Resumen, 22-23 (Grade 4)

QUARTER SUMMARIES will be posted here at the end of the term. Until then, this page will be a scrambled egg mess of notes.

Term
1This term, students in fourth grade began with Daily Language Trivia outside of my classroom. (This is the official “English/ Spanish/ Spanglish” zone, as opposed to the “Spanish-only zone” inside my room.) Here, students learned basic facts such as: How many Spanish-speaking countries are there in the world? (21); How many languages are there in the world? (7,000); What are the top three most-spoken languages in the world? In what order? (Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, English); What about online? (English reigns!); etc.

Inside the classroom, fourth graders were transported to another world–or Spanish speaking country, at least. Immersion can feel like another world, though; sans words, you lose your personality, your power to express yourself how you want to. Students did really well with this. First, they reviewed a Spanish News Show from last year and made a miniature volcano as a “news story” to tap into their science unit (Calbuco, Chile). Next, they learned about Easter Island all in the target language, and even made clay sculptures of the famous statues and Rongorongo tablets.

In the tech realm, students continued (from last year) working on the Duolingo language- learning app; but this time around, they are working as a team to earn a huge number of XP (points) over an eight week timespan, in what is called a Classroom Quest. All of this is in preparation and gearing up for the main event this year, THE SPANISH PLAY. Near the end of the quarter, fourth graders made and submitted audition videos for the play, and were given a broad overview of the plot. They are all excited to begin the work! Gracias for a great term.
2
3
4

August

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

  • Welcome Back!: intro to daily routine and general overview. We will spend the first semester preparing for the Fourth Grade Spanish Play. The lines in the play will be reinforced via class activities; games; songs; videos; and Culture Projects.
  • News Show: Soy fuerte & Soy valiente auditions. News Show Skit- vocabulary review from last year. Pato and the mini volcano (Chile- Calbuco).
  • Colorful Volcano: News Show Skit review. Top news is Chilean volcano. Class helps Pato make a miniature volcano model (with food coloring), all in the target language. ¡Lo hicimos!
  • Easter Island Intro: Language trivia. News Show. Why are we talking about Chile? Two reasons- the volcano (Calbuco) and Easter Island. Lesson on La Isla de Pascua and walking statues video, all in the target language. Facts and slideshow with pics and video in Spanish.
  • Easter Island, Day 1: skip News Show. Students have time to create air-dry clay sculptures from Easter Island (moai and tablets).
  • Easter Island, Day 2: skip News Show. Students have time to paint air-dry clay sculptures from Easter Island (moai).

September

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

  • Introduce Duolingo: Daily trivia. Introduced Duolingo language-learning app. Time to work on the app, work out the kinks/ any glitches, and record vocabulary in mini Spanish notebooks. Also overview of XP progress this year.
  • Cognates: Daily trivia/ Firefly backstory. Time to work on Duolingo app and record vocabulary in mini Spanish notebooks. Word search and lesson on cognates (words that look the same in English and Spanish).
  • The Theater: Daily trivia. Time to work on Duolingo app and decorate mini Spanish notebooks. Look ahead to SPANISH PLAY auditions. Teatro Colón in Argentina.
  • Auditions, Day 1: Time to work on Duolingo app. SPANISH PLAY auditions will be in video format. Read lines with exaggerated emotions. Combine in iMovie.
  • Auditions, Day 2: Time to work on Duolingo app. DAY #2: SPANISH PLAY auditions will be in video format. Read lines with exaggerated emotions. Combine in iMovie. Individual surveys for type of role in play desired (e.g., big/ small part, tech, etc.).

October

Resumen, 22-23 (Grade 3)

QUARTER SUMMARIES will be posted here at the end of the term. Until then, this page will be a scrambled egg mess of notes.

Term
1This term, students in third grade began with Daily Language Trivia outside of my classroom. (This is the official “English/ Spanish/ Spanglish” zone, as opposed to the “Spanish-only zone” inside my room.) Here, students learned basic facts such as: How many Spanish-speaking countries are there in the world? (21); How many languages are there in the world? (7,000); What are the top three most-spoken languages in the world? In what order? (Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, English); etc.

Inside the classroom, third graders were transported to another world–or Spanish speaking country, at least. Immersion can feel like another world, though; sans words, you lose your personality, your power to express yourself how you want to. Students did really well with this. First, they learned about Easter Island all in the target language, and even made clay sculptures of the famous statues and Rongorongo tablets. As part of this unit, third graders began rehearsing their lines for a Spanish News Show, which is actually part of a long-term project. The project is a story within a story within a story: a boy is late to watch his favorite show, the news/ las noticias, on which there is a segment about Chile; and following the news, there are Spanish commercials and a movie trailer about “Alan” and hungry Easter Island statues that come to life. “Alan” is completely ridiculous but a hilarious story starter!

In the tech realm, students started working on the Duolingo language- learning app; they are working as a team to earn a huge number of XP (points) over an eight week timespan, in what is called a Classroom Quest. Gracias for a great term.
2
3
4

August

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

  • Welcome Back!: intro to daily routine and general overview. We will explore legends from around the Spanish-speaking world, and create a semester-long News Show in Spanish, adding a few new lines each day. The lines in the show will be reinforced via class activities; games; tongue twisters; songs; videos; ‘free choice’ center work days; and Culture Projects.
  • News Show: News Show Skit in Spanish. Testing their focus and concentration today- how far can we go in the target language?!
  • Easter Island Intro: News Show Skit, very quick run-through. News Show piece on Chile; intro to Easter Island, but all in the target language. Facts and slideshow with pics and video all in Spanish.
  • Easter Island, Day 1: skip News Show. Students have time to create air-dry clay sculptures from Easter Island (moai and Rongorongo tablets).
  • Easter Island, Day 2: Students have time to paint their air-dry clay sculptures from Easter Island (moai and tablets). Ms. C visited today and made her own sculpture as well!
  • Exports & Alan: Daily Trivia. Students brought air-dry clay sculptures to cubbies. Comment “everything comes from China” led to a mini review from last year re: imports/ exports. Students checked shirt tags and shoes for country names, and we found them on the map. STORY STARTER: Alan video, Easter Island statues, train, statues move when not looking (acted out).

September

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

  • Overview-English: Took a step back to explain in English the big picture of this first unit. We are creating a story (boy running home, late to watch news show) within a story (the actual news show on TV) within a story (movie trailer about Alan and Easter Island statues, that the boy sees on TV). “Ohhh….!” 🙂
  • Introduce Duolingo: Daily trivia. Introduced Duolingo language-learning app. Time to work on the app, work out the kinks/ any glitches, and record vocabulary in mini Spanish notebooks. And decorate notebooks with stamps!
  • Duolingo: Time to work on Duolingo app and record vocabulary in mini Spanish notebooks. Set up app with students who were absent. Reviewed News Show skit, with names. Students requested scripts, so easier to follow along (than on board).
  • Schedule/Alan!: schedule as follows- Mondays will be story days (treasure project, movie trailer with Alan); Thursdays will be commercials/center days; Fridays will be News Show/center days. Duolingo. Alan rehearsal and treasure project overview.
  • Commercial Time: Daily Trivia. Duolingo. Commercial. Center work introduction and The Town, Part 2.
  • The Town, Part 2: Daily Trivia. Duolingo. News Show skit- five minute rehearsal. Center work.

October

QUARTER SUMMARIES will be posted here at the end of the term. Until then, this page will be a scrambled egg mess of notes.

Term
1This term, students in second grade began with Daily Language Trivia outside of my classroom. (This is the official “English/ Spanish/ Spanglish” zone, as opposed to the “Spanish-only zone” inside my room.) Here, students learned a few basic facts (How many Spanish-speaking countries are there in the world? 21!; How many languages are there in the world? 7,000!); and then focused on memorizing common phrases: 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); hablamos español (we speak Spanish).

Inside the classroom, second graders began a massive task: creating their own Spanish- speaking town. So far, there is el supermercado/ supermarket, el banco/ bank, el museo de arte/ art museum, la granja/ farm, la tienda de carteras/ bolsas (purse or wallet shop), and a train station, for which you must have a train license and license plates (el tren/ train; Spain/ España) to drive. Students use euros in monetary transactions (as opposed to pesos from last year), and have discussed currency conversion rates–although this will be an ongoing conversation; it is challenging to understand why the rates can change every day, however slightly. Second graders decide quiénquiénquién/ “who-who-who” (owl mneumonic device!) is going to work at the supermarket, bank, etc. each day– and then get to work.

NOTE: Now that we have established a strong base, the overarching goal here will be to pair memorable experiences with language. Students will begin to pick up vocabulary such as, “Necesito eso” (I need that); or “Boleto, por favor” (ticket, please); or “Quiero ir a España” (I want to go to Spain); or “¿Dónde está la cinta?” (Where is the tape?); or “¿Qué? ¡No comprendo! (What? I don’t understand!) in meaningful contexts.

Students also had fun playing with the Duolingo and/or FunSpanish app, and learned a Q-U-E-S-O, or ¿Qué es eso? ¡Eso es queso! (What is that? That is cheese!) rhyme. Gracias for a great term.
2
3
4

August

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

  • Welcome Back!: intro to daily routine and general overview. Students will participate in a town simulation in a Spanish-speaking country; class activities; games; songs; videos; ‘free choice’ center work days; and also tell a semester-long story in Spanish.
  • What is that?: Daily Trivia. Classroom numbers. What is that? That is cheese! rhyme introduction. Mini activity to move tables for supermarket simulation. Establishing routines.
  • Supermercado: Daily Trivia. Setting up the class town. Supermarket and bank introductions. What is that? That is cheese! rhyme again with markers on fingers. Cut out euros and spend at town supermarket. “Paid” in euros when class cleans up/lines up in under two minutes (timer).
  • Let the Town Begin!: Daily Trivia. Setting up the class town. Supermarket, bank open today. “Paid” in euros when class cleans up/lines up in under two minutes (timer). Carrefour: Argentina:: Mercadona: España.
  • Euros vs. Dollars: Daily Trivia. Supermarket and bank are open today. Also begin a short discussion re: currency conversions- this conversation will be ongoing. Several made purses and wallets to store dinero/money.
  • Open or Closed?: setting up the class town. Supermarket and bank are open today. ABIERTO/ open (“ah-bee-AIR-toe”). CERRADO/ closed signs (“s[air]-RAH-doe”). Quién/ who-who-who is going to work at the supermarket, bank?

September

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

  • Double Class: Daily Trivia. ¡Es viernes! dance. “Hablamos español” practice. Double class. Establishing routines. Town was open today.
  • The Farm: Daily Trivia. “Hablamos español” practice. Tell me in English how you say… banco/ supermercado/ museo de arte. “Picasso” scribbles to demonstrate art museum. Quick chat: what is a bank? You don’t BUY money; you earn it. Where does the food/ comida from the supermercado come from? Several opened a farm/ la granja as a result of this conversation.
  • The Train: Daily Trivia. “Yo no hablo español/ inglés”. Tell me in English… is this a town/ pueblo or a city/ ciudad? Who-who-who is working at the farm, supermarket, bank, art museum, or wallet/ purse- making business? THE TRAIN returns. Taxes/ impuestos introduced. ¡Sorpresa! at end of class. One class also did the ¡Lo hicimos! dance for cleaning up before their teacher arrived.
  • Bathroom Song!: Daily Trivia. ¿Puedo ir al baño? video. Name wallet/ purse shop. Mapa- set locations for businesses- this part of the room, this part of the room. Train monitored closely. License plates and licenses to drive.
  • Non-Negotiable Vocab: Daily Trivia. ¿Puedo ir al baño? video. Business location review. Begin list of non-negotiable vocab (words you need to start replacing the English for Spanish!). Por favor/ please, gracias/ thank you, muchas gracias/ thank you so much.

October

Resumen, 22-23 (Grade 2)

Resumen, 22-23 (Grade 1)

QUARTER SUMMARIES will be posted here at the end of the term. Until then, this page will be a scrambled egg mess of notes.

Term
1This term, students in first grade 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: 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); and differentiating between español/ Spanish and España/ Spain (language vs. place).

Inside the classroom, they learned about El Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile hike across Spain that their teacher completed a few years ago. Students got their mochilas/backpacks, botella de agua/water bottle, plastic food/comida, and faux currency from Spain (dinero/money; euros for Spain), and set out around campus–‘climbing mountains’ (stairs) and drawing shells and arrows with chalk to mark the trail.

Each class, we added something new; for example, one day, students pretended to sleep in their bunks at hostels (picnic table benches as bunks) after a long day of hiking, and would ‘awaken’ to the sound of the rooster in Spanish: “¡Quiquiri-quí!” (cock-a-doodle-doo). A highlight was the day we talked about how much your feet hurt after 10 hours of hiking a day (for 30 days straight), but that a ‘foot pool’ makes everything better–first graders dipped their toes into a small bucket of cool water to simulate this. They also made abanicos/ Spanish fans out of paper for the super hot days.

When stormy weather ensued (¡Tormenta!/ storm!), first graders eased out of this introductory unit and launched into center days–the heart of the curriculum. Here, students sign up for what they want to do each day (Quiero jugar, colorear, construir /I want to play, color, build), and then, well–do it! Currently, several are building boats out of Popsicle sticks to sail to faraway lands (preferably, Spanish- speaking countries!). This center work begins as a sight word review from last year, but picks up pace quickly. The goal, ultimately, is language in action- pairing memorable experiences with vocabulary. Gracias for a great term.
2
3
4

August

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

  • Welcome Back!: intro to daily routine and general overview. 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 class activities; games; songs; videos; and ‘free choice’ center work days. Country focus on Spain. 
  • El Camino de Santiago: Clarify “Spain/España” (place) vs. “Spanish/ Español” (language)- an ongoing discussion. Symbols of El Camino de Santiago include arrows and scallop shells. Color paper shells. “Mini hike” around classroom, up and down mountains.
  • Shells/Arrows: Hike around campus, complete with backpacks/ mochilas and water bottles/ botellas de agua. Mark ‘the way’ with chalk arrows and scallop shells. Stop for snack and water breaks and stay at a [faux] hostel for the night.
  • Double Class: Continue with hiking unit. “España” anecdote (boy saying name of his homeland on plane). Practiced responding to “¡Tormenta!” (storm). Took volunteers to throw their zapatos. Outside hike, albergues, and gallos.
  • Abanicos: Continue with hiking unit. Students learned about abanicos/Spanish fans and made their own in class. The intention was to hike today as well, but the acordian style folding was a challenge for them, and the hike was shortened, if not cut altogether.
  • Foot Pool, Day 1: Continue with hiking unit. Students learn about Wonderful Foot Pools available along The Way. Pato especially appreciated these in the heat (so many feathers, you know). Naturally, they had to “scale four mountains” and stay the night at an albergue before dipping their toes (or feet) into a bucket of cool water. Splashing fun was had by all. Shoe tying at the end of class was A Thing. Mea culpa.

September

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

  • Double Class: yo hablo espa-ñol/inglés. Double combined class for first today. Practice hike inside and outside. First graders pretended to hike El Camino de Santiago in Spain/ España. They carried their backpacks (mochilas) and water bottles (botellas de agua) up and down FOUR huge mountains (montañas). I spied some expert climbers! As the sun began to set, they found a bunk at a local albergue and did not awaken until before dawn–to the sound of the rooster: “¡Quiquiriquí! ¡Quiquiriquí” (cock-a-doodle-do). Students had fun being overly dramatic with the mountain climbing!
  • Foot Pool, Day 2: yo hablo espa-ñol/inglés. First graders continued their 500-mile hike through Spain. Today, they scaled four more mountains/ montañas and slept at an albergue. The FL sun is just like Spain/ España– HOT! (hace mucho calor), so the simulation felt very realistic. Stopped to experience a “foot pool” (bare toes in water), since we ran out of time on Wednesday to do this. We brought along Pato today (and his miniature bag), as well as a pet vaca/ cow (I don’t remember why) and a lot of euros to “buy food” along The Way.
  • Tormenta/Storm!: yo hablo espa-ñol. Two problems: 1) no hiking and first day indoors, due to the “tormenta!!” (storm); and 2) you need a “pasaporte” (passport) to go to Spain! (stamped their hands). Had “indoor” day of El Camino, where students set up albergues, used the comida/food and dinero/money, and went to the “beach” (sand and water sensory station) at the end of the Camino. Began establishing indoor routine, as storms are in the forecast for the near future.
  • Centers, Day 1: yo hablo espa-ñol. Written work, the letter “m”. Centers, day 1 (quiero jugar/ quiero colorear). Establishing routines. Paid in faux euros if the class cleans up and lines up before the timer.
  • Centers, Day 2: yo NO hablo espa-ñol. Written work, the letter “c”. Centers, day 2 (quiero jugar/ quiero colorear/ El Camino). Establishing routines. Paid in faux euros if the class cleans up and lines up before the timer.

October

Resumen, 22-23 (Grade K)

QUARTER SUMMARIES will be posted here at the end of the term. Until then, this page will be a scrambled egg mess of notes.

Term
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), and the Bottle Dance (Paraguay). 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.
2
3
4

August

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.

September

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.

