Recursos en español/ Spanish Resources

Here is a list of resources that I have been compiling over the years.  Most of them are links to texts and curriculum from all over Latin America.  Enjoy!

Son antologías que se usan en países de habla hispana de primer grado a 6to grado

 

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Ways to End an Opinion Paragraph

Now it is time for the first graders- How do you end an opinion paragraph?  Here I offer three possibilities.

  1. Just Say It
    Dogs are the best pet.
    Vanilla is the tastiest flavor ever!
    Minnesota will be the best state you ever visited!
  2. Simple Summary Statement
    That’s why dogs are the best pet.
    Clearly vanilla is the tastiest flavor ever.
    For these reasons, Minnesota is finest of all the 50 states.
  3. Act! Do! Go! Try!
    Go get a dog!  You will see how great a pet they are!
    So try vanilla ice cream and you will see that it is the best flavor you have ever tried!
    Are you going to go to Minnesota? Yes!  You will love the lakes and trees and snow.

Improvisational ESL

Recently, I was reminded of the power of theater in education.  Thinking about students who are new to English… but not completely new… I have been looking at improvisational theater exercises to get students talking.  This is not a strategy to teach new vocabulary but to build fluency, spontaneity and confidence while speaking.

Imagine having two students create a skit where someone is lost and the other has to help the first person find his or her way.  Imagine adding a third person who says that the first person is wrong.  What would you say?  What would you do?  Can they ask for an additional person to assist?

Make it a little bit harder and open ended: Imagine students creating a skit based off of three nouns- pencil, stove, rake.  Throw in a verb and shake things up a bit.

There are a million scenes that you can have students improvise based on anything that students need to practice.  Try it; see what happens!

Speaking to My Children- What Language?

The short answer is: speak to your children in the language you know best.  Oral language is the precursor to all literacy skills:

  • What you can think, you can say;
  • what you say you can write;
  • what you can write you can read.

When parents ask me what language they should use with their children I consistently tell them to use the language they know best.  Most of the time the parents are non-English speakers wondering if they should speak with their children using the little English they know.  “No,” I tell them.

When children are offered rich language in extended discourse they develop amazing vocabularies and complex sentences.  If their caregivers offer them limited vocabulary and limited discourse that is what the children will develop.  Because literacy skills transfer, the extended discourse will transfer once the children have the necessary vocabulary in the new language… but they can’t transfer what they do not know.

  • Speak to your children often and listen to their answers.
  • Have them tell you stories and ask follow-up questions.
  • Ask open ended questions (questions that require more than yes or no).
  • Ask them to explain more or tell you what that means.
  • Give them new vocabulary as you ask them questions and respond to their stories:
    • Child: I used that thing to cut cheese.
    • Adult: Oh, you used the cheese slicer.
    • Child: Yes, I used the cheese slicer and I cut a lot of cheese.
  • When you read with your children ask them questions such as:
    • What do you think will happen next?
    • Would you have done that?
    • How would you solve the problem?
    • Tell me the story
    • Talk, talk, talk!

There is much research about the importance of oral language.  Give your child the gift of language through conversation and story telling.

Literacy creates justice!

Graphic Organizers

If you have not seen these please take a look: Graphic Organizers. Estas ayudas gráficas están disponibles en español también.

Any time we can help students organize their thinking, plan their learning, make their learning visible, we are helping them build connections and increase the number of synapses– that is learning!  With graphic organizers we can increase literacy, too.

Literacy Creates Justice!

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Staggered Start Guided Reading

You are right- I never explained this!

In a guided reading group one of the goals is to have students read text while supported by you, the teacher.  Remember the idea of gradual release of responsibility:

  • I do, you watch
  • I do, you help
  • You do, I help
  • You do, I watch

Using staggered-start can be both of the last two bullets; the key is that the student is ‘doing’ while you watch or help:

  • When you stagger the start, each student has a copy of the text;
  • One student student begins with the first paragraph (first page, first part,…);
  • When the first student gets to the second paragraph (second page, second part, …)  student number two begins with the first paragraph while the second student continues on;
  • When student number two gets to the second paragraph, student number three begins with the first paragraph while the previous students continue reading;
  • While students are reading you are monitoring, taking notes and coaching.
  • When a student finishes s/he goes to the beginning and starts again and all students stop at the same time.

Did that make sense?  The idea is that each student starts and continues reading through to the end.  Because each student begins at a different time, each one has to appropriately-struggle with the whole text.  No one is getting nervous about everyone listening; no one is counting ahead and pre-reading his or her paragraph.  This is not round-robin reading!

As coach, you cue students as they are reading and take notes about their struggles.  I always ask students to use their finger or a ruler while they are stagger reading so that I, the teacher, know where they are on the page and I can match the text with their speech as I quickly check in with each student.

Remember, this is one step in a whole process; it is one way to have students practice their reading in a guided reading group.  Staggered reading will mean nothing if students do not understand what they are reading.  Reading= comprehension.

Literacy Creates Justice (and it’s fun!).

Here is a group of teachers practicing staggered reading: