Thursday, December 1, 2011

No English Days

During Christmas vacation, we're going to try No English Days suggested by the authors of via

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bad Mamí

The word ñandu has been on my kids' phonics chart for three years. I just learned today that it's a South American ostrich. Who knew? Not even M's Mexican Spanish teacher so maybe I shouldn't feel bad.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

La araña Pirulina

J recited this poem in front of the school board last year. Solo!

La araña Pirulina
por la pared se subió,
y mi Tia Catalina
con la escoba la barrió.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Girl Scout Patches

L is a Girl Scout Daisy. Some of the fun patches are available in Spanish. Yea! Unfortunately, a couple of them are not translated well. (ie: partido instead of fiesta)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More Bilingual Flip Books

Tia Carrie gave us a set of beautifully illustrated flip books and the Farmer's Market game from The books are written in verse-one side in English and the other side in Spanish.

The website contains free lesson plans in English.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Websites Recommended To Me

I haven't tried these yet. (Or linked them.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Movie

In honor of October, we watched Hocus Pocus for family movie night. We're limiting our English television/movie watching to Sunday evenings.

The children were terrified. J claims he will have nightmares for a month. It doesn't have a Spanish language track, although J and L said they would not watch it again anyway.

Guess I should have checked the review that said it was good for ages 8 and over, before we rented it.

Summer's Over!

Although it's 100 degrees today, summer's over. School's started, Labor Day has come and gone, as has the autumnal equinox. I guess it's time to get back to blogging. I now have 3 children in 2 different Spanish programs so I should have plenty to write about, right? It's just making the time...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Free Stuff

Muchas gracias to Freely Educate for the heads-up about a free lap book plan on CurrClick. (Unfamilar with lap books? Start here. Of course, Amazon has a book.)

I'd never visited CurrClick. It's an on-line store for curricula and classes. I enjoyed poking around. Searching for "Spanish" resulted in over 400 hits. Searching for "free" resulted in over 4000 hits. When I searched for "free Spanish," I found 92 hits. I down-loaded all the ones that might be relevant and were free. Most of the hits weren't actually free, but many were less than $5.

Visit CurrClick to get the freebies but here are the originating websites of some of the docs I plan to use with J, L, and M:

Flip Flop Learning - Señora Gosé's on-line store includes fun-looking products like flip-books (I loved those as a kid), inexpensive bingo games, and iPhone aps. She also has tips and games.

Some great flashcards come from the Easter Wind Academy blog.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Live Mocha Take 2

I still like Live Mocha (original short posts here and here), but I'm reevaluating. (Here's a review from Benny at Fluent in 3 Months.)

The best language learning tool is one that is actually used. I have to confess that as appealing as Live Mocha might seem to me, I haven't maintained long-term use. I like the instant feedback and the ability to chat with a native anytime, but again, if I'm not actually using it regularly, it's not going to help much.

And today, while reviewing some previous lessons, I was a bit irritated by the fact that the given sentences could be represented by multiple pictures.

At the same time, I am reviewing sentences without having to find them myself or make my own SRS.

I've never used Rosetta Stone (Amazon link) past the free demos, but the Live Mocha courses remind me of Rosetta Stone (website).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jo Gusman

I was an ESL/EFL teacher for a couple of years and in an effort to prep for the summer, I've been reviewing some of my old resources.

In 1998, I attended a workshop presented by Jo Gusman. I still have the 158-page handbook that accompanied the workshop. It's full of references to Stephen Krashen and graphic organizers, two of my educational favorites.

According to her website, Ms. Gusman is still  providing professional development based on brain research.

Here's some ideas I might use from the handbook:
  • various kinds of bingo:
  1. ABC
  2. 123
  3. Body
  4. Verb
  • language learners club
  • make bilingual movies (ie: Welcome to School)
  • flip book (One side is "facts," the other side is "feelings.)"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Adults Can Learn Language, Too!

Received this from Brip Blap via email today. It's by an adult who has not been successful at learning languages.

Why should we care what he has to say? Here's the take-away for me: Adults learn second languages all the time. Jobs and lovers are specific motivators mentioned in the article. With a compelling reason, I, too, can learn Spanish.

The author also says that it's easier to pick up a language when immersed. Again the take-away: The more I expose myself to the target language, the more I will learn.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Free Animated Books

ETA 4/29/2011: Last time I checked, the Spanish books were gone. :(

The mighty books jr site is so exciting I had to post after my long hiatus. I found the password for a year's
worth of free books on this Wentz Educational Services blog.

Most of the books are in English, but there are 13 books and 3 songs in Spanish. 11 of them even have lesson plans!

These are incredible books! Try them!