Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lower Elementary (6-9) Scope and Sequence

I teach the following to this age group:
Role-Play Greetings
Days of the week
Months of the year
Numbers 1-100
Alphabet and Pronunciation
Additional Classroom Objects
Color names
Additional Animal Names
Additional Body Parts
Additional Clothing
Additional Foods
Additional Household items
Additional Family members
Tell what they are going to do
Reading and Writing
Express how they feel/likes/dislikes
Different Modes of Transportation

I see this age group twice a week for 30 minutes. We begin with a song, an activity, story, or game to introduce or practice the vocabulary and good-bye song. This year I am adding the calendar/weather as a daily activity. I love the calendar because we get to work on the months, days, numbers, weather, seasons, and words like yesterday, today and tomorrow. We can easily have a conversation in Spanish with this activity that is everyone's favorite.

When the year begins, September, I will make sure to take photographs of the classroom activities, shelf work, games, and anything that works!

The students have two shelves with Spanish work which includes 3 part cards, worksheets they look at and describe in Spanish about the weather, color, etc.. This year the students will have Spanish software.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Spanish Routine and Topics Taught - Primary (3-6 years)

For the Primary grades I make up my lessons always using the following routine.

Good morning Song, New Vocabulary (I use props, songs and books to introduce the new vocabulary), Goodbye Song

What I teach at this level: Greetings, Days of the week, Months of the year, Numbers 1-30
Weather, Seasons, Alphabet, Classroom Objects, Color names, Animal Names, Body Parts
Clothing, Foods, Household items, Family members, Tell what they are going to do,
Describe their mood.

I get 30 minutes a week with this age level. The classrooms have Spanish language materials on the shelves.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 1 Training Pictures

Here are the pictures that I could not post yesterday.

The picture on the left shows the training manuals for Language Arts. The manuals have step by step directions on presenting lessons which we go over and practice in class. The trainer also adds additional lessons which we record on our own.

The picture on the right is the example of the notebook the students keep to record all lessons given. This lesson was part of the Capitalization Experience.
I am going to slowly make my materials and will post these online.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My First Day of Montessori Training

Today was my first day of Montessori Elementary I training!! I could barely sleep last night. I was very excited and a little nervous. I set two alarms, just in case one did not work! I am training at a local training center. This training center trains all through the year and you can enter the program at any point. I entered on the second week of the Language Arts Training. The "Mechanics". I arrived to the classroom and picked up 4 huge manuals for Language Arts and 6 books. I have a Master's Degree and a Secondary Teaching Certification and THAT was a little scary! It turned out that we are only reading part of two books this week and going over one of the manuals. What a relieve!
I absolutely loved my first day. One of the students in the class takes pictures of the presentations so everyone can have a picture for their manuals. As soon as I get those I will post them. The current class process right now is Philosophy for 1 hour in the morning each day and going through the presentations the rest of the day. At the end of the Language Arts classes we will turn in the binders for evaluation. We must show notes, pictures and anything else we see fit to remind us of how to present the lessons. There is also a Notebook required by elementary students where the student records all presentations and their shelf work. We also keep one of these for future reference. I have pictures of my manulas and students notebook which I will post as soon as I get my camera to work again! I must go now and read.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Spanish Story Time 1

I volunteer at our local library to read in Spanish to the children once a week and have an activity or craft after our stories.

I will start posting the books and activities/crafts I have done. I never remember to take pictures as the kids are working. I will make sure to take one next week.

In, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, the Moose makes hand puppets and has a puppet show. The craft activity is making "titeres" hand puppets of a pig "un cerdo" and a moose "un alce". Here is the website were I got the templates for the paper bag hand puppets. The moose The pig

This picture is of my kids and one of their friends playing at home with their hand puppets!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Spanish 3 Part Cards and Poker Chips!!

