¡Es divertido hablar dos idiomas!

A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Retiring the Blog

Hola friends. The time has come for me to retire ¡Es Divertido Hablar Dos Idiomas! Maintaining this blog over the past seven years has been an absolute joy. However, my career is moving along a new path these days, and I no longer am able to invest my time in properly updating it, so I have decided to put it to rest. I will be leaving the content up to hopefully continue to be of value to visitors interested in learning more about bilingual storytime and Latino children's literature. From time to time as I am able, I hope to still add new content, but I know such posts will be less frequent. Rather than leave you all wondering, I wanted to place this post at the top to let you know my decision. I also want to thank all of you who stopped by the blog, whether it was frequently or just once, and shared your thoughts and ideas with me and with other readers. Please keep finding creative and fun ways to grow your bilingual storytime programs and to make sure that all kids in your communities have access to great books!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos

It's the day after the Youth Media Award announcements, I'm back home in Lexington, and diversity issues are fresh on my mind. There are the observations and conversations from ALA Midwinter that I am processing, the important critique of this year's Caldecott winner Locomotive taking place at the American Indians in Children's Literature blog and on the ALSC listserv (though I fear may be largely ignored by those who don't already care about diversity issues), and yesterday's incredibly timely launch of Multicultural Children's Book Day - a grassroots event launched by bloggers with the support of publishers with no library/librarian participation that I could find. To succinctly sum up what I am thinking...however far we have come in terms of diversity and inclusion in the world of libraries and children's literature, there is still so very far to go.

But, there are some excellent opportunities out there to start on this work, and I'd like to highlight one of those opportunities in this post. March 13-14, 2014, you can do yourself a huge favor and attend the National Latino Children's Literature Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This year the event will feature 2014 Pura Belpré winning author Meg Medina, 2014 Pura Bepré honor author Margarita Engle, and Latina literary agent Adriana Dominguez among many others.

I have attended this conference twice in past years, and I can tell you, it is a not-to-be-missed event. What makes this small conference so special is that it succeeds at immediately establishing a sense of familia among the participants. The people who are presenting and attending understand the incredible need for increasing the access to and visibility of high-quality children's literature by and about Latinos. As someone who cares about this topic deeply, but who is not Latina myself, I can share that what I have learned by attending this conference has had a direct impact on me, both professionally and personally. I can only know so much about the world from my direct experiences within in it, and by listening to varied authors and illustrators, as well as practitioners and advocates who share their experiences at this conference, I know that my worldview and understanding are broadened, which helps me learn how to analyze what is occurring in the world around me more critically and to make choices that are more inclusive of diverse voices. I leave this conference with my passion renewed, and I always make connections with new colleagues and old friends who are doing important work in various parts of the country to increase access to this literature. Some of the personalities are bold and loud, nationally recognized diversity advocates and authors. Others are quietly working to do what they can in parts of the country where in many cases there is no institutional support and even direct opposition to their efforts from restrictive, anti-immigrant based legislation. Anyone who considers him or herself an advocate of diversity and inclusion in children's literature should be at this conference.

If you have found this blog post, it's most likely that you are already a convert to the need for more inclusion in children's literature. Perhaps you already even attend the National Latino Children's Literature event. My challenge to you is this - share it with someone else who doesn't have these issues on his/her radar. If I have any professional take-away from 2013, it's that those of us who already care about these issues are bubbling over with frustration that the lack of multicultural inclusion in children's literature is still so real. But we have to find a way to reach out and bring the folks who don't even see it into the discussion. We can do that a number of ways, but my recommendation would be to get them so excited and passionate about these books that they too become converts, that they too have their worldview broadened, that they too begin to see the world around them more critically and start asking some important questions to their colleagues about who has a voice in children's literature and who does not. This conference can do that in a way few others can.

For more information, visit the National Latino Children's Literature Conference website, or contact conference Chair, Dr. Jamie Campbell-Naidoo, jcnaidoo@slis.ua.edu.

Friday, November 29, 2013

¡Miau! Los Gatos / Cats Bilingual Storytime

One of my favorite parts of teaching my online class Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca, is that I learn so much from my students.  This week a student shared a super cute and simple little rhyme, "Los Gatitos" (shared below), and it inspired me to post an outline for a cat-themed bilingual storytime this week.  Enjoy!

Books / Libros

Ven, gatita, ven / Here, Kitty, Kitty is a cute bilingual story from the My Family / Mi Familia series by Pat Mora.  Join in the fun as the family searches everywhere to find the hiding kitty!  A good read for toddlers.

