Monday, November 4, 2013

Free Printable Spanish Worksheets

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I was looking for something on the seasons in Spanish to use in my little class tomorrow and I happened on this website and found something perfect. (See below) To print this seasons in Spanish sheet you can go here.

Printable worksheet on the seasons in Spanish with pictures to color
There are a lot of other printables for use mostly among the younger grades although some could be used for Spanish I also.  You can also find some bulletin board printouts like the estaciones one below.

If you're looking for a book about the seasons in Spanish  El Otoño is a good one.  I plan on reading that one tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Class Dojo

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I'm just wondering if any of my readers are using Class Dojo for classroom management.  I just wrote a post about it here. and I'm excited to see how it works at home.

If you haven't heard of it you should definitely check it out.  It is  behavior management software that you can use with your ipad, computer or tablet.  Just go to Class Dojo and give it a look.

My friend uses it in his high school classes.  I know elementary teachers that use it as well as parents.  I am going to give it a try at my house.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Periodic Repetition in Foreign Language Teaching

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Repetition is an important tool

This is part 2 of three in a series on using repetition to teach Spanish (or other languages).  This article was written by Brooks Lindner from Sonrisas Spanish for use here on Teaching Español.  Part one focused on daily repetition.  You can find that post here.


Periodic Repetition

"Periodic repetition refers to learned content that you return to periodically throughout the year. Perhaps there is a song or game that your students have learned really well and that you sing/play for a couple of months but then drop as newer material is learned. 

You can return to that song or game at some later point in the school year and do it for however long you feel is appropriate. Students will welcome the opportunity to return to something they know well, and they will benefit from the renewed repetition. 

I like to cycle the songs in my lessons in this way. I also like to periodically have “review” days where I don’t really teach a lesson, but rather we do all the songs and games that my students know really well for the whole class period. Students benefit from the confidence they feel when they repeat material that they know well."


Brooks has it right.  When I was teaching high school Spanish repetition was probably the most important tool that I used and I always got great results with it.  
Now when teaching my young class of pre-k through second graders I observe great results when we repeat an activity over the course of classes.  My students love when we revisit an activity or song that we haven't done in a while or even when I re-read them a book.  I'll  sometimes change it up a little or sometimes keep it exactly the same.  Your pattern should be something like this: new material, repeat, repeat, new material, repeat repeat, new material...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Using Repetition When Teaching Spanish to Children

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This is part one of three of an article written by Brooks Lindner from Sonrisas Spanish for use here on Teaching Español.  I have used Sonrisas for the last year or so as our elementary Spanish curriculum and I have been very happy with it.  You can check out my end of the year post on Sonrisas here.


The creators of Sonrisas Spanish are huge advocates for repetition in second language learning. 

They say "that when we learn our first language, we hear a word about 75000 times before we know it. Granted this includes the years that we are pre-verbal infants, but it drives home the point of how important repetition is in language learning. Repetition benefits students by building vocabulary, comprehension, and verbal skills, and it increases students’ receptivity to new material. 

There are many strategies for using repetition when you are teaching Spanish to children. Sonrisas focuses on using three different kinds of repetition: daily repetition, periodic repetition, and annual repetition."

Daily Repetition

"The key to achieving daily repetition is in establishing a consistent routine. In doing this, there are certain phrases, dialogues, and vocabulary words that teacher and students use every day. Something as simple as taking role can provide daily repetition. Every day the teacher can take role by asking, “¿Veronica, dónde estás?” The student answers, “Aquí” or “Estoy aquí.” When students become accustomed to this routine, the teacher can begin to add and repeat new questions such as “¿Cómo estás?” or “¿Qué tal?” within the routine. 

If your lessons have a consistent structure then you can use the same language every day to transition to the different parts of your lesson. For example, if you do an art project each day, you can repeat the same language to indicate that it is time for art, or you can use the same question each day to ask who wants to help pass out supplies. Affirmative phrases used to support and praise students in their efforts are another way to get lots of daily repetition. Students will become accustomed to hearing these phrases, internalize them, and then start to use them."


Daily repetition is extremely important.  It doesn't matter what level you are teaching.  When I was teaching high school Spanish repetition was a tool I used and it works!  Make it fun by varying your tone of voice, asking questions, and using music.  I am now using repetition with my homeschool co-op class and I can see the benefits there too!

