Archive for September, 2007

Preparing Your Child for School the Fun, Easy, Boca Beth Way!

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Isn’t it nice?  The children are totally back into school – with our first progress reports having come home already and conference night is tonight at my sons’ high school.  The routine of the school year has really settled in.  The moans and groans of afternoon homework are followed by the excited welcoming of each Friday afternoon for a much needed time of R&R!

As a work-from-home Mom I truly thrive on this part of the year.  I get so much accomplished for the Boca Beth business along with personal things for the family and home!  Don’t tell the three of mine, but I love, love, love the 186 days of public school!

Preparing our young ones for the skills necessary to be a successful reader and school age child is no easy task.  I hope with my Boca Beth fun I make it a bit easier, a lot more fun and a ton more accessible than some of the learning tools thrown our way over the developmental years of our children’s lives!

Here is a fun lesson for learning the vowel sounds in English and in Spanish – great for ESL children, great for English-speaking children hoping to communicate within their community and terrific lesson fun for any preschool and kindergarten/first grade teacher!

Enjoy the song Vowel Sounds / Los sonidos de las vocales off our second bilingual music CD titled “More Boca Beth/Más Boca Beth.”  This CD was written around feedback provided by parents, teachers, and caregivers world wide.  Why not mix in a little Happy Birthday/Feliz cumpleaños song fun with others about opposites, telling time and shapes (all coming from my teacher background!).

Here are the lyrics:

“VOWEL SOUNDS”
(sung to “Alouette”)

A, E, I, O, U
A, E, I, O, U
A, E, I, O, U
A, E, I, O, U (Spanish pronunciation)

I know my vowel sounds – children echo it back
In Spanish – children echo it back
I know them – echo it back

A, E, I, O, U
A, E, I, O, U
A, E, I, O, U
A, E, I, O, U (English pronunciation)

Yo sé mis vocales – children echo it back
En Inglés – children echo it back
Yo los sé – children echo it back

Here is the suggested circle time activity fun:

Often times I do not even wait for it to be one of the children’s birthday – they love singing this song! Children love doing the “cha-cha-chas” so why wait?!?!?! Everyone gets a Boca Beth maraca and we do the “Cha-Cha-Cha” during the English chorus and the Spanish chorus of the Birthday Song! Sometimes I even get out a frog puppet for one child to hold and act out the part where our visiting frog says “Happy Birthday” towards the end of the song. Often times, if no one is having a birthday that particular day, I have the children stand in groups according to their birthday month, and we sing the song to the various groups depending upon how many there might be.

Happy Birthday & Happy Educating!  ¡Feliz cumpleaños & Feliz sea educando!

Boca Beth
 

MOPS – Mothers of Preschoolers and BB – Boca Beth Meet for the First Time with BF – Bilingual Fun

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Acronyms that stand for the youth of today!

 MOPS ( Mothers of Preschoolers) converged on Orlando, Florida last Thursday for a wonderful three day conference meant to energize, rejuvenate and replenish the souls, minds and bodies of these more than 4,000 women.  It was unbelievable to see all of these women in one place attending general sessions filled with worship and praise as well as terrific break out sessions on topics ranging from raising boys to become wonderful men, to public speaking to having an organized home. 

It was Boca Beth’s first time ever with this organization as an exhibitor, and I even had an opportunity to present a mini-session on the first day to about 20 people who were kind enough to come over and listen to the ‘new kid on the block’ speak!  I told these moms about how many extra benefits are derived from introducing a second language into your young child’s life – many of them did not know that the child will read sooner than a monolingual peer nor did they know that the latest research out shows that children who receive instruction in two languages during the very early years (birth – ten) score higher on standardized tests’ math and verbal sections!

Many new moms today are truly trying to give their children the best possible jump start on life – yet many of them still think that introducing a second language is too hard for them to do if they themselves do not speak the targeted new language.  It’s a myth – it is not that way, and I so hope that I can continue to shed light on that subject as I continue to do conferences with educators, MOPS and moms nationwide!

Many of these moms this past weekend seemed delighted to learn about a CD, a DVD, a product made by a fellow mom (and one who happens to have a teaching degree AND lived in Chile and Mexico!!!).  They loved to hear the easy-to-understand bilingual format, the enunciated words on the songs and in the DVDs that are presented in Spanish and English in a true bilingual format.

BOCA BETH Language Learning Sets

Thank you MOPS conference committee for this chance to share.  Thank you MOPS moms, many of you, for making us feel welcomed and appreciated.  I so hope to go to Texas next year and present a full session…………..

I was thinking of the title in bed last night………………..Sing, Dance and Play With Your Child As You Enjoy A Second Language Journey:  Preparing Our Children for a Global Future!

