Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guest Blogger Week: Verbal Production Takes Time and Practice

Today's post was written by a fellow second grade dual language teacher who is always so incredibly generous in swapping ideas with me! Please welcome, Mrs. Beth T.

One thing I have learned about being a teacher of language learners, is that is takes time to produce language.  Just as we have all learned language, or have had the opportunity to witness our own children growing up and first learning to talk, receptive language comes first.  Children learning a second language, have language structure, but need to be supported with their second language.  Many times, I use sentence frames to scaffold their learning.  They need to understand vocabulary and to have time to practice it before using it in more complex setting.  For best success, I usually give them some examples, as I model using the language, using a mentor text as our base.  Then we talk about ideas together as a group.  The students are given some time to think of how they would use the language structures, then, they are given the opportunity to practice with other students.  After more practice and confidence with the new vocabulary and language structures, they are asked to produce it orally or in written form.

Here is a sample of language structures and vocabulary for Cause and Effect:

Written by Beth T.  2nd Grade Dual Language Teacher from Salem, Oregon

Friday, June 29, 2012

Guest Blogger Week: La Bolsa Magica (The Magic Bag)

Jennifer Manriquez, founder of The Bilingual Fun Company, has written a post for us today about a game she calls "La Bolsa Mágica". Sounds like one I am definitely going to have to try!

 La Bolsa Mágica

This is a fun, interactive guessing game that may be easily incorporated into your daily routine or tailor it for specific themes.  The objective of this activity is to encourage language production and vocabulary development.  Kids absolutely love the guessing aspect and the anticipation of seeing what is in the bag.  This activity is easily adapted for either English or Spanish.

1. Find a sparkly holiday gift bag.  The more sparkles, the better!  This will serve as your ‘ bolsa mágica”.
2. Choose a theme for the week, so that children can make connections each day.  For example:  los colores, los números, la comida, los juguetes, etc.
3.  Teach your children the magic words/ Las palabras mágicas.  This is a very important aspect of the activity because it encourages their fluency by repeating it together.  You may invent your own or use:  Abracadabra, patas de cabra, ¿qué hay en la bolsa?…. Dímelo tú!
4.  Then have children help you  throw ‘ la magia’ poof!  
5.  Ask kids to guess what is in the bag.  This is a great opportunity to illicit conversation and fluency.  Make guesses, give clues, descriptions, hints, etc. 
6. Reveal what is in the bag and encourage production by talking about the item, pass item around the room, use it as a writing prompt, make connections using the item, etc.


Ideas for La Bolsa Mágica:

The ideas are endless!  Choose small toys such as cars, doll house figurines, action heroes, bouncy balls, crayons , plastic food or real food items, number flashcards. Tailor it for the holidays with items such as candy canes, ornaments, gingerbread men, snowflakes made of paper, figures from a manger scene, etc.  Have fun and be creative!

Make this a daily activity with your children or students and it will quickly become an anticipated favorite!                                                                               

Contributed by Jennifer Manriquez, founder of The Bilingual Fun Company.  As a bilingual educator of many and a parent of 2 young children who are being raised in a bilingual household, she has created an award winning, nationally recognized language program. The Bilingual Fun Company offers interactive language classes and educational products for young children.
*Join Bilingual Fun on Facebook for tips, lessons, resources and more!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Blogger Week: Spanish Vocabulary Cube

Hello, everyone! I'm Tabitha Carro from FlapJack Educational Resources, and I am very appreciative to Krista for the opportunity to guest blog for her!

In this post, I would like to share a fun activity I did last year with my Spanish immersion students to practice vocabulary in a crafty, hands-on way. Since we were studying 3D objects anyways, I decided to have them make vocabulary cubes. Here's an example:

I found a random template on the internet and printed out enough copies for my students on cardstock. After the students put their cubes together, they were instructed to draw and write the name of an object in Spanish inside each face of the cube for the following categories:

1) A food item
2) A family member (prima, nieto, etc.)
3) A verb
4) An adjective
5) A body part
6) A noun

I asked them to try to think of words that maybe they hadn't learned yet in Spanish. After they completed the drawings and labels, they split up into groups of three. They took turns tossing each others' cubes and using the object they landed on in a sentence (If you have beginners, they could just translate the word to English.).

After a few minutes, the students got creative and started tossing two or three cubes at a time and making sentences with two or three words.

Next year, to create more accountability, I will probably have students copy their sentences onto a sheet of paper to turn into me as a team effort.

All in all, it was a fun, effective activity for practicing vocabulary. To make it run smoother next year, I've created my own template that is already labeled and has instructions. Just click on the image below to download your own FREE copy.

Muchas gracias de nuevo a Krista for this opportunity! If you'd like more info. on me and my resources, just click on any of the following links.

Tabitha Carro

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guest Blogger Week: Oral Language

I'm Libby from First Grade Dual, previously Dual Kinder Teacher and I'm so excited to be guest blogging here at Second Grade Superkids with Krista! 

I have been teaching for 18 years in Kinder, 1st, and 2nd grade Dual Immersion.  Our goal is to have fully bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural students.  In order to achieve this goal we focus a lot on oral language development.  What better way to develop a new language, vocabulary, and improve reading skills!

I wish high school teachers included more chants and songs to teach a second language.  There is less anxiety when you're learning a new song.  I mean, who doesn't love to sing along with the radio or ipod, we think we know the words, and if we don't, no big deal, we're still jammin'.  The same holds true with our little ones.

Most of the music/ chants I use come from José Luis Orozco, love him!  

From day 1, we start each morning in our class shaking hands while greeting a partner to “Buenos Días”.  After a while, I’ll type out the song, have students illustrate it and find specific words or syllables that we have been working on in class.

I just love it when students yell out, “Maestra! Maestra!  I found the word yo! Or encontré la sílaba ma!”  I mean whom else but a teacher can recognize and appreciate those light bulb moments? 

I also love to use chants or songs for transitions.  After a writing mini-lesson, we remember to capitalize/ end with a period by singing this cute chant.  By the time students click their tongue (a snap to symbolize the period), students are seated, folders are out, and they’re ready to write.

I would love it if you swung by and let me know how you use chants/songs in your classroom. 

Thanks Krista for the opportunity to share what works for my kiddos!  I love your Super Kids Blog!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guest Blogger Week: Vocabulary Building Through Shared Writing and a WIDA Freebie

So excited to have the very first guest blogger for the "Best Practices for Language Learners" week post on this topic! Please welcome (and put your hands together in blog world style ;)), for Mrs. Castro from  Mrs. Castro's Class...2nd Grade Spanglish Style.

Hello all, this is Mrs. Castro guest blogging on Krista’s blog, Second Grade Super kids.  This is my first time guest blogging, so bear with me. 

Vocabulary Building Through Shared Writing
When working with ELLS, building their vocabulary is one of our top concerns.  This past year I found a way to unite our English vocabulary and writing in such a way that my kids were begging to do this activity every week!  Seriously!

Each week we had 6 new English vocabulary words.  Ours came from a vocabulary program.  But you could use vocabulary from read alouds, a basal, and the content area…any vocabulary you want to introduce to your kids.  I enjoyed our vocabulary program because it exposed my ELLs to words they might not otherwise get to experience.  They felt like such smart kids when they could use “preposterous”, or “tremendous” in a sentence. 

I introduced the vocabulary and we did different activities to familiarize ourselves with the terms.  We liked those activities.  But something was missing to make the vocabulary “stick” and “come to life” for my students.  So, we began using our vocabulary words to write. 

This was a shared writing activity – I functioned as the facilitator and secretary, but the students did most of the work.  This was usually half way through the week – the kids were familiar with the words but were ready for more.

Here are some examples.  The first two are early examples – pre brainstorming.  They aren’t as good as the second two, when we began brainstorming and using our favorite characters instead of each other.  