Books are a great way to accomplish this.  Most recently we read Froggy Se Viste.  In that book clothing vocabulary was repeated several times.  Don't just read a book once to your class.  Read it 2-3 or more times!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Froggy Se Viste

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Today was my second co-op Spanish class this year and I wanted to continue on with the clothing theme.  I checked my Sonrisas curriculum and was happy to find a clothing unit and the recommended book was Froggy Se Viste.  The Froggy books are so cute!

We sang "gorra, camisa, pantalones, zapatos" to the tune of "head and shoulders, knees and toes" from the Sonrisas CD.

I read Froggy Se Viste online from here.  I'd like to get my own hard copy.  It is such a cute book and my students really enjoyed the book.  In fact as soon as I was done reading it they wanted me to read it again. It is a perfect book to read when teaching clothing vocabulary in Spanish.  Clothing is repeated several times throughout the story.

For the table activity my students did two pages (front and back side) from Teach Them Spanish Grade 1.  They simply had to copy the Spanish clothing words and color.  As they were doing this I went to each student and asked them questions in Spanish.

More resources.

Go to the bottom of this site to find a link on how to do a skit using Froggy Se Viste

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Co-Op Spanish Class of the New School Year

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First Co-Op Spanish class of the new school year.

I have the same students so I didn't have to start from the beginning this year, although I might add one more family so I may have to change things up.

Here's what we did for the first day:

  • Emotions-- I asked each student how they were doing and interacted a bit with each.
  • Names-- I asked each student their name and made sure they answered back in a complete sentence. Then I had them ask a partner and respond with "mucho gusto."
  • Colors -- We often talk about the colors each person is wearing.  I reviewed the colors a little since it had been so long and then I started asking ¿Quién lleva rojo?  Then whoever is wearing red stands and says "Yo llevo rojo."  My students have gotten quite good at this and they really like it!
Clothing -- This was our main activity.  I had some cards that I printed and cut out from Teach Them Spanish Grade 1.  I reviewed the 12 clothing items and then we played memory making sure to say the name of each card that was flipped over. 

Next we listened to track 40 and 41 from Hop, Skip and Sing Spanish.   The track is "Juguemos en el bosque"  a traditional Spanish song/ game in which some pigs are singing that they are playing in the forest while the wolf is away.  The piggies stop and ask if the wolf is there to which the wolf replies "Yes, I'm putting on my shirt, pants..."  Once the wold if dressed he chases the pigs or kids or whatever you want the wolf to be chasing.  The kids liked this song.  I think we'll do it again over the next few weeks.  They'll get better and better at the song and will be able to take turns being the wolf.

For our table time activity my students colored a page with the clothing vocabulary in Spanish on it.  This was a sheet from Teach Them Spanish Grade K.   While they were coloring I went around and commented in Spanish about the clothing and color that each student had.  Then I had each student tell me the name of each clothing item in Spanish.  I only had to help a tiny bit!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Some Spanish Songs to Use in Your Class

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In my young Spanish class ages 4-7 we are going to continue to use the Sonrisas CD.   The kids and I both really like it and we did songs from it for each class.


I've written about Hop, Skip, and Sing Spanish before also. I think it is a great resource.  There are songs, rhymes, stories and games.

I mentioned that The Wyoming Department of Education has an awesome resource document to go along with the Salsa Spanish series.  Included in it is a list of songs that you can use. The songs start on p. 54.

Here is the PDF

Here is one that I may use this year:

Yo Me Llamo (Tune: Mary Had A Little Lamb) 
Yo me llamo Sarita, Sarita, Sarita.
Yo me llamo Sarita.
¿Como te llamas, tú? 
 Here is my original post on the Salsa Spanish series.


We love the Whistlefritz videos.  This CD, Cha, Cha, Cha -- Spanish Learning Songs,  is great also!


Sing-A-Lingo is another favorite of mine, although I can't seem to find it right now : (.  I may need to buy a new one if I can't locate it soon!! 


On my list of music to try is Mi Guitarri: Spanish Songs for Kids The reviews are great.  Have you tried this CD?


How bout you?  What are your favorite CD's to use in your Spanish class?
Leave a comment here or join the discussion on our Facebook page here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Awesome Spanish Traveling Experiences

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Have you heard of Vaughan Town?  I mentioned it here.  It is a program in Spain for people interested in learning English.  They stay in this "town" and interact with native English speakers or fluent speakers of English for a week.  The English speakers volunteer in exchange for room and board.  Sounds good to me!!

