Tag Archives: Children

Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead

Noche de muertos  300x199 Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead

“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!

Screenshot 2014 09 29 15.45.52 300x231 Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead
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

Screenshot 2013 10 11 21.09.321 Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead
Screenshot 2014 10 06 15.58.45 Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead
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?

pinit fg en rect red 28 Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead

Going Back to School!~ Words of Inspiration.

This time of year teachers and parents are scrambling in preparation for going back to school and adjusting to the changes of our summer lounging days. Today in preparation for this process we have some inspiring words of wisdom from a Eliana R. Molina a very talented Spanish teacher that thrives at creating a nurturing environment for students and herself. These are her thought on beginning the new school year with love and perspective.

~As the new school year approaches and summer-time comes to an end, many teachers begin to prepare mentally for their return to work and all the planning that comes along with it.  For many teachers it will be their first-year teaching, for some it will be back to their old stomping grounds, and yet for others, like me, it will be taking one’s teaching experience to a new school district, in a new city and state.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” and I completely agree with him.  You see, moving is never easy.  However, change is good because you are being given the chance to change the world.  Perhaps you may want to promote culture or diversity in the new school district you’re about to join or the same one you taught at last year.  You might bring some new ideas to the new school that will bring many teachers together in conversation or perhaps share something you learned over the summer that will inspire a colleague or student.  The whole point of change is we are all given the opportunity to do so, to take the opportunity to add something, to make a difference.

Regardless of how many years we have under our belt in teaching, and how many years we have at a particular school, getting ready for the school year entails preparation and work.  Coming up with new ideas for lesson plans, planning strategies and even making sure you have all the school supplies needed in the classroom can seem easy to achieve, but it is very time consuming and takes patience and collaboration.

During the first week that teachers report, there is work to be done and new things to learn as a district, school and department.  Teachers must get back into the routine of waking up early again and attending staff meetings and staying after school, helping students, grading papers and volunteering.  The list can go on and on and seem endless!!

Teachers need to make sure that their classroom area is ready with the right amount of desks and chairs to seat all students.  I always make it a habit to make sure that the proper technology equipment is installed properly and working. That does not exclude making sure the needed supplies are in the classroom, such as a stapler, a pencil sharpener, rulers, glue, tape, scissors and more.  You might find out that the school has adopted a new textbook or started using new software that you will need training on, which takes away from preparing yourself and the classroom for the upcoming school year.

In all, preparing for a new school year, I have learned that there is no beginning or end for the things that need to be done before school starts.  Schedules, routines, textbooks, classrooms, and people are constantly changing and routines can be interfered with unexpected meetings before or after school.  There is never a good enough list that will prepare you for the first days of school 100%, but you can rest assure that you will learn the ropes and you will meet great people who have all been in your shoes at one point and are willing to help ease the anxiety that might be building up.  Remember to take a deep breath and enjoy each day because after all when your 10 months of work are up for the year, you will get to have your summer break again to just look back at the first day of school and think with a huge smile, “I made it and changed the life of many!” ~ Eliana R. Molina

kid and worksheets 300x200 Going Back to School!~ Words of Inspiration.

You will change the life of a Child!

Monarca Language has free printables  and spanish education material for you just become a member.

pinit fg en rect red 28 Going Back to School!~ Words of Inspiration.

Simple ideas for earth day and everyday

earthday Simple ideas for earth day and everyday

Compost & Recycle Posters in Spanish

Lots of great ideas and good habits to foster early in life, so let’s start with simple ideas for earth day and everyday.

Teaching respect for nature and the environment is a process we have to encourage starting at a young age. By interacting with nature, we are also teaching to respect it. Young children can not understand certain concepts like the nature of responsibility for the environment. They learn by observation and imitation. Say out loud  what you are doing when recycling or saving water during bath time. Children will connect words and actions, creating first seeds for their own nature responsibility.

Ask your child to help you take care of our big planet. This should be specific and easy to follow!

Simple ideas: 

  • Turing off the water when they brush their teeth.
  • Putting items in the recycling bin.
  • Going on walks to the park, zoo or nature centers.
  • Ask your little one to be respectful of all animals, plants and trees, since they need each other to exist. We need them, too!
  • Add a recycling and composting poster next to your bins as visual reminders.

We have two cute ones that you can just print and laminate (posters are in Spanish!):

Download here!
La Composta (.pdf)
Reciclado (.pdf)

We also have a bunch of fun and easy ideas at our “Día de la TierraPinterest board.

What are your three best ideas to foster green good habits?

pinit fg en rect red 28 Simple ideas for earth day and everyday

Spring thematic web in Spanish

Spring thematic webs make life easier for all teachers!

As a teacher, February is one of my favorite months. I enjoy planning, creating and designing Spring-related materials and themes! Spring is the perfect season to learn about life cycles; from animals to plants and foods, everything during the Spring begins a new cycle.

I always start the school year by creating a curriculum plan for each season. It helps me organize all the information I will be collecting throughout the school year. It is also a great way to track which information has been provided and therefore what children already know. Since I teach in a spanish immersion school, it is very important for me to created layers of vocabulary and general language knowledge. By creating thematic webs I am able to teach more efficiently each theme.

This is a map a created for a Spanish Immersion Kindergarten class last year for the Spring Season.

mapa curricular Spring thematic web in Spanish

Spring thematic web in Spanish

mapa temático Spring thematic web in Spanish

Spring thematic web in Spanish

I also created a thematic web for each topic with questions to explore in class and…

Mapa temático

An activity web with specific ideas, questions, games and activities to do in class.

actividades temático 300x231 Spring thematic web in Spanish

Actividades temáticas

Writing a weekly lesson plan it is so much easier (I promise!),  if you have thematic web for each topic and the activities for the the theme already planned.

planeacion semanal 300x231 Spring thematic web in Spanish

Planeación Semanal

Freebie! Thematic Web Templates

Here are the templates I created. Let me know if they worked from you class!

pinit fg en rect red 28 Spring thematic web in Spanish

New Year’s Resolution Activities for Preschoolers. Niños, Let’s Set Little and Big Achievements for 2015!

Monarca Language wishes you a full year of new adventures! This is a great time to start thoughtful and exciting resolutions with your children. After all, children love starting new projects. It is important that we support the progress, not just the end results. Enjoy the little or big achievements your child makes along the way!

Let’s think of New Year’s resolution activities for preschoolers this new year.

New Year resolutions are not only for adults or personal aspirations. Resolutions can be made by children, by the family together or even at school. Self-discipline and self-esteem can be strengthened by learning the importance of practice and progress.  Ask your child or class if they would be interested in achieving a family or group goal. Perhaps reading more books, practicing a sport or an art. Even better, practicing more Spanish each day!  We have found interesting articles and activities for you to explore this idea. We would love to hear about any 2015 resolutions you and your little ones make together.

Making New Year’s Resolutions with Your Child
By Laura Lewis Brown

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for Kids
By American Academy of Pediatrics 

Actividades con los Niños para Fin de Año
Por Dariela Cruz 

By American Academy of Pediatrics


300fcd12 7aae 4cdd b68e dd940ec46d6c New Years Resolution Activities for Preschoolers. Niños, Lets Set Little and Big Achievements for 2015!

pinit fg en rect red 28 New Years Resolution Activities for Preschoolers. Niños, Lets Set Little and Big Achievements for 2015!