|1||This term, students in kindergarten met several of the most popular stuffed animals in the Spanish room, including Pato/Duck, Oso/Bear, and Changuito/Monkey. Over time, kindergarteners began to understand that the stuffed animals are silly—quite silly, indeed: Changuito is constantly hiding, Pato wears a sock for pajamas and a nightcap, and Oso tries to sneak in a nap whenever possible. As a result, most classes begin with a humorous mini-story that naturally leads into a hands-on class activity—e.g., disappearing ink, vinegar volcanoes, dyed paper, a REAL egg whose fate was to be smashed, floating and sinking objects, monsters, art projects, etc. In-between activities, students jam to the theme-song from Rompe Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph) and watch Pocoyó. Gracias for a great quarter.|
|2||This term, students in kindergarten began learning the names of all the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape-floor map. However, because Pato insisted on teaching, there were constant wordplays and distractions. For example, after tasting a [plastic] pear in Peru, he decides that he doesn’t like it, exclaiming, “EKK! [wah-door]” (Ecuador), and then traveling through the door/puerta to the next country. Later, he doesn’t know which way “Venez-WAY-lah” (Venezuela) is, and gets thirsty in Nicaragua (“knee-car-AGUA”). |
In the end, kindergarteners were teaching Pato. In addition to el mapa, students responded to action commands in the target language; began recognizing sight words in Spanish; learned about Angel Falls in Venezuela; and worked on student-led, multi-disciplinary projects (e.g., building life-size forts and art museums, sledding indoors on large plates, or bracelet and quilt-making). Gracias for another memorable quarter.
|3&4||This semester, students in kindergarten let their imaginations run wild. What began as responding to action commands (verbs)—“Run! Jump! Fly!”—gradually evolved into acting out any word, from keys and vegetables to a blossoming class flower (aerial view, with shoes in the center and reverse sit-ups). Later, verbs and nouns were tied together via reenactments of the daily morning routine—brushing teeth, putting on clothes, washing face, riding or biking to school, greeting teacher, and even earning stickers for completing math problems in the target language! |
In Project Land-ia, kindergarteners combined droplets of food coloring to create beautiful designs; had fun with more floating/sinking experiments; went on a plastic insect treasure hunt; created a life-sized spider web out of yarn; pulled Pato up and down on a pulley system; ‘traveled’ to Spain/España in a boat (i.e., a box dragged across the ocean—rather, floor—on the tape floor map by yours truly); were introduced to the Salsa (dance); created a school, movie theater, and house for Pato, and a hospital for Stan (a paper pet dog of Pato, who speaks Stan-ish, and was injured [crumpled] one day when he tried to run away and someone grabbed at him). Finally, students have been working on both reading and writing Spanish sight words. Gracias for a fabulous year.