So if you are looking for some adventure and you have the time and the means you should try this!  Let me know if you do so that I can live vicariously through you. ; )


Have I mentioned that I walked across Spain?  This was before I was married and had little kids.  So I could do that kind of thing.  I walked the Camino de Santiago and had the time of my life!  You can read more about this trip here.

The above is a picture of me at the end of my walk in Santiago de Compostela.

Do you have some awesome traveling experiences you like to share with us?  Leave a comment to let us know!  : )


Not so awesome was a trip my friend and I took traveling down Baja Mexico in the Summer.  There were some fun parts but mostly I was not a fan.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Have You Missed My Posts?

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I've been pretty busy this Summer.  We've gone on a couple of vacations and I've started writing for a fun site called Bubblews.  I talk about it more here. I've written a few Spanish related posts there like this one about one of my favorite Spanish Apps.

I've been pretty busy (obsessed) with writing there. It is a fun social, site in which you get paid for writing each post.  Are you on Bubblews?  Let me know.  I am ElaineK there.  It is the Easiest site for writing online and making some money pretty fast.  A word of warning though...if you google  reviews for this site you're going to find some people that are unhappy.  Why because this site is young and definitely going through some growing pain.  I have written about some of the problems I have seen here.  Anyway if you have been wondering where I have been (I know there are hoards of you!!)  that is where.  I also have a few other projects up my sleeve...

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oh Noah!

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I love finding a new (to me at least) online Spanish video or online Spanish game. Oh Noah! has both!  I can't wait to help my kids and my little Spanish class learn Spanish at home with this. It is geared to teach Spanish to children ages six to eight years old. The Spanish videos are short-- just under three minutes.  At the time this was written there were 15. Some of the titles include "Cowboys and Librarians," "Monkey Business," and "The Red Balloon."  Go here to check out all the Oh Noah! videos and Games.

There are even some extension activities to print.  I think my favorite is the activity in which children can design their own place mat. Children will practice table setting vocabulary in this activity.

Another fun activity is the playground printout (see picture below) in which children can practice numbers, colors and playground equipment vocabulary in Spanish.

Want more?  Teachers and parents alike can find even more activities, the targeted standards and lesson plans related to Oh Noah! by clicking on each video title from this page.

How about you?  Have you had any experience with Oh Noah!?  Let us know in the comment section!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Quiero Fruta

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Lesson 26 of Sonrisas Spanish Elementary Curriculum is titled "Yo Quiero"
The suggested book to go along with it is ¡Quiero mi plátano! I Want My Banana! by Mary Risk.  I have not read this book but I have read several in the "I Can Read Spanish" series and they are always a hit with my kiddos.

I did not have this book so I decided to use a video from Salsa Spanish, The Fruit Fiasco
If you are not familiar with Salsa Spanish you can check out my post here.

The Fruit Fiasco is a great little video about a mama bear that needs some apples to make an apple empanada.  Perfect for teaching the fruits in Spanish.

First I reviewed the vocabulary below:
Necesito, quiero, azucar, huevos, uvas, manzanas, bananas, naranjas, limones.

I used a puppet and picture cards of the vocabulary.  I passed out cards to each
child and then used the puppet to say necesito...3 manzanas...

Students then got a chance to "feed" the puppet. They loved this!

Next we watched the The Fruit Fiasco
As we watched I paused the video here and there to check for understanding.

After the video students completed the sheet below.  This was advanced for my 3.5 year old student but I just guided her through it.  I gave her extra help and had her count and name the fruits and name the colors with me.

Print out p. 24 for the sheet above located here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

My little guy

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In case you don't know, Spanish is my second language.  I began learning Spanish in kindergarten and decided to pursue it in college. I put my Spanish to the test in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Spain. I fell in love with the language and the varying cultures.  After getting my masters degree in education I taught 8 years of high school Spanish.  I now teach a small homeschool Spanish class.  If I have to speculate, in five years (or sooner) I will either be back teaching high school Spanish or still homeschooling.  Time will tell.

