Category Archives: Teaching

Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead

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“Noche de Muertos” is a Mexican tradition celebrated primarily on the 1st and 2nd of November of each year. The day of the dead celebration has become very popular around the world, perhaps because of its colorful papel picado, fun calaveritas de azúcar and beautiful ofrendas. Although this is a great way to introduce the festivity to little ones and young students, it is important to understand and respect this tradition. Then, it will be truly cherished and awaited each year by generations to come. For more than 600 years, indigenous groups in Mexico have been performing different types of rituals to honor, interact and relate to life after death. Indigenous Mexico accepts death as part of a lifecycle without beginning or end. It is believed that the souls of the dead return for a visit to celebrate a family reunion. Families gather a few days before to prepare for the arrival of their loved ones. This can be at home, the cemetery or both. The items prepared and gathered are the food, drinks, and personal items the deceased loved. Also, personal items and tools are gathered for their journey back. The offering is an expression of love and acceptance of the cycle of life.

I believe that what is truly important to understand is that these two days are an opportunity to be with family and the community. A Maya professor states: “We celebrate togetherness with our dearly departed”.

Lasy year, I had the privilege of spending Noche de Muertos in Michoacan state. Here is a short video of the Tzintzuntzan’s procession. It was magical!


Great Resources:

Elementos imprescindibles para recibir a las ánimas

Noche de Muertos en Michoacan

A day of the Dead Story: Those Good Old November Days 

Day of the Dead: Celebration, History and Origins

For the niños

Two of my favorite storybook for Día de los Muertos!

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Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead
By Judy Goldman
Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead

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Yo Recuerdo a Abuelito
Un cuento del Día de los Muertos
By Janice Levy
I Remember Abuelito: A Day of the Dead Story / Yo Recuerdo a Abuelito: Un Cuento del Día de los Muertos (Spanish and English Edition) Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead

Looking for Printable Activities to teach Día de los Muertos?

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Hopes and Dreams Create Powerful Classroom Rules

Last week I attended a Responsive Classroom workshop where I learned how to create powerful classroom rules based on the hopes and dreams of my students. Powerful, simple and clear classroom rules allow students to fulfilled their social, emotional and academic dreams.

How to Create Powerful Classroom Rules?

During the beginning of the school year, brainstorm what hopes and dreams each student has for the new school year. Give them a day or two to decide which one they will like to share with their classmates. You can share your dreams and hopes as their teacher too! Create a display with all of their hopes and dreams.

Here are some great samples I found on the web.
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Once you have created a beautiful display for their dreams and hopes, you can start chatting with your students about what makes good classroom rules. To create your classroom rules ask them what type of rules there has to be to fulfill each and one of their hopes and dreams. If my hope is to make new friends, I have to be kind and respectful. If my hope is to learn how to write in cursive, I need to practice and do my homework.

Once you have recorded everyone’s ideas, draw three columns on a chart paper to create three rule categories. These three categories (place, each other and self) will help your classroom rules be clear, easy and short. The first category is about the space we use to learn and play. If we want to be able to learn and play, we need to take care of our school furniture and materials. How we treat each other is the second category. The last one is about taking care of yourself. This category can be confusing for your students but probably a few of their ideas already recorded fit into this category. For example, if I want to learn how to write in cursive, I will need to practice and pay attention to the lesson. Therefore, I need to be responsible for my own learning.

Your classroom rules can look like this:

Use school materials carefully.
Let everyone learn.
Be ready to learn.

Creating together straightforward and positive classroom rules together will help your students have a sense of belonging and ownership, which is essential to adapt successfully to a new environment.

If you will like to learn more about Responsive Classroom approach here is a Q&A.

Creating everyday rules in a Responsive Classroom

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A Giveaway in Appreciation of Our Fabulous Followers

Hop to Win! $100 and $20 TpT credit giveaway!

The following fun & fabulous Spanish sellers are participating in the blog hop. Visit my TpT Store on May 3rd to find out what is my secret letter. 