These are Spanish 3 part cards I downloaded from

My kids do not do these on their own yet. I start by placing the control cards on the rug and ask them in Spanish "What is this?" for each control card so that I can see which ones they do not know in Spanish. I will then grab one of the words (in this example a name of a fruit, let's say apple) and ask in Spanish "Where is the apple". My son will grab the apple and place it under the control card of the apple and place the name under that. At my school all of the pre-school and Elementary classrooms have Spanish 3 part cards for all of the vocabulary that is taught. They also have little books with the pictures (like a little book with all of the fruits). The children color the pictures and write the name of the fruit under it.

The last thing I want to write about is these Poker Chips I got today at a garage sale for $2. It solved my problem with the rocks. I am using 55 blue poker chips for the counting work. Do you have any other ideas of what I could do with these? I have about 75 chips of each color!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Activities with Rocks and the Spanish Calendar!

The first activity is counting using rocks. I purchased this big bag of rocks for $1 at the Family Dollar Store and the numbers are the numbers you use for the calendars at the teacher store (I just happened to have these numbers otherwise I would have just hand written them). I have 55 rocks to go with the numbers 1-10. We did this activity in Spanish and English. I sat with my son and helped him since it was the first time he had done it and we counted in both languages.

Since I am talking about numbers and Spanish, another activity that I do with the kids to work on their Spanish is the Calendar in Spanish. I purchased the calendar at a teacher store. We do the calendar almost daily. They kids get to change the Month, Day, and put up what day today is, what day tomorrow is, what day was yesterday and what is the weather like today. My 4 year old has got this down now. He also uses the numbers on the calendar to practice his counting in both languages. Here is a picture I took last month of our calendar in our dinning room. I put Velcro circles on the numbers and the other pieces.

I put the rest of my bag of rocks in a small pink pail ($1 Target dollar section) for my daughter. There is one empty pink pail, some tongs and tweezers and she got a tray to add to the fun! She just pured the rocks from one pail to the other and from the pail to the tray and enjoyed using the tongs to pick up the rocks.
Only problem I had with this activity is that my daughter (2 1/2 years old) wants to put the rocks from the counting activity with her rocks! So, I am going to have to find something else to do the counting work because I am tired of counting 55 rocks :-) By the way, I call these rocks "her rocks" but my son plays with them also!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Childrens Garden

We started this summer by making a garden just for the children. The children helped to clear out the area and plant. My son loved shoveling the dirt and leaves onto his little red wagon. They now take care of their garden by watering and keeping it free from leaves and weeds.

Later on we grew some plants and vegetables and then planted them in our garden. We talked about seeds, plants, and how they grow. We read The Carrot Seed, A Seed Is Sleepy and Flowers by Whitehouse.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My kids favorites

The following activities are some of my kids favorites. Remember I have a 2 and 4 year old.
This activity requires felt. You cut out different shapes from felt and the kids can make art with felt. I saw this a few weeks back on another blog but I cannot remember where. Both of the children LOVE these felt shapes. I got different felt squares from Michael's Craft Store 5 for $1.

This activity contains round beads and star beads and pipe cleaners. I placed all of the beads in one container and next to it I have an empty container and then two pipe cleaners. My children will usually want to work on the same thing at the same time so that is why I have two pipe cleaners. In this activty all they do is string the beads. What I love about this activity is that the beads do not fall off which makes it much easier for my 2 year old. The kids will make bracelets with these. Notice in the picture that I have the stars and round beads separated. I took a picture of this because my 2 year old decided she wanted to separate them after working with the beads for a week. My 4 year old will go as far as sorting by color and shapes. So, this activity has lots of possibilities.

