August Update

Since you cannot see your child’s digital portfolio (Seesaw) for another few weeks, I thought I would give you a brief update about the goings-on in Spanish class so far this year. For an explanation of the photos, keep reading. And to learn about La Tomatina, the tomato-throwing holiday festival in Spain this past week, check out the following. La Tomatina Download

Gazpacho Recipe Link– Please note that not all classes in grades 3-5 have talked about/made this yet, due to schedule interruptions.

Junior Knights– Students have settled into a routine of songs to begin and end class (most notably, Yo me llamo, Buenos días, and Te amo, me amas); met several famed characters from the Spanish Cave, including Pato, Oso, and Changuito/Mono (a duck, bear, and monkey, respectively); and begun to adjust to the fact that I speak Spanish. Which is not English. Which sounds a bit different. They were tickled pink this week upon seeing the cartoon Pocoyo in Spanish, and hearing familiar words like “¡Hola!” and “¡Adiós!“. Please visit this page for more episodes, if you would like to watch at home with your child.

Kindergarten– Students jumped into several science experiments to start the new year. First, kindergarteners made baking soda and vinegar volcanoes, but with neon food coloring! Students had fun smelling the two identical-in-appearance (but not so much for smell) liquids: agua/water and vinagre/vinegar. Immersion slides to the periphery when hands-on projects excite the senses; students barely noticed that I was speaking another language! Later, they chose from eight different food coloring bottles to create beautiful designs on coffee filters; used their imagination to “see” what was in-between the dots; and drew a scene around said image. At this point, the goal is for students to comprehend the language and work on answering questions; although well-intentioned, please refrain from pressuring your child to produce language at this stage. HERE is a blog post that explains why in greater depth.

First Grade- Students reviewed key terms from last year, and jumped into center work. Here, first graders dance around to the Song of the Month, settle on the carpet to read the Daily Letter aloud as a class, and then sign up for activities of their choice: “¡Hola! Yo me llamo ______. Yo quiero [jugar] y [pintar]” (Hi! My name is ______. I want to play and build“). Students are currently motivated to clean up said centers after working so that they can watch a very silly “baño/bathroom song” before their teacher arrives at the end of class. Soon, you will be receiving information on how to create a Señor Wooly account at home through the school’s subscription so that you can watch it at home as well.

Second Grade- Students began by reviewing the names of the Spanish-speaking countries in South and Central America from last year, and then proceeded to paint the two 6’x9′ cloth maps. To go along with the new rule of, “Un-dos-tres, ¡no inglés!” (One-two-three, no English!), second graders started out slowly by reviewing color names and then deciding as a class which country would be which color, before diving into the project. Aside: The maps are beautiful! Now that the project is finished, second graders will continue with their center work from last year, while reading and writing skills in the target language are turbo-charged. Let’s do this!

Third Grade- Students in this class adjusted well to the new rule of, “Un-dos-tres, ¡no inglés!” (One-two-three, no English!), although initially nervous about the idea. They began their immersive experience with a focus on cognados/cognates, or words that sound the same in both languages, to help ease the transition; for example, arte/artfamoso/famous, and catedral/cathedral are all relatively easy to muster a guess (though cathedral took a little longer). As there are, in fact, many cathedrals throughout Spain (among other countries), third graders took a few classes to transform my room into a cathedral with vidrieras, or stained-glass windows. These came out even better than expected, wow! They also listened to the song of the month, La Roja Baila, on loop. It is from the 2010 World Cup, and a lovely tune! Students also have been working on Duolingo at the beginning of every class, and took a day to celebrate La Tomatina and make gazpacho (a delicious soup from Spain). Yum!

Fourth Grade- Students in this class also adjusted well to the new rule of, “Un-dos-tres, ¡no inglés!” (One-two-three, no English!). As with other grade levels, they began with a project in order to emphasize family, community, and working together as a team. Their project was to build a truss bridge, or puente de armadura. Here, students learned through immersion that triangles increase the strength of a bridge significantly, and allow it to hold much more weight and undergo more force than a simple design. Fourth graders used balsa wood to build the bridges, after working on a blueprint of the bridge first. Always have a plan! Before they could finish, however, it became incumbent upon me to take a day to celebrate La Tomatina and make gazpacho (a delicious soup from Spain) with classes. Yum! We will return to the bridge-building next week. Students also have been working on Duolingo at the beginning of every class.

Fifth Grade- Students in this class also adjusted well to the new rule of, “Un-dos-tres, ¡no inglés!” (One-two-three, no English!). As with other grade levels, they began with a project in order to emphasize family, community, and working together as a team–as well as attention to detail and absorbing and understanding the target language by watching/illustration, as opposed to being able to translate every word. Their project was to design a stepping stone mosaic/mosaico with grout and colorful, glass tiles; the stones turned out beautifully, even after a mishap with a slight grout:water ratio issue in one class. Fifth graders also 1) began a theater/film unit–more info to come!; and 2) took a day to celebrate La Tomatina and make gazpacho (a delicious soup from Spain). Yum! Please read the document below if you are unfamiliar with this fun tomato-throwing festival. Students also have been working on Duolingo at the beginning of every class. La Tomatina-SpainDownload

Song of the Month

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