Archive for May, 2007

What Child Doesn't Love, Love, Love Animals (and learning with animals)?!?!

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

The bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.  To see what he could see.

Raise your hand if you ever sang that song in your early childhood years……………okay, you, you and you – please stand up!  Let’s see if you can take that beat, that melody and now use these new lyrics……….Yes, those right there below this line and learn a little Spanish, okay?  Okay!  ¡Vamanos!

“The Animal Song/La canción de animales” (Song #8 from the Boca Beth CD called My First Songs in Spanish)
(sung to the tune of / the beat of “The Bear Went Over the Mountain”)

Hay un perro afuera,
Hay un perro afuera,
Hay un perro afuera,
¡El dice woof!

There is a dog outside,
There is a dog outside,
There is a dog outside,
He says woof!

Hay un gato afuera,
Hay un gato afuera,
Hay un gato afuera,
¡El dice meow!

There is a cat outside,
There is a cat outside,
There is a cat outside,
He says meow!

(Continue with pato/duck/quack…vaca/cow/moo…caballo/horse/neigh…  


mono/monkey/ooh-ooh…pájaro/bird/tweet)Oh man!  Do I ever remember writing the words to that Boca Beth bilingual song back in 2002!  I can’t believe it’s been almost 5 years since I wrote that cool bilingual animal song for kids.  There used to be this long dock at ‘Friendship Park’ in Oldsmar, Florida (about 3 miles from where we live in Tampa, Florida), and that was my quiet, song-writing spot.  But then, over the years, they have boarded it off and no one can trespass beyond the foot of the dock.  Something must have happened there, but I truly don’t know (I seem to shy away from today’s newspapers and daily news since they depress even the happiest of people).Here are the circle time activities to do with our fun animal song………………………If possible find all seven (7) animal puppets.  I had to go to EBay to find a horse puppet after months and months of searching on line and in retail shops everywhere for a cool horse puppet.  Sing through each animal with children having a turn holding the animal as they say the name in English then in Spanish and talk about the animal sound for each one. Again, reinforce the no shouting for attention to be chosen.

We have created the animal language card for every animal on our animal song so download them for free from our web site.  We always suggest laminating them for continued use.  Each child could have their own bilingual language card to use during this song and hold it up when that animal is being sung about.

Another cool idea is to use our 44-page coloring/activity book where many of the animals are found to be colored with BOCA the language buddy close by.  BOCA (as many of you know) was made by the original Baby Einstein puppet maker prior to Disney becoming involved.  He is truly an integral part of our Boca Beth language fun for young children.  Puppets are used often in speech therapy sessions, counseling sessions, language activities and more.  They tend to elicit verbalization where otherwise there would be silence.

Boca is on a super sale for about 15 more days

PUPPET - BOCAWe don’t like silence when it comes to changing the communication of the world one song at a time . . . .  Go BOCA!!!  It’s your teaching day!!!

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!   

Boca Beth

Children Acquire The Gift of Language With Kisses/Besos

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Did you ever think your first kiss would lead to global economic status?3 - Sing Along with BOCA BETH CD

Was there ever a thought that sitting in Spanish One would bring you to larger economic gain?

Had there ever been the fleeting thought of dating a Latino who would turn out to be THE hottest man you had ever met in your life?!?!?!?!?!?!  (Okay, Okay……….I had to admit a little daydreaming of Antonio Banderas came into play on that one!)

Well, amigas/amigos, I need go no further.  The evidence is in!  Study after study agrees with me!  These little sponges need to learn a second language and they need to learn it NOW/AHORA/SOON/PRONTO and so on and so on and so forth…………

See how I took a simple children’s classic melody, wonderfully familiar beat “Skip to My Lou” and turned it into what I am sure will be the Number One/ #1 / Numero Uno Hit with children worldwide called “Kiss is a Beso / Beso es un Kiss”  We are sure this will bridge many communication barriers and language gaps.