The last activity is something we do while the kids swim in the kiddie pool. We test to see what sinks or floats. My son (4) actually started this and I helped find objects to see if they would sink or float. For example: I get a stick and ask my 4 year old if he thinks it will sink or float. Other objects we have tested: his goggles, different balls, rocks, leaves, etc. Later we chart on a piece of paper what we found that sinks and floats.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Language Activities

I had the pleasure to participate in this Summers National FLES Institute of Texas. FLES stands for Foreign Language in the Elementary School. As you can see from my notebook in the previous post, I received tons of ideas to use in the classroom. Here are three activities that are very "Montessori" type activities. You could use these in a Foreign Language Learning center or shelf. At the school I teach, all of the classrooms have shelves with Spanish activities for the children to choose.

This first activity is a card stock that contains the pictures of the vocabulary that you are working on and then clothes pins that have the words that match up to the pictures. You can have cards with all the animals, fruits, numbers, colors, etc... For ease of organizing, I would make all fruit cards on one color card stock, all animals in another color card stock, etc... Then I would put a color dot on each clothes pin to match the card stock. Put the cards in one basket and the pins in another. The picture shown here is a picture I took at the Institute.

This next activity the children match the picture to the words by lacing. Simple and fun!

The last activity I call it "Word Art". I don't know if it has some name but that is what I call it! I have seen this before and I love it. This picture shows a face drawn by the child. Where he would draw the hair he has written the word "hair" in Spanish "pelo" over and over again. "Ojos" "Eyes", "Boca" "Mouth". I can see if we are working on shapes and colors that we can do this by writing the name of the shape around the shape and then the name of the color in color pencil inside the shape.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Organizing Materials From Summer Training

I went to a one week Foreign Language Institute and came home with a huge notebook with tons of songs, games, and other activities to use in the classroom. While on vacation I went through all of the activities and separated them by the topics I teach, just like the bins I used to sort the materials I use to teach. See the bins here Organizing Spanish Materials

Click on the picture to make larger.
Here is a picture of my quick and dirty dividers. I was out of town so all I had was post it notes. I just made my own dividers! Some of my dividers are: foods, body parts, clothing, seasons, etc... This will assure me that I will actually use the activities they gave us.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The story of the Art supplies

I love crafts and art. I am not an artist and can hardly draw. I am not afraid of giving scissors, glue or paint to my children but until about 8 months ago I would keep all art supplies in my crafts/school cabinet. (see pictures here Practical Life at Home) My children never asked to do art projects. I always had to ask if anyone wanted to color, paint, glue, make this or that...

I then started to read about Montessori education and enrolled my 2 year old in a Montessori school. I then pulled out some shelves I had that I was not using and put all of our art supplies out neatly. I had a box with the stamps, a box with glue and stuff to glue onto paper, paper, scissors, paint, paint brushes, markers, crayons, etc... I was very afraid of doing this. I thought for sure that my 2 year old would just make a huge mess out of this. But to my surprise she did not. Not only that but now my children were spontaneously creating art. They did not ask. They just got out what they wanted to work on and worked on it. Ever since I have been working on improving our "Art" work area. They really enjoy it. I now have an easel I purchased at IKEA and free kid size aprons from Home Depot (we go to their children's craft activities). I rotate some of the items for interest and I still initiative craft activities.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sorting and Nature Tray

I am going to start showing you some of the activities I have on the shelves for the kids. These are recent activites I made for them. Today I will show you two sorting activites and one nature tray. I want to first say that my kids are very excited when I put something new on the shelf for about a week. After that week they do not touch it at all unless I pull it off the shelf and start doing it myself. If I see that both the kids have mastered the activity then I just take it off the shelf and recycle the items.

Click on the pictures to make them larger.
The first sorting activity my 4 1/2 year old will use the twizers to sort the buttons by their shape. (I have square, flower, heart and circle buttons). The twizers makes it challenging and fun for him. The twizers are too difficult for my two year old. She sorts these with her fingers. She will transfer all of the buttons to one of the petals. This container can be found at Wal-Mart in the craft section and the Container Store. The kids did this daily the first week I had it out. I am going to change it by putting different items to sort.

