Flip Flop Spanish
|Publisher: Flip n Flop Learning LLC
Author: Se˝ora Gose
Review last updated: December 2011
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Flip Flop Spanish Preschool Bundle
Flip Flop Spanish was written by a teacher based upon her work teaching group classes including children of varied ages, the ordinary homeschool situation. The idea was to create a program usable for children as young as three that could be taught by a parent or teacher with no knowledge of Spanish.
There are three worktexts in the series at this point. Two are labeled as appropriate for ages 3 to 5 and ages 6 to 9, respectively. While the Level 1 book for ages 3 to 5 directs children to write Spanish words, these lessons are actually meant to be done as narration/dictation with the parent doing the writing rather than the child. There are some exercises with numbers and colors that might be too difficult for some young children. If I had not noticed a suggested age range, I would have suggested a target audience of about ages 6 to 10. At these older ages, children should be able to do their own writing in Level 1. Younger children certainly can be taught from Level 1 as long as parents do the writing and select activties appropriate for each child's age and ability.The next level labeled as appropriate for ages 6 to 9 should be suitable for about ages 7 through 11.
The courses incorporate activities to suit the three learning modalities: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. That means that there are listening activities, visual activities, and hands-on activities for each lesson. Each book comes with an audio CD with listening and speaking practice for the new words, phrases, and sentences. The CDs also direct students to perform some interactive conversations and to use gestures and expressions as they speak. Students read and write in the text if they are able. They often have opportunity to color in illustrations and, sometimes, to label them. There are matching, fill-in-the-blanks, circling, a crossword puzzle (in the older level book), and drawing activities. The worktexts also direct interactions such as conversations, guessing games, body movements, games, and songs.
The mix of activities is better than I have found in many resources for younger students. Rarely do others include as much reading and writing activity along with listening, talking, singing, and interactions. The way the courses are designed makes them very practical for group or family learning, but they will also work for a parent teaching just one child.
The lower level books introduce vocabulary and usage but very little grammar. Older students are taught helpful grammatical concepts as needed, but this is essentially a conversational rather than grammar-based approach.
Books are relatively brief. Each lesson should take a week to complete, and there are three or four activities within each lesson. A daily lesson in the younger level books should take from five to fifteen minutes while those in the upper level book might take ten to twenty minutes each. The lower level books have fourteen lessons each while the upper level has sixteen.
The spiral-bound worktexts have an unusual format with lessons printed only on the right hand pages; after students reach the end of the book, they flip it over and continue with the other half of the lessons printed only on the right hand pages in reverse—thus the name “Flip Flop.” This means children are always working on only a single page at a time. The books are printed in “black-and-white” although the paper is actually cream colored. The paper is a little thin which might pose problems when students color or draw on one side then need to write on the reverse side after they flip their book.
Each book has a glossary and a relatively small number of flash cards (to cut out ) at the back. (There are only twelve flash cards in the first book). Also, these are printed on the same paper as the rest of the book, so they are not very useful.
While you may purchase only the worktexts, they are also sold in bundles with supplemental components you might enjoy. There are two sets of Flip Flop Spanish Flash Cards, a bilingual reader, and Spanish Fun Activity Calendar. Flash Cards have full-color illustrations on one side while the reverse has the Spanish word, a pronunciation of the Spanish word, and the English meaning; these are printed on heavy card stock. The bilingual reader presents the story of Bella, the hermit crab in English. Flip the book over and upside down to read the same story in Spanish. The level of the Spanish vocabulary is rather challenging so you might find the Spanish version difficult to read with the limited teaching in these courses. The Calendar has space for writing the current year’s dates for each month. Each day on the calendar features a word or phrase, its pronunciation, and its translation; this is a great way to practice each day even through the summer and holidays.
The Preschool Bundle (which really seems better for students in elementary grades) includes two worktexts, the bilingual reader, and the two sets of flash cards. An Elementary Bundle includes one worktext, the two sets of flash cards, the reader, and the calendar. All components may be purchased individually.
The first book of Flip Flop courses in French and English (for Spanish speakers) are also available. Also, an iPhone app for Flip Cards Spanish might take the place of the flash cards for those with an iPhone.
Note: Catherine Levison, author of A Charlotte Mason Education, recommends Flip Flop Spanish for those seeking a Charlotte Mason approach to foreign language.
Individual worktexts $22.95 each
Preschool Bundle $54.95
Elementary Bundle $49.95
Flip Flop Spanish: Ages 3-5: Level 1 (Book + CD)
Flip Flop Spanish: Ages 3-5: Level 2 (Book + Audio CD)
Flip Flop Spanish Flash Cards: Verde (Cards)
Spanish Fun Activity Calendar
- Suitable for: group or family or for one-on-one teaching
Audience: publisher suggests ages 3 and up, but I recommend ages 6 and up in most situtations
Need for parent/teacher instruction: high
Prep time needed: none
Teacher's manual: N/A
Educational philosophy: multisensory
Religious perspective: Secular
Flip n Flop Learning LLC
2009 Vinewood Dr.
Bryan, TX 77802
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