December 28, 2017

The perfect teacher bag

I wanted to share one of my most valuable discoveries of all time! I follow a wonder teacher on Instagram by the name of @helloteacherlady. She gave me this idea in which today I share with you. I have a new obsession with my teacher bag, none like any other. In fact it was not built for teachers at all, it was intended to be used as a diaper bag!!!!! Don't you just LOVE... when you discover a new use for something it was not intended for. This Diaper Bag Backpack by Kute 'n' Koo covers all the needs of a teacher to transport all their teachery items from work with 18 handy pockets. When I was researching to buy this bag I felt that more images would have been more helpful for me to make a quicker decision. So in return I wanted to make sure to add tons of images to help you visualize it better. Now let the pictures do the talking!

Here are a few pictures of the front. I just added a monogram with my favorite color for a special touch. I love that I have the option of wearing my bag as a backpack or just simply hold it by the handles. I also feel that the bag does not dress down my professional attire when I carry it as a backpack. It can very easily be used with professional dress or casual attire. Another bonus the fabric is water resistant and wipeable to keep it looking sharp.




Here is a look at the first small zipper in the front. This is where I place all the items I use frequently such as my keys, school ID, chapstick, wireless door bell control and pens. 


This is the front middle zipper where more flat times fit perfectly such as disinfectant hand wipes, wallet and note pads. 


Next we have the large main compartment that holds most items. This area is big enough to hold what most common teachers put in their tote bags. Here at the moment I have a laptop, textbook, planner, papers and pens.


On the sides their are two foam insulated pockets to hold drinks! Water is a must!


There is also one large back compartment that is great for a small laptop or iPad for quick and easy access. 


Last but not least I wanted to show how the bag actually looks when your carrying it as a backpack. I could hardly find any pictures of this so I thought it was important to add it here. It's about the average size of a regular backpack 12.5"LX 6"W x 15.5H


I purchased this AMAZING "teacher" bag at AMAZON for $36.85 and it's worth every single penny! I also found out that the company Kute "n" Koo stands behind the quality of their products. If the products tears or has a defect they will gladly replace the item. I hope this information was of value to you and maybe even inspire you to get this amazing teacher bag! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to shoot me an email or visit my Instagram and communicate with me their.

December 26, 2017

Christmas in my classroom

This year Christmas was a hit in my classroom! The best part of this year in my classroom was our parent gifts. I did not have to spend much money like I usually do every year. Especially with the fact that I switch classes between the day so I truly have around 33-40 kids a year (expensive). So this year students created a calendar full of their illustrations for the 2018 year. I just provided the drawing for each month to guide my 2nd graders and the took off. After they finished they drew a Santa on the envelope and we glued his nose. Here are some examples below. 




 


















https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mi-Calendario-de-ilustraciones-My-illustration-calendar-3519038

Click on the image to purchase




We also did some fun writing about a multi-step process. Students created a snowman by mixing shaving cream with Elmer's glue. After that students wrote all they steps they did to create their cute snowman.



 I also tried a new incentive in my classroom this year! My students had all the month of December to earn 10 tickets to purchase some wrapping paper. They would earn the tickets randomly with various good behavior and participation in class. I would then wrap their desk with the wrapping paper of choice. By our Christmas party our desk were all wrapped and it looked so festive & fun for our party! 


It was an absolute blast! 
 

November 3, 2017

classroom stage

I wanted to share with you a recent update I did in my classroom by adding a classroom stage. The stage brings learning to whole new level. The students get so excited to participate and simply step up on it. My husband took a little time to build it for me. I then painted, taped and added led lights to the stage. We have used the stage for teacher read aloud, step up to answer on the board, show & tell, student lead activities, read to self area, author's stage (read their writing), and even to take class pictures. It has really become a center piece of our learning. So amazing what a little wood can do to a classroom! Here is the transformation of my stage below.

 
 

 
 
 
 








I hope this inspires you to get a classroom stage I can assure you it will make learning fun and everything becomes a bigger deal with a little extra wood in you class! Ha!

