Grades K-2: Center Work
- Make connections with the written and spoken word in the target language (e.g., phonetics).
- Combine and relate new and old ideas, especially in written work.
- Apply memorized key phrases in meaningful contexts, especially in spoken work.
- Express wants and needs in the target language.
Students “sign up” for a center work activity of their choice. Here, they write a letter (similar to the town simulation written work in grades 2&3), and check in with the teacher for immediate feedback re: the written mechanics, punctuation, spelling, etc. of their work. Feedback is personalized and differentiated to/for each student, dependent on literacy and reading levels.
When the majority of students are comfortable with a grammatical concept or phrase, new information is provided. Partway through the year, students are given the option to write OR speak/voice aloud their requests (hablar/escribir). By the last quarter, students are encouraged to just speak; by that point, their confidence with the language has grown tremendously. Many continue writing their requests and enjoy reading them aloud to the teacher!
Following 5-10 minutes of written work and check-ins, students proceed to said activity and work on asking for items and using key phrases in the target language with their classmates and teacher. Most days, there is constant linguistic interaction between students>students and students>teacher and teacher>students.
- Kindergarten: Students write, “Soy + [their name]”; the name of a Spanish-speaking country (those less literate draw the flag stripes instead); and an activity (jugar/play; dibujar/draw; construir/build). Focus on the letter “j” and that it is pronounced like the letter “h” in English.
- Grade 1: Students write, “Hola, yo me llamo + [their name]; Quiero + [infinitive]; and work on using and pronouncing “y/and” and “con/with” properly and in context. Conversationally, they worked on adding discourse fillers such as pues/well…, and también/also.
- Grades 2 & 3: Students write, “Hola/buenos días”; “Yo me llamo + [their name]”; Quiero + [infinitive]; work on using and pronouncing “y” and “con” properly and in context; Necesito + [one or more nouns]; and something for the closing, like un abrazo/adiós/hasta luego. Second graders learned, “Yo voy a + [noun or country name]”, while other grades used, “Quiero ir a + [nouns or country name]”.