Saturday, August 30, 2014

Super Site Sábado #9

I am beyond thrilled to share this week's super site with you all today!
Not only is it a creative, innovative and rockin' place for Spanish learners, but I actually had the opportunity to interview the site's creator, and feel honored to share what I learned from him with you all today. is a site chalked full of songs, animated videos, games and more to get kids excited and motivated to learn basic concepts in Spanish. As those of us who are teachers of second language learners know, teaching through song is one of the best ways to reinforce concepts and vocabulary for our students. 

Cesar Chinchilla, this super site's founder has even more to share with you about how the site came to be and what it has to offer in the interview I conducted with him shared below!

So without further ado...

Cesar, please tell Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am originally from Madrid were I used to teach English to Spanish speakers. 7 years ago I moved to San Francisco, and now I teach Spanish to English speakers.  Music is my main teaching tool.

How was the idea for Rockalingua born?

When I moved to San Francisco and I started teaching Spanish I could not find quality materials to teach Spanish so I started to write songs to teach vocabulary and basic grammar structures to my students. They loved the songs so I kept writing more. After 5 years of writing songs and seeing that they worked great with my students I decided that I wanted to do something with them to help other teachers and Spanish students. I contacted Daniel Fernandez, an old friend of mine and a professional cartoon animator to turn all my songs into animated music videos and that’s how Rockalingua was born.

We know the site offers some incredibly videos for teaching students basic concepts in Spanish, what else does it have to offer and how does it all connect?
On the website there are 5 different sections: videos, songs, games, worksheets and picture dictionaries. Each video and song introduces a topic and each topic has a related worksheet, picture dictionary and interactive set of games to review and broaden everything learned on the video and song. All is really well connected. If you are, for example, using the video on numbers at the right of the website you will see the related content so you can easily access the worksheet about numbers, or the games about numbers.

How do you go about selecting content for a video/song?

 I write songs about topics that are relevant to Spanish class. My songs cover concepts that all Spanish students need to learn. Some are very basic such as colors parts of the body or daily routines but I have lately been working on new songs that I will upload soon to the site that covers, verb conjugation, prepositions and irregular verbs that will make the learning of this tricky concepts fun and easy.

What do you currently have in the works? 

 We are constantly creating new content, writing new songs, creating new videos, and worksheets that we upload regularly to the site.  We are  also designing a memory game that we will  add to our game selection

Anything else you'd like to share with readers? 

Thank you so much Krista for this interview (but seriously, THANK YOU, Cesar!) 
I want to invite everyone to explore Rockalingua, there are a lot of free resources and everyone can do a limited free trial that will give them access to all videos and songs for a week.
Thank you so much and enjoy the music!

Not only was Cesar generous enough to take part in the interview, but he also was more than willing to co-host a giveaway with me for all of you!

That being said, one lucky winner will have the opportunity to receive a free 1 year subscription to Rockalingua to utilize with your class, your kids, yourself (whoever you'd like!) 
Did I mention this is a $149 value! Wowzas!
But wait...there's more...Another lucky winner will receive a copy of a DVD containing the Rockalingua videos Cesar and his team have worked so hard to create! 

That's two winners in all folks! The giveaway will run from now until midnight next Saturday. 
Check out the Rafflecopter below to see how to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 29, 2014

Meet & Greet

Wednesday afternoon our school hosted an Open House for parents and students to come meet their teachers, see their new classrooms, and drop off all of their supplies before the big first day this coming Tuesday!

I must say I am even MORE excited now to start this year with this adorable and energetic 3rd grade bunch!

Here are a few photos from the afternoon festivities. 

Instructions were up explaining to students and parents exactly where to put all of the supplies in order.  (And can we have a little I finally have a SmartBoard for the first time ever! Now to figure out how to use it productively ;)!)

Boxes were labeled to correspond with the posted instructions.

Take a moment to admire my fab new counter space. 
Can you guess what kind of room my classroom used to be? 

A few student materials went inside of their desks as well.

Parent paperwork along with their bubbly welcome gift (which you can find more about here) was also set out on top of their desks for them to find.

I also set out a small parent area as they walked in the door with information in English for them. As I teach Spanish Immersion this school year instead of Dual Language, many of my parents are now majority native English speakers, however, I still need to ensure I maintain the target language of Spanish at all times with my this is one way I could communicate info to them without actually having to share it all verbally :)!

And I saved the best part for last! Before students headed out, I had them all take a photo op in our super themed Photo Booth!

And yes, the super teacher even got in on the action!

Now I have some pictures to start the year off with as well as a great tool to practice names before the beginning of the year! The best part is brothers and sisters even hopped in, and it became a fun family photo op as well! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bilingual Back to School Blog Hop + Giveaway!

There is just so much fun going on in this lil' ole' post, I don't even know where to start!

First off, it's that time again - another blog hop (back-to-school style) brought to you by some of your favorite bilingual bloggers!

Several of us have yet again teamed up to bring you freebies and ideas for the beginning of the school year from August 20th (yes, that is today!) through August 22nd. 

Before I share my freebie for you all, I always wanted to remind you/let you know that all of us participating in the hop are also taking part in the back-to-school sale, part 2, going on at TPT for one day only! Be sure to stock up on some sale merchandise if there is something you've had your eye on while you grab all of your freebies too!

Use code BOOST at check out to receive 28% off!

