Sunday, October 11, 2015

Baking Fun...Fall Leaf Tortilla Chips!

   On Monday through Thursday I teach Spanish to my munchkins and then on Fridays, I take off my Spanish Teacher hat and put on my Chef hat!
   Every Friday, we engage the kids in some sort of cooking/baking project. Seeing that the summer-like temps (in autumn), in the North Bay area don't seem to be cooling off anytime soon, we needed something that was either a no bake snack or something that required little baking time.
   And so we made some Leaf Shaped Tortilla Chips!
 Our school has these cute baking mats for the kids to each have their own spot. 
All we needed was corn tortillas and leaf shaped cookie cutters:
Each child was given one corn tortilla and was able to cut out two different leaf shapes.
(We later found out that two tortillas chips were definitely not enough.
Most of the kids wanted more!)
After they had their two tortilla shapes cut out, we brushed on olive oil onto both sides of each one.
Then I sprinkled some salt onto them and popped them in the oven. I let them bake for 4 minutes and then turned them over and let them bake for another 4-5 minutes. 
They came out perfect!
(This batch was a little crispy and brown on the edges, but still yummy!)
Cute, simple and delicious!
Try making your own Tortilla Chips with kiddos! 
Below is the recipe:
Fall Leaf Tortilla Chips:
Corn Tortillas
Olive Oil
Cookie Cutters (any shape)
Pre-heat oven to 350. After chips are cutout, brush on small amounts of olive oil on each side. Bake 4-5 minutes on each side, for no more than a total of 9 minutes. Allow them to cool and enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Happy Planner Life!

    Okay, I admit it, I catch on to creative trends very easily once I discover them! It all started four years ago when I came across the hobby of scrapbooking. I was all into it and then life got busy and there was just never enough time to indulge into that creative side of myself. So then about a year later, I discovered SMASH Books and tried to get going with that, thinking it was just like scrapbooking, without all the time and effort to put into it. Yea, that didn't last long at all!
   It was hard to find time to just sit and let the creative juices come through, so I spent time reading or just browsing Pinterest and creating boards about things that I wish I had time to do. I have missed the papercrafting and all the creativeness that comes with it. 
   So, it comes as no surprise that when I stumbled across pictures on Instagram of decorated planners (usually by teachers, Mrs. Harris to be exact) and then the name Erin Condren kept popping up, and  I was onboard quick! Decorating planners... why not, right?
   I had nowhere to really start so I began with the planner I was already using. So I got started with whatever scrapbooking supplies I had on hand.  THEN I started seeing more pictures and discovered the Planner Life... and "oohed and ahhed" over all the pretty and cute planners that others were creating. So I took myself to Michaels (not ready to indulge in an expensive Erin Condren planner quite yet) and sought out something similar, but more affordable. I also picked up a few starter things to get going.
And here is what I have created for this week: 
(It is simple and cute...but I have bigger ideas for the coming weeks!)
And here is where I am linking up...a few days late, but I jumped on the boat a little late!
Click on it to get to Kreative in Kindergarten's blog post and check out others who are linking up and showing off their Fall/October Themed planners!
    There is SO much papercraft stuff out there for this fun, new hobby of mine! I need to make a Spending Jar just to be able to buy all the cute stuff on my Etsy Wish List!
   Will I keep up with it? Maybe. I really think I will though, even when life gets too busy. I do lesson plans and meal plans every weekend, so all I have to do is squeeze in some extra time to make my weekly spread in my planner look pretty!! And by linking up with Plan With Me Sundays, I can try to keep myself on track!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nos Gustan Manzanas! / We Like Apples!

    Fall Fun means Apple Fun! 
   We started off the school year with an apple tasting every morning during circle time, in the bigger primary classroom. Throughout the past few weeks, the kids have tasted a multitude of different apples, including my new personal favorite: Pink Pearl Apple!
   In Spanish class, we learned all about Manzanas!
    I couldn't stop seeing this cute Apple Craft from Kinder Craze all over Pinterest and Facebook, so I knew I wanted to get my munchkins to do it as well; so we did it with some Spanish learning mixed in. We learned the three main colors of apples (rojo, amarillo y verde) in Spanish and learned the phrase "Me Gusta", which means "I Like."
   I set out the materials at each of the two tables:
       -Contact Paper
       -Pre-cut Apple Templates in each color (Template available for free at Kinder Craze)
       -Pre-cut Tissue Squares in Red, Yellow and Green
       -Pre-cut Leaves
       -Brown Squares (for cutting a stem)
  (I am not a huge fan of pattern art, but since my Spanish class time is usually an hour, time was an issue. And anyhow, the main purpose of the project was not the art, but rather learning the Spanish Phrase that accompanied the art project.)
The munchkins chose their favorite apple and practiced saying, 
"Me gusta la manzana (their color choice.)"
    When they were all done filling in their apple template, I placed another sheet of contact paper on top and cut each one out and attached their Spanish sentence. Some were able to write the color word on their own, and I wrote the sentence for those who were not able to do so.
    They really came out beautiful and all the windows in our whole school house are decorated with these lovely Stained Glass Apples!
   As I have been gathering some bilingual materials that are appropriate and useful for the children that I am teaching, I have come across a couple of good resources, from Open Wide the World and Nicole & Eliceo.
This awesome Parts of An Apple (in both English and Spanish) came from an awesome 
Apples Pack by Nicole & Eliceo.
In addition to the daily whole group activities, I also switched out a few things on my 
work shelves to suit our study of Apples.
Apple Count & Cover:
(created by me and available for FREE here)
Pattern Block Apple Trees:
Shape Tracing:
(from Open Wide the World's Apple Packet)
So, lots of learning on apples has been happening! 
And now I think the kiddos are ready to move on to something else!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

¡QuĂ© Bonitos Colores! / What Pretty Colors!

   One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of every year, is a fun Color unit. And this year, I get to focus on teaching the colors, color words and help children create color word sentences in Spanish!
   Each day, Monday through Thursday, I take a small group of 10-11 children into my Spanish classroom. We start our morning with greeting each other in Spanish, then proceed with some calendar activities and some songs. We learn a new skill, read a story and then work on a large group activity. Once the large group activity is done, the children are free to have some individual work time, in which they can choose which materials in the classroom they would like to work with. I plan to change out materials weekly to align with the topic/theme that we are learning about. We close our Spanish class with a review of what we learned and a short story read in Spanish.
   Last week, after working on how to greet each other in Spanish, we began learning about primary colors!
   (I created these small color posters and they will be available for you soon!)
One good book that I love to use as an introduction to colors (in either language) is "Brown Bear Brown Bear" /"Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo."  It is a fun book that the children are all familiar with, and I like to read it and give them a chance to hear it in Spanish!
   My children are grouped accordingly for Spanish class. The Kindergarten age children are all in one group and the 3 & 4 year olds are all in a different group, and so forth, as a primary Montessori classroom consists of children between the ages of 3-5 years old.
   Most of the children fall within the 4 year old range and have had little to no formal experience in Spanish. They are currently learning Spanish color words so they did this version of my Brown Bear activity:
  My Kindergarten age group have already had some experience and practice in learning some basic spanish, as many of those children have been at the school for a year or two. So when I work with that group, I kick it up a notch. They are currently learning how to use Spanish words that they already know, within a context and are working on speaking in simple Spanish phrases and sentences.
  Here is the version of the activity that the Kindergarten age group worked on:
   We have also been focusing on the three primary colors: Red, Yellow, Blue
   My 3 & 4 year old groups have been working on learning and saying the color words in Spanish. I used these cute Color Easel coloring sheets from Open Wide the World.
  The children in my K group have been practicing how to use the color words in simple sentences. And after creating color word sentences and reading them in Spanish, they go on to complete their own coloring sheet to take home. 
     So, I want my spanish classroom to reflect what is learned in the primary classroom, in regards to how children conduct themselves and how the choose and work with different materials.  In the primary classroom, there is alot of time devoted to "work", so every day at the end of class there is usually about 10-15 minutes left. and the children have an opportunity to select some work, to either practice skills we are learning in Spanish, or to work on other skills that are being taught in the primary classroom.
    Here are some pictures of Spanish Color Word Work that is available for the children to work with.
Color Sorting Cards by Living Montessori Now
(Click on the link above or the picture below to get a copy for free!)
Color Word Tracing Cards:
(Available soon on Teachers Pay Teachers)
   Our color fun will continue through the coming weeks, as we learn about apples and welcome the Fall season!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Classroom Reveal -- Finally!

   Well, we are off and running! The year has gotten off to a great start! In my last post, I was working on some self learning about what Montessori is all about. For a good part of the summer, after we settled into California, I have been working in the school and immersing myself into the Montessori classroom and have been observing the primary classroom teacher, I have been able to get a better idea of how each set of materials serves a purpose and how each one scaffolds onto the next set of skills. It does not directly relate to my role as the Spanish teacher, but it has been very useful to learn, as I wanted my classroom set up to mirror the main Montessori classroom.
    Anyhow, the school year has begun... and that is where my role as the Spanish Teacher begins!!
    Below, are the "before" pictures of the classroom...before I put my own little touches on it and tried my best to make it my own!
And here are the "after" pictures:
I tried to keep it simple. yet cute, and this is how it all came out:
Front of the classroom:
Back of the classroom:
Our Morning Bulletin Board:
Months of The Year Poster:
My Teacher Corner:
Our Art & Puzzle Shelf:
Daily Group Boxes:
 Our Writing/Drawing Center:
Our Math/Science Center:
 Our Library:
 It is small, it is cute and I LOVE it!
   Every day, Monday through Thursday, I teach a small group of 11 children and I have each group for an hour an a half each day. The room is a perfect size to have a small circle, do an small group table activity, read a story and then some engage in some individual work time.
   Being the Spanish Teacher is only one of my roles. You will come to see that I also step up into other roles throughout the day and week!