Teaching in Spanglish

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanskgiving =)

I'm on a roll with a second post in November... say what?!? Lol.
Happy belated Thanksgiving Bloggy Friends! I hope your Thanksgiving was Fantabulous... more than likely, you all are working off the extra pounds by doing some Black Friday shopping for yourselves, the family, and the non-related little ones. I'm sure the deals are amazing, but I value my life waaaay too much to risk getting trampled by all those crazy deal hunters.... call me crazy but I rather pay full price. =)

Top 10 Things I'm Thankful for this year...

10. My alarm clock: God only knows how hard it is for me to wake up in the morning.
9. My neighborhood Dunkin Donuts: I go there so often that when I pull up, the guy pretty much says my order before I do and I’m outta there in NO TIME.

8. Starbucks: even though they require more of my bucks, their hot latte’s are incredible and always at the perfect temperature!

7. My Pathfinder: OK, so it finds more potholes than actual paths, but it gets me to work and right back home AND keeps my bottom warm in the brutal cold.

6. Facebook: It keeps me in contact with the people that actually matter in my life, aside from my immediate family.

5. My Dog: her looks alone make people weary and I know that as long as she’s around, not only will I be “safe” but also, there will never be any leftovers.

4. My job: My coworkers continue to be amazing and my students are incredible this year… except for one or two. Lol.

3. For old and new friends both online and offline: Let's face it, as teachers we are SUPER busy and it's nice that there are people that help you stay grounded and keep you from losing your mind half of the time... it's also nice knowing that I'm not the only one going through those things. Thank you Blog friends for helping keep the sanity under control. =)

2. My family: They support my decisions and I love them for it.

1. My Incredible Little Boy: he’s makes me laugh, he’s smart, he’s talented… he’s me in a nutshell. lol.

OK, enough yapping and onto my original reason for this post...

Every month we have family projects. Our project for November was our Turkeys in Disguise Family Project. Have you had your students and their families disguise paper turkeys before? The results are AMAZING!

I usually kick off the project by reading the following book:

It's about a Turkey that knows he'll probably be eaten for Thanksgiving so he decides to disguise himself as other farm animals. It's such a CUTE book!

Then, We send home a family letter pleading to help us save the turkeys (along with the turkey template):

And TADA!!!!!!! You get the most incredible results! Some are better than others... can you figure out what they are? My favorite is the very last one! Lol.

Did you guess the last one? Lol. It's Psy... the Singer and creator of Gangnam Style!

Good Kids + Good Parents + Good Teacher = Good Combo =)

Monday, November 12, 2012

A 2-Month No Show =(

Anyone out there still reading this? Anyone?! Lol. This year I'm not only teaching a Bilingual Classroom, I'm also teaching a 1st/2nd split classroom and it's been the CRAZIEST roller coaster ride ever! It really feels like I'm teaching a group of K-3 because these kiddo's are all over the place; talk about the pressure being on! Anywho, I'm still alive and even more MIA than usual; and although I have not blogged in a while, I have taken many pics for all the future posts I'm planning to write and am looking forward to giving you guys a little inside peeks to the last couple of months school. =)

Let's get this ball rollin'... Was at the Target dollar section a couple of months back and found this:
In case you're wondering what it is, I believe it's an ice cube tray. Being a hoarder teacher I thought, "this is pretty cool! The kids can sort; add; subtract; etc." and since it came in various colors (pink, blue, green, and purple), I bought one of each. Fast forward a couple of months, they were still in my closet... with the tags on! Hmm... what happened to all the fun activities I had planned in my head when I first saw it? I don't know, but apparently they were hibernating along with all the other stuff I bought for my classroom that day! Apparently, that same day I also bought this:

I'm thinking that the theory behind my thinking was that I could figure out a way for my students to use this simultaneously as a math activity. (Don't you think "math" when you see this?!) In case you were wondering what it is, it's table scatter from the $2.50 section of the Dollar Spot. ;)
So, on with my story.... I somehow convince my coworker and work-bestie to buy the same stuff (lol); she asked me the other day, "so what was your plan for this?!" and proceeds to show me the above items.... my plan, Ladies and Gentlemen? Well, my plan was a subtraction game with a 20 sided dice (and as I'm typing this It came to me that I could have done addition as well, duh! Lol.) Simple enough, right?