 

October 24, 2017

Wonder (R. J. Palacio Novel) classroom decoration

The message all of our students need to hear from us now more then ever is the message the book "Wonder" by R. J. Palacio offers. #choosekind #beafriend. The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, has inspired a nationwide movement to choose kind. Now we can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book. It come in both Spanish and English which I am really happy about.  It has inspired me to do a lesson in my class integrating this book and writing about "choosing kind." I got so inspired I even took it to my classroom door as you will see in pictures below. We need to plant this seed into our students and help it grow by building a community of kindness starting in our classrooms and spreading it throughout our campus, one act of kindness at a time. If we touch and inspire at least one little heart in our classroom we can say we have done a job well done! Now lets spread the kindness teachers! 

Don't forget Wonder will be in theaters November 17!! Go watch this heartwarming film. :)

To see this book in Amazon





October 17, 2017

Postcard exchange for the classroom

https://mrprintables.com/printable-map-of-the-united-states.html

I'm happy to announce that I will be creating a postcard exchange group this year and I would love for your class to join our group. Participants agree to have their students write and mail postcards to the other 49 participants. To participate you will need 49 post cards and stamps. Hint: I always ask for two postcards and two stamps from each parent. On the postcard, you can tell the other classes about your state and school. This is a great way to connect with classes around the country and give your students the opportunity to see how life is different in various regions of the United States. The exchange will be open to first come first serve basis. If interested (and your state is available), please sign up below. The deadline for signing up is Nov. 3rd. Your address will not be visible to other participants through Sign Up Genius. Therefore, as people start registering, I will create a Doc with addresses and share it with you. All participants should mail out their postcards by Feb. 28th, 2018. Postcards can include information about life in your city/state or what your school is like. 




*As a Bonus if you would like to share your class picture send it to my Instagram account @breezybilingual. This can be a platform to see each others classes and share it with our students! 

Great place to print your map at (for personal use only) Mr. Printables 

Thank you!

October 11, 2017

The 3 forms of Energy/ Las 3 formas de energia

We are currently learning about the 3 forms of energy in my 2nd grade Dual Language class. We start our lesson each day with our "energy song" that I made up using a traditional Mexican song called "La Raspa". We sing it in Spanish of course. 

Click below to hear our song! 



The kids absolutely love this and it even works as a little brain break with all the physical movement required. It wakes them up and gets them ready to learn. 

Here is the actual assignment they complete with this unit. 
First they began to work with their bilingual partners and talk and sort the cards into the 3 forms of energy and explain why. There are a total of 18 cards to sort.
After that, students will have observe the busy picture and label where they 3 forms of energy can be observed. They will then explain what form of energy they found on the bottom. After that they will sort images by the form of energy and glue the descriptive strips into the correct energy.

 

  

You can find this unit in my TPT store. Just click on the image below. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Explorar-la-Energia-luminica-Sonora-termica-electrica-Spanish-English-875694
 

Classroom tips & tricks

I wanted to share with you today some random tips and trick for you to consider. I have added some pretty exciting items into my classroom this week. I find myself this year adding privileges at a slower pace. This years class is one of my most challenging classes ever, academically & behaviorally as they are testing my 7 years of managing a classroom. Boy oh boy! I still love my little stinkers though.

TIP#1 Use a microphone in class :)
 Here is my pride & joy my small speaker & microphone!! This bad boy works like a charm. I made a big deal of how fun/privilege it is to speak in the microphone. I used it particularly today to ask academic questions and have them say their answer on the mic. The kids engagement and participation blew out of the roof. As a bonus it saved that petite voice of mine. I'm not natural loud so this carries my voice to every corner of my room.

Tip#2 Light it up!

I made my reading area a little more exciting. I just added some LED strip lights and boom! Here are some on Amazon that are even better then mine, these actually change color. "Click Here" How exciting is this for 7 year old students!  I'm going to make them earn a "Flash Light Friday" and sit near the LED lights.



 I used these lights last year under my whiteboard and would turn it on anytime we would do Go-Noodle. They also loved that a bunch.


