Back to School

Yay! It’s my favorite time of year. Nothing better than new notebooks, a fresh pack of markers, some new shiny tabs! I miss back-to-school shopping. There was always something so promising heading off to your first day of school, your backpack full of new binders, neatly organized.

Get back into the groove with some Spanish or Study Skills lessons to stay on top of your classes this year!

Happy Back-to-School time!

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Spanish Lessons for Kids (2) “What’s on your plate?”

Concepts learned:

Food vocabulary
Food categories
Phrases: “Mi comida favorita es….” My favorite food is….
“Mi fruta favorita es…..” My favorite fruit is…
“Mi verdura favorita es….” My favorite vegetable is….

Colors

 

Supplies Needed:

A few paper plates
Markers, Crayons, or colored pencils

Lesson Specifics:

Give each student his own paper plate.  Ask questions like, “Qué es esto?”, What is this?  “Porqué lo usas?” Why do you use it? “Qué color es?” What color is it? Etc.

Then ask the children, what are your favorite foods?  Give them the Spanish words for each food and use it in a sentence.

Example: “What’s your favorite food?”  Qué es tu comida favorita?”

–Apples!

“Manzanas! Me encantan las manzanas!”  Apples!  I love apples! “Qué color es la manzana?” What color is an apple?

–Red

“Roja! Sí, la manzana es roja!” Dibuja una manzana en el plato.  Draw an apple on your plate.

I love lessons like this because you are teaching so much more than one concept! If you want to add to it, also incorporate shapes!

Spanish Lessons for Kids (1) Balloon Faces

Are you teaching Spanish lessons to younger children and find yourself wondering, “How do I do this??”

When I first started teaching children I felt like that all the time.  I’d never really been around young children and I was at a loss at what to do.  Then I realized, young children want to have fun and learn, get them moving, creating, talking, dancing while you teach.

So for this lesson what you’ll need are:

1. Balloons (any color, and make sure no one is allergic to latex)

2. A magic marker

3. A good set of lungs

Blow up the balloon, tie securely, and help children draw parts of the face on the balloon.  Make sure they are big enough so everyone can see.  If you like you can label the parts of the face.

Ask the children, “Cómo se llama?” and have them give Mr. Balloon Face a name.

Next ask the children, “Dónde están las orejas de “Mr. Balloon Face”?  You can also help by pointing to your respective body part.

Toss the balloon to each child and give them a chance to answer a few of your questions.

This method also works well to teach emotions.

For emotions, blow up several balloons and help the children draw faces for “triste”, “feliz”, “enojado”, etc.

Make a game by tossing a random balloon and asking the child the emotion.

Preterite vs. Imperfect

Spanish has two past tenses.  I know that sounds weird…how can that be?  Well, I’ll tell you.  In Spanish, the Preterite tense is used when we have a completed action in the past, with a specific time frame.

Example:

Last night we ate spaghetti. (Last night is my time frame and we know it’s a completed action because I can’t ‘un-eat’ my spaghetti).

Español:

Anoche comimos los fideos (noodles).

The other past tense, the Imperfect is used for an ongoing action in the past, where there is no specific time frame.

Example:

We ate noodles every Friday last winter.

Here I know I’m using the Imperfect because this was an ongoing action in the past….every single Friday last winter.

Español:

Nosotros comíamos los fideos cada viernes el invierno pasado.

For more examples and practice visit my store at:

https://meganmoody.selz.com

Holes in Education

I have tutored for over six years now.  In that time I have worked with students from 12 months old to adults in their seventies. In this time and with this experience I have learned many things. Now, mind you, some of these things may be a matter of opinion, but I believe they are important.

– No two students are the same

– Textbooks are generally for the birds, and best used as references

– When it comes to grammar explanations, textbooks generally leave students dumbfounded and confused

– The average student needs an English grammar lesson to be able to identify parts of speech in a foreign language

– Immersion is extremely important, as is an excellent foundation

Why are there these ‘holes’ ? Honestly, I don’t know for sure, but here’s my good guess:  the general education system. I understand there are certain subjects that every student needs to learn, i.e. math, reading, etc. But the concept of a general education is beyond ridiculous. No one person is exactly like another. And what does a general education do? Take all the pressure off the parent and put that pressure on the teacher.

Oh don’t worry about teaching Timmy the alphabet, or phonetics, or even basic manners…..Mrs. Smith will do that for you. And for the parents of her other 29+ students. And we wonder why we have a problem.

Now, this wasn’t meant to be a rant. Truly, I wanted to mention some ‘holes’ I have noticed only to say, perhaps as a parent you can ask your student, ‘how are things going?, are you struggling with something, can I help?’

idk d.o. i.o.

If I asked, “What is an indirect (or direct) object pronoun?”  Does that sound like foreign language itself?

You‘re not alone, but I’m here to help!

If I have the example:

She gives me the gift.

She= subject

Gives= verb

Me= indirect object (the person receiving the action)

The gift= the direct object (the thing we‘re talking about)

In Spanish our indirect object pronouns are:

Me

Te

Le/Se

Nos

Os

Les/se

Our direct object pronouns are:

Lo/la

Los/las

Order:

Subject, indirect object pronoun, direct object pronoun, conjugated verb

Take notes like a BOSS!

I thought I would have some fun with this post!  Lately, I’ve been teaching some note-taking and organization sessions and loving it! (I guess my inner nerd is making a statement!).   During these sessions we take a look at things like:

1. How to use a planner
2. How to make an effective study-schedule
3. How to prepare for upcoming projects and tests
4. How to take some (awesome) notes

Now, I know that the note-taking ‘thing’ may sound old-school and entirely outdated, but I bet you could to the same thing on your computer.  Unfortunately, even though I do use the computer, I feel like I don’t really remember anything unless I write it down.  That’s why I still have a planner (archaic I know!), but I think that having a written record of something is better than having a million-and-one alerts in my phone. (Maybe that’s just me, I know we all have to do what works!)

So, I’m going to share with you the note-taking method I learned in high school.  Now, these notes have a name, but I don’t remember it!

Method:

Fold the side with the holes over about 1/4 of the way

On the same side as the holes, write your main headings, indent for sub-headings

On the other side write your key terms and definitions

How to study:

Fold the side with the holes back, that way you show all your headings and can quiz yourself on the terms and definitions!

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