Eva M. Guardiola
Leander ISD
Foreign Language Coordinator Leander, TX

In 1998, the Leander Independent School District decided to implement a Volunteer Spanish Program in our elementary schools. We were fortunate to discover The Risas y Sonrisas Program. This program is used at all our elementary schools that have the Volunteer Program in place. The materials are very versatile and can easily be adapted to all grade levels K-5.

Over the years, Leticia Smith has continued to improve this program to better meet the needs of students and teachers. Leticia Smith is always willing to listen to her clients and improve upon her products.

The workshops that she presents to our volunteer teachers are invaluable and we find her videos very helpful for training purposes. We can’t wait to see what new and innovative things Risas y Sonrisas produces next.

Gabriela Zoila Preininger
Fayette Montessori
Fayetteville & Peachtree City, Georgia

First of all I would like to congratulate you for the excellent curriculum you have created. I’ve been using it since 2009, and with it, have had great success with my Montessori students. Children love it!

And I have observed significant improvements in their Spanish language abilities. Since the Montessori Method is a “hands-on” curriculum, this program goes very well with it. It is dynamic, there are a variety of games, the pictures are cute, the songs are catchy (students ask me to play the “Yo te daré” song repeatedly, as well as “Tener”, “Chiqui-gua” and others).

The method of constructing picture sentences with the verbs is fabulous! I maintain the concentration of my students all the time. It is a rewarding experience to see children enjoy learning so much.

Kayla Chalmers
Baranoff Elementary
Austin, TX

The after-school program at Baranoff is going GREAT. Currently, we have 136 students and nine classes.

We are getting lots of positive feedback and both the teachers and students are having fun and learning. We hope to continue next year and we’ll be buying 2 more curriculums in the fall.

Gaby Fremen
Oakwood Christian Academy
Chickamauga, GA

I just wanted to share my personal experience trying to find a program that would deliver a complete package. I spent hours looking and then I ran across this one 🙂 It is a winner !!! I have used it for six years now and I still love it! Most important the students love it! They come to class with a smile on their faces and ready to learn.

I hear from the parents, “they wish they had a fun Spanish teacher as a child”. The materials are so versatile and fun to use. I am now purchasing the new products and can’t wait to use them. I have been using it for 6 years and taught for seven. What a difference from my first year…the success level is evident!

Celeste Green
Kalamazoo, MI & Dallas, GA

I began using your program for my after-school Spanish classes this past year. The students were very enthusiastic each and every week while using the materials contained in your program! The parents were also very impressed by the progress of the students! One mother who has one student in public school attending my after school Spanish classes and another child attending private school (which did not offer Spanish) went straight to the principal of the private school almost demanding that the private school begin offering Spanish classes using the materials her daughter was receiving at the public school.

It is amazing the small amount of “prep time” necessary when using Risas y Sonrisas. While other programs “suggest” games, activities and visuals, your program DELIVERS these items within the program. The amount of vocabulary retained by students is so much greater using your curriculum which is rich with visuals and varied activities!! Even though it may be a full week between Spanish classes, when students see the posters with the vocabulary again, all vocabulary comes back. Thanks for an outstanding program with a lot less “busy work” for us teachers!

Veronica Gallegos
Clear Water Academy
Calgary, AB, Canada

Solo quería decirte que amo Risas y Sonrisas! En verdad es un programa con todo lo necesario para la enseñanza del español. Está diseñado para toda persona que quiera aprender español de una manera dinámica y divertida. Me ha servido mucho, en especial con mis alumnos de grado 11 y 12. Todavía no estoy en primaria, pero de seguro será una maravilla.

bq. El mismo material se puede adaptar fácilmente dependiendo el grado y el número de alumnos. Con los alumnos de preparatoria me ha servido mucho para reciclar vocabulario y expresiones que no practican muy seguido pero que son muy útiles. Además les encanta conjugar y formar oraciones con dibujos. No hay que olvidar que el adolescente es un ‘adulto pequeño’, pero que todavía disfruta de actividades divertidas que antes solía hacer. ¡Gracias Risas y Sonrisas!

Yoly Hughson
Fountain Hills Unified School
Fountain Hills, AZ

Las ilustraciones de tu material son muy atractivas para los niños. Las canciones les gustan y les ayudan a retener mejor el vocabulario de una manera divertida. Una profesora que tiene su salón al lado del mío me comentó que los días que puse la canción del cuerpo se le quedo en su cabeza todo el día, ja-ja-ja (colateral learning).

