Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dual Language Thanksgiving

In order to prepare my Thanksgiving lessons I wanted to get a feel of what my students already knew about  this holiday. I came up with the idea to create a Thanksgiving Turkey Schema chart and had two of our first grade special ed. paraprofessionals put this turkey together for us. The students loved it so much they didn't want me to write on him.... So I took their schema and wrote it on paper which I will glue on to Pancho el Pavo (the name my students gave him). I'll post the new picture of what it looks like on Monday.

     I want to teach my students the story of how the pilgrims arrived and have them be able to retell it. I found an English Poem on Dr. Jeans site that would be perfect. The students build a bracelet as they learn each stanza of the poem. It's a great way for them to later retell the story of Thanksgiving to their family by just touching each of the beads to help them remember.
      Being that I am in a dual language classroom I would love to have this poem in Spanish so I translated it. Okay my honey translated it for me and I just changed a couple of lines.  If you're familiar with this poem you'll notice that I changed the ending so that it would make sense in Spanish. I also found the beads at Walmart for only $5.00. I'm going to try and have them use yarn instead of the pipe cleaner. I'll just have my students tie a knot after each bead to keep it in place. I'll post pictures of my students bracelets by Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

50 Days of School Schema

Tomorrow we will be celebrating our 50th day of school. It also happens that we have just begun to learn about place my first grade team and I thought it would be great to celebrate our 50th day by having a 50's theme math day. We will be counting by 5's, 10's making tally marks, as well as necklaces made out or froot loops and cheerios. I also purchased a 50's mini math unit by Cara Carroll from TPT to use. I love the student book that they get to create all about the number 50. 
You can find it by clicking on the link
Our students were also given an assignment to bring in 50 objects from home. They could be 50 of the same objects or groups of 10.   We created a rubric to assess both the English Language production as well as the math concept of groups of ten.
We also decided to align it to our social studies standards of how people, communities and cultures change throughout time. So our students were also given the assignment of researching how children dressed in the 50s and were given the option of coming to school dressed in that style.  I know my first grade partners and I will be dressed....I'll post the pictures tomorrow.  
When I was thinking of creating my schema chart for this unit my team partner came up with the idea of making a record.  This is what it looks like. I used wax crayons to do the writing on the black butcher paper. It really does stand out in person....the picture just doesn't do it justice. The only drawback with this is that my students had no clue what a record was? Really...they said it was a dvd!  I'm bringing in a real record tomorrow to show them how this one thing has changed over time but it has also stayed the same. I just wish I had a record player to play it on.

Today we celebrated our 50th day! My young ladies all came in beautiful poodle skirts and my young men were all greasers. I'll post some pics of them next week after all the signatures are in.  As for one of the assignments my students had to went well. They all brought in 50 items that they had grouped into groups of ten.  We used this presentation as evidence for both math and ELD. Here are just a few of the objects my students were able to group into groups of ten.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dia de los Muertos Books

These are the books I read to my students as we were learning about the Day of the Dead. These books are written in both English and Spanish so as to allow for concept development as well as rich vocabulary development in both languages.
  • The book "El Dia de Muertos" is a great rhyming book. 
  • "Felipa y el Dia de los Muertos" as well as "El Espiritu de Tio Fernando" are two stories about two kids learning point of view of the celebration.
  • "Days of the Dead" and "Celebrate" are both non-fiction books that I used to show my students actual altars, calaveras as well as decorated cemetary plots.
These books lent themselves to our study of traditions as we have been focusing on Social Studies standard
1.5.1 and 1.5.3.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Being in a dual language classroom we are always in need of translated materials. So here is my version of kid friendly language of the English Language Standards translated into Spanish. I post these up in my classroom so my students can access them and are always aware of what it is we are working on. I post them on red construction paper so my students can easily identify which standards are in Spanish. The English standards I post on blue construction paper and then I laminate these. A tip before laminating....add your name and grade level on the back for easy case you change grade levels as is common in our district right now. The entire set will be available soon on TPT. Check back by the end of the week.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dia de los Muertos Diorama

We've been learning about Dia de los Muertos in our class through various read alouds, discussions with family members about traditions and through creating a classroom altar. I taught them to make papel picado and paper flowers for their very own altar which they created in shoe boxes.  I was very proud of the work and detail they put in their dioramas. Here are just a few of them.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Buddy Reading Center

I have a Buddy Reading center where my students self select books in either Spanish or English. One student reads to the other. Then they use the wheel to start a discussion about one of the topics in the language of the book. Once done they switch and the partner takes their turn reading their book followed by a new discussion. This allows for my students to read books at their level rather then previously selected books by me. The students use a clothespin to select what they want to talk about. If you sit and record what they are discussing this conversation can be used for ELD.  I've also used this wheel with my parents. It's useful for those parents who only read Spanish. I explain it during back to school and send it home so that my students have multiple opportunities to have meaningful dicussions about literature both in the classroom and at home.  It's available for sale on my TPT. Just click on the link. Enjoy!!

Bilingual Center Tracking Sheet

I was originally using a 20 min. rotation to move my students from center to center. But I found that some of my students needed more time at certain centers or were finishing some a lot quicker. So I created this tracking sheet that my students can use to self-select what centers they would go to. They can move from center to center on their own so long as they don't go over the amount of students allowed at each center.  Some of my centers have paper work that my students have to complete such as a response to literature at the listening center.....a writing piece at the writing center etc. They have to turn in all this completed work by recess on a reward those that have completed all centers get to participate in art time...those that made bad choices continue finishing their work during art. The first week I implemented this I only had 2 students miss out on art. Since then all of my students complete all the work as well as make sure to spend time in all the centers. It's a great tool to teach them accountability for their own learning as well as time management.  It's available on my TPT for free! Just click on my link.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dia de los Muertos Schema

When creating schema charts with your class, make sure that every student realizes their thinking is valuable. First, give students a strong model. Accept all of their ideas and write them on post-it notes to add to the chart. As new learning occurs, move ideas that were incorrect to the misconceptions box. As we confirm our learning I remove it from the post it and add it permanently to our chart along with the students name (this is my own adaptation, I also added a questions section for things we still want to learn) For more information about schema charts, read Debbie Miller's Reading with Meaning and Teaching With Intention.

Letra I/Short I sound

This is our circle map for the letter I.  Again we are just listing words that begin with the letter not the sound. I introduce the new letter on Monday and we continue to add words to it through Friday.  As the students are reading their leveled books or during one of my read-alouds they might hear a new word that begins with that letter. They very quickly make a mental note of it and the next day they are quick to remember to add it.  I also expose them to new vocabulary when I go over our weekly goals which they are now very good at picking up on.  For example;  "Es importante no interrumpir la maestra" "Vamos a aprender interesante informacion sobre el Dia de los Muertos", "ustedes son los estudiantes mas inteligentes de toda nuestra escuela".  I get a great joy from seeing my students access these charts later when they are writing during our writers workshop.