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Boca Beth Activities for Children

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

It’s that time!

Between September 15th and October 15th people in the United States of America have come to know Hispanic Heritage Month as the month-long celebration marking the independence of many Latin American countries.  Whether you hail from Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico,  Ecuador or any other Latin American Country and/or country where Spanish is the native language, it is now time to celebrate the cultural diversity of, the romance language of and the heritage of our Latin American amigos/amigas/friends.

Share these FUN activities with those special children in your life (fourth bullet point down, last article), and drop me a quick note to let me know how you are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth 

Bilingual Music Fun and Learning with Boca Beth Beats

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

More Boca Beth/Mas Boca BethColor & Shapes: A Book with Fabulous Flaps My Shapes/ Mis FormasBILINGUAL BOOKS ON SHAPES!!!

Let’s keep the lessons rolling this week with many people’s favorite I Know My Shapes / Yo sé mis formas from the Boca Beth bilingual music CD titled More Boca Beth / Más Boca Beth. This song is sung to the beat of / the melody of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and is quite catchy to introduce five fun shapes to children ages one – five. (Though I have elementary aged school children who love, love, love this song!)

Here are the lyrics to this Spanish and English song:

Follow this link

And now the suggested activity to go hand in hand with our Boca Beth song! Many organizations have brought me in to conduct a Make and Take training that goes hand in hand with this fun bilingual song about shapes. Each attendee walks away with the five shapes sung about in this Boca Beth song in visual aid form with Spanish and English words attached to the shapes for the beginning reading portion of the program.

Early literacy……………..a big push in our country, and most administrators do not even realize that learning two languages before the age of five promotes early reading skills. It’s amazing! Let them know!

Circle time suggested activity: Finding shapes visual aides are easy ones to find with both Spanish and English words that I suggest you laminate to the sides of the shapes. When you laminate make certain to always place your English word on the same side of the visual aide each time and the Spanish word on the opposing side. We all know that children thrive on familiarity and knowing what to expect so make the words follow the same pattern each and every time.

During the song the children are asked to act like the shape we are singing about and told maybe they will get a chance to hold one of the shapes. We circle our hands around one another for “circle/círculo,” we walk in place like a “square/cuadrado,” we hop up and down like Tigger (what child doesn’t love to hop like Tigger?!?!?!) for “rectangle/rectangulo,” we dance like the “triangle/triangulo,” and then we fly like an airplane for “oval/ovalo.”

For the older children I had one teacher suggest the children draw the shape in the air as they sing about it! Cute alternative idea for the kinesthetic part of the learning!

At the end of the song I collect the shapes one by one repeating the English and the Spanish word for the shape adding more repetition. For example, “¿Donde esta el circulo? / Where is the circle?” and I will even tie in the color name of the shape since they are in different colors when purchased at Lakeshore Learning or when made with Boca Beth at our Make and Take workshop for in-service hours.

Happy Educating! ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

What Time is It? Time for Boca Beth Bilingual Learning Fun!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I really want to get back into the swing of sharing some teaching tips and tools and techniques on bringing Spanish and English together for young children.  Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooling parent, an educator of preschool children, a caregiver of various aged children or a grandma lucky enough to be around to watch her grandchildren sprout before her eyes!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to continue to share my journey as well as the teaching tips that make Spanish come to life for all of us!

What Time Is It? / ¿ Qué hora es ? is a song I wrote and recorded back in ( I think ) 2003 for our 2nd CD titled More Boca Beth / Más Boca BethThe song is written to the original children’s tune Are You Sleeping?  If you remember the premise on which I put the foundation of my songwriting upon – we use children’s classic song melodies from which to piggyback the new songs that contain English and Spanish words that introduce brand new concepts.

You know the beat!  Here are the words!  Put them together with my FREE suggested language fun activities found on our web site, a little Judy Clock for fun and you have a fiesta/party full of time-telling niños/children!

ORIGINAL JUDY CLOCK                          FRANK SCHAFFER PUBLICATIONS FS-35016 BB SET BIG JUDY CLOCK-GR. 1-4                                More Boca Beth/Mas Boca Beth    

“What Time Is It?/¿ Qué Hora Es ?”
(sung to “Are You Sleeping?”)

(chorus)
What time is it?
¿ Qué hora es ?
I need to know!
¡ Tengo que saber !

It is eight o’clock.
Son las ocho.
Time for breakfast!
¡ Hora de desayunar !

Repeat chorus

It is twelve o’clock.
Son las doce.
Time for lunch!
¡ Hora de almorzar !

