Celebrating with Mrs. Nicolau!

Hello all! Today is all about CELEBRATION!! I am celebrating with my friend Mrs. Nicolau over at Brinca into Bilingual because she just reached a huge and important milestone! And of course that means YOU get to participate in some amazing giveaways! How fun is that!?
You could win two RAE DUNN MUGS, a Target gift card and some very awesome bundles with BILINGUAL PRODUCTS (including my brand new Shapes in Spanish product)!!! 

So what are you waiting for?!?! Go enter NOW!! Giveaway ends on Tuesday.

Click HERE to visit Mrs. Nicolau.

Dragones y tacos - Vamos a leer!




Let me share with you this super funny book your kids are going to love! I will use it during Valentine's day week to talk about things we love... but you can pretty much use it any time of the year. 
Make sure to scroll down all the way to the bottom to get your FREEBIE and to enter for a chance to win a copy of the book!!!

This book is just one of my favorites! I like how detailed the illustrations are. They will give me a chance to talk to my students about paying attention to details and how illustrations can also tell us part of the story.

After reading this book, we will be focusing on writing how to make tacos for dragons.
I always like to start out small with a graphic organizer. I've found that my students need me to provide some sort of structure before they become independent writers.

We will start out by writing simple sentences for the ingredients and 3 easy steps...

Then we will put them together here...

Would you like to win a copy of this book? Make sure to enter my giveaway below!
You can find this book on Amazon HERE.


a Rafflecopter giveaway Would you like to grab these activities to use in your classroom? Click HERE... they're FREE!
Make sure to follow me to be notified of my next "Vamos a leer" giveaway and freebie! 

100 Days of School

When is your 100th day of school? Ours is getting close. I still can't believe we have been in school for 100 days. What is it about the second half of school that flies by? Before we know it we will be prepping for Read Across America, Mother's Day and the end of the school year. 

Let me share with you some of the things I will be doing to celebrate that day and get my kiddos excited...

We will be creating this 100 days hat...every year I have done a necklace but this year we are trying a hat to change things up... you just glue it to a sentence strip and done!


Of course every celebration is a good opportunity to practice!



This is one of my favorite games to do on this day! Students roll the dice and it will tell them which color to use for their fish...as they color they will tally each color.



We will also be doing this gum ball machine to practice counting to 100... I really REALLY recommend having students switch color every 10 pieces of candy... BELIEVE ME it will save you many headaches... 

I can't wait to surprise my students with this snack... I took this picture last year (I know it's not the best but you get the idea) and my students LOVED it... 
Want the tags in Spanish? Click HERE for your FREEBIE. 



Check out my 100 Days of school in Spanish HERE.

3 things I will not do as a pregnant teacher


Pregnancy has gotten way better now that I'm not in the first trimester anymore. First trimester was just terrible!
As I look ahead and think of the back to school season I'm setting 3 goals for myself...focusing more on things I am NOT going to do while I'm a pregnant teacher and I encourage you to do the same if you're also teaching and pregnant...

1. I will not put myself last
Putting ourselves last if part of our nature as teachers. We always think of everybody else's needs and put them before ours. This year I'm determined to find the selfish person in me and think of myself a little more often. I will sit down when I need to, have a snack if I'm hungry and slow down if my body is telling me to do so. I'm not saying I will not do my best to teach my students but this year I'm going to take really good care of my students AND myself.

2. I won't hesitate to say no
This one is the hardest for me. I like volunteering. I love being the one to help in committees and run the extra mile, specially when I see no one else is stepping up to do it. But this year will be a little different. This year I will slow down and prioritize. I will understand I do not need to be part of every committee, project and special event that my school does. It's ok to say no once in a while.

3. I won't be afraid to ask for help 
The other day while I was setting up my classroom I had to move a very heavy box to the other corner of my room. I tried picking it up and knew I could do it but it was probably more than I should be lifting. I remembered one of my colleagues had very kindly offered to help me out with anything when he found out I was pregnant. So I thought to myself...why not? I called him and he was there right away and willing to help with anything. Colleagues are there to help. If you need to go to the restroom, go knock on your neighbor's door, call the office. Even if you need to go six times a day trust me, they WILL understand.

Can you think of any other goals you set for yourself when you were pregnant? I would love to hear them!  

