Buchstaben and Marble Runs

When Froggy was 4, he discovered marble runs. Who knew there were so many different kinds of marble runs? Plastic, wooden, musical, homemade … the list goes on! We must have at least six different kinds now ­čÖé┬á I love them, though. They are fantastic for creativity and problem-solving. And you can play with them for YEARS!! Now Hippo is into them, too.

But what do marble runs have to do with learning German letters??

One set of marbles runs that we love is called Hubelino. (It’s actually made in Germany!) As I was looking for a new set to order when we were in Europe this summer, I discovered that they have made Hubelino even more educational! They now have sets for learning letters, spelling, and numbers. So of course, I had to get my hands on the letter and spelling sets!

Here’s how we used them for the letter B. Froggy needed help sorting through that big pile of letters to get to the sentence at the bottom. Heck, I would have needed help, too! But it was fun!

So Hubelino is a marble run with pieces that are compatible with Duplos. I thought for sure we would have passed on all our Duplos by now (with Froggy age 7 and Hippo age 4), but no way! We need every last one of them for supports! (I’ll have to dig up some photos of the Hubelino constructions the boys have made.)

As you can see, these letter Hubelino pieces don’t really do anything with the marble runs. But the boys love it so much, they are happy to play with them!

I receive no compensation for mentioning Hubelino products.

 

Buchstabenarbeit – Working with Letters

I’ve been posting about the letter work I’m doing with the boys. (See letter B, letter P, letter M, and letter A.) But what do we do with the objects and cards? Well, there are any number of things you can do! Sometimes I just follow Hippo’s lead and let things happen spontaneously. But here are a few ideas….

We lay out the cards (with image and word) on his little desk. Then he fishes an object out of the bag –┬ánicht anschauen! – and matches the object to the card. And we say the object name. If he doesn’t know it, I might say the beginning sounds, and then he remembers it. And there is plenty of emphasis on the first sound, which is after all what we’re practicing!

I also wrote about my box of letter stickers. Both of the boys love to work with the tiny drawers of stickers. For Froggy, I let him draw a card and spell it in stickers. But for Hippo (who is still just learning his letters in English), I choose some of the shorter words to spell.

Sometimes we play Memory (Memo). Hippo can’t handle too many cards yet. So today we just played with a set of 4 cards. We put out the “control” cards with images and words (and their matching objects) and then turned over the image cards and the word cards. Once we found a match, I asked Hippo what the word card was. We compared it to the “control” card with the word and image to see if the words matched. At first he just said, “yes” to everything. But then he looked more closely. I had him count the letters in the two words, and he saw that they were not the same. Then he really got the idea!

As we played, Hippo then had the idea to line up the matching cards under the “controls”.

These are just a few ideas to get you started! Please comment and let me know what you come up with to do with the letter cards!

Viel Spa├č!

Playground Games

Yesterday was our last story hour before our summer break, and we met at a playground.

We played a quick but fun game of Feuer, Wasser, Sturm. The children run around the playground. When they hear the word Feuer called out, they have to lie down flat. If they hear Wasser, they have to climb up on something high to avoid the rising waters. And if they hear Sturm, they have to hold on tight! It’s a fun, easy game!

Since it was still a story hour session, I did read a book and lead a song. The children sat up on the playground equipment.

IMG-20170616-WA0001-1

We read Kleiner wei├čer Fisch by Guido van Genechten (Ars Edition, 2015).

Kleiner wei├čer Fisch

Then we sang ÔÇťF├╝nf kleine Fische.ÔÇŁ

F├╝nf kleine Fische, die schwammen im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Da sagte der eine, ich kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich w├Ąr viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Hier gibt es Haie, die fressen mich gleich (blub blub blub blub)
Blub blub, blub-blub blub
Blub blub, blub-blub blub blub blub-blub blub
Vier kleine Fische, die schwammen im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Da sagte der eine, ich kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich w├Ąr viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Hier gibt es Haie, die fressen mich gleich (blub blub blub blub)
Blub blub, blub-blub blub
Blub blub, blub-blub blub blub blub-blub blub
Drei kleine Fische, die schwammen im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Da sagte der eine, ich kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich w├Ąr viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Hier gibt es Haie, und die fressen mich gleich (blub blub blub blub)
Blub blub, blub-blub blub
Blub blub, blub-blub blub blub blub-blub blub
Zwei kleine Fische, die schwammen im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Da sagte der eine, ich kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich w├Ąr viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Hier gibt es Haie, und die fressen mich gleich (blub blub blub blub)
Blub blub, blub-blub blub
Blub blub, blub-blub blub blub blub-blub blub
Ein kleiner Fisch, der schwamm im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Er sagt zu sich, er kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich w├Ąr viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Hier gibt es Haie, und die fressen mich gleich (blub blub blub blub)
Blub blub, blub-blub blub
Blub blub, blub-blub blub blub blub-blub blub
Ein gro├čer Hai der schwimmt im Meer (blub blub blub blub)
Da sagt der Hai, ich kann nicht mehr (blub blub blub blub)
Ich w├Ąr viel lieber in einem kleinen Teich (blub blub blub blub)
Denn da sind die Fische und die fress ich gleich (blub blub blub blub)

 

Under the Sea

School’s out! Time for some summer fun!

How about some sea life cards to play a small game of memory? Or practice numbers?

Print out the cards on card stock (so you can’t see through the paper when it’s turned over!) and laminate them for longer use. You can download them here:

I also found small objects from a craft store to go along with the six words. I popped them into a busy bag with the cards and made a matching game out of it.

Viel Spa├č in den Sommerferien!

A Trip to the Philadelphia Zoo

Last summer, we finally took the boys to the Philadelphia Zoo. Of course, I had to work in a German lesson!

So I made up word posters for 16 of the animals that can be found there. Hopefully your local zoo has similar animals! There are three sets of cards:

  • pictures with words
  • just pictures
  • just words.

You can print them in full 8┬Ż x11 or print more to a page for smaller versions. I like to print 6-to-a-page, laminate them, and cut them down to 3×4 cards. Then we use them to play memory, go fish, or other games! If youÔÇÖll be using them for memory, be sure to print on thick card stock or paper with a patterned back! The animals included are:

  • der B├Ąr – bear
  • der Eisb├Ąr – polar bear
  • das Erdm├Ąnnchen – meerkat
  • die Gazelle – gazelle
  • die Giraffe – giraffe
  • der Gorilla – gorilla
  • das K├Ąnguru – kangaroo
  • der Lemur – lemur
  • der Leopard – leopard
  • der L├Âwe – lion
  • das Nashorn – rhinoceros
  • das Nilpferd – hippopotamus
  • der Orang-Utan – orangutan
  • der Penguin – penguin
  • der Tiger – tiger
  • das Zebra – zebra

Here’s a sample of what they look like:

Download all the posters as a PDF here: Zootiere Posters Phila Zoo GitA

On the day of our outing to the zoo, I gave the boys a scavenger hunt. It looks like this:

Auf der Suche im Zoo GitA-page-002

Included in this PDF document is a worksheet to keep track of the animal name, the color of the animal, and its climate. Download it here: Auf der Suche im Zoo GitA

Viel Spa├č im Zoo!

Shape Resources

For our shape unit, we’ll be using some materials I bought a few years ago on TeachersPayTeachers.com. It was created by Open Wide the World, who has a number of German-language units. In fact, the weather unit I used last month was also created by them.

shapes-open-wide-the-world

The unit costs only $3.50, and you can purchase it here. And here’s what you get:

posters
a single page display featuring all 10 shapes
10 individual posters, one shape & shape name per page

game cards
“Bang!” game cards & directions
3 sets of flashcards for games & drill work: 1 set with shapes and shape names, 1 set with shape images only, 1 set with shape names only

2 mini books
1/4-page sized mini book: trace the shape name and draw the shape
1/2-page sized mini book: fill in the blank with the shape name, color the image, and read aloud with a partner (level = emergent reading, repetitive sentence structure)

word search
includes answer key

I’m excited to start using all these colorful materials!

Weather Plan: Week 2

Our weather unit continues this week! I used a lot of printable worksheets from iSL Collective this week. They were nice and easy. I’ve included links to the pages here. I hope they work! I don’t think you need a membership to view them. (It’s free to join!)

  • Day 1:
    • Wetterkarte: “Wie ist das Wetter?” (iSL Collective) – This is a weather map of Europe, and you have to tell what the weather is in 8 cities. Only thing is, the weather is mostly the same! I ended up doing the writing, so the focus was on speaking and┬ávocab (saying the phrases he had been learning).
  • Day 2:
    • Partnerarbeit: “Wetter in Deutschland Wechselspiel” (iSL Collective) – This activity is for two people. Each gets a map of Germany with the 16 capitols of the Bundesl├Ąnder. But each gets the weather information for only 8 of those cities. Each also gets a chart to fill in with the 8 city names. There was a small error in that D├╝sseldorf was listed twice, while Bremen had been left off. Since it is a Word document, you could go in and correct it before printing. I just didn’t notice it in time. We also had a small mistake on my part! I thought the picture for Dresden was windy, but then I realized it was foggy! So we switched them. Focus here was on┬ávocab,┬áspeaking, and┬áwriting. Here’s a glimpse at Froggy’s work:

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2017-01-26-16-36-15

  • Day 4:
    • Matching: Today we did another page from the set “Wie ist das Wetter?” (see above on Day 1). It’s a matching exercise of phrases. For example, “Die Sonne scheint” and “Es ist sonnig.” There is also a small exercise about seasons, where each season is described, and the student writes in the name of the season. Focus on reading and vocab, and also a pre-exercise of circumlocution (the ability to rephrase a word or idea in another way). He added a step by starring the weather that fit today.
  • Day 5:
    • Spieltag! We ended our week with a board game from iSL. All four of us played while enjoying a snack: Froggy, Hippo (although, he wanted to keep landing on the snow!), AP3, and myself. On a long Friday at the end of a long week, playing a game is definitely the way to go. I don’t see how I could have gotten Froggy to do a worksheet or some such. But a game – now that’s fun! It went quickly enough, but we still worked it in. For this board game, I just punched out a few different shapes to be our game pieces and grabbed a die. You roll the die, move forward, and complete the sentence according to the picture. Some of the spaces have arrows that either propel you forward or bring you back. My only complaint was that not every space has something on it – I landed on two of them during the game! Otherwise, we all enjoyed it!

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*I receive no compensation for referencing the resources here. I link them merely for your convenience – and mine!