A few months ago I shared a story I wrote using some yoga poses. Now I am sharing five easy poses to add to your repertoire that will be great to use just as a “brain break” in class. I don’t really do a full yoga session in class, but these are great to get your students moving while also exposing them to more vocabulary. I am always surprised to see how much more they can remember when we take the time for quick brain breaks in class. I also use the cards to play a game in which the children have to do what I say, but not what I do. They love it!
These are the new yoga poses that I am using with my students. I hope you like them! Click HERE to download them all!
How to print? Drag the pictures individually to your computer’s desktop and you will be able to print from there. Thank you to Educlips for illustrating these yoga poses so beautifully!
El Día de los Muertos is celebrated in many countries around the world on November 1st and 2nd. This holiday is celebrated nationwide in Bolivia, mostly on November 2nd, and is known as “El Día de los Difuntos.” They celebrate the return of the souls of their ancestors. In preparation to receive them, people typically set up altars with pictures, candles, flowers, fruit, and a special bread called “Tantawawas” which in the Quechua language means babies made out of bread. They also have a bread called “Tantachachis” which means grandparents made out of bread. This tradition is also shared with Perú, Ecuador, Argentina, and a specific region of far south Colombia called “Nariño,” where this kind of bread is called “guaguas.” Bolivian Tantawawas have a specific characteristic in which the faces placed on the bread are made out of clay.
This video below explains how this beautiful holiday is celebrated in Bolivia. People go to the cemeteries to paint graves and decorate them. They also set their offering at home where it is important to have horses to help the souls arrive to the table. There are also stairs made out of bread to help the souls go back to the sky. The videos below have been helpful for me to educate myself about this holiday, as well as exploring Bolivia’s official website for tourism and culture. Please feel free to watch the videos to learn more.
Get inspired and create your own Tantawawas in class. I know time is limited, so I recommend you use modeling clay with your students, acknowledging that we need to be respectful of this tradition and share with your students why a different material is being used in class.
I was able to find white and brown clay. I mixed them up to produce a shade closer to the real bread. I drew the face of the Tantawawa on a piece of white paper and cut it out to place it on the Tantawawa shape. Here are the results:
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 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!
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.
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.
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!
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!