El manual del maestro anterior ya me ayudaba a incorporar todo el material, pero creo que el nuevo manual está todavíamejor diseñado; el plan de cada lección mejor explicado e ilustraciones del material a un costado. De esta forma sabes de un vistazo cuál es tu meta en la lección. Aprecio mucho que vas casi, casi paso a paso.

Los cuadernos de trabajo son el elemento que me faltaba. Como te comentaba doy clases en la primaria y también doy clases particulares a niños y adultos. Siempre ando preparando clases. Invierto demasiado tiempo organizando actividades, material, vocabulario y lecciones para alumnos de distintos niveles. Con esto me darás un respiro que buena falta me hace.
El pasaporte para evaluar a los estudiantes me parece una idea buenísima que me gustaría poner a trabajar al regresar a clases en enero. Gracias por todo el esfuerzo que has hecho para desarrollar este programa. ¡Es excelente!

Lupita Hannusch
Redeemer Lutheran School
Austin, TX

I’m the Spanish Teacher for Pre-K and Elementary level at Redeemer Lutheran School in Austin Texas. For the past 11 years, I’ve been teaching with the Risas y Sonrisas Spanish program. It has been a blessing! As a teacher I have a variety of materials to choose from for the different levels I teach.

The children love the songs, the games, the pictures and the fun they have when they learn Spanish. We were very proud to participate in The Sign & Sing Songs to Learn Spanish and Demo DVD. Thanks for making Spanish so easy and fun to learn. Keep up with the good work!

Carole Nase
Trinity Lutheran School
Bend, OR

Thank you for developing such a teacher friendly curriculum. It is greatly needed! This has been an outstanding program for our school. The students love the songs and can remember years after learning them. The games are fun and the colorful posters are attractive. I love teaching with this program and being able to use it with multiple age groups.

We have used it for 3rd-8th grade the last two years and next year we are expanding our program to include the K- 8th grades. Our parents often comment on how their children enjoy singing and learning the new vocabulary. It is very easy to use and offers beginning to advanced skills in Spanish in a fun way. I highly recommend this as a school-wide program!

Michele Worthington
Newton Christian School
Newton, IA

We have very much enjoyed using the Risas y Sonrisas program with our 1st – 8th graders. There are so many fun activities and games to keep the students excited and eager to learn Spanish.

It is a very user friendly program!

Elizabeth Gonzalez
St. Mary’s School
Sherman, TX

I was surprised, when teaching this program for the second year, how well my students K – 5th grade remember what they did the year before…and they still show enthusiasm!

I have had as much fun teaching, as the students have had learning it.

Colleen Kelley
Highland Park Elementary
St. Paul, MN

I bought your program about a year ago and I love it!

I have recommended it quite a few times to others.

Yvonne Knutson
Daisy Ingraham School
Westbrook, CT

I just wanted to compliment your Music CD. I use it in my K-4 Spanish classes because I feel children learn best through singing and music. The students sing along with the Music CD and even take it outside of the classroom.

Thank you for an awesome product!

Vera Escobell
Spanish Teacher
Ottawa, ON Canada

I would like to share how wonderful the experience teaching with Risas y Sonrisas has been for me here in Canada.

Children have learned pronunciation, vocabulary and oral communication faster than with any other approach I ever used.

Debra Hayes
Kelso Elementary Principal
Houston, TX

If I didn’t tell you before, I’m telling you now; my teachers love your materials! My English speakers really took to your materials.

Karin Solomonson
Community School of Davidson
Davidson, NC]

¡Hola! I am a teacher in Davidson, NC & have loved using some of your products with my classroom. Specifically, your personal pronoun package has been an incredible resource for my middle school students! They were EXCITED to “GET TO” conjugate verbs!

I have never seen anything as easy to use for all different learning styles, but especially for visual learners. I may be presenting at the FLANC conference & would recommend that you consider coming to present your materials.

Thank you for making my job easier!

Carola Pagan
Spanish Teacher
Cary, NC

Hemos usado tu programa con estudiantes de escuela elemental aqui en Cary, NC y ha sido muy pero muy bueno por decir lo menos. Los posters con sus colores son muy llamativos para niños de cualquier edad. El juego de bingo con sus tarjetas y palabras aparte ha sido muy eficaz para que los niños aprendan las palabras más rápido. Me tocó enseñar una clase de 10 estudiantes con 8 varones y 2 niñas y mantener la atención de los niños sobre todo era un desafío, pero cuando comenzamos a jugar el bingo o el juego de memoria o algún otro juego con las tarjetas y las palabras tenía a TODA la clase interesada en jugar y aprender.