La primera luna llena de Gatita, the Spanish translation of Keven Henkes' Caldecott-winning Kitten's First Full Moon, is a contemporary classic and an absolutely precious story of a little kitten's attempt to get closer to the great saucer of milk in the sky.  Provides lots of opportunities to engage children in the story by predicting what might happen next.  Excellent for preschool.

Un gato y un perro / A Cat and a Dog by Claire Masurel is another bilingual book, and one of my favorites to share with the preschool crowd.  Dog and Cat naturally do not get along.  However, they come to realize that they each have something special to offer the other and find themselves becoming buddies.

I have successfully used and would recommend all of these titles with mixed-age audiences.

Storytelling with Flannelboard / Un cuento para contar

Cookie's Week by Cindy Ward is a story many librarians are familiar with about a mischievous cat who finds creative ways to wreak havoc all week long...hopefully she will take a rest on Sunday!  It's a great story to tell bilingually, in Spanish, or incorporating some Spanish words (such as the names of the days of the week).  I really enjoy telling this story with the aid of the flannelboard, so I am sharing my flannel pattern of Cookie's Week as this week's Flannel Friday contribution.  If you are not familiar with the story, click the link in the title to locate a copy near you in WorldCat.  The Spanish version of the story is La semana de Cookie.  This is another flannel that I first discovered when working at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, so I can't take credit for the adorable design.  My version is modeled off of what staff in the Center for Discover there had already made.

Below you find the PDF of these flannel pieces shared via my SlideShare profile, which you can use as a pattern for creating your own version of this flannelboard.

Songs / Canciones 

The song that my student shared this week piggybacks on the tune of "Ten Little Fingers / Diez deditos" and is called "Los gatitos / Little Kittens."  It's very simple, can be sung in English and Spanish, and practices counting skills.
Uno, dos, tres gatitos (One, two, three little kittens)
cuatro, cinco, seis gatitos (four, five, six little kittens)
siete, ocho, nueve gatitos (seven, eight, nine little kittens)
diez gatitos son...¡miau! (ten little kittens meow!)

Another piggyback song that I thought of would be to sing GATOS instead of BINGO, replacing each letter one at a time with a "miau."  You could easily do this with the assistance of a flannelboard, having each of the letters and replacing the letters one at a time with a cat.

And there is a fun traditional song you could use as well, "El Señor Don Gato."  The video below has a fun, upbeat version of the song that shows kids dancing along with everyone standing in a circle, one child walking around the circle to find a friend to dance with, the friends dancing together in the circle, and then a new child walking around to find a friend.  This is a great way to get parents participating in the fun.  Many will probably know the song as well.

You can find the lyrics and an additional audio file of the song via Mama Lisa's World.

School Readiness Activity / Actividad para prepararse para la escuela

If you follow this blog, then you know that I like to include some sort of an early literacy or school readiness skill building activity at the end of storytime, especially for family programs.  An idea that I thought of for this program is to have several sets of cats of different sizes cut out of different colors of paper.  Then, at individual stations or together in small groups, parents and children can use these cat cutouts of varying sizes and colors to conduct a variety of activities.  They can count the cats, pair the cats by 2's or 3's, sort the cats by color, organize the cats by size, create or complete patterns with the cats and even make up their own cat story, using the cutouts as props.  Simple yet powerful practice.

That's all for this program.  Did I miss a book or song that you love for a gatos program?  Have another idea that has worked with your families?  Let us know in the comments, and thanks for reading!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thanksgiving Storytime Ideas / Ideas para el Día de Acción de Gracias

November is here and I enjoy presenting storytimes that celebrate family and gratitude in the lead up to Thanksgiving.  I thought I would share some of my favorite materials for such bilingual or Spanish program.

Rhymes and Flannelboard

I previously posted my translation of "Five Little Turkeys/Cinco pavos," but I am re-sharing it today with a flannel for this week's Flannel Friday roundup.

Five Little Turkeys
Five little turkeys standing at the door,
one waddled off, and then there were four.
Four little turkeys sitting near a tree,
one waddled off, and then there were three.
Three little turkeys with nothing to do,
one waddled off, and then there were two.
Two little turkeys in the morning sun,
one waddled off, and then there was one.
One little turkey better run away,
For soon it will be Thanksgiving Day.

Cinco pavos
Acerca de la puerta son cinco pavos
Uno se salió, y ahora son cuatro.
Cuatro pavos gordos huelen a los postres
Uno se salió y ahora son tres.
Tres pequeños pavos saltan unos saltos
Uno se salió y ahora son dos.
Dos pavos nerviosos esperan su oportuno
Uno se salió y ahora solo hay uno.
Un pavo queda este día importuno.                                      
Cuando el se sale, ¡no hay ninguno!

