Monday, July 20, 2015

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 3rd Graders

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 3rd Graders
Are you ready?!  Today is the final installment for my Back-to-School Read Aloud series.  Today we are going to talk about books for third graders!  At the beginning of the year these third graders are just big second graders, excited to be part of the 'big kid' crowd.  The following books are ones that are going to add your new third graders' excitement about being back to school!

Remember you can click on any of the pictures or links to learn more about the books.

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 3rd Graders
Ramona empieza el curso by Beverly Clearly is one of my favorites from being a third grader. The book title in English is Ramona Quimby, Age 8.  Sometimes I read this to my second graders at the end of the school year to get them excited about third grade, but this is the perfect book for the beginning of third!  Your third graders will definitely relate to Ramona and all the situations that she gets into!

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 3rd Graders
Judy Moody está de mal humor, de muy mal humor by Megan McDonald is another great chapter book about the beginning of third grade.  This book is funny and has the kids laughing throughout.  Judy Moody's little brother, Stink, also adds to the comic relief and you will find that many kids want to read other Judy Moody and Stink books after you finish this book!

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 3rd Graders
La maestra del pantano negro by Mike Thaler is a favorite from my second grade list, but it is great for third also.  Many of your students are ready for chapter books, but not all will be.  You want to introduce your strugglers to books that they can handle, but are not baby-ish.    Other titles in this series that are in Spanish are La directora del pantano negro and La bibliotecaria del pantano negro.  When the kids are ready there are even Black Lagoon chapter books (in English)!

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 3rd Graders
¡La señorita Nelson ha desaparecido! by Harry Allard is a great picture book that kids don't seem to 'get' until they are older.  Señorita Nelson has had enough with the kids' behavior she decides to leave... in her place is Viola Swamp.  The kids hate her and promise to be good if only Señorita Nelson comes back!  The book is great for talking about good behaviors and good choices for third grade!

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 3rd Graders
Un caso grave de rayas by David Shannon is another one I had on my second grade list, but it is perfect for third grade.  The students have made the big jump to third grade and they are worried about where they fit in.  This book is great for talking about being your true self (#beyou) and not worrying about what others think about your decision.  As a teacher, you can use Camilla as an example and see what the students would do in her position (and in her classmates' positions).

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 3rd Graders
La mariposa by Francisco Jiménez is another great book about being yourself, accepting others, and helping friends.  Francisco is a son of an immigrant campesino and La mariposa goes through his first year at school, not knowing how to speak English, and all that he goes through.  The situation that he goes through on the playground with the bully is such a great discussion points with the students.  I am amazed when I hear some of my students who take the bully's side!  I let them be heard though and it leads to a really good conversation in the classroom.

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 3rd Graders
Gracias, Sr. Falker by Patricia Polacco is another great book for talking about bullying and how we are all different.  It is a tear jerker (in fact, I just reread it for this post and I was bawling my eyes out), but it is great to open this dialogue with the students.  Maybe you will have students who talk about their struggles or maybe you will have the opportunity to talk about equal doesn't always mean the same.  The main idea with these last three books is allowing students a safe place to talk.

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 3rd Graders
¡Oh, cuán lejos llegarás! by Dr. Seuss is a great book to talk about goals in third grade.  People usually think of Dr. Seuss for beginning readers, but this book is given to people at their college graduations!  This book is perfect to talk about all that is going to happen in third grade and how it is going to help them reach their goals in school and in life!

I hope you have enjoyed this three part series.  If you missed the past posts, you can click below to go back to them.  I have loved all of the suggestions that you have left here on the blog and on Facebook.  I would love to know if I left any of your favorites out!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 2nd Graders

Hey guys!  I am back with part two of my back-to-school read aloud series!  Yesterday, I wrote about back-to-school read alouds for bilingual first graders and you can read about them here.  Today I get to talk about my read alouds for my favorite grade level:  2nd Grade!  I might be partial, seeing that I am a second grade teacher!  

Remember you can click on any of the picture or the links to explore these books some more!