“Beso es un Kiss/Kiss is a Beso” (Song #7 from my Boca Beth CD called  My First Songs in Spanish)
(sung to the beat of the song “Skip To My Lou”)

Kiss, kiss is a beso!
Kiss, kiss is a beso!
Kiss, kiss is a beso!
I want to give you besos!

¡Beso, beso es un kiss!
¡Beso, beso es un kiss!
¡Beso, beso es un kiss!
¡Quiero darte kisses!

(repeat both choruses again)

Now for some fun circle time activities from our Boca Beth Program . . . . . . . . . 

Beso es un Kiss/Kiss is a Beso (CD #1/Song #7) Use BOCA the puppet and the whatever girl puppet you have chosen for language sessions to give kisses/besos to the children as you move from child to child giving kisses (then move into “hugs/abrazos” for more learning). This is always our second to last song in a 45 minute class set since it gives every child the chance to get a kiss and a hug from BOCA and the girl puppet. Some children don’t get that affection at home and need the contact, the touch, the ‘warm fuzzies’ this song provides.

If you have enough BOCA puppets then let every child hold one, allowing them to be the puppeteer for BOCA, and they will give the other children and teachers kisses on safe places (shoulders, heads, knees, shoes, hands and son on).  A very fun class activity and / or parent activity too!

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth
 

Babies/Children Can Relate to Bilingual Home/Parents

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Funny!  You invest your time, your heart, your energy, your passion, your family’s home equity line of credit (Thanks Dennis!) and so much more in something you so believe in it hurts sometimes to express it………….

Then along comes study after study that seems to prove what you are doing, what you have believed in for so long really is true, really does work, really can make a difference. 

Such is the case with this Google Alert / News Release out of Wales just this past week.  Please read a few snippets of it: 

Babies can tell if parents are bilingual

May 26 2007

 

by Abbie Wightwick, Western Mail

 

BABIES as young as four months old can tell that their parents are bilingual by their mouth and facial movements alone, according to a new study.

Scientists from Canada have found that infants don’t need to hear the words to realise another language is being spoken in a bilingual environment.

Welsh experts last night said the research showed the importance of introducing children to a second language as early as possible.

The researchers from the University of British Columbia, meanwhile, also suggested the warning “use it or lose it” may be true.

 

This is all so great, so cool, so wonderful, and read what they closed out saying:

 “It is important that parents and carers are enthusiastic and approach it as a fun thing through play, facial expressions, smiles and body language. Children can easily pick up two languages.

“Parents have got to give it a go. Even if they only have a little bit of Welsh like greetings or times of day then they should try to use it. If they do they find they will build confidence.”

Soooooooooo parents, teachers, caregivers, family members – use the free tools we give you on our web site.  Make second language learning happen and happen today with those babies/bebes in your lives.

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

 

Free Children Video Clips For the Weekend

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Who wants to work so hard over a holiday weekend?…………?…………?………….?

Click on these clips – let your kids have some fun – rent the entire movie from Netflix.com (and then rate it really cool with a great rating please!!!).

To See the “I Like Animals” movie clip click below: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXrXUFE4tl0

 And to see the short clip of “Mi casa/My House” click below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w2drn-_L8I

Want a list of the vocabulary words from our first video titled “Mi casa / My House”  — click here  (use the first line of text to bring you to the list)

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth 

School's Out For Summer … Let's Make the Most of It Together

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

I will tell you now………….there is some serious drinking going on around the city of Tampa, Florida tonight as the reality of ‘School’s out for summer’ sets in.  And let me tell you folks in other states why there is an abnormal intake of libations without the Memorial Day Weekend actually even here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  In this county of ours we are going to adjust our school year calendar for the political and not-so-political reasons (none of which I care to get into).

The fact of the matter is we will now have 12 – yes twelve – sí doce – TWELVE WEEKS of summer this year in our Hillsborough County School System as we get out early (today 5/24) but go back later than normal (8/20) to shimmy back into the old pattern, the northern pattern, the FCAT pattern, the I-don’t-care-what-you-call-it-pattern just give me my wine and give it to me now please/por favor!