October

Resumen, 22-23 (Grade PK)

QUARTER SUMMARIES will be posted here at the end of the term. Until then, this page will be a scrambled egg mess of notes.

Term
1This term, students in PK3 & PK4 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); and separating English and Spanish words (rojo/ red, hola/ hello, etc.). Before going in each day, everyone puts their hands in a circle– akin to a sports huddle– and we say, “¡Vamos!” all together.

Inside the classroom, students take a seat and I ask them, “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?). We act out little scenarios- what would make you triste/sad or enojado(a)/ mad? Are you feliz/ happy right now? ¡Yo tengo frío! (I’m cold!), etc. For PK3, this is all new; for PK4, this was an easy vocab review to start the year. Next, students listen to a song (Encanto; Los solecitos; Rompe Ralph; Con un beso gigante), and either dance or pretend it’s naptime– the “Solecitos” song!

For the first month at this point in the lesson, students would meet on the carpet and do some sort of science experiment together. This was anything from levitating a ping-pong ball with air from a hairdryer (caliente/hot), to submerging temperature- actived white spoons into ice cubes and cold water so that they turned blue (frío/ cold), to melting crayons (PK3), to miniature baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring volcanoes in a bowl (PK4).

Here, the two grades diverge a bit: PK3 takes “car rides” across my room in the teacher chair on wheels (coche/ car; rápido/ fast), and pretends to go to the beach/ la playa or jungle/ la selva; while PK4 taps into this fun every once in a while, but mostly chats with Pato about his latest adventure. In fact, PK4 recently helped color Popsicle sticks to build a barco/ boat for the stuffed animal duck, and we are all on pins and needles to find out where he is going. He has packed… everything, so it must be a long trip! Gracias for a great term. *For more info, please read Car Rides to the Jungle (PK3).
2
3
4

August

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

  • Welcome!: intro to daily routine and general overview. 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 class activities; games; songs; videos; and more. NOTE: On the first day, PK3 students visited my room and got accustomed to the space. Formal lessons begin next week. We compared English and Spanish as languages, and then sang a song about going places “¡Vamos!” (let’s go!).
  • The Car: review- English vs. Spanish. Sing going places song. Practice following directions. Color in a picture of a car. Paint with crayons. Listen to a song in Spanish. (lesson flowed beautifully and was much more organized than it sounds here!)
  • Ping-Pong Ball!: review- English vs. Spanish (two quick claps, and I change languages!). VAMOS!, hands in center. Transition inside. How are you today? Happy, sad, angry. Practice following directions. Hairdryer and ping-pong ball- caliente/hot. Sing going places song with car rides. VAMOS! Line up.
  • Blue Spoons!: review- English vs. Spanish/espa-NOL (two quick claps, and I change languages!). Rojo/red. Azul/blue. VAMOS!, hands in center. Transition inside. How are you today? Happy, sad, angry, (cold). Practice following directions. Repeat hairdryer and ping-pong ball- caliente/hot. Ice cubes and temperature- activated spoons. Sing going places song with car rides. VAMOS! Line up.

PK4

  • Welcome Back!: intro to daily routine and general overview. 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 class activities; games; songs; videos; and more. NOTE: On the first day, PK4 students visit my room and get accustomed to the space. Formal lessons begin next week.
  • The Return of Pato: intro to daily routine and general overview. As per usual, Pato (my stuffed animal duck) has something up his sleeve, involving a miniature beaker, miniature spoon, miniature funnel, and a whole lot of vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring. Uh-oh…
  • More Science: review- English vs. Spanish. Sing ‘Where is Pa-to?’ song. How are you today?! Pato blows them all kisses (we try not to eat too many). Practice following directions. Watch song in Spanish (from Encanto). Transition to carpet. Science experiment repeat/extension lesson from yesterday (at students’ request).
  • I’m Cold!: review- English vs. Spanish (espa-ñol!). How are you today? Tengo frío (I’m cold!). Took blankets and danced to song from Encanto and Rompe Ralph. Sing ‘Where is Pa-to?’ song. Transition to carpet. Ping-pong ball with hairdryer (caliente/hot). Ice cubes (frío/cold). Temperature-activated spoons (azul/blanca). ¡SORPRESA!/ Surprise!
  • Swimming Pool: review- English vs. Spanish (hablo espa-ñol!). How are you today? Tengo frío (I’m cold!). Took blankets and danced to song from Encanto and Rompe Ralph. Sing ‘Where is Pa-to?’ song. Transition to carpet. Review: Pato, blue volcano science experiment is not a swimming pool! Hairdryer and ice cubes: will the agua/water be hot or cold? Traveled outside to faucet to fill 5-gallon bucket with water for Pato to jump into. We also splashed a bit, too. 🙂 Watered the plants. Came back. Lined up. SORPRESA!/ Surprise!

September

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

  • Drama- Paper: Daily routine, espa-ñol (outside). ¡Vamos! ¿Cómo estás? Acted out words dramatically, if you took the paper from me I would be…. happy/ sad/ angry/ etc. Song- Encanto. Dance time! Hairdryer at the carpet, caliente/hot and frío/cold.Where are we going? The beach? I sing, vamos a la playa, vamos. Car rides there. Is the agua at the beach caliente o fría? Is that the train? Time to go! Line up at door.
  • Beach or Jungle?: Daily routine, espa-ñol (outside). ¡Vamos! ¿Cómo estás? Q&A inside. Acted out words. Song- Encanto and Los solecitos. Dance time! Hairdryer at the carpet, caliente/hot and frío/cold. Where are we going? The beach or the jungle? I sing, vamos a España, vamos. Car rides there. Is that the train? Time to go! Line up at door.
  • Picnic, Day 1: Daily routine- yo hablo español (outside). ¡Vamos! ¿Cómo estás? Q&A inside. Most are pointing now; I am providing the verbiage. Song- Los solecitos. Nap time! ¡Otra vez! Again! Good morning! We should have a picnic! Let’s go! Do you want sopa? It’s caliente/ hot! Oh no, there’s a storm! (rain and thunder on board) Quick, get in the car! ¡Suban al coche! (chairs in a row) Where should we go (to get out of the storm)? Vamos a la selva. Let’s go to the jungle. Car rides there. Red light/ green light. Is that the train? Time to go! Line up at door.
  • Picnic, Day 2: Daily routine- yo hablo español (outside). ¡Vamos! ¿Cómo estás? Q&A inside. Most are pointing now; I am providing the verbiage. Song- Los solecitos. Nap time! Jobs for lights and board today. ¡Otra vez! Again! Good morning! We should have a picnic! Let’s go! Do you want sopa? It’s caliente/ hot! Oh no, there’s a storm! (rain and thunder on board) Quick, get in the car! ¡Suban al coche! (chairs in a row) Where should we go (to get out of the storm)? Vamos a la selva. Let’s go to the jungle. Car rides there. Red light/ green light. Is that the train? Time to go! Line up at door.
  • Red/Green Lights: Daily routine- yo hablo español (outside). ¡Vamos! ¿Cómo estás? Q&A inside. Song- Los solecitos. Nap time! Jobs for lights and board today. ¡Otra vez! Again! Good morning! We should have a picnic! Let’s go! Do you want sopa? It’s caliente/ hot! Oh no, there’s a storm! (rain and thunder on board) Quick, get in the car! ¡Suban al coche! (chairs in a row) Where should we go (to get out of the storm)? Vamos a la selva. Let’s go to the jungle. Car rides there. Red light/ green light activity today. Is that the train? Time to go! Line up at door.

PK4

  • The Boat, Day 1: review- English vs. Spanish (hablo espa-ñol!). How are you today? Tengo frío (I’m cold!). Took blankets and danced to song from Encanto and Rompe Ralph. Sing ‘Where is Pa-to?’ song. Transition to carpet. Pato wants to go in the water but doesn’t know how to swim and doesn’t want to get wet. How about a boat/ barco, Pato? Students colored in Popsicle sticks and used tape to put them together. Will continue with this next class. Lined up. SORPRESA!/ Surprise!
  • The Boat, Day 2: review- English vs. Spanish (hablo espa-ñol!). How are you today? Tengo frío (I’m cold!). Took blankets and “slept” during Los solecitos song. Sing ‘Where is Pa-to?’ song. Transition to carpet. Students colored in more Popsicle sticks and used tape to put them together. We have two sides of the boat now! Will continue with this next class. Lined up. SORPRESA!/ Surprise!
  • The Storm: Daily routine- yo hablo español (outside). ¡Vamos! ¿Cómo estás? Q&A inside. Song- Los solecitos. Nap time! Jobs for lights and board today. ¡Otra vez! Again! Good morning! We should have a picnic! Let’s go! Do you want sopa? It’s caliente/ hot! Oh no, there’s a storm! (rain and thunder on board) Quick, pack up the food! Where should we go (to get out of the storm)? Everyone huddled under the tables, as if it were their “house”. Phew, the storm is over! And we have time to work on our boat/ barco for Pato. YAY! Colored Popsicle sticks (fine motor). End of class, ¡SORPRESA! Surprise!
  • Class Story, Day 1: review- English vs. Spanish (hablo espa-ñol!). How are you today? Estoy cansado(a) (I’m tired!). Took blankets and danced to song from Encanto and Rompe Ralph. Sing ‘Where is Pa-to?’ song. Transition to carpet. Students colored in more Popsicle sticks and used tape to put them together. We start our first class story of the year. Lined up. SORPRESA!/ Surprise!

October

Resumen, 21-22 (Grade 4)

Teatro Colón, Argentina
Term
1This term, students in fourth grade began with a fútbol/ soccer unit. Here, the focus is on creating a Spanish-only environment and immediate application of key phrases in meaningful contexts (e.g., Por acá/over here; pásala/pass it; soy portero(a), soy arquero(a)/ I’m goalie; ¡apúrate!/hurry up!; casi/almost; hace mucho calor/it’s really hot; no manos/no hands; suelo/ground; ¿Qué?/What?; Yo dije…/I said; agua/water. On several “Facepaint Fridays”, students even decorated signs with their last names and favorite numbers [to pin on their jerseys], and painted their cheeks with the colors of the flag of the Spanish- speaking country they were “playing for” that day.

When someone fell into a bush and an angry swarm of bees emerged, however, the soccer unit ended quite abruptly and we moved into the meat and potatoes of the curriculum: The Fourth Grade Spanish Play. Students not only helped to create the plot this year, but they also underwent a realistic auditioning process to act in said production. From Spanish forms and paperwork, to bio summaries and nerve-wracking auditions and casting–all of which took place in the gorgeous Teatro Colón [theater] in Argentina–it was a fantastic first quarter!
2This term, fourth graders buckled down and got serious about their play (SCRIPT HERE). They focused on memorizing their lines in Spanish; facing the audience; being intentional about gestures and movements onstage; and syncing up what the actors were doing with what the narrator was saying. Once this was all in progress, they started playing with their lines, by adding more dramatic expression and working on proper intonation.

As new scenes unfolded, students would learn cultural tidbits and then resume rehearsals. For a full summary of the plot, as well as an explanation of word plays and cultural references (e.g., Don Quijote), please visit THIS PAGE. The abbreviated version of the plot goes as follows: this is a play within a play about two best friends, “Pato” and “Oso”, who travel to Peru; meet Ariana Grande and her dog Fluffy, along with an alpaca named Mr. Hashbrown; and turn many “problems” into solutions along the way.

Fourth graders also continued work from last year–playing the “Guess the Language” game to help with “ear training”, as well as working on the Duolingo language-learning app. With the latter, they tried to correlate the number of XP earned with kilometers on a route through South America and Spain (El Camino). Their first goal marker was a beautiful national park in Chile, called Torres del Paine (silver); their second goal, Futaleufú Rafting (gold); and so on and so forth. This geographic parallel fit in nicely with a map review from last year, wherein students jump on and name all 21 of the Spanish-speaking countries. To clarify, this work was supplementary to the main focus of their class play.
3This term, fourth graders put the final touches on their class play. Next, they worked on props and costumes, and edited their cast bios for the official program pamphlet. While the full-circle goal of the soccer unit was to have the audience watch a “World Cup” pre-recorded game (of students) during the play’s intermission, numerous student absences and a shortened timeline (due to testing) did not allow for that this year. That said, a pre-recorded “halftime show” featuring fourth graders’ talents outside of school–gymnastics, cheer, dance, football, soccer, etc.–was featured instead.

The play itself was an absolute success! But perhaps–from an educator’s perspective–the real wins have been noted in the day to day, in the process: two weeks after the play, students were still reciting their lines, but in completely different contexts now, wherever they happen to fit in. They say them relaxed and off the cuff; now that the pressure is off, they can play with the language and take true ownership.
4This term, fourth graders began preparing for Middle School Spanish. Here, students recorded words and phrases they knew in their class notebooks; discussed several grammatical points; reviewed the 21 Spanish-speaking countries; worked pretty consistently on Duolingo (weekly XP metas/goals) and Spanish Wordle (or All 64 Wordles for fluent speakers); were introduced to Quizlet; and, most importantly for one class, played Comida-bol, which is a non-existent Spanish word and fake sport invented by Pato. It is not actually a fake sport, but rather a misunderstanding; you see, Pato thought that fútbol/soccer was “food-ball”, which quickly morphed into “Comida-bol” (comida means ‘food’ in Spanish), and basically he thought that it was a good idea to play soccer with raw eggs. Ahem. #TimeOutForPato.

Long story short, students now employ the beginning of the year soccer vocabulary, but kick around a plastic canteloupe instead. HA! When they tire of the sport (uncommon), they take out dinero/money at the banco/bank and then stop at the class “café” to purchase randomly priced items in pesos (and/or buy boletos/tickets to visit the “rainforest”). Typical conversation as follows:

ME: Which country is this again?
STUDENT: Cuba!
ME: And how many pesos are you charging for this coffee?
STUDENT: 10! ¡Diez!

[I walk away to the board, pull up the currency converter and discover that 10 Cuban pesos is equivalent to 42 cents.

ME: YEEHAW! What a deal!
STUDENT (on the other side of the room): “No, wait, I meant 1000 pesos!!”

Fourth graders also reviewed and acted out the history of Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, after which they learned how to cook plantain chips in class–to celebrate the impossible becoming possible! (Mexican victory over the French)

Resumen, 21-22 (Grade 3)

Term
1This term, students in third grade began with a fútbol/ soccer unit. Here, the focus is on creating a Spanish-only environment and immediate application of key phrases in meaningful contexts (e.g., Por acá/over here; pásala/pass it; soy portero(a), soy arquero(a)/ I’m goalie; ¡apúrate!/ hurry up!; casi/almost; hace mucho calor/it’s really hot; no manos/no hands; suelo/ground; ¿Qué?/ What?; Yo dije…/I said; agua/water. If anything, shouting Spanish as opposed to merely speaking it certainly builds confidence!

When the skies decided to downpour during Spanish (¡tormenta!/storm!) and fútbol was not an option, students worked on gesture-telling legends from Spanish-speaking countries (AIM methodology). Here, third graders repeat lines and associate a gesture or movement with each word or phrase in a story. The first legend was from Cuba and about a mouse that knew how to bark. The second legend was from Peru and had to do with a haunted house and gold treasure.

In-between soccer and legends, the curriculum touched upon a few cultural points of interest. Third graders took time to learn about endangered languages (Peru); tapas, Spanish omelettes/tortillas españolas, and ‘señoras’ (Spain); and Catatumbo Lightning (Venezuela). Gracias for a great term!
2This term, students continued playing soccer, but kept adding to the daily routine, which included reading aloud the Padre Nuestro (“Our Father”) prayer before games; watching the Chócalas, gatito video; and more vocabulary and music (esp. Que Viva España/long live Spain!).

As the weather shifted, third graders likewise shifted to indoor activities, which included playing a challenging “Guess the Language” game to help with “ear training”. Later, students began working on the Duolingo language-learning app, trying to correlate the number of XP earned with kilometers on a route through South America and Spain (El Camino). Their first goal marker was a beautiful national park in Chile, called Torres del Paine (silver); their second goal, Futaleufú Rafting (gold); and so on and so forth. This geographic parallel fit in nicely with a map review from last year, wherein third graders jump on and name all 21 of the Spanish-speaking countries.

Third graders also transferred relevant soccer vocabulary phrases into center work stations from last year. A big hit for Lower School was THE TRAIN: students studied a [real] map of the metro system in Madrid, and pushed their classmates around the room on my tables [with wheels], stopping at various locales (el supermercado/supermarket; el banco/ bank; la fábrica/factory; el cine/movie theater; etc.). To expand upon this, they learned a bit about the extreme railways and train-buses of Bolivia (image below). Finally, students heard a legend about Yerba Mate Tea (Argentina)–the ‘friendship drink’ of South America–and had the opportunity to taste it. Gracias for another great term!
3This term, third graders learned how to Salsa dance. This is a highlight of the third grade Spanish curriculum, and this year’s class was truly outstanding: not only did students absolutely master the basic step, they were also able to dance it to the beat, with a partner, without looking at their feet, and even with a turn/spin–bravo! Students discussed and demonstrated how both the music and steps differed from the Tango (Argentina), which they had learned in second grade.