 A Giveaway in Appreciation of Our Fabulous Followers

Continue to the next store and collect the 12 letters. Unscramble the letters and come back to my blog to enter the secret word for a chance to win up to $100 TpT credit giveaway. 

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Enter the Secret Message into the giveaway widget below for your chance to win!

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO GO TO THE RAFFLECOPTER WIDGET!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4 Ideas for a Preschool Farm Theme

One of my favorite themes to teach during the Spring season is the farm. Most children know some of the animals that live on a farm, but do they know why they live on a farm, who takes care of them and the benefits the farm provides us with. Here are some ideas for a preschool farm theme to teach children in Spanish (or English).

The concepts are endless and valuable to learn. Here are 4 farm concept ideas to share with your preschoolers. Keep in mind that I teach Spanish immersion so all of my ideas start from the assumption that must of my students are English native speakers.

Four Farm Concepts to Explore in Class

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Farm theme ideas for preschool in Spanish

  1. Farm vocabulary (practice the articles with the nouns; la vaca, la oveja, los pollitos).
  2. Farm animal products (practice with a complete sentence; la vaca nos da leche, la oveja nos da lana, la gallina nos da huevos, ¿qué nos da el cerdo?).
  3. Food in the farm. Farm animals eat plants, fruits, vegetables, hay, corn, and oats ( this can be a taught in a different lesson about seeds, plants & flowers).
  4. Transportation and vehicles in the farm. Horses are farm animals that can be used as transportation (math concepts can be used to teach about distance and traveling time; lejos, cerca, largo, corto, rápido, lento).

 

 

All of these concepts can be practiced through a variety of learning centers and activities at school or at home. From songs, rhymes and storybook, to math activities, crafts, and even cooking activities.

Use an activity map (un mapa temático) to plan the class activities and to record your ideas!

This is mine simple smile 4 Ideas for a Preschool Farm Theme

Week1 4 4 Ideas for a Preschool Farm Theme

Here is the template for the activity map and a weekly planner! Try it and let me know if it worked for you. simple smile 4 Ideas for a Preschool Farm Theme

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Creating a Classroom Constitution

Creating a classroom constitution is a great way to learn about the rights and the responsibilities we all share and need to respect.

Why are Constitutions important?  A Constitution tell us about how a government works and lists some important and fundamental rights to keep people safe.

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To create a classroom constitution, begin by discussing what makes a positive and respectful classroom environment.
Some answers may be:
– We listen when a classmate is sharing his or her ideas and stories with us.
– We offer our help when a classmate is sad or upset.

Brainstorming and Questions (English-Spanish):

  • What are some rights that are important to have in the classroom? ¿Cuáles son algunos derechos que son importantes tener dentro del salón de clases?
    Some answers may be:
    – The right to learn.  El derecho de aprender
    – The right to share my opinions. El derecho de compartir mis opiniones.
  • Can some classmates have certain rights but others not? ¿Piensas que algunos compañeros pueden tener ciertos derechos pero otros no?
  • What do we need to do to protect our rights? ¿Qué necesitamos hacer para proteger nuestros derechos?

Discuss the importance of having rules or responsibilities. I prefer to call them responsibilities because it changes a negative statement into a positive one, for example, the rule is “don’t run inside” vs. the responsibility is “walk inside”.

  • When do we need rules or responsibilities? ¿Cuándo necesitamos tener reglas o responsabilidades?
  • Why do we need rules or responsibilities? ¿Por qué necesitamos tener reglas o responsabilidades?
  • What is the difference between rights and rules? ¿Cuáles son las diferencias entre reglas y derechos?

Class Activity

Students brainstorm and decide between 3 and 5 classroom rights and between 3 and 5 classroom rules or responsibilities. You can help students combine these two into statements.

A statement may be:

“We keep our voices down (responsibility) so that I can to listen to the teacher and learn new things (my right to learn)”
“Mantenemos nuestras voces bajas (responsabilidad) para poder escuchar a la maestra y aprender cosas nuevas (derecho de aprender)”

Display for everyone to see!

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