Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter 2013


Let me begin by apologizing that some accents are missing and the upside down question mark and exclamation point are rightside up throughout this post. I have a new computer and all the codes except for é have apparently changed. I will try to figure out the new codes and fix the errors in this message soon.

We have started 2013 by featuring animals and the weather. We have been singing a very fun past-favorite of the Moms Day Out children, Quién Soy Yo. They listen to an animal sound and then have to guess "Whom am I?" (?Quién Soy Yo?). Then they have to act like that animal by walking like an elephant, scratching like a monkey, singing like a rooster, roaring like a lion, trotting like a horse, etc.

 We are also singing Los Pollitos (hopefully you got to see the little chick finger puppet your child brought home.) In this song, the little pollitos say "pio, pio, pio" when they're hungry (cuando tienen hambre) and when they're cold (cuando tienen frio). The hen (la gallina) looks for corn and wheat then feeds it to the chicks (les da la comida), then offers them her wing as a coat (les presta abrigo). At the end the chicks go to sleep (duermen los pollitos). This song is short and very catchy. I hope that if you play a little your child will sing along; most of the children were singing at least parts of the song by the end of the first day I introduced it.

We will also read Froggy se viste
as we talk about weather and related clothing:

...and feature a few songs about the seasons starting with winter (invierno) and going from there with primavera, verano, otono):

As we transition from animals and weather we will revisit parts of the body with Digo si, digo no

Just to recap and post the songs that many of you said your children were singing throughout December, here are the songs we learned to finish 2012. I mainly use Christmas songs that are culturally significant instead of translations of our Christmas songs, although we did do a Spanish version of Feliz Navidad just because the kids knew feliz from other songs and activities and it's a song many can already sing, so it is fun for all. I use this version, again, because it's all Spanish:

We also did Campana Sobre Campana, ringing bells as we sang. By Christmas break the children would ask for the campanas (bells) using the Spanish word.

Burrito Sabanero is a very catchy tune, and one that many of the children would sing to by Christmas. It's about a child riding a little donkey (burrito) into Bethlehem (Belén) to see Jesus. He says, "if you see me (si me ven), I'm on the way to Bethlehem."

Probably my favorite Spanish Christmas song is called Peces en el Rio. It's about how life probably went on as usual when Jesus was born... Mary was just doing laundry, brushing her hair, just being a mom. But the fish (peces) in the river were swimming wildly because they knew God had come to earth.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Late Fall Update

Your children are such a joy to teach! They are engaged and excited and they remember so much of what we have been practicing in Spanish the past few months. Young minds soak up language so easily. In September we focused mostly on getting-to-know-you vocabulary. In October we moved to school vocabulary. The children learned words like lápiz (LAH-piece) for pencil, papel (pah-PEHL) for paper, and mochila (mow-CHEE-lah) for backpack. We sang a familiar song to many of the children who have done Spanish with me in the past, called Mami, ¿Dónde está?, where I put out a picture of a table (mesa), a lamp (lámpara), a table (mesa), and a bed (cama), and then hide a small picture of another object under one of those. In the past we have sung this song as we look for a shoe (zapato) or coat (abrigo). Since we are studying school-related objects, we looked for a backpack (mochila):

Mami, ¿dónde está mi mochila? (sing twice)
¿Debajo de la mesa?
¿Debajo de la lámpara?
¿Debajo de la mesa?
¿Debajo de la cama?

After each question, we pick up the corresponding object and the children sing either "no, no, no" if the mochila is not there or "sí, sí, sí" if it is. See if your child can sing this song. It's a catchy phrase that is easy to learn, especially with the number of times we have sung it lately!

During our school unit some of the children asked if they could learn the Spanish alphabet. I brought in the alphabet and had them find the letters that are different than ours (ch, ll, rr, ñ). We categorized the letters according to their sounds, then we sang a song about a fly (una mosca) sitting on a wall (parada en la pared) to practice the vowel sounds. After the first round, you replace all vowel sounds with just one. (The nice thing about Spanish vowels is that they always sound the same; no short or long sounds. Reading Spanish is much easier than reading English!) Anyway, here is one version of that song:

To finish out our school-related work, we will learn some songs about the days of the week.
The children under 3 mostly practice the commands related to each day of the week, like jumping on one foot (salto en un pie), clapping (aplaudo con las manos), and raising our arms (levanto los dos brazos).
Click here to listen to another song that walks through the days of the week. We read this book along with that song:

By mid-November we will begin learning some Christmas songs! There are so many beautiful and meaningful traditional Christmas songs in Spanish speaking countries that I love sharing with the children.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall 2012 Spanish

¡Hola! We are off to a fabulous start in Spanish this year. The children are eager to learn and many are starting their fourth year of Spanish at Calvary. It is such fun to watch them sing along and interact in Spanish. I have a few new puppets this year and LOTS of new songs, so it should be very fun!