Due to their strong enthusiasm for Salsa dancing, the class continued with center work so that those who wanted to continue dancing, could; and those who didn’t, could “sign up for” and pursue other projects. The overarching idea here is that students use a common pool of working vocabulary to communicate in spontaneous linguistic interactions; they search out opportunities to use the language in meaningful contexts. This can be very challenging for some students, and less so for others, depending on their own personal comfort level with the language, and willingness to take [linguistic] risks during class time.

Meanwhile, students also learned about the cultural references in the fourth grader’s Spanish play [e.g., Don Quijote (Spain); Rainbow Mountain (Peru); Amazon River (Peru)]; saw the live performance; and began to get excited for their own play next year! They continued working on the Floor Map and played a card game called Mano Nerviosa to practice isolating numbers out of order. It was an exciting quarter!
4This term, students in third grade started rehearsing for a Spanish News Show (las noticias/ the news). They added new lines each day, working to dramatize the parts and find a balance between silly and witty. The end result was overly dramatic and quirky, to say the least, but students had great fun with it and created memorable lines (quiero ir al parque/I want to go to the park; ¡no puedes hacer eso!/you can’t do that!; seguridad/security; está nublado/it’s cloudy).

They also tried their hand at the Spanish Wordle; continued working on Duolingo from time to time; and discussed various cultural differences: from money conversions (dollars to pesos), meal times (siesta), weather forecasts (Fahrenheit to Celsius), and time zone differences, to the 24-hour clock (aka military time) and distances (feet to kilometers)–plus the LANGUAGE itself!–there are so many pieces that go into learning another language and culture. Third graders also reviewed and acted out the history of Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, after which they learned how to cook plantain chips in class–and ate them, of course, to celebrate the impossible becoming possible! (Mexican victory over the French)

Resumen, 21-22 (Grade 2)

Term
1This term, second graders began the year with a town simulation. Here, students pretend to live in a Spanish-speaking country, and proceed to create businesses/jobs within that structure. Authentic realia and brands are referenced (Mercadona:Spain:: Publix:United States:: Carrefour: Argentina), and students cut out pesos and euros to spend to make the experience more realistic. The class discussed how food gets to the grocery store (~farms), and learned that they have to work to earn money: it is not free. Businesses even charged impuestos/taxes! Students practiced writing in the target language by sending me “letters” through the Post Office, complete with stamps from Mexico, Bolivia, Spain, etc. They also took a day to paint huge swaths of color on cardboard boxes, like this town in Colombia.

Partway through September, we began reserving Fridays as “Storytime Days“, where students gesture-told and co-created a silly story in the target language, using the AIM methodology. Our story morphed into a saga, lasting over a month and a half, and was about an evil duck that keeps taking a wolf’s sandwich and eating it. As a result, the wolf cries and cries. (*cue THIS SONG, first eight seconds only- canta y no llores/ “sing and don’t cry”). Last but not least, second graders took a few classes to explore the Fun Spanish app on their iPads, and one day to make and try gazpacho, for La Tomatina. Gracias for a great term!
2This term, second graders had fun practicing a Halloween rhyme in the target language. In the culture realm, they reviewed La Alhambra (Spain); El Camino (Spain); and street mercados (Argentina/Spain) from last year; and were introduced to the idea of currency conversions, which is an ongoing conversation in second grade (₲5,000 Paraguayan Guaraníes is only $0.72 cents? What?!).

The town simulation continued to evolve as well; however, a new mode of transportation was introduced–the TRAIN!–which spiced things up a bit. Students studied a [real] map of the metro system in Madrid, and pushed their classmates around the room on my tables [with wheels], stopping at various locales (el supermercado/supermarket; el banco/ bank; la fábrica/factory; el teatro/theater; etc.). To expand upon this, they learned a bit about the extreme railways of Bolivia and Argentina.

Linguistically, the beginning of class routine shifted to preguntas/ questions, including but not limited to the following: ¿Cómo estás? (how are you?); ¿Adónde vas? (where are you going?); ¿Qué quieres hacer? (what do you want to do?); and ¿Por qué?/¿Para qué? (why? for what?). Some days, students led as ‘maestro(a)’ (teacher), asking the questions to their peers; other days, the routine included a 2-minute episode of Bluey, where second graders raised their hands when they heard words they recognized. In December, they began reviewing the names of the countries of South America. Gracias for another fantastic term!
3This term, students worked hard on their Floor Map skills. Here, second graders practice jumping on and naming all 21 Spanish-speaking countries on a gigantic floor map. Each lesson, we add another country or two–and pretty soon, they get pretty good at it! They even sorted the class dinero/money by country, and took ‘boat rides’ from Cuba to Spain [read: me dragging a large piece of cardboard, with students on top of it, from one side of the room to the other]. We played Epic Pirate Battle Music to tie into their regular classroom pirate unit, and had a video of waves splashing in the background to add to the general ambiance.

NOTE: The overarching goal here is to pair memorable experiences with language, so students will pick up vocabulary such as, “Necesito eso” (I need that); or “Boleto, por favor” (ticket, please); or “Quiero ir a España” (I want to go to Spain); or “¿Dónde está la cinta?” (Where is the tape?); or “¿Qué? ¡No comprendo! (What? I don’t understand!) in meaningful contexts.

To make the fábrica/factory more popular, I said that it was a car factory, and brought in small tricycles from the playground to use as coches/cars. Students said, “¡Quiero conducir el coche rojo!” (I want to drive the red car!), and took turns driving, all while listening to this song and stopping to fill up the tank with gasolina/pétrol. Students also started a new class story/saga in Spanish (about a monster named Fluphball who takes a girl’s jacket because he wants to add it to his collection); talked about imports and exports by looking at stickers, tags, and labels to find out where products were made; learned about the cultural references in the fourth grader’s Spanish play [e.g., Don Quijote (Spain); Rainbow Mountain (Peru); Amazon River (Peru)]; heard about tightrope walking and volcano boarding (in Nicaragua); and took a day to learn about the Tango (Argentina). It has been an exciting term!
4This term… coming super soon! Not just soon. Super soon!

Resumen, 21-22 (Grade 1)

Term
1This term, students in first grade learned about El Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile hike across Spain that their teacher completed a few years ago. Students got their mochilas/backpacks, botella de agua/water bottle, plastic food/comida, and faux currency from Spain (dinero/money), and set out around campus–‘climbing mountains’ (stairs) and drawing shells and arrows with chalk to mark the trail.

Each class, we added something new; for example, people who hike get their Camino passports stamped each night, so we did that one day; another time, students pretended to sleep in their bunks at the hostels (picnic table benches as bunks) with colorful sarapes as blankets. The scene was all too realistic, as one commented, “SHHH! We have to get up early to hike in the morning!” So true! A highlight was the day we talked about how much your feet hurt after 10 hours of hiking a day (for 30 days straight), but that a ‘foot pool’ makes everything better–first graders dipped their toes into a small bucket of cool water to simulate this.

After this introductory unit, students launched into center days–the heart of the curriculum. Here, they sign up for what they want to do each day (Soy __/I’m __. Quiero __/I want to __.), and then, well–do it! Some opted to continue hiking the Camino (caminar/to walk), while others were fascinated by Spanish currency and wanted to cut out bills (trabajar/ work). One week, many chose to ‘fly’ (volar) to different countries with paper airplanes outside. Whatever they choose, we incorporate language and culture into it all.

To make written work more interesting to six-year-olds, we rigged up a pulley system and basket (from the floor to the ceiling) to “send” me letters through the post (correos). Students also learned about Rainbow Mountain (Peru), and made their own tiny pieces of gold, with rocks, gold glitter, and a ton of glue! You can read more about this unit HERE.

Last but not least, Pato also made several appearances, one memorable afternoon being when he was casually floating on a raft in a bucket of water, when there was a STORM!!!! (¡tormenta!). Shhh! Don’t tell: it was first graders and yours truly turning on and off the water faucet! My poor stuffed animals…
2This term, first graders worked on developing a strong routine for their center work, incorporating new vocabulary and sight words each week (pizarras/whiteboards; marcadores/ markers; ¡Ya terminé!/ I finished!; borra, borra/erase, erase; sorpresa/surprise; ¿está aquí?/is she here? [the teacher]). They also chose Spanish names; took turns leading the class as ‘maestro(a)’/ teacher by asking, “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?) to their peers; started class with a listening activity (¿Puedo ir al baño?/Can I go to the bathroom?; Botas perdidas/Lost Boots; Billy la bufanda/Billy the Scarf; or a 2-minute Bluey cartoon); and ended class with a clean-up song (Cada cosa en su lugar).

A very popular center this term was Train Driving 101 (i.e., Quiero conducir/ I want to drive), where first graders signed up for and then ‘drove’ my tables [on wheels] around the room–passengers (dos pesos, por favor/two pesos, please!), stuffed animal pets, train sound effects on the board, and crayons and coloring sheets to work on while on the train, all included. Speed limits were enforced. And there was definitely a bell.

In the culture realm, students learned all about La Alhambra (Spain), a fort/palace in southern Spain. In case you missed my post, you can read a funny story about this HERE. First graders also began jumping on and naming all 21 Spanish- speaking countries on my gigantic floor map (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia), and took a few days to explore the Fun Spanish app on their iPads.

At this point in the year, many students are comfortable with words such as: Quiero (I want) colorear/to color, patinar/to skate, volar/to fly, limpiar/to clean, construir una fortaleza en España [La Alhambra]/to build a fort in Spain, cantar/to sing, bailar/to dance, hablar en inglés o español/to speak in English or Spanish, tomar el tren/to take the train, conducir el tren/to drive the train, escribir en árabe/to write in Arabic, dormir/to sleep, etc.
3This term, first graders learned about the cultural references in the fourth grader’s Spanish play [e.g., Don Quijote (Spain); reviewed Rainbow Mountain (Peru); Amazon River (Peru)]. They were especially taken by the Don Quijote song, and wanted to listen to it repeatedly. The class acted out the famous windmill chapter (from the 900-page Spanish novel), with Don Quijote and Sancho Panza as well.

A highlight of the third term was the bullfighting unit. This began quite by chance, when I subbed for library one day and ended up reading The Story of Ferdinand. Students took turns pretending to be bulls and shouting, “¡Olé!” from the sidelines, while listening to Paso Doble music and imagining that they were in Spain. That real people and bulls can be badly injured or killed was not mentioned. Students were more invested in pretending to be toros/bulls, anyway. To read more about this lesson, click HERE!

To move on from the Train Unit, I brought in small tricycles from the playground to use as coches/ cars (¿el coche rojo/ negro /o azul?/ the red, black, or blue car?) that students could sign up to drive around the room (luz roja/ red light; luz verde/ green light). Students said, “¡Quiero conducir el coche rojo!” (I want to drive the red car!), and took turns driving, all while listening to this song on loop. Students definitely know the word coche/car now!

First graders also heard a Spanish read-aloud La primera luna llena de Gatita (Kitten’s First Full Moon); mastered jumping on and naming all 21 Spanish-speaking countries on the floor map; and worked on conversing more in the target language with one another (student> student, in lieu of only teacher>student). Gracias for another fantastic term!
4This term, students in first grade layered on more culture to their language study. Here, they learned about molinillos, a wooden tool used to stir chocolate, along with a “cho-co-la-te” clapping rhyme (Mexico); Worry Dolls when there was a massive tormenta/storm one day (Guatemala); and Sawdust Carpets for Easter (Guatemala).

In the linguistic realm, first graders transformed the top of my tables into a ferry (crucero/cruise ship, which conveniently rhymes with dinero/money), complete with a ship bullhorn sound effect. They would shout things like, “¡Espérame! Necesito dinero!” (wait for me! I need money!) as the ferry horn started and students imagined pulling out to sea. Naturally, I put realistic videos of dolphins jumping on the board, so that it seemed like they were actually in the ocean!

The overarching goal here is to pair memorable experiences with language, so students will pick up vocabulary relevant to a variety of simulated situations. Recently, “¡Me encanta!” (I love it!) and “¿Por qué?” (whhyyy?) have been popular phrases amongst students. I will update once more as the year draws to a close.

Resumen, 21-22 (Grade K)

Term
1This term, students in kindergarten began with the same stop/go color game as PK3 & PK4. Here, students whispered “[luz] verde-verde-verde” (green light) and simultaneously tip-toed around the courtyard, gradually increasing in volume and speed to end with “¡[luz] ROJA!” (red light); later, we added azul/blue, at which light we danced (bailamos). Later, classes watched in awe as white spoons–upon being submerged in ice cubes and cold water–turned blue. We extended this color game by balancing ice cubes on spoons, while responding to traffic light command colors at the same time.

While PK3 & PK4 focused on colors, kindergarteners deepened this study by looking at different types of fuerzas/ forces. For example, students smelled identical looking liquids– agua/water and vinegar –and then combined the latter with baking soda and food coloring to see what would happen: a volcanic eruption! (They also covered the opening of the ‘volcano’ with a coffee filter and pretended it was a monster.) Other lessons about forces included: levitating ping-pong balls with a hairdryer; building houses with playing cards; using this Rube Goldberg video to inspire ramp building and cause/ effect scenarios; and hypothesizing about floating and sinking objects.

All of this led to Pato (my stuffed animal duck) fleeing from a [baking soda and vinegar] volcanic eruption to his boat and riding the wildly unpredictable ocean waves. When sharks surrounded the vessel, students and all present stuffed animals pretended to be pirates; telescopes and treasure maps (tesoro/ treasure; ¡mira!/ look!) pointed them toward an island far away from the scary sea creatures. Of course, it wasn’t too scary, since they made sure to listen to Tiburón Bebé/ Baby Shark and watch Pocoyo: Piratas. The quarter ended by dipping rocks in glue and gold glitter, so that students could make their own “gold” treasure from Peru, grazing over the surface of this project. Much of the first quarter in kindergarten is about building a strong sense of community and fun, with the focus on whole-class activities (esp. science experiments) and mini stories that incorporate key vocabulary.
2This term, kindergarteners shifted from whole-group lessons to more individualized work, via centers. Here, as with other grade levels, sight words are introduced, around which creative projects begin to form. For example, when students first learned the word, “jugar” (to play/ pronounced: “who-GARR”), they would practice writing the word and then have time to play with the plastic food/ comida and stuffed animals/ peluches in my room, in order to build a memorable experience around the word, “jugar“. When students wanted to use the fake dinero/money, I introduced the idea of street mercados/markets in Argentina, which are also common in many other Spanish-speaking countries.

As the class’ confidence grew, more centers were opened: colorear/to color [culturally relevant images were available here- from Joan Miró artwork and Costa Rican rainforests to pink dolphins in Colombia]; jugar/to play; pintar/to paint [papel/paper]; construir/to build [with dominoes, blocks, cardboard, tape, and blankets; mi casa/my house]; volar/to fly [paper airplanes]; patinar/to skate [slip-slide in socks on floor; remove zapatos/ shoes]; and so on and so forth. It might not sound like much initially, but students get accustomed to hearing their classmates say things like, “Hey, that’s my dinero!” “You have to take off your zapatos to come in mi casa.” “Can I volar to Chile? ¡Gracias!“–and as the center work expands in first and second grade, questions and sentences start falling out of their mouths, sometimes without students realizing it.

Kindergarteners also started learning some of the names and locations of the Spanish-speaking countries in South America on the floor map–namely, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia. The second quarter is about building a framework and strong foundation for the future, meaning that we only scratch the surface of culture early on, but students do begin hearing country names and associating them with the Spanish language.
3This term, kindergarten continued adding more centers and sight words to their repertoire (dependent, of course, on L1 skills), and also learned the remainder of the Spanish-speaking countries in South America (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela). Students had fun hitting the DOOR of my classroom whenever we said, “Ecuador” (“eck-wah-DOOR!”).

The extension this quarter–in Spanish class we are always spiraling ideas and adding more–was a story about a cute little teacup pig (named Rosie in one class and Mr. PigglyAirplane in the other), from whom is stolen four little red boots and a car. Oh my! The enemigo/enemy is the infamous Señor Zapato/ Mr. Shoe who takes everything una noche/one night when it is raining (está lloviendo). Each day, students helped read along with and gesture-tell the story in Spanish. Key phrases and vocab would have “offshoot” lessons, to make words extra memorable. For instance, when the class learns that Mr. Shoe lives in Puerto Rico, we took a day to learn about bioluminescence by playing with highlighters and a blacklight. This quarter was a nice mix of centers and storytelling.
4This term, students explored more culture, learning about Worry Dolls and Sawdust Carpets in Guatemala, and Chocolate and Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. In fact, for Cinco de Mayo, students got to decorate Sombrero-Piñata Cookies after taking time to act out the history of the holiday in class. The Piggy Story saga continued, and students gained true mastery of the floor map. One day, students took turns reading the story in Spanish to yours truly- wow! While not every student is literate by any means in kindergarten, it is important to expose them to the written word early on.

