Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dia de los Muertos en México (Day of the Dead in Mexico)

On November the 2nd the Mexicans celebrate a very special day called "The Day of the Dead". I am in a Dual Immersion School teaching Spanish and we have a lot of students from Mexico so I decided to do something special to teach different cultures around the world and how different or similar are with Halloween.
El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), a Mexican celebration, is a day to celebrate, remember and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed. On this day in Mexico, the streets near the cemeteries are filled with decorations of papel picado , flowers, candy calaveras (skeletons and skulls), and parades.
In order to celebrate, the families make altars and place ofrendas (offerings) of food such as pan de muertos baked in shapes of skulls and figures, candles, incense, yellow marigolds known as cempazuchitl (also spelled zempasuchil) and most importantly a photo of the departed soul is placed on the altar.
 I have found a lot of activities in different pages like this one
But I found my favorite one on tpt
Here there are some children working on them:

And here there are some pictures showing the final result:

It has been a great success. All the children have been happy doing the activities and sharing their thoughts about this day. Some Mexican students have talked about what they do in their houses and they have been proud of themselves to be able to talk about their culture and traditions.

To finish the day we have watched a story on youtube explaining some of the elements and traditions they do in their country. Here you have some links (they are great stories for children)

And if you have older students and you want to go deep in this celebration you can also watch this other video:

 And a free e book in this web page...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Seeds month

I have been working on seeds during all last month and I want to share some photos and activities we did during this unit.
As you already know one of the activities we did is guessing... "which seed is it?" in order to know some characteristics of the seeds, how are they, where can we find them...
There is a freebie with the activity in case you like it and here is one photo while the students were working on it.

 We also worked on this booklet I made with the information I want them to know. When we talked or worked about something we went to the booklet to do an activity related with it.
We read a nice story about seeds and how can be transformed in something big!! even for winning a prize!
We did some crafts about dandelions and we learn about how seeds can travel.
In Theatre Arts we were seeds and we grew up very high to become a plant...
My students love to play a game with fly swatters and I use it with every goal I want them to learn. The game consists in doing different groups and put them in rows. The first one in the row has a fly swatter. I hang on the wall some answers (depending on the goal I am teaching they are different). In this case where words related with the seeds (tomato, pumpkin, embryo, seed coat...). I ask a question, count to three (the children have some time to look for the answer on the wall), and the first person in each group goes to splash the fly swatter on the correct answer. After that they go to the end of their row and another member of the group has to answer the next question. So easy and so fun!!!
In the first two photos they were working on numbers and reading.
We also plant some seeds so they can learn and draw the process. Each group had a pot to take care and they did it great!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Doubles (1 to 10)

In the Math Core for first graders we have to teach how to do doubles plus one or doubles minus one... but they must know doubles by heart to start learning the other goal!!
So I have done some activities to study doubles from 1 to 10. I ask them everyday before going to the recess one of the facts. If they already know what I ask they can go to the playground but if they count with their fingers or they don't know the answer they go to the line again. It is funny for them and it is a good practice to learn these facts.
I have uploaded one activity about doubles with pictures about Fall and Halloween. You can download them for free in my tpt page. Enjoy it!!

Let's talk about... HALLOWEEN

Fun Math in Halloween / Matemáticas en Halloween

Math and Halloween are great topics to put together. Children love this day and they enjoy a lot doing any activity related with it. So, let's take advantage of it and let's work on Math having this topic as the main idea.
I am working in reading and comprehending math problems. It is extremely important the students guess if they have to do an addition or a subtraction. It is important also they do this fact in the correct way and fast.
I have prepared some pages that focus on this Math Activities. In the pack there are also flashcards so the children can trace, write, read and learn some vocabulary about Halloween. All the materials are in color and black and white so you can decide how are you going to work with them.
I use them doing centers and the students can work on different tasks while I am with the students who are reading and doing the math problems because I want them to read and think what do they have to do.
In this pages they are divided. One page is for adding and another page is for subtracting but I am going to do some more with mixed problems so they have to think what they need to do.
If  you want to see the activities you can go to my tpt page and download the preview to decide if you are interested in it or not.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Seeds, seeds, seeds...

Freebie included about seeds in my new tpt store.
As you know I teach Spanish and We are talking about seeds. One of the activities I did with my first graders was comparing and guessing different seeds.

I worked this unit in different ways. This activity was done while we worked in centers. One group was doing this fun worksheet while the others worked on these other ones:
Art: We made a dandelion from an idea I saw on pinterest.

Reading and coloring: I prepared a book about seeds and with the information I wanted them to know. One group was reading it with me and another one colored after reading.

 Finally, another group worked with the seeds we were growing... They competed to see which group has the biggest plants...

If you'd like to get the freebie about the first activity go to my tpt store and take it. It's free. Enjoy with it!!

Freebie linked in...

<a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Classroom Freebies Manic Monday" src="" /></a></center>

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

SEP Conferences

It's great to meet with parents but it's exhausting... I have to meet with 60 parents and I have to evaluate their children in front of them, this way they can see how their child is learning Spanish.
This is how my English partner and me do the SEP Conferences...
First of all I start doing the Spanish evaluation.
In this first meeting, because the children has been in Spanish only since August, I have prepared the next:
1. We have learned to say... I like and I don't like so I show the children one face (happy or sad) and one color and the child has to say "I like red" or "I don't like green" depending on what I show to them.

2. I show them some flashcards I have prepared about animals for them to count and say the sentence... There are ....(number)... (animal)

3. We have been working in addition and subtraction in maths so I prepared some flashcards for them to count and add or take away (and also read the number sentence and tell me the answer with a complete sentence).

4. I practice with them the calendar routine everyday in the classroom and here they have to say the date for yesterday, today and tomorrow (days of the week, number, month and season) and also how the weather is that day.

5. And finally, only if I have time, I show them some flashcards with its labels and they have to tell me the vocabulary or they have to read the label, depending on what I show them, finishing the activity matching flashcards and labels together.

Once we have finished with the Spanish test the child goes outside and we can talk in English with the parents. I explained how the progress in Spanish, Maths and Science is and things about behavior, attitude, engagement, expectations...
My English partner explains how the child is doing in English, Language Arts and Reading and the behavior in her class. She also explains other things about the school, tests, DIBELS, intervention, reading groups and levels, Power School (how the parents can see their children grades in the computer) and other things related to school.
In this first Conference we have been doing periods of 20 minutes with each family however some were longer and some shorter... (Most of them were longer..)
Long, long week that is finally over...
I enjoy talking and meeting with the parents but I love (and prefer) being with their children!!