 Tip#3 leave random messages to students

Leave a special message at the end of the day when your students leave to those that you feel did something important or special that day. Even better just simply spread some kindness and joy to give them a little boost. :) It's always the little things that mean the most and are always the ones they carry in their memories for a lifetime. 

Well, that is all I have for today. I hope you found some inspirations and ideas. Have a blessed day!

October 5, 2017

Free Texas Symbols in Spanish & English

Hello, today I wanted to share my Texas symbols booklet. It comes in both Spanish and English and best of all it's FREE. It covers all the important symbols the students need to know such as Bluebonnet, Armadillo, Mockingbird, Pecan tree and more. They first identify the name of each symbol. Then they identify what each symbol represents for the state of Texas. After that students will write the color and a fact of each symbol. I love this booklet in particular because the students create their own SEESAW video teaching about the symbols they learned. Check out one of my student's video so you can get an idea. 

 

It is so fun to watch my dual language student's videos. The best part is when the video is uploaded it goes strait to the parents and they get to enjoy what their child did at school that day. I have gotten great feedback from parents and how much they love watching their child learn. If you haven't used SEESAW in your class yet, go!!! Also now they have a new feature where you can use the app as a way of communication to all parents or individual parents. I find this easier to use then my email. It's super quick, easy and conveniently located on my phone. I also love it better then the app "remind".

I hope you find this booklet useful and beneficial for your students. Let me know how it goes and send me pictures too! Click on the image below to grab your Freebie!
 
Happy Learning! 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Texas-Symbols-Los-simbolos-de-Texas-in-Spanish-English-3425370




October 3, 2017

Free Parent Conference Forms

Ready or not here they come!!!! Get ready for parent conferences with these free forms. I have them both in Spanish and English to help support our bilingual and Dual Language classrooms. These forms make it easier for my colleague and I to prepare for our parent face to face meetings. Tammy teaches the English portion for half of the day and I teach the Spanish. So, we divide and conquer. She fills out all the forms for the English students while I fill out all the forms for the Spanish students. We focus most of our attention to inform the parent about the child's progress in their native language. Since it's the most important in the lower grades to build a strong foundation. A student will have difficulties learning a second language if their native language is not solid strong. Tammy and I are both present at the conference to inform to each parent about our portion of information. We talk about our concerns & suggestions and provided answers to any of their questions. The forms makes the whole process nice and smooth. I also love the prep time because it give me the opportunity to really sit and think of the important information I need to address for each student. So, my dear blogger friend click on the link below if you would like your own copy. 

 Happy Conferencing :)

Here's a pic of Tammy my Dual Language partner!



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Parent-Conference-forms-in-SPANISH-ENGLISH-3421984

September 25, 2017

Academic vocabulary & Spelling book

Hello, blogger friends! I am so excited to share with you one of my classroom life savers as a Dual Language/ESL/Bilingual teacher. It's the Academic vocabulary/ Spelling book. In this video I explain a little further why it saved my sanity!





I failed to mention something important in the video. When the student ask his or her partners and they don't know the word in Spanish the next step is to ask me. When they get the word from me I tell them to add that word to their book so "that" word doesn't become a future question again. This will cut down on repetitive questions. Example: if the student did not know how to say "horse" in Spanish I tell them "caballo" they go under the "H" since they are a native English speaker and write horse-caballo. 

I hope you found this information helpful and if you are interested in using this book in your classroom click on the link below. If you have any questions feel free to email me or use any social media. Thank you and have a blessed day. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Academic-Vocabulary-book-Spelling-book-3409059

