Posts Tagged ‘spanish’

Paper Flowers

Happy Halloween, ya’ll! I hope everyone is having a good one. We hit a local trick-or-treat today and the boys already have a lot of candy loot.

For Spanish class this week I had big plans; unfortunately, Monkey had a 104F fever that thwarted – or postponed – my plans. In Mexico, instead of celebrating Halloween (though our culture has spread so that some in Mexico do celebrate Halloween) – a different holiday is celebrated (November 1st and 2nd) – The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. The timing could not be better for our class as we are discussing “Familia” – family. Raise your hand if that seems weird. Let me tell you why it’s not.

Although many of the symbols of Dia de los Muertos – graves, spirits, calaveras (skulls) – appear in our traditional Halloween celebrations, the Day of the Dead is not about ghosts and goblins or trick-or-treating at all. Instead, it’s about honoring your relatives that have passed on. Altars are created with the dead relatives favorite things and food, pan de muerto (bread of the dead) and flowers – real and paper. So the plan for the class, following a brief discussion of the holiday? To make paper flowers:

Paper Flowers

They were really easy to do, and fun for my boys. I still plan to do this next week for the classes. I cut out 160 pieces of 8″x8″ tissue paper, ya’ll. The instructions are:

1. Layer four or five pieces of 8″x8″ tissue paper.
2. Accordian-fold the tissue paper (for the preschool class, I pre-folded 15 of them as this was hard for Monkey to do, and I did not want to turn class into a discussion on the techniques of accordian-folding).
3. In the middle of the folded paper, cut a small V on both sides.
4. Twist pipe cleaner around the Vs, and leaving the “stem” down, pull out the tissue paper until it appears like a flower.

More information on Dia de los Muertos can be found all over the ‘net. Start here.

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Promised Spanish Links

Sorry, dear blog. I am not ignoring you on purpose, but there’s a lot of life going on here. I’m hanging with the boys (this week, Monkey got croup); still working; teaching Spanish; attending soccer games and (sometimes) practices; trying to read (just finished Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle) and keep my brain alive via crosswords…then there’s the photography that I love…so blog, there’s not a lot of room for writing. I’ll try harder, promise.

Anyway, I am still teaching Spanish without a curriculum to preK all the way up through 5th grade. So, in case you find yourself in my position and find yourself teaching and coming up with your own material, I present you with linkage:

This week we’re covering opposites (opuestos). I made my own vocabulary sheet in PowerPoint using clipart, found some songs to sing with PreK and kindergarten (and made a sheet for that), AND in all classes we’re going to play “Simon Says”….aka “Simon Dice” to reinforce the concepts.

I promise I didn’t drop off the face of the Earth…

We’ve been busy ya’ll. A wrapup:

  • We are wrapping up the Monkey’s swimming lessons. He has really enjoyed them this summer, and he is very confident in the pool now. We will definitely repeat these next summer, and likely for the Bear too.
  • The Bear turned two, and BHE turned 31, on August 1.
  • Monkey started school (Tuesday/Thursday pre-K) just shy of two weeks ago. LOVES IT. The school – a private school which teaches pre-K on up through high school – also asked me (to essentially volunteer) to teach Spanish to pre-K through elementary. I’m having a blast, and have deeply appreciated teaching advice from my crabby amiga. There’s a lot of sources I have used online for class, as I am still awaiting an official curriculum and am right now “winging it” – I will post later when I have some more time for all the linkage.
  • Soccer practice started this week. Wow, it really was like herding cats!
  • We’ve been watching the Olympics; as such, we promised Monkey that he can take gymnastics again after soccer season ends (he took gymnastics about a year ago and we quit mainly due to the drive; there’s now a place in town).
  • I’ve had a lot of work stuff (the job that pays me, in addition to the volunteer Spanish position), so that’s kept me busy too.
  • Unfortunately, exercise has suffered for me. Am considering taking up jogging…
  • I’m trying to read more. Right now, I am reading Trail of Tears, which is really good (I’m a big fan of non-fiction) in addition to trying to muddle through Ulysses (to which my brother commented “Yeah, good luck with that…”)