Rockalingua Will Make Your Spanish Class Rock {Review and Giveaway}

I teach in a FLES program and have discovered that it is not an easy task  to find the right songs which help teach in the target language. It’s common for a song to have too much vocabulary or to be boring or not engaging enough to maintain student interest. I am also a songwriter which means that I have my own collection of music for my classes, but I always like to try out new songs to incorporate into my curriculum.

However, this is not the case with RockAlingua.  I was amazed by the engagement of my students when I taught one of RockAlingua’s songs called “Los Días de la Semana.” The song is very repetitive – in a fun and good way- so much so that children were singing along after a few seconds of hearing the song. I now use this song as part of my “warmup ritual” in class, and my students ask to sing many of RockAlingua’s songs everyday. The program has complementary videos for some of the songs, and the animation really commands my student’s attention.
I believe one of the main reasons RockAlingua works so well in my classes is that it was created by an elementary Spanish teacher who knows how important repetition and creating context are when teaching a language. Musicians who haven’t been teachers don’t always get this. RockAlingua creates meaningful context for your students. The children not only get to learn the songs, but the program includes complimentary materials to keep exploring the vocabulary and provide a space for practice: worksheets, videos, picture dictionaries, and games. Some of these features require a full membership, and others are free.

You can visit their website to learn more about the program and maybe even decide to start a free trial! You can also follow RockAlingua on Facebook to stay tuned and learn all about their new materials and freebies.
My students enjoy these songs, and since I own a CD, I would love three lucky readers to have a chance to win a CD for their classes. Just enter below to participate! Winners will be announced on Friday, January 31, 2014. United States Only!

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The Giveaway!
¡Buena suerte!
Carolina

Snacks That Teach Spanish {Review and Giveaway}

Have you ever thought of a snack that brings some excitement to your Spanish class? I just found a great one! Dick and Jane Educational Snacks are the perfect snack to share with your students. They are not only educational, but made of wholesome ingredients and are nut free, which means they’re safe to have in your classroom if you have any students with allergies to nuts.


I also have to say that the cookies are deliciosas. I ate a whole box while writing this review! This product will add a lot of fun to your classes and students get good brain food while learning new vocabulary in Spanish. Each cookie has a clear and simple picture with bilingual writing to accompany it, which helps everyone understand the vocabulary.

Each box contains some of the most common vocabulary words explored in Spanish classes. Cookies are produced in categories such us family members, greetings, weather and seasons, animals, fruits, numbers from 1 to 10, and more! So far you can find 50 words and 10 numbers, and Dick and Jane aim to expand the range of vocabulary to 360 words. The  more the merrier for us, the Spanish teachers 🙂


How to eat these yummy cookies while learning?

These yummy cookies can be used to introduce, review, or reinforce vocabulary in your classes.


Mini-Lotería

To play this game you will need to download the free call-out cards here for you to announce one vocabulary word at a time. Once you have the cards ready, distribute two or three cookies to each child in the class. They can eat a cookie only when you call that item from your call-out card. A student can win once she devours all her cookies. To make it harder, you can also tell students that they have to wait to eat until you call the names of all the vocabulary on their cookies. They can saylotería, and then enjoy the cookies in one yummy moment of indulgence!

Download cards HERE

Sentences

Post different sentences on the board. Distribute the cookies among the children and invite them to complete the sentences according to the vocabulary represented on their cookies. Again, they can only eat them after they complete the sentence.

Guess the word!

Cover a cookie with a napkin and have your students guess the word. You may use the call-out cards from the Lotería for this game. Students can earn a chance to eat a cookie when they guess the word.

Spell the words

What a great opportunity to review the alphabet in Spanish. Ask your students to spell each word in the cookie before eating it.




If you would like to learn more about Dick & Jane Educational Snacks, visit their website. Stay up to date with them and tuned in for more fun on their Facebook page.

The Giveway!
If you would like to have 10 boxes of these fun, yummy, and educational snacks (yes, 10 boxes!), here is an opportunity for you to win them and bring more learning to your class. Just enter below to participate. The winner will be announced on Saturday, November 23rd, 2013. United States only.