What does all this have to do with my little guy?
Well I just wanted to give a small amount of inspiration to teachers of Spanish.  I am proud every day of my youngest Spanish student (also my youngest child) but Saturday it was just one of those wow moments.  Wow!  It's working!  You see my little guy turned two on Saturday and he was opening one of his birthday presents (a shirt).  He got the wrapping off and he said " ¡camisa!"  I was so proud.  I must be doing something right!  My husband is sometimes afraid that he knows more Spanish than English or that he isn't learning English but I know he knows English too.  He has a lot of English words in his two year old vocabulary.  His older brother and sister speak English to him all the time.  His Dad, grandma, grandpa, and all his friends speak English to him.  I am the only one who speaks in Spanish consistently to him, well me and Dora (Spanish version of course).

Friday, May 17, 2013

Salsa Spanish Language Video Series

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Maybe I'm way behind the times but have you heard of this Spanish video series before?  It is a series of 42 episodes of puppets and animation that focus on teaching Spanish in a fun way.  It is geared toward Kindergarten through third grade although I think it works great with pre-k too!

You can buy the videos or you can watch them online for free here.  The first episode starts at number 101 and is based on the familiar story of Goldilocks and the three bears.  Each video has a link to an extension activity as well as the transcripts for the entire dialogue.  The transcripts have the English translation next to the Spanish.  These would be great for middle school or high school Spanish classes for a skit project.  There are also online Spanish games to go along with the series.

I showed episode 121 "the fruit fiasco" to my class this week and they loved it.  There is a great extension activity to print out.  Students count the fruit and write the Spanish number in the blank.  They read the sentence and then color the fruit the correct color as stated in the sentence. 

You can find teacher supported materials from the Wyoming Department of Education website for the Salsa Spanish series here. It includes a scope and sequence, learning objectives, and a synopsis for each episode. The scope and sequence is located on p. 26 through 37.  If you print it out make sure to change your print settings to landscape.

The Wyoming Department of Education also has learning materials to go along with each episode (more than 20 pages of information per episode).  These are all free to print pdfs.  Just go here and click on the episode you need.

You can also play some online Spanish games that go along with the Salsa series.

Have you used Salsa Spanish in your class?  What are your thoughts?

Sonrisas Spanish School End of the Year Review

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I have been using Sonrisas Spanish School level 1 for my little homeschool class of 6 and sometimes 7 students (ages 3 through 6.5).  Sonrisas is a preschool and elementary Spanish curriculum. I teach my class once a week for about one hour.  I have a ton of elementary Spanish materials that I have reviewed or purchased and Sonrisas is the one I use most often. It has provided me with a good back bone for structuring my little class.  Each lesson has the same structure: Greeting and Roll Call, Circle Time which can include review games, poetry, songs, and dances, Story Time, Art Time and Good-bye.  I will touch on each of these.

Greeting and Roll Call

I greet each student in Spanish as they come to class and look them in the eye, making sure they say a Spanish greeting to me.  I only have 6-7 students in my class so our "roll call" often consists of us just going through the "me llamo" song which is taught in the first lesson.  I change it up here and there and now ask the kids to tell me the names of other students in a complete sentence.  So I might say, "Caden, ¿Cómo se llama él/ella?" as I point to another student in the class.  If they don't tell me in a complete sentence I gently have them repeat after me and offer loads of praise.  For the greeting I alternate between using their buenos días song and another buenos días song that I have from Ana Lomba.  When using the Sonrisas "Buenos Días song"  we usually sing it through twice.  The first time when they get to the part where they ask "¿y usted?"  I have them point to me.  Then the second time around we sing "¿y tú?" instead of usted and I have them point to a friend.  We've talked several times about the difference and we review it often.

Circle Time 

We always sing at least 3 songs from their CD.  Sonrisas includes very helpful suggestions for gestures and movements or dancing for each of the songs and poems on the CD (found in the back of the book).  My students love singing and dancing!  I think their favorite song from the CD is "Mi Cuerpo." Here are the lyrics and the suggested movements:

Mi cuerpo, mi cuerpo hace música.
Mi cuerpo, mi cuerpo hace música.
Put your hands on your hips and rock back and forth to the music.  (I changed this in my class to point from head to toe, more or less, each time we sing "cuerpo" and then for "hace música"  we do a quick "cha cha" or move the hips and a couple fake snaps with hands raised.)

Mis manos hacen...
Put hands in front of your body, then clap three times.  (When my students were first learning this, and sometimes still, I got my hands ready really early to remind them what was about to happen...same with the next moves.)

