a nice change from the head and shoulders, knees and toes songs.

If you want to browse through more of these songs go here.
Thank you wannajugarwithmigo for the location of these songs.

Monday, March 8, 2010

El Hombre de Pan de Jengibre

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The Gingerbread Man / El Hombre de Pan de Jengibre (Keepsake Stories) (Spanish and English Edition)I love it when I find a Children's book in Spanish that has the English too. My daughter (she's 3 and a half) and I have been reading The Gingerbread Man or El Hombre de Pan de Jengibre a lot lately I decided to do a few more activities involving it today.  I think it turned out pretty well.  I always read it to her in Spanish but her dad reads it to her in English.  I printed out a page with a picture of a gingerbread man for her to practice writing her Capital and lower case g's.  Perhaps I should have printed a J page for jengibre but maybe we'll do that tomorrow. I also printed out a couple Gingerbread men for her to color.  Lastly, which she loved the best, I printed out a blank gingerbread man and gave her pasas (raisins) for her to make the eyes, nose, mouth and buttons with.  I instructed her to do all of this in Spanish.  I think she really liked this.