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

Bilingual Songs For Your Classroom {Review & Giveaway}

There is nothing like learning a language with good music that inspires not only children but also grown ups. This is what I feel when I listen to the “Here from There” music CD, that the songs are suitable for any age.

This CD is filled with 10  songs that would enrich just about any curriculum and can bring joy to any home. Some of the songs are in English, some are in Spanish, and some are bilingual.
Nathalia is completely bilingual — a major plus when looking for songs to teach a language to children. She also brings alive many rhythms from Colombia, especially from the coast. One of my favorite songs is called “Mi Carrito” (My Little Car) which literally will make you feel that you are in El Carnaval de Barranquilla, and you will feel transported straight to the festivities.
Nathalia is orginally from Colombia and is an experienced musician who graduated from Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Her CD clearly reflects her love for music and children. You can learn more about Nathalia on her website “More Than Música” and stay connected with her on Facebook.
Want This Awesome Music CD? A lucky reader will get to have this music CD and bring the party and learning home.The winner will be announced on my blog on June 7th, 2013.
*USA& Canada only!
Entere Here!
¡Buena Suerte!
Carolina
Fun For Spanish Teachers

*This music CD was sent to me by More Than Música to be reviewed. This represents my opinion about the product. 

Canciones en Español Will Get Everyone Singing in Class

A review to share with you, and a giveaway (read on to learn more about the giveaway!)


Music with Sara is at it again. Sara´s sweet voice and her music album called “Canciones en Español  is all you need in order to welcome la primavera into your classroom. It’s a collection of 15 songs that will add richness and wonder to any Spanish class. 


My favorite song on this album is called “La Llorona,” a traditional song from Mexico. Sara did a beautiful job keeping this song simple for young children, still preserving the richness of the Mexican music – not an easy feat but oh so important for the use of music in teaching and learning. Another fantastic song is “Mi Cuerpo.” Her version is very lively and catchy and gets everyone up and dancing in class. My students’  favorite is “Patito Patito” which is short and fun – plus there is a nice video that goes along with the song  



Sara also created a video for the song “Te Quiero Mamá” that has some awesome animation.


Canciones en Español” is a music collection that will bring a lot of fun to your classes while you celebrate and welcome the arrival of spring. To learn more about Sara and her music, please visit her website www.musicwithsara.com

The Giveaway

I am  so happy to share this opportunity with you! Two lucky readers will to get this awesome music from Sara to play at home or in their classrooms.


Would you like this set of songs for your own classes? Just enter below for a chance to win. You have until March 30th, 2013!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!
Carolina
Fun For Spanish Teachers