Since the tray has 21 spaces you start of with 21... you throw the 20 sided dice. Then fill the ice cube tray with the amount of table scatter indicated on the dice (that's the number you're subtracting from 21). The amount of spaces not filled would be the difference. I hope that makes sense.
I tried it out with two of my second graders they loved it; the only problem was that I didn't have a worksheet to match so there could be some sort of student accountability, sooo.... as you may have guessed.... I created one. (Now I'm thinking I should make an addition one for my Firsties.)

Click HERE to get a copy of 21 Squares Subtraction in Spanish


Click HERE to get a copy of 21 Squares Subtraction in English

The best part about it is that the table scatter changes year round to match the holidays or season, so the "oooo la la" factor will always be there because the fun stuff (manipulatives) are ever changing. =)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Interactive Science Journals

Gotta jump back into the swing of things... striking is physically and mentally more exhausting than teaching. As of today, there is a tentative agreement and hopefully we'll be back in our classrooms by Monday (fingers crossed!).

OK, back to the original programming...

About a year ago, I came across Melissa's Blog and read about her interactive science journals; now, this is something that I had done while teaching 3rd grade, but hadn't thought about doing it in First grade 'til I read her post on how she does it in her classroom and thought it was the cutest idea ever!
Basically students personalize their science notebooks with all things Science on the outside; on the inside they write their notes on one side of the page and glue any artifacts on the opposite side.

So I decided to try it with my students and here are the results...

How cute are these?!

The one thing I forgot to take a picture of? The inside! Lol. Maybe, I'll save that for a future post. ;)


Here is a copy of the letter we sent to our parents. I can't take full credit for this as I'm pretty sure I found it somewhere in Bloggyland first and then modified it to meet my needs. If you read this letter and recognize it as yours (before all the modifications), please let me know. I will link you as the original source... I don't want you to beat me up! Lol.

Click HERE to get a copy of my parent letter!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Strike One!

Did you hear the news? Chicago Public School teachers are on S-T-R-I-K-E. It's a shame too because students need to be in school!
Can you believe that as we're picketing a mom says that we're ruining her vacation time?! The NERVE!!! I cannot begin to tell you all how FURIOUS I became, so much so that I grabbed a marker, flipped her the bird my strike sign over and wrote the following in my third language (sarcasm): "Babysitters" on Strike! (See below)
If that's all I am to you, fine... either way, I'm on strike!

On a happier note, here are my two babies showing support...

My Son

My Dog

BY THE WAY: I noticed my grammatical errors. I would make this sign correctly, but 1) we are on strike, we are in the middle of a recession, AND ink is expensive and 2) you guys probably didn't notice. Lol.

Wear RED this week to show your support for all Chicago Public School teachers!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer Lovin'

Hi, Guys! Three months of absolute summer bliss have gone by without me updating my blog once! What kind of a blogger am I?! Obviously, not a very good one =(. Now that I've successfully made it through the 3rd week of school, I thought I'd FINALLY dust off the Mac Book Pro and get back into the swing of all Bloggy related things. =)

Some changes have occurred since my last post:

1) One of my First Grade Team Members was not renewed for this school year (we are ALL heart broken!) =( [on a positive note, she is now teaching 2nd grade else where!)
2) I now teach a 1st and 2nd Multiage Classroom (Concern: they are all over the place academically.... I need HELP!)
3) We got a new P.E. Teacher and he is Smokin' HOT. =) (Yummy! Note to self: We see with our eyes, not with our hands (or lips). Lol).

On a positive note, I don't think I've enjoyed summer this much since I was a child! I'm not your get your "get your hair wet in the pool" kinda girl, but I realized something new.... in order for you to enjoy yourself, getting your hair wet is a MUST! Lol.

Summer Lovin': My Top 10

1: Teaching my son how to swim!!!

2: Not doing 1 single thing that was work related

3: Turning 29!

4. Finally finding a good recipe for lemon cupcakes!

5. Going to the "I Teach First!" conference (National First Grade Teachers Conference) here in Chicago!

6. Reading the 50 Shades Trilogy and falling in love with a Character that I would probably DESPISE in real life. Lol.

7. Getting a Hoola Hoop as a B-Day present and learning how to hoola hoop all over again! =)

8. Buying a bathing suit that made my boobs look good (after nursing my son as long as I did [2.5 years!] my girlies aren't where they're supposed to be [the bathing suit works wonders!]).