Materials – chart paper and different colored markers
Where – whole group area
·       Sit as a group with chart paper and markers
·       Review words quickly.
·       Brainstorm – what could we write about with these words? 
o   Brainstorming is essential!  At the beginning of the year we just leapt into the story without brainstorming.  It was difficult to write a good story like this…and we decided brainstorming was essential to good writing – my kids figured that out!
o   Did we want to write about each other? Did we want to continue our story from the previous week?  Did we need to introduce new characters? What would happen?
o   How could we use the words?  We especially planned for the difficult words!
·       Write.  I was the secretary and facilitator.  Students shared their ideas sentence by sentence, and we pieced the story together. 
·       We color coded our stories – one color for general words, another color for vocab words.  If we included vocabulary words from previous stories; we gave them the vocab color.
·       Then we read the story together. 
·       If we still had time, students read the story in partners – I underlined the sentences with two different colors, one for each partner.  (Fluency practice!)
·       Then students would have a chance to read aloud to the class.

Originally we wrote about each other and wrote some silly stories.  But I found the best stories were written about our most cherished characters from books.  We wrote about Eula Square Cat, Ralph and his motorcycle, Splat the Cat, the Three Little Tamales, and more.  We included our pets, and anything else that was meaningful at the time. 

It was exciting to see how my students were able to imagine different fictional characters interacting.  By modeling the writing process for my students and including them in the process, my kids showed huge gains in English writing.  I hope that this sounds like a strategy that might work for your class!  It was our favorite!  Next year I plan to experiment by not only using the vocabulary words, but also purposefully modeling different writing traits, sentence patterns, style choices in addition to nonfiction writing. 

WIDA Freebie
I want to give you a freebie.  This is my WIDA classroom template where you can keep track of all of your students’ ACCESS scores in one spot for each of the language domains.  This is great for a bilingual classroom, or for resource teachers to provide to the teachers they support.  The CAN-DO descriptors are modified to fit the document as well.  Click the image to download.

If you’ve read this far, thank you!  I’m excited to have had the chance to guest blog for the first time…especially on another bilingual teacher’s blog. This is my birthday week, so I’m going to shamelessly ask you to stop by my blog as a “bloggy” present to me.  There you can find more on my bilingual primary classroom.  I would love to connect with more bilingual teachers!
Click the image below to head on over.

Mrs. Castro

Monday, June 25, 2012

Best Practices for Language Learners Week: TPR

The time has finally come! The kickoff to the "Best Practices for Language Learners" (Guest Blogger Week)! I cannot say with more enthusiasm how excited I am for all of the A-maaaazing posts these guests bloggers have put together to share with you. A new one will be up each day throughout the rest of this week, so don't forget to check back! As I said previously, the point of this week truly is to get some wisdom out there in regards to strategies and activities to best meet the needs of this student population. So without further ado....I present to you my kickoff post:

TPR- have you heard of it? If not, here is the quick lowdown. TPR stands for Total Physical Response, and it is a process of comprehending/learning language and vocabulary through physical movement. I use TPR nearly every single day in my classroom with my kiddos, and they cannot get enough of it. 

Here are some examples of how I may use TPR on a daily basis:

*Before beginning to read a new text, I work with my students to frontload key vocabulary. To do this, we may use TPR. I present the students with a vocabulary term and usually a corresponding picture. Then I will present them with a physical action that corresponds with the term or we will develop one together. For instance, if the word is "jog", I will present them with a picture of someone performing this action, then we will practice jogging ourselves as well. To reinforce the vocabulary, we continue to repeat the words with the actions so that the students are able to equate the two. Now they will not only be able to recognize new vocab in the text, but understand its meaning as well.

