Tuesday, July 14, 2015

5 Smart Ways to Use Social Media for your Bilingual Classroom


No time to read? Listen to this post by clicking here

One of the challenges of being a bilingual teacher is finding the right Spanish resources for your class. Even after I translated all the parent notes, created countless of activities for reading and writing, and  was always the one to ask "Is it available in Spanish?" I just could not do it all.
If you are feeling the same way, and even if you don't teach kinder and/or gifted and talented, here are
5 ways I used social media to help me find what I needed for my students:

1. Search on Pinterest
It is almost as if Pinterest has in a way replaced google images, if I need to find something, my first instinct is to go to Pinterest.  If you are already on there, but don't want to overload it with boards about education, remember you can make your boards secret (private).

If you can't find exactly what you are looking for, change the wording you use. For example, switch between English and Spanish, if I am looking for morning work, I could write any of the following

"Trabajo de la mañana"
"Morning work in Spanish"
"Daily work in Spanish"
"Trabajo diario para kínder"

Follow Teaching with Nancy's board Bilingual Resources PK-5 on Pinterest. Follow Gisel's board  ¡TPT Gratis! Español k-2 grado on Pinterest.
Two Pinterest boards you will find useful if you are a PK-5 Bilingual/Dual language teacher

2. Join Twitter Chats
A Twitter chat is a fast paced hour where teachers from around the world learn from each other. Usually, there is a moderator that will guide you through questions.
I recommend using Tweet Deck because it is very user friendly and you can keep track of the questions and answers to participate in the chats. Here are two examples of  the chats I particularly like for teachers, but there are so many more out there...

Twitter chat for bilingual teachers every month                                        Early childhood chat every Tuesday

3. Follow teachers on Periscope  
Periscope is new to me, but I'm already following teachers that are sharing really useful tips, classroom ideas, technology tips and more. You get to see them live and interact by writing them a message. @Luckylittlelearners is a teacher I like to follow:

Teachers on Periscope
4. Find Organizations on Facebook 
Many organizations create a Facebook page to stay connected with their members, you will be the first one to know about conferences, future events, new information, etc.

You can be part of various organizations that offer conferences throughout the year.  I recommend finding groups on Facebook to learn about these conferences. Here is a small list of bilingual/dual language organizations:

ATDLE  Association of Two-Way &Dual Language    Educators 
CABE California Association for Bilingual Educators
TABE Texas Association for Bilingual Educators 
BSETN  Bilingual and Special Education Teachers 

And don't forget, if you are in the North Texas area, a group of bilingual teachers will be hosting the first ever iTeachbilinguals meet and greet, where you will get free bilingual activities for your class, click here to find out more. 

5. Use Instagram 
Teachers are also using Instagram to share organizational ideas, to show their classroom set-up, activities, videos, etc. Here are some hashtags to follow:


***Bonus***  Follow Teacher's Blogs/Websites
There are many teachers sharing really good content on their own website/blogs, you can use the website bloglovin' to follow the ones that you want. There is also an app for that! :) I  noticed that if I don't follow the blogs I like, I quickly forget about visiting them again, even if I really loved the content.

There are also collaborative blogs, where many teachers share their ideas.
A group of bilingual/dual/Spanish immersion/ FLES teachers created a website where they share free activities every single day once school starts in August:

Short video (1min) explaining what is iTeach Bilinguals 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Time for another bilingual blog hop!

Fourth of July is here! So, how do you teach your students about this holiday and why we honor it? How about your bilingual kindergarten students?
 I usually find holiday activities on TPT and Pinterest, but finding Spanish material for the fourth of July was a little different. 
I decided to create a simple activity to introduce vocabulary with a write the room activity. This product will be free for a limited time!

I like this activity because it is a great way to introduce vocabulary that you can later turn into a writing activity. Click on the pictures to get this activity. Some teachers that have used this product have said:

What if you don't teach in Spanish or need the bilingual version?
 No problem, you can still use this activity. There are blank cards where you can write your own words, you can add more vocabulary words, add your high frequency words, or create your own option. 

I hope you visit me again!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Last Friday Freebie Find of the year

For those of us who are still in school...
This is the last week of school and we are super busy with awards ceremonies, field day, assemblies, book giveaway parties, etc.
If you are like me, your mantra this week is "Ain't nobody got time for that" (I know, I know).  If you are on the same boat, I am happy to give you one less thing to do. 
We usually give a small present for our students. We bought  these Guitar Bubble Bottle Necklaces from Oriental Trading and attach a little saying.
 If you don't have time to buy the bubbles, something as simple as a bubble gum, goldfish, or M&M's will do. 
Here are some free gift tags that you can use throughout the year. 

from: A Cupcake for the                                    from: Loving-Life Teaching
                                           Teacher                                                       (I really like the ideas)
                                    (I love her store!)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Week

...we could do so much! Specially if those gift cards are from Target, Starbucks, Amazon and TPT
 This  video reminds me that as teachers, we wear many hats. We work hard to motivate our students. We show them how much we welcome their efforts, their positive attitude and we motivate, care and value who they are, always looking for that spark of curiosity they need in order to learn.

Sometimes you just need to be reminded that you are appreciated! That's why we (iteachk bloggers) decided to give you gift cards to some of our favorite places. Just click on the following picture to enter.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

EC conference in North Dallas!

I am truly excited about my first presentation at the Early Childhood conference in North Dallas.
I can't wait to share amazing bilingual resources that I know will help my fellow bilingual teachers, not only that, my friends from iteachbilinguals have graciously donated so many products and some have even prepared goodies bags for you!
My teammate and second time presenter Kara King will also be there!
Did I mention I also have a booth?