First Week Fun

We survived the first week...let me rephrase that...I survived the first week! Students seemed to enjoy it very much.

We have been going over our rituals and routines and they seem to be getting better at it, as long as we keep practicing they will become masters in no time. What seemed hard to accomplish on the first day was  a piece of cake by Friday!

We started our week by reading The Kissing Hand - Un beso en mi mano. This is one of the sweetest read alouds out there. Students can connect to it right away and it gets them talking about their feelings...great way to start getting to know each other!
Then we went over crayon sharing expectations and did our first coloring activity of the year! I plan on saving these to put in their portfolios at the end of the year. I know parents will love to see how their kids coloring has changed.
You can grab this FREEBIE at the end of the post :)

We also practiced using scissors and glue...what a challenge! If you are about to take on this challenge let me just tell you how important it is to talk about your expectations over and over and over...and over. Discuss how to hold the glue, how to open it, close it, where to put it away. There are many resources out there to teach students to use glue but we used this freebie by Tracie Penn
Later in the week we began learning all about number 1. It was great to see that most of my kiddos were ready to learn and it seemed like a piece of cake! I always enjoy using these sheets to review numbers because I can also teach my "English only" students words in Spanish like perro and estrella. 
You can find "Los NĂºmeros" practice sheets HERE.

Click HERE if you would like to download a copy of "Un beso en mi mano" FREEBIE.

It certainly looks like it's going to be a wonderful year! How's your school year going?

Letter Oo

Back to school is just around the corner for me which means prep, prep and more prep! It's a lot of work but it's one of my favorite times of the year. Sparkling clean classrooms, brand new borders, fresh laminating aaaah!! But when your room is ready for those little ones to come in you can't forget to be ready with quality work as well, which is exactly what I've been working on this week. I've been preparing all the activities and planning my lessons for the first weeks of school.

During the second (or third) week of school I will be introducing my little ones to the vowels. I know these activities will be fun and engaging and I'm super excited to use them one more time with a new group of kids!

Let me show you what I've prepped for so far...
I like having a mini word wall (separate from the one we use for sight words) to focus on the letter we are learning. I've noticed how much more vocabulary my kids learn. I change it every week and my kids love referring back to it!
I always make sure my students have plenty of opportunities to learn how to trace and write each letter. 

Just as important as tracing letters correctly, I give the kids plenty of activities to recognize the beginning sounds. I usually use this coloring activity at the beginning when I first introduce the letter since it's quick and easy. 
One of my students favorite activities is the mini books we do every week. I have two different versions and I pick a different one every week depending on how much time (and copies/paper) I have for the week.
And sometimes we do an extra activity on Fridays just for fun! This is when I really push my students to get creative!

You can find these activities HERE.

I hope your planning and prep is going great!! 

Please, Mr. Panda - Vamos a leer!

You walk into Barnes & Noble, Target (or anywhere really) and you go straight to the children's books section...trying to find books for your students in Spanish but there's only a few and not really anything you want/need. You glance at the English section and  you wish it was that easy for you to find books! Sound familiar? 

I bet it does if you're a bilingual/ESL/dual-language teacher!
Don't get me wrong. I love teaching in Spanish but all the time I see these amazing ideas on Pinterest using the best books out there and then it hits me... the activity is in English! UGH!!!

Great news is I will be sharing with you some books and ideas that you can use in your Spanish elementary class. Since I will be teaching kindergarten this year I will try to keep my ideas closer to k-2 but maybe someday I'll share some of my ideas for the upper grades :) 

And most importantly! I will most definitively try to give you a link from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Target so you can purchase your book online! Searching will be way easier for you!

Today's book is one I plan to use on the first day (or week) of school. It is one of the best ones I have found to teach my kids about the word PLEASE.

It starts out with this sweet 'grumpy' panda and a box of donuts. He runs into many friends and offers them a donut but all he gets are rude responses and decides not to give them a donut.
Until he finds a cute little friend who says PLEASE! 

This book is simple, to the point and perfect for a back to school manners lesson! Plus the text is in English AND Spanish! 

As I promised, here is a FREEBIE you can use with your kids to go along with this book:) 

Click HERE to download

You can find this book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Have a great school year!!