Bitty Bilinguals - Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 2nd Graders
 Lista para segundo grado Ámbar Dorado and Segundo grado es increíble Ámbar Dorado by Paula Danziger are my favorite books to read the first weeks of second grade!  How awesome is it to find a character, just like them (she has a best friend Justo for the boys), that is in second grade!  These books also serve as a starting point for Pupitrina (The Desk Fairy) in my classroom.  There are a whole bunch of easy readers staring Ámbar and Justo and the kids love them!

Bitty Bilinguals - Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 2nd Graders
I have read La maestra del pantano negro by Mike Thaler the first day of school all eight years in the classroom!  Why?  It is funny and the kids love it!  They laugh and get their nerves out!  I also love the other books in the series, La directora del pantano negro and La bibliotecaria del pantano negro, too!  This is the day that my students fall in love with these books and so I always make sure I have a basket full for them to check out from our classroom library.

I had a teacher friend who would use these books in her classroom (in English) as an introduction to all of the specialist teachers.  She would invite them in the classroom throughout the week and they would read the book that went along with the special that they taught.  So the librarian would read The Librarian from the Black Lagoon, etc.  I thought that was such an awesome idea!

Bitty Bilinguals - Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 2nd Graders
For the last couple of years ¡Qué nervios!  El primer día de escuela by Julie Danneberg has been my go-to read aloud for our first afternoon of second grade.  After we read this book together, the second grade team (bilingual and monolingual) get together to do activities from Abby Mullins' Super Second Graders Pack.  We love reading the Jitter Juice poem and drinking our concoctions by the same name!

Bitty Bilinguals - Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 2nd Graders
¡No te comas a la maestra! by Nick Ward is a funny little story about Sammy the Shark on his first day of school.  It is perfect for talking about first week emotions such as being excited, nervous, etc. This book is a favorite of my students long into the middle of the school year!

Bitty Bilinguals - Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 2nd Graders
I love books that lead the discussion about being you and Un caso grave de rayos by David Shannon is a perfect example of that!  Camilla doesn't want to admit how much she loves lima beans so she starts changing different colors and no one can figure out why!  #beyou.

Bitty Bilinguals - Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 2nd Graders
Froggy va a la escuela by Jonathan London was on my first grade list, but I had to put on my second grade list, too.  I love introducing my students to characters that they can read about in other books.  It gets the reluctant readers something to grasp onto and they get really invested in these characters.  We do the t-chart and compare/contrast Froggy's school life to our school life: the kids love it!

Bitty Bilinguals - Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 2nd Graders
Speaking of books that get kids excited about reading, I think that ¡Yo puedo leer con los ojos cerrados! by Dr. Seuss is a great book to do so.  The kids love this book and laugh the whole way though -- who am I to deny them of this funny book?

Bitty Bilinguals - Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 2nd Graders
My last book is another one from my first grade list:  Así vamos a la escuela by Edith Baer.  I do a lot more with this book in second grade than I would if I was teaching first grade.  We do another t-chart, but then the kids get to write about our school and another school around the world.  It isn't a major writing activity, but it gets the kiddos thinking about school and education and how it is a global concept.  We aren't the only kids and teachers that go to school in the whole world!

So there you have it!  My list of back-to-school read alouds for bilingual second graders!  I would love to know if you read any of these to your students or if you would add anything to this list!  Comment below with your ideas!

Be sure to come back Monday for my final installment of Back-to-School read alouds when I share my top picks for third grade!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Back-to-School Read Alouds for Bilingual 1st Graders

Bitty Bilinguals - Back to School Read Alouds for Bilingual 1st Grade

Hey everyone!  We are getting to that time:  where we don't want to let go of those last moments of summer, but that Target Dollar Spot has us thinking about back-to-school.

I have some tried and true back-to-school read alouds that I read to my students every year and I thought that I would share a few of my favorites for our primary bilingual students.  To start with this three-part series, I wanted to share some of my top read alouds for first grade bilinguals (click on any picture or link to purchase the book).