This next activity is used mostly by my 2 year old. I purchased these these little farm animals from Targets $1 section last week. She loves these little farm animals, specially the pigs and chicks. She puts the brown bears and black horses together.

The last activity was created by my kids. Last week they were playing outside and just started to bring me things like leaves, grass, and a bird feather. My two year old started by saying "Look mommy, flowers for you. " They were actually leaves. I put these things on a tray and asked the kids if they wanted to keep looking for other things to put on the tray. My 4 year old got very excited about seeing the items on the tray so he brought me other items and my daughter helped him. We had just returned from a trip to the beach and had these shells on the shelf. They love to use the magnifying glass to look at the items on the tray.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Scrapbooking Stickers and Embelishments

For the past week I have been organizing my office. Today I took on the task of organizing my scrapbooking stickers and embellishments.
First, I made a list of the categories these would be sorted by: Children, Baby, Family, Friendship, Love, Autumn which includes Halloween and Thanksgiving, Spring which includes birds/flowers/Easter, Winter which includes Christmas, Summer which includes vacation, Celebration which includes graduations/new year/birthdays.

Second, I got all embellishments and stickers out(what a mess!) which were being kept in many different places and just started to sort by my categories. Anything I saw that I did not like any more or I had used most of the stickers I put in a little basket for my children. This keeps them busy when I scrapbook. I keep stickers and paper scraps for them to play with.

Third, any items left that did not fit a category went in one stack.

Fourth, I put the embellishments in some Creative Memories sticker sheets I had purchased years ago (It has only taken me 5 years to finally organize!). You can use sheet protectors or even the big zip lock baggies and punch a hole to put in a binder.

Here is a before picture:
Here is after. Click on the picture to make it bigger:

Here are some pictures of some tiny embellishments, and buttons sorted. I also have ribbon which is in a small box. When I first started to want to embellish my scrapbooking pages I got with a friend and we both purchased embellishments and ribbon and divided them between us so we ended up with a big variety and spent much less money. These items that I am showing you here I had already sorted. I purchased these little plastic cases from the local craft store.

This is going to help me from purchasing items I do not need!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spanish at Home

“When you learn a new language you gain another world.” Goethe

Here are a few tips and resources for supplementing your child’s Spanish at home.
I got many of these ideas from:

These are also great ways to start teaching your child Spanish from home.
1. Supplement with library books, books on tape, dvd's and cd's! Check everything out. You might be surprised by what your child gravitates towards. Some children like flipping through picture dictionaries in Spanish; others might like the more vivid pictures in a picture book. Also, see if your library has Spanish or Bilingual Story Time.

2. Shows in Spanish. On Demand television has Spanish Kids shows like Dragon Tales, Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, Angelina Balerina in Spanish. These are found under PBS Kids - Espanol. Try the library or order online if you do not have on demand.

3. Watch DVDs in Spanish. Many DVDs have Spanish as a language option. For example, my children have watched “Cinderella”, “A Bug’s Life”, "Toy Story" and many Baby Einstein DVD’s in Spanish. If they have seen the DVD before, it’s actually better, for the child will know the story and plot and character. Note: they may only want to listen for a few minutes. Stop and try it again another day. My son actually likes to watch them in French also if available.

4. Play Spanish games like Bingo. You can make Bingo cards with the vocabulary you are working on. Check out the websites I’ve included below. They not only include games, but songs and many other activities to help with the basic vocabulary and some advanced.

5. Put sticky notes everywhere. For the older children write down vocabulary words for the week and stick them onto whatever you are practicing.