I promise you, I will help you – starting tomorrow – on a very daily (okay, maybe not every day if the party is really great somewhere!) basis to make this Summer fun, full of some cool learning tips, interesting contest fun, new DVD clips and our new BOCA costume character soon!  (Oh my, the bird/chicken/duck comes to life in front of our very eyes……………see below for what he looks like NOW as a costume character!)

 (We admit……he’s not so kid-friendly looking right now but wait until a professional costume design company gets a hold of our BOCA dude.  The new costume character is going to ROCK!!!!!!!!!!! and be at keynotes and mall visits and store openings across the country late 2007 and BEYOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

So -until tomorrow – Happy Summer, Happy Educating, Happy Everything!!!!!!!!

Boca Beth 

Bringing Up Bebé / Baby to Sing Buenos Días / Good Morning

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Ahhhhhh….the tears shed this month as preschool graduations across our country reduce grown men to tears, find moms shuffling in their purses for more tissues and preschool staff sniffling back their emotions as well….these little ones are capable of a lot, and the more we give them, the more they seem to take in.

My First Songs in Spanish CD

Such is the case with our Boca Beth Greeting Song/Canción de saludar.  I remember first introducing this song back in the early 2000’s to a local preschool where I was known as ‘Ms. Music.’   Once a month I would visit the school and spend half a day there visiting each age group’s room.  10 minutes with the infants, 20 with the ones and early twos, 30 minutes with the threes and so on!  It was there in those rooms that the Boca Beth Program was hatched!  Really!  I piggybacked songs (that’s taking a melody that is familiar to the children and writing new words to introduce a new concept or just for the fun of it!) and each visit would leave the teachers with the words in case the children wanted to practice them.

With this particular tune ‘Looking Out the Window” I saw the opportunity to introduce to children how to say “Buenos días, Buenas tardes and Buenas noches.”  It was amazing to me how quickly the children soaked in the new words in the new language (not to mention the Latino children in the building who all of a sudden swelled with pride that their native language was being used in songs that were being sung by all).

When I returned for my next visit (remember – thirty days in between visits) the children were not only able to sing the song back word for word, but in a conversation they could tell me which phrase represented its English counterpart!  I had provided them the point of reference they needed (English) alongside the new language (Spanish) in order to make the language acquisition take place.  My theory was working right in front of my eyes (and ears)!  Sure, I read the latest research and case studies on bilingual education vs. immersion vs. dual-immersion, but there is nothing better than the real live thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, without further delay, here are the words to our Boca Beth “Greeting Song / Canción de saludar”

“Canción de Saludar/Greeting Song” (Song #6 on Boca Beth’s ‘My First Songs in Spanish/Mis primeras canciones en ingles’ music CD)
(sung to the tune of the song “Looking Out The Window”)
Buenos dias mamá,
Good morning mommy!
Buenos dias mamá,
I love you very much!

Good morning daddy,
¡Buenos dias papá!
Good morning daddy,
¡Te quiero mucho!

Buenas tardes mamá,
Good afternoon mommy!
Buenas tardes mamá,
I love you very much!

Good afternoon daddy,
¡Buenas tardes papá!
Good afternoon daddy,
¡Te quiero mucho!

Buenas noches mamá,
Good night mommy!
Buenas noches mamá,
I love you very much!

Good night daddy,
¡Buenas noches papá!
Good night daddy,
¡Te quiero mucho!

 

Suggested activities to go along with this fun song of greetings:

1)  Use sock puppets or BOCA puppets dressed up as a Mommy and a Daddy. Go around the circle of children, interacting with them and the mommy puppet during the mommy chorus and the daddy puppet during the daddy chorus. Before the song begins instruct the children to hug themselves when the song sings “I love you very much/Te quiero mucho.” Relate this to their own relationship with their family members – the hugs, the words of endearment.