Bitty Bilinguals - Back to School Read Alouds for Bilingual 1st Grade
Un beso en mi mano by Audrey Penn is a favorite (and a tear-jerker) of one of my good friends who teaches in a first grade bilingual classroom.  It talks about going to school and missing your family, but knowing that they are always in your heart.

Bitty Bilinguals - Back to School Read Alouds for Bilingual 1st Grade
Cristantemo by Kevin Henkes is another first week favorite!  Cristantemo is in love with her name until she goes to school and the kids make fun of her name.  This story is great about being proud of who you are!

Bitty Bilinguals - Back to School Read Alouds for Bilingual 1st Grade
David va al colegio by David Shannon is a great book for teaching the rules for the first week of school!  It is great to talk about what we do and don't do at school.  There are so many extension activities that lead to a natural discussion of school expectations from this book.

Bitty Bilinguals - Back to School Read Alouds for Bilingual 1st Grade
¿Cómo van a escuela los dinosaurios? by Jane Yolen is another book that is great for discussing the rules and expectations of school.  I like how it starts with non-examples of school behaviors and then goes into how we should behave at school.  It sets up perfectly for a t-chart of school expectations.

Bitty Bilinguals - Back to School Read Alouds for Bilingual 1st Grade
Clifford va a la escuela by Norman Bridwell is a great book for the first week of school because it gets the kids excited about a book series.  The students will probably read a lot of Clifford books in first grade and how great is it to introduce this beloved character the first week of school?

Bitty Bilinguals - Back to School Read Alouds for Bilingual 1st Grade
Froggy va a la escuela by Jonathan London introduces another beloved character that your first graders will read about all year.  It is fun to compare Froggy's school life and the students' school life (do we eat flies at lunch?)

Bitty Bilinguals - Back to School Read Alouds for Bilingual 1st Grade
Así vamos a la escuela by Edith Baer is a great book for discussing school and education as a global concept.  This book is perfect for comparing and contrasting different cultures while still staying on level for first grade.

Bitty Bilinguals - Back to School Read Alouds for Bilingual 1st Grade
Finally, Junie B. en primer grado (¡por fin!) by Barbara Park is a great first month of school read aloud.  First graders are excited about chapter books and they immediately relate with Junie B.  

As bilingual and dual language teachers we know how hard it is to find great books in Spanish; I would love to know what books you read to your kiddos for back-to-school!  Comment below if you read any of these books with your firsties or if you have any other favorites that you would add to this list!

Come back tomorrow for more selections for back-to-school read alouds in a bilingual 2nd grade classroom!

Friday, July 3, 2015

4th of July Bilingual Blog Hop

Happy 4th of July everyone!

I have to say, this is my most favoritest of holidays.  I am not sure exactly why, but I love the grilling out, picnics, and most of all:  the fireworks (yes, I am just a 8-year-old child)!  This year Hubby, Gracie, and I will be going to my sister's for some grilling and family time.  Then we will be joining some friends at the park to watch the fireworks!  I can't wait!

I am also so excited about being a part of the Bilingual Bloggers' 4th of July Blog Hop.  I can't wait to see what everyone has in store!

My freebie that I am offering is part of a bigger bundle in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, Gracieface Learning.  These packs are my baby because I have been working on it for the last month and just uploaded it yesterday!  A little background before I reveal it...

Ask anyone around my school what one of my passion projects this year was and they will tell you: interactive notebooks.  I am a huge fan of them!  I even got to present district-wide last year on interactive notebooks in the classroom:

{Insert awkward PD selfie.}

My good friend wanted to do interactive notebooks with her kindergarten bilingual kiddos this year and we played around with many different styles.  After all of the trial and error, I think I finally found the perfect product!

Mis libros interactivos del abecedario are different than any regular alphabet book out there.  It seems that companies are always trying to push a translated version of their product on us!  And we know better!  Our students don't learn their alphabet letter by letter, but rather syllable by syllable (sound by sound)!  That's what I love about these books!  There are a couple of pages where the students will work on letras mayúsculas and letras minúsculas (capital and lower-case letters), but the rest is all about syllable reading.  I think these will be great in a kindergarten classroom or as intervention in a first grade classroom!

I put together a sample for everyone today in honor of our blog hop.  And it's not just a 'sample' it is the whole first book!  I think a majority of us start with letter m, so I wanted to give you a sample that you could use in your classrooms right away!

Click on the link to download the sample book!

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July!  Now head over to Tabitha at Flapjack Education to continue on your bloggy hop way!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Gift Card Giveaway!

What would you do if you had an extra $25 to spend for your classroom?  Me, I would easily spend it in the "dollar" spot at Target (why even bother calling it the dollar spot... I never just spend a dollar.)

Well, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the collaborative blog that I am a part of, iTeach Second, is hosting a $100 gift card giveaway!

You can win one of the four $25 gift cards to Target, Starbucks, Amazon, or Teachers Pay Teachers! Starting today, you can head over to the blog and enter for your chance to win!  Click on any of the pictures and they will take you over to iTeach Second!  Good luck!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Animal Classification

Hey everyone!  In second grade we have launched our animals and environments unit with a blast!  This 6-week unit is always fun to start right after winter break: the kids are so engaged with this whole unit.

As many of you know our one-way dual language program at our school is made up of thematic units (K-3).  These units can be anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks long.  So this animals and environments unit will look like:

Week 1 - Animal Classifications
Week 2 - Desert
Week 3 - Forest and Rainforest
Week 4 - Arctic
Week 5 - Ocean and Pond
Week 6 - Dioramas

The first week of this unit we concentrated on the seven types of animals (these are the ones that we concentrate on in second grade) so when we went into each environment, we could talk about all of the groups within the habitat.  As you all know I could sit and tell the students that mammals have this and that and fish have this...  but my teammate and I wanted to come up with an exploration for the kiddos to learn about each group.  Enter animal flipbooks...

For the research time I set up bins of books around the room: each bin was a different group of animals.  The students traveled around the room with their supply boxes, learning buddies, and flipbooks.  I used a timer and gave them five minutes at each station - we did this for three days; the majority of the students got their books done in that time, but I had to keep the book bins off to the side for a few days for my stragglers.

Sentence prompts are huge in dual language methods, so of course I gave them a sentence prompt for what they were to write inside of their flipbooks; even with sentence prompts the kids had many different answers... I love it!

I was very proud of their work -- they were, too!  Now that we have ventured into the desert, forest, and rainforest they are experts in the animals in each environment.  Even though these are in Spanish, they got to share these with their second grade buddies from another monolingual class, and it was cool to see their language transfer in the same subject!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Bilingual Blog Hop

It's November... That means my birthday is near (November 7th!), pumpkin pie, and soon... and the 30 days of thankfulness on social media will be starting.

I haven't ever participated in one of those 30 days things, but when I read them they do make me take a second and think about all that I am thankful for.

Well, the theme of this Bilingual Blog Hop is things that we are thankful for, so...

My top 3...

1.  My awesome family...  I couldn't imagine life without them... actually, I could... it would really stink.  So... I am very thankful that I have them.

2.  My awesome students and their families.  I am smack dab in the middle of parent-teacher conference week and I can't rave enough about the group of kids and families that I have... I am already dreading the end of the year!  I love them so much!!

3.  My blogging buddies and the TpT world.  So much has changed and I have learned a lot since I encountered Teachers Pay Teachers a couple of years ago.  I just wanted to stop and think about that for a minute... Being a bilingual teacher can feel like you're on an island, but just through these outlets I have found so many other bilingual, dual language, ESL teachers and it has been so awesome to connect, share resources, and talk to people with the same problems, interests, etc.  It's pretty cool!

Well, quickly before you leave, I wanted to offer a freebie... Not Thanksgiving themed, but definitely something that I am thankful for.  We have working our little bottoms off in Room 109A on 10 less and 10 more... and I am proud to say my students get it!!  I have heard the stress of other teachers trying to teach this concept using a hundreds grid so I hope this freebie can help you out!

Now on to the next blog on the hop...School en casa