9. Recovering from my Facebook Addiction!

10. The fact that my Pitty survived a heat stroke after being forgotten outside during the heat wave by my dear husband! I almost killed him!

Do you have a Top 10 Things of Summer List? Please share!

As you may have guessed, since I didn't update my blog, I also did not check my emails; when I finally did, however, I was pleasantly surprised to be given the
Award by TWO AMAZING individuals: Amanda Nehring over at Multilingual Multiage and Jessica Hubble over at Glitzy in 1st Grade
The Rules for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you - Thank you Amanda and Jessica! You Ladies R-O-C-K!
2. Include a link to their site - 10-4!
3. Include the award image in your post - YOU GOT IT!
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself - They are under the rules... scroll down. =)
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award - Scroll down a little more (get your body going on the dance floor... )
6. When nominating, include a link to their site - Yes, mam!
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated - "you are the next contestant on the Price is Right!"

My 7 Random Facts go a little something like this:

1) I love to bake! I bake for fun and only do it when I want to relax.

Here are some Blueberry Crumb MuffinsPhotobucket
Banana Bread Straight Outta the Oven
Rhubarb Pie with rhubarb straight from my sisters garden!
2) I can make a kick ass Flan... holla! =)
3) I was on the Bozo Show when I was in 4th Grade!
4) I have a 5 year old son that is fascinated with the word "vagina"! (Hey, the rules said "RANDOM")
5) I can't seem to avoid pot holes or speed bumps in this lovely city I call "HOME"
6) I own a lawn mower, but don't know how to use it so I shamelessly pay a landscaper to mow my lawn for me.
7) I am a bilingual teacher in Chicago and yet, I'm embarrassed to say the only Spanish my son knows he learned from Diego and Dora. =(

Moving on to Rule Number 5: And the Nominees are (drumroll, please).....
1. Alexis @ 1st Grade Dual Language Diva
2. Amanda @ One Extra Degree
3. Mynda @ B is for Bilingual
4. Christie @ First Grade Fever
5. Melissa @ Learning Start Here
6. Sandra @ Sweet Times in First
7. Linsay @ First Grade With a Twist
8. Michele @ Multiage Moments
9. Tati @ Wanna Jugar with Migo?
10. Karen @ Teaching & Learning in Spanish
11. Ms. Zamorano @ Ms. Zamorano's Spanglish Adventures
12. Mrs. Williamsn @ Welcome to Room 36
13. Susana @ Fun-Key Dual Language for First Grade
14.Melissa @ The Enlightened Elephant
15. Isabel @ Lapicero Magico

Alright Ladies start running your engines because finding new bloggers is
H-A-R-D (I posted bloggers that were new to ME!) =) Have fun with it

I think I've caught you up on my life these past three months! Thank you for being so patient with me!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Number Grid Tetris =)

What a busy busy week! The end is oh so near.... I can't wait! I'm so sad. ; )
I've been trying to crunch every bit of knowledge possible into their little brains! Everyone is D-R-A-I-N-E-D! Especially me! The only thing they have to worry about is figuring out who to play with (that AND the homework packet I'll be sending with them over Summer Break! {Insert evil laugh here} Lol.) While, I have a million things to do and worry about. Oh, how I wish I were 6 again....
*sigh* =)

OK, back to reality AND the original reason for this post....

If you all teach EDM you know that the number grid is something that is used ALL THE TIME! We just covered lesson 9.something and it talked about the patterns of the number grid. Well, while browsing through the Really Good Stuff catalog, I came across the 100 Grid Ordering Cards and, although I really considered making the purchase, I decided to make my own. =)
In fact, I made a whole 40 page packet (20 pages worth of game cards and the other 20 are the game cards with answers for self assessment) dedicated entirely to the patterns of the Number Grid... and named it after my first thought when I saw it: Number Grid Tetris!
My students L-O-V-E it! I swear it keeps them nice and quiet for a long time (especially when they are racing against the minute timer).
I'm still debating whether I should put the document on Teachers Pay Teachers; I guess it'll have to be up to you all to decide if that is something you'd be willing to purchase.
In the mean time, here's a small sample for you to try out in your own classrooms. If you like what you see, leave a comment... it'll help with the decision making process. =)

Click on the Document Below to
Download the Number Grid Tetris Sample


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Speaking in Tongues Linky Party!

Hello, again, Damas y Caballeros! I know what you’re thinking, “Two posts in 24 hours?! She must be ill.” Lol. OK, so it may not be that exact thought, but I’m sure you are as surprised as me! =)

What brings me to this week’s second post? Well, Candis at I Teach Dual Language has an interesting Linky Party going on and I am honored to be part of it. =)

As part of this Linky Party I have been asked to share a brief description of what a day in my bilingual classroom is like. Well...

... it goes a little something like this:

My instruction is about 90% in Spanish and 10% English (with that percentage decreasing in Spanish and increasing in English as students go on to other grades). I’ll be honest, verbally I consider my classroom more like 50/50, but when it comes to the actual instructional time, it’s 90/10. =)

Here’s what my classroom looks like on a daily basis:

8:45-9:00- Universal Breakfast (breakfast is provided for FREE to all students that would like one.)

9:00-9:10: Math --> Problema del Dia and MClass Practice (Spanish)
During this time students must solve a math word problem and solve 10 operational problems in 10 minutes. The problem of the day is in spanish; I cut it, they glue it on the left page in their Morning Math Notebooks and the operational problems they write on the right page. When they are done, we collect notebooks (so they don't change their answers) and go through the problems together.

9:10-9:20: Morning Meeting (Spanglish [I know it’s not an actual language but I have to sneak English in every chance I can]) We cover calendar, weather, days in school, convert the days in school to dollars and cents. (i.e., if it's day 147, we would have $1.47 in money).

9:20-10:00: Math Lesson, Student Practice; Math Centers (Spanish)
If it's something brand new, we take notes in Math Notebooks (different than Morning Math notebooks). I teach the lesson, they solve a few problems in EDM Math Journals and complete 1 center a day.

10:00-10:40: ESL (English)
We use the program Moving into English; however, I've veered away from the program and started teaching my students word families and Dolch Words. (Basically, lots of English phonics!) Why? Well, I taught 3rd grade bilingual for 3 years; I know what's expected of them in 3rd grade, so teaching them how to read in English is my way of helping them reach that 3rd grade goal.

10:40-11:00 Lunch

11:00-12:10 Reader’s Workshop (Spanish)
Read aloud (even if book is in English, I translate it to their Native Language), Mini Lesson w/ Note taking if it's a new Focus Skill, 2 centers/guided reading groups per day.

12:10-12:45 (MTWF only) PREP (English)
35 minute preps 4 times a week!!!! =(

12:45-1:45: Writer’s Workshop (Spanish)
We use Lucy Calkins, but I wanted them to be more creative than Just a "Small Moment" so I also include a weekly option of writing with a Prompt.

1:45-2:30: Science or Social Studies (Spanish)
FOSS Science with my own Spin (which is: don't follow the guide and explore the kit with students! Lol)
We don't have a Social Studies Program, but we do follow the Hallmark Calendar of "holidays" and celebrate those... including Administrative Assistants Day! Lol.

2:30- Dismissal

I hope that this short post gives you an quick idea of what my day in a Spanglish Classroom is like ;)
I'll try to update this post with pictures of some of the activities in the near future!

Are you willing to share how you teach in your Bilingual/Dual Language classroom? Link up with Candis @ I Teach Dual Language for a chance to win a DVD of Speaking in Tongues (a documentary on Dual Language Education)!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Scholastic Dollar Deals

I always tend to JUST miss the Scholastic Dollar Deals and always end up kicking myself for "snoozing". Well, not this time! It's back and will be up and running til May 18th! I got such amazing goodies... I kid you not, about 115 eBooks!!! I know... I went a little crazy, BUT I used a coupon code that seems to be valid until today and saved 50%! I KNOW! =) Si hacen la suma, I spent $57 (made me feel less guilty!). So, Ladies and Gents, head on over to the Scholastic Teacher Express store and save 50% with code TEACHER50 (it expired on the 13th [yesterday] but I was able to use it today without a problem).

Click the image below to head straight there! =)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Funny Convos

Yikes! MIA yet again. So much to do, yet we have so little time. EOY testing is here! So far, my kids ROCK! =) I'm super excited for the end result; my only concern is when they have to count to 118 in a minute! Yes... count to 118 in one minute... un minuto.... 60 seconds! What?! How is that useful as an adult? I'm 28 and have NEVER had the need to count to 118 in one minute in my life! My poor firsties!

Moving on...
Kids are soooooo funny! I've had so many funny conversations with my students since the last post that I decided to share some with you. They may not make you laugh out loud, but I'm sure you'll crack a smile upon reading. =)

Conversation #1
Student: Ms. M, Como se llama ese animal que tiene boca grande y ojos azules?
Me: Cual animal, mi amor?
Student: Ese animal que tiene los ojos grandes y azules!
Me: Estas hablando de un Alaskan Husky? (That's the only animal I know with blue eyes)
Student: Creo que si
(Walks off and seconds later runs back)
Student: Ya recorde! Estaba hablando del Chupacabra!

LOL!!! What?! Does it really have blue eyes?! I would have NEVER guessed!

Convo #2
Student: Ms. M, puedo tomar agua?
Me: Ahorita no, pero cuando termines tu trabajo si podras.
Student: Es que... I have meatballs in my throat.
Me: (looking puzzled) OK, ve a beber un poco de agua.
(she gets her drink and comes back)
Student: Todavia tengo meatballs.
Me: Se me hace extraño que tengas albondigas en la garganta, ya que almorzaste un sandwich de jamon.
Student: (looking puzzled) Yo no dije que tenia albondigas, yo dije meatballs. Usted sabe... son igual que hippos (hippos in English)
Me: (even more confused) Hippos?! Tienes hipopótamos en la garganta?
Student: NO.... Usted sabe maestra... hippos!
(runs off to her table and I hear her ask, "como se dice 'I have the hippos?' en español". She apparently got her answer and comes back)
Student: Tengo hipo!
Me: OH!!! (laughing) Mi amor, hipo no se dice "hippos" ni "meatballs" en Ingles! Se dice "hiccups".

LOL!! She was so determined to explain this to me... I'm proud that she didn't give up. =) I gave her a sticker for her determination and allowed her to drink enough water to get those darned meatball hippos out of her throat. ;)

Convo #3 (more like a story w/ a convo)

We had a group of High School students come to our school through a program called Junior Achievement. They spend half a day teaching students different things that deal with the economy and the world around them. The young ladies that visited my classroom were teaching my Kiddos about Needs and Wants, Jobs, and communities. Well, in one of the lessons, they were showing my little ones pictures of different jobs and were asking what the job was and what the person that worked that job did; they showed them a picture of a teacher... here is how it went:

JA: Quien me puede decir cual es este trabajo?
Students (in unison): Una maestra!
JA: Muy bien. Es una maestra. Quien me puede decir que es lo que hace una maestra?
(I kid you not, 25 out of 27 shot up in the air! I was taken aback, then it occurred to me....)
ME: Damas y caballeros, APARTE de regañarlos.... que es lo que hace una maestra???
(20 out of those 25 hands came back down!!!)

I do it cuz I love them. =)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pattern Block Math Center, Anyone? =)

Buenas tardes, Damas y Caballeros! Lol. That's how I greet my little ones. I also tell them that men should be chivalrous at all times by always allowing ladies to go first. They had a bit of a problem with that idea at the beginning of the year, but now they are so used to it that they say, "Damas primero." as they direct them in the door. Lol. Their wives will thank me one day. =)

Back to business...
Sometime last week, I was looking for math activities in Bloggyland that I could incorporate into the Everyday Math Curriculum. We were on unit 7 which covers polygons and exploring patterns using pattern blocks. Many of the activities in the program involved the use of pattern blocks, but once the lesson was over that was it... it was over. I really wanted to find something that would allow their creative juices to flow and thought to myself "why not add these to a math center?" I know what you're thinking, "She barely came up with that NOW?!" Lol. You don't understand, this is my first year in first grade. Previously, I taught 3rd grade for 3 years and 4th grade for a few months before that. We didn't do math centers/stations in 3rd grade... it was all ISAT, ISAT, ISAT... DRILL, DRILL, DRILL.... Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice. Lol. Centers for me are NEW.
Anywho, I did my usual "blog stalking" "nightly research" and came across this cool pattern block activity from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten. She shrunk some pattern block designs that she had come across previously and created a response worksheet to go along with it so that students had work to show, rather than just copy the design. When I saw her post I SCREAMED WITH DELIGHT thought, "Lucky me!" The only problem was.... have you guessed yet?... that it was in English. Lol. So, I took it upon myself to translate it AND, with her permission, post it to share with you all. =)

Click on the Document Below to Download the Pattern Block Activity Sheet in SPanish

Click the image below to get the patterns as well as the Original English Version of this activity from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten =)