Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tips on Learning A Second Language Part 3 - Giveaway!

This is Part 3 of 3 of the series  "Tips on Learning A Second language"  as part of the Review Crew blog hop.  If you missed any of the blog posts in this series,  feel free to click on any of the links below to navigate to them.

This has got to be a teacher's favorite topic : RESOURCES:)

I get so excited when new curriculum arrives in the mail or when I find new books:)  I am really looking forward to sharing my favorite resources with you today...

Part 3 - Great RESOURCES for learning a second language

So you may not sound like you should as you try to speak a second language but in time people WILL understand you ...IF you  just keep trying:)

The best auditory resources are always those that use native speakers.   I have found some free resources that I want to share with you first:)
TPT (Teacher's Pay Teachers)
Teacher's Notebook
I pin a lot of resources to my Pinterest boards....please hop on over, follow,  and check them out:)

Of course the things that are really good have more value, right?  Below are my favorite priced items:


Another reason to learn from a native speaker - so you correctly understand the meaning of words:)

I also really enjoy making resources for my classroom.  I would love to give out 2 free resources to any of my readers...just leave me a comment below about learning a foreign language.  I will pick winners next week.  Thanks a bunch for joining me during this series:)

Tips on Learning A Second Language Part 2

This is Part 2 of 3 of the series  "Tips on Learning A Second language"  as part of the Review Crew blog hop.  If you missed any of the blog posts in this series,  feel free to click on any of the links below to navigate to them.

Part 2 -How to make learning a second language INTERESTING AND APPLICABLE

"John, the pacifiers are for her."

Do you ever feel like the above picture is what your students are doing in their foreign language class?  Or worse yet that is what you would rather do, then learn another language:)

Well, I have some ideas for you today that I hope will inspire you to want to learn a second language or at least help inspire your kiddos to get excited about speaking in another language.

First of all I think it is important for anyone learning a second language to understand why in the world they want to learn it anyway.  After all, if you don't have goals or a reason to learn; why even try?  After students figure out how this new language can apply to them, they can then move on to enjoying it. 

Here is a list of ideas that may be reasons why you or your students may want to learn another language...

  • to communicate with people for work, socialization, or just to survive:)
  • to understand what people around you are saying
  • to read about something in it's original language so it doesn't get lost in translation

  • Here at Thetravelingclassroom we are learning Spanish for the first two reasons because we live in a Spanish speaking country.  We are learning Hebrew because we really want to understand the Bible in its original language.  We have studied some Greek/Latin in the past and that was really helpful with our English/Spanish Spelling words.  I am sure we will be studying more Greek/Latin in the future:)

    Once you have your reasons and motivation  for learning a foreign language you can then begin to make learning fun.  A great way to learn a language is with lots of laughter.  Below are some of the activities we like to include in our foreign language studies:

    (here is one of our Spanish  favorites:
    signs/around town scavenger hunt
    making new friends

    Here is an example of an entertaining second language video:  "The Backpack"

    What are your favorite things to do to make learning second language fun and applicable?

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    Supercharged Science Review and Freebie for you!

    For the past month we have been using the e-Science Premium Membership from Supercharged Science in anticipation for this review.   You can find Supercharged science at their website:  This e-science curriculum has a wide range of subjects to pick from.  Topics include; mechanics, motion, matter, energy, sound, astrophysics, chemistry, light, electricity, magnetism, alternative energy, thermodynamics, electronics, life science, earth science, biology, and more.  It is organized by topics or you can also view the topics by grade level.  One of my favorite things about this curriculum is that it is very kid  friendly.

    We have been using this for our homeschool science.   I have allowed the kids to just go to the website and pick whatever subject they are interested in.  Each unit starts with a simple introduction and video.

    As a homeschool science curriculum it can be used as is or planned out by you the teacher.  The website includes lesson plans so you can be as organized or as flexible as you would like.  This last month, I chose to go with a student delight-directed approach.  That means that they got to pick whatever their little hearts desired for science from the  e-science website:)

    The first science experiment I chose as an introduction to the website was the  "soap in the microwave" experiment.  It was fun to see the kids get excited about the changes in the soap after they put it in the microwave.  All the kids participated with "ooos and awes" as the soap changed before their eyes.  We learned that the soap contains air and water vapor.  When the soap was heated up in the microwave it expanded and looked like cotton.  After we were done with our science experiment I printed out the student worksheet and exercises.  This gave the kids some more ideas to try to see if their results would vary.  It also allowed me to assess how much each child retained and understood about the experiment.

       Our science experiment above is exactly what the makers of supercharged science boast of regarding their science curriculum.  It captures the kids attention first with the science experiments as it is modeled on video and then the kids get to try it out for themselves.  Once the kids try out the science experiments, they then start asking the "why" questions while engaging in the scientific method.  They are also challenged to try different variations to see if the results change.  It really does engage the students.  What is really awesome though, is that it also provides the answers!  No need to go searching for the answers on the Internet - it is all there for you in the textbook PDF download.

