Quarter Update, 22-23 (K)

1This term, students in kindergarten began with daily language warm-ups outside of my classroom. (This is the official “English/ Spanish/ Spanglish” zone, as opposed to the “Spanish-only zone” inside my room.) Here, students focused on memorizing basic phrases, such as: yo hablo español (I speak Spanish); yo hablo inglés (I speak English); yo no hablo español (I don’t speak Spanish); yo no hablo inglés (I don’t speak English).

Inside the classroom, students began the year with a coffee filter project, that reviewed numbers and colors in Spanish and in context, but was also a collaborative project with their art class (Chihuly Sculptures). They turned out beautifully! Later, kindergarteners began learning the names of Spanish- speaking countries on my Floor Map. They jump on the map, and then we do a short artistic or scientific project (something highly visual, to aid in comprehension) that relates to a cultural point of said country. For example, so far, kindergarteners have done projects on the following: Coffee Filters (Chile), Southern Lights (Argentina), Punta del Este (Uruguay), Andean Condor (S. America), the Bottle Dance (Paraguay), and Salt Flat (Bolivia). They also tried to outline the Andes Mountains and all of South America with blocks and dominoes. Wow!

As the quarter came to a close, kindergarteners started a storytelling unit. Here, they integrate cultural knowledge and a common pool of vocabulary to tell creative class stories in the target language. More on this later! Gracias for a great term.
2This term, kindergarteners continued building their daily warm-ups dialogue outside of my classroom, layering on expression and intonation, in addition to pronunciation and meaning. ¡Hola! Hi! ¿Cómo estás? How are you? ¡Estoy muy bien! I’m very well! Yo hablo español. I speak Spanish. Yo hablo inglés. I speak English. Yo no hablo español. I don’t speak Spanish. Yo no hablo inglés. I don’t speak English. ¡Qué problema! What a problem! Está bien, estoy aprendiendo. It’s okay, I’m learning.

Inside, students learned [many to mastery!] the names and locations of all of the Spanish- speaking countries in South America on the Floor Map: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. They continued doing a small class project for each country, including Rainbow Mountain and La Rinconada (Peru), Galápagos Islands (Ecuador), Colorful Town (Colombia), and Ice Cream (Venezuela). Once kindergarteners got comfortable with the content, they had fun playing with words, such as the day Pato searched high and low for the door/ puerta leading to Ecua-DOOR! Where could it be?! For Colombia, there was also a special parent presentation about Christmas traditions there. Thank you so much!

Last but not least, the class was introduced to Center Work. The Spanish class routine rotates every other lesson–(more or less, dependent on holidays and whatnot)–in that some days are Project Days (per country), and other days are Center Work. On the latter, students can continue with the same country project from the day prior, or pursue another interest.

Currently, open centers [aka sight words] include: colorear/ to color, jugar [‘who-GARR’]/ to play [with stuffed animals], construir/ to build [with boxes], trabajar/ to work [with money/ dinero], volar/ to fly [paper airplanes], and pintar/ to paint [fingerpaint on the whiteboards & make a print]. They sign up verbally with me re: what they want to do; however, unlike in other classes, students can switch centers as frequently as desired in Spanish–because the more they switch, the more they have to practice speaking the target language! Some students will change four times in a day, just to keep talking with me, while others will stick with one center (e.g., painting), but go more in depth and learn the names of the paint colors, or say, “¡Mira!/ Look!” when they want someone to look, or request “más papel, por favor” (more paper, please), etc. When they know all of the colors in Spanish, we start substituting to add more words, and pretend that the pink is not rosado/ pink, but rather chicle/ bubble gum! The goal is an immersive, experiential environment; and students have done a great job this quarter!

August Notes

Objective: acclimating to daily routines, expectations, and an immersive Spanish environment!

  • Welcome Back!: intro to daily routine and general overview- English/Spanish. We will tell a semester-long story in Spanish, adding only a sentence or two each day. The words in the sentence will be reinforced via science experiments involving all of the senses; class activities; games; songs; videos; and ‘free choice’ center work days.
  • Chile- Floor Map: Intro to Floor Map. Vinegar/baking soda vs. water volcanoes, to prep for Dot Day project.
  • Dot Day, Day 1: Floor map, Chile and Argentina. Coffee filters plus food coloring (color/number review)–and how all of this relates to their Dot Day art project!
  • Dot Day, Day 2: Floor map, Chile and Argentina (timed). Coffee filters plus food coloring (color/number review) and WATER with goteros.
  • Argentina- Lights: Floor map, Chile and Argentina. Even more colors! We did THIS LESSON to make a connection with Argentina on the floor map.


Objective: begin to work on verbal output, increase speaking confidence in the target language.

  • Uruguay- Hand: Floor map. Project on La Mano de Punta del Este to make a connection with Uruguay on the floor map. Started to build Andes Mountain range out of blocks on map.
  • Andes Mountains: Project on La Cordillera de los Andes to make a connection with South America on the floor map. Also Atacama, Chilean desert.