March 2011 – ¡Vámonos!

Month: March 2011

El osito

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A lovely song / rhyme about a little bear playing hide and seek. Not the best singer ever but a sweet song!
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Thanks to a lovely FLA (foreign language assistant) who attended my course yesterday I’ve discovered Semillitas de Aprendizaje. And I love it!

Semillitas de aprendizaje (little seeds of learning) is part of RiF (Reading is Fundamental), a non profit organisation with the aim of nurturing a love of books and a rise in literacy across America.

Our vision is a literate America in which all children have access to books and discover the joys and value of reading.

To motivate young children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF’s highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8.


Semillitas de aprendizaje is a bilingual site – in English and Spanish – aimed at children 0-5 years old and their parents. It’s full of games, stories, songs, rhymes and activities in two sections – 0-36 meses and 3-5 años.

Favourites so far include

Explorar where you can find out about animals in short clips with simple notes down the side

Juegos digitales which doesn’t mean digital games but finger rhymes! Particularly like the fact that the girl presenting them isn’t a’professional’ singer – much more appealing. My favourite is Las ruedas en el bus.

Cuentos – some very simple stories – particularly like La mascota perfecta (link to Querido Zoo?) and No me quiero bañar – a common cry in many homes!

Rimas infantiles is also a great section with lots of rhymes – and they’re read to you so you get the right rhythm which can be a bit of a problem.

Some lovely things to see and do on the site – also has pictures to download and colour (love the animals!)

And the adults section gives advice on good books, activities that you can do with your children and also general advice.

So, thanks for the tip off! I love it when other people share things with me!

CC image by Lauren Manning

This afternoon I’m at Knox House at the Martineau Centre in Birmingham delivering the second showing of the Sound and Vision session I ran last week at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School.

All materials from the sessions – presentations, examples, helpsheets –  have been saved on my wikispace for easy access.

Hope you enjoyed it if you came, and that you find the resources helpful even if you didn’t!

It seems that someone likes my blog as ¡Vámonos! has been nominated for The Education Blog Awards.

Which is rather exciting!

Not sure who the kind person who nominated me was, but thank you!

If you feel like voting, click on the lovely badges below and you’ll be taken to the place to vote.  There are lots of other blogs there that I’d encourage you to peruse, especially the class and school blogs written by and for children.

The top ten in each category will then be judged by the illustrious panel to choose the winners.

Don’t think for a moment that I’ll win but it’s good to see primary languages represented on the list!

Friday thought 2



I was shocked the first time I son talked about ‘stealing’ a friend’s idea. ‘but my teacher told me to do it!’ was his response to the look on my face.

Gone are the days when my planning was mine  alone and a colleague teaching the same lesson had to plan their own lesson. Pooling knowledge and ideas is positively encouraged, and I for one am VERY grateful for this.

Image from klmontgomery

It’s TeachMeetBrum tonight! Whoopee!

Not too late to come along – or join the online streaming if you’re too far away! Details here!

Below is my presentation – or the things I will talk about as I don’t do ‘slides’ for these things – I thought the idea was that you didn’t have any!


Random stuff we did this week!

1. Stories

We’ve used all sorts of storymaking tools – Storybird, Storyjumper, ZooBurst – but this week we discovered Little Bird Tales which allows you to narrate your story.

Here’s one I made earlier!


2. Postcrossing

Looking outward is something at which schools are becoming increasingly good. At Whitehouse Common we have a Connecting Classrooms project going on with India and a Comenius Reggio project with Barcelona.

One very simple way we’ve made looking to the world a day to day thing is by using Postcrossing, a postcard exchange site. I spoke about it in my talk at #ililc on eTwinning and mentioned how we’ve used GoogleMaps to have a constantly updated and graphic idea of where our cards are going to and coming from, as well as the display we made (below) which we’ve now had to dismantle as there were too many postcards!

3. Polldaddy

Son needed to do a survey for his Maths homework and complained that it was a bit silly setting that as there are only 4 people in our house. So we PollDaddy-ed Twitter! And he wrote the URL in his book so the teacher knew he’d not made it up!

4. International links

As I said our school has many links and here are some clips we’ve used to make Barcelona seem all the more real to our pupils and to provoke discussion.

  • Used to inspire work on letters for WorldBookDay using iPod Touches to capture letters in our environment


  • Used to discuss homes and housing in different countries


  • Used to show pupils at our link school learning English



A new mini series starting today of ‘thoughts’.

This is increasingly what I aim for in my lessons – for pupils to discover for themselves, and to accept that there isn’t always an easy answer, that I am not a walking dictionary and Google is not the source of all knowledge.

Image from Colette Cassinelli

Following my post last night about Little Bird Tales and the problem with the accents on the title page, I received two comments before I woke this morning – one from Amiee Klem, co-founder of Little Bird Tales saying that they would sort out the accent issue I’d highlighted, and then another a coupel of hours later from her husband Michael telling me the problem was sorted.

THAT is good service for you!

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