September 15, 2017

Cognates words/ Los Cognados

As a 7th year Two-Way Dual Language teacher I have learned to appreciate different tools & strategies to help my students become better readers in two languages. An effective tool I have come to rely on more each year is cognate words (los cognados). I feel that this would benefit any dual language teacher, bilingual teacher, ESL teacher and any one with a LEP (Limited English Proficient) or LSP (Limited Spanish Proficient) student. I feel that their is a lack of information and promotion on these types of words. I come to learn that many teachers do not even know about them. In a nutshell cognates are words in two languages that have the same or similar meaning and spelling. Example: Spanish and English have latin or greek roots with the same meaning. The Spanish language borrow many words from English and English borrows many words from Spanish. By knowing a few simple rules about cognates, students can quickly expand their vocabulary. When students are given this knowledge they in turn can discover the ability to figure out new & unknown words in their second language. Once I teach this to my students it automatically becomes a joy to share with the teacher any cognates they come across in our daily activities and lessons. I fully acknowledge there efforts and even encourage them by rewarding them with a ticket (my reward system). I will show you some examples here of cognate words. They red are Spanish words and the blue are English.

chocolate - chocolate
doctor - doctor
problema - problem
complicado - complicated
artista - artist 
carro - car
mapa - map
cono - cone
esfera - sphere
tubo - tube
radio - radio
sistema - system
sopa - soup
tomate - tomato

I listed here only a very small portion of the thousands of words that are cognates between Spanish and English. So, HAHA, I use this to my great advantage when a student announces that he does not know how to read in Spanish. My most joyful reply usually is, "well, did you know you already know hundreds of words in Spanish because you already know them in English"!!!! They give me "the look" and I say, "yes, cognates" and BOOM they go back to reading. It works like a charm! In all reality thought it beneficial for both English & Spanish natives because the student is effectively learning Spanish and English with a vocabulary of almost 1000 words without even trying. I use cognates as a "when I'm finished" activity and as a center. They are given the choice to work by themselves or with a partner. All the Spanish words are always in red and English always in blue. They get a stack and work together trying to match the cognates with the correct pair. Once they have completed the match I check their work and they begin to read each card aloud together in both languages. 


My goal today is to spark some cognate excitement in our educational world. Lets teach the students how them and make them successful. Lets build their self esteem and tell them you ALREADY know this word!!! Keep researching and find a good list of words to get you started. I like the list Colorincolorado.org provides. Click here for the Cognate list  . Also I have the set of cards I created that I use in my class that are already in blue and red. It has 129 pairs & 258 cards in total ready to be laminated and used. Click on the image below if you are interested. I hope this was useful information and if you have any questions please feel free to email me. Thank you and have a blessed day! 



September 13, 2017

Abreviaturas/ abbreviation in Spanish

Today we had a productive day in class learning all about abbreviations in Spanish. The most important part of this lesson for me was getting my students hooked and engaged since abbreviations can become boring for 6 &7 year old. My hook was to have them do abbreviations in a game format to lead them where I wanted them to be. They did not really seem to know what abbreviations where (while I was introducing it completely in Spanish) and I was fine with that because they need that cognitive conflict to puzzle the piece together. 



I started with everything randomly taped on the white board. I just simply asked them to put one letter or symbol where they thought it belonged. I left a tiny clue without pointing it out to the class. I underlined the letters needed for each abbreviation in hopes that they would discover it as they went on. Students started putting letters next to the words just because they had the same letter. The further they got along they started making connections to the point in which all my students understood and participated in the sorting of the cards. At the end, each abbreviation had all the correct letters but they were not in the correct order. That is when I pointed out my underlined letters. "In doctor we have the D underlined and the R, what should be first?" I had students talk with their partners for a minute to generate ideas. They they came up one at a time until they corrected all the abbreviations all by themselves. This process served me as a small indirect assessment. I figured out that 95% of my class understood the concept and were ready for activity 2. This was very simple yet very effective. 


 


 The 2nd activity consisted in applying their new gained knowledge and showing it in several different ways. 




1-6 students were given the word spelled out and they had to change it to it's abbreviation form. 


Next, students would read sentences 1-7 and fill in the empty space with the correct abbreviation depending on the clues provided in their sentence. In the end they would identify if their abbreviation was masculine or feminine. This is something we covered and talked as a class during our first activity. 

If you would like to try this activity in your classroom click on the image below. Thank you and have a blessed day!