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¿Confused face?

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I love Itchy Feet: The Travel and Language Comic and this particular comic amused me no end! It’s one way to explain ¿? and ¡! I guess, although I tend to liken them to ’66 and 99′ or ‘6 and 9’ for speech marks/quotation marks that we use in English to enclose speech/a quotation! And in typing that I’ve discovered that my computer doesn’t distinguish between opening and closing speech/quotation marks hence the simplistic KS1 explanation!

Here’s the link to a scrolling magazine type version https://tinyview.com/itchy-feet/2020/2016-02-21-confused-face

Original post

Prompted by various requests for simple Spanish Christmas songs and my own desire to teach Y2 a song that didn’t involve too many words and too much ‘blending words together’ I decided to collate 10 possibilities (with thanks to LiPS for reminding me to do this!)

Mi burrito sabanero
I love this song and so did one of my Y3 classes last year who learned it and sang it in our ‘Christmas around the world’ LKS2 performance. It’s a Venezuelan song writtern by Hugo Blanco that was famously recorded by La Rondallita and then by Juanes and is all about the little donkey on his way to Bethlehem. Y3 particularly liked the ‘tuki tuki tuki’ part but enjoyed the repetition of the lines too which meant that they didn’t have too many words to learn.Here are the lyrics – https://www.letras.com/villancicos/1613730/

Vuela Vuela
This is a beautiful song that remembers the Christmas star that led to Bethlehem and talks of a wish for a world with no more war, hunger, poverty or loneliness, a peaceful world. Really simple and a lovely sentiment.
This version is great for little children as it has characters in it https://youtu.be/nymD4tp_emw but here’s an alternative.

Copo de nieve
This one isn’t strictly about Christmas but it’s a lovely song to sing at this time of year especially if you don’t want to have a ‘religious’ song. Would be lovely to use with Nursery or Reception and let them dance like snowflakes!

Soy un muñeco de nieve
Another one for the very littlest – and a great one if you’re not allowed to sing at the moment! More of a rhyme spoken to music, children can join in by pointing to themselves as if they are the snowman showing his buttons, mouth, nose and so on.

A las doce de la noche
This song talks of the midnight when the baby Jesus was born. The cockerels all sing and wake the singer to announce the birth of Jesus. The singer takes Mary some pears as a gift and declares that he loves the baby. A sweet little song with a good rhythm.

En Navidad turrón y mazapán
Another song with a great rhythm is En Navidad turrón y mazapán. This one is good as the lyrics are clear and repeated twice with rests at the end of each line which makes it clearer than in some villancicos where one sentence ends and another starts! This is obviously a very popular song for performance as there are multiple videos on Youtube of little ones dressed as Christmas trees and mini Santas singing it! I like the version below as it has widgets or pictogramas to explain the meaning but if you’d prefer a version without them, here’s one (fast forward to 1:27 to avoid the chatting!) https://youtu.be/hymnI_DKOnk

Cascabel
Spanish version of Jingle Bells. I particularly like this version as it has an echo section in the middle where the chorus is sung line by line with spaces to echo it back. This allows those who can’t recall all the words or struggle to fit them in to concentrate on just one line at a time.

Dulce Navidad
An alternative version of Jingle Bells in Spanish which replaces Jingle Bells with Sweet Christmas. This version is repeats the chorus and verse twice before there’s a final verse about Santa Claus being old and confused and delivering last year’s presents including chewed chewing gum and a punctured football!

[The more widely known version of this is Navidad Navidad hoy es Navidad; this however has three verses with lots of words. It’s here though if you’d like it https://youtu.be/Z0qYQSvGSdw]

La Marimorena
This one is a more traditional Christmas song. As you can see from here https://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=4198 there are many verses and alternative verses but the chorus is lively and simple to join in with. I love the flamenco clapping – it makes me want to dance! The version below is long but gives lots of opportunities to sing the chorus and has ‘sing with the colour’ lyrics! You could split into groups and each take a verse – one way of getting around ‘don’t sing altogether’ if that’s the rule in your school! This version is shorter and has people singing but no lyrics on the screen. https://youtu.be/CSaoK1Aceb0

¡Feliz Navidad!
I couldn’t leave this one out! Very very simple – but it’ll get stuck in your head and may drive you slightly loco! This version is animated but if you’re a fan of Michael Bublé here’s the one for you 😉 https://youtu.be/J4DQC-M9O5c (that song starts after 44 seconds)


And one more bonus!
Decoremos el árbol de Navidad
Perhaps not to sing but this is a cute song for tidying up at this time of year with the repeated ‘Fa la la la la, la la la la’

Earlier today I saw someone share that they had made an Advent calendar using AdventMyFriend. Not liking to actually sit and do just one thing, I decided to investigate and have a go myself whilst watching TV.

Below is the result!

Click the image to go to the calendar.

Really easy to do too!

1. Choose your background
2. Give your advent calendar a title and click on Day 1 (or any other day – you don’t have to do them in order!)
3. Decide if you want to add an image or a video to show behind your door.
4. I added a video. Add a message too then click OK.
5. That door now has a tick to show it’s ready. Keep going until they’re all ticked.
6. Once all the boxes are ticked, click preview to check it works then SHARE!

One you’ve finished, you can share your calendar to most social media platforms as well as sharing via email and embedding it into a website or blog.

I’m thinking that I’ll make another one with Christmas traditions from around the world. In the meantime, you’ll have to wait until December 1st before you can look behind the first door of the one above! Why not make your own in the meantime?

I was overjoyed to be asked to present at the inaugural PHOrum meeting for members of the Association for Language Learning last Wednesday evening (get well soon Susanne x). My presentation was entitled Take One Book and can be viewed below along with links to some of the resources and ideas I shared.

You can find out more about the Take One Book by going to their website. A helpful literacy idea with amazing resources! https://www.takeonebook.org

There are multiple versions of the story being read online in Spanish online – this is one and here’s another one that are read in both Spanish and English, and this one has the bilingual text but just Spanish narration.

Wordwalls:
https://wordwall.net/resource/6417210  Esta no es mi gata

https://wordwall.net/resource/6416418 Es mi gata Q+A with words

https://wordwall.net/resource/6417038 Es mi gata Q+A no words

Joining in with a story video featuring Nigel Pearson sharing the book in German (Wo ist meine Katze?) https://vimeo.com/123422432 Well worth watching this masterclass in engaging a class in a story!
If you want to story as written in the book in German here’s a video of it being read

A number of resources are available for the original text (in English) that could be adapted.
A puzzle to adapt
https://www.readytoread.com/documents/rtr-carle-activities.pdfResource
Resources on TPT
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Have-You-Seen-My-Cat-by-Eric-Carle-Bundle-Resources-4566552?st=2bc1e1ad0f265de650a2c2f0f099b137
A literacy lesson plan
https://tracieanzara.weebly.com/uploads/1/1/7/2/11727035/lesson_2.pdf

ReadWriteThink Planning PDF http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/stapleless/StaplelessBookPlanningSheet.pdf
Word cards http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson131/wordcards.pdf
Lesson ideas http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/using-predictable-text-teach-131.html?tab=4#tabs

Tissue paper cat craft https://www.gluedtomycraftsblog.com/2015/08/tissue-paper-black-cat-kid-craft.html
Hidden cat article https://www.cnet.com/news/find-the-cat-photograph-with-tricky-kitty-stumps-many-as-it-goes-viral/
Infographic showing the effect of loss of habitat on wild cats https://www.agenciasinc.es/Visual/Infografias/La-perdida-de-habitat-amenaza-a-los-felinos-del-mundo#results
Article about the Cat Island https://www.ngenespanol.com/traveler/descubre-la-isla-de-los-gatos-japon//
Animalandia – a great website with short factfiles in Spanish about a wide variety of animals as referenced in slide 46. http://animalandia.educa.madrid.org/

There will a PHOrum meeting every term so if you don’t want to miss out on the next one, do join ALL. Find out how here.

During this strange half term when we’ve been at school but not at school, I’ve been setting Spanish work for KS2 using Showbie. That’s been great as I’ve been able to make use of lots of resources including the wonderful Learn Spanish at home videos made by Clare Seccombe that accompany her scheme of work. I’ve been able to set the work and collect it via the app.

¡Hola a todos!

Showbie allows you to send written comments but also images and voice messages. The latter not only save time but have been particularly popular with the children. In the early stages I had so many comments that ‘it’s lovely to hear your voice!’ and ‘hearing you made me smile!’ This, combined with a wish to stay in tough with the younger children made me think.

I’ve taught Y1 quite a bit this year and they love anything active so I started by recording rhymes as a challenge (see previous posts) Then I moved onto stories like the ones about Elmo and Elmer.

They proved so popular that I decided to try and record one each week and share it via the school website/Twitter. I didn’t always succeed but I’d recorded quite a few by the end of term. Even if they were only viewed by a few children it was worth it.

If we go into lockdown again, I’ll start up once more. And it’s given me an idea for next term when assemblies are banned – I’ll be recording some assemblies based around books that can be played to the children in class. I’ve got quite a pile of suitable ones!

Here’s one of my videos that I really enjoyed recording as it’s one of my favourite books and allows me to be really dramatic. And if you think I pull some amazing faces, you should see some of the ones sent to me via ClassDojo (the platform we used with KS1) 😉

Continuing on the theme of colours, the next story I decided to share with the children is all about Elmer the elephant.
In the book, we meet Elmer and his multiple colours, and then discover things that are that colour like snow, an ice lolly and fruit.

Here it is:

Since recording it, I’ve discovered the video below which takes the book towards the story of Elmer in which he wants to be the same as everyone else to fit in. [You can find that story here.] They each colour in a picture of Elmer and explore the idea of being the same but different

Then I found this song that is really lovely and worth sharing with children as it speaks about the value of diversity.

The lyrics are:

De mil colores es su piel
se llama Elmer y es genial
un elefante quiere ser
de igual color que los demás. (2 veces)

Para ser feliz no hay que ser igual
para sonreír no hay que ser igual
para divertir no hay que ser igual
porque el color no importará. (2 veces)

(Elmer, el elefante de colores – Canción del cuento de David McKee
Autor: Juan Rafael Muñoz Muñoz
Arreglo: Luis Miguel González)

I also like this version of the songs with pictograms to aid understanding.
If you’d like another version of the story I shared, here’s a little child reading it. Very different style to me – far cuter! And I also found a couple of activities here that you could do related to the story.

Elmo y Clara cantan sobre la importancia de lavarse las manos.

Following on from my previous post about Elmo, here’s a lovely little video all about washing your hands – very topical!

Here are the lyrics if you wanted to join in!

(spoken) El agua está lista. El jabón está listo. ¡A lavar las manos! ¡Sííí!

Si tu salud quieres ciudar, tus manos tienes que lavar.
Los gérmenes eliminar y el agua siempre conservar.
Frota arriba. Frota abajo.
El jabón para lavar.
Del meñique hasta el pulgar, cada dedo de tus manos.

Después de jugar, antes de comer.
Luego de ir al baño, me lavo las manos x2

The last line of the chorus drove me bonkers as I just couldn’t work it out so I did some research which led to the Sésamo website where there are a multitude of resources including links to further handwashing videos (see the end of the post) and this worksheet in the section LIMPIOS that accompanies the song. It has four pictures for children to colour then cut out and put into the correct sequence to wash their hands.

However, I found no lyrics so I needed to call on some Spanish speaking mates who were equally puzzled. Sin embargo, a bit of detective work by @SpanishSam and @amandasalt and the line ‘Del meñique al pulgar’ was found. As we discussed, el meñique (meaning little finger) isn’t a word that sprang to mind although we’d heard it before.

Amanda found this section of information that suggests playing a handwashing game – give two or more children water and the same amount of soap and see who can produce the most bubbles whilst they sing the alphabet song (or another well known song!)


Sam found it in this really helpful document that accompanies the series, giving lesson ideas. activities and other resources to promote good health. Needs further investigation I feel but in the section related to this song it suggests playing ¿Lavarme o no lavarme? giving a variety of scenarios and ask children to decide if they need to wash their hands or not, and also suggests some cross curricular activities linked to Maths, Science and Food.

Click to download.

If you want to investigate handwashing in greater depth, this 12 minute videos explains why we need to wash our hands and sees Elmo finding out about the science behind handwashing whilst trying to escape from a huge germ that chases him!

There are also links via the Limpios section of Sésamo to other videos on handwashing:
Lavarse las manos antes de comer
Lavado de manos antes de comer (with another song!)
Lavado las manos después de ir al baño
Lavarse las manos después de it al baño

Finally, in these times of Covid-19, Elmo and his friends have been encouraging children to wash their hands for 20 seconds as well as offering advice to parents on how to talk about the virus. More information here
I’ll leave you with a couple of videos. Remember ¡lávate las manos!

As we continue with ‘lockdown learning,’ I’ve made another video for my pupils. This week, I move away from chocolate and rhymes and ask the question ¿De qué color es Elmo?

Years ago on a trip to Spain, I found some Barrio Sésamo books in a random shop and two have become permanent favourites. Unfortunately ¿Qué oye Epi? disappeared many years ago but I still have one of them which is great for practising colours and the question ¿De qué color es?

In my video we meet Epi and Blas, and discover other members of the Barrio Sésamo gang who aren’t the same colour as Elmo in the story. Here it is.

There are lots of Barrio Sésamo videos that you might like to use in the classroom. I particularly like this one in which Elmo and Abby learn with Rosita how to sing ‘Si estás feliz…’

In case you wanted the words:

Si estás feliz, tú puedes aplaudir. (If you’re happy, you can clap)
Si estás feliz, tú puedes aplaudir.
Si en verdad estás contento, tu sonrisa es el reflejo. (If you really are happy, your smile is the reflection)
Si estás feliz, tú puedes aplaudir.

Si estás feliz, golpear con los pies. ((If you’re happy, stamp your feet)
Si estás feliz, golpear con los pies.
Si en verdad estás contento, a tu rostro es el reflejo. (If you really are happy, your face is the reflection)
Si estás feliz, golpear con los pies.

Si estás feliz, tú puedes gritar ‘¡Hurra!’ (If you’re happy, you can shout Hurray!)
Si estás muy feliz, tú puedes gritar ‘¡Hurra!’
Si en verdad estás contento, tu sonrisa es el reflejo. (If you really are happy, your smile is the reflection)
Si estás feliz, tú puedes gritar ‘¡Hurra!’

Si estás feliz, tú puedes aletear. (If you’re happy, you can flap)
Si estás muy feliz, tú puedes aletear.
Si en verdad estás contento, a tu rostro es el reflejo. (If you really are happy, your face is the reflection)
Si estás feliz, tú puedes aletear.

Si estás feliz, tú puedes hacer todo. (If you’re happy, you can do it all)
Si estás muy feliz, tú puedes hacer todo.
Si en verdad estás contento, tu sonrisa es el reflejo. (If you really are happy, your smile is the reflection)
Si estás feliz, tú puedes hacer todo.




¡1,2,3 chocolate!

Following on from my post last week, here’s another rhyme all about chocolate that I’ve recorded for my pupils. It involves counting and syllables, and a bit of cultural knowledge.

The rhyme goes like this:

un molinillo

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 promotes cross curricular and cultural links about chocolate originating as a drink in South America and being brought over to Europe by explorers.

Here’s the video.

And here’s a clip of someone making chocolate caliente – Mexican style.

Next time, I promise the rhyme won’t be about chocolate!

¡Choco choco la te!

Like many of you, I’ve been trying to keep my Spanish ‘teaching’ going in this time of lockdown and no ‘school school’ by providing activities for them to do at ‘home school’.

Today I was making a ‘hello’ message for one of the schools at which I teach and decided to add a little Spanish activity to it. And then thought I’d share it with the children at my other school. And then thought I’d share it with you in case you think it’s useful.

I’m sure many of you will know the chocolate rhyme; indeed, I’ve mentioned it here before in posts about clapping rhymes (see below). I love the way that you can use other words as well. Mariposa was taught to me by the children at CEP Antonio de Ulloa in Cartagena which led me to think of elefante and caramelo. I’m sure, with more than a couple of minute’s thought I could think of more words too!

Here’s the video! Enjoy!

Here’s the video. Enjoy!

Here are other posts about chocolate, sweets and clapping rhymes:

¡Chocolate!

Some Spanish clapping rhymes

Sweet inspiration

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