However you feel about it, it’s time to go back to school in England. Some went back this week, others (like me) start next Monday. I can’t believe that i’ve not posted all summer but in a way that’s a good thing as it means I’ve relaxed and not thought about ‘work’. Having said that, as much as I love my holidays, I do enjoy my job (mostly) and am looking forward to going back. Not sure I’ll be as quick to jump out of bed as Pocoyo come Monday morning though…
¡Feliz vuelta al cole!
“Llegó la vuelta al cole.
Oh, Oh, Oh.
Sé que será divertido estar con mis amigos y profes otra vez, empieza un nuevo reto una nueva aventura hay tanto que aprender.
Sé que será divertido”
Yesterday as part of Health Week I shared this video with Y5 who were focusing on ‘exercise for health.’ Although Sergio Ramos’ singing caused great amusement, they loved it and all enthusiastically joined in with the chorus.
Ever since #ililc5 when Janet Lloyd introduced us to this French song for gaining attention and restoring quiet in the classroom, I’ve been searching for a Spanish equivalent. So far I’ve not found one but it got me thinking about using songs and rhymes to create calm.
I have to admit that I tend to use them to either create excitement and action – see posts about La Vaca Lola and Choco Choco la la, two of my favourite songs, or to teach vocabulary – for example, see these posts on Yo quiero ser by Nubeluz or La finca del Tío Ramón and Hojas Hojas that I subtitled using Amara. However, I began to use this song to start all my lessons in KS1 at the start of the year and noted that as well as signalling the start of the Spanish lesson, it focused us all and calmed everyone down.
Part of the appeal is the routine, but I also think that the actions help. And as I was searching, lots of the songs and rhymes I found were either about or used your hands so I thought that warranted a post!
I came across some lovely songs that I think would certainly work for restoring calm, focusing attention and creating a ‘brain break’ during class:
1. El pourri de las manos
I love this collection of songs which could be used separately or as a whole! Each is only about 40 seconds long and all can be sung/acted on the carpet as well as in seats. Some helpful (opposites) vocabulary too – content/triste, arriba/abajo, abre/cierra, allí/allá.
I also like the way that it starts very calm and then gets a little more animated but not too much!
This is one of the songs included in the above video – I think the ‘band’ will be very popular, and it’s still very chilled with the saxophone and calm actions!
Saco una manito. La hago bailar, / I take out one hand. I make it dance. La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again. Saco la otra manito. La hago bailar, / I take out the other hand. I make it dance. La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again. Saco las dos manitos. Las hago bailar, / I take out two hands. I make them dance. Las cierro, las abro y las vuelvo a guardar. / I close them, I open them, and I put them away again.
A very very simple song in which you touch each finger together one after the other then all together.
Palmas con un dedo, palmas con el otro, doy con el más largo, luego con el otro,
viene el más pequeño…
¡Y luego con todos!
Éste dedo es la mama,éste otro es el papa,el más grande es el hermanocon la niña de la mano,
el chiquito va detrás.
Todos salen a pasear
4. El zapatero
This song about a shoemaker is the Spanish equivalent of Wind the bobbin up with arm rolling forward and back, pull, pull and then ‘pan pan pan’ as you gently hammer the shoe.
estira, estira y pan – pan – pan
estira, estira y pan – pan – pan
zapatero a remendar los zapatos sin parar
zapatero a remendar los zapatos sin parar
I’ve seen this rhyme before but had forgotten about it. A nonsense rhyme, but with hand actions that require some concentration.
Continuing on the original thought of bringing the class together, this might work as I’ve yet to find a class that don’t want to wiggle their bottoms given half a chance!
Mis manos hacen clap clap clap
Mis pies hacen stamp stamp stamp
Mi boca hace la la la
Cintura hace cha cha cha
Other rhymes using your hands include Los dedos de las manos and there are several more here including Dedo pulgar (the Spanish version of Tommy Thumb) and Cinco ratoncitos in which one less finger or ‘ratoncitos’ comes out each time to play! And the ever helpful Spanish Playground has some other suggestions too.
I was going to talk about clapping rhymes but I think I’ll save that for another post as they aren’t really very calming 😉
I’ll try some of these out in class and let you know what happens.
PS Over the last two weeks Y2 and I have been exploring world dance and this week we did some ‘flamenco’ arm work. There was utter concentration so perhaps that’s another avenue to explore!
I found this video via Pinterest – a short video that explains Semana Santa in Sevilla using animation and real footage. You can switch on the subtitles to have the English appear across the bottom although the two finger puppets explain well with key words appearing behind them.
I saw this short film or ‘cortometraje’ shared yesterday on Facebook and I can’t get it out of my head so I thought I’d share it with you.