* TPR works wonderfully for science and social studies concepts. For instance, when we studied plants, not only did we look at diagrams of plant parts, read and write about their purposes, etc. We were the plants! To do this, I first shared with my students using pictures the name of each plant part and it's purpose. Then I demonstrated an action to them that we could use to represent that plant part and its job. Then it was my students turn to do the actions as I stated the terms and their purpose. After much practice, I left my role as leader and put the students in charge. In small groups, they practiced sharing the plant parts and their purposes while their partners acted them out. I could refer back to these terms and actions at any point during the unit, and you bet your bottom dollar my students remembered what they meant :)!

* I do dictation sentences with my students for spelling each week that correspond with the "big idea" or theme of that week as well as the spelling pattern to be studied. TPR is a wonderful introduction to their sentences each week. For example (and this is not a sentence I have used in my class, just one off the top of my head), let's say we have the sentence: The cow jumped over the moon. Actions can be demonstrated to students first in isolation for key vocab terms- cow, jumped over, moon. Continue to repeat these words until it appears students are comfortable with the actions. Then, work to have them utilize them as you read the sentence. They will perform the actions as you come to each word demonstrating their comprehension. Finally, as I explained above with the plant example, you can have students work in partners or small groups to read the sentence and complete the actions and/or have them draw a picture to represent it. The possibilities are endless. You can even do this with whole paragraphs!

Here is a short video I found on TPR for you guys, to further explain how it can be used.  Lovin' this man and kiddos British accents :)! Please let me know if you have any questions, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for more useful strategies from our first guest blogger!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Attention: Week of Learning Straight Ahead!

I am so excited for this coming week! Beginning tomorrow, I will be kicking off the "Best Practices for Language Learners"(Guest Blogger Week) here at "The Second Grade Superkids"! I will start off the week tomorrow with a post by yours truly, and then each day for the rest of the week, there are some amazingly knowledgeable teachers who have volunteered to guest blog and share their wisdom on this topic with you. I think this is going to be such a great week of learning for not only dual language and bilingual teachers, but also monolingual classroom teachers who have ELLs in your rooms (which now days is almost all of us). 

I leave you with one of my favorite poems related to our bilingual leaners. 

"Me x 2"
By: Jane Medina
I read times two

I write times two

I think, I dream
I cry times two.
I laugh times two

I shout times two

I sing, I ask,
I try times two
I do twice as much 

As most people do,

‘Cause most speak one,
But I speak two!

Isn't this beautiful? 

Stay tuned for a week of best practices related to how to teach these students who "speak two" (or sometimes even more!)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Craftin' Day: Flower Clips

I made a trip to JoAnn Fabrics today and went a little crazy. I have been in the midst of revamping my classroom color scheme from a hodgepodge of colors and polka dots to something more uniform (and of course keeping up with my superheroes throughout). The colors I have chosen to stick with and tie in throughout are black, pink, green, and yellow. Imagine my blog colors with a splash of green ;)!

While at JoAnn, I found some flower pins in the dollar bins. I snagged four that went with my color scheme and thought they would make adorable magnets! To make them even more user friendly magnets, I decided to add them to clothepins so that I could clip papers to the board with them etc. I got the idea for the clips from Mrs. Collatos @ First Grade is 'Toad'ally Awesome, and tweaked it to fit my room!

(The safety pins are just hot glued on the back and are pretty easy to rip off.)

Here are my finished magnets with some of the new bulletin board fabric I got today. (Note: All of these patterns were 30% off today, and I got my additional 20% teacher discount. Great time to go!)

Alrighty- off to link this creation up to Tara's "Monday Made It". I so love all of the great ideas I see there each week! Check it out....and yes, I know it isn't Monday...but you can link up all week!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Free Super Themed Table Signs/Wanted: Guest Bloggers!

My creation of the day...Super Themed Table/Group Signs for the beginning of the year! 

Snag a copy for free for your classroom, by clicking on the image.

Also, I am on the search for guest bloggers for the week of June 25th-July 1st. I would like to dedicate this week to posts related to best practices and strategies for teaching language learners. If you are a dual language, bilingual, ELL or even classroom teacher that has experience or knowledge that you would like to impart, please leave a comment with your email below, as I would love to have you! I am looking forward to a week of sharing that we can all benefit from to improve our classroom instruction! Thanks!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We have a winner and a new unit!!!

Ms. Brittany Ledbetter Neal - you are the lucky winner of my entire TpT Store and a basic blog design package from Erin @ Creating & Designing! Congratulations!....and thank you to everyone who took the chance and entered! All of your potential future blog designs were fun to hear about- and if writing it out lead you to have your heart set on it, I am sure Erin would still love to hear from you!

Also, as promised, I finished up my "Pack You Bags...(A Bilingual Continent Study)" pack. Every reproducible in the 52 page pack comes in English and Spanish and all templates for craftivites are included! Check it out by clicking on the spread below...and Brittany you will be the first to receive a copy!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Latest Pack Preview/Giveaway Reminder!

First, just wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow is the last day to enter in my "Super New Blog Design/200 Follower Giveaway! So if you were contemplating is the time :)!

Click on the image to go to the post to see all your could win and enter!

I also wanted to take an opportunity to say hello, welcome, and I am so excited you are here to all of my new followers! I am looking forward to sharing ideas with you all!

I shared with you all that one of the packs the winner of the giveaway will receive is my "Pack Your Bags" continent study pack. This is a unit I completed with my students this spring, and I must say that it was one of my and their favorites from the year! Before I present you will the final product on Saturday when I announce the winner, I thought I would share with you some of the craftivities that are part of the pack. Each of these craftivities come with instructions, as well as needed patterns (if any), and suggested read alouds! Enjoy your sneak peak- and the whole unit will be awarded to the giveaway winner and available at my TpT store this weekend! Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My (Weekly) Summer Goals Planner

I created the planning page below this weekend as I thought it would help me to stay on course with everything I want to accomplish during the summer! It has a space to write the dates for the week as well as lines for writing blogging goals, professional development goals (readings, classes, etc.), classroom goals (this could be anything you want to organize/create), other goals, and then there is one section with a blank line for you to write any other goals for your summer that pertain specifically to you. My extra section is filled with a million and one internship goals I have for my Master's, but I figured that would not be so relevant to many of you- so you choose what is!

Click on the image to download it for your weekly use!
Also don't forget it you haven't already done so to enter my "Super New Blog Design/200 Follower Giveaway" for your chance to win 1) My entire TpT store and 2) A "Basic Package" from Erin @ Creating & Designing (she redid my adorable blog!). Click on the giveaway button to take you to the original post to enter!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Super New Blog Design/200 Follower Giveaway!

So how much do you loveeeeeeee my super new design! Erin over at Creating & Designing did such a wonderful job and was so great to work with! I told her I wanted my design to be an updated version of what I already had - and she ran with it and did just that! Now everything matches and goes along with my super theme, and I could not be more pleased! What do you guys think?! She's good, right ;)

Also, I want to thank all of you because I just recently reached 200 followers! Blogging would just not be as much fun without all of you, and I have learned so many great things from you all in this short time that I have been part of this blogging adventure!

I thought that both of these milestones were cause for celebration! Thus, I am hosting a "Super New Blog Design/200 Follower Giveaway"! Get ready for this!

The winner will receive 2 super prizes:
1. My entire TpT store! Including a my latest unit which hasn't even hit the store yet (you will be the first to receive it)- "Pack Your Bags". (This may be the one I promised awhile back, this is forcing me to add the finishing touches for you all- it's past time ;))!

Check out all of my other units/packs that you could receive at my TpT store:

...and drumroll please....this one is good....