Resumen, 21-22 (Grade PK)

Term
1This term, students in PK began with the same stop/go color game as kindergarten. Here, students whispered “[luz] verde-verde-verde” (green light) and simultaneously tip-toed around the courtyard, gradually increasing in volume and speed to end with “¡[luz] ROJA!” (red light); later, we added azul/blue, at which light we danced (bailamos). The next day, classes watched in awe as white spoons–upon being submerged in ice cubes and cold water–turned blue [temperature activated].

We extended this color game by balancing ice cubes on the spoons, while responding to traffic light command colors at the same time. Students also colored with markers and added different colored ink stamps to their drawings; played a ‘find the color’ game in my classroom; paired action commands with the colors; colored paper airplanes different colors; and tried to do anything and everything we could think of!

In Storytime Land, PK students began hearing mini stories about The Adventures of Pato, my stuffed animal duck. One day, he was so hungry that he tried to ‘eat’ all of my plastic food and fit it inside his sock pajamas (#fail). Another day, he wanted to learn how to fly, so we rigged up a small zipline from one corner of my room to the other, and students took turns letting him ‘fly’. When that didn’t work, he switched to [paper] airplane travel, and flew to the beach for a picnic with his friends. Students even built him a house out of blankets and chairs one day. How sweet! Last but not least, they listened to Rompe Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph) and watched a few cartoons in Spanish (Pocoyo: Tráfico; Perro y Gato: Favoritos) for comprehensible input. It was a great start to the year!
2This term, after taking time to ease into an immersive classroom experience, PK students practiced acting out daily routines in the language. Here, everyone took turns answering the question, “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?) by pointing to emoji faces on the board. I narrated and repeated everything they said and did in Spanish–and naturally, as the class caught on to my sense of humor, they would answer, “¡Cansado(a)!” (tired!), so that they could pretend to go to sleep and start “the routine”.

This routine began very simply, with PK students “falling asleep” to a 37-second song, Los Solecitos. The first day, I passed out blankets and stuffed animals to students to cuddle up with, turned off the classroom lights, and sang lullabies in Spanish. I turned on the fairy lights, of course, so as not to frighten anyone. When it was “morning”, I turned back on the classroom lights and gently woke everyone up.

The next day, we added breakfast to the routine. The next day, we added “cars” (coches), in the form of chairs and cardboard boxes, to get to work. But they would break down– cardboard can only take so much– and there was so much traffic, that we decided to take the train instead (i.e., my tables on wheels)! Tickets did cost a little money, but it was worth it. (Read more about PK3 HERE and PK4 HERE.)

Students decided where they wanted to go each day, either la playa/the beach, la playa de noche/the beach at night, la selva/the jungle, or las montañas/the mountains; the links lead to relevant sound effects that I played on the board for each locale. Perhaps one of the most precious, adorable, and memorable moments this quarter was watching students “run away from” the waves at the beach [i.e., the wave video on my board]. For a week or two, the toy store was also open, where students could “buy” stuffed animals to bring to the beach at night and cuddle up with while they listened to Spanish lullabies.
3This term, students in PK added a Storytime component to their class routine. They also continued expanding upon the daily routine. For example, after taking the train to the jungle and mountains, they would go to the beach at night, fall asleep, wake up for breakfast, practice their good manners at the table while eating [plastic] food (por favor/please; gracias/thank you), pray before the meal, realize that they were all late to school, brush their teeth, run to the car, run back to get their backpacks/ mochilas and lunches, go to school, and listen to the teacher greet them and ask them how they were (review from second term), and then start to gesture-tell a story in Spanish.

Each week, we added a sentence or two to the story, and would do projects or short activities around the vocabulary to ingrain the new words in their minds. The first class story was about a pato/duck, gato/cat, and zapato/shoe, mostly for the fun rhyming, but also because it was key vocabulary in the fourth grader’s Spanish play (that students attended later in the term). The second class story was about a Coquí Frog named Carlos, who discovers a lost fish in his Bread Castle. Yes, students helped to build a bread castle in my classroom. For PK3 and PK4, this was to teach the word pan/bread in a very interactive way; for older classes, it was to teach the country name Panama as a class joke. Click HERE for photos and to read more.
4This term, students in PK dove headfirst into Culture Projects. In addition to the Coquí Frog and Bioluminescence in Puerto Rico from the third quarter, students also learned about Worry Dolls and Sawdust Carpets in Guatemala, and hammocks and Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. In fact, for Cinco de Mayo, students got to decorate Sombrero-Piñata Cookies after taking time to act out the history of the holiday in class. The following week, students listened to songs from Encanto and learned that the movie takes place in Colombia, which is Spanish-speaking; as a short project, they had fun finger painting like this [extremely talented] street artist from Colombia.

Students also had fun guessing where Pato was each class. To the tune of Frère Jacques, I would sing: Where is Pa-to, where is Pa-to? / ¿Dónde está? ¿Dónde está? ¡Dime, por favor! / ¡Dime, por favor! / Tell me, please! Tell me, please! And then ask follow up questions in the target language: is he in the Bread Castle? In Puerto Rico? In Mexico? His house? Do you think he will be despierto/ awake or dormido/asleep when we knock on the door?

One day, he wasn’t in su casa/his house, and we ended up taking the train (my table on wheels) OUTSIDE and DOWN THE HALLWAY! to the bus station (aka lunch tables near the courtyard), at which point everyone paid for a ticket, and we complained about traffic as yours truly drove the bus and made engine revving sounds, ha! Next, we walked to the parque/park (aka playground), and finally found Pato! In one class, he was in the office playing with his friend the dog [named] Chocolate/el perro Chocolate, and in the other class he was in the marsh grass beside the park; in both instances, he had no idea how to get back to my classroom, so it was good we found him! *No stuffed animals were harmed in this lesson.*

Naturally, Pato being perdido/lost related to our second class story, where a pececito/fish from Mexico gets lost in the Bread Castle which, of course, belongs to Carlos el coquí. (Fish song HERE.) As I write this, I am so sorry that I can’t figure out a way to summarize this more succintly. Somehow this makes sense to students… in Spanish… which is what I speak with them 98% of the time.

Anyway, it has been a truly AWESOME year, and I am so excited by how much Spanish your children are comprehending and producing! Do not worry if they are not speaking it to you (they probably don’t associate you with the language, unless you speak it yourself), but feel free to watch cartoons with them in Spanish and just generally encourage. Your support of the language program is greatly appreciated!

More popular song links: ¿Te Gusta El Helado De Brócoli?; ¿Te Gustan Los Milkshakes De Lasaña?; Pollito Pío: Venganza; Chumbala Cachumbala; Feliz Navidad; Contando del 1 al 20

Cartoons: Pocoyo: Misterio del monstruo; Pocoyo: La llave maestra; Legend of Golden Coquí

Resumen, 20-21 (All Grades)

This year, I changed schools and began writing blog posts about lessons, as opposed to quarter summaries. Our school also did a mix of hybrid learning, with some students 100% on campus and others learning virtually from home.

As a result, I struggled with finding the best way to organize my curriculum on paper, as well as trying to blog regularly and post for virtual students: much like the fireworks image above, my thoughts were everywhere. It was a year of intense professional growth. Below, you can read blips about what we did. My two favorite posts are at the top, namely, Yes to Pizza and Pato Who?.

Remote 19-20, T3 (5)

Continued Learning Assignments below.

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 5/19/20

  1. Watch the VIDEO!!!
  2. Do one of the optional activities on the Summer Packet.
  3. Come to the Specialist Zoom party on Thursday, from 10-10:30am. Look for the invitation in your email and on Seesaw.

HAVE AN AMAZING SUMMER!!!!!!! ❤


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 5/12/20

  1. Watch the video on Seesaw.
  2. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #9 and leave a comment on Seesaw about your favorite part.
  3. Keep working on Duolingo.

EXTRA CREDIT-

  1. HERE is a sneak peek to optional summer activities.
  2. Click on the Random Number Generator Link, input your range (1-46), and then click on the button. It will randomly choose a number for you; and you can do the corresponding activity. If you don’t like the activity, repeat the process to get a different number!!

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 5/5/20

OBJECTIVE: This is a CULTURE week! Today we are visiting Mexico.

  1. Learn about Cinco de Mayo from my videos: PART 1 and PART 2.
  2. Put on some traditional Mariachi music, and then–
  3. Post a relevant video/photo/craft on Seesaw.

EXTRA CREDIT–

If you want to listen to more Spanish–since there is not a new episode of THE PATO SHOW this week–here is a fun video.

Hear/read more stories at THIS LINK.


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/28/20

  1. Watch the video on Seesaw.
  2. This week, your assignment is to do something Spanish-related for FIVE (5) days in a row. You can do the same activity each day for five days, or you can mix it up, and choose a different activity each day from the list below.
  3. Have your own ideas? Let me know! You can post EACH DAY on Seesaw what you did (on the journal feed), or wait until the end of the week to respond to this activity and share a slideshow of all of your activities. Good luck! ¡Buena suerte! YOU CAN DO IT!!

Here are A FEW IDEAS:

  1. Write out 10 sentences in Spanish each day. They can be silly or serious!
  2. Cook/bake/make/eat a Spanish recipe.
  3. Work on Duolingo (or Memrise) for 10 minutes each day.
  4. Watch another movie with Spanish voiceover and English subtitles.
  5. Listen to the entire Spanish Summit playlist of songs HERE. You can’t leave the room–actually listen!!
  6. Video yourself shouting, “¡El chico come manzanas!” (the boy is eating apples!) or another sentence you know, and post it to Seesaw.
  7. Change the language of your iPad, phone, computer, and all of your devices to Spanish for 24 hours. Can you survive??!
  8. Count to 20 in Spanish (in your head!) when you’re brushing your teeth every morning. Look up the numbers if you don’t know them.** (See note below)
  9. Watch this inspirational Salsa VIDEO (and the dog dancing Salsa). Next, put on some fancy clothes, blast your favorite Spanish music, and make a short video of you dancing/jamming out to the song! The kids in the video are only 6 and 8 years old. Wow!
  10. Play the Language Game, and try to get a score higher than 50. Too easy? The best score for Summit so far this year has been 325. Try to beat it! Spend 20-30 minutes working on this. It will really improve your ear for language.
  11. Watch all of the Pato videos, and email me a paragraph describing which episode was your favorite and why.
  12. Learn about Worry Dolls from Guatemala in this short but cute VIDEO, and then try to make your own.
  13. Watch this video of the Camino de Santiago (a 500-mile hike through northern Spain) to see what it is like, and then go on a 20-minute hike outside. Think about how you learn Spanish best. What works for you? What doesn’t work? Do you learn best by listening, writing, or doing? Or something else?

**Too easy? Count backwards. Still too easy? Skip count forwards and backwards. Do mental math. Don’t just memorize numbers in order; make them meaningful. How do we use numbers in the real world? Count change in Spanish, say the total of the restaurant bill in Spanish, jump rope or play hopscotch in Spanish.  Numbers are everywhere…!


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/21/20

  1. Watch the video on Seesaw.
  2. Keep working on Duolingo! You guys are rockin’ it!
  3. Watch a movie in Spanish (Spanish sound/voiceover and English subtitles) this week.
  4. Post the name of the movie to Seesaw AFTER you watched it, and add a comment about what you thought.
  5. Be sure to check out “The Pato Show” if you haven’t yet, and SEND ME a short video of you doing something in the distance (doing a cartwheel, kicking a soccer goal in your backyard, etc.) if you want to be featured in future videos!!

HAVE AN AWESOME WEEK!!!!!!

Click on video below for The Pato Show playlist. Enjoy!


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/14/20

Respond to the activity on Seesaw. The Spanish Activity below will be posted on Seesaw at 8am Tuesday morning. Please log in to Seesaw to view and click on the “Activities” tab. NOTE: When I say, “Duolingo”, I am using that interchangeably with “Memrise”. I mean, whichever language-learning app you are using!

  1. Complete at least 9 lessons on Duolingo this week.
  2. Respond to this activity with a screenshot of your progress at the end of the week.
  3. Watch the Pato video below.

SPANISH EXTRA CREDIT- 4/14/20

  1. Play the language-identification game 2 or 3 times. See if your ear has improved since we played last year in class.
  2. If you haven’t played this game before, choose the “easy” level and just have fun!
  3. Post a screenshot of your highest score to your journal feed.

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/7/20

Thank you to those of you who did your assignments last week! Instead of emailing, from now on I would like you to submit your work by responding to the activity on Seesaw. The TWO Spanish Activities below will be posted on Seesaw at 8am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Please log in to Seesaw to view and click on the “Activities” tab.

Do your best work. Not your fastest work. Not your laziest work. YOUR BEST WORK!!! ***And keep working on Duolingo (or Memrise) 3-4 times a week!

QUICK LINKS:

Activity #1- Videos

Activity #2- Songs

**Spanish Activity, 4/7/20- VIDEOS (Part 1)

  1. You have two assignments to complete this week. This is only ONE of them.
  2. Record another video (no letters this week).
  3. Be sure to introduce yourself (examples: Hola, yo soy ____ / Yo me llamo _______ / Mi nombre es______).
  4. Include TWO sentences with “Me gusta” and “No me gusta”.
  5. Include TWO more sentences with “Me gustan” and “No me gustan”.
  6. Add something extra that you just learned from Duolingo this week (not Google Translate).
  7. Post your video under this activity on Seesaw.

Remember, you can always do MORE than this!! “Connecting words” like because (porque), with (con), and more can be found on Veracross for Continued Learning. Above is just a guide to help those of you who do not know what to say, or who are tempted to use online translators to do your work for you (please do not–this is dishonest and against our Core Values of integrity and independence).

If you have questions about the assignment, please email me. If you have questions about Seesaw or technology not working, please email the Technology Department. ¡Gracias!

**Spanish Activity, 4/7/20- SONGS (Part 2)

  1. Listen to at least 3 FULL SONGS in Spanish on the ‘Songs Page‘ of my website.
  2. Choose your favorite.
  3. Respond to this activity with the link.
  4. Listen to this song at least 3-4 times a week, to get the lyrics stuck in your head!

**The goal here is to create a personalized class playlist of everyone’s favorite songs in Spanish. If you choose a song that was not on my website, you need to be very MINDFUL of the lyrics and images in the video. If the lyrics are not happy/good/ positive or the images are inappropriate, the video will be deleted. So choose a good song that has a fun beat!


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 3/31/20

LESSON OBJECTIVES
1. Describe likes and dislikes.
2. Introduce negative sentences.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Work on Duolingo (or Memrise) at least 3 times per week.
  2. Watch the video.
  3. HOMEWORKDo one of the following activities.
    • HANDWRITE me a letter in Spanish of 50 words or more and take a photo of it, OR
    • Video yourself speaking in Spanish to me for 20-30 seconds (like a letter, but spoken).
  4. For the letter or video:
    1. Include vocabulary from Duolingo (or Memrise).
    2. Include a “Me gusta” (I like) or “Me encanta” (I love) sentence.
    3. Include a negative sentence. For example:
      • No quiero = I don’t want
      • No necesito = I don’t need
      • No me gusta = I don’t like
      • No puedo = I can’t
    4. Connecting words:
      • pero = but
      • y = and
      • con = with
      • porque = because
      • también = also
  5. For the video, 10 seconds of talking and 20 seconds of “ummm” or silence does not count!! Try to make it flow. You can write it out and then video yourself reading it if that is easier.
  6. EMAIL MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
    1. Send it from your school email address.
    2. Include your grade level in the subject line of your email.
    3. Attach photo or video.
    4. Click “Send”.

And HAVE FUN! If you love drawing, decorate your letter with doodles and make it colorful. Or be creative with the video. Zoom has an option to video like a green screen, so you could ‘video’ from outer space, if you wanted! For tech questions, email Mr. Santos. Remember, learning should be a combination of hard work and fun. If it’s not fun, you are doing it wrong. 🙂


7. DUE DATE/DEADLINE
:

  • Your letter OR video is due within 48 hours, meaning by THURSDAY, APRIL 2nd @11am
  • If you are not happy with your work, you can always re-do your letter or video and re-send it, but I will not accept any more work after Friday, April 3rd. Please explain in your email that it is a ‘re-do’ or ‘video #2″ if you choose to do this.

SPANISH EXTRA CREDIT- 3/31/20

  • Still want more Spanish??! YAY! Check out the link to my website and–
    • email me your favorite song in Spanish;
    • cook something from the “Recipes” page
    • create your own country project based on something from this page HERE–also look on the sidebar or at the very bottom of the page (depends on what device you’re on) where it is organized by country
    • Catch Esteban or myself on Duolingo. I have almost 12,000 XP. He has 14,657 XP.
    • Check out BrainPop in Spanish below. Be sure to add subtitles in English for any videos.
  • For anyone interested who has read this far, here are two BrainPop links:

OTHER NOTES, 3/19/20

**Grades 3-5 should continue working on Duolingo at least three times per week, for 10 minutes a day. Students– there will be prizes for anyone who has earned more than 10,000 XP when we return back to school!

Advanced students who want a challenge may do any of the “Native Speaker” work HERE as well. Be sure to add English subtitles on BrainPop and “Pollito Tito” (CC/closed captioning in bottom right hand corner).

Remote 19-20, T3 (4)

Continued Learning Assignments below.

