Thank you for reading ¡Vámonos! in 2012. Wishing you all the above and more in 2013.
Thank you for reading ¡Vámonos! in 2012. Wishing you all the above and more in 2013.
David Bisbal cuenta contigo para cambiar la situación de pobreza en la que viven muchos niños de nuestro país. Por ello ha versionado “Cuento de Navidad” y te pide que le ayudes a difundir su mensaje compartiendo este cuento.
Cuenta conmigo contra la pobreza es un proyecto de la Obra Social “la Caixa” a favor de Save The Children que quiere cambiar la situación de pobreza de muchos niños y niñas de nuestro país.
Today in Waterstones in Coventry, Maria Alexander aka @IamMariaAlex has been holding a book signing for her first book – very exciting! Entitled Welcome to Planet WizZ, it is the first of a series of books ‘Teaching children Spanish the WizZ way‘, and Maria kindly let me have a pre-launch look!
Planet WizZ is ‘a mysterious little planet..that never stays still and keeps whizzing among the other planets.’ The planet is inhabited by wizzes, including Marrón and Naranja who are twins and the ‘stars’ of the story, along with Señor VerdeRojo who runs the only school on WizZ. Spanish is the official language on Planet WizZ and, whilst the book is written in English, there are Spanish phrases in the text besides the characters names. Each chapter (five in this book) has a theme in the form of a question e.g. ¿Qué hay en tu mochila? ¿Cuántos años tienes? ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? and within the chapter, relevant vocabulary is used which is then listed at the end of the chapter.
I enjoyed the story – the characters are amusing and you quickly get to know their personalities and traits. The Spanish does not detract from the story by which I mean that the story doesn’t seem stilted as you switch reading between the two languages, and there aren’t too many new words introduced in each chapter. All the Spanish is highlighted in bold so it’s clear to the reader when the Spanish is coming, and the characters’ names are also written in the colour of their name (as I wrote the names above!) I loved the graphics – simple but very amusing and appealing. (I think all teachers could do with 5 eyes like Señor VerdeRojo) And I particularly liked the little bits of incidental ICU that appear as you read such as information about Spanish speaking countries, and also the ‘valuable lessons’ that the characters often learn by the end of the chapter! The page of vocabulary at the end of the chapter promises sound files for the pronunciation of each item on www.planetwizz.com – you can currently register for future updates and I sure that this will follow soon along with other supporting resources as soon as website glitches are sorted out.
Whilst the books are aimed at 6-9 year olds, as Maria says in this lovely interview by one of her pupils, Ellie, they can equally be used by older beginners as a starting point as the themes such as numbers and the alphabet, are ones you usually meet at the start of language learning.
The interview also talks about how some of the proceeds from the book will got to M.A.M.A., an organisation that uses art and music to make the world a better place!
According to the Bablake newsroom you can buy the book, priced £6.99, from Waterstones in Coventry (where Maria will be signing more copies during late night shopping on Wednesday 19th), WHSmiths, independent retailers and on Amazon (although it says currently unavailable, they’ll have more copies very soon)and the Book Repository.
This is billed as the first of many Spanish books, and there’ll be more languages too…(see below!)
Good luck Maria! Looks great!
TuDiscoveryKids is the website for DiscoveryKids in Latin America and features all sorts of activities in Spanish linked to some of their programmes. I thought I’d highlight a few that you might find interesting!
In this game, learners are given five tubes of paint and challenged to make the colour indicated – in the example above ‘bordo’ or burgundy. They squeeze the tubes to squirt the paint onto the palette, use the paintbrush to mix the colour and then paint the picture with the colour they mixed. Great for linking to colour blending in art.
In this game, the crane challenges you to complete words by finding the missing consonants. The letters are then hoisted into the word and the crane repeats the sound and tells you if you’re correct. Then you are asked a yes/no question about consonants and vowels before being given another challenge. Great for looking at sound/letter link.
A game for dinosaur fans – and every class has them! The dinosaurs travel from Triassic to Jurassic to Cretaceous period and you are in charge of showing the dinosaurs to their seats, checking the tickets, feeding them and making sure that they get off in the correct period. As you go, you learn what type of food the dinosaurs eat and also in which time period they belong.
This game links to your senses and asks you to choose from three objects that match a description e.g. Algo que tiene olor – something that smells or algo brillante – something shiny, and then decide which sense you would use to find out. As you play, you can learn the names of the objects from which you select, increase your knowledge of adjectives, and also consider your senses. You need to be careful as well not choose the correct sense for the adjective e.g. I had to find something ‘silencioso’ (silent) which was ‘una pluma’ (a feather), and this linked to ‘Oido’ – hearing rather than touch which you might have chosen had the adjective been ‘suave’ – soft. A fun link to science!
Each game also has links to other activities that have a link – for example, a video called Masa repugnante is suggested for this game which links to a video about an experiment to make a gooey yucky dough!
This is a very simple game that wants you to indicate the animal that makes a certain sound by clicking on the animal. This is made harder by the animals being in silhouette on what looks like a sight chart! A fun game that could be played when discussing animals as well as when thinking about how languages have similarities and differences.
Our final example is accessed via the image of a library where you click on the book you’d like to read. The book is read to you but there is a missing word in the text. In the first example, there are three images from which to choose to fill the gap; in the second you have to choose the word that has the syllables correctly ordered. A fun way of keeping attention if you are using the story with the whole class as well as a little challenge for an individual reader.
I hope you’ll investigate the site more yourself – there are many more games and activities that merit attention. Perhaps I’ll come back with a follow up post in the future to explore further!
Being a fan of 64 Zoo Lane and having a wild imagination, when I discovered that there was someone called the Night Zookeeper on Twitter, I was fascinated and wanted to know more. And I wasn’t disappointed when I found that the NightZookeeper pr
oject was all about encouraging children to be creative and use their imaginations.
Night Zookeeper was first delivered as a creative project in a Lancashire school back in 2007. It was clear from the beginning that the project had huge potential to inspire children to learn through the mediums of art,
creative writing, ICT and playground games. And so, from the children’s smiles, animal noises and magical creations, a Night Zoo was born.
In 2011 we launched the website (www.nightzookeeper.com) and the project has since gone from strength to strength. Support has reigned in from education thought leaders, governments and most importantly from teachers from all around the world.
The Night Zookeeper team consists of artists, storytellers, primary school teachers and creative technologists. We are all united in our belief in the importance of fostering a child’s creativity in the classroom and at home.
I have to admit that, not having had a class on which to try it out, I’ve not explored as much as I might. However, following on from #TMTwist last week which was organised by @nightzookeeper (with @jodieworld and @oliverquinlan) and held at NightZookeeper HQ (looked wonderful – wish I’d been there in person rather than virtually), I revisited and was particularly interested to hear of an app!
Night ZooKeeper Drawing Torch is a FREE app for iPads that is just amazing or as Apps Playground says ‘ A CREATIVE IPAD TREAT FOR KIDS’. Taking the premise that you are a Night Zookeeper, you are set challenges or missions to look after thousands of magical animals and defeat the monsters that attack the zoo. And how do you do that? By drawing of course with your drawing torch! I am no great artist but that doesn’t matter – in fact, I find that it helps me in the classroom as no one can EVER be intimidated by my drawing being better than theirs! And because it’s a drawing app that asks for you to use your imagination, there’s no right or wrong answer so there’s no fear there. AND it’s all part of a story too, beautifully narrated! Examples of the challenges (I’ve taken them form the iTunes page as I don’t want to spoil the surprise by revealing more!) – “What do you think a Spying Giraffe looks like? Can you turn one of your friends or family into a strange animal? Could you draw a frog, if a monster has stolen the colour green?”
So far I’ve completed two missions of the 22 on the app, each a star in the night sky. I’m trying hard to ration myself and not do them all in one go but it’s very tempting! The naughty monsters are already being tricksy and making life interesting. Below are the first two drawings I made (told you I wasn’t very good at drawing!), saved to the CameraRoll of my iPad using the save option – you can also email. Very simple!
As I said, I love any opportunity to get people thinking and exploring their creativity – whether young old or in between! And I’m having a blast playing with this app. In the classroom I can see this app as a great springboard to some brilliant imaginative writing, dancing, singing not to mention drawing of course. It could be linked to Science e.g. adaptation and habitat, to PSHE e.g. problem solving, and that’s just a few ideas for starters without a) exploring the whole story and b) looking at the resources offered on NightZookeeper Teachers page.
I’ve already tweeted @Nightzookeeper asking about the app in other languages – a bit impatient of me considering the app is only 3 weeks old! However, I like to get my requests in as soon as possible, especially when I like something! It takes Build your Wildself (which I love and have mentioned before here and here ) a step further – so much further – and that’s just one aspect of it.
Two ways I might use it.
1. At the moment, I teach English to some delightful kids and over the last couple of weeks we (coincidentally) talked about animals and made up our own hybrids so I think this app will be a great next step – you can redo the challenges so that’s not a problem!
2. And although the challenges are written in English, there’s nothing to stop you using the Drawing Torch for things other than the official missions, is there? So I could set my own mission in Spanish for example and learners could carry it out using the app. They wouldn’t win a star but I’d find another reward! ;o)
I’m sure that’s there’s more to come from Drawing Torch in the future. In fact, there’s a competition for kids to devise a new mission and win an iPad Mini (closing date 4th January and you don’t need an iPad to enter!).
Linguamedia is an app that allows you to watch foreign TV stations online. Originally launched earlier this year with French channels, Linguascope announced today that their Linguamedia app has been updated so you can now watch German, Spanish, Italian and English channels as well as French ones. They’ve also improved video playback, and updated it for the iPhone5 screen.
The app costs 69p and offers 16 French, 6 German, 12 Italian, 12 Spanish and 5 English channels (NB the channels are in that language not necessarily from that country so there is an Austrian and a Swiss channel for German) It is possible to access TV online e.g. by searching “RTVE” you can watch the stream of RTVE1, RTVE2, Telesport and Canal 24H, but for convenience, this app is great. You need a wifi connection to view the stations, and as Linguascope warn
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