Find a PDF of the flannel pieces which you can use as a pattern to create your own on Slideshare.


Movement Song - "Al pavo pavito"

This movement song is also a fun game that is sort of similar to musical chairs.  As explained on Mama Lisa's World:  "This game needs an odd number of children. They dance in a circle. At the end of the song, they count '1, 2, 3' and they gather two by two. The one remaining alone is shouted at with 'Pavo, pavo'. In Spanish, 'pavo' means 'turkey', but it also means 'silly', 'idiotic'."  Though that description may sound a little extreme, the game is actually quite fun, especially with school-age children or mixed-age family audiences in which the parents are participating. This song is from Spain, and I honestly don't know how popular it is in Latin America.  If someone could shed some light on this in the comments, that would be great!  Check out the video below for a video demonstration and the lyrics to the song. 

Extra Activities

Check out this great post from Spanglish Baby with ideas on crafts and games for Thanksgiving, as well as linked printables.

I hope this gives you some ideas for a November bilingual/Spanish storytime!  If you have more suggestions, please share them with us in the comments!

Monday, October 28, 2013

New Session of Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca!

Hi all!  Sorry for the self-promotion but many folks were interested in but unable to participate in the last session of Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca and asked to be notified when it was being offered again. Well, that time is now!  A new session is being offered by Library Juice Academy during November.  The class won't get into full swing until November 4, so there is still plenty of time to register.  All the relevant details are below.  Please send a message or leave a comment if you have any questions.  You can also check out what past students have had to say about the class on the feedback page.

Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca

Instructor: Katie Scherrer
Dates: November 1-28, 2013
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Price: $175

Description: This 4-week, online course teaches participants how to present bilingual storytimes (English/Spanish) for various ages, regardless of their own language skills. Video demonstrations, articles, online resources and course discussions direct students as they learn how to successfully deliver the various elements of bilingual storytimes, either on their own or with a bilingual community partner. Participants will discover new books, rhymes, songs, plans and resources that they can immediately put to use in their bilingual storytime programs.

Learning Objectives:
  • Students will learn how to select and use the following components in bilingual storytime: books, songs, rhymes, fingerplays, and stories for telling aloud.
  • Students will experiment with incorporating bilingual materials into their existing storytime programs.
  • Students will select books and other materials they can use to increase inclusion of Latino culture and the Spanish language in their English storytime programs.
  • Students will develop strategies for working with bilingual community partners to present and market bilingual storytime.
  • Students will gain an increased understanding of the early literacy and school readiness needs of Latino children.
  • Students will articulate how bilingual storytime supports the early literacy and school readiness needs of Latino children, and identify online resources for sharing early literacy and school readiness information with Spanish-speaking parents.
  • Students will each develop two bilingual storytime plans.
Katie Scherrer is a library consultant and training specialist whose work focuses on improving library services to Latino and Spanish-speaking children and families. She previously worked as the first Spanish Program Specialist for the Columbus Metropolitan Library and as a Children’s Librarian at the uniquely bilingual Village Branch of the Lexington Public Library. Katie has presented many workshops on bilingual storytime and library services to Latino families for librarians across the country, including at the 2010 Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth, and the 2013 ALA Annual Conference. For more information, check out this Interview with Katie.

Course structure:  This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cuentos para celebrar el cambio de las estaciones / Storytime to Celebrate the Change in Seasons

It's been a little while since I posted a full storytime plan and the magnificent color of the autumn in Kentucky has me inspired, so I thought I would share some ideas for a storytime on the seasons / las estaciones.

One of the coolest things that I have learned since I began teaching workshops on bilingual storytime is how many varied approaches there are out there to such programming.  For example, with the exception of music which I only use if it is bilingual or in Spanish, I tend to present most of the materials in my programs in both English and Spanish.  At my presentation at ALA this summer, there were a couple of librarians from the Southwest who attract a mostly bilingual crowd to their programs (their participants speak both English and Spanish comfortably).  These librarians do not present the same materials in both English and Spanish, but rather present one item in English and then move to Spanish and so on.  In my online classes, I often work with librarians who themselves do not speak Spanish who are wanting to learn how they can incorporate a few Spanish words or songs here and there into their English programs. Though learning about these different approaches doesn't necessarily change my particular style of how I design and present bilingual storytime, it has helped me to think more broadly about what it can look like.  I hope that some of these ideas will be useful across a broad spectrum of storytimes.