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 5/19/20

  1. Watch the VIDEO!!!
  2. Do one of the optional activities on the Summer Packet.
  3. Come to the Specialist Zoom party on Thursday, from 10-10:30am. Look for the invitation in your email and on Seesaw.

HAVE AN AMAZING SUMMER!!!!!!! ❤


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 5/12/20

  1. Watch the video on Seesaw.
  2. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #9 and leave a comment on Seesaw about your favorite part.
  3. Keep working on Duolingo.

EXTRA CREDIT-

  1. HERE is a sneak peek to optional summer activities.
  2. Click on the Random Number Generator Link, input your range (1-46), and then click on the button. It will randomly choose a number for you; and you can do the corresponding activity. If you don’t like the activity, repeat the process to get a different number!!

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 5/5/20

OBJECTIVE: This is a CULTURE week! Today we are visiting Mexico.

  1. Learn about Cinco de Mayo from my videos: PART 1 and PART 2.
  2. Put on some traditional Mariachi music, and then–
  3. Post a relevant video/photo/craft on Seesaw.

EXTRA CREDIT–

If you want to listen to more Spanish–since there is not a new episode of THE PATO SHOW this week–here is a fun video.

Hear/read more stories at THIS LINK.


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/28/20

  1. Watch the video on Seesaw.
  2. This week, your assignment is to do something Spanish-related for FIVE (5) days in a row. You can do the same activity each day for five days, or you can mix it up, and choose a different activity each day from the list below.
  3. Have your own ideas? Let me know! You can post EACH DAY on Seesaw what you did (on the journal feed), or wait until the end of the week to respond to this activity and share a slideshow of all of your activities. Good luck! ¡Buena suerte! YOU CAN DO IT!!

Here are A FEW IDEAS:

  1. Write out 10 sentences in Spanish each day. They can be silly or serious!
  2. Cook/bake/make/eat a Spanish recipe.
  3. Work on Duolingo (or Memrise) for 10 minutes each day.
  4. Watch another movie with Spanish voiceover and English subtitles.
  5. Listen to the entire Spanish Summit playlist of songs HERE. You can’t leave the room–actually listen!!
  6. Video yourself shouting, “¡El chico come manzanas!” (the boy is eating apples!) or another sentence you know, and post it to Seesaw.
  7. Change the language of your iPad, phone, computer, and all of your devices to Spanish for 24 hours. Can you survive??!
  8. Count to 20 in Spanish (in your head!) when you’re brushing your teeth every morning. Look up the numbers if you don’t know them.** (See note below)
  9. Watch this inspirational Salsa VIDEO (and the dog dancing Salsa). Next, put on some fancy clothes, blast your favorite Spanish music, and make a short video of you dancing/jamming out to the song! The kids in the video are only 6 and 8 years old. Wow!
  10. Play the Language Game, and try to get a score higher than 50. Too easy? The best score for Summit so far this year has been 325. Try to beat it! Spend 20-30 minutes working on this. It will really improve your ear for language.
  11. Watch all of the Pato videos, and email me a paragraph describing which episode was your favorite and why.
  12. Learn about Worry Dolls from Guatemala in this short but cute VIDEO, and then try to make your own.
  13. Watch this video of the Camino de Santiago (a 500-mile hike through northern Spain) to see what it is like, and then go on a 20-minute hike outside. Think about how you learn Spanish best. What works for you? What doesn’t work? Do you learn best by listening, writing, or doing? Or something else?

**Too easy? Count backwards. Still too easy? Skip count forwards and backwards. Do mental math. Don’t just memorize numbers in order; make them meaningful. How do we use numbers in the real world? Count change in Spanish, say the total of the restaurant bill in Spanish, jump rope or play hopscotch in Spanish.  Numbers are everywhere…!


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/21/20

  1. Watch the video on Seesaw.
  2. Keep working on Duolingo! You guys are rockin’ it!
  3. Watch a movie in Spanish (Spanish sound/voiceover and English subtitles) this week.
  4. Post the name of the movie to Seesaw AFTER you watched it, and add a comment about what you thought.
  5. Be sure to check out “The Pato Show” if you haven’t yet, and SEND ME a short video of you doing something in the distance (doing a cartwheel, kicking a soccer goal in your backyard, etc.) if you want to be featured in future videos!!

HAVE AN AWESOME WEEK!!!!!!

Click on video below for The Pato Show playlist. Enjoy!


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/14/20

Respond to the activity on Seesaw. The Spanish Activity below will be posted on Seesaw at 8am Tuesday morning. Please log in to Seesaw to view and click on the “Activities” tab. NOTE: When I say, “Duolingo”, I am using that interchangeably with “Memrise”. I mean, whichever language-learning app you are using!

  1. Complete at least 9 lessons on Duolingo this week.
  2. Respond to this activity with a screenshot of your progress at the end of the week.
  3. Watch the Pato video below.

SPANISH EXTRA CREDIT- 4/14/20

  1. Play the language-identification game 2 or 3 times. See if your ear has improved since we played last year in class.
  2. If you haven’t played this game before, choose the “easy” level and just have fun!
  3. Post a screenshot of your highest score to your journal feed.

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/7/20

Thank you to those of you who did your assignments last week! Instead of emailing, from now on I would like you to submit your work by responding to the activity on Seesaw. The TWO Spanish Activities below will be posted on Seesaw at 8am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Please log in to Seesaw to view and click on the “Activities” tab.

Do your best work. Not your fastest work. Not your laziest work. YOUR BEST WORK!!! ***And keep working on Duolingo (or Memrise) 3-4 times a week!

QUICK LINKS:

Activity #1- Videos

Activity #2- Songs

**Spanish Activity, 4/7/20- VIDEOS (Part 1)

  1. You have two assignments to complete this week. This is only ONE of them.
  2. Record another video (no letters this week).
  3. Be sure to introduce yourself (examples: Hola, yo soy ____ / Yo me llamo _______ / Mi nombre es______).
  4. Include TWO sentences with “Me gusta” and “No me gusta”.
  5. Include TWO more sentences with “Me gustan” and “No me gustan”.
  6. Add something extra that you just learned from Duolingo this week (not Google Translate).
  7. Post your video under this activity on Seesaw.

Remember, you can always do MORE than this!! “Connecting words” like because (porque), with (con), and more can be found on Veracross for Continued Learning. Above is just a guide to help those of you who do not know what to say, or who are tempted to use online translators to do your work for you (please do not–this is dishonest and against our Core Values of integrity and independence).

If you have questions about the assignment, please email me. If you have questions about Seesaw or technology not working, please email the Technology Department. ¡Gracias!

**Spanish Activity, 4/7/20- SONGS (Part 2)

  1. Listen to at least 3 FULL SONGS in Spanish on the ‘Songs Page‘ of my website.
  2. Choose your favorite.
  3. Respond to this activity with the link.
  4. Listen to this song at least 3-4 times a week, to get the lyrics stuck in your head!

**The goal here is to create a personalized class playlist of everyone’s favorite songs in Spanish. If you choose a song that was not on my website, you need to be very MINDFUL of the lyrics and images in the video. If the lyrics are not happy/good/ positive or the images are inappropriate, the video will be deleted. So choose a good song that has a fun beat!


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 3/31/20

LESSON OBJECTIVES
1. Describe likes and dislikes.
2. Introduce negative sentences.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Work on Duolingo (or Memrise) at least 3 times per week.
  2. Watch the video.
  3. HOMEWORKDo one of the following activities.
    • HANDWRITE me a letter in Spanish of 50 words or more and take a photo of it, OR
    • Video yourself speaking in Spanish to me for 20-30 seconds (like a letter, but spoken).
  4. For the letter or video:
    1. Include vocabulary from Duolingo (or Memrise).
    2. Include a “Me gusta” (I like) or “Me encanta” (I love) sentence.
    3. Include a negative sentence. For example:
      • No quiero = I don’t want
      • No necesito = I don’t need
      • No me gusta = I don’t like
      • No puedo = I can’t
    4. Connecting words:
      • pero = but
      • y = and
      • con = with
      • porque = because
      • también = also
  5. For the video, 10 seconds of talking and 20 seconds of “ummm” or silence does not count!! Try to make it flow. You can write it out and then video yourself reading it if that is easier.
  6. EMAIL MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
    1. Send it from your school email address.
    2. Include your grade level in the subject line of your email.
    3. Attach photo or video.
    4. Click “Send”.

And HAVE FUN! If you love drawing, decorate your letter with doodles and make it colorful. Or be creative with the video. Zoom has an option to video like a green screen, so you could ‘video’ from outer space, if you wanted! For tech questions, email Mr. Santos. Remember, learning should be a combination of hard work and fun. If it’s not fun, you are doing it wrong. 🙂


7. DUE DATE/DEADLINE
:

  • Your letter OR video is due within 48 hours, meaning by THURSDAY, APRIL 2nd @11am
  • If you are not happy with your work, you can always re-do your letter or video and re-send it, but I will not accept any more work after Friday, April 3rd. Please explain in your email that it is a ‘re-do’ or ‘video #2″ if you choose to do this.

SPANISH EXTRA CREDIT- 3/31/20

  • Still want more Spanish??! YAY! Check out the link to my website and–
    • email me your favorite song in Spanish;
    • cook something from the “Recipes” page
    • create your own country project based on something from this page HERE–also look on the sidebar or at the very bottom of the page (depends on what device you’re on) where it is organized by country
    • Catch Esteban or myself on Duolingo. I have almost 12,000 XP. He has 14,657 XP.
    • Check out BrainPop in Spanish below. Be sure to add subtitles in English for any videos.
  • For anyone interested who has read this far, here are two BrainPop links:

OTHER NOTES, 3/19/20

**Grades 3-5 should continue working on Duolingo at least three times per week, for 10 minutes a day. Students– there will be prizes for anyone who has earned more than 10,000 XP when we return back to school!

Advanced students who want a challenge may do any of the “Native Speaker” work HERE as well. Be sure to add English subtitles on BrainPop and “Pollito Tito” (CC/closed captioning in bottom right hand corner).

Remote 19-20, T3 (1-3)

Continued Learning Assignments below.

Spanish Activity, 5/21/20- 1,2,3

  1. Zoom Party! Check Seesaw for login info.
  2. Do one of the optional activities on the Summer Packet 2020.

HAVE AN AMAZING SUMMER!!! ❤


Spanish Activity, 5/14/20- 1,2,3

  1. Watch this video on Seesaw.
  2. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #9.
  3. Choose your favorite exercise or activity that makes you feel STRONG/fuerte.
  4. Video yourself saying, “¡YO SOY FUERTE!” (I’m strong!) as you are doing that exercise or activity. Be dramatic and make sure to say it like you mean it!
  5. Post video on Seesaw.

EXTRA CREDIT–

  1. Get a head start on next week by checking out the SUMMER PACKET LETTER 2020 here. All activities will be optional.
  2. Click on the Random Number Generator Link, input your range (1-46), and then click on the button. It will randomly choose a number for you; and you can do the corresponding activity. If you don’t like the activity, repeat the process to get a different number–or just pick your favorite number!

Spanish Activity, 5/7/20- 1,2,3

OBJECTIVE: This is a CULTURE week! Today we are visiting Mexico.

  1. Click to watch both videos on Seesaw: PART 1 and PART 2.
  2. Put on some traditional Mariachi music, and then–
  3. Post a video/photo/craft on Seesaw. HAVE FUN!!!

EXTRA CREDIT–

If you want to listen to more Spanish–since there is not a new episode of THE PATO SHOW this week–here is a fun video.

Hear/read more stories at THIS LINK.


Spanish Activity, 4/30/20- 1,2,3

  1. If you haven’t seen THE PATO SHOW, #7, watch that first.
  2. Next, watch THE PATO SHOW, #8.
  3. Choose your favorite line in Spanish from the video.
  4. Video yourself saying it in Spanish VERY DRAMATICALLY!
  5. Respond to this activity with your video.

Spanish Activity, 4/23/20- 1,2,3

OBJECTIVE: This is a CULTURE week! Today, we visit the Dominican Republic.

  1. Watch the instructional video.
  2. Dress up in a fancy outfit and put on some Spanish music.
  3. Practice dancing the Merengue.
  4. Make a tres leches cake (or any kind of cake) OR record a short video of yourself dancing to a Spanish song and post to Seesaw.
  5. BE HAPPY!

Spanish Activity, 4/16/20- 1,2,3

OBJECTIVE: This is a LANGUAGE week (next week will be CULTURE), so the goal is to listen to as much Spanish as possible! The videos are both under 5 minutes.

  1. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #4.
  2. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #5.
  3. Watch them again, and write down 5-10 words that you understood. Spelling does not count, don’t worry! Just try your best!
  4. Take a picture of your paper and respond to this activity on Seesaw.

***And let me know if you liked the videos!!***


Spanish Activity, 4/9/20- 1,2,3

**Scroll down on THIS PAGE to see the amazing work students produced for the Continued Learning activity described below.

  1. First, watch the video on Seesaw—but note that Seesaw cut me off! People are not allowed to make the sawdust carpets out in the streets this year because of the current situation. Instead, people are making their own miniature sawdust carpets at home.
  2. Next, watch the short video to the right. There is no sound, but it gives you a really good idea of how much patience and what a long and beautiful process it is to make these carpets.

Look at the links below:

3) Now, choose an image you like and make your own! You can use candies, fruits, plants, flowers, blocks, frosting, or paint or color one. I would recommend one the size of a sheet of paper (8.5×11), but you are welcome to make one bigger than that! I added a few stencils below to give you ideas for a design.

4) When you are finished, respond to the activity on Seesaw with a picture of your creation. Take your time, be patient, do your best work, and have fun!!


Spanish Activity, 4/2/20- 1,2,3

  1. Watch the video on Seesaw.
  2. From the list below, choose 3-5 items to label in your house—or do all 15 just for fun!
    • Mi ropa/my clothes
    • Mis zapatos/my shoes
    • Mis libros/my books
    • Mis peluches/my stuffed animals
    • Mis juguetes/my toys
    • Mis cuadernos/my notebooks
    • Mi comida/my food (could be fake food)
    • Mi dinero/my money
    • Mis marcadores/my markers
    • Mis lápices/my pencils
    • Mi cama/my bed
    • Mis juegos de mesa/my board games
    • Mi mochila/my backpack
    • Mi escuela/my school (your learning space)
    • Mis papeles/my papers
  3. Post a picture on Seesaw of your COLORFUL signs in English and Spanish before you hang them up.

Extra Credit, 4/2/20- 1,2,3

  1. Cook a Spanish omelette, or tortilla española. Listen to MUSIC IN SPANISH while you are cooking!
  2. Choose a different recipe from THIS PAGE if you don’t have those ingredients.
  3. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #2 just for fun.
  4. Watch the “Baila con Cosmos” song for fun.

Spanish Activity, 3/19/20- 1

  1. Watch the Pato video on Seesaw.
  2. Choose your favorite Spanish-speaking country.
  3. Make a sign label for your bedroom with that country.
  4. Add TWO activities you like to do to your sign (jugar/play, construir/build, colorear/color, dibujar/draw, hablar/talk, comer/eat, pintar/paint, dormir/sleep, trabajar/work, etc.).
  5. Take a picture of your sign and post it to Seesaw.
  6. Read THIS POST with your parents, and consider doing one of the culture projects.

Extra Credit, 3/19/20- 1,2,3

If you choose to do one of the culture projects, PLEASE share a video or photo here with our community to inspire everyone! The projects are from Spain and Mexico this week:

  1. Hang up a hammock in your house
  2. Make an amate bark painting
  3. Grow your own crystals
  4. Make/cook tapas in your kitchen
  5. Build a fort in Spain with pillows and blankets
  6. Go on a hike, Camino-style

**More information on all projects can be found HERE.

Also, please respond to the activity when submitting any work. This helps keep everything organized. Thank you!

Other Notes, 3/19/20

Grades JK-2

**Students in JK-2 should watch two 4-7 minute cartoons in the target language this week–preferably on separate days. HERE is a list of links, including Pocoyo, Perro y Gato, and Caillou in Spanish. Listening to SONGS in the target language counts, too. Just make sure you don’t sing the English lyrics over the Spanish if it is translated!

Note that it would be beneficial to build into your home schedule that children watch these shows at a specific day and time, for example, 2x per week, when you are preparing breakfast or dinner and need a few minutes alone. The more predictable the routine, the better.

Remote 19-20, T3 (PK, K)

Continued Learning Assignments below.

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 5/19/20- JK, K

  1. Zoom Party! Check Seesaw for login info.
  2. Check out the Spanish Summer Packet 2020 for 50 ideas of what to do over the summer, especially when your kids start saying, “I’m booooored!”
  3. HAVE AN AMAZING SUMMER! ❤

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 5/12/20- JK, K

  1. Watch the video on Seesaw.
  2. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #9.
  3. Build a castillo/castle out of any material, and then post a photo of it to Seesaw.

EXTRA CREDIT-

  1. HERE is a sneak peek at optional summer activities.
  2. Click on the Random Number Generator Link, input your range (1-46), and then click on the button. It will randomly choose a number for you; and you can do the corresponding activity. If you don’t like the activity, repeat the process to get a different number!!

