Resumen Q1, 12-13 (K-5)

KThis term, students in kindergarten let their imaginations run wild.  Straightforward, one-dimensional stories evolved into highly complex sagas, growing ever longer and more complicated from one week to the next.  A new week merely indicated a new chapter!  From the infamous pelefante winding up in jail week after week, to parties celebrating his release (thanks to a flying duck-reindeer), to magic tricks with disappearing marker ink, to chicken soup cooking adventures, to spinning disco-ball planets and a pato-marciano trying to adjust to the strange environment here on Earth, to crocodile encounters, pizza and popped balloons, the linguistic journey never ceases to be original.  To tame the madness, students heard a scary—but “normal”—book in Spanish at their Halloween party (Bruja, bruja ven a mi fiesta).  Gracias for such a fun and productive quarter!
1This term, students in first grade sat wherever their password card appeared each day.  First graders also stated what they wanted to do each day, requested the appropriate materials in the target language, and then proceeded to paint (Popsicle sticks with watercolors), build (colorful wire creations), sew (with felt and string), play (with Lincoln Logs), and draw pictures they found in Spanish books.   They know that they can only touch something in the Spanish room if they know and/or are willing to learn the name for it.  As students become comfortable with the vocabulary, more “activity centers” are added.
2This term, students in second grade sat wherever their password card appeared each day.  For review purposes, they began the year earning money for correct responses to translation questions (Spanish to English).  This money was then used to buy items from the Art Center.  If the activity they desired to pursue was ‘more expensive’, second graders collected extra cash by learning their peers’ passwords.  A bilingual web of communication, or information exchange, was thereby established, gently encouraging students not only to learn from the teacher, but also from one another.  Later on, students presented mini-dialogues in the target language (public speaking skills).  Students will focus on building and honing their conversational skills from this point onward.  ¡Hasta la próxima!/Until next time!
3This term, students in third grade sat wherever their password card appeared each day.  Third graders also memorized the equivalent of “Eeney, Meeney, Miney Moe” in Spanish (Pito, pito colorito) along with a tongue twister called Pepe Pecas; participated in their own Game Show (¡Tú ganas!/You win!); shared their interests and skills via a class Talent Show (luces, cámara, acción, redoble, por favor/lights, camera, action, drumroll, please); predicted the future in Spanish (va a/is going to); invented a story about a conejo/rabbit; and began a conversation unit.  Students heard a Sr. Wooly song called ¡PAN!/BREAD! intermittently throughout the quarter as well.  Gracias for a great start to the year.
4This term, students in fourth grade excitedly delved into the task of creating their own town (pueblo).  After establishing and building their own bank accounts—learning and recording teachers’ Spanish passwords was one way to earn money—the actual simulation commenced.  A typical day in the pueblo begins with fourth graders stating where they are going to work.  Businesses open at this point include the banco/bank, juguetería/toy store, and tienda de arte/art store.  Later, students travel around town, taking out money from the bank, waiting in line, purchasing items, occasionally getting fined for speaking English, and buying houses or renting apartments, should they so desire.  Workers are paid with realistic looking Spanish paychecks, and students oftentimes tip their peers for a job well done.  Thanks to all residents for bringing the word p-u-e-b-l-o to life.
5This term, students in fifth grade recited their passwords, listened to songs from various Spanish-speaking countries, and practiced reading contextualized language every class period.  They also heard the first of four Latin American legends (a Cuban tale about the importance of learning another language); created their own class story; and played soccer on Fridays to work on responding instinctually in the target language.  In addition, fifth graders had several highly academic meta-linguistic discussions in English about Spanish.  Kudos to all for an excellent start to the year.