Bilingual Storytime: Seasons / Las estaciones

Opening Song

There are many potential opening songs for bilingual storytime.  One recommendation is "What's Your Name / ¿Cómo te llamas?"

Talk Time with Flannelboard

Take a few minutes to introduce each season in English and Spanish: winter / el invierno, spring / la primavera, summer / el verano, and fall / el otoño.  There is plenty of inspiration to be found for flannelboard designs on the Flannel Friday Seasons Pinterest board.  I like to keep it simple with a snowflake / un copo de nieve, a flower / una flor, a sun / un sol, and a leaf / una hoja.  You can talk about the various seasons in all kinds of ways depending on the age of your group (what you wear, what the weather is like, which is your favorite, etc.).  This is a great moment to make a brief early literacy statement for the parents, encouraging them to talk with their children frequently in the language that the know best to help their children learn new words.

Movement Rhyme

This is a little movement ryhme that I came up with recently.  You could share in English and Spanish all at once on your own or with a partner, share once in Spanish and then again later in the program in English, or even switch from English to Spanish from verse to verse depending on your style and your group.

¿Cómo son las estaciones / What are the seasons like? 

En el invierno
hace frio, frio, frio.
(Tirite el cuerpo como tenga frio.) 
In the winter time
it is cold, cold, cold.
(Shiver your body like you are cold.)

En la primavera
hace lluvia, lluvia, lluvia.
(Menee los dedos por abajo como la lluvia.)
In the spring time
it rains, rains, rains.
(Wiggle your fingers down like rain.)

En el verano
hace sol, sol, sol.
(Levante los brazos por arriba como el sol.) 
In the summer time
the sun shines, shines, shines.
(Raise your arms up overhead like the sun.)

En el otoño
caen hojas, hojas, hojas.
(Gire como una hoja cayendo.)
In the fall time
the leaves fall, fall, fall.
(Spin around like leaves falling and come to seated on the floor.)

Book 1

Llegó la primavera / Spring is Here by Taro Gomi

Movement Song

There are many options for movement songs.  I love to use them to transition between the sitting activities, especially with mixed-age groups.  Movement songs just need to be fun; no theme is necessary.  If you want to stick with the celebration of the seasons, a traditional song like "De Colores" could be made into a movement activity by adding egg shakers, color scarves or a parachute.  If you want to try something just for fun, I like this movement song from Grupo Encanto called "La ronda de los conejos."  This song is a fun what to get parents engaged with the program as well.

Book 2

Un recorrido por las estaciones por Stella Blackstone

Nonfiction Book

The seasons are a great theme for exploring nonfiction with kids.  You don't have to read the book word-for-word or all the way through; another option is to use the book and some of its content (including the pictures) to talk about the seasons and why they change. This echoes back to the early literacy statement you earlier shared with parents about the importance of talking frequently with children and models how to use a book to inspire such conversation.  Some options are the series of seasons books available in Spanish by Sian Smith or Las estaciones y el tiempo / Seasons and Weather by Mary Berendes.

Closing Song

Lyrics available here on the King County Tell Me a Story wiki.

Final Activity

I absolutely love this leaf collage idea from the El Hada de Papel blog.  If you are fortunate enough to be in an area where there are trees, you could spend a few minutes outside together collecting leaves as a group for your collages.  If not, ask your staff to bring in some from home.

There you have it!  I would love to get your feedback if you try any of these ideas in your own storytime.  Or if there is a book, song or another idea that you'd like to add, please share in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Library Outreach to Spanish-Speaking Communities Online Class

This post is to let everyone in library land know that registration is now open for my online course "Library Outreach to Spanish-Speaking Communities" being hosted by Library Juice Academy.  This course is designed for public library staff new to the work of providing outreach to Spanish-speakers.

Many libraries struggle to serve Spanish-speakers. Even those that build a Spanish language collection or try offering programs in Spanish sometimes do not see the response they hope for from the community. Library Outreach to Spanish-Speaking Communities walks participants through the outreach process, critical for forming relationships within Spanish-speaking communities, particularly first-generation immigrant communities. Learn about the barriers to access the prevent library use, and how organizations can overcome those barriers by working with community partners and leaders.  The course is asynchronous and it runs for four-weeks.  Participants choose from two options for their final project in the course: developing an initial Outreach Plan for their organization or conducting a real Community Leader Interview to learn more about the Spanish-speaking community in their area.

Information about registration for the course can be found here: http://www.libraryjuiceacademy.com/032-spanish-speaking.php.  Don't hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions about the course.

Also, a head's up, my class on bilingual storytime, Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca, will be offered again this November.  I hope to see some blog readers in both of these classes!