¡Buena suerte!
Carolina

Sonrisas: A Spanish Curriculum that Integrates Music, Art, Games, and Culture

Sonrisas is a Spanish-language curriculum designed for early and elementary classrooms. It takes a holistic approach, integrating music, art, games and culture. Teaching about culture can sometimes be complicated, especially if you are talking about “the Hispanic culture,” which is very diverse and should be referred to as various cultures. It is also a hard task to incorporate culture into your curriculum if you are not familiar with the culture you are trying to teach or don’t want to fall into teaching stereotypes of those different cultures into your class. Sonrisas Spanish Curriculum will help you be more effective bringing culture into your lessons.


What is included?
Sonrisas Spanish Curriculum includes well designed plans that go along with songs, art, activities, and games. I strongly value the cultural piece that this curriculum highlights. 

If you are new to teaching this curriculum will take you through the different methodologies for teaching foreign languages and key terms that are used in this field. It will help you establish routines in your classes. If you are an experienced teacher, you will value all these reminders. 

This is a very rich curriculum that will allow you to challenge your students according to their level, without adding too much pressure or competitiveness that can provoke fear of failure in class. This curriculum includes lessons for up to two years and every lesson includes:
1. Overview
2. Ideas for circle time
3. Suggested books for story time
4. Simple and easy art activity
5. Lesson procedures with list of materials needed. Each lesson is divided into two days, but this is not a strict rule since this program gives you a lot of room to adapt it for your own creativity.
6. Home report which will invite parents to become active and engaged in their child’s learning process. This will also make your program more visible in your school community, very important with tight school budgets and debates about curricular priorities! 
7. Assessment Rubrics
8. Scope of sequence 

The curriculum will save you a lot of energy and time. The layout is very simple and easy to understand, and the content follows the ACTFL standards for foreign language learning which are listed as “the 5 C’s” of communication, communities, cultures, comparisons and connections.

Sonrisas Spanish Curriculum has provided samples on their website where you can see for yourself that the program is simple and easy to follow:
To learn more about Sonrisas Spanish School Curriculum visit their website, and to get their updates and teaching tips, just like their Facebook page.

Happy teaching!
Carolina

Whistlefritz: All The Lessons You Need for Your Elementary Spanish Class!

Whistlefritz is an award winning series of music CD’s and DVD’s designed for teaching Spanish to young learners. In this set, created especially for Pre-K and Elementary Spanish classes, you can find just about every kind of lesson you can imagine! The collection includes five DVD’s and two music CD’s. It includes 40  lessons that will engage your students and will provide continuity for their learning process. Every lesson has been well planned and is supported by a song or episode on the DVD. The guide book is easy to use for new or experienced teachers, and it’s also very accessible for parents. You can find worksheets that support the lessons, as well as simple art activities that won’t take long, which is perfect for young learners. Flashcards to color, and games are also included. The activities can be done during class or sent home to extend learning. 

The collection also includes a set of matching cards with a very pleasant wolf named Rito. Rito always seems happy, really enjoying the fact that everyone is learning Spanish.

Each lesson has been created to take 30 to 40 minutes to explore, but you can definitely extend each one according to the pace of your students and engagement in the lesson. There is no need to follow the lessons in the exact order presented in the book. 

The Lessons
You will find in each lesson:
1. Brief description of the lesson
2. A simple and clear goal for the lesson
3. Objectives and more specifics
4. A list of the vocabulary
5. Suggested materials for the lesson
6. Time
7. Suggested activities
  • Main focus of the lesson and review
  • A list of teachers’ input
  • Guided practice as a whole class
  • Independent practice, a great opportunity to assess students
  • Closure
8. Extension activities: These can be done during the class, as a closure activity or at home. Children get to watch an episode of the suggested DVD and learn a song. 

The DVD’s
The set includes  five DVD’s where children will meet Whistlefritz, a cute and friendly little mouse that shows up in the episodes. The children will meet Maria, a teacher with a sweet voice who will guide them in this adventure. Children of different ages are seen in the episodes, and the best thing is that there is no translations! The DVD’s are only in Spanish, but the language used is simple and the situations are easy to understand because they are presented in a clear context. There is no need to translate them!

The Music CD’s
Songs are performed by Jorge Anaya, a native of El Salvador who has clearly added a lot of nice Latino flavor to the songs. The songs are in Spanish and are simple and catchy. They support each unit, and the videos for each song are found on the DVD’s.

Who wouldn’t love having a little mouse as a helper in Spanish class? Whistlefritz  will make sure everyone learns Spanish the fun way! Visit Whistlefritz’s website to learn more about the complete collection or the Facebook page to stay tuned!

The Giveaway!
If you would like this little mouse called Whistlefritz to join you in your classroom next year, here is an opportunity to have one of these DVD’s. Just enter below to participate. The winner will be announced on July 18th, 2013United States only.

¡Buena suerte!
Carolina
Fun For Spanish Teachers

*This product was sent to me by Whistlefritz to be reviewed. This review represents my own opinion about the product.

BookLingual: Books That Promote Bilingualism {Review & Giveaway}


Finding literature that promotes bilingualism is not an easy task, but if you are in search of some of the best, BookLingual is a great resource for you. Their e-books are perfect for beginner readers and will challenge students to use both languages. The stories are written in both English and Spanish. Their books also do a nice job of inviting parents to become active participants in a child’s learning process and development as a bilingual person.  Each book is presented in a way that helps out parents that might feel frustrated or inadequate when they don’t understand the story in a book, and gives them a figurative pronunciation (let’s face it, a lot of the challenges our children face come from parents’ own feelings of inadequacy or fear, conscious or not). Each book also includes animated audio in English and Spanish to read along. Their books come in four levels and can be used with children ages 2 years to 8 years old.

The characters in the stories are fun and invite children to continue reading the stories to learn more about each of them. Some of the books use real pictures – a plus when teaching young learners. Many of the stories are based on everyday situations will can help children make connections and comparisons with real life. Some of the situations could have been experienced by the children, which will make each book even more meaningful.


One of my favorite books in the set is this guessing book. I think it is a good way to play with language and get everyone involved, plus the pictures are just amazing! 


Each book also includes games where children have to guess words, find what could be wrong in pictures, and respond to basic questions. The set also comes with a parent guide that will give you support and ideas on how to explore and use the books.  It also includes a pronunciation guide and basic grammar for parents and educators who are interested in expanding their knowledge.
The best is that the books can be used anywhere and on any device with the right app: iPods, iPad’s, iPhones, smartphones, tablets, Nooks and Kindles, etc.. You can even print each book!

Whether you are an educator or a parent, BookLingual will support your interest and wish to raise bilingual children. To learn more about BookLingual, visit their website or/and like their Facebook page to stay tuned.


Click HERE to preview this book!

Giveaway Time!
Here is also an opportunity for you to have their fantastic materials! BookLingual is giving away their Complete Spanish for Kids Set – 32 E- Bilingual Books Just enter below to participate. The winner will be announced on June 19th, 2013. This giveaway is open to anyone world wide! 

¡Buena suerte!
Carolina


*This product was sent to me by BookLingual to be reviewed. This represents my opinion about the product. 

Conversa Books: Fun and Engaging Workbooks for Spanish Class {Review & Giveaway}


Nothing is more exciting than finding great resources for Spanish class (okay, other than maybe traveling to Spain or Latin America on an extended, stress-free vacation …). Conversa books will get any teacher ready to teach Spanish and will help you present the language in a fun way. What I like the most about Conversa books is that the language is not presented as several isolated vocabulary words. Conversa does a great job of presenting the language in context. This helps teach students to identify main and important words in a sentence and learn how to decode them to find meaning. These books are good for classroom use or to extend learning at home. They can be used with children who are exploring the language or with native speakers. The sets are divided into elementary and middle school levels which will help you transition and have a consistent program.  The program starts in 1st grade and goes all the way up to 8th grade. The illustrations are clear, fun and engaging.


This is a teacher’s dream! Every story in these books invites movement and taps clearly into TPR. Each book includes a teacher’s guide with tons of ideas and games that will save you a lot of time when planning for your classes. The teacher’s guide states the objective for every lesson, the materials needed, how the lesson should be introduced, gestures for each story, engaging activities, questions to ask while presenting the story, cultural information, simple crafts to make, and a lot of learning and fun! It also suggests songs for every lesson. The books provide a lot of repetition and model the Spanish language to invite  students to later create their own compositions and stories.

Another important feature about this program is that there is no need to be an experienced storyteller or know everything about TPR to use these books in your classroom. Conversa Books will show you everything and will guide you through every step!

Visit Conversa Books to learn more about the program. Stay connected on Facebook to receive updates about sales, freebies for teachers, teaching tips and more!

Giveaway Time!
I know you would love to have this set for your classes. Here is an opportunity for you to have it! Conversa Books is giving away their Elementary Teachers’ Starter Kit. Just enter below to participate. The winner will be announced on June 12th, 2013. United States only.

¡Buena Suerte!
Carolina
Fun For Spanish Teachers