Mi mayor satisfacción fue el tener en la clase a un niño autista. Al principio parecía que le era difícil captar el español pero hice todo lo posible por incluirlo y su deseo de aprender le ayudó mucho. En las últimas sesiones era este niño quien sabía las respuestas. Entraba a la clase saludando y respondiendo en español. En realidad me sorprendió mucho cuanto vocabulario aprendió. Las tarjetas y los juegos hicieron una gran diferencia y con este niño en particular aún más. Tienes un muy buen programa. ¡Mil gracias por toda tu labor!

Cheryl Mercado
Lansdale, PA & Meridian, ID

I have found “Risas y Sonrisas” to be a wonderful program for teaching children Spanish! I was nervous to start teaching a Spanish Class when I was first asked to try it- but the Lesson Plans in the teachers manuel are so easy to follow – it made it easy!

The lessons themselves, full of games and music, are so fun that the kids don’t even realize they are learning- they think they are just playing! I taught the program for 2 years at my daughter’s school in Pennsylvania, and then my family moved to Idaho. I missed teaching the program, so now I’m starting over at the new school here in Idaho!

Thank you ‘Risas y Sonrisas’ for making teaching and learning Spanish so much fun!

Kristi Papenfuss
Beacon Academy & Susan Lindgren Intermediate Center
Plymouth & St. Louis Park, MN

The Risas y Sonrisas Spanish program is wonderful. The color coded words and lively pictures and posters make learning language fun and easy to understand. The teachers’ manual is full of games and teaching techniques that create an interactive classroom. Students are encouraged to speak from the beginning.

Our students love the songs and bingo games provided for each unit. Thank you for developing such a student friendly curriculum. Our students, staff, and parents are thrilled with the materials.

Gloria Hayden
Eagle’s Nest Christian Academy, & Trinity Lutheran Schoo
Milton, DE & Keene, NH

We have been using the “Risas y Sonrisas” Program with a group of 300 students between the ages of 3 and 12 years old.

It has been such a positive experience to see children enjoying so much while learning Spanish. We highly recommend your program to schools.

Annie Barrera
Leander Independent School District
Leander, TX

We have been using your Spanish language program “Risas y Sonrisas” for four years now at Steiner Ranch Elementary. All of our Spanish teacher volunteers are very pleased with the versatility of the materials. At our school we teach grades kindergarten through fifth grades. We are able to teach all the grade levels using the same materials.

We are also able to mix and match the various subjects with each other. The teachers are also happy with the variety of subject materials provided. The elementary Spanish program has been so successful that this year Leander ISD has a total of seven elementary schools participating using the “Risas y Sonrisas” Spanish program.

Thank you for putting together one of the best elementary Spanish language programs we have looked at so far. (As of 2009 there are over 25 schools using Risas y Sonrisas with Parent volunteers)

Michelle Harvey
Tumalo AfterSchool
Bend, OR

I have been using your program now for several years. I ordered your complete program three years ago and I love it.

Lorena Munoz-Lipscomb
St. Anne School
Seattle, WA

I have used your program for a year now and I am planning to use it again this year. I teach Spanish in two different catholic schools in Seattle.

I have found your program to be easy for the students to use, entertaining, and engaging. I have used it in classrooms from K through 8th and they all have seemed to enjoy it and most importantly, learned the material.

Tere Solis
Holy Family School
Pasadena, CA

I am reading your manual and laminating cards and posters. School starts on Sept 6! I am looking forward to using your program with my students….and have a feeling they are going to LOVE it.

Your hard work, intelligence and intuitive ways of knowing how to teach a language are clear in your materials. I do hope to share my successes with you.

Marie Taraska
St. Mark Catholic School
East Peoria, IL

For quite a while I’ve been thinking that I should tell you HOW WONDERFUL is the music CD!

My students K-8th ask me for “Chiqui-Gua” all the time.

Dr. Doug Hall
Davis Elementary Principal
Austin, TX

Ms. Smith has developed a user friendly curriculum that reaches 40-50 students in our after school classes.

She is a poised instructor who passes her joy of teaching Spanish to all of her students.

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