2)  Use our 44-page Boca Beth coloring/activity book – particularly page ten (10) with the mommy and the daddy.  Many teachers laminate the page already colored and use it as ‘our new words of the week.’  There are other family members in this cool coloring book so use it and make it fun.

3)  There are some cool books (bilingual ones) that provide the beginning reading portion of any successful language fun.  Such one is ¡Buenos dias!  ¡Buenas noches! by Teresa Imperato that goes right along with the cool greeting song and is perfect for ages birth – four.  Available on amazon.com for only $5.93 used.

Good Morning, Good Night Bilingual

So, go on!  Take the leap!  You know the tune to this children’s classic song (‘Looking Out the Window’), get the words right here in my blog and start helping that child of yours get a jump start for this very global society in which we live.  (Or if anything, you will have some quality bonding time!)

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!   ***By the way, I don’t want you to think I am making a mistake each time I do not capitalize the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, word in any Spanish title or greeting.  A new amiga of mine, Teresa, informed me after years and years of presenting our movie titles and CD titles in all capitals for the first letter of almost each word (as we do in English) that the correct punctuation is only the first word in the title, the salutation, etc. gets a capital.  Can I tell you, I bet I learned that in school along the way, but it is a rule of punctuation that many do not follow based on English protocol.  Then there are the companies that present the full title in all capital letters which, as a teacher, drives me crazy!***

Boca Beth

Approaching Summer Fun With Children – Learn Some Cool Words

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Who knew?!?!

I mean who REALLY knew?!?!?!?!

This blonde hair, blue-eyed Irish/Greek girl from South Florida would put together something that so many moms and teachers tout as ‘ the next Baby Einstein mom goes big with idea!!!!  People are digging our bilingual beats from the Boca Beth Program from Australia to Greece to Spain to California to Texas to Florida and all around!

I find it so flattering that I would be put in the same company as Julie Aigner-Clark.  Then I remember meeting her at a conference in South Florida for ever so brief of a moment, and you realize then that she too is a ‘normal mom’ ‘normal wife’ ‘normal business woman.’  And you take a deep breath and pray to the Lord that all good things come from your efforts.

I have continued to say along my journey of life – and most particularly along my journey of entrepreneurship – that being kind and full of integrity is key.  So that’s what I do.  I stay true to face value.  I stay honest.  I stay focused on the goal of helping children.  And know that the good stuff will all follow along………………..

During summer our kids get hungry (raiding the fridge every hour on the hour!) and our kids get thirsty (I just stocked up on a 3/$5.00 Gatorade deal – as if paying $1.67 is a BIG BARGAIN to buy a bottle full of water mixed with something – yikes!).  So this next Boca Beth song in my line up of assisting all of us One Song At A Time is called “Tengo hambre/I Am Hungry” and is sung to the beat of “Farmer in the Dell.”  I continue to tell workshop attendees, “You don’t have to buy one of my CDs to do this cool bilingual stuff.  You know the beat of these traditional children’s songs.  You can pull the lyrics off my web site for free at bocabeth.com.  Then just start having fun!”

Some women one time told me, “What kind of business woman are you?  You should never say that!  Your goal is to sell the CDs not tell them how to get around that!”  But you know what, I too lived check to check (and still do if it were just my Boca Beth earnings and child support!), and I will never stop sharing with my teacher friends how to make this easy, fun and affordable!

“Tengo Hambre/I’m Hungry” (Song #5 from the “My First Songs in Spanish” music CD from the Boca Beth Program)
(sung to the tune of  “Farmer in the Dell”)

Yo tengo hambre,
Yo tengo hambre,
Oh my, I’m hungry now!
¡Yo tengo hambre!

Quiero comida,
Quiero comida,
Oh my, I want some food!
¡Quiero comida!

Yo tengo sed,
Yo tengo sed,
Oh my, I’m thirsty now!
¡Yo tengo sed!

Quiero agua,
Quiero agua,
Oh my, I want some water!
¡Quiero agua!

