Tuesday, September 22, 2015

¡Qué 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!