So, how are you today? ¿Cómo estás?

It’s one of the first things we teach our learners to understand and answer, and for good reason.  Particularly young children will hear “How old are you?” quite a bit, and of course “What’s your name?” but right up there in the most common questions anyone hears in any context is

¿Cómo estás?

We were inspired by a video we saw in another language recently to create one for your early Spanish learners.  In our video, our Stories Online characters ask “¿Cómo estás?” and introduce children to six ways to answer this common question.  After the introduction, we invite children to use one of the suggested answers to let you know how they’re doing today.  This lesson video is perfect for classes from preschool to kindergarten to upper elementary school.

The characters and suggested answers in the video come from the Video Stories that are the foundation of our Stories Online program.  In Stories Online, children interact with real language as our animal characters talk and play in fun, engaging video stories.  Each unit in a Stories Online level is based on a single story with 10-12 lesson plans of ways to interact with and supplement the stories to keep kids engaged in acquiring real language to use with real people.  Exploring 100% of our content for free (with no credit card required) is as easy as visiting our homepage and looking for the red button.

To accompany the video, we created a free activity sheet (see below) for children to use to help them answer this very common question.  So, what are the suggested answers in the video and sheet?

  • Estoy bien
  • Estoy mal
  • Estoy cansada*
  • Estoy feliz
  • Estoy muy bien
  • Estoy aburrido*

Here’s the video!

To download the activity sheet with both versions included, click here.

*The gender of the adjectives cansada and aburrido on the activity sheet matches the gender of the character illustrating those answers.
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TEN MILLION VIEWS.

In elementary schools, kindergartens, preschools, and homes around the world, children have joined us in singing in Spanish about everything from colors to animals on the farm.  Kids are singing about how to answer “What’s your name?” and introduce someone to a friend.  They’re showing someone around the house and commenting on the weather.  Meanwhile, we’ve watched our YouTube view count tick toward ten million.  Then it happened: recently, we soared past that 10,000,000 view mark and around the same time, we surpassed 30,000 subscribers.  In light of this milestone, we’ve been hard at work developing another fantastic free resource. It’s a printable activities book to accompany our best and most popular songs.  Whether you’re a homeschool or an after-school program, a gym enrichment program or a third grade elementary class, there’s something in here for you.

Which songs are in the color / activities book?

Here is what we include in the PDF:

  • Las profesiones– Children color and label the papás in our most popular YouTube song, Colores, colores.
  • Sing & Color activities book downloadLos animales en la granja – We invite kids to color the farm animals and their sounds as heard in the song “La granja.”
  • Crucigrama de la comida – In this fun twist on a word search, children color Spanish food words from the song “Comida” and their matching pictures.
  • La habitación de Rita – In Level C of Calico Spanish Stories Online, Rita really needs to clean her room!  To inspire clean-up time, children listen to “A limpiar” and color and label the Level C vocabulary items in Rita’s room.
  • Las partes del cuerpo – Our new update to the song for parts of the body is already a hit; on this page, children color and draw an arrow from the word to the correct part of the body.
  • La casa de Doña Ana – Children can label rooms in Doña Ana’s house and label what phrase she uses to tell the niños what she is doing.
  • Four sheets for “Las estaciones ask learners to color the season illustration and the weather phrase that describes that page’s weather.

How do I get the color / activities book?

Click Here to Get Your Free Activities

After entering your email, you’ll be immediately directed to a download page.  Whether you teach in a preschool, kindergarten, elementary, homeschool, Montessori, or any other context, we’re sure your young Spanish learners will love these activities to accompany our YouTube songs.  Enjoy, and as always, we’d love your feedback!

Children learn language through stories, songs, and play.  Sign up today for your free trial of our innovative, comprehensive curriculum based on online video stories.  You want kids to speak real Spanish to real people, and we want to help.

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Buenos días simple greetings Spanish poem for childrenAccessing the routines they thrive on

Is your Spanish learning time incorporating the target language from greetings to farewells?

I frequently tell teachers that my favorite aspect of our print classroom curriculum, Calico Spanish Classic (beginner level) and Accelerate (developing level), is the way the songs help teachers take advantage of routine to stay in the target language.  If you’ve taught very young learners for long, you’ve learned that they thrive on routine.  Using songs, poems, and dichos to change the everyday routines to Spanish were the key to my being able to stay more in the target language, and I’m sure this is a major reason why it took until November or so for my preschoolers to say in shock to me, “You mean you can talk normal?”

Calico resources from greetings to class end

Our songs like the greeting song “Hola a todos,” the transition song “Señor reloj” and the ending song “Adiós” are fantastic resources to help you keep your elementary, preschool, kindergarten, and homeschool learners in Spanish from start to finish.

And now, try adding our newest resource, this simple greetings poem, to your Spanish learning routine. Let us know what you think!  And then, check out our similar poem for saying farewell, “Dame un abrazo.”

Text:

Bendita sea la luz del día
Y el placer que aquí nos guía
Tenga usted muy buenos días.

Children learn language through stories, songs, and play.  Sign up today for your free trial of our innovative, comprehensive curriculum based on online video stories.  You want kids to speak real Spanish to real people, and we want to help.

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We’re at it again!  We’re releasing another all-new music video for young Spanish learners, and this one has baila written all over it.  So, let’s dance!

(Side note: If you missed our other recent song releases, you’ll want to check them out: Move your body, find the pañuelito, and tell us what you like.)

– We’ve been releasing new music videos regularly! Don’t miss an update; subscribe to our YouTube channel. –

Left, right, up, down, baila

Amiguito baila conmigo - new Spanish song from Calico SpanishIn our newest video release, the boy and his little friend dance together.  They join hands and clap, which means you’ll get fun physical activity and repetitions of manos and dedos.  They move izquierda y derecha, arriba abajo y vuelta entera.  You can imagine how much fun children have with this song.  This is the favorite song at my daughter’s 4-year-old preschool class.  What can I say, at that age they love to dance and have few qualms about doing so!

A little Baile Viernes for the little ones?

If you’ve never heard of Baile Viernes, a quick perusal of Allison Weinhold’s blog will show you how she’s developed a routine of starting each Friday class with a dance, and a quick Google search would show you how understandably popular her idea has become across the Spanish teacher spectrum.  We all know that children love to dance as much as teenagers do, and in my opinion, this new release of Amiguito baila conmigo” is one of our best for starting any class on a fun, physical note – or for recapturing children’s attention when it’s lagging halfway through the allotted learning time!  (My other picks for this purpose would be Elefantes grandes and Todo mi cuerpo.)

Without further ado, give it a listen.  And then, give it a dance!

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Are you looking for more content to help you show Spanish greetings and introductions to your learners? GREAT NEWS!

Greetings & IntroductionsAfter recently uploading one of our first non-song videos in a long time, we’ve just added FIVE more, and we think that you’re going to find them super useful and that your learners will love them.

Greetings: Highest frequency language in non-TL culture

Meeting someone for the first time and telling them your name, how old you are, and something about yourself are among the most useful and common language early learners in our culture will acquire. Why?  Spanish speakers are all around them, and they will be able to start using their Spanish right away in the post office, library, stores, and more.  And children using their Spanish in front of their parents is great advocacy for your program!

These videos are all about greetings and introductions – those pieces we spend so much time helping our young learners with at the beginning of their journey.  Each features a clip from our Stories Online program; various characters greet each other and introduce themselves or someone else:

Here are the videos.  Be sure to tell us in the comment section what you think!

Connect with us: Subscribe on YouTube

Video 1: Pedro meets María

Connect with us: Like Calico Spanish on Facebook

Video 2: Pepe introduces his dad


Connect with us: Follow us on Twitter

Video 3: Greetings/ introduction with Goyo & Pedro

Connect with us: See us on Instagram

Video 4: Camilo introduces Goyo to his grandparents

Ready for one more?

Video 5: Goyo meets Raúl

The Calico Spanish Stories Online program is a comprehensive curriculum for teachers/parents of any Spanish ability.  The program is based on Video Stories filled with comprehensible input and also incorporates fun songs, activity sheets, flashcards, Culture Capsules, games, posters, and original audio/video Storybooks.  Learn more and sign up for a free trial today!

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It’s undeniable: when it comes to contact time with students in world language classes, elementary teachers have the short end of the stick.

(Don’t miss a post; follow us on Bloglovin’!)
(This GIVEAWAY is CLOSED.)

In part one of this brief series, we shared some tips on how you can partner with your school’s computer teacher(s) to maximize language learning time through activities like fun online games.  Here, we share our second tip: why not partner with your school’s library and media specialist(s) to access some of that time, too?  (And scroll down to read details on our giveaway of all eleven of our Storybooks!)

Maximize Time Limits Pt 2 LibraryTeam up with the library.

In one of my previous elementary situations, I saw my students for 20 minutes per week.  But right after I had them, they went directly to the library.  What did they do in the library?  They quickly chose and checked out books, and at some point, the media specialist sat them down to read with them.  Often, she used an audio version of a book to add a special element instead of just her reading to them all the time.

In this way, even if the school librarian doesn’t speak Spanish, s/he can “tell” the children a story in Spanish and increase the amount of time per week they’re receiving comprehensible input.

But where do you find them?

Some of Alma Flor Ada’s books are available with accompanying CD audio, like this poem collaboration with another popular Latina children’s author, F. Isabel Campoy.  Also, Amazon’s marketplace offers several of the Young Eli Readers Abuelita series with a CD, like this one.

As another option, why not record yourself reading the stories that fit best with your curriculum and asking the librarian to play the audio while showing the book?  SourceForge’s Audacity tool is free, downloadable audio recording software that’s fairly simple to use.

Don’t stop there.  At Calico Spanish, we’re all about supporting teachers with the engaging, comprehensible content that supports and enhances their classroom teaching and also fits in their school schedule reality.  In our Stories for Schools / Homeschool program, each level is accompanied by three or four full-color Storybooks.  The content in each Storybook supports one to three of the lessons in the curriculum.

Not only have we recorded audio for the Storybooks, we’ve also provided each as a Storybook video.  In the video, our native-speaking narrator tells the story as the children watch the “pages” flip.  Now, we’re excited to release the first Storybook video from Stories Level B as one of our first non-song content videos freely available on YouTube.  Level B is called “I Love My Family,” and this first Storybook is titled El cumpleaños de Pepe.  Check it out here:

Could this video help you leverage your children’s school library time to increase their comprehensible input time?

What about the full set of eleven Storybooks from Levels A through C?  We want to send one teacher a set as our New Year’s gift!

In this giveaway, you’ll get all eleven Storybooks.  And what’s more, you’ll have access to the audio tracks that we’ll be making freely available on our website.

To enter, simply leave us a comment here, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram letting us know how you incorporate stories into your Spanish class time (get one entry for each platform you use to send us a comment).

Let’s do it! Will you be our big winner?

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