Tuesday, January 27, 2015

{Multicultural Children's Book Day} Today The Teacher Changed Our Seats

Celebrating Diversity Through Children's Books

I received a free copy of this book to review as part of
Multicultural Children's Book Day. The views expressed are my own.

We love discovering new books, especially books that include characters that reflect the diverse world in which we live. Not only does Today the Teacher Changed Our Seats feature a diverse group of students in the classroom as well as an African-American male teacher, but it is also a book that allows for learning discussions and activities around the math concept of grouping and the reality that sometimes teachers do things our children don't like (i.e. separating them from their friends or asking them to sit somewhere new). 

Since grouping is a math concept my 3 and 5 year-old aren't really familiar with, I wasn't sure if the book would engage them, but I was wrong. Wild Thing (my 5 year-old son) LOVES math, so the idea that this book was a book about math excited him. I think he also liked seeing a teacher in a book that was an African-American man, since his dad (who is African-American and Latino teaches filmmaking and digital arts two days a week at Wild Thing's charter school).

Another surprise for me was how well this book engaged my early reader. Many of the words in the book are words Wild Thing is learning to read: yellow, red, gray, green, so he and I enjoyed reading the book together as I read most of the words, and he read the words that he knew. Plus, the math focus of the book had him spouting addition facts to me, which was fun.

I always notice that my sons, who are part of a very multicultural family, always get extra excited about books that include children and adults that look like the family and friends they have, which is why I love being a part of Multicultural Children's Book Day! 

Please check out my post from last year for Multicultural Children's Book Day and 10 of our favorite Multicultural Children's Books. I'd love to know what some of your favorites are too. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Magic of Music: Bilingual Learning Through Song

Spanish Language Learning CD Review

I received a complimentary copy of ¡Sabor! for review purposes;
however, all opinions are my own.
Wild Thing (my 5 year-old) has always been interested in learning Spanish and loves reading Spanish books and bilingual books with me or his father. He often asks to learn new words. 

However, Caterpillar (who is 3) rarely showed an interest and would only passively listen and rarely engage when we're reading books or speaking Spanish, which is limited since I know very little Spanish. 

When we received the Whistlefritz Spanish language CD, Sabor!, however, that changed. Most of the time when we listen to it, we are in the car. 

It quickly became a favorite CD for both of the boys. They request it over and over and are even now singing along. It has been the only thing that has interested Caterpillar in learning Spanish, and now he asks me what various Spanish words in the songs mean and will ask how to say certain words in Spanish as well, something he never did before. 

I'm glad to have a Spanish language resource that engages both of my boys now and a CD that supplements so well Wild Thing's interest in Spanish language books. 

I also appreciate, since my Spanish is so limited, that the CD booklet includes translations of all of the songs allowing me to better utilize the CD as a resource.

I had not idea that Old MacDonald Had a Farm in Spanish would be such a hit! But, my boys LOVE it and sing along.

What Spanish language resources work best for your family? Do your children enjoy learning through songs? I'd love to add more bilingual books and other materials to our resource library, so please share. 

Another valuable review of the CD is the one that All Done Monkey wrote, which I enjoyed. You can find out more about Whistlefritz's award-winning language learning materials in Spanish and French on their website.  You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

You can read about some of our favorite bilingual picture books here: 

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