Thursday, February 28, 2013

Same or Different? // Learn Spanish through Play: CARS

And now for the second installment of our Learn Spanish through Play: CARS series! My intention was not to come across as a cheesy game show host, but I think I failed.  Our previous post in this series taught some Spanish colors with a fun sorting game.  Try playing this "Same or Different" game while sorting your cars by color.  I am sure we all remember that song from Sesame Street: "One of these things just doesn't belong here...One of these things just isn't the same."  Comparing differences helps us to understand concepts like shape, size, and color.

Mr. Big Stuff (my oldest son) just turned three and loves to be contrary.  Our Parents as Teachers lady on one of her visits suggested providing times when he can say "NO!"  This game is perfect for that.  Hold up two cars that have different colors or a different shape.  Say, "Are these cars the same?" to which your child can answer a silly "NO!"  Have the kidlets make funny matches and ask "Are they the same?"  Everyone can say "NO!" together, or "No, that's silly!" (You can switch this around and hold up two cars that are the same and ask, "Are these different?")

Try the "Same of Different" game in Spanish!  The word for same in Spanish is igual.  The word for different in Spanish is diferente.  In Spanish, describing-words (adjectives) have to be plural if the object you are describing (the noun) is plural.  In other words, if you are asking about more than one thing then your adjective has to match that.  When you ask about two cars then, change igual to iguales and change diferente to diferentes.

Here is a quick pronunciation guide.  Make your voice stronger on the syllable with italics.
iguales: ee-gwal-ehs
diferentes: dee-fehr-ehn-tays

In the pictures below, follow the conversation guide in the word bubbles.  The red text is what you say, and the black text is the answer the children give.  ¿Son iguales o diferentes? means “Are they the same or different?”  Son (pronounced sohn or sewn) is the word for they are or are they.  You can ask this question, or if you want to play like above so your child can answer “NO!” just ask: “¿Son igual?” if they are different and “¿Son diferentes?” if they are the same.

Are they the same or different?

Are they the same or different?

Are they the same or different?
Same AND different!

Cocinen conmigo // Cook with Me vlog series

Made a cooking video.  Rachael Ray makes it look so easy!  Try talking, peeling an eggplant, looking in the camera, and keeping your olive oil from getting too hot.  Well I could not do it--but it sure was fun!  Cooking is a great way to learn.  Some of you may use cooking to teach your kids math, or hand-eye coordination, or to develop those fine motor skills, or even social skills.  And you guessed it--you can learn Spanish while cooking too.  Cooking helps us learn the command forms of verbs like: stir it, mix it, cut them, peel it.  It also provides opportunity to learn numbers and counting.  Check out this video and see what else you can learn or pick up on!

The recipe I used is from Life as Mom a great website/blog about everything mom!  Jessica Fischer actually has some cookbooks published, and she blogs regularly with great family-friendly and healthy recipes.  I have translated her Vegetable Bolognese with Eggplant recipe into Spanish.  If you are a mom, or someone who loves to plan your meals, check out her free meal plans and grocery lists too!

LA RECETA (The recipe)

6 chucharadas aceite de olive
1 berenjena, pelado y partido en trozos
1 cebolla, picada
1 pimentón, picado
1 calabacín, picado
1 diente de ajo, picado
sal y pimienta a gusto
1 libra carne molida
1 lata (411 g) de tomates troceados (cortados en dados)
3 tazas salsa de tomate
1 cucharada oregano desecado

1.       En una olla, calenta 4 cucharadas de aceite de oliva.  Añade la berenjena y cocina, mezclándolo a fuego medio por 6 minutos.  Quita de la olla.
2.       Añade las 2 cucharadas de aceite restantes y calenta.  Añade la cebolla, el pimentón, el calabacín y el ajo.  Cocina por 7 minutos.  Añade la sal y la pimienta gusto.
3.       Añade la carne molida y cocina hasta que esté completemente cocida. Mezcla frecuentemente.
4.       Añade los tomates, la salsa de tomates y el orégano.  Añade agua si sea demasiado espeso. Cocina hasta que burbuje y reduce el fuego.  Cubre y hierve a fuego lento por 25 minutos.
5.       Sírvelo sobre pasta.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Quick & Easy Spanish (Pre-K) // Learn Spanish through Play: Cars

The benefits of learning a foreign language are endless!  From social skills, to fighting dementia, to increasing brain activity and scoring higher on ACTs--bilingual is best.

You may have taken Spanish in high school and forgotten it all; you may know a little Spanish from Dora or Sesame street; you may speak a little Spanish from your restaurant days.  That is awesome!  Keep going!  Below is a quick and easy Spanish lesson that you can slip right into your playtime at home with your kidlets, with your students in your preschool class, or even to teach yourself.  Thinking like a kid is the best way to learn Spanish and it is spelled F-U-N.

This is the first post in the series Learn Spanish through Play: Cars

Get out your favorite bucket'o cars and dump them out in a wide open space for sorting.  They are already on the floor (always the case at my house)?  Even better.  First off, as the parent or educator, acquaint yourself with these Spanish color words and their pronunciations.  Note the emphasis goes on the syllable in italics.

negro (nay-grow): black
blanco (blahn-koh): white
gris (grees): gray
plateado (plah-tah): silver (color)
dorado (dor-ah-doh): gold (color)
café (cah-fay): brown
rosado (roh-sah-doh): pink
morado (more-ah-doh): purple
rojo (roh-hoh): red
anaranjado (ah-nah-rahn-hah-doh): orange
amarillo (ah-mah-ree-yo): yellow
verde (bare-day): green
azul (ah-sool): blue

Many ways exist to sort cars.  If you have kidlets, I am sure you have sorted your toy cars thousands of times--and it is still fun!  You may want to grab some index cards and have your children write out the name of the Spanish color with a crayon of that color.  If they have not mastered writing yet, write it out for them in marker, and they can color a swatch on top with a crayon of the corresponding color.  As you are coloring or writing, practice saying the color words together.  Never be afraid of making mistakes.  Think about babies.  If they never tried something new for fear of messing up or looking silly--well, you get the idea.

If you do not have index cards, just set a car of each color in a designated area and talk about the word for that color in Spanish as you set it down.  You can even try these phrases:

¿De qué color es? (day kay koh-lore ehs) when asking about one, and
¿De qué colores son? (day kay koh-lore-ehs sewn) when asking about more than one (if they are all the same color).

Once you all feel comfortable with the words and have designated an area for sorting, get to it!  Lead the activity with lots of animation and excitement--that way the kidlets will really catch on and pay attention.  When you grab a car say, "Hmmm, what color is this one? Oh! Verde!"  Or, "Now how do you say this color again in Spanish?"  Act like you are stumped and see if your kidlets can think of it: "Do you remember?"  When they think of it be sure to show how impressed you are.  Fun and affirmation will go a long way with learning a new language--or anything new!  Create an atmosphere where kids feel safe to try at something new without worrying about mistakes.  

Looking for some videos to help you practice colors in Spanish and pronunciation?  Go here to a playlist I have created on my YouTube channel.

Feliz colorizing!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Going to the fire station // Vamos a la estación de bomberos

With kids anything can be a learning opportunity!  The same goes for learning Spanish.  Look for ways in your everyday to learn new Spanish words or phrases…the more you can integrate learning when you are hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling or touching—the more that learning experience will stick in your mind.

We went to the fire station the other day with a group of preschool friends.  Our local firefighters were so hospitable and welcoming!  They got down on the kids’ level and showed them all their tools, the different parts of the truck, and explained the distinct jobs of all the different firefighters—I learned a lot myself!
I have two boys so fire, danger, shooting water at stuff, and using BIG tools is just what they love to talk about—so what better time to learn Spanish too!  Next time you go to the fire station, practice learning these fun new Spanish words! 

Whether you are at a fire station, reading a book about firefighters, or looking at the pictures below, here is a fun game to play (and you can apply this game to other Spanish words you are learning):

You ask –¿Dónde está el bombero? (DOHN-deh eh-STAH ehl bohm-BEAR-oh) It means, “Where is the fire fighter?
When the kids find it, teach them to say —¡Aquí está! (ah-KEY eh-STAH) Which means, “Here he/she/it is!”

You can fill in the blank with any of the words in the pictures.  For example: “¿Dónde está el camión de bomberos?”  (Where is the fire truck?)  “¿Dónde están las botas?”  (Where are the boots?)  

Just follow this formula:

¿Dónde + está (for singular item) or están (for plural items) + the word “the” + noun/item?
Notice there are four ways to say “the” in Spanish.  El (masculine singular), la (feminine singular), los (masculine plural), and las (feminine plural).  You can know which one to use by checking the word bank at the end of this post.

Happy firefighting!  

Firefigher Vocabulary
firefighter—el bombero/la bombera
fire station—la estación de bomberos
fire truck—el camión de bomberos
siren—la sirena
fire hydrant—la boca de incendio
fire hose—la manguera
fire hose nozzle—la boca de manguera
fire helmet—el casco
fire suit—el traje de protección
oxygen tank—el tanque de oxígeno

This post is linked up to:

I Can Teach My Child

Friday, February 15, 2013

Café con leche vlog // Making Quesadillas

Yesterday I started a new vlog called “Café con leche!”  In this vlog my goal is to speak only Spanish.  We made quesadillas so I thought it would be cool to make a blog entry to go along with the vlog entry to introduce some of the new words.

Cooking in the kitchen is a great way to get hands-on learning—in English or in Spanish!  Here are some new words to try out.  Click on them to hear a pronunciation.

el aceite—oil
el arroz—rice
el cuchillo—knife
los frijoles—beans
el plato—plate
el queso—cheese
el sartén—frying pan
el tazón—bowl

This post is linked up to:

I Can Teach My Child

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Te quiero // I love you (video)

Yes!  You can teach your child Spanish!  Even if you do not speak Spanish yourself.  Kids soak up language like you would not believe.  Just think about how children go from being unable to lift their head, to being able to have a conversation with you, make observations about the world around them in sentences, and ask questions that even we as parents cannot answer sometimes! 

The best way to learn a second language is through fun and play.  As human beings we desire spend time together and a large part of that involves conversation, so beginning your Spanish learning journey with things you say to your children every day is a perfect place to start.
What is something you say to your child every day?  I love you!  Learn this simple phrase in Spanish, and perhaps the words “kiss” and “hug” too.  Knowing these will provide you with ample opportunities for practicing Spanish each day.

Te quiero = I love you.  
(Te = to you/for you, quiero = I want, so I want for you, but better translated as, I love you!)
tay-key-AIR-oh   OR  teh-key-AIR-oh

un beso = a kiss
une BAY-soh  OR  une BAY-sew

un abrazo = a hug
une ah-BRA-soh  OR  une ah-BRA-sew

So the next time you want a hug from your kiddo, stretch out your arms and say, “Un abrazo!”  Or point to your cheek and say, “un beso!”  You can even try this with your spouse or other loved ones that are learning Spanish with you!  When you tuck those cuties into bed, lean in close and whisper, “Te quiero!”  To us as adults, this might seem difficult, but to your children it will feel fun and exciting to learn and use words in a different language.  Kids love language so give them this chance to explore with a new one in a fun and loving way. 

Check out my oldest son, Mr. Big Stuff, giving these new words a whirl in the video below.  If you have problems viewing it blow, click here.

¡Que les vaya bien!  (May it go well for you!)