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Isabel Mendoza nació en Cali (Colombia) una ciudad famosa por la alegría y el ambiente festivo de sus ciudadanos. Los colombianos llaman a Cali “la sucursal del cielo” y una de las mayores atracciones turísticas de...
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Anne Smieszny Silva is from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she was a synchronized swimmer for eight years. She began learning Spanish in middle school. She earned Bachelor’s degrees with Honors from the Ohio State...
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Patricia Acosta is from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where at age 8 she began to show her passion for education by teaching math to her (often unwilling) friends, classmates, neighbors and pets with the help...
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Mario A. Nuñez loves Madrid… and when in Madrid, he does what the Madrileños do…eat tapas “con locura”! Somehow he also finds time to go to the museums and cultural sites…
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"Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different."

- Stephen King

May 31 Favor de no atropellar a los estudiantes - Resources for your Spanish Classroom

By jreyes 2470 Views No comments

Maria J. Fierro-Treviño

En unas semanas se terminará este año escolar. Los estudiantes están contando los días, pero me imagino que los profesores están contando las horas y los minutos. Cada año los profesores están bajo más estrés. Cada año tienen que asumir más responsabilidades y naturalmente por el mismo sueldo.

Los profesores ya no son sólo profesores sino también padres suplentes, consejeros, confidentes, monitores, secretarios y mucho más. Ya no tienen tiempo para enseñar con todos los quehaceres administrativos que tienen, y el poco tiempo que tienen para impartir conocimiento, es recortado por los días utilizados para los exámenes estatales, programas escolares y días festivos.

Y para colmo, los estudiantes cooperan menos y menos. Por varias razones no participan en sus clases, no hacen la tarea, no vienen preparados con los materiales necesarios, no ponen atención, etc., etc., etc. Para acabarla de moler, la culpa se la echan a los profesores. “Si el estudiante no está pasando la clase es la culpa del profesor”. Y no sólo los estudiantes culpan a los profesores, también sus padres. ¡Creo que se ha vuelto loco el mundo!

Posted in: Spanish High School

May 29 In Search of the Elusive FLES Summer Spanish Reading List Wow! Does such a thing exist? - Resources for your Spanish Classroom

By jreyes 5977 Views No comments

Pedro Urbina

Quick! Name a good book to read over the summer for your Spanish FLES students…

Sure, summer reading lists abound on the Internet for English books, but there aren’t as many for Spanish heritage speakers, and even fewer for emerging students of Spanish.

Why Is Summer Reading Important?

The importance of summer reading cannot be stressed enough. There is plenty of research referring to the “summer slide”, that period over the summer when students are not actively studying and tend to slow down academically. In some instances, they may actually fall behind for not practicing some of the reading skills gained over the school year. One study asserts that two-thirds of the 9th grade reading achievement gap is due to “unequal access to summer learning opportunities” (Alexander, Entwistle & Olsen, 2007).

This research is for native English speakers reading books in English. Just imagine what happens to your FLES students…

Of course, developing life-long reading habits and promoting reading for pleasure—whether in English or Spanish—starts at home and with engaged parents. As educators we can help in this process by preparing “summer Spanish reading packets” which include appropriate Spanish reading lists.

Readability, Leveling, and the FLES Student

“When picking out a book to read, be sure the book is at your level. Read a page and lift up a finger for every word you don’t know on that page. If you lift all five fingers, then it means that the readability level is too high, and the book is too advanced for you.” Does that sound familiar? It’s the five-finger rule that reading and language arts teachers generally teach their students when picking books for independent reading.

To determine readability in English, books are measured against leveling systems such as Fountas and Pinnell, Reading Plus, Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), or the Lexile Framework. These popular systems measure things such as words per line and per page, sentence complexity, syllable complexity, number of dolch words vs. academic vocabulary, and so on.

Meeting this requirement for FLES students is a little more complicated. Why? Because in FLES textbooks and FLES classrooms exposure to language, including vocabulary and grammatical structures, is more controlled. It has to be in order for a child to learn and practice the new language accurately and in a structured way. The fact is, most first-year FLES students will only actively work in the present tense and vocabulary will be limited to specific themes (such as animals) or tasks (such as school-related activities). Students who are lucky enough to use Descubre el español con Santillanamay also have been introduced to a variety of more cultural themes as well as the past and future tenses, opening a larger window of opportunity for a more comprehensive summer reading list.

Methodology for Developing a Summer Spanish Reading List

In an ideal world, a FLES grade-appropriate reading selection would meet some, if not most, of the criteria of the leveling systems I mention above, except for vocabulary and grammatical structures. These two items would need to be more controlled and very similar to what is taught in a FLES textbook.

This is precisely what one finds in these components ofDescubre el español con Santillana: Thematic Library, Anthology (beginner level), Phonics Readers (which include open syllables, and diphthongs and blends), and the classroom library. These are wonderful collections of books to use in your classroom but are probably not available in your local public library. Remember: an effective summer Spanish reading list has books available in libraries or bookstores, real or virtual.