2. A "Basic Design" package from "Creating & Designing" Custom Blog Design!!!

This package includes:
*Image header
*Background Design
*Post Signature
*Sidebar Headers(up to 5)
*Blog Button w/ Code

Seriously you guys- I want to enter! Erin does such awesome work and is so easy to work with. I cannot thank her enough for so graciously donating this package and her time to be a part of this giveaway! Please head over to her blog and check out her portfolio as she has done a variety of different blogs (and you can get some ideas for your potential one as the winner as well ;))! Maybe even leave her a nice comment or two if you love her work as much as I do! that you are all sorts of pumped up- enter away! Giveaway runs until midnight Friday night/Sat. morn (whichever you prefer to call it).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Spelling Reference Book

Here is the English version of the "My Spelling Reference Book" I used with my kiddos for review of all of the spelling patterns we had learned the last few weeks of the school. As with the Spanish version, we did a lot of "reading the room" type activities with this packet as well as used a lot of English texts to hunt for our words! 

The packet includes pages on short and long vowels, "R" controlled vowels, blends, digraphs, suffixes, contractions, and more.

Before I put the packet into my TpT store for sale, I was hoping to have some trusty advisors (that would be you guys) review it for me- double check for errors, that content is acceptable, etc. (It's summer and my brain is a little more relaxed and flighty than during the school year!) Thus, the first five people that comment sharing that they would like to accept this challenge, will also get a free copy of the pack for helping me out! Win/Win right? Don't forget to leave your email address too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Class T-Shirt Fun!

I cannot believe today was our last day of school! It is somewhat bittersweet- as elated as I am to breath a little now that it is summer break, but I am going to miss my class- they were an amazing bunch!

I received this fun note today from the parents of one of my kiddos as an end-of-the-year momento:

Too stinkin' cute, right?

Now, I will admit, I have no exciting last day pictures for you (unless you really want to see an empty classroom), but I do have some pictures that I hadn't got around to posting yet from our Field Day extravaganza on Friday as well as our lovely class t-shirts!

Here are some photos of my "Top 3" favorite "Field Day" events:

1. The balloon pop relay

Some had technique...

Others..not so much! ;)

2. The pizza box relay (stack one more each time a student comes back to the line)
You better believe we had some flying boxes!

3. Beach Ball Relay- carry it down and back with two people in between your bodies without using your hands

Some got quite creative toward the end...

You may have noticed the adorable red t-shirts my kiddos were wearing. They were created by Whitney Daniels designs. I got the idea for ordering from this wonderful company from Molly over at Lessons with Laughter. Her class got some cute ones as well! Here is an up close of our class shirt:

They were so simple to make. Each kid just drew their face on a notecard and wrote their name. I mailed them all in and voila! Instant class tees! We of course had to do ours "superkid" themed. Notice that all of my students faces are equipped with super hero glasses! Too cute! I must do these again next year!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Future Student Cards/Father's Day Project

Today was our last full day of school- just a half day left tomorrow! Crazy how time flies! Aside from finishing up some last minute organizing and cleaning today, we also used our time wisely to complete some fun end-of-the-year projects. 

First, we spent our morning writing cards to the future second grade dual language students who are currently in first grade right now, sharing with them how to prepare for second grade and what they will learn during their next school year! Here are some examples:

(Second grade is super! First, the expectation is that you listen when someone is speaking and there are also more expectations that you must follow. Next, in mathematics you are going to learn about fractions, division, multiplication, and more. Furthermore, en second grade you will also read at a higher reading level with the teacher. You are going to do a super job!)

(In second grade it is going to be more difficult. First, you are going to learn multiplication. Second, you are going to learn cursive. Furthermore, you are going to learn about the continents from books. Now you know things that you are going to learn in second grade.)

We put all of our cards together to create this class book. I gave it to the first grade dual teacher to read to the class this afternoon! 

"Cards for the future second grade students"

Then this afternoon, we made our Father's Day project as well. Can't leave out the dads!

I found this "Super Dad" activity created by Kristin @ Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten. Clearly it was more than necessary that we completed this activity as my superkids came from "Super Dads"!

Here are some of the examples of our finished product. We glued the page on construction paper to add a border, but it kind of got cut out of the pictures a little bit.

For our English speaking dads...

(You can snag a copy of this exact page by going to Kristin's blog link above)

And in Spanish...

Click here for the translated copy I created!

Anyone else finishin up tomorrow!?