Repeat chorus

It is six thirty.
Son las seis y media.
Time for dinner!
¡ Hora de cenar !

This is an echo song. I ask the children if they remember what an echo is. I praise the person with the correct answer and ask them to be my echo in this fun song about telling time in Spanish and English. If the children are old enough to get the concept, they can act out the time of day while singing about it. We hold our arms out in the position of 8 o’clock, then straight above our heads for 12 o’clock, then pointing down towards the ground for 6:30.  We rub our bellies in a circular motion while singing “Time for breakfast” and “Time for lunch” and “Time for dinner” as if we are content with the thought of eating soon!

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

p.s.  (If you really want to go to the next level then join our Boca Beth Educator’s Club (about 5 cents per day at our $19.95 per year membership fee).  This cool club gives you language cards – ones on clock and watch for this theme – formal lesson plans that center around a monthly theme that include several of the following:  Science experiments, snack fun, arts & crafts ideas, story time books to tie in, extra language cards, activity sheets and more and more and more!)

Another toy recall…That is why we are Made in the USA since Day One!!!

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

I am ever-so-grateful that our executive producer (my husband!!!) and I both see eye-to-eye on keeping our Boca Beth Product line made in the USA!  Since we began making bilingual educational CDs, DVDs, puppets, musical instruments and books for children we have always prided ourselves on never outsourcing.  Now, of course this decision was not based on the recent toy recalls.  It was solely based on the fact that we wanted to keep the jobs here in our country for the production and manufacturing of every component of our bilingual fun for children.

Why was that so important back then to us as a company, just as it today as an ever-growing company?  Passion for quality products placed first on the list followed by passion for keeping US workers in jobs followed by the awareness of the pollution and negative impact outsourcing can place on our world’s eco-system.

We have even started implementing eco-friendly packaging on our newest bilingual Christian music CD for children – using a cardboard sleeve that is made from recycled paper and uses soy based ink!  Trendy my plant told me.  Smart for our children’s future I told them!

If I truly care for children – which I clearly do – then why wouldn’t I want to continue to improve our production standards to ensure that their future will be a environmentally safe one full of bilingual children appreciating one another’s cultures, languages and sense of self worth?!?!

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

Large training for Head Start and Early Head Start, Small training for Kidscope … Both ROCKED!!!

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

Aren’t all of us teachers really actresses/actors in so many ways?!?!?!  We love to be in front of a crowd (one that is hopefully listening!), we thrive on the audience’s appreciation of our talents (hopefully garnering some great words of wisdom to carry them through until the next time!) and we really get a kick out of playing a variety of roles on a regular basis (no 9-5 desk job for us educators!).

As my summer wrapped up with some terrific local Head Start and Early Head Start training in Pinellas County (a hop, skip and a jump from my home office in Hillsborough County) I once again was slapped in the face with the realization of what I just said above!  I love, love, love being on stage!!!  The room in the morning session for Pinellas County Head Start staff was about 100 people strong and ready to rock ‘n’ roll!  The afternoon one was a bit less crowded but still fun and informative nonetheless! 

Everyone made shapes to go along with the “I Know My Shapes/Yo se mis formas” song – track 14 off our More Boca Beth music CD.  Then some volunteers even got up and acted out how they would introduce the shapes with the song and the visual aids they had just made.  I love training with a Make and Take if time and funding allows it.  The staff members walk away with instant tools to bring my bilingual music to life!  It’s almost a 100% guarantee that they will start the bilingual educational fun the next day in their classes knowing they have something to work with immediately!

A few nights after this great big training I conducted an interactive, high energy 1.5 hour training for a staff of four and the two owners of a local after school care program called Kidscope in Tampa, FL.  Now that is a commitment on the owners’ parts to say, “We are going to bring bilingual fun into our facility, we have one staff member out of four that speaks Spanish, so let’s get the English-speaking teachers some fun and practical training and provide them with materials to make it happen.”

I gave the same energy that night for six people as I did for the 200+ people days earlier………………I love when they ask me what I take to be so energetic, so happy, so full of life!!!  It’s truly just how I am.  I am a positive person with a great mindset that rubs off on all those I meet and interact with.  It’s a natural thing – no drug induced state of euphoria, no alcohol (though that Sunday afternoon glass of vino is sounding good right about now!!!!!).

It’s great to be back in excellent health again – to be able to travel the country (and even the world!  They have asked us to come to Jamaica and train next month!) and share my passion for second language learning with teachers that reach so many children daily.  Then to be able to take BOCA around now to centers and zoos and malls and conferences to promote the language learning even more is AWESOME!  Our fees are so affordable still because we are still the ‘new kid on the block’ in so many ways! 

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth