Jul 25, 2014

First Day Welcome

Going back to school is right around the corner for most of us (if you haven't already begun), and it is always nice to have a few ideas in the bank to welcome your students and even colleagues that first day back (as let's be honest, we all have some of those first day jitters!).

Last year as a coach, I placed one of these fun little snacks into each of the new dual language staffs' mailboxes.

It is just a little way to say "have a great day!"
You can punch the bags and tie on the saying with ribbon as I did, or just go ahead and tape it right on  there!

The image below represents a second version I created, which may be a great one to use with students the first day if you plan to set them out on their desks, etc. Click on the image and you can download either of the versions for free :).

Happy start to your school year!

The Second Grade Super Kids and Beyond

Jul 24, 2014

Spelling in the Dual Language Classroom

Spelling...oh spelling. Some teachers really emphasize spelling, others not so much. Many claim that words that are studied one week, go down the drain the following week - in other words no retention.

So what do I do or use for spelling?
When I was in the English-only classroom (not dual language) I fell in love with Words Their Way by Beers, Invernizzi, Templeton and Johnston. It was the only program I felt really worked for my students. Forget the 'one-size-fits-all' spelling list, because with WTW children are grouped according to their developmental spelling stage. Yes, it was crazy at times because there were 3 or more spelling groups at one time (usually 5 at the most, yet I feel more comfortable with 4) and every group had a different list. Setting up the routine took some time at the beginning, but after a month or so it was so smooth, you could hardly notice that children had different words. When I moved to the dual language world, I searched everywhere for something that would resemble Words Their Way and while there is not an official Words Their Way program designed for Spanish learning students (the books have an extended list/test for ELL but is not designed to teach words in Spanish), I came across a very promising guide created by Irma H. Trujillo and a team of collaborators with funding from the Department of Education.

The great thing is that since it was funded by the Department of Education, the materials and guides are FREE. There is a webcast available here with plenty of examples and a breakdown of how this tool works.

The guide, "presents teachers with a clear understanding of authentic Spanish word features, discusses a tool for word study assessment developed for a New Mexico school district, and provides resources to assist teachers in their efforts to implement a Spanish word study program for elementary students." 
(Early Literacy Intervention: Estudio de Palabras/Word Study in Spanish)

If you are familiar with WTW (Words Their Way), this guide will make TONS of sense. One thing I learned for sure or that I started to accept is that in Spanish word patterns or features are completely different from English so children do not progress through stages as they do in English.

This past school year I started playing with the program and really liked how it was structured; however, I found that since in Spanish words sound like they are spelled (for the most part) my students were not really having trouble with spelling as they did with vocabulary. I made changes throughout the year so that towards the end I did spelling in English and vocabulary in Spanish. It worked out really well, but I was left wondering if there was a better way to teach spelling in the bilingual classroom and if it is necessary at all.

Do you focus on spelling or vocabulary in Spanish or both? Other teachers and I would love to hear what awesome things you do in your classroom.


Image thanks to elginwx

Jul 23, 2014

Meet Eliceo - Interactive Notebook Giveaway

Hello! My name is Eliceo Sanchez and I am excited to be collaborating with so many amazing bilingual teachers on this blog. Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. I was born and raised in a small town in the mountains of Puebla, Mexico. As a teen I moved to Minnesota in search of a better life for me and my family. I began learning English in school while working to support my family back in Mexico. A few years later I married Nicole, an elementary ESL teacher and had two children. We lived in Minnesota for several years, and then decided to move Yucatan, Mexico. 

After we made the move, I began teaming with Nicole to design and translate elementary curriculum and teach English here in the Yucatan. Through our experiences, we saw the need for quality bilingual educational materials, so we began posting our own resources and tips for teachers online during our spare time. As a native Spanish-speaker, and former ESL student I feel I bring a unique perspective to our teamwork, and look forward to continuing our efforts to support bilingual teachers around the world. 

This week our TpT store hit a major milestone of 2000 followers. To celebrate we're giving away 5 of our best-selling interactive notebooks. To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter below. The best part is you get to pick which notebook you win. As always, happy teaching!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 22, 2014

Motivated for Back to School

I know we are not ready (I am not ready). But with all the ads, pinterest and so on I feel like BTS is almost here.

I am still creating fun stuff for my kiddos. I will be fun having badges for our special days in school.

Feel free to print these badges for your students.

If you like them check my Back to School Bundle or my First day of School minibooks.

Have fun! 

Lita Lita

Jul 20, 2014

Put a smile on their faces... praise them!

Hello friends:

As the new school year is fast approaching, it's hard for me not think about my new kiddos this year! I love to make them feel welcome and most of all, I like to make them feel important.

I like to use any opportunity I have to praise my students for their good actions, gestures, hard work and effort. I think that a little gesture can boost your students confidence and help them perform better in class.

I would like to share with you different resources I use to put a big smile on my kiddos faces, and make them feel confident in my classroom!

These bracelets were a huge success last year in my class, and I am planning to use it this year also! You just need to print, cut and have them ready to celebrate a special moment in your classroom!

A colleague from Puerto Rico shared this message last year with me and  I LOVED IT!!! I made it into a  mini poster and shared it with my students.

I  also printed it on cards stock and hung it out on my wall! I made sure it was visible to all my students!

This year I am going to add these cute cards to my rewards collection! I am also using them as stickers! You can download it for free {HERE} or from my blog.

For kids, I think kind words are worth more than toys! I hope you can use these ideas with your students and share new ones with me!

Have fun!

 photo http---signaturesmylivesignaturecom-54492-223-9768EE9C03FA2301CE0ACA0675CF5E43_zps54410658.png
B is for bilingual

Jul 18, 2014

Summer Reading

This is an old book that was given to me in the school where I worked before. 

The Essential 55, by Ron Clark. That’s 55 rules! Can you imagine?  We are often told that we should not have more than 5 rules in our classroom, but I think we could have more. Kids deserve it, and they don’t have to memorize them, we just have to practice them every day. It has simple rules that will instill good manners.

For several years every morning before starting our calendar routine I would introduce a new rule and review the previous. I love to share and teach my students how to be good citizens. Reading, math, and science are important, but more important is to develop good human beings, kids who are empathetic and responsible. Don’t you agree?  

This book has helped me to have some of the best groups in my school.  The cafeteria ladies always told me how well behaved my kids were. My students would be very nice to each other and would try to compliment everybody.

Here are some of my favorite rules:

Rule 6. If you are asked a question in conversation, ask a question in return. As simple as greetings, sometimes we greet someone and ask for his family, and we are there waiting to be asked too, but this does not always happen. If someone shows interest in you, show him that you too are interested in his or her life.

Rule 11. Surprise others by performing random acts of kindness. I try to remind my students that if they are nice to others life will be nice to them. 

Rule 29. The ABC's of etiquette. Many of our students do not share the table with their parents; they don’t have many opportunities to attend restaurants or public places. We can help a little by sitting with them during lunch, teaching them the proper use of cutlery and good manners in public places.

Rule 50. Be positive and enjoy life. Everyone has problems, but if we have a good attitude we can find better solutions. Don’t be afraid to tell your students you are mad or that you have a problem, but be sure to show them a good way to handle these situations.

Rule 53. No matter the circumstances, always be honest. My students know the problem will be worse if they lie, but if they are honest chances are I forget the incident.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you the book I am reading now; well, I’ve read it several times, and I am planning to read it again with my students the next school year.

What are some of the rules you have in your classroom?

Jul 16, 2014

FREE Welcome Back To School Postcards

Many of us send postcards to our students to welcome them to our class. This is a great way to make a connection with your students before they ever enter your classroom. And who doesn't love getting mail?
I made these postcards to send out to them. Click on the image to get them.

I did not add any printing to the back side of it. Just print, cut out, personalize, stamp, and mail to get your new students excited about the new school year.

These postcards coordinate perfectly with my other Celebrate Mexico items in my store. Check them out!

Classroom Decorations
Have a fabulous school year!!!


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