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 5/5/20- JK, K

REQUIRED–

  1. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #8.
  2. Video your child saying, “¡No comprendo!” OR
  3. Make a sign that says, “¡No comprendo!” (I don’t understand!) and hang it somewhere in your house.

EXTRA CREDIT–

Join Lower School and Summit in learning about Cinco de Mayo this week!

  1. Watch my videos on Seesaw: PART 1 and PART 2.
  2. Put on some traditional Mariachi music, and then–
  3. Post a video/photo/craft on Seesaw.

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/28/20- JK, K

REQUIRED–

  1. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #7.
  2. Video your child saying, “¡No quiero!” (“no key-arrow“) OR
  3. Make a sign that says “¡No quiero!” (I don’t want to!).

EXTRA CREDIT–

  1. Visit THIS LINK (see “Spanish Activity, 4/23/20- 1,2,3“).
  2. Do the same dance video activity as Lower School last week.
  3. Email me or post your dance video to the journal feed on Seesaw.

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/21/20- JK, K

OBJECTIVE: This week, the goal is to include both language and culture. If this feels like too much for your family, please email me!

REQUIRED–

  1. LANGUAGE: Watch the THE PATO SHOW, #6. It is about bread and butter and more low-key than other episodes. If it is adventure you seek, watch Episode #5 (see Extra Credit below)!
  2. This video has more instructions, with my smiling face. 🙂
  1. CULTURE: There is a mountain/montaña in Peru near Machu Picchu that looks like a rainbow! It is called Vinicunca, which means “Rainbow Mountain”.
  2. Respond to the activity on Seesaw with a photo of your rainbow creation.

EXTRA CREDIT–

****If you want to know what happens next to “Evil Pato”, you can watch this video here: THE PATO SHOW, #5. If you did not like “Evil Pato”, you may skip this.


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/14/20- K

  1. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #4.
  2. Watch it again and this time, count how many times you hear the word, “policía” (police).
  3. Finally, send me some feedback by describing your favorite part of the video!

SPANISH ACTIVITY, 4/7/20- K

  1. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #3.
  2. Make a big, colorful sign that says “Fiesta” (party) and on the other side that says, “Siesta” (nap), and take a picture of what you feel like doing now.
  3. Finally, send me some feedback. You can:
    • Record them when they watch the video.
    • Send messages of what they learn from the video (e.g., FIESTA/party is not the same as SIESTA/nap!).
    • Predict what is going to happen next.
    • Ask your child to find something s/he knows in Spanish from the house (might be harder–production is the last step in language acquisition).


SPANISH ACTIVITY, 3/31/20- K

  1. Watch THE PATO SHOW, #2.
  2. Listen for the question, “¿Dónde está Pato?” (Where is Pato?)
  3. Choose ONE thing that you are always losing.
  4. Make a short video of yourself looking for that thing in your house and/or outside.
  5. Make sure you ask, “¿Dónde está……………?” at least three times in the video. You can say it in a normal voice, a loud voice, a soft voice, a silly voice, or a lot of different voices… really, any kind of voice you like! Have fun!

**You can extend this activity by playing Hide and Go Seek with someone–counting in Spanish (uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco) and then asking aloud, “¿Dónde está…………… [John, Fred, Lisa, etc.]?”


SPANISH REQUEST, 3/19/20- JK, K

If you choose to do one of the culture projects, PLEASE share a video or photo here with our community to inspire everyone! The projects are from Spain and Mexico this week:

  1. Hang up a hammock in your house
  2. Make an amate bark painting
  3. Grow your own crystals
  4. Make/cook tapas in your kitchen
  5. Build a fort in Spain with pillows and blankets
  6. Go on a hike, Camino-style.

More information for all projects can be found HERE.

Also, please respond to the activity when submitting any work. This helps keep everything organized. Thank you!

SCHEDULE NOTE, 3/19/20- JK, K

Spanish classes will be held on Tuesdays during Continued Learning. Because we did not have class this week, I have written a LETTER WITH SOME IDEAS of how to continue your Spanish study. Everything is optional. Please enjoy!

OTHER NOTES, 3/19/20-JK, K

**Students in JK-2 should watch two 4-7 minute cartoons in the target language this week–preferably on separate days. HERE is a list of links, including Pocoyo, Perro y Gato, and Caillou in Spanish. Listening to SONGS in the target language counts, too. Just make sure you don’t sing the English lyrics over the Spanish if it is translated!

Note that it would be beneficial to build into your home schedule that children watch these shows at a specific day and time, for example, 2x per week, when you are preparing breakfast or dinner and need a few minutes alone. The more predictable the routine, the better.

Remote 19-20, T3 (Fluent)

LINKS: La Roja Baila, Summer Language Camps, Teen Speaks Over 20 Languages- Video, Hyperpolyglot- Article, LingYourLanguage, BrainPopEspañol, THE PATO SHOW, Summer Packet 2020


Continued Learning Assignments below.

Spanish Activity, 5/19/20- 3,4,5

  1. Miren el vídeo.
  2. Entreguen la autobiografía si no la han hecho ya.
  3. ¡Nos vemos en la fiesta de Zoom esta semana!

¡¡DISFRUTEN DEL VERANO!! ❤


Spanish Activity, 5/12/20- 3,4,5

  1. Miren el vídeo.
  2. Escriben su autobiografía. Organícenla con una introducción, TRES recuerdos importantes para ustedes y una conclusión. Esta es la estructura:
    • Introducción – donde nacieron más otros hechos básicos
    • Párrafo #1 – recuerdo importante
    • Párrafo #2 – recuerdo importante
    • Párrafo #3 – recuerdo importante
    • Conclusión – ideas sobre lo que quieran hacer en el futuro
  3. Les doy dos semanas para completar esto, ya que es una tarea más involucrada. Será la última actividad escrita del año escolar. Escríbanme con cualquier duda. Y por favor, ¡diviértanse!

Spanish Activity, 5/7/20- 3,4,5

  1. Miren EL PRIMER VÍDEO y el SEGUNDO VÍDEO en Seesaw. ¡AMBOS!
  2. Miren estos vídeos también si no saben nada de Cinco de Mayovídeo #1 & vídeo #2 y hagan lo siguiente si les interesa.**
  3. Siguen con las entradas en el diario y ¡NOMBREN los días! (explicado en el vídeo).

CALENDARIO DE MAYO IMPRIMIBLE

**Actividades opcionales abajo.

  1. Learn about Cinco de Mayo from my videos: PART 1 and PART 2.
  2. Put on some traditional Mariachi music, and then–
  3. Post a relevant video/photo/craft on Seesaw.


Spanish Activity, 4/28/20- 3,4,5

  1. Miren este vídeo en Seesaw.
  2. Hagan algo relacionado con el español por cinco días consecutivos. Pueden escribir entradas en sus diarios, o cambiar la actividad cada día. #desafío
  3. Publiquen una foto o un vídeo cada día por los cinco días, o un álbum a finales de la semana con todas las actividades que han hecho.
  4. ¡Escríbanme con otras ideas!

Sugerencias–

  1. Hagan una receta de un país hispanohablante.
  2. Hagan un acuerdo con toda la familia de hablar solamente español en casa. ¡No hablen ni una palabra del inglés! Los que sí rompen el acuerdo deben de hacer todos quehaceres de la casa ese día.
  3. ¡Enséñenme algo! Vean un vídeo de BrainPop Español sobre las ciencias o las matemáticas y hagan un vídeo que me enseña algo sobre una asignatura o asunto muy específico. ¡No hablen en generalidades!
  4. Escriban cada día en sus diarios.
  5. Lean una novela en español.
  6. Aprendan a bailar Salsa (el baile). Chequeen este vídeo para inspiración. ¡La niña solo tiene seis años y el niño ocho! O esto aquí abajo para una risa.

Spanish Activity, 4/21-23/20- 3,4,5

  1. Miren este vídeo en Seesaw. Cambien su look, su perspectiva y ¡escriben una entrada en sus diarios con este nuevo look!
  2. Miren una película con los subtítulos en español y la voz en español, y presten atención a las traducciones y cómo son diferentes. 
  3. Publiquen una foto en Seesaw o de su nuevo look o del nombre de la película que han visto, con unos comentarios abajo sobre la experiencia. 
  4. Y claro, siguen escribiendo 3-4 veces a la semana en sus diarios.

Spanish Activity, 4/14-16/20- 3,4,5

Visiten Seesaw otra vez para ver la actividad esta semana. Favor de responder a la actividad en Seesaw. ¡Gracias!

  1. Miren el vídeo.
  2. Sigan escribiendo en sus diarios 3-5 veces a la semana.
  3. Experimenten con la poesía japonesa: si les interesa la idea, traten de escribir un haikú/俳句. Mejor dicho, ¡3 o 4 haikús!
  4. Pasen 10 o 15 minutos leyendo los dichos/citas/frases en el enlace AQUÍ y elijan su favorito/a. La página web está organizada por frases, autores y temas–si esto les ayuda, busquen las categorías encima de la página.
  5. Publiquen una foto del dicho aquí en Seesaw, por “responder a la actividad”. ¡Buena suerte!

Spanish Activity, 4/7/20- 4,5

VISITEN Seesaw PARA VER LA ACTIVIDAD ESTA SEMANA. ¡Hay un video ahí para ustedes!

  1. Miren el video.
  2. Tengan paciencia conmigo al final del video porque me pierdo un poco:D
  3. Escriban. Escriban. Escriban.
  4. Escriban más.
  5. Cuando se cansan de eso, escriban más.

¡¡¡¡SÍ SE PUEDE!!!!

*me ha quedado impreso en la memoria (error en el video)–lo lamento.


Spanish Activity, 4/2/20- 3

  1. Miren el vídeo en Seesaw.
  2. Escriben una página en sus diarios.

Spanish Activity, 4/2/20- 4,5

  1. Miren el vídeo para una explicación detallada de lo que hacer y cuales son las expectativas. *TERCER GRADE: miren la otra versión del vídeo en Seesaw debajo de “Actividades”.

2) Deciden sobre cuál tema van a escribir. Pueden visitar a https://esp.brainpop.com/ o https://www.timeforkids.com/ (pueden cambiar el idioma cuando leen el artículo).

3) Depende mucho del tipo de escritura elijan, pero quiero que se concentren en dos objetivos esta semana–primero, los marcadores del discurso, especialmente para una cronología de acontecimientos y segundo, la descripción y los cinco sentidos.

  • Utilizar marcadores del discurso para organizar su entrada
    • Ordenadores: de entrada, para empezar, antes que nada, por una parte, por otra parte, en primer lugar, para terminar/concluir, en fin, hasta ahora, de momento, dicho esto, etc.
    • Reformuladores: o sea, es decir, en otras palabras, mejor dicho, etc.
    • Conectores aditivos: y, además, o, ni, sobre todo, encima, es más, asimismo
    • Conectores de oposición: pero, sin embargo, no obstante, con todo, ahora bien, aunque, en cambio, por el contrario, en cualquier caso, etc.
    • Conectores de casualidad: porque, es que, puesto que, ya que, al fin y al cabo, pues, por (lo) tanto, por consecuencia, luego, entonces, de este modo, etc.

4) No importan aquí los nombres de los términos, sino el significado y que ustedes dan un esfuerzo para incorporar estas expresiones en sus entradas. ¡Pero SOLAMENTE las que sean relevantes!

5) En cuanto a la narrativa, y en vez de decirme, hay que mostrarme su recuerdo o experiencia que me cuentan. Les doy mi ejemplo del vídeo:

  • “Yo fui a la playa.”

VERSUS

  • Veo los rayos de luz que esparcen sobre el agua y océano como harina o un polvo mágico bajo el sol–y siento el calor de la arena bajo mis pies…

**Dije “la calentura” en el vídeo sin querer en vez de “el calor”, lo siento!!!

La meta es, traten de añadir detalles para crear una imagen precisa para los lectores. Incluyan lo que oyen, lo que ven, cómo se sienten, lo que huelen, etc. ¿Es de noche o de día? En vez de escribir esto directamente, pinten una escena, un lienzo de palabras… Si hablo de la oscuridad, el lector entenderá que o es de noche o las luces están apagadas, ¿verdad? Busquen nuevo vocabulario en un diccionario o pregúntenles a sus padres. Siempre siempre siempre se puede ampliar el vocabulario y, por tanto, enriquecer su experiencia del idioma. ¡Disfruten del proceso!

FECHA DE ENTREGA:
El jueves, 11:00am (2 de abril de 2020)

3* grado- publiquen una foto de la entrada en Seesaw
4* y 5*- mándenme una foto por correo FROM YOUR SCHOOL EMAIL!

Spanish Extra Credit, 4/2/20


Spanish, 3/19/20- Native Speakers

NATIVE SPEAKERS in ALL grades can watch the “Pollito Tito” video below for pura diversión. In addition, native speakers in grades 3-5 should watch a BrainPop video in Spanish on a topic of their choice this week. (Be sure to add subtitles to read along.)

In their Spanish notebooks, students can journal about the video they saw, or do a free write (e.g., continue a story they were writing, write about how they’re feeling, etc.). Also, be sure to check out THIS POST for extra credit opportunities. Scroll down to the “Culture” section!

Hear/read more stories at THIS LINK.

Continued Learning (Remote)

Radio Broadcast- Summary

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN!

NOTE: It is in both Spanish and English!

This week, I will give a variety of options for grades JK-5, to ease into the idea of continued learning. While students are required to complete the Spanish language assignment below (independent work), they are also encouraged to try one of the optional mini culture projects. The latter are fun, hands-on, offline activities that families can work on together.

This is not meant to be a burden on you, but rather to emphasize the importance of family in the Hispanic community, and to remind us to be grateful for this extra time we have together.


Language

Grades JK-2

**Students in JK-2 should watch two 4-7 minute cartoons in the target language this week–preferably on separate days. HERE is a list of links, including Pocoyo, Perro y Gato, and Caillou in Spanish. Listening to SONGS in the target language counts, too. Just make sure you don’t sing the English lyrics over the Spanish if it is translated!

Note that it would be beneficial to build into your home schedule that children watch these shows at a specific day and time, for example, 2x per week, when you are preparing breakfast or dinner and need a few minutes alone. The more predictable the routine, the better.

Grades 3-5

**Grades 3-5 should continue working on Duolingo at least three times per week, for 10 minutes a day. Students– there will be prizes for anyone who has earned more than 10,000 XP when we return back to school!

Advanced students who want a challenge may do any of the “Native Speaker” work below as well. Be sure to add English subtitles on BrainPop and “Pollito Tito” (CC/closed captioning in bottom right hand corner).

Native Speakers

**NATIVE SPEAKERS in ALL grades can watch the “Pollito Tito” video below for pura diversión. In addition, native speakers in grades 3-5 should watch a BrainPop video in Spanish on a topic of their choice this week. (Be sure to add subtitles to read along.) In their Spanish notebook, students can journal about the video they saw, or do a free write (e.g., continue a story they were writing, write about how they’re feeling, etc.).

Hear/read more stories at THIS LINK.

Culture

Each week, I will highlight a few different Spanish-speaking countries in my posts, with accompanying facts and mini-projects. Read through the ideas, see what materials you have on hand, and have fun! For all culture projects, be sure to find a good song on THIS PAGE to listen to while you are working/playing!

If you want to “create a country” in a corner of your house–bedroom, playroom, part of the living room, your closet, etc.–like I have in my classroom, make sure to add a big sign with the country name, and check out THIS PAGE for more cultural ideas. Post on Seesaw (grades JK-3) or email me a photo (grades 4-5) if you want to share.


Mexico

Project #1: HAMMOCKS!

The Yucatan in Mexico is known for its hammock culture. Here, 2/3 of children sleep in hammocks instead of beds, and there are even hammocks in hospitals! For this challenge, string up your own DIY hammock with a sheet and twine/rope. Attach it to your bedpost, a chair, or even a tree outside. Be sure to ask your parents first so that you choose a safe place.


Project #2: AMATE PAINTINGS!

Amate bark paper is a traditional folk art and beautiful type of paper made from the bark of fig trees in Mexico. An easy way to create one at home is to crumple up a brown paper bag and use colorful paints to create something like THIS. Scroll down here for step-by-step instructions. If you have any figs to chew on, eat some while you are painting!


Project #3: GROW CRYSTALS!

The Giant Crystal Cave is a cave connected to the Naica Mine in Mexico with massive crystals. The average person can only stay inside for ten minutes because there is 99% humidity, whoa! For this challenge, grow your own crystals at home with Epsom salts, food coloring, and a bowl. Turn off the air conditioning if you want to enhance the cave simulation, haha! Skip to 5:23 in the video below to learn more.


Spain/España

Project #4: MAKE TAPAS!

An exciting part of traveling is getting to see and try different types of foods. What is “normal” to you is “strange” to others, and vice-versa. In Spain, tapas—also called pinchos when pierced with toothpicks—are found in many restaurants. They are snacks arranged in small dishes, and have an interesting history: a long time ago, many people were illiterate, so travelers going from one inn to the next could not read the menus; instead, they were given little plates to sample different types of food before ordering their meal.