6. Let an older sibling practice with a younger sibling. An older sibling can read and sing with a younger sibling.

Games, Activities and Songs -
Storyplace -
Interactive Clifford Storybooks -

DVD’s and CD’s
Head Shoulders Knees and Toes Song in Spanish – Baby Einstein: Baby da Vinci:The DVD and CD are Available. The DVD is not a different DVD than the English version. You can choose English, Spanish and French on this DVD as a language option. The Baby Einstein about the Farm is also in Spanish.
Beth Mannners' Fun Spanish For Kids (Bilingual Stories and songs)
Sold on Spanish - Frog Street Press (Bilingual Songs). Use the CD only if the kids are under 4 and the book activities with kids over 4 years of age.
José-Luis Orozco- We love Mr. Orozco. De Colores and Diez Deditos CD’s.
Teach me Spanish By Judy Mahoney

Happy Learning!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Organizing Spanish Materials

I got this great idea from I love that Blog by the way. You have to check it out. I have implemented most of her organizing ideas. Her setup was by the months of the school year. Each Fabric bin for each month of the school year. One bin was shared by August/September. In Spanish you teach by topics so my setup is by the topics I teach. For example: one bin is for Culture, one for the alphabet/school supplies, numbers/shapes/colors, animals, etc...

I purchased the shelves and bins from Target. In each bin I put things releated to the topics I am teaching. Here is an example of one bin.

My first bin is labeled with creative memories stickers of school supplies and the letters ABC as seen above. In there I have all of my alphabet flash cards, school supplies flash cards, props, and games related to these topics. Now when it is time to teach about school supplies or teach the ABC's, I know exactly where to find everything!
My bin labels are: ABC/School supplies, numbers/shapes/colors, foods, clothing/body parts, time/calendar/seasons, holidays, animals, culture, family/home.
I thought about a quick way to do this so you do not have to build the shelves by using 3 plastic bins carts. With 3 carts you have the 9 bins. For homeschooling parents, you can have a bin for math, one for language, one for culture, etc...
Happy Organizing!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Practical Life at Home

I want my first post to be about Practical Life because this is something I work on every day. It will also give you an insight into how I arrange my home.

Here is a list of things I have done to make sure my home is prepared for my children to practice practical life activities.

1. I have a column of 4 drawers in my kitchen. The 3 bottom drawers are setup for the children. In one drawer I have the utensils. The next drawer is all of their cups and the last drawer is plates and bowls.

2. Snacks are all at their reach in the pantry along with napkins and straws.

3. The fruits and vegetables are in the drawers in the refrigerator.

4. I have a small jug for water and one for juice.

5. I need a step stool, currently they drag one of the chairs around to get to the sink.

Living Room:
1. My coffee table is clear of any decorating items. I have two chairs in the living room which they move to the coffee table and use for activities.

2. I have two small shelves with puzzles, games and books.

3. The TV is in a cabinet and doors kept closed. Out of site, out of mind!

Dinning Room:
I use the dinning room as the work room. Since the kids are at home with me all summer, this is their school room for the summers.

I have one bookcase with art and craft items,

One bookcase with games, math and science activities and one bookcase with language. On the language bookcase I have two shelves for Spanish Language things and one for English. Once my kids begin school again in the Fall, I will probably just have Spanish on there since they do not learn this at school. I want to stay away from having anything on the shelves they already have at school.

In the dinning room I also have a cabinet with all of my extra teaching materials and craft materials.

Kids Bathroom:
1. Step stool to sink

2. Accessible toothbrushes, tooth paste, small cup and soap

3. Low hook for towel. I have taught my son how to find the middle of the towel so he can hang up the towel on the hook.

4. An small mirror placed at their height.

Kids Bedrooms:
These are pictures of my sons bedroom. My daughters is setup just about the same. She has a little bed, little dresser and night table, play kitchen and dolls.

1. Closet extensions so they can hang up and choose their clothes.

2. Accessible clothes drawers with items sorted. Shorts in one drawer, shirts in another, underwear/socks in another, pajamas in another, etc... You can also use baskets within big drawers to separate things.

3. Toys are kept to a minimum. Everything has its place and I rotate toys.

4. What I have left to do is label. I am slowly working on that!

I want to add that my daughters Montessori teacher did come to our home to advice me on things we could do to setup our home.