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.

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 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.

Thank you and have a blessed day!