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!



September 9, 2017

Rules and Laws

We just learned all about Rules and Law in class this week. We talked about how good citizens follow the rules in laws in our community. As a class we brain stormed and shared some rules and laws that they already knew about. After that we tied their previous knowledge with the sort game to other rules and laws they probably did not know about. They did this game with their bilingual partners. They would read the cards aloud and discuss which would be a law or rule and why. When they finished I would go around and check their sort and ask to to make corrections if needed. 
 After they were successful with their sort game of rules and laws. They were allowed to move to activity #2. Their they would complete a Venn diagram to compare how law and rules are different and how they are similar. 
 On the opposite side of this page they would then explain why is it important to have laws. This was my favorite part of the assignment because it made them think deep and picture in their heads how that would be. I would hear really good discussion between partners sharing how crazy it would be without laws and how unsafe they would be. After that they topped it off with a nice illustration of a law in their community.
 Now, let me give you a fair warning it dose not fail to happen every year. Your kiddos will start sharing about their parents being pulled over, of how they got a ticket in great detail. What can I saw they are pulling from their previous knowledge to make new connections in school!!!! LOL!!!! If you would like to use this in your class you can grab one at my TPT store in both English and Spanish. 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reglas-y-Leyes-Rules-and-Laws-3000727

Thank you and have a blessed day! 

August 20, 2017

Using Table covers in the classroom


Tips and Tricks for the classroom using table covers


What is a new school year without stopping at Wal-mart for something? The other day I was shopping and I walked by the party decor area. Lets just say it should be called the teacher decor area. Everything in that aisle can be used in a classroom. But out of all the things one got my attention. The reversible table cover in the new metallic colors.  I found one in a metallic teal that would go perfectly. It only cost about $2.97 each and they are huge 54 in x 84 in. They come in several different colors and are reversible! Here are some ideas of what to do with these table covers.


 
I used some above my classroom door and put border around it. 

 
I also wrapped the edge of my desk to hide things underneath. Ha!! 

You can easily use it as a word wall or bulletin board background.  I also used it to cover my ugly filing cabinet. I will have to take a picture of it to show you! 

Lets me honest teachers table covers are really economical and it looks better than the butcher paper we always use. There are many table colors and designs that would fit perfectly in your classroom. Now off to the party aisles!!!

August 1, 2017

How to organize chromebooks/ iPads in a classroom?

How to organize technology in your classroom

I'm excited to share with you a new way I have decided to organize all my technology this year. I moved campuses this year and I was informed I would have 10 chrome-books for my class. Where do I store them? How do I teach the students to keep it organized? How will I keep all the chargers untangled? What a great problem to have!!!! That is when my plan was born, my chrome-book cart!

List of items needed:
Adhesive cable clips holder 

First you will need to adjust the space between your utility cart to allow more space to put chrome-books or iPads in and out comfortably. I left about 11 inches between the 1st and 2nd shelf. Then I left about 3 inches between the 2nd and 3rd shelf.




Next, I attached my two mesh sorters with black cable ties.


After that, I attached two adhesive cable clips. 


Finally I put a cute useful magnets to remind my students how to login to my class and provided the QR code for Seesaw which we will use often. In the bottom shelf I will put the outlet strip to charge  the chrome-books. 

I'm in love with this cart!! Not only will it be mobile but my students will have a structured routine keeping our chrome-books organized and charged. Not to mention quicker transitions as well! 

Get the labels at the link below for FREE!! 












 

 





June 30, 2017

Seesaw: The Learning Journal

Seesaw: The learning Journal
How to easily integrate technology in an elementary classroom?
Teachers technology is very important to integrate into our classrooms now more than ever. We need to help our students develop 21st century skills by allowing our students to interact and use technology in our classroom at least on a weekly bases. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Nearly 500,000 jobs are projected to be added from 2014 to 2024 in technology alone. So teachers let's prepare our student for the in-demand tech careers. How to do this in an elementary classroom you might ask? Well, I just discovered a program called seesaw which empowers students to document their learning in several different ways. Let me share an example :)
In my dual language classroom we did Science unit about insects. Students investigate and record some of the unique stages that insects undergo during their life cycle. I created a seesaw presentation guide in which students research some provided questions and write their answers. After that they will practice reading their answer in Spanish for their presentation. When they feel ready this is what they do:
I was so graciously granted permission from one of my parents to post their child’s video here to share with you today! She will give you a "student view" and what she does to post her video.




The kids absolutely LOVE doing videos. Even my most shy and timid students feel comfortable doing videos because no one is watching them and they feel in a "safe zone". My parents love it as well. When my students post their work on seesaw my parents get a notification via app, email or SMS. Parents are only notified about their own child's work, and all data is safe and secure.

Here I have also attached great suggestions given by Seesaw of how to use this program in your class!

100 Ways Students use Seesaw


Share writer’s workshop stories with voice recordings
Give a book talk
Record a science experiment & explain
Connect with peers globally
Model and practice digital citizenship
Record thinking to solve a math problem.
Demonstrate a skill
Create a class blog
Document growth over time using multiple formats
Make a scavenger hunt with QR codes
Differentiate instruction for a small group
Empower students to lead conferences
Engage families with insights from the  classroom
Create audio /visual newsletters
Retell a story from a character’s perspective
Document a makerspace project
Reflect during genius hour projects
Practice commenting and giving feedback to peers
Capture stages of projects in art and science
Support oral language development and storytelling
Organize and share digital creations from other apps
Provide choice for students to show what they know
Visit and learn with classrooms around the world via Seesaw Blogs
Empower students to manage workflow independently
Code with Apple's Swift Playgrounds.  Save into Seesaw.
Record and share
reader’s theater
Draw self-portraits,app smash with Chatterpix, and record a goal!
Send a message to  a student who is out sick.
Organize genius hour resource with students. Links, videos,
Model an activity
Create quick screencasts to personalize learning
App smash with Book Creator. Save to Seesaw as video or PDF
Create a class for a school-wide makerspace. Students share
Add a quick note or reminders to families
Make interactive bulletin board w/ QR codes
Encourage student self-reflection through videos
Give students with special needs voice & tools to capture strengths
Create green screen projects with DoInk and post to Seesaw.
App Smash with Tellagami for storytelling or word work.
Share your code.org projects in Seesaw and teach your parents!
Support ELL families and students. Audio record in any language.
Share book trailers created in iMovie.
Record reading fluency.
Students evaluate oral reading.
Share Adobe Spark videos on Seesaw.
Record differentiated spelling words, students listen & rec
Implement in after school clubs to share learning
Share links to resources with students  and parents
Create a class for Read Across America and share favorite books
Encourage collaboration. Show how you worked through a task.
Post an illustration then write and tell about it.
Create talking flashcards
Share links to Google Forms with students and/or parents
Interact with authentic world around you - find 3D shapes
Share an important memo to families!
Capture skills during physical education
Share safe video links with students made using SafeShare.tv
Practice musical instruments.  See growth and progress over time!
Select work from Google drive and share with an audience via Seesaw
Maintain connection to families working overseas or traveling
Record an interview with an expert
Create tutorials with Shadow Puppet EDU videos for  next year
Take a picture of your art and write a haiku poem about it
Encourage students to take over the weekly newsletter
Write notes to your class when you’re at a workshop
AppSmash w/ditty.com
for creative reminders
Invite specials teachers as co-teachers to connect
Use copy-edit tool students complete “exit slips”
Video a difficult concept and make it available for class review
Record oral counting 1:1
Screen-capture Raz-Kids reports and set goals, share with parents
Create skills and view progress over time
Post information for homework and have peers respond
Create “commercials” to promote events at school
Choose “Best work”  Put in a “Best of” folder for reflection
App-smash with Shadow Puppet to create a “Guess My Number”
Share photos or videos with parents by posting to “Everyone”
Create with the suite of built-in drawing tools
Follow Flat Stanley’s adventures over the summer
Capture photos of physical creations & “take them home”
Create a folder just for common websites. Enter links
Create how to videos and print out QR code for the students
Set goals. Update progress every nine weeks. Cheer successes
Share animal research in Doink,to Book Creator  export as video to  Seesaw.
Print  QR codes to do a blended lesson in the classroom.
Showcase student work via Apple TV or SMARTboard
Advertise a book.  Make a commercial and “sell” it to others
Share a class with pen pals. Write, share pictures, and ask questions.
State learning goals with “I can..” and show what you know.
Share special events with families who could not attend
Promote active learning during PD. Create a class and share examples
Create folders to organize work
Send a letter with an interactive QR code that shares Seesaw post
Video record a science experiment in action. Reflect after
Listen to stories from peers around the world via Seesaw Blogs
Read aloud a story and narrate a new ending
Add Seesaw QR codes to books to you can hear peers read them.
Rethink paper/pencil assessments. Encourage multiple formats
Use video to capture communication via sign language
Build, test, redesign. Capture process & reflections
Create narrated digital stories with Shadow Puppet EDU and save