Mis pies hacen...
Point to your fee, then stop them three times.

Mi boca hace "la, la, la."
Point to mouth while singing "la, la, la."

Mi cuerpo hace cha cha cha.
Point to your body and then do the twist to the words "cha cha cha."

Some of our other favorites are "El tren del los días de la semana", "Te Quiero" and "Gorra, camisa, pantalones, zapatos."

Story Time
--Reading to kids in Spanish

I probably read a story to my students about every third class.  If you feel a little strange reading a whole book in Spanish to your students who only know a few words check out my post here. Each of the 35 lessons in the Sonrisas Curriculum include several book suggestions.  Obviously you are not going to buy them all (or if you're like me maybe you eventually will.)  I have purchased a few to add to my already crowded Children's Spanish books library.  If you do not have a lot of books in Spanish for kids try your library. I know my library has quite an impressive selection.  Otherwise choose wisely and purchase 4-5 books to get yourself started.  The great thing is that your students will benefit greatly from hearing the same story several times.  Reading to your kids in Spanish is a powerful tool and I am glad that Blue and Brooks emphasized this in their curriculum.

Art Time

The crafts are always a hit with my students.  Each lesson has an art project to go along with the lesson.  We have done several of these and I plan on doing more.  These are something my students look forward to for each class and it gives me the opportunity to use the targeted vocabulary with them. After learning there colors I always make them ask for the color that they need in Spanish (a good reason not to provide each student with his/ her own set of crayons..) I alternate between doing actual art and doing a reinforcement activity on paper in which there is almost always some coloring involved, matching or even a small amount of writing. 

I make sure to provide one last opportunity for my students to speak Spanish as they leave class.  I like the suggestion Sonrisas gives to mix it up a little by saying "Nos vemos el jueves" or "hasta el martes."

I am not getting paid for writing this review.  All opinions are my own.  I did receive a review copy of the level 1 curriculum.

Monday, February 11, 2013

TEESP Elementary Spanish Curriculum Review

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In my post yesterday I talked about the Technology Enhanced Elementary Spanish Program (TEESP).  It is a free Spanish teaching program geared toward elementary aged students.  Today I tested out one of the lessons with my Spanish students.  I have 7 students ranging in ages 1.5-6 years old.

I did my normal warm-up songs and activities and then used TEESP level 1 lesson 4. The title of this lesson is "¿Hay una muchacha?"  The lesson was thorough and my students did well with the student page which can be found in the pdf here. We started by reviewing some of the vocabulary that would be on the video which was explained in the lesson plan on the pdf.  I had my students watch the short video and my students were able to respond (after a little encouragement) to the questions.

Overall I really liked the lesson.  From what I have seen so far it is a great curriculum and you most certainly can't beat the price.  My one and only point on the negative side is that the Spanish pronunciation on the video is sometimes not as authentic as I would like it to be.  It grates on my nerves a little bit but I know my students did not notice.   ; ) 

I included a fun Spanish monster sheet (see picture below) from that allowed my students to practice their Spanish parts of the body vocabulary as well as the word "hay."   My students enjoyed coloring both pages and I always make comments or ask questions in Spanish as they are coloring.  For example I might say..."Me gusta el monstruo de Katie.  Su monstruo es azul con pelo largo."  or I might ask..."¿De que color son los ojos de tu monstruo?"

More ideas on:

Spanish parts of the body vocabulary
Elementary Spanish

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Free Elementary Spanish Curriculum

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Need a few ideas for teaching elementary Spanish?

You are going to want to take a look at the Technology Enhanced Elementary Spanish Program (TEESP).  This is a program developed by high school Spanish teachers to improve teaching strategies in language education.  "The project was designed to assist small schools with limited budgets with a way to integrate Spanish language learning into elementary classrooms." Using the TPRS method the program includes songs, rhymes, chants and games. The program is available on iTunesU free of charge. All lessons and podcasts are available for download into iTunes for use in the classroom.  You'll need the free quick time player in order to play the videos.

Each lesson has a downloadable PDF lesson plan which includes student sheets, and a teaching video.  The picture below is a screenshot of what you would see on level 1 lesson 3 ¿Cómo se llama?

Enjoy!  Leave a comment if you have used this in your classroom or just let me know what you think.

Check out some of the other free Spanish teaching resources that TEESP offers on their website. These include songs, chants, and printable posters.