We are starting the year with lots of introductions. Through songs, books and puppets, the children are learning how to ask and answer questions that help them get to know a person. We have a few hello songs this year, like:
Hola, amigo (From the Dr. Jean en Español CD)

Hola, Hola, Hola:

We have also done commands like stand up (levántate: "lay VAHN tah tay"), sit down (siéntate: "see IN tah tay"), turn around (da la vuelta: "dah la VWEL tah"), dance (baila: "BYE lah"), hands up (manos arriba: "ah REE bah"), hands down (manos abajo: "MAH nohs ah BAH ho), hands in front (manos adelante: "MAH nohs ah day LAHN tay"); hands behind (manos atrás: "MAH nohs ah TRAHS") hands on your nose (manos en la naríz: "MAH nohs in lah nah REES"), open your eyes (abre los ojos: "AH bray lohs OH hohs"), close your eyes (cierra los ojos: see AIR rah lohs OH hohs), stick out your tongue (saca la lengua: "SAH kah lah LIN gwah").

To focus on introductions, the children have learned a song called Yo me llamo. In this, they learn how to say My name is (Yo me llamo: "Yo may YAH moh"), and then ask What is your name? (¿Cómo te llamas tú?: "KOH moe tay YAH mahs too?" This song is on the Baile y Canto CD below.

Here's a link to the song:

Here's a link to the song:

Soon I will be teaching them a children's game, sort of like hot potato" to talk about their age. The important phrases are How old are you (¿Cuántos años tienes?= "KWAHN tohs AHN yohs TYEN ays?") and I am ___ years old (Tengo ___ años: "TANG oh ___ AHN yohs") The chant is:
Zapatito blanco
Zapatito azul
Dime, ¿Cuántos años tienes tú?
(The child answers with an age, and we count feet as with hot potato.)
If you would like to see video of people playing this game, click here.

We are doing a birthday song, too, to ask/answer when someone's birthday is. The song is based on this exchange: When is your birthday (¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?: "KWAN doh es too coomp lay AHN yose?") My birthday is the ___ of ___. (Mi cumpleaños es el (date) de (month): "Mee coomple AHN yose ehs ehl ___ de ___.")

 Each week I am also including songs and activities that teach words for the body parts, numbers, colors, and names of animals.
Some of those songs are: Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas, Pies (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes)
Quién Soy Yo (From the Muévete CD below)

Los Números

Arriba, Abajo (to teach up, down, in front, behind):

Bailar Rápido, Bailar Tranquilo

We have two goodbye songs we will sing this year:
Adiós amigos (from the Baile y Canto CD below)

Adiós (from the Stanley Lucero CD below)

These are CDs that I will be pulling many songs from this year.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Spanish

Summer Spanish parents! Below you will find links to the music I am using with your children this summer. You can click on the link to hear a sample of the songs or to purchase the CD (or MP3 version in some cases.) I am still figuring out how to link iTunes to my page. Until then, if you prefer to download music through iTunes, you can simply search for the name of the song, artist, and/or album there.

The first CD is one of my favorites for the lyrics and the sound. The songs I use most often are "Hola, Hola, Hola", "Yo Me Llamo", and "Adiós". If I were looking to purchase one CD, this would be my choice:

The Dr. Jean CD has some fun songs on it, and many of the children have probably heard the English equivalent of many of the songs. I don't think you can purchase individual songs for this one, so I have just placed the link to the whole CD. We sing "Hola Amigo" to start each class.

 I use lots of songs from the Whistlefritz albums. We will be using "Las estaciones" from the Cha, Cha, Cha album this summer.

José Luis Orozco is another artist with lots of traditional songs. All of his CDs are useful for learning. I am linking to just one song here, though, because this one is great for getting your mouth used to pronouncing Spanish. I often tell the children that it is easier to pronouce Spanish if you are smiling (a big smile). The song is about a fly that has landed on the wall. The words are: Una mosca parada en la pared, en la pared, en la pared (repeat.) Una mosca, una mosca, una mosca parada en la pared (repeat.) Each time you sing the song, you replace all the vowels with just one vowel, so you get lots of practice making that sound in Spanish.

"Arriba, abajo" is a favorite among the students. They put their hands up, down, in front, or behind as they say those words. It's catchy- a quick and easy song to learn.

Many of you have asked me to work with the students on the seasons. This is a very simple song that goes through the seasons (la primavera, el verano, el otoño, el invierno), then says, "these are the four seasons" (las cuatro estaciones del año éstas son). It is very catchy and easy to learn, and it's also fast, so it is another excellent song to play to warm up your mouth for speaking Spanish. "Invierno" is a word you will be able to pronounce more accurately if you are smiling :)

I use this song as a clean-up song. It's catchy and enough time to clean a room if everyone pitches in! It would be a good one to play around the house when you need to clean up quickly.

Finally, some of you were mentioning how overwhelming it can feel to hear lots of Spanish. This is a book I have used and recommended to others if you want an inexpensive way to practice the basics of Spanish (it's survival Spanish-- not a formal program). I like the book because it gives you strategies on how to listen and communicate with someone who speaks only Spanish.

Thanks for the opportunity to work with your children! It is such fun working with the Immersion kids- they are eager to communicate. I love it!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

February/March: ¿Quién soy yo?

