Saturday, July 26, 2008

This Week Only...

We are offering FREE shipping this week, as well as a beautiful set of hand painted Mexican maracas with each order from The Fun Shop! Here are variety of ways you can incorporate Spanish learning fun with your maracas:

1. Shake and count in Spanish. 1-20. By 10's. By 5's. By 2's. Backwards from 20-1.

2. Play Simon Dice/ Simon Says. Touch different body parts w/ maracas. Use the command " toca.... la nariz", etc.

3. Create rhythmic beats. Shake maracas and count as you create different beats. Have chldren imitate you, then they teach you a new beat. Ex; uno, dos, uno, dos, uno, dos, tres, cuatro, uno, dos, uno, dos.....

4. Practice opposites. arriba/abajo, delante/detras, izquierda/ derecha, lado al lado, rapido/lento, abre/cierra

5. Dance Party Fiesta. Play upbeat Spanish music. Kids have to make up dances using the maracas. Encourage them to incorporate the opposite actions that you have practiced.

There are many different ways to incorporate bilingual fun in your child's day!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ay Caramba!

Our Bilingual Fun classes are always great fun and we love to see our students so engaged and having fun while learning!

Yesterday, however, was a bit chaotic for the Bilingual Fun program. We currently teach parent/child Spanish classes in 3 different locations. We have one main classroom, that we use as our 'base' and then we travel to the other communities. At one of our travel destinations, we were instructed to hold class outside due to scheduling conflict with the room we normally use. Being the flexible and creative instructors that we are, we thought 'no hay problema'.

Except of course it was 92 degrees yesterday. Si hay problema! Luckily we met under a shady area, so we didn't melt like queso. As we are singing, dancing, and playing the hands on activities planned for the day, the lawn service arrived! Yes, they decided to start their services regardless of the group of preschoolers, parents, and dancing Spanish teacher under the trees. Ay caramba! In order to keep the children engaged and learning, we always use creative techniques, such as movement and games. This was a great opportunity to swap the original plans and incorporate some activies such as :

*The Freeze Dance: kids danced to music, when music stopped I shouted a body part and they had to touch their nose, etc.
*Caliente/Frio: we hid a small toy and I child was chosen to close eyes. They tried to find it by the class shouting commands caliente/frio ( hot/ cold).
*Las Maracas: so many uses for our trusty maracas. We counted backwards from 20-1 while shaking our instruments louder than the lawn mowers.

Then, on to a different location that evening for another round of parent/child classes. Guess what? The road was under construction at each major crossroad surrounding the building we meet at! Si, tenemos otro problema! Ay caramba! We had to creatively cut through neighborhoods to arrive at our location. I had many stressed out, hot and bothered parents arrive with their little ones in tow that evening. Many spent much more time in the car than planned and arrived late. Ay caramba! It all turned out good. We extended our classes to compensate for everyone's late arrival. I cranked up the air condition for the parents and quickly began engaging their children in a game of Dress Rosita ( our stuffed bear that we use for clothing review). We put silly clothing combinations on Rosita such as : los lentes del sol, la gorra del invierno, los pantalones cortos, la bufanda, y las sandalias. The kids got a kick out of telling me " esta bien or esta mal la ropa". The parents were able to relax a bit as well. We even gave some fun directions in espanol to the parents on their way so that they could take the secret short cut home.

Although we said Ay Caramba more than once yesterday, we had fun as usual interacting with our students and families. Everyone left our classes with new songs running through their heads, expressions and words to practice for the week, and
'tarea' to focus on for the next class.

Today is a new day.... no more construction and lawn services for Bilingual Fun, I hope.