Newsletter 15-16, Year (3)

Quarter 1: This term, students in third grade discussed how ‘language is a sport for your mouth’, as phonetics is a major part of the third grade curriculum. Students also worked on memorizing several tongue twisters in the target language; chose Spanish names and Inside-Out passwords; made replicas of Easter Island Moai statues out of clay; told two class stories with student-actors; saw pictures of La Alhambra in Spain and Iguazu Falls in Argentina; and were delighted by a video about accents (Amy Walker). Gracias for a great quarter.

Quarter 2: This term, students in third grade chose new animal and button passwords; practiced action commands; rehearsed and presented dialogues in the target language; learned about the history of churros and then had a ‘churro party’; built impressive fortalezas/forts during structured free-play lessons, while responding to the teacher’s interruptions with cued responses (flip-cards); discussed untranslatable words; were presented with a country-sticker challenge (imports/exports focus); prepared for the Spanish portion of students’ second semester speeches; and continued with their yearlong storytelling unit. The latter included several hands-on projects, including a roller-coaster building session, designing a Telescope version 2.0, and a three-story long yarn-pulley that hoisted Pato away from an Evil Flower.  Gracias for another amazing quarter.

Quarters 3 & 4: This semester, students in third grade began by helping the rest of Lower School build an impressive 3-D model of part of Chichen Itza out of colorful paper cubes (Mexico). One particular cube managed to attach itself to a Popsicle stick and grow a face—and thus was borne Cubby el cubo cubano (Cubby the Cuban Cube). In order to tell the story of present-day Cubby, however, it was necessary to travel back in time; through role-playing, third graders learned about the lost treasure and Spanish Fleet of 1715, and then used this story (nonfiction) as a point of origin for their own original story (fiction). Their adventure involved intimidating bodyguards, good and evil forces (e.g., the girl who poured a milkshake on Cubby, the paper cube!), the fact that Cubby lives in a printer and therefore could photocopy and clone himself, and a ridiculous and messy finale of soap and marshmallows that expanded in the (yes, real) microwave. Later, students went on another historical voyage to learn about endangered languages and how creoles/languages are formed, and as an extension, worked to create their own languages. Knuffle Bunny added some good food for thought here—is thinking language, pre-language, or merely wordless emotional stuff? Lastly, third graders chose class (food) nicknames; had a ‘masculine and feminine nouns’ competition; learned about Cinco de Mayo, and began their final class story of the year. Gracias for a fabulous year.