|PK||This term, students in prekindergarten learned several songs in the target language (Buenos días; Tengo hambre; La araña pequeñita; Sí me gusta/No me gusta; Te amo; Adiós, amigos); were introduced to numerous stuffed animals from the Spanish room; practiced responding to action commands; listened to stories; made miniature piñatas; and participated in class conversations. Because the class is 100% immersion, each student picks up different vocabulary each day, and may or may not share those words at home. Please keep in mind that the focus at this stage is comprehension—any verbal production is going above and beyond! Gracias for a great quarter.|
|K||This term, students in kindergarten reacquainted themselves with several of the most beloved stuffed animals in the Spanish room, including Pato/Duck, Oso/Bear, and Ardilla/Squirrel. Over time, kindergarteners began to understand that the stuffed animals are quite silly, and as a result, most classes begin with a humorous mini-story that naturally leads into a hands-on class activity—e.g., vinegar volcanoes, disappearing ink, food coloring, dyed paper, fort-building, etc. In-between activities, students jam to the theme-song from Rompe Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph) and watch Pocoyó. Gracias for a great quarter.|
|1||This term, students in first grade read and translated the daily letter from Pato (at times needing to correct the duck’s careless grammar); submitted written requests expressing what they wanted to do in the target language; and listened to two very silly songs… repeatedly: “¿Puedo ir al baño?” (Can I go to the bathroom?) and “La invitación” (The Invitation). First graders also spent a good portion of September studying and acting out various chapters of the 900-page, 400+ year-old, Spanish literary masterpiece, Don Quijote de la Mancha by Cervantes, and even made a two-tone copy of Picasso’s famous black and white painting depicting the two main characters in the novel (i.e., Don Quijote and Sancho Panza). Gracias for a great quarter.|
|2||This term, students in second grade chose new identities, or Spanish names, as well as sea creature passwords; rehearsed and presented silly mini-conversations in the target language with puppets; danced to Madre Tierra by Chayanne; and learned about Zorro, the fictional character from Mexico [now California] who “defends the commoners and indigenous peoples of the land against tyrannical officials and other villains” (Wikipedia). Later, second graders created a class story with Zorro as the main character. The story required full audience participation—choral responses, gestures, actions, and student actors—and took over a month to tell. Gracias for a great quarter.|
|3||This term, students in third grade learned that they were selected to join the world-renowned Spanish Acting Company. A quick tour of the Walk of Fame—Hollywood squares with students’ names printed in the stars—confirmed this fact. As participants, third graders fact in multiple shows throughout the year, as main characters and audience members. Each story, or theatrical play, includes both fiction (creative, student ideas) and nonfiction (cultural, historical facts) elements. The first story of the year was about Evil Orange, who lives in Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, and kidnaps Patito, the adorable stuffed animal belonging to the equally adorable Pato. Hence began nine weeks of Adventures in Stuffed Animal World! Gracias for a great quarter.|
|4||This term, students in fourth grade learned that they will be participating in a yearlong town simulation. After a brief layover in Argentina—primarily for the purpose of tasting Yerba Mate, or ‘the friendship drink’ of South America—fourth graders grabbed their passports, boarding passes, and luggage, and finally arrived in Madrid, the capital of Spain, following a somewhat turbulent flight. Then it was only a matter of a quick trip on the Metro (Subway), and a three-hour train ride (Renfe) through the Andalusian countryside (see all the olive trees?!) before students settled in what is to be their new home: Granada, España/Spain. Later, they bought houses, and, well… got to work! Gracias for a great quarter.|
|5||This term, students in fifth grade learned that their end-of-the-year Spanish Program will actually take place in February this year. As a result, fifth graders launched into full-fledged rehearsal mode, first familiarizing themselves with each of the three plays as a class. Next, fifth graders split off into groups, and began focusing in on their assigned play. Specifically, students have been working on using appropriate vocal intonation and expression; facing the audience; memorizing their lines; and beginning to brainstorm prop, music, and costume ideas. Gracias for a great quarter.|
September: This month, students in first grade chose individual professions passwords, and then practiced acting out each one. Later, they read the daily letter from Pato, wrote what they wanted to do on the miniature whiteboards (Quiero colorear, Quiero jugar//I want to color, I want to play), and then traveled to said isla, or island. First graders will continuously add new islands—aka sight words—to their repertoire throughout the year. These ‘play days’ will also be interspersed with ‘project days’, which build community, expose students to other cultures and perspectives, and/or reinforce sight words with a fun, hands-on assignment. The first project day was based on Don Quijote, the 900-page, 400+ year-old Spanish literary masterpiece by Cervantes. In a nutshell, the adventures begin when Don Quijote goes crazy from reading too many books and decides to become a knight in shining armor like the ones he reads about. First graders became so excited about the novel that one project day turned into a week—and the Spanish classroom transformed into a stage, where student actors and actresses acted out multiple chapters. They even made a two-tone copy of Picasso’s famous black and white painting depicting the two main characters. Impressive!
September: This month, students in second grade chose new identities, that is, Spanish names. Because a majority of students wanted the same names, they had to choose a second name to help differentiate one from another. This means that not only is there a “Sofía Isabel” in class, but also an “Isabel Sofía”—just to keep us all mentally on our toes (neurons?). Second graders were also given cuadernos/notebooks in which to record important vocabulary, such as their new names and individual passwords. It should be noted that the latter are primarily sea creatures, but with a dinosaur, bumblebee, and fox thrown in there just for fun. In fact, “fox” is “zorro” in Spanish, which led to a fun mini-lesson about Zorro, the fictional character from Mexico (now California) who “defends the commoners and indigenous peoples of the land against tyrannical officials and other villains” (Wikipedia), and makes sure to mark the letter “Z” wherever he goes. Second graders seemed to get a kick out of the black-and-white 1958 theme song introduction to the show. Finally, students practiced and presented a silly dialogue with puppets in the target language, which emphasized the importance of expression: ¡Oye-oye-oye-oye!/¿Qué?/Pues, nada/¡¿En serio?! (Hey-hey-hey-hey you!/What?/Well, nothing/Seriously?!).