Every year we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, this year, though, to spice up our past year activities, so we decided to make some piñatas, which look like Jalapeño Peppers! Click Here to see what our craft will look like!
We will dance the Mexican hat dance and play a pin the tail on the donkey, a very Mexican looking one! Children love music and games and there is no fiesta without them!
This Week we are so happy to highlight a new location for our Summer Camps! Turnersville is home of our Summer Camp at Monkey Business!
We will be blending our scavenger hunt and games around the location and children will have the opportunity to bounce at the end of the camp! All using our foreign language funcamp curriculum! If you are still undecided about signing up your child, please keep in mind this is a great option for younger children, as they will enjoy a half day camp and not be overwhelmed by a full day of activities!
If this is your child’s first camp, they are in for a treat! We will:
Look for hidden treasures
Camp in a dessert island
Enjoy a birthday bash with water fun
Plant and take care of summer flowers and vegetables and fruits
Travel to Puerto Rico! Enjoying a fun cultural journey!
Children will enjoy 15min of complimentary bounce time at the end of the camp!
Rate is $ 150.00 a week, a snack is included and crafts, books, games, so much more in our super fun camp!
I have basically used and tried any strategy to help my son grow up bilingual, making it fun, a part of our lives! Showing him pride in being a latino, love for foreign languages, culture and all they represent, embracing who he is and knows, along with the new elements, the new words, a whole new world!
If tell you it has been an easy task, I would be lying, but I would not trade nor would do anything different!
My son is growing and the foreign languages are slowly becoming something mom brings and does, more than a part of his life, something disconnected….since my lack of time and my husband’s lack of foreign language knowledge add obstacles to my life goal to raise a bilingual child!
I was reading some of my friend’s facebook pages and came across a friend, Ana Flores who is sponsoring a child abroad and went to visit that child! I was inspired by that story and decided to do some research to sponsor a child and make it a fun and inspiring bond between my son and another child who lives and breathes the language and culture I teach and talk about!
I am still research, therefore don’t endorse or recommend any organizations at this time. We are going to spend the next two weeks looking at faces, reading info and deciding who we will sponsor, write to, share care packages, etc! He is very excited, so am I! My goal is to embrace the organization and promote it in our bilingual events!
My husband recently retired, so when I shared my idea with some friends, they thought I was crazy since our income decreased to even consider this right now! I replied, I walk in faith, not in fear! I believe this is something my son and I need to do together and it will amazing for both of us and specially for the child who will benefit from it!
I hope sponsoring a child will bring more love for foreign languages, for another culture, will develop friendship and compassion in my son’s heart and move him from associating bilingual time with mommy as his only foreign language memories at home to a place out of his comfort zone where the curiosity and love will lead him in a whole new journey! We even started talking about him blogging about his new friend and making vlogs!
I will be updating our journey as we move forward!
This year our Easter season was followed by some mixed feelings when one parent asked me not to mention the word Easter in one of our classes. We normally do a class pretty low key, more towards bunnies, eggs and egg hunt, but we do have Happy Easter in all the coloring pages and her request made me think about how people have a more exclusive than inclusive mentality. It is about excluding Christian values, so the other values are respected and uplifted. Sounds like double standard to me. As a Christian, I feel insulted, as a business owner, I feel my program and its content, since it is announced beforehand, prior to enrollment, should not be subject to change for whatever reason. I believe all religions are important and should be respected, I also believe God does not have a religion and he should be the center of any and every faith.
I had to share what happened this year, which has never happened before, because I believe foreign languages should express the culture of language learned and Spanish and Christians walk hand in hand, there is no denying it!
My comments don’t have any intention to offend any of clients which are not Christians, they do offer my perspective on this issue, though. Now let’s get to the important topic! Easter!
Happy Easter – Feliz Pascua
We started with flashcards, showing pictures and words in most of our classes in South Jersey:
We also Played the Carrot Baseball, children had to use my oversized carrot to hit the eggs on the other side of the room saying just color, huevos + color or Yo veo un huevo amarillo, depending on level.
We colored a page with bunnies in some classes and we wrote a letter to a friend saying what we like about Easter using vocabulary and me gusta…
We played domino, they loved it!
We showed this video: Caramelo!
We absolutely had a blast looking for matches of Easter words and placing them in the canasta!
Hope you enjoyed our class and you use some of the activities at home or in your classroom!
We are spending the whole week celebrating Dr Seuss birthday! Even though he is not a South American traditional author, his influence in the American Schools made me take the time plan a special class to celebrate his birthday! I used two books, Un Pez, Dos Peces….and Huevos Verdes con jamon both for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I used the first book and planned a fish class, we went fishing with a plastic fish game with water and a bucket, they needed to go fishing and tell me the size, color and name of the sea creature, we used sea horses, alligators and crabs of different colors. We used pictures of large fish, whales and turtle in the ocean on the floor, they learned nadar, we also used speed and parar to guide movements.
We showed a video of bilingual reading of the books from youtube :
And the song I created: Yo soy un pea, yo soy un pea, yo soy un pez y me gusta nadar….repeat 2x and Nado rapido y despacio, nado rapido y despacio (3x), the kids loved going fast and slow.
We ate colored gold fish, they could eat the ones they could name the colors.
We also went fishing on a small water bucket where I placed twenty fish and they practiced: Yo tengo un pez (color) en mi mano. This was done at intermediate level classes.
We used this book during the class! A translated version of the original!
Can’t wait to share this and other class plans on our membership portion of our site which is currently being updated! Stay tuned!
Valentine’s Day in Brazil is in June, so I usually do the regular Valentine’s Celebrations in February and again in the Portuguese classes in June! In Brazil Valentin’s Day, Dia dos namorados is a celebration for lovers, couples only, no friendship, just love.
My favorite Bilingual Books:
Be Mine – Brenda Ponnay
Primer Dia de San Valentin de Clifford
Dora Quiere Mucho a Boots
El Primer Beso de Froggy
Feliz Dia de La Amistad, Gus
We are making Butterflies with candy:
We are teaching love, hugs, kisses, smile as vocabulary and they will see the pic behind a hear and have to say what it is in Spanish or Portuguese.
The more advanced students will receive a blank cardstock and make pics for the front and write simple sentences inside, I will be posting later pics of what they did!
Wanted to share this link from Mommy Maestra for Valentine’s Cards:
Carnival is approaching and I wanted to share some activities we will be sharing in some activities, some suggestion on games and videos! Enjoy!
Carnival is celebrated in some countries in South America, Europe and New Orleans in the US! I usually don’t share it in all the classes, but some of my intermediate and older children classes!
This year Carnival or Mardi Gras will start on the 9th in some countries and end on the Ash Wednesday, Feb 13th. So in two weeks, we will sharing some of the fun activities and bringing the beads and masks to our classes!
So let’s share some options for crafts:
Masks- We will be using templates for masks and I will bring beads and stickers and glitter to make the masks! I cut the masks myself on cardstock and punch holes for the two parts to tie in the back.
Here is a link for a Free printable template, but I design and cut my own and will be sharing some pics of the student’s work later after we do it!
We will make our own confetti, I will bring construction paper and classes of children 6 and older will use templates of shapes, while learning shapes, make their own confetti, review colors and trade them to make a confetti rain at the end!
We will be making necklaces with beads and other materials, using different colors and ideas, I can’t wait to see their creations!
We will be listening to Spanish Music, Rick Martin and doing a Spanish dance, Brazilian Music in the Portuguese class with Yvette San Galo! Here are the videos for the songs we will be singing in class:
We will also teach older children children the history of Carnival which started in Venice and how it survives in countries like Brazil, being a part of the country’s culture as a major component to their identity! I spent most of my life enjoying Carnival in Brazil and spent one in Venice, Italy, so I always look forward to finding a new way to share that with my students!
Teaching a foreign language is a lot more than just vocabulary and grammar, it is about connecting the passion behind the language!
We have explored winter words during the past three weeks and clothing is a very difficult topic to explore since there is so much involved. We started by talking about what they were wearing in our Spanish and Portuguese Classes in South Jersey! We cut and glued some pieces into our small dolls!
They named the dolls and we did a short dialogue, depending on the level.
I wanted to share some of the vocabulary learned in Spanish Classes:
anorak – anorak
belt – cinturón
beret – boina
bikini – bikini
blouse – blusa
boots – botas
bowtie – pajarita
bra – sujetador
braces – tirantes
button – botón
cap – gorra
cardigan – rebeca
coat – abrigo
dress – vestido
laces – cordones
cufflinks – gemelos
diner jacket – smoking
dress – vestido
dressing-gown – bata
gloves – guantes
hat – sombrero
high heels- tacones altos
jacket – chaqueta
jeans – vaqueros
jersey – jersey
jumper – jersey
knickers – bragas
nightdress – camisón
mini-skirt – mini-falda
overall – mono
underpants – calzoncillos
pyjamas – pijama
raincoat – impermeable
sandals – sandalias
scarf – bufanda
shoes – zapatos
shorts – pantalones cortos
skirt – falda
slippers – zapatillas
socks – calcetines
stiletto – tacón de aguja
stockings – medias
suit – traje
suspender – liguero
sweater – jersey
sweatshirt – sudadera
swimming costume – bañador
“T” shirt – camiseta
tie – corbata
tights – panty
tracksuit – chandal
trousers – pantalones
uniform – uniforme
waistcoat – chaleco
wellingtons – botas de goma
zip – cremallera
roupas – clothes
cinto – belt
passante – belt loop
fivela do cinto – buckle
boné , uma toca– baseball hat
chapéu – hat
casaco – coat
vestido – dress
luvas – gloves
lenço – handkerchief, scarf
jaqueta – jacket, windbreaker
calça jeans – jeans
calças – pants
cachecol – scarf (for winter)
camisa – shirt
sapato – shoe
pantufa – slipper
cadarço – shoelace
shorts – shorts
bermuda – shorts, or swim shorts for guys
sunga – a guy’s speedo
maiô, biquini – girls swimsuit or bikini
saia – skirt
meias – socks
terno – suit
gravata – tie
gravata borboleta – bow tie
camiseta – t-shirt, undershirt
uniforme – uniform
botão – button
óculos – glasses
óculos de sol – sunglasses
guarda-chuva – umbrella
camisola – nightgown
pijama – pijamas
bolso – pocket
bolsa – purse
sandália – sandal
chinelo – flip flop (*this is also a slang word for someone who is kind of a loser)
tênis – tennis shoes, sneakers
suéter, pulôver, agasalho – sweater
colete – vest
calcinha(f) / cueca(m) – underwear
carteira – wallet
blusa – blouse, shirt
sutiã – bra
meia-calça – panyihose
salto (do sapato) – a shoe heel
gola – collar
mangas – sleeves
alça – strap
orla – edge, border, hem (clothes)
botões – buttons
bojo – the foam padding sometinmes built into a swimsuit top or shirt
cabide – coat hanger
vasculhar – to rummage through (clothes)
We also placed clothing on frosty, I made an oversized one and they had to built it part by part, saying the name of body parts and clothing.
Second class, we did a show and tell with clothes and shoes they brought from home and winter toys! So much fun!
We used this video, they loved it! Please remember this is a video about a girl talking about her aunt and they both cow girls, so the aunt carries a gun besides describing the vocabulary, I passed that part of the video to my students!
I think bringing it close to the students, what they wear, makes a lot easier to teach such a hard subject with such a large vocabulary!
Please share how you teach your students and children about ropas, roupas, clothing!
I am a confessed bookworm, as such, I have always kept books on my desk, after my teenage years they came in different languages and to suit my broad taste. I am trying to pass my legacy to my son, we love going to Barnes and Noble and picking out new books and he has a reading chart where he gets a new toy for every 30 days of reading!
Since books have been my best friend for as long as I can remember, they taught me so much! Made who I am! I owe my books so much! The fact that I am able to read English, German, Spanish and Portuguese classics in its original language is a priceless gift!
When planning my classes, I try to bring the joy to the children, specially the ones who can’t read yet, because I can’t always find Spanish and Portuguese books to match my units, but I can always find an English one and read them my way!
I have been using story time as one of the components for my class planning for as early as I can remember!
The key is to reduce Spanish Classics to meet baby’s short attention spam and one sentence page for toddlers is a must! After all, if you wish to make the experience fun, you must cater to your audience, otherwise the children will associate reading with BORING and my program is called Spanish made fun, not Spanish made boring!
So, I wanted to share some tips on how to make story time a powerful tool in your foreign language classroom, at your home, in your library story time, anywhere!
Chose the right book! Depending on what you trying to accomplish, your thematic unit or the age or all the above!!!
Reduce the amount of reading to suit your audience, early ages, short one word-3 word sentences, words will increase with age!
Pictures will help children understand your story better, so definitely lots of pictures when reading in a foreign language to non native speakers.
Bring stories which speak to their lives, to the things they know and love! Authentic shouldn’t always mean foreign, should mean close to their heart! I am against the thought that only authentic literature should be used when teaching a language.
This Holiday I changed my plans made in the summer for my holiday unit and incorporated the elf, el duende! Brought my story time to a whole new level, connected to the children like never before and brought the Spanish closer to their heart, so mission accomplished! I used the book The Elf on a Shelf™ in Spanish
I paired the book, which can only be found at Target online, with hide and seek, tell the elf (since he can’t talk) what you want for Christmas and Elf chat activities! My Spanish elf came in a darker color which creates a conversation about ethnicity I would never be able to bring to the classroom, if I did not have my special friend! Shared, that different is beautiful and we are all beautiful, no matter what language we speak!
I hope you enjoy our ideas and that you make the great decision to bring books when teaching a foreign language, it will inspire children to read, will open the doors to the fact that books speak that language as well, increase vocabulary and bring the fun to a whole new level!
Off course we talked about advent and Los Reyes in our Spanish classes and the shoes in Portuguese ones, but the elf was definitely the highlight and resulted that I was invited to read the story 1000+ children in December, in the most popular Santa story times in our area, so it is all about sharing bilingual love!
Hope you enjoyed my thoughts on using story time to teach or bring a foreign language to children and get your book, elf, out of your shelf and use it in your next bilingual experience!
I really love jingle bells, so this year, we decided to sing the song in Portuguese and Spanish! This song will be used in our classes this month, we will be using it along with a coloring page where they will color the bell, sino or cascabel and we will bring some bells for them to hunt and count! I will also bring some instruments and they will play along with them!
Hope you enjoy the activities and video!
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