    The next set of experiments the kids wanted to explore was in the light unit.   This particular unit has 25 different lessons/experiments for the kids to try.  We didn't have time to do them all but the few that we did do were very engaging.   One favorite was learning about light waves and how to make their own telescopes and microscopes.  We didn't have two magnifying glasses readily available so we used a pair of reading glasses and a magnifying glass.  We learned about the con-vexed shape of the glass by feeling the glass itself. If you line up the thickest part of the glass (the center) it becomes a microscope.  If you look at something in the distance it then acts as a telescope but the image will be upside down.

    Light Tricks

    Another favorite was examining money.  It was an "I spy" money activity.  We didn't know there were so many hidden things in American money.  The kids really got a kick out of seeing President Lincoln inside the Lincoln memorial on a penny.

    Although this program is multi-sensory, most of the learners in our family are visual.  Therefore our favorite part of this curriculum has been watching the videos.  Aurora, the teacher in the videos, is very energetic and excited about the topics she teaches making each video not only entertaining but interesting.  For example in the light unit Aurora talks about the different wavelengths of light and as she does the camera changes the images of her in the video to red light, green light, x-ray, etc.  The kids loved it and were very engaged in learning and watching the videos about the different wavelengths of light.

     Product Summary

    Hands-on e-Science Curriculum:  This curriculum is designed to excite kids to learn science by engaging them in interesting content before getting into the textbook answers.

    1000's of videos:   The videos are kid-friendly, short, and precise.  They guide the students through step-by-step hands-on activities, projects, and experiments.   All videos are taught by a real science teacher.

    Over 350 lessons The  experiment lessons are easy enough for kids to do on their own.  Teachers have access to lesson plans, objectives, and assessment tools.

    Incorporates all 4 learning styles:  Kinesthetic, visual, auditory, and digital.

    Unlimited support:  Comments and questions are directly below each lesson.  Responses are given on a daily basis.

    e-Science exceeds most state K-8 science standards Complete e-Science curriculum covering K-8 science standards and then some.   

    Science Worksheets & Experiments:  Printable textbook, quizzes, and exercises that go along with each lesson.

    Review Summary

    Pros:   Child friendly, teacher friendly, many teaching options and subjects available.

    Cons: Some supplies are not readily available but with some planning they can probably be easily ordered on-line.  This curriculum does not present any religious views but calls itself  "creation neutral".

    Supercharged science has a complete mini-program they would like to give my readers for free!  It’s a small sample of science activities and projects taken from their e-science program. This will give you a chance to try out some activities for free to see how they work for your kids.  I hope you enjoy it! 

    There is also a special that is being offered if you are interested.  You can sign up for a whole month of full access to e-science for just $1.


    You can find Supercharged Science at the following sites: 

    What have you used for your Science Curriculum?  Please comment below. I look forward to hearing from you:)

    Click to read Crew Reviews
    Crew Disclaimer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    Tips on Learning A Second Language Part 1

    For the next three days I am going to be participating in the Review Crew blog hop.   I chose "Tips for Learning a Second Language" as my topic to share.  This is what I will be covering  during the next 3 blog posts:

    Let's get started with...
    Part 1 -Learning a second language through - IMMERSION 

    Ok, so you want to get passed "Yes" and "No" in your second language and become fluent.  How do you do that?  One of the best ways is through immersing yourself in the language as much as possible.  But, how do you do that when it feels uncomfortable or there seems to be no one around that "speaks" your foreign language.  I hope to give you a few ideas today to help your students "immerse" themselves in their foreign language.  In our classroom we are learning two other languages besides our own native language, English.  Whatever foreign language you are aspiring to learn these two helpful hints are sure to help you immerse yourself.

    1.  Hear the language everyday for as long as possible....You can apply this through:

     songs, radio, television, movies with subtitles, neighbors, local establishments where the language is spoken (e.g.  language schools, international food stores, etc.)

    2. Speak the language everyday for as long as possible.

    Make a friend who speaks the language and try to have a conversation,  use an interactive learning program, learn songs, rhymes, ditties, etc.  When you hear someone speaking your language - respond in that language:)

    I challenge myself and my students to do these two steps everyday.  Since we are learning three languages (English, Spanish, & Hebrew), we break up our school days to focus on one language a day.  For example Mondays, Wed, & Fri we focus on Hebrew.  Tuesdays and Thursdays we focus on Spanish.  Since we live in Panama, we are immersed in the Spanish language that is all around us.  When we go out and about in town we make it a rule to only speak Spanish.  At home we speak English to each other.  

    When we watch movies we try to watch them in either Hebrew or Spanish with English subtitles for more exposure.  I also challenge the kids as part of their homework to keep a small notebook of new words they learn or want to learn.  Everyday they add to their notebook and share with the class the new words they have learned during the week.  We try to incorporate as many fun activities as the jokes below:)

    "Gym for cats"

    "He has WiFi"

    How do you immerse yourself or your students to learn a second language?

    Remember, don't give up because persistence pays off when you are learning a second language:)

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Psalm 119 Copywork & Kid's Torah Scroll Tutorial (free sample)

    I love the idea of making a kid's Torah scroll.  Making a Torah scroll is a great way to learn about the history of ancient writings,  encourage copy work, and give kids their own place to keep their work.  This idea was first introduced to me through My Father's World First Grade Homeschool Curriculum years ago.   The very first Torah scrolls we ever made were made with rolling pins.  This time we decided to use bamboo and a few other embellishments.    In MFW's curriculum it is a suggested activity to teach the history of the ancient Bible writings and as practice for writing the English alphabet. 

     I thought I would take it a step further to meet my kiddos needs.  All of my kiddos need extra practice wiring Hebrew letters, especially cursive Hebrew.  They also needed some Bible memory verse copy work - so I thought I would combine the two.  Thus, our Kid's Torah Scrolls were created.  I decided to use Psalm 119 since it is an acrostic of the Hebrew Alphabet.   First the kids did a review of the letter Aleph and practiced writing the letter in cursive and block with rainbow colors.


    They then wrote out their Bible verse.  I used the first verse for each letter in Psalm 119 as their Bible copywork.  The younger kids practice writing in print, while my ten year old practiced her cursive handwriting.  The older three wrote out the verse in handwriting on their own and then practiced writing it in Hebrew also.  We examined each word that began with the letter aleph and pondered what the significance of each word could be.  

    We concluded that just as the ancient letter aleph is a symbol of strength, so each verse talks about strength.  For example the word blessed in this verse is "ashray" אשׁרי .  Blessed, happy, or strengthened are those that are undefiled and who walk in the "Torah" בתורת of  "YHVH" יהוה .  As our Hebrew grows so does our Hebrewlish (Hebrew/English) and we dig a little deeper into the ancient words of the Bible.  If you are interested in trying out the copywork for the letter Aleph, just click any of the pictures to be taken to a free download.

    Making the Kid's Torah Scroll was really pretty easy.  Here are the supplies that you will need:
    -foam or wood balls to fit on the end of 2 dowels or bamboo sticks
    -paper for your scroll
    -string to tie your Torah
    -felt and googlie eyes for the outside decorations
    -hot glue

    We stapled their papers to two bamboo sticks.  Painted our foam balls and hot glued them to the ends of the bamboo sticks.  We then rolled up our scroll and tied it with a string.  After hot gluing the Velcro onto the felt we decided on our outside decorations for our Torah scrolls.  We decided on a tree of life (etz caim chai - עץ־חיים היא) and a menorah (המנרות).  We will be adding our new letters every day by stapling them to the back of each page until we are done with the whole aleph bet.

    We will be working on the whole Hebrew "Aleph - Bet" during our Hebrew and Bible classes this year from Psalms 119.  If you think this is something that your family or classroom could use just click on the covers below where you will find the full PDF in my store.


    Have you ever made a Torah Scroll with your kids?  How did it turn out?  I would love to hear about it:)

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    Introducing Queen Vashti & A New Follower Freebie:)

    I can't believe how fast this school year has flown by.  I hope you are enjoying yours:)

    We had a fabulous Purim celebration and now it is time to get ready for the Spring holidays!

    Here's a little picture of our Queen Vashti...we had a little play over here and the cat joined in:)

    She willingly left the king's palace to sit on another pillow to go back to sleep:)

    Below you will find a list of all the  new products that have recently been added to my store.  There is also a FREEBIE just for you.  Just click on any of the pictures of the products to be taken to the specific link.

    Available in Spanish & English

    Thank you for following along with us.  Below is YOUR follower 

    freebie.  (If you download it please

     leave your feedback:) 

     **This will only be free until 3-26-14**

    Thank you for traveling with us!

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Queen Esther - Mini Book - Easy Reader - Freebie!

    It's time to start celebrating.  We have had a fun day making Purim baskets, hamantashen, and reading our new book. I wanted to share it with you all too - for FREE. Enjoy. (If you download it PLEASE leave your feedback - I would love to hear what you think:)

    Chag Purim Sameach:)

    I may have to start making more of these.  I am finding our Early Reader from MFW Bible does not include all the Bible stories:(  Which stories would you like to see more of?
    Welcome! Bienvendidos! Shalom! from our family here in Panama to yours...

    Disclaimer: Some posts on this blog contain affiliate links. (Thetravelingclassroom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Using these links helps support Thetravelingclassroom blog. Occasionally, I receive products in exchange for a review or giveaway post. All opinions expressed on Thetravelingclassroom are my own, and I only suggest products or services that we personally use or I believe will be helpful to my readers. Please contact me for more information "