So now what? Well, we go on to the next best thing: Adapt a leveling system to our needs. I decided to use Fountas and Pinnell because of its flexibility and because Santillana has already leveled their books using this system.

After a good deal of research and time, I propose using the following equivalency table when choosing books for a FLES summer Spanish reading list.

FLES GradeFountas and Pinnell Spanish Approximation Levels
1A, B, C
2C, D, E
3E, F, G, H
4I, J, K, L
5L, M, N, O

Those of you familiar with Fountas and Pinnell will at first glance say: “Hey, wait a minute, F&P level O for fifth grade? That can’t be, level O is for third grade…” Well... yes, that is so for native English speakers reading books for native English speakers. However, we are referring to FLES students with controlled Spanish, not Spanish heritage speakers.

The Lists

With this in mind, and knowing that nothing is perfect in this world, I happily submit for your approval these Santillana Summer Spanish Reading Lists for 2012. Remember to include them in your summer Spanish reading packets. Try them out with your students and let me know how it goes. For grades 1 and 2, you may want to have students read at least four books for summer reading. For grades 3, 4, and 5, I would suggest as many as seven or eight. Of course, encourage your students to read as many books as possible.

Librarians: Please be sure these books are on your shelves!








May 29 FLES Summer Spanish Reading List - Grade 5 - Resources for your Spanish Classroom

By jreyes 5586 Views No comments

Francisco Hinojosa   Yanka, yanka   (ISBN 9789681914301)   A family of penguins decides to go to the beach for their vacation so that their babies will see what life is like far away from the South Pole. They meet many animals at the beach, and although they have fun, soon realize there is no place like home.

Janosch    Yo te curaré, dijo el pequeño oso   (ISBN 9789587040166)   In this story, Little Tiger becomes sick. The other animals pitch in to carry him to the hospital where Doctor Bullfrog looks at him; Little Tiger has to have an operation. Afterward Little Bear nurses him back to health by making his favorite dish, Breaded Leaping Trout with Almond Sauce.

Julia Alvarez   El mejor regalo del mundo: la leyenda de la Vieja Belen (Bilingual Edition)   (ISBN 9781603963251)   Renowned Latina author Julia Alvarez recreates the legend of Dominican folk character La Vieja Belen in this delighful bilingual rhyming story, beautifully illustrated by Dominican artist Ruddy Nuñez. Alvarez's retelling keeps the magic of the traditional account while contributing a down-to-earth, timely moral: "Of all the gifts you can give, your time is the best."

Carla Zolezzi   El niño del dibujo   (ISBN 9786034016620)   Camila draws a little boy and later she discovers that her drawing leaves messages for her requesting more drawings. Her mom helps her at first, but then the drawing grows so much that it becomes a huge mural, and everybody in the world begins to draw something on it.

Frank Tashlin   El oso que no lo era   (ISBN 9789681907792)   The bear in this story wakes to discover that his forest is gone. A factory has been built on top of his cave and, worse yet, the foreman is demanding that he begin working on the assembly line. Frank Tashlin’s comical ink drawings add to the humor of this outrageous farce.

Megan McDonald   ¡Judy Moody salva el planeta!   (ISBN 9781594378386)   Where would the world be without Judy Moody? This time she’s in the mood to whip the planet into shape. Her class is learning about the environment, and Judy is startled to learn about the destruction of the rain forest and the endangered species in her own backyard, not to mention her own family’s crummy recycling habits. So, never one to take things lying down, Judy Moody gets on the case!

Megan McDonald   Judy Moody    (ISBN 9781594378164)   Bad moods, good moods, even back-to-school moods —Judy Moody has them all! When her teacher assigns the class the task of creating “Me Collages,” it puts Judy and her friends in a cut-and-paste mood. Meet Judy Moody, her little "bother" Stink, her best friend Rocky, and her "pest" friend Frank Pearl. They're guaranteed to put you in a very Judy Moody mood... or something.

Megan McDonald   Judy Moody & Stink: La loca, loca búsqueda del tesoro   (ISBN 9781616051372)   It's a pirate-themed holiday for Judy and Stink as the Moody family makes their way to historic Ocracoke Island, home of Blackbeard. As soon as they drop anchor on "Artichoke" Island, they are greeted by Cap’n Weevil, a one-eyed buccaneer with a scraggly beard and a secret treasure map. Before you can say "Davy Jones’s Locker," Stink and Judy are racing across the island in search of gold. But—shiver me timbers!—they’re not the only salty dogs lookin’ for loot. Can Mad Molly O’Maggot and Scurvy Stink beat out their rivals, Tall Boy and Smart Girl? Can they find the hidden clues, crack the secret codes, and solve the tricky puzzles before time runs out? Aaarrr!