(repeat once more)

 

For some classroom fun and or dramatic play I suggest using a water bottle to have BOCA show he is thirsty and drinks water/agua, then use some plastic food to show he is hungry, tiene hambre. Have the children act out being thirsty with their own BOCAs or with their own acting.  Children love, love, love being on stage so have them do it leading the group or all at one time.  Both angles work!

Then use pages from our coloring/activity book to reinforce some of the food words.  And even better than that, go to our web site and download the comida/food cards and the bebidas/drinks cards from the Free Resource Area and give each child their own pair of cards.  Instruct them to hold up the card that goes along with the part of the song being sung about.

Having fun with this bilingual journey is key!

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

Children's CDs Can Give Them A Bilingual Jump Start

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

It’s true!  Ask the thousands of parents and preschool teachers who speak not one word of Spanish (okay, okay – they DO remember “Una cerveza por favor” to get a cold brewski when on vacation in Mexico, Puerto Rico or some such place we hope to find ourselves this summer!!!).  The votes are in that children learn with music!  Experts agree you should try to teach math, reading, spelling and even second languages to the young ones by incorporating some music into the learning program.

We listened!  We continue to listen!  And here is this cool bilingual kidsong from our Boca Beth music CD called “My First Songs in Spanish.”  If you know my stuff at all – have ever heard me deliver my energetic, prize-winning, fun workshop on how to bring Spanish and English together for the young child age birth – eight –  then you know most of my songs are sung to traditional children’s tunes … why?  Because most research suggests that if you provide the child (and the parent who really wishes they were more bilingual!!!!) the comfort level of knowing the beat, the melody of the new bilingual song then the words will come more easily to them.

Preschoolers learn Spanish with our cool Boca Beth bilingual beats, babies are soothed by my voice (I have heard tales of 3 am feedings with Boca Beth as the background music!) and teens declare they learn more with a 30-minute Boca Beth class that they were dragged to with their younger sibling than they learned in an entire semester of Spanish One/Uno!

So, here it is – and here are some cool ‘bring the Spanish to life’ tips from our bilingual classrooms … full of bilingual babies, todders and preschoolers (not to mention the elementary class of first graders who each year learns 11 Boca Beth songs for multi-cultural night and the teen who gets my CD as a birthday gift to aid them with loving to learn Spanish!)!!!

“I See Colors/Veo colores” (song #4 from BOCA BETH’S ‘My First Songs in Spanish’  music CD)
(sung to the beat of “The Mulberry Bush”)

I see the color red right here,
red right here, red right here!
I see the color red right here!
In Spanish red is rojo!

Veo el color rojo aqui,
Rojo aqui, rojo aqui.
Veo el color rojo aqui,
En inglés rojo es red.

I see the color blue right here,
blue right here, blue right here!
I see the color blue right here!
In Spanish blue is azul!

Veo el color azul aqui,
Azul aqui, azul aqui.
Veo el color azul aqui,
En inglés azul es blue.

(continue with the following colors in the same pattern of song as above – the color green/verde… yellow/amarillo… white/blanco… black/negro… brown/café…)

Suggested circle time activities to do along with this fun song as you teach/introduce Spanish to your child(ren):

  • Use visual aides that show the seven (7) colors. I have found really nice ones that have an animal associated with the color. This makes the song even more interesting if you can match the color with the animal name and elaborate on it a little more during the music. Allow the children to hold the props as they say the color word correctly in both Spanish and English without shouting (guide them in saying “Please, don’t shout/Por favor, no grita”). The children begin to get competitive during this song in order to be one of the chosen ones to hold a prop, but if you stick to your rule of no shouting – they will catch on that you mean it and will stop the unnecessary noise.
  • Another cute thing to do with this song is to buy some small color links that the children build a small color link as the song progresses. You will only be able to go through to white (no black or brown color links last time I checked!). It’s just another fun way to teach the second language with hands on manipulatives.
  • Also on our bocabeth.com web site are free bilingual resources for using with young children as you introduce Spanish and English together in a true bilingual presentation.  Look for our color language cards – out of the 70 cards that I share on our web site for free downloads there are some color cards available.  The members of our Boca Beth Educator’s Club end up getting extra cards each month as part of their membership so they tend to end up with fuller sets of cool language cards than the regular newsletter subscriber.
  • Another cool idea that my sister -who used to teach first and second grade and used Boca Beth songs each year with her students – was to have the children sit at their desks.  She would ask them to pick out the most prominent color on their clothing and shoes from the seven colors sung about on our Boca Beth ‘I See Colors/Veo colores’ song.  When the song sang about that particular color then they stood up during that part of the song and would sit back down when the next color began.  If they did not have one of the colors on at all on any visible article of clothing then they were given a prop to hold that had a color in it from the song and would stand up showing the prop with that color.

That is the key, isn’t it with little children?!?!?!  Make the learning fun, and they don’t even realize they are learning.  That’s why those middle school and high school Spanish teachers who try to be a bit unorthodox in their methods of second language learning with the older students will incorporate music, games and fun into their curriculum (and they swear by it!!!).

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca BethBeth And Children 

Today It Is Simply 'One Day At A Time'

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Not sure what happened today……..perhaps it truly hit me that 8 weeks ago to the date and day my sister drove up to my home, our neighbor spotted her leaned over her car in my driveway sobbing and she had to deliver the news of us never being able to hear Mom’s voice again.

I will never forget my sister’s face, her voice, my neighbor praying with us right there in the early dawn of the day, asking Jesus to give us two girls strength to face the three children inside as they prepared for school and to then travel to Mom’s home and pay our last respects to the woman who raised us so lovingly.

I cried a lot today.  I was very subdued for Beth Butler, the always upbeat and ready with a smile / positive word mom, partner, friend and teacher.

Man…………I miss my Mom.  I think about all of the things she did for me that allowed me to become who I am today.  The struggles she faced with our Dad – both mental and physical as he himself fought alcoholism.  The night shifts she worked as a single mom once she got the courage to divorce him.  The money she would scrimp and save to put me – her first of all four kids – all the way through a four year college.  The smiles she found in what must have been the toughest of times as we got food stamps and other forms of assistance.  The Irish pride she instilled in us all to not allow what others say to prevent you from taking the next step forward. 

I have taken so many steps forward – many times feeling my mom cheering me on.  In fact, over the past 8 weeks since her death, I have had some amazing, terrific, wonderful news about various things in my life (personal and professional) – – – – I have reached for that phone countless times thinking, “Mom’s gonna love this one!”  Only to come back sharply to reality that MOM IS NOT ABLE TO TAKE THE CALL.   I refuse to say she is not here, because I know she is.  I feel her presence sometimes, I feel her strength often times and I feel her love all of the time.

My sister and I are convinced there are ‘God winks’ going on.  These are times when we know it’s Mom-driven, Mom-directed little signs…..I will give you just one shivery example and move on through my tears.  About a week after mom’s passing on to the Lord I was trying to make some sense of the piles of things my sister and I had gone through of mom’s belongings.   One of the things she had asked my 7-year-old daughter shortly before her death was, “What from Grandma’s new place would you like to have once I die?”  (I swear to this day my mom knew the end of her days here on Earth were drawing to an end.)

Megan had replied she wanted the bird clock – a clock that chimes on the hour with various bird calls.  Very charming and now hangs in Megan’s playroom.  On this particular day I had not made it over to that side of the house but had accumulated enough stuff to place some of Mom’s treasures that she had left for Megan in Megan’s room.  As I approached Megan’s room (which is right next to the play room where this clock hangs) the bird chime begins a long and melodious call as if from my Mom herself thanking me for taking the time to share her left behind treasures with her darling granddaughter who had spent the night with Grandma only 3 days before her death.

Mom, I know you are watching all of us.  I know your body is now free from the pain that the rheumatoid arthritis had infected your entire body with.  I know you are so proud of us four kids as we try to do what you wished – from the cremation to the Memorial Mass to the celebration of life party to the execution of your will with no bickering (okay, okay, I know you know there has been a tiny bit of tension but nothing realllllly bad).

Mom – I love you and miss you so much.  I will see you in Heaven.  Keep a glass of wine chilled for our first Happy Hour together in the Heavens!

Love, Your Baby Girl, Beth Ann

Learning to Count Without Dora or Diego – Spanish Numbers Uno-Diez

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

They did it!  Dora and Diego have opened up the eyes of American parents – helping them realize that their little ones are like sponges….soaking up every new word, every new phrase, every new language!

These little two year olds run around the house screaming, “Abre, abre” as if they have discovered The Secret of a toddler’s life!

I kid you not.  When people ask me, “Don’t you find Dora’s DVDs direct competition to what you offer?”  I reply with an enthusiastic, “No way!”  Had it not been for Dora (and her counterpart Diego for the male population and birthday supply sales in that genre that were so lacking!) I feel parents in our country would still not be convinced that this second language journey can begin early, early, early in life and be FUN, FUN, FUN!

So – “I Like To Count/Me gusta contar” is a perfect song that exemplifies how quickly these little tiggers can pick up new words in a new language.  Give them two times with this number one hit from the Boca Beth CDs (my own billboard rating system mind you!) and you’ve got yourself a bilingual bash going on counting from one to ten in both English and Spanish.  Not bad for a little 2 minute song that doesn’t grate on your nerves!

Let’s look at the simple, easy-to-follow lyrics first (download them for free on line if you like).

“Me gusta contar/I Like to Count” (original beat)**

¡Me gusta contar!
I like to count!
¡Me gusta contar!
I like to count!

Uno, dos, tres-
One, two, three!
Cuatro, cinco, seis-
Four, five, six!
Siete, ocho, nueve-
Seven, eight, nine!
Y diez-
And ten!

Uno es one,
One is uno.
Dos es two,
Two is dos.
Tres es three,
Three is tres.
Cuatro es four,
Four is cuatro.
Cinco es five,
Five is cinco.
Seis es six,
Six is seis.
Siete is seven,
Seven is siete.
Ocho es eight,
Eight is ocho.
Nueve es nine,
Nine is nueve.
Diez es ten,
Ten is diez.

(repeat first chorus to end song)

 **The reason we mention it’s an original beat is because most of our songs are written to the tunes of familiar children’s melodies!

How about some circle time fun for this song?  I just did a kindergarten concert this morning with about 100 five year olds and we sang “Me gusta contar” with such energy and passion and finger exercising.  When it’s not a good instrument time I ask the children to count with me using their fingers (remember – visual learners!!!)  And when it comes time to show “ten/diez” I have the kids move those ten fingers/diez dedos and exercise them!  They love to wiggle them around fast like Miss Beth does!

Me Gusta Contar/I Like To Count suggested circle time fun: Ask the children if they remember how to count from 1 to 10 in English. Count together using your fingers for visual aides. Then ask if anyone knows how to count from uno a diez (or desde diez) in Spanish and count together again. Have each child take a musical instrument, tell them we will be counting from 1 to 10 in Español e Inglés/Spanish and English, dancing in a circle/circulo and have them follow you, the teacher, around in a dancing circle to sing the song. When it comes time in the song after ten or diez I ask the children to “STOP” “PARA” and make noise/hace ruido until the words begin again. 

Another cool reinforcement idea is to sing song number nine off this same “My First Songs in Spanish/Mis primeras canciones en ingles” music CD that counts to ten using the theme of “There Are Ten Toys.”  Repetition.  Repetition.  Reptetition.  You may get tired of it but their little brains and neural pathways need the repetition to connect the neurons and keep the learning going on!

Then pull out our cool 44-page coloring activity book and use the two pages that do counting fun along with coloring fun and some BOCA splashed around the page!
I will tell you – if this morning was a witness to what we can do with our youth of today and introduce them to a new language successfully – then it was a Kodak testimonial moment times 1,000!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth