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!

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.

New Year New Things

So, when I studied abroad in Argentina (I can’t believe that was 6 years ago now!), I decided to take a Portuguese class.  No, I wasn’t thinking clearly.  And after one semester of a class that met once a week for three hours at a time, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.  Not that I didn’t like the language, as a matter of fact, I loved it.  But taking a third language in your second language isn’t such a bright idea.  

I don’t ever remember being so tired.  After those classes my brain would be fried.  If I didn’t know a word in Spanish, then I couldn’t learn what it was in Portuguese….what I needed was a English/Spanish/Portuguese dictionary.  I remember taking the oral exam at the end of the semester.  My best friend was my partner and near the end of the exam, we didn’t know if the professor was speaking Portuguese or Spanish….but we made it through and did well.

Now, six years later I’ve decided to give Portuguese another chance.  And I’ve learned that I can really understand it pretty well, but the pronunciation is very different from Spanish and has a very nasal sound at times.  I’ve really enjoyed it so far and hope to practice it a lot this year!

What new things have you started in 2014?

 

 

el patio de mi casa

el patio de mi casa es particular

cuando llueve se moja

como los demás

H I J K L LL M A

que si tú no me quieres orto niño me querrá

H I J K L LL M A

que si tú no me qiueres otro niño me querrá

corre corre

que te pio

chocolate molido

achupe achupe

sentadito me querré

la playa

I just got back from a friend’s wedding in Myrtle Beach this weekend.  It was a very nice wedding and it was wonderful to spend sometime at the beach in the winter!  Now of course, it wasn’t tank top and bathing suit weather, but it was about 65 degrees and a little cloudy.  Great weather for a run on the beach!!

So I thought, why not, let me share something Thanksgiving/Beach vocabulary with you this week!

 

la playa- beach

la arena- sand

la costa- coast

el océano- ocean

las olas- waves

las hojas- leaves

el otoño- autumn

el día de (la acción de) gracias- Thanksgiving

el pavo- turkey

la cena- dinner

la familia- family

la comida- food

gracias- thanks

 

Image

How do you learn?

Did you know that we all have different learning styles?  I certainly didn’t until I took an education class for tutoring certification in college.  There are those of us who learn best through visual demonstration, hands-on activities, writing/reading and/or listening. 

I learned in that class that I am very much a writing/listening learner.  That didn’t come as a shock since I always wrote mountains and mountains of notes.  I know that sounds boring and tedious, but it really works for me. I know a lot of people who are visual learners, they only need to see how something works and then it clicks.

What works for you?  I’ve always believed that a combination of things is best, taking notes while listening to the teacher, watching the results of an experiment while making note of the process, trying something out on your own and making record of it later. 

I’ve also learned that the classroom today is very different from what I had in high school.  Then, we took out physical textbooks and notebooks, we wrote notes with a pen or pencil and we physically turned in all of our assignments.  Today, I’ve noticed that many of my students have a school-issued laptop and it’s the tool they use to take notes, create and turn in assignments, and read textbooks.  For me that sounds like a nightmare, I feel the need to read or write something on a piece of paper, not a computer screen, but maybe I’m just dating myself.

 

What do you think?

 

las mascotas (pets)

CheetahI’ve always been a dog person, until Charley and Cheetah.  We got our two kitties and little over a year ago and they have brought so much fun and joy into our lives!  Cheetah (pictured) is really more like a dog.  She’s always waiting at the door when we come home, plays a nightly game of fetch with her mouse, and comes right up to people ready to be pet.  Our other cat is more of a typical cat.  Charley only wants to be pet in certain places and certain times and if anyone comes in the door she bolts directly to the linen closet.

For all you pet lovers out there I thought I would share some new vocabulary!

las mascotas- pets

el gato- cat

el perro- dog

el pez- fish

la serpiente- snake

el conejo- rabbit

el ratón- mouse/rat