Megan McDonald   Judy Moody adivina el futuro   (ISBN 9781594378379)   Judy Moody has a mood for every occasion, and now she has a mood ring to prove it! The mood ring’s Extra Special Powers have put Judy in a predicting mood, and her outrageous predictions have everyone wondering if Judy really is psychic. According to “Madame M” (for Moody), she will earn the coveted Thomas Jefferson tricorn-hat sticker for Great Job, Good Thinking in her spelling test.

Megan McDonald   Judy Moody se vuelve famosa!   (ISBN 9781594378171)   Good moods, bad moods, Judy has a mood for every occasion! Right now she’s in a jealous mood—jealous of Jessica Finch, whose picture is on the front page of the newspaper. When Judy sets off in pursuit of her own fame and fortune, watch out! She's so determined, she just might find it, but all her efforts end up making her more infamous than ever!

Megan McDonald   Judy Moody va a la universidad   (ISBN 9781603966290)   Judy Moody is in a mood. Not a good mood, and definitely NOT a math mood. Her teacher thinks Judy's math skills need improving. So Judy has to start meeting with a math tutor. When Judy meets her tutor—a sick-awesome college student with an uber-funky sense of style—and gets a glimpse of college life, Judy's bad math-i-tude turns into a radical glad-i-tude. Time to say good-bye to Judy Moody, old skool third-grader, and say hello to Miss College!

Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy   Ratoncito Pérez, cartero   (ISBN 9781581057577)   Pérez the Mouse is the Hispanic version of the tooth fairy. All the children in the neighborhood have grown up, and Pérez finds a job as a mail carrier. Join him as he delivers the town folks’ mail and learns important lessons along the way.

Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy   Brocha y pincel   (ISBN 9781581054194)   Introduce your readers to the marvelous works of world famous Hispanic artists Joan Miró, Ramón de la Sagra, Fernando Botero, Francisco de Goya, Pablo Picasso, Amado Peña, Frida Kahlo, Hannah Zubizarreta, and Roberto Benítez.

Marie Saint-Dizier   Abejas, hormigas, termitas: insectos que viven en familia    (ISBN 9789707703612)   How do bees make wax and honey? Why do termites always hide? How are ants beneficial to human beings? Bees, ants, and termites are some of the creatures in the animal kingdom that cannot live alone. They need a big family in order to survive! Learn interesting facts about these insects and their fantastic organizational skills.

Carlos Ruvalcaba   La mariposa bailarina   (ISBN 9781560146179)   In this imaginative tale, based on the migration of the monarch butterfly, the Moon becomes spellbound by the beautiful dancing of Lucero, the butterfly ballerina. The Moon claims Lucero and turns her into a brilliant star that guides the many thousands of butterflies in their migratory journey from Mexico to Canada.

Andrés Pi Andreu   La abeja de más   (ISBN 9786071108234)   One fine day, the bees called for a grand assembly in the beehive. The purpose of the meeting? To discuss why it was that they were always all squashed together in cramped working conditions. After many complex computations, equations and calculations, they realized that there was one bee too many in their beehive! The bees panicked: Who was it? How would they identify her? And once they did, what would they do with her? Through entertaining illustrations and humor, this delightful story explores such serious topics as prejudice and tolerance.

May 29 FLES Summer Spanish Reading List 2012 - Grade 4 - Resources for your Spanish Classroom

By jreyes 3250 Views No comments

Georgina Lázaro León   El mejor es mi papá   (ISBN 9781575814421)   Puerto Rico’s best-selling author offers us this warm and loving tale about relationships between father and child. In a kingdom far, far away, a time and place has been set to choose the best father of all. In verses, each one of the animals, from a chick to a firefly, from a frog to a penguin, tells why their candidate is the best one. Find out the reasons why everyone’s father is the best in the world.

Alma Flor Ada   ¿Quién nacerá aquí?   (ISBN 9781581051988)   There's a surprise on every page of this book about animals that lay eggs. Rhyming and repeated text make it a fun easy reader.

Alma Flor Ada   Después de la tormenta   (ISBN 9781581051902)   In the aftermath of a storm, a plucky seed survives and teaches readers about how seeds become flowers.

Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy   Celebra el Año Nuevo Chino con la Familia Fong    (ISBN 9781598201147)   A Chinese-American family invites their good friends the Sánchez, a Latino family, to celebrate with them the Chinese New Year. Nico, one of the Latino kids takes the reader through the magnificence of the celebration as he takes pictures of everything he finds interesting not without getting in trouble. Contains an informative section about the Chinese New Year.

Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy   Celebra el Halloween y el Día de Muertos con Cristina y su conejito azul    (ISBN 9781598201208)   It's Halloween but Cristina is very sad and doesn't feel like putting on a costume and going trick-or-treating because she's lost her toy bunny. During the celebration of the Day of the Dead, her parents teach her about a unique way to deal with the pain for the loss of a loved one. Contains an informative section about Halloween and the Day of the Dead.

This month on Spanish Classroom

"Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit, but taste completely different."

- Stephen King

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