That's right, right after presenting I will be at a stand with my friend Alejandra. Do you need more bilingual 
ready-to-print engaging activities for your class? 

Nancy Alvarez from Teaching with Nancy 

Teaching with Nancy

Angie Soto from A la Escuelita 

Mynda Rivera from  B is for bilingual 

B is for bilingual

will also be there, their activities are simply amazing.
I can't wait to meet more bilingual teachers!

Come join the fun this April 25th from 8:00-2:30 click here to register today!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

First giveaway on iTeach Bilinguals

 iTeach Bilinguals
I just posted on our collaborativeblog for "Win-it Wednesday" there is still time to enter, just visit Iteach Bilinguals Facebook page for more info on how to enter!
   During Spring, our kindergartners participate in a poetry recital, each student is expected to pick a poem, memorize it and then recite it to all the parents at a PTA meeting. 
I have to say, I was nervous the first year we did this, especially because my students were doing it in Spanish and even I was having trouble finding poems. 

   This year will be a little different, I decided to compile Spanish poems into seasonal packets. This way, my students can choose from over 60 poems and pick one they like, they also have the option of choosing one on their own. 
I'm still working on the Fall poems but here's what I've done so far:

If you win this giveaway, a friend and you will win all three packets! That's 47 poems in Spanish! We will announce a winner on Monday April 6th, so make sure you visit our facebook page, I will also mention the winner on Kinder Bilingue's facebook page. Have a great week!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Focus wall freebie for you!

Do you have to display your objectives in your classroom? 

Our district requires teachers to display their objectives by writing the state standards starting with the statement "We will..." and how the students will show you what they have learned, with an "I will..." statement. 

I started looking for ideas online and two words consistently came up: focus wall...What a great idea!

- all subjects on one area of the classroom 

- organized and big enough for students to see

Enjoy this free sample of the alphabet cards in this packet. Click here to download the vowels in English and Spanish. 

Want the whole packet? Click on any of the following pictures: 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

My furry babies

I  grew up with dogs in the house and although I loved having them, they were dogs to me, I could not understand all those crazy dog people. 
  It wasn't until I had my first puppy as an adult that I truly understood the connection that some of us have with these pretty little beings. I am now considered a dog(and cat) lover!
Taking care of them, watching them grow and receiving unconditional love are just some of the reasons why I love about having them in my life. 

I always thought that I needed to do a better job at taking pics of my little ones. 
I did not realized how many pics I already had! I have so many it was hard to choose a few to place here, so I decided to do a collage.

I have two dogs (Lola and Mateo) and two cats (Ozzy and Floyd)

For cats: I noticed that before, my cats were not drinking water, I learned while searching online that cats don't like to have their water next to their food. 
So I started putting their water next to the kitchen sink and... It works! Plus, their water is always fresh since I change it when I do the dishes!
This is where they eat:
For dogs: I would love to say that after 4 years, my doggies are completely potty trained, but the truth is even after we take them outside at night, they love to pee on the floor while we sleep! So, we bought a baby gate and they sleep with us, one under the bed and the other one on the bathroom floor. In the morning, we take them outside.
The dogs have beds but the cats like them better:


My dogs and cats came from the same litter. Lola was first, and eight months later Mateo, her brother came to our house
Ozzy and Floyd were adopted from the shelter and were named Tom and Jerry (I know, cute but it doesn't make sense). They were found on the street and were only in the shelter for four days, we decided to take them both (ok, my husband was really the one who could not 'separate' them) and I'm glad we did.

I keep all the dog toys on a basket that I bought at a grocery store for about $5! Lola is the only one that likes to play with toys, she has a few favorite ones:

Enjoy this animal theme freebie, that is available in English and Spanish! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 16, 2015

5 Practical Tips for New Bilingual Teachers

Welcome to the bilingual teaching world! Whether you are teaching dual, bilingual or Spanish immersion, I hope you find these tips useful. 

My bilingual teacher friends and I have come up with a few tips to get you started.

Substitute Plans:
As a new teacher you will spend school days at new teacher trainings, meetings,not to mention you may get sick, and will need a day off
Start early and think about a substitute plan (binders, tubs, plans). This will save you hours, other teachers are also coming up with new ideas, so visit Pinterest often.

Know when to stop working
Even if you stayed up for days, chances are, you are not going to finish everything you have to do, so do your best everyday and know when to stop, it is not healthy to stay up working until 3 a.m. everyday. 

Have a cut-off time everyday and make sure you add family and personal time!

Create a diary of your first year of teaching:
School days are full of activities, events, and of course packed of lessons, having documentation on what you did, can help you to be more prepared the following year.
It is wishful thinking to pretend teachers have time to sit down and write in a journal every evening and reflect about your day, you will be too busy, so find creative ways to create a diary, I used my phone. A simple voice note stating things that worked well, lessons that did not go so well and activities that I need at that time of the year.
 During the summer, listen/read the diary and update, create or find the resources that you needed (conference packets, volunteer planning, certificates, posters, anchor charts, etc).

 Stay connected:
As a bilingual teacher, you will find very quickly that Spanish resources are hard to find. Many bilingual teachers are trying to change that, on this website, you will find teachers from all over the world that share ideas, lessons, and activities. 

Ask for help:
Many new teachers think that asking for help means they are not doing something right. Please don't ever feel/think like that, there are systems in place, that you can't just already know. 

You need to ask in order to learn, if you find that some people are not as helpful, ask on forums, Facebook groups, etc. 

Remember we are here to help too, so send us a message on our Facebook page or e-mail me! 

Are you still preparing to land a job in the bilingual field? Need help preparing? Visit The Ladders and find great tips on how to advance your career.