Friday, April 19, 2013

Homemade Fine Motor Activities

Last weekend, I wanted to try a couple new fine motor games with my daughters that I am going to share with you here!!  The activities were so simple with things that I already had around the house and it took me less than 3 minutes to put them all together.  There are also a couple of homemade fine motor games that some teachers did too that I wanted to share.  ENJOY!!

Pipe Cleaners and Colonders:

I got some colorful pipe cleaners at the Dollar Tree...

...Also got two colonders that are used for draining pasta or washing fruit.  

The holes are perfect for placing the pipe cleaners inside.  

Because my girls are still developing this skill, I set up this invitation to play by putting the pipe cleaners inside the holes myself.  Then they removed them.  

They both tried very hard to thread the pipe cleaners in the holes.  It'll just take some practice!!

Straws and Oatmeal container

I had an oatmeal container that we were going to recycle, but then I decided to cut some holes in the lid. Some holes were larger than others (not on purpose) but it ended up working out great in the long run.   

Since the straw were too long for the oatmeal container, I cut them in half so they could get started.  

I only had one oatmeal container which also worked out fine.  The girls had to cooperate and share the activity and they did a great job.  

One by one, they put the straws in the holes.  Over and over and over again....

Sedona would sometimes try to fit two straws in one hole which actually was a great spatial/math challenge.  

Acadia loved the game too!!  She played it for almost half an hour!!  

Best friends forever!!

Stress Balloons

Gala in the Preschool classroom in Needham made these Stress Balloons to manipulate. 
(Check for any Latex Allergies before adding this to your classroom.)  

She took some balloons and poured sand inside.  

She even had some with beans inside.  


Homemade Sensory Bags

How many times have we seen sensory bags done??  Here's a wonderful adaptation that Carmenza and Lucy created in their toddler class in Needham!!

Take a bag and fill with hair gel.  You can add some glitter too!!  Tape the opening of the bag to seal it closed.  

Then TAPE the bag to a strong piece of cardboard so that it stays flat and the children can manipulate it.  They can also put stamps on the top of the sensory bags, they can pretend to write circles or letters with their fingers too!!  So fun!!

 Be Inspired!!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Spanish Immersion Techniques

Puesto que somos una escuela de inmersión en español, quería aprovechar la oportunidad esta semana para revisar algunas de nuestras técnicas de inmersión en español! Hay muchas maneras en que lo hacemos!

Hace poco estuve observando  Maru (maestra de Pre-K) en Brighton y me entrevisté con ella para aprender un poco más acerca de lo que hace para asegurar que los niños de su clase hablen español! (*Si el espanol no es perfecto en la "entrevista", es porque mis notas no estaban completas!!  :-)

Jacie:  "Que haces en tu salon para que los ninos hablen TODO en espanol entre ellos???"

Maru:  "No puedes dejarlos hablar en ingles.  Eso es la clave."

Jacie:  "Dime mas acerca de las técnicas que tu implementas."

Maru:  "Es la constancia y la persistencia.  Ellos tienen el vocabulario y lo usan.  Yo uso muchos sinónimos tambien (por ejemplo:\ amigo, compadre, companero...o limpiar, acomodar, organizar).  Me siento y como con los ninos y siempre tengo una interacción con ellos.  Les pregunto acerca de sus fines de semana o de sus vidas.  Siempre conversamos en español y tenemos una regla de que tienen que hablar entre ellos durante todas las partes del día en español "  

Jacie:  "Dime mas Maru!"  

Maru:  "Porque son ninos de pre-K y muchos de ellos han estado en la escuela por 2, 3 o 4 anos, yo creo que deben ser bilingues y hablando en español en la escuela.  Tengo la expectativa que pueden hacerlo, entonces, lo hacen!!"

Jacie:  "Debes ser muy orgullosa de tus ninos!!"  :-)


Marcela en JP también tiene una estrategia y una formula que usa con sus ninos también!!

Contexto Emoción Repetición = Fluidez en Español   

Check out this piggyback song that Marcela put together all about los colores "Para Pintar un Arco Iris".  Look at all of the techniques that she and the teachers Fiorella and Julissa are using during their "Circulo de Amor" that they do each morning with the whole school!!  (Visual Aid, Repetitive Lyrics in a song, clapping, body motions etc...)  All of the kids were singing along!!! LOVE IT!!


El ano pasado, ustedes ayudaron a crear esta lista de estrategias que usan en sus salones para que sean bilingues.  Por favor, léanlo como un recordatorio de todas las cosas que hacen a diario!

Set high expectations!!!! They can do it!
Be a good role model- Speak the language to each other
Use visual aids
Songs, Songs, Songs!!!
Reading Books
Sound associations (i.e. everytime I say LOBO in the story, you howl!!)
Post something in all 4 walls of your classroom to remind you to speak Spanish

Palabras en accion- Clap, stomp, march the syllables of new words
Make choices for them: “Quieres agua o quieres jugo?” “Caminamos, o corremos?”
Pointing to the objects that you’re referring to
Using the other children who are fully bilingual as role models to non-native speakers
Showing them what to do
Always referring to something in the Spanish word
Songs, Songs, Songs!!!
Modeling the word
Annunciating the words

Use a new word wall
Practice “Silencio con reloj” and pick a time of the day where only Spanish is allowed
Describe what the children are doing in Spanish
Use circumlocution
Encourage them to say “Como se dice?” when they have a question (to you or to their native speaking friends)
Encourage “Frases completas”
Pretend to not understand English
Songs, Songs, Songs!!!
Prompting with the beginning sound of a word for them

Encouraging rhyming and word play
Changing the song lyrics to “trick” them so they have to correct you and they create their own lyrics
Spanish music on the background during free choice
Giving special jobs and instructions in Spanish
Always respond to children in Spanish
Songs, Songs, Songs!!!
Singing songs is Spanish all the time; especially during transitions
Repeat to children the same Transitional Phrases every day
Using Body Language when speaking in Spanish
Using a visual routine in your classroom
Playing games in Spanish with them as part of the routine
Did we mention Songs, Songs, Songs!!!???!!!

Spanish Evaluations of the Children are coming up in May!!  
We definitely want to see a growth and improvement from each child!!  

Be Inspired!!


Friday, April 5, 2013

Bulletin Boards

Esta semana queria compartir la evoluacion de algunos de los Bulletin Boards en algunas de las escuelas a traves del ano.  I will do a post like this again...but here are three classrooms to get you started with being inspired!!!!!

Katie y Britni - Pre-K Teachers in Newton

September -"Bienvenidos Delfines" first week of school.

September - En Camino para Aprender..."

October - "Creciendo como un Arbol"

December "El Camino de un Pinguino"

January - "Toma un segundo para conocer nuestro mundo"

February - "Somos Cientificos Brillantes"

March - "Poniendo color al mundo"

Frine and Joanna- Toddler Teachers in JP Centre

September - "Bienvenidos"

October - "Fall is Here, Llego el Otono"

November: "Our Feet Take Us Everywhere"

December: "Burrr.....Hace Frio"

February - "Somo Cientificos"

March - "Nuestros Artistas"

Patricia:  Toddler Teacher in Brighton

September: "Bienvenidos"

November - "La Granja"

December - "El Invierno"

February - "Colores y Ciencia"

March - "Soy un Artista"

Be Inspired!!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What is Math for Toddlers and Preschoolers?

Practicing to count is a wonderful, easy way to incorporate math into our monthly curriculum and daily activities, however, there are so many other wonderful ways to incorporate planned math activities for our budding bilinguals!!!  Take a look at your curriculum calendar to look for balance and variety. If all of your math ideas are "counting ideas" then it's time to start adding new skills for the children to develop!!

 The idea of curriculum is to build upon the knowledge that you already have and developing new skills throughout the year.  Check out these ideas from all of the schools which are linked to the Guidelines for Preschoolers and also for Toddlers!!  I could have done a picture for each guideline but I tried to edit myself a little.  There's just so much out there!! Keep it up!!

(15)  Organize and draw conclusions from facts they have collected.

 Toddler guideline: The Toddler explores with  materials and discovers mathematical concepts.
Indicator: The toddler shows interest in matching and sorting according to color, shape and size.

(15)  Organize and draw conclusions from facts they have collected.

Preschool Guideline (8): Sort, categorize, or classify objects by more than one attribute.

 Toddler guideline: The Toddler explores with  materials and discovers mathematical concepts.
Indicator: The toddler shows interest in matching and sorting according to color, shape and size.


Preschool Guideline (9):  Recognize, describe, reproduce, extend, create and compare repeating patterns of concrete materials.  

Toddler Guideline: The younger toddler demonstrates an awareness of simple patterns.  
The older toddler recognizes and creates simple patterns.
Making patterns with toddlers by using toys like large stringing beads, pegs and pegboards...

Patterns in predictable books like, La Viejecita Que no le Tenia Miedo a Nada.

Preschool Guideline (10):  Investigate and identify materials of various shapes, using appropriate language.  

(12)  Listen to and use comparative words to describe the relationships of objects to one another. 
(comparing the sizes of the planets using fruit and balls) 
(using simple balance scales to compare the weight of classroom materials)  

  (Seriation: concepts Grande y Pequeno)


  Preschool Guideline (1) Listen to and say the names of numbers in meaningful contexts.
Toddler Guidelines:  The older toddler shows an understanding of number concepts one, two more and less.  

Counting seeds from apples during Fruta de la Amistad...


Counting one to one correspondance to fill containers with cotton balls.  
Preschool Guideline (2)  Connect many kind/quantities of concrete objects and actions to numbers.

Writing and creating number books:  

Preschool Guidelines (14):  Use nonstandard units to measure length, weight, and amount of content in familiar objects.  

Preschool Guideline (13)  Use estimation in meaningful ways and follow up by verifying the accuracy of estimations.  

Toddler Guideline:  The toddler shows an aareness of quantity.  
Counting 1 - 10 through songs...

Pointing to items when counting them aloud...