Pretend you are in Spain and recreate tapas in your own kitchen. There are countless options, so find a few that you like, and have a little fiesta, or party. Some ideas include mixed olives and cheese; skewers with pickles; fried baby squid; mushrooms sautéed in garlic and oil, etc.—see more options HERE. Enjoy!


Project #5: BUILD A FORT!

La Alhambra is a famous fort/palace with beautiful gardens in southern Spain. Many students enjoy trying to build this fort during class time out of cardboard, so why not make one at home? Build a huge fort tent out of blankets, pillows, and chairs, based on La Alhambra. Ask your parents where in your house would be a good place to build it (so that you don’t have to take it down right away or get in trouble).

Draw or print out a Spanish flag to wave, put on Spain’s National Anthem or your favorite song in Spanish, and get to work! This could become a really comfy place to watch Spanish cartoons or study Duolingo. NOTE: The video is historically-based, and more for older students.


Project #6: GO ON A HIKE!

The Camino de Santiago is a 500-mile hike across northern Spain. It takes about 30 days to complete on foot. You carry everything you need in a backpack, and follow the arrows and shells so you don’t get lost. For this challenge, put arrows and shells all over the house, leading to your learning space or bedroom, like it is the Camino de Santiago. Feel free to pack a bag and go on a mini-hike with your parents walking around the block, if you feel like it. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is captura-de-pantalla-2020-03-17-a-las-10.27.19-a.-m..png

Thank you so much for reading! Hope you are having a great week.

Fondly,

-Señorita M.

Resumen 19-20, T1-T2 (5)

Trimester Summary

Fifth Grade- This trimester, Summit students began with a “News Show” in Spanish–“En vivo, desde México” (Live, from Mexico)–where they took turns being reporters, working tech, and dramatically presenting the weather (¡El tiempo!/the weather). Each week, they added a new commercial, which was usually a translated slogan of a well-known brand (WalMart: save more, live better/ahorra más, vive mejor; Nike: Just do it/Sólo hazlo; McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it/Me encanta; etc.). The goal here was mostly to work on basic facts, such as days, dates, weather, but also to recognize how many things in our world have been translated.

The bulk of time leading up to winter break, however, was spent on museum exhibits. Here, fifth graders proposed an idea to research re: a cultural aspect of a Spanish-speaking country–and then got to work. Here is a list of sample projects. For student work, see THIS LINK.

Following this independent work, fifth graders came back together as a class and were introduced to a play in the target language. Here, they rehearsed lines, worked on expression (both stage placement as well as intonation), and practiced presenting to the class. One class, they even tasted Yerba Mate, a special tea from Argentina, because it was mentioned in the play. The goal each day was to work on Duolingo, split into groups for quality rehearsals, and then play “Spanish Soccer” outside, where students are only allowed to shout/speak in the target language (instinctive response). This rhythm was interrupted with field trips, assemblies, and more, however, which disrupted the class’s general flow and progress. As a result, fifth graders requested center work similar to last year.

It is not clear whether the plays increased their confidence with the language in general, or if they have just started working on Duolingo much more frequently at home, but regardless, something has clicked! Their letters to sign up for centers are beginning to show personality and expression and voice; this is wonderful. Students are learning to mix and match language, to play and manipulate it to say what they want.

Last but not least, students spent some time playing with accents and sounds. While 5B saw THIS VIDEO back in the fall, 5A watched it only a few weeks ago–and were blown away (Santa Anas winds, anyone?!). Since then, many have been working on improving their ear for language in general and becoming linguistic chameleons. Keep up the great work!

5.A CHAMPIONS: Jake H., 5720 XP: Abby, 5012 XP; Jack, 4914 XP; 5.B CHAMPIONS: Kawika, 3656 XP; 2728 XP; Amina, 2391 XP.


August Summary

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.

Resumen 19-20, T1-T2 (4)

Trimester Summary

Fourth Grade- This trimester, Summit students began with a “News Show” in Spanish–“En vivo, desde México” (Live, from Mexico)–where they took turns being reporters, working tech, and dramatically presenting the weather (¡El tiempo!/the weather). Each week, they added a new commercial, which was usually a translated slogan of a well-known brand (WalMart: save more, live better/ahorra más, vive mejor; Nike: Just do it/Sólo hazlo; McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it/Me encanta; etc.).

Once fourth graders felt comfortable with their script, each class transitioned to a more in-depth project, that was going to make national news. Well, that was the plan, anyway! Let me explain.

4A voted that they wanted to travel to and focus on Spain, while 4B chose Mexico. Both classes brought their backpacks to Spanish class; removed their shoes when passing through security; boarded the airplane; graciously accepted Cheez-Its and water from their stewardesses; took advantage of the in-flight entertainment (iPads); and after a long flight, finally landed.

Next, wearing backpacks, they followed a QR code hunt around campus, learning about famous monuments and cultural tidbits. Right when they thought things were winding down, their teacher hailed a taxi and they drove around the neighborhood, seeing the sights of [either] Madrid, Spain or Mexico City, Mexico from a cab. [Note that your children were safe at all times here–Ms. Berry was the “cab driver” of the school van!]

Students in 4A drove past the Prado MuseumEl Prado in Madrid, Spain is one of the most famous museums in the world, housing over 27,000 objects and artworks. In fact, it was the Google Doodle [the week students learned about it], which celebrated the museum’s 200th anniversary! For this project, students took an 8.5×11 copy of a well-known painting and transferred it by eye to a large trifold, trying to imagine how artists filled such massive canvases. For images of their work, please visit THIS LINK.

During the painting process, one student learned that the Prado was actually robbed in 2014— of a shocking 885 artworks. As a result, more than several classes were spent trying to merge their Spanish news show with an iMovie green screen breaking news “robbery” of their paintings in the style of Oceans 12. Ultimately, the project lost steam, but it was fun while it lasted! Here is the soundtrack we used.

Students in 4B drove past the Museo Soumaya, a Mexican museum with completely different exhibits. Here, fourth graders learned that in 1715, a fleet of Spanish ships sank off the coast of Florida, en route to Spain and loaded with treasure from the new world. Modern treasure hunters have discovered some of this lost treasure–one family made $4.5 million dollars in 2017!–but much still remains on the ocean floor. Students acted out this story as a class (with Spanish dialogue, of course), and then created artifacts for a faux museum display. After painting the Spanish crest and flag on them, students broke a few of the plates intentionally to make it seem more realistic!

Both classes tried to make a green screen iMovie for their News Show, but meeting only once or twice a week caused the process to lose steam. That said, they ALL did an amazing job with this! I wish we could have had a final product, but… c’est la vie!

Throughout these projects, students worked on Duolingo (or Memrise) every day. At some point, they became über-motivated and completely addicted to the app. This was and is great to see. The top scores right now are as follows:

4.A CHAMPIONS: Ilaria, 4879 XP; Audrey, 2800 XP; and Gabby, 2077 XP. 4.B CHAMPIONS: Adam, 13902 XP; Jai, 5717 XP: Lyla, 5635 XP.

Additionally, fourth graders had several conversations about language on a more philosophical level this trimester. They learned about hyperpolyglots, or people who speak an extreme number of languages; explored books from my personal collection that are in multiple languages; and discussed several statistics, such as 1) that there are 7,000 languages in the world, but that it is hard to define what exactly a language is, especially when compared to something like Spanglish; and 2) it is funny that we think of the internet as so ‘global’, when 52% of its content is in English (1 out of 7,000 languages). In that light, the web seems pretty limited, in terms of perspective taking.

As the trimester came to a close, students requested center work again. Here, they sign up via letters for what they want to do each day. While this is remarkably similar to last year and what other grades do from time to time, I have to emphasize here that their written work has grown tremendously as a group. Last year, their letters were all the same, very uniform. Now, I am reading all different types of letters–some are serious, others silly, and others a combination of the two. They are a delight to read each day. Keep up the excellent work, fourth grade!


August Summary

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.


February: Hoy les felicité a los de 4.A por ser mi clase más ‘global’ o mundial de Lower School, en términos de querer aprender tantos idiomas… y en actuar sobre esta pasión. Muchos están tomando más de un curso en Duolingo, en adición al español: mandarín, francés, ruso, polaco, japonés, etc. Hay unos 7.000 idiomas en el mundo ahora, y con solo nueve o diez años, los niños ya saben mucho del ámbito lingüístico.

Por ejemplo, me dijeron esta mañana (correctamente), que en orden de millones o billones de gente, el mandarín es primero, el español segundo y el inglés, tercero. Pero en línea, el inglés domina, con 52 por ciento de la Red.

Les expliqué que hay “unos” 7.000 idiomas y no resulta una ciencia exacta por falta de una definición nítida o precisa: es el “spanglish” un idioma? Qué tal Chinglish (chino/inglés) o Greeklish (griego/inglés)? Hablamos de las capas y el desarrollo de los idiomas en sí. Por ejemplo, el “japoñol” es la mezcla de japonés y español, cuando unos inmigrantes se fueron de Japón a Perú y la segunda generación aprendió español y empezó a mezclarlo con el japonés en casa. A qué punto se convierte en otro idioma, además de la jerga/lunfardo*? ¡Avísenme en los comentarios abajo si tienen una opinión! [*jerga/lunfardo significa “slang” aquí]

Como que la clase ya tenía interés en el asunto, llevé desde mi casa unos libros míos, escritos en otros idiomas. Los niños trataban de descifrar cuál era cuál. Al notar un idioma que no podían identificar, era “aymará”, una lengua indígena de Sudamérica. Un hecho interesante aquí es que, en nuestra cultura, para hacer referencia al pasado, uno señala hacia atrás (“Ayer yo fui…”) y un gesto adelante para significar el futuro. En aymará, resulta el opuesto: uno señala hacia adelante para referir al PASADO porque es lo que se ve y por tanto, lo que uno conoce; uno señala hacia atrás para referir al PORVENIR, ya que no se ve y uno todavía no lo conoce.

Al final de la clase, hablamos de frases (y palabras) intraducibles (“untranslatable”), como deja-vu, tortillas, tacos, etc. y “word loans” (préstamos). Era un día muy académico y lingüístico, pero aprecié tanto el interés y la madurez de la clase. ¡Cuarto grado es genial!

January: We went on a bit of a tangent today in Spanish class. Fourth graders have begun studying other languages in addition to Spanish in Duolingo. Students learned that a person who speaks an extreme number of languages is called a hyperpolyglot. Students learned about the hyper-polyglot Timothy Doner this morning. For homework, please watch the video above or read this article. Enjoy!

Also- scroll down on this page to see the graphs and charts we saw in class: Chinese is the number one language spoken in the world in real life (Spanish is #2 and English #3), but in the online realm, English dominates, with 52.9% of the Internet in English. Interesting!

September: Hoy hicimos gazpacho en clase para La Tomatina el miércoles pasado. Gazpacho y pan, ¡qué rico!

August: En cuarto grado, empezamos con un proyecto para enfatizar la comunidad, o sea, que somos una familia en la clase de español. Los alumnos van a trabajar juntos para construir puentes de armadura (“truss bridges”). Aquí, ves sus planes y diseños. Aprendieron que un puente es mucho más fuerte cuando hay triángulos como la base—puede soportar mucha más fuerza. En otras palabras, somos más fuertes cuando trabajamos juntos.

Resumen 19-20, T1-T2 (3)

Year Recap

CULTURE:

  • Spain- Gazpacho & La Tomatina; cathedrals/stained glass windows
  • Chile- Easter Island
  • Mexico- eating fried crickets
  • Paraguay- Landfill Harmonic (recycled instruments)
  • Argentina- Train to the Clouds
  • Costa Rica- rainforest
  • Bolivia- Yungas Road diorama
  • Peru- Boiling River
  • Guatemala- Worry Dolls; Sawdust Carpets (Easter)

Trimester Summary

Third Grade- This trimester, third graders in 3B chugged along steadily with their Duolingo work, while 3A decided to take a break from the app back in December (but picked it up again in February).

3.A CHAMPIONS: Aylani, 694 XP; Celia, 507 XP; Marijka, 500 XP; 3.B CHAMPIONS: Kaden, 1197 XP; Zafirah, 1127 XP; Sebastian, 871 XP.

Culturally speaking, third graders divided into groups based on student interests. Here is a list of both class and individual projects they have worked on this trimester.

Third graders inspired all of Lower School by transforming my closet into a Costa Rican rainforest, complete with green vines galore, Christmas lights, photos of animals that actually live there–and currently, REAL plants in the campus greenhouse. That are growing! In real life! Whose seeds third graders planted!

Students in both classes were given the opportunity to eat a fried cricket. They had a mature class conversation about other cultures, perspectives, and traditions. In Mexico, there are 549 edible insects, and it is common to eat them and see them in markets.

After watching this clip of the Landfill Harmonic documentary about a town in Paraguay, 3.B decided to make their own instruments out of trash and recyclable materials, and proceeded to share this information with the community at FMM.

Third graders made a Popsicle stick model of the Train to the Clouds in Argentina (skip to 3:45 in video), for the LS art/science/ history Spanish Museum.

Students learned how natural chewing gum/chicle is made from the Sapodilla tree (Mexico), and then considered opening their own business; here, they tried melting Starbursts to create a similar, gooey chicle-like substance. Several students even painted criss-cross x’s on real bark to replicate how chicleros slash the trees to let the sap drain down. Ultimately, copyrights, patents, and other legal practices got in the way of an actual start-up–but it was fun while it lasted!

Two students made a diorama museum exhibit of Yungas Road in Bolivia, one of the most dangerous roads in the world, out of natural materials.

Another group got very excited about Worry Dolls, after listening to THIS short story, and not only made their own dolls to bring home, but also created houses and furniture for them!

One student made a model of the Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico, and had fun creating eruptions with baking soda and vinegar.

Three boys learned about the Boiling River in Peru. Afterwards, to see if water actually boils at 100*C (212*F), they used a tea kettle and glass thermometer. And yes- it does.

Students tried to create a life-sized model of the Galapagos turtles (Ecuador). The turtles are HUGE!

Third graders also talked about different currencies, and used an online currency converter to see how much their American dollars were worth in other countries.

Back in November, students also looked at clothing tags and food labels, to see if they were made in a Spanish-speaking country. They found bananas from Costa Rica and Nicaragua, avocados from Mexico, shirts from Honduras, apples from Chile, and more. Feel free to keep the conversation going whenever you are grocery shopping or in your kitchen cooking. It is fascinating to note how global we really are.

Finally, third graders focused on team-building skills and building a stronger class community, by participating in both the Marshmallow Challenge as well as Policías y ladrones/Cops and Robbers games outside (from last year). While learning a language takes a tremendous amount of grit, strength of character, and independence, it is always more fun with other people!

*ASIDE: As you may already know by this other post, native speakers were recently given a list of ideas to supplement their language study. They also have personal journals/diarios in which they are aiming to write a page entry each class day, in lieu of the regular written work. So far, they are doing really well!


August Summary

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!


February: Para enriquecer su experiencia en la clase de español y desarrollar sus habilidades escritas, hoy los hispanohablantes de 3.A que se sentían cómodos con la idea de escribir una página entera en la lengua meta recibieron un cuaderno. Este cuaderno se quedará en clase y será un tipo de RJ, o diario (diary) en español. Los niños podrán expresarse a través de los recuerdos, momentos inolvidables, prosa, poesía, cuentos de ficción, etc. Algunos días será una escritura libre, mientras en otros habrá una tarea específica. De esta manera, espero que sea más relevante y significativo el curso. Me dio mucho placer leer sus entradas hoy- desde lo que ellos hicieron anoche y durante el fin de semana, hasta sus deseos y aún un cuento de estilo leyenda sobre un jaguar y un loro. ¡Esto va a ser el principio de algo genial!

February: Después de votar, fuimos afuera hoy para jugar “Policías y ladrones” y “Corazón/dulce”, del estilo de Freeze Tag. Si alguien sabe una buena traducción para “Freeze Tag”, avísame! ¡Feliz día de San Valentín!

February (3B): Hoy hablamos en clase sobre cómo el aprendizaje de otro idioma abarca mucho- desde la lingüística hasta la cultura. Mientras que yo creo que TODO ES POSIBLE, también hay que tener expectativas razonables cuando nuestra clase se junta solo una o dos veces a la semana.

En el ámbito lingüístico, los diccionarios suelen tener unas 100,000 palabras. ¡Esto es MUCHO! Hay palabras activas (que usas con frecuencia) y palabras pasivas (que reconoces pero o no entiendes perfectamente o no usas mucho). Existen muchas capas y matices de un idioma.

Y en cuanto a la cultura, qué significa exactamente? Música, deportes, comida, historia, terreno, monumentos, tradiciones, costumbres, etc. Dicho esto, no resulta la música-deportes-comida-historia-terreno-monumentos-tradiciones-costumbres-etc. solamente de ESPAÑA, sino de todos los 21 países hispanohablantes. Se puede estudiar estos asuntos 24 horas al día, 7 días a la semana y no saberlo todo. Es una tarea imposible. O sea, casi imposible, ya que todo es posible.

En fin, quería darles a los estudiantes un poco de perspectiva esta mañana: la meta aquí no es la fluidez en sí (no somos una escuela de inmersión); la meta es, aprender algo nuevo cada clase. Algunos aprendieron sobre churros con chocolate hoy (cultura), mientras otros trabajaban en mejorar su vocabulario–o de fútbol o de expresar lo que querían o necesitaban. Paso a paso, poco a poco, se ve el progreso.

December: Hoy en clase hablamos de otras culturas, perspectivas y tradiciones. Como una analogía, nos ponemos de pie en nuestras sillas para experimentar otra perspectiva: resulta el mismo cuarto, pero notamos cosas diferentes, igual que en inglés o español; el enfoque se ha cambiado. Para probar nuestro coraje/valentía, probamos unos insectos fritos hoy; en Mexico, hay 549 insectos comestibles y es normal para muchos comérselos, especialmente para la proteína. ¡Iiik! Aparte: Se puede comprar más insectos fritos en el “Candy Shop”, si les interesa.

November: Esta mañana, los niños del tercer grado querían ser chinchillas y decidieron hacer una banda. Les mostré el enlace arriba y les dije que podrían hacer sus propios instrumentos hechos de basura, igual que los niños inspiradores de Paraguay. Salieron hoy con tanta energía sobre el asunto que tenía que compartirlo con ustedes!! Ellos están muy emocionados, así que si ustedes tienen basura (cajas, cuencos, hilos, imanes, latas, etc.) que no quieren en casa, favor de donarla a nuestra clase. Ya veremos qué podemos crear!

September: Tercer grado ha estado aprendiendo sobre la Isla de Pascua (Chile). Los estudiantes hicieron estatuas de arcilla y tablillas de Rongorongo, un sistema de glifos (o idioma) que nadie ha podido descifrar—¡es un misterio!

Aquí hay más fotos de las estatuas de la Isla de Pascua y del sistema de glifos, o Rongorongo. Se dice que Rongorongo fue escrito en una manera muy eficiente; la técnica que ves en la penúltima diapositiva se llama bustrófedon (pero al revés porque está volteado también el texto en la segunda línea). WOW!

August: Por si acaso les interesa, esta es la canción que han oído en clase esta semana. Me gusta mucho. Es de la copa mundial (FÚTBOL) de 2010.

August: Vidriera de una catedral en España.
September: La semana pasada, hicimos gazpacho en clase para celebrar La Tomatina (España). En las palabras de Parker, “¡Gazpachoooooo!”

Resumen 19-20, T1-T2 (2)

Year Recap

READING & WRITING:

¡Hola! ¡Buenos días! Yo me llamo ______. Yo quiero _____ y _____ [jugar y colorear] con mis amigos. Yo necesito ________ [marcadores, cobijas, peluches, comida, ropa, libros, etc.]. Yo voy a _________ [Chile, España, Argentina, etc.].

(Hello! Good morning! My name is ______. I want to _______ and __________ [play and color] with my friends. I need ________ [markers, blankets, stuffed animals, food, clothing, books, etc.]. I am going to ________ [Chile, Spain, Argentina, etc.]).

*CENTERS: jugar, colorear, pintar, construir, tocar el piano, volar [un avión de papel], limpiar, dibujar, cantar, hablar, dormir, bailar, trabajar, ver; con/with; y/and.

CULTURE:

  • Spain- El Camino de Santiago (iMovie & presentation)
  • Mexico- Day of the Dead; Night of the Radishes; Cinco de Mayo
  • South America- gemstones/minerals
  • Nicaragua- volcano boarding
  • Argentina- outdoor markets/mercados; Xul Solar painting; soccer (Messi)
  • Cuba- ‘café cubano’
  • Peru- build highest city in the world (La Rinconada)
  • Dominican Republic- play dominoes; dancing Merengue
  • Bolivia- paint Salar de Uyuni reflections & taste salt
  • Guatemala- Sawdust Carpets (Easter)

OTHER VOCABULARY:

  • Policías y ladrones (Cops and Robbers) & Freeze Tag: a la cárcel = go to jail; no quiero ir = I don’t want to go; libertad = freedom; queso, helado = cheese, ice cream
  • ¿Adónde vas? = where are you going? (song); Tengo hambre = I’m hungry (song)
  • Pueblo/town– el gimnasio/the gym, el teatro/the theater, la fábrica/the factory, el hotel y restaurante/the hotel and restaurant, el cine/the movie theater

Trimester Summary

Second grade– Second graders have done an excellent job this trimester of combining language and culture. For starters, the majority can write and say the following:

Hola, ¡buenos días! Yo me llamo ______. Yo quiero _____ y _____ [jugar y colorear] con mis amigos. Yo necesito ________ [marcadores, cobijas, peluches, comida, ropa, libros, etc.]. Yo voy a _________ [Chile, España, Argentina, etc.].”

(Hello, good morning! My name is ______. I want to _______ and __________ [play and color] with my friends. I need ________ [markers, blankets, stuffed animals, food, clothing, books, etc.]. I am going to ________ [Chile, Spain, Argentina, etc.]).

The phrase, “Yo voy a _______” (“I’m going to ________) came about for two reasons. First, there is a Señor Wooly song called, “¿Adónde vas?” (Where are you going?) which became a major hit among second graders, so obviously we needed to take that and run with it–and learn how to answer the question. Second, the class wanted to create a pueblo/town, and well before we began designating certain parts of the Spanish room as different countries (our current reality), second graders had divided the space into sections–el gimnasio/the gym, el teatro/the theater, la fábrica/the factory, el hotel y restaurante/the hotel and restaurant, el cine/the movie theater, etc.

When students signed up to jugar voleibol/play volleyball, they would have to explain that they were going to the gym to do said activity. Likewise, the factory was for arts and crafts, or building pretty much anything; the theater was for singing, playing the piano, dressing up, and performances; the movie theater was for watching Pocoyo shows or Señor Wooly songs; and the hotel & restaurant were for sleeping and eating. As time went on, we began saying that the gym was located in Argentina, the hotel in Peru, the theater in Colombia, etc. It was actually a very neat (and unforeseeable) evolution of a project!

Moreover, all of these activities recycled and built on vocabulary from last year–e.g., jugar/to play, pintar/to paint, construir/to build, tocar el piano/to play the piano, comer/to eat–and students began expanding their sentences. It was no longer just “I want to play”, but rather “I want to play soccer with my friends outside” (quiero jugar al fútbol con mis amigosafuera), or “I want to build” became a little more polite: “May/Can I build a fort? I need blankets and the clothes and books.” (¿Puedo construir una fortaleza? Necesito cobijas y la ropa y libros.)

As a final linguistic note, second graders also integrated their suffix and prefix study from their regular classroom with the target language, learning that there are “boy” (masculine/el) and “girl” (feminine/la) words in Spanish, and that this can be determined by studying the suffix. The class had fun discovering which words were on the “boy team” or “girl team”. We get ice cream (el helado)! But we get cake (la torta)! And so on… The point here is for students to begin to notice details about Spanish. This will help their study later on.

In as far as culture goes, second graders truly outdid themselves. They saw what older students were doing, jumped on board the train, and then, in addition, proposed their own projects. Here are a few examples.

Students noticed an image of the Noche de los Rábanos/Night of the Radishes festival (Mexico), and then took a day in December to carve actual radishes into beautiful creations, copying what they saw.

Second graders made a truly outstanding iMovie of the Camino de Santiago 500-mile hike through northern Spain.

Several students helped cover a soccer ball with gold paint, and then built a trophy stand for it out of Popsicle sticks and hot glue, for Messi and to represent the importance of fútbol/ soccer in many Spanish-speaking countries.

Other students contributed to the fourth grade project of sunken Spanish treasure, dying paper with coffee and blowdrying it to make it look old, and drawing treasure maps on it.

Others were inspired by the third graders’ presentation on instruments made out of trash in Paraguay, and made their own maracas, drums, and more for the LS Spanish Museum.

Second graders were VERY EXCITED about minerals and gems for a long time. Here, they spent time learning which minerals come from South and Central America, and then painted rocks to create amethysts and lapis lazuli look-a-likes. Several filled little cups of water and dyed the water various shades with food coloring.

2B began ‘selling Cuban coffees’ (café cubano), made by filling mini cups with jabón/soap and water, and then painting rainbows on top of the soap bubbles. When the business started taking off, we would stop the soccer game across the room for halftime, so that the players could come ‘buy’ and ‘drink’ the Cuban Coffees from the café.

Second graders learned about Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua, and declared whether or not they would be brave enough to participate in such an extreme sport. Eeek! Not me!

Last but not least, students were given assigned centers one week, along with first graders. The choices were as follows: 1) Argentina, set up, buy, and sell items at an outdoor mercado/market with Argentine pesos: no American dollars accepted!; 2) Peru, build one of the highest cities in the world out of blocks; 3) Dominican Republic, play dominoes, a national pastime; 4) Bolivia, paint the beautiful sky reflections of starry nights and sunrises and sunsets over the largest salt flat in the world (and also taste more salt!); and/or 5) paint a famous Xul Solar Argentinian painting, mural-style, on the bulletin board outside of the Spanish room (*in progress!).

Second graders have also traveled outside several times to play Policías y ladrones/Cops and Robbers (a la cárcel/go to jail, no quiero ir/I don’t want to go, libertad/freedom), in addition to a Freeze Tag version of queso, helado (cheese, ice cream). Bits and pieces of these games and cultural projects may have made their way home, so hopefully this gives you a bigger picture and panoramic view of what students have been learning in Spanish class.


August Summary

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!


January: Segundo grado está trabajando a varios negocios en la clase de español, incluso la creación de una tienda en Cuba donde se puede comprar y tomar un “café cubano”. En otro rincón, se venden rocas pintadas de muchos países hispanohablantes (p.ej., esmeraldas muy caras, zafiros, diamantes…). Son hermosas pero muy, muy caras. Finalmente, un grupo de chicas escogió usar arena para dibujar los “geoglyphs” de las líneas de Nazca en Perú.

December: For the Mexican celebration of Night of the Radishes, students printed out their favorite Google search images and then tried carving their own creations out of–yes!–real radishes.

October: Segundo grado presentó hoy sobre El Camino en “Friday Morning Meeting”. ¡Felicidades en una presentación fenomenal! Haz clic para ver el video. ¡Disfruta!

“But El Camino is more than just a walk. It heals broken friendships. It brings people together. It makes you stronger. Sometimes, all of our problems can be solved just by taking a walk. It is a symbol of hope. In Spanish, hope is ‘Esperanza’. El Camino… just keep walking.” [very last lines of the presentation]

Resumen 19-20, T1-T2 (1)

Year Recap

READING & WRITING: ¡Hola! ¡Buenos días! Yo me llamo ____. Quiero ____ y ____ [jugar y colorear] con mis amigos. Necesito ____ [marcadores, cobijas, peluches, comida, ropa, libros, etc.]. ¡Adiós! ¡Hasta luego!

(Hello! Good morning! My name is ____. I want to ____ and ____ [play and color] with my friends. I need ____ [markers, blankets, stuffed animals, food, clothing, books, etc.]. Goodbye! See you later!)

*CENTERS: jugar, colorear, pintar, construir, tocar el piano, volar [un avión de papel], limpiar, dibujar, cantar, hablar, dormir, bailar, trabajar, ver.

*MAP MASTERS: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico.


CULTURE:

  • Guatemala- Worry Dolls
  • Mexico- Day of the Dead and make natural chewing gum
  • Panama- trace Mola designs
  • Spain- Don Quijote/Picasso painting and El Camino (pasaportes)
  • Costa Rica- rainforest
  • Argentina- outdoor markets/mercados
  • Peru- build highest city in the world (La Rinconada)
  • Dominican Republic- play dominoes, a national pastime
  • Bolivia- paint Salar de Uyuni reflections and taste salt
  • Puerto Rico- bioluminescence
  • Ecuador- sneezing iguanas
  • Different currencies and values (~money!)

Trimester Summary

First Grade- As many of you know from SLC’s, first graders have become Map Masters. Their country-name recognition skills and ability to locate these places on a map are excellent. Currently, students are comfortable naming the majority of the following countries: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Students have had mini-lessons about many of these cultures–from Worry Dolls (Guatemala) to making natural chewing gum (Mexico) and tracing Mola designs (Panama)–as well as a week of assigned centers for first and second grades, where they chose a culture project of interest.

The assigned centers looked like this: 1) Argentina, set up, buy, and sell items at an outdoor mercado/ market with Argentine pesos: no American dollars accepted!; 2) Peru, build one of the highest cities in the world out of blocks; 3) Dominican Republic, play dominoes, a national pastime; and/or 4) Bolivia, paint the beautiful sky reflections of starry nights and sunrises and sunsets over the largest salt flat in the world (and also taste more salt!).

A memorable day was when students tried selling their artwork (paintings of Bolivia) at the outdoor market in Argentina, but listed a painting as 20 pesos. I suggested that we look up how much that was, and when the student learned that 20 Argentinian pesos was only equivalent to $0.32, she changed the price, adding a few more zeros (2000 ARS = $32.00).

A few students could not decide where to go, so I gave them an alternate project: recreate a textured model of La mano de Punta del Este in Uruguay with paint and sand (it is a famous sculpture of a hand on the beach).

Both classes were also introduced to and acted out the most famous windmill chapter of the 900-page world-renowned novel, Don Quijote, back in the fall. Picasso made a sketch of the two main characters (Don Quijote and Sancho Panza) to commemorate the novel’s 350th anniversary. First graders put a photocopy of this up to the window, placed pastel-colored paper on top of it, and then trace-scribbled the drawing with a Sharpie to create a two-tone replica. The class joke and icing on the cake was to cross out Picasso’s name and replace it with their own!

Because first graders are becoming so knowledgeable about the Spanish-speaking world, and also because they were wholly inspired by the second graders’ iMovie about the Camino in Spain back in October, students are currently making their own pasaportes/passports. Passports are necessary to visit the Costa Rican rainforest in my closet. Obviously. Great work this term.


August Summary

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.


February: Because Sneezing Iguanas from Ecuador just make Tuesdays even better! #funfacts

January: Students had the option of traveling to several different countries today- 1) Argentina, to set up, buy, and sell items at an outdoor mercado/market with Argentine pesos: no American dollars accepted!; 2) Peru, to build one of the highest cities in the world out of blocks; 3) Dominican Republic, to play dominoes, a national pastime; and/or 4) Bolivia, to paint the beautiful sky reflections of starry nights and sunrises and sunsets over the largest salt flat in the world (and also taste more salt!).

January (1B): Primer grado vio un video muy breve de bioluminiscencia esta tarde (enlace arriba). En varias partes del mundo, incluso Puerto Rico, el agua ‘resplandece/brilla’ [glows] cuando algo le molesta el alga ahí. Tratamos de hacer un experimento con mi luz negra y marcadores, pero de repente la luz negra dejó de funcionar. ¡Qué extraño! Por lo menos, ahora un rinconcito del aula “es” Puerto Rico.

January: Esta semana, construimos un bosque tropical de Costa Rica en el armario de mi salón de clase. Los niños hicieron casi todo, y luego exploraron el lugar. Este es el ENLACE a la banda sonora (de los monos aulladores).

November (1B): Hoy, un grupito de niñas aprendió sobre los muñequitos quitapesares/de las preocupaciones (“Worry Dolls”) y empezó a hacerlos en clase con palitos y fieltro. Las niñas oyeron un cuento llamado, “Silly Billy”. Al final de la clase, ¡casi todos querían hacerlos también!

Resumen 19-20, T1-T2 (K)

Year Recap

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 ____.)

CULTURE:

  • Argentina- food poster/flags/soccer & Southern Lights
  • Spain- abanicos & siesta
  • Mexico- Day of the Dead & piñatas
  • Costa Rica- rainforest
  • Venezuela- Catatumbo Lightning & Angel Falls
  • Bolivia- Salar de Uyuni
  • Puerto Rico- Coquí frog
  • Peru- Vinicunca/Rainbow Mountain

Trimester Summary

Kindergarten- 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 know that they do not speak Spanish in Polonia/Poland– thank you/ dziękujęAlejandro, 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!


August Summary

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.


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!

Resumen 19-20, T1-T2 (PK)

Trimester Summary

Junior Knights- Many of these cultural projects you have already read about on Seesaw: folding abanicos/ fans out of regular and then very large paper (Spain); making miniature güiros with toothpicks (instruments from the Caribbean); watching a video on how a wooden molinillo is made (the thing you use to stir the chocolate in Mexico); and, much earlier in the year, making Worry Dolls out of felt and Popsicle sticks (Guatemala). Most recently, students are fascinated by our Freeze Dance song from Wreck-It Ralph/Rompe Ralph.

In the linguistic realm, students have tapped into their classroom project on expression, whether or not they recognize it on a conscious level. You see, every new word or phoneme they bring home carries with it a new set of sounds, another way to express something (an object, action, or idea) with which they are already familiar. “Duck” in one classroom setting becomes “Pato” in another.

They have also been exploring storytelling in the target language. Here, Pato and friends play with language to create a scene in students’ minds. One day, for example, the famous (infamously mischievous?) stuffed animal came to class soaking wet. The obvious question was, “Why?” To answer that, we begin: “Una noