I try to do a few activities with my son during the week. They are usually arts and crafts and cooking related. One week we made blueberry bars. It’s the easiest recipe ever. The hard part is making the bar look like the one in the recipe picture. I’m not the best baker, but I try. I learned about this recipe in Against All Grains book. It’s a simple recipe and in the process I learned how to make blueberry jam. It’s easy and I can’t believe I didn’t learn this sooner. My son enjoyed spreading the jam on the almond flour dough. I did a lot of the heavy work, but the point is we do the activity together. He learns about measurement, how to read a recipe, and the importance of portions in Spanish. It’s a fun way to learn new words such as “una cucharra” or “una taza.” He feels very proud of himself for knowing Spanish. Here is the picture of the blueberry bars. I don’t want to show my horrible baking. This is better.
I am currently working with children on not only having strong comprehension skills, but also making sure their fluency and word problem solving skills are strong and consistent. I decided to put a “kit” together. Students can use this as a reference while reading at home with a family member. Here is what my kit contains:
- reading marker-it’s a highlighted strip that children can put over a sentence and not get distracted by the other sentences.
- reading strategy bookmark- students can use it while reading when they approach a difficult word.
- retelling hand– students use their hand to retell a story by identifying the character, their actions, problem, and solution.
- story sequence sheet– students use linking words to talk about what happens first, then, next, after, and lastly.
- questioning– Students discuss stories by asking I wonder . . . why, how, when in relation to the story.
- main idea and details-students use a graphic organizer to talk about non-fiction stories.
Kids enjoy using tangible materials that help them become stronger readers.
Christmas is a great time of the year to expand your child’s library. I am proponent of bilingualism and think children should be taught several languages in public schools. A great way to expose children to a new language and make it fun is through books. Here are some of my favorites. These books are bilingual, but I encourage you to read only the Spanish section of the book.
Qué Montón de Tamales – Gary Soto
This is my favorite book! Maria helps her mom make tamales, but loses her mother’s wedding ring in the masa. Read the book and learn about Mexican cultural traditions at Christmas time and find out if Maria gets the ring back!
En Mi Familia- Carmen Lomas Gorza
This book has paintings on each page depicting favorite family celebrations of the author’s life. Read it with your child and see if you can relate to any of the celebrations.
Pelitos- Sandra Cisnero
This beautifully illustrated book is narrated by the main character. She describes her family member’s hair. Read to find out whose hair she loves best!
Stories and Songs written by children’s composer Jose Luis Orozco
He has a lot of choices on his website, but my favorite is the De Colores book and CD. It has all the nursery rhymes in Spanish!
Stories written by Latin American author Alma Flor Ada
She has a lot of choices as well. Choose a book that best interests your child.