Trimester 1 ended with a conversation about Day of the Dead in Mexico. Students were so interested in this that we continued our ‘culture trip’ around the Spanish-speaking world. When, for instance, students signed up for the ‘volar/fly’ center, I made them paper airplanes, on the condition that they brought me the color paper and size they wanted, and told me where they were going.
Initially, the options were only España/Spain and Mexico, and they had to draw the flag colors on their planes, but we branched out after that. Where will you be flying today? Argentina? We added Bolivia after a brief cultural lesson on the largest salt flat in the world there, Salar de Uyuni, and to clarify to Olivia (as opposed to Bolivia) that I was not making fun of her name! Venezuela was added to the list when students wanted to contribute something to the LS Spanish museum; that day, we went outside and collected pebbles, leaves, and sticks, and made a mini replica of Angel Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the world. The other class wanted to print out pictures of lightning for a center (imprimir/to print), so I showed them Catatumbo Lightning in Venezuela. K.A ended up seeing the images, and asked about it the following day.
Costa Rica became a fad after classes contributed to the rainforest simulation in my closet. All of these countries are labeled and have specific locations in my room now, so students can ‘travel’ to Bolivia to paint (pintar) or simply fly their airplane/avión in said direction and shout out key words like, “¡Mira!” (Look!) or “¡Ayúdame!” (Help me!) when it does something neat or lands up too high to reach. Granted, not all students have taken to plane-flying, but there is a high percentage of both classes that participate and/or have participated this trimester. These countries are all sight words as well.
While kindergarteners do not necessarily have a conceptual grasp of what a country is, they do know that people in faraway lands like Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Peru, and Bolivia speak Spanish. This is the overarching goal. Any extra facts they recall or bring home are icing on the cake. (NOTE: As a bonus, many also knowthat they do not speak Spanish in Polonia/Poland– thank you/dziękuję, Alejandro, aka Alex!) Last but not least, and at some point back in the fall, students also made their own piñatas and abanicos (fans).
In the linguistic realm, it should be noted that as a group, students’ reading and writing skills are improving daily. They read to me in Spanish on a regular basis, and most can write at least several words in the target language now without consulting any reference materials, i.e., sight word cards. Kindergarteners enjoy pointing out similarities and differences between English and Spanish, especially with regards to phonetics. Great work this term!
February: Palabras de alta frecuencia para kínder: pintar, tocar el piano, volar [un avión de papel], limpiar, dibujar, colorear, cantar, jugar, construir, hablar, dormir, bailar, trabajar, ver. Pregúntele a su niño(a) cuál es su actividad favorita en la clase de español. Aparte: “trabajar” y “ver” son nuevos, o sea, la mayoría no sabe pronunciarlas de momento.
November Update/Trimester 1: Los del kínder han logrado un montón este trimestre: desde un gran empiezo al año escolar con objetos que flotan y se hunden y volcanes con bicarbonato y colorante alimentario, hasta pintar, construir barcos, ver episodios de Pocoyó, jugar y aún darle un baño a Pato hoy (juego de palabras aquí–quieres lavar los platos o lavar a Pato?? jaja), volar a México y España, limpiar las mesas y la pizarra, colorear, tocar el piano, escuchar y bailar a música española, aprender sobre El Día de Los Muertos y escribir cada día en la lengua meta… ¡guao! Sigo estar impresionada con 1) la rapidez con la cual los niños aplican el idioma a la vida cotidiana y 2) su habilidad de crear en general: siempre hay más ideas para explorar. ¡Gracias!
PROJECTS: floating and sinking objects; volcanoes with baking soda and food coloring; building Popsicle stick boats with flags; watching Pocoyo; paper airplanes flying to Spanish-speaking countries; pirates and searching for treasure; coffee filter design project with food coloring; choice centers; copy Spanish sight words; favorite colors; numbers 0-10; country recognition; THE PATO SHOW; optional culture projects during Continued Learning.
READING/SIGHT WORDS: jugar, colorear, pintar, construir, tocar el piano, volar [un avión de papel], limpiar, dibujar, cantar, hablar, dormir, bailar, trabajar, ver, hola, clase, soy, quiero.
WRITING: Hola, clase. Soy ____. Quiero ____. (Hello, class. I am/this is ____. I want to ____.)