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Monday, October 22, 2012

Salta Ranita Salta

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For our little Spanish class today I focused on the book Salta Ranita Salta




We began class with our little routine.
We sang:
Buenos Dias
Me llamo
Te quiero
To review colors I asked "De que color es tu camisa?"
Then I asked them "Quien lleva rojo..."
I instructed my cute little students to stand and say "yo llevo rojo."
(By the way there is a lot of whispering the answer to some of the students on my part.  And that is ok!  When they do say the answer, even if I whisper first, I offer a lot of woo hoo's, buen trabajo's or high fives.)

Next we reviewed numbers 1-10 with the song 1, 2, 3  using our fingers to represent each number.
Next I began to teach some of the new vocabulary from the book Salta Ranita Salta.

I created this page of pictures representing 11 words from Salta Ranita Salta.  I printed the page and cut out each picture.  Then I showed each to the students saying "Esta es una rana.  Pueden decir rana?  La rana dice ribbit, ribbit.  Que dice la rana?"

For mosca I said "Esta es una mosca.  Pueden decir mosca.  Te gustan moscas?  No? Pero la rana le gustan las moscas.  La rana usa su lengua larga para comer las moscas."  I always ham it up a little and make sure to mime as many actions as I can.
Next I had got out number cards 1-10 and we said the numbers again.  I handed each student one of the pictures from the above activity and told them to put the picture on a number.  For example I said "pon el pez debajo de numero cinco."  I said "I'm going to choose the quietest person for the next one."  When there were pictures under each number I asked Donde esta el pez.  I told students to respond with the correct number. This proved to be a little difficult for most of my students.  So I cut this activity a little short as attention spans were starting to wane.  

I got out the book Salta Ranita Salta and reminded students how we had played a game jumping over a  hat saying each person's name.  For example before Rachel jumped over the hat we said "Salta Rachel, salta!"  Then I explained that a ranita is a little frog and that rana is frog.  I read the title and all my students knew that salta ranita salta meant jump little frog, jump.

After reading the story I told my students that they had their own pictures to color.  As they were coloring I gave them the words in Spanish to label each picture commenting over and over about the words, asking what color their snake or frog was and so on.  Here is the sheet I created with some of the vocabulary words from Salta Ranita salta.  I put the glue on and they put them in the correct spot.

Nervous about reading a book to your students that is all in Spanish?  Read this post.

Do you do another activity with Salta ranita salta that I haven't mentioned?  Let us know in the comment section.

Here are some of my other Spanish lessons for kids:

 April 2012

Spanish Days of the Week Train

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Practice writing letters and words with Spanish words

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In the process of teaching your young children Spanish you may be working on their writing skills as well. Why not combine the two and have them practice tracing words in Spanish. I found a great site that has 24 hojas de trabajo (worksheets) for tracing Spanish words. Below is a picture of half a sheet.




Another site I found has pictures of fruits and the Spanish words for fruits that you can print for kids to trace. It would go well with the other activities based on La Oruga Muy Hambrienta (The Very Hungry Caterpillar).

Or you might like the traceable letter pages that correspond to words in Spanish that I found here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tips for Reading to Children in Spanish

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Yesterday I read La oruga muy hambrienta to my little class of 6.  It was definitely a hit.  I was feeling a little apprehensive about reading an entire book in Spanish to my students who had such a limited vocabulary.  They are familiar with numbers through 10, colors, days of the week, some emotions, how to say your name along with a few other things. I was nervous that they would feel intimidated by all the vocabulary they didn't know but I couldn't have been more wrong.  They loved it.  Now mind you it helped that I hammed it up as much as I could and did actions where appropriate.  I have read to my kids in Spanish since they were born but I did not how the other 4 kids would handle it.  It was a success.  After this experience I have some tips for reading to children in Spanish.

1.  Make sure they know SOME of the words already.  They don't need to know all the words, just a few here and there scattered throughout the book.

2.  Do actions when ever you can.  For example, if someone is eating in the book, mime eating.

3.  Ask a few questions throughout the story.  Maybe ask about a word they should know.  In our case I asked my students about the days of the week every time we came upon one of those words in the story.

4. Consider reading a story that they are already familiar with in Spanish.

5. If you notice that your students are drifting off a little go ahead and omit some of the words or just take a break and save the rest for another day.

6. If there is a repetitive line (like in i Salta, Ranita, salta! ) encourage students to say it with you.

7.  Have fun!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Present Tense of Stem-Changing Verbs

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One of my readers recently asked me for tips on teaching stem-changing verbs in the present tense.

Here are some of my suggestions:


First I call them boot verbs or shoe verbs because when you draw a line around all the forms that change it ends up looking like a shoe/ boot.  I draw this in front of them exaggerate the fact that it looks like a shoe by drawing shoe strings or something.

I remind students what the stem of the verb is and that with regular verbs the stem does not change but with stem changing verbs the stem changes.  I review one of the regular verbs and then show a stem-changing verb.

I say "in the present tense of stem-changing verbs the stem changes in all forms except for the nosotros form."  Then I ask my students "in what form does the stem change in stem-changing verbs in the present tense?"  They should say "all except nosotros."

For example with cerrar I tell them that the e changes to ie in all froms except the nosotros.  So no longer is the stem cerr.  It is now cierr.

cierro              cerramos
cierras
cierra              cierran   

I then have the entire class conjugate the verb out loud together making sure to emphasize the fact that the nosotros from does not change.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Spanish Days of the Week Train

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My kids and my little class of 7 (ages 1-6) are loving the Spanish Days of the Week Train song.  I have to admit that I was a bit unsure of it at first but it has turned out to be an awesome resource for learning the days of the week in Spanish.  I tell my students to get their train ready. (They use their arms to pretend that they are the train's wheels.)



The first couple times we played this song I would tell them that when the train starts it is slow and it gets faster and faster so they will need to make their arms move faster and faster.  The train starts slowly as students, with the CD, chant "lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes, sábado, domingo."  Then they pretend to pull the train's whistle and say "toot toot!" or "choo choo!"  They love that part!  It gets faster and faster until the kids arms are going wild.  This would probably work best with kids 2nd grade and under.


Maybe some day Blue and Brooks will offer MP3 downloads of their songs, to be purchased of course, possibly through Amazon.  I don't know if there is a major cost involved in that or not or if there would be enough incentive for them to do that.  Until then, they do offer their Spanish songs for kids CD for just $15.  I think this is a great price for the amount of songs that you get: 29 songs!  They did a great job on this CD and I have been using it every day for my little class.

Do you need help pronouncing the days of the week in Spanish?  Try this website.