That being said, I have just finished up a brand new "scoot" style game that I plan to play with my students in order to get to know them better on the first day of school! I have seen so many of these come across in English, but alas, nothing yet in Spanish (until now!). Same set up and rules apply as traditional scoot games and this particular set includes 24 fill-in-the-blank style cards for your students to respond all about them!

Click on the image to grab a copy for yourself! It will be free to you during the duration of the hop!
And I would love for you to share your feedback as your encouragement and ideas continuously inspire me and help me to improve :)!

Alongside the hop this time around, all of us also decided to come together as a huge "thank you" to all of you to offer you the opportunity to participate in a giveaway that includes a $100 shopping spree in our stores to 2 lucky teachers! 

You can enter the giveaway here and it runs through the duration of the hop as well! ¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that I have completely chatted your ear off, and got you all sorts of excited about sales, freebies and for the potential of a "big win ;)", feel free to also visit all of the other lovely teachers taking part in the hop by clicking on any of their links below. Happy BOY!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Made It! (Tees & Birthdays)

Linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for the latest edition of "Monday Made It" today. 
I officially have two weeks until school starts (I know many of you have already gotten back into a routine). Alas, I am in the thick of "get ready mode"!

This week I worked to put together a few birthday balloons to be gifted to my students throughout the year. I did something similar with my last class and my students really enjoyed them and thought why reinvent the wheel when they work just fine! I have seen these done with pencils (I got mine at the Target Dollar Spot), silly straws, pixie sticks, etc. Really anything "stick-like" will do!

Simply print, cut, and tape and you are good to go for the year.

This week I also worked to create a "first day of school" outfit fit for a bilingual teacher. I have seen so many of those adorable "Happy 1st Day of School" tees come across blogs and Pinterest and found myself wishing so badly that they came in Spanish so that I, too, could be part of the "cool tee" club. Therefore I took it upon myself to do just that!

I hit up the craft supply store and purchased a cheap t-shirt and iron-on printable transfer paper.
I then created my own design in Spanish and printed it onto the transfer paper backwards (this is key so it will be the right direction on your tee.) There was a setting on my print screen in which I could flip horizontally everything that was being printed on the page. Each printer/computer may be different, so I suggest just checking to see how it's done and experimenting with it on a white sheet of paper first so you don't waste your transfer paper.

Once printed, I simply ironed on my design according to the transfer paper instructions and voila!

I am now a part of the "cool teacher tee club". Mission accomplished.

Also, I wanted to let you all know if you haven't already heard, TPT is hosting a second "Back-to-School" sale particularly for those teachers (like myself) that are still prepping to go back and/or who may have realized there are a few more items they'd like to add to the cart!

Super exciting news, I agree ;)!
My entire store along with many others will once again be on sale on August 20th for one day only for any/all interested in some last minute BTS shopping! Use code "BOOST" for 28% off all products!

Not only this, but some of my favorite bilingual blog friends and I will be hosting a blog hop alongside the sale that kicks off the same day! There will be freebies to be had and giveaways to be entered, so be sure to check back on Wednesday to take part in all the fun!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Super Site Sábado #8

This week I am bringing you another app that one of my colleagues discovered and shared with me last school year. 

"DeCuentos" is a FREE Spanish story app where students can listen to and watch popular children's stories read aloud via video. 

Here is a brief description given within the app itself.

As you can see with each story, students have the option to download the video, share it with others, or add it to their favorites list to listen to over and over again. 
These features may also be useful for teachers if there are particular stories you desire for your students to take a look at.

Here is an example of how the story list screen appears. You can see the three options I described above highlighted next to each story description as well as a still image of the video with the option to press play and begin watching. It is quite user friendly and easy to navigate for all.

Once a story is selected, students may either hear and see the actual book being read aloud.

Or, the storyteller may be utilizing props to set the story in motion for them.

As you may have noted in the list above, there are a few titles in English, however, the vast majority are in Spanish and what is even cooler is that almost all are read by native speakers.

Is this an app you could see yourself using in the classroom or with your own children at home? 
How would you use it?

I encourage you to give it a whirl as it is definitely a treasure for the price (which may I remind you is absolutely nothing!).

Sunday, August 3, 2014

BTS Sale (and a freebie to boot!)

The moment you have all been waiting for (and by you all, I mean me at the very least ;)) has arrived.
It's Back to School Sale time!
I cannot wait to load up on all of those school year goodies that have been quickly loading up my cart over the past few weeks, what about you?

My entire store will be 20% off tomorrow August 4 through Tuesday, August 5th, and if you use code: BTS14, you can get an additional percentage off for a grand total of 28%. 

Also, as a thank you to all of my followers, my Literacy and Math Sharing Prompt sets will be free throughout the two days of the sale. These prompt cards are perfect for a quick check in and reflection post any station/center time in your classroom. I would select one prompt each day, students would discuss in partners, and then I'd ask a few to share out with the class. They are such a great way to gauge how centers are going, what students have been working on, how they are working with one another, etc. 

Just print, laminate, hang on a binder ring or piece of ribbon and they are good to go for the year!
They are super simple to get started at the BOY as well!

Click on either image to get your free copy during the sale on August 4th and 5th. 
I would really appreciate it if you left feedback as well! I always love hearing what you all think!

My lil' shop isn't the only one hosting sales this week!
If you are looking for more great deals this is the time to find em'! Along with many other sales at some of our favorite bloggers' shops, here is a list of a variety of bilingual teachers' shops that are hosting sales this week for you to check out!
Happy Shopping All!