Cuerdas is the winning short film in the Premio Goya 2014 and tells the story of how life changes for María when a new and special child joins her school. It’s heartwarming (and heartbreaking) ; a lesson in seeing things as a child, finding solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems, and being a good friend. Even if you don’t speak Spanish it’s easy to understand and you can’t fail to miss the message!
It struck a chord with me as I have a gorgeous nephew who I’d like to think is treated as María treats her new friend.
And because, at a deeper level, it reminded me of the times when someone has metaphorically tied their hands and/or feet to mine and made me move when I couldn’t of my own volition, who has included me in their ‘games’ when I had nothing to contribute and been sad when I wasn’t there.
As if we’re not fed up enough of it by now, I thought I’d share a few simple activities on the theme of chocolate!
Here’s a video of a song called Uno, dos, tres, chocolate
It’s a variation on my favourite rhyme –
Uno dos tres CHO
Uno dos tres CO
Uno dos tres LA
Uno dos tres TE
Bate, bate, chocolate
Bate, bate, chocolate
Actions – count on your fingers for the first 4 lines then rub hands together to mix the hot chocolate with the molinillo. I like this rhyme as it’s simple, has actions and allows a bit of cultural explanation about chocolate originating as a drink in South America and being brought over to Europe by explorers.
This lovely video caught my eye. It explains (in clear Spanish) the story of the Reyes Magos (Wise Men / Kings) in the Bible as well as sharing how they are important in the celebration of Christmas in Spain.
The video is linked to an iPod/iPad app called Los Reyes Magos de Oriente that costs £1.99 and is an interactive version of the story with activities for young children. (Haven’t investigated it yet as it costs money but I’m tempted…)
Although the video is simple, it is 7 minutes long so I wouldn’t necessarily play it in its entirety to my classes as they’d be overwhelmed I think, but I’d definitely play it in sections.
Another video that’s a bit long to play in one chunk is Dora la Exploradora Salva el Día de los Reyes Magos – but it’s great fun, and certainly worth using in chunks.
And I have to say that I love this clip too, although I’m always reluctant to show it in class as I don’t want to shatter illusions…
*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*
Following on from some ideas for Spanish books using colours, the books in this post look at numbers 1-10.
Counting ovejas (available on Amazon and Abebooks) is a book about a little boy who can’t get to sleep as there’s too much noise so he decides to count sheep. Except these sheep aren’t in his imagination! Una oveja blanca arrives in his room and he bids it ¡Adiós! , then dos ovejas amarillas walk in; he bids them ¡Adiós! as he pushes them out of the window. More and more sheep of varying colours arrive and the boy bids them ¡Adiós! in ever increasingly ingenious and elaborate ways. Does he ever get to sleep? you’ll have to read the book to find out!
The text is very simple and very repetitive, following the structure of stating the number and colour of the sheep on one page and bidding them goodbye on the next. In fact the whole book is made up of the following vocabulary:
los números – uno / dos / tres / cuatro / cinco / seis / siete / ocho / nueve / diez
There is a ‘pronunciation’ given on each page for the Spanish; I personally don’t like these as their accuracy depends on everyone interpreting the ‘phonetic spelling’ in the same way. For example seis ovejas rojas is written ‘pronounced’ say-ees oh-veh-hahs ro-has
However it’s a lovely book for reading with young learners who will soon recall the colour of the sheep as well as the next number as you count the invading woolly creatures! It’s a great book for acting with masks too, perhaps for an assembly! And although this post is about another (similar) book, the activities are equally valid!
Diez orugas cruzan el cielo (available on Amazon and Abebooks) is another counting book with little caterpillars traveling through the pages. Each double page is written in four line rhyme with the final word of line 4 being the number of caterpillars left on the next page:
One caterpillar falls asleep, gets lost, or gets left behind on each page so the numbers decrease from diez to uno until there’s a big surprise on the last page. I like this as counting backwards is more tricky than forwards and adds variety to number work.
The final counting book for young learners is Descubre y aprende los números con Fido. This book is similar to Descubre y aprende los colores con Fido and particularly good for small groups or individual reading, or for whole class using a visualiser. And as the numbers only go as far as 5, it’s particularly good for very young learners in Nursery/Kindergarten.
Each double page focuses on a different number and has bright images for counting, a panel of numbers for indicating the correct figure and a wheel for finding the correct image to fill the window. You could extend the activities by asking learners to find a certain number of items e.g. dos ovejas or tres vacas from the farm, or cuatro coches y un tren from the transport corner. Or count the number of steps to reach certain parts of the classroom/playground.
A fun book – I’m sure there are plenty of other similar books that could be used for similar activities.
I’ll be back with some French ideas once I’ve found all my French books!
And to finish, a few videos that could be used with these books –