For February and March we have been learning all about animals! I have been working toward introducing a song that became a family favorite as soon as I found it last summer, and when I introduced it last week, I was thrilled to see that the Mother's Day Out kids love it as well. The song is called ¿Quién soy yo? Here's a link to it in Amazon (I am working on linking songs on this blog via iTunes instead of Amazon since many of you use that to download music.)

In this song, the children hear an animal sound and have to guess what animal they hear. Then they are instructed to do an action like that animal would do (for example, they would hear the command "ruje como un león", and have to roar like a lion.) I am using some very fun puppets to help them learn about animal words, actions and sounds in Spanish. We are learning to:

canta como un gallo (sing like a rooster, who says "kikiriki" in Spanish)
haz como una gallina (moove like a chicken)
trota como un caballo (trot like a horse)
salta como una rana (jump like a frog)
camina como un elefante (walk like an elephant)
ráscate como un chango (scratch like a monkey)
ruje como un león (roar like a lion)
vuela como un pájaro (fly like a bird)

Leading up to this, we sang about Noah's ark. I used a song from an obscure CD I picked up a few years ago and I haven't been able to find a link to the song on line. However, if you ask your child to sing the song "Noé hizo el arca", I can nearly guarantee that he or she will start to pretend to use a martillo (hammer) or sierra (saw) and sing most of the song for you. It's catchy and easy to learn. One of the kids' favorites each year I have taught it!

To continue the animal theme, we are singing about a jumpy rabbit (el conejo saltarín). Here's a link to that song:

We will continue with fun barnyard animal songs, including "Vengan a ver mi granja," the traditional "De colores," and "El burro enfermo" (which is a song about donkey who has pain in all parts of his body, so we will get to learn how to say when/where something hurts!) Here are links to those songs:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hace Frío/ Hace Calor

As the weather continues to fluctuate this winter, we have gotten to practice "tengo frío" and "tengo calor" quite a lot! We have added a few vocabulary words that we have been using a lot:
"Me pongo ____" (I put on ____)
"Me quito _____" (I take off ___)
We pretend to put on/take off a hat (la gorra), gloves (los guantes), coat (el abrigo), boots (botas) and scarf (la bufanda). Each week we have been also calling for snow "¡NIEVE!" (knee-AY-vay) but so far the weather has not cooperated. (I am not complaining!)

We have been doing a chant lately and many will students volunteer an answer:

¿Qué tienes, muchachito, tienes frío o calor?
¿Qué tienes, muchachito? Contesta, por favor.

This is asking if a child is cold or hot. He/she is to answer "tengo frío" (TANG-go FREE-oh) or "tengo calor" (TANG-go cah-LORE).

We have also been singing our simple hello song, answering "tengo frío, gracias" when we ask ¿Cómo estás?

I also re-introduced the "Mami, ¿dónde está mi abrigo?" song. We will sing that one often! The children enjoy guessing if a coat is hidden under a lamp, a chair, a table or a bed.
Mami, ¿dónde está mi abrigo? (repeat twice)
¿Debajo de la lámpara? (no, no, no)
¿Debajo de la silla? (no, no, no)
¿Debajo de la mesa? (no, no, no)
¿Debajo de la cama? (sí, sí, sí)

Finally, we spent most of last semester focusing on how to ask and answer questions that contain the word cómo. We are now moving into other question words, starting with ¿dónde? (where). This week we are reading a book about a baby who can't find his pacifier (chupete) and looks all around the house for it. We will work with dónde for the next few weeks, then move to quién
(who). I have a fun new song/game that I am excited to introduce. I know the children will enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Año Nuevo

We are starting off the new year by talking about the changing weather and the clothes we wear when it is cold. For the first week of January we talked about boots (botas= BOW-tahs), a hat (gorra= GORE-dah), coat (abrigo= ah-BREE-go), and we specifically focused on gloves (guantes= GWAN-tays). Your child probably brought home a glove with a little snowflake sticker on it. We talked a little bit about snow (nieve= nee-AY-vay) and did a lot with hace frío (which means it's cold) and tengo frío (which means I'm cold). At this point, I expect most of the children to hear the word frío (FREE-oh) and be able to show me how they feel when it's cold. I expect the same when they hear guantes, gorra, abrigo and botas. In the next few weeks, though, see if your child can name these items of clothing that they wear when it's cold because we will practice them a lot, and for many of the children, this is the third year they have worked with this vocabulary.

For the second week in January we are reading a favorite winter book: Froggy se viste. Here's a link:

Your child probably brought home (or will bring home) a puppet made out of a tongue depressor. We made those to feature the word gorra (hat) and introduce the word for scarf (bufanda= boo-FAHN-dah).

The youngest children are learning to respond to commands. Many of them will now stick out their tongues when they hear saca la lengua (SAH-kah lah LEAN-gwah) and jump when they hear salta (SAHL-tah). Many of them will take dolls and have them jump when they say salta. I pull these words into the older classes too, to review. In these classes we will also be featuring more action words like dance (baila= BUY-lah), stand up (levántate= lay-VAHN-tah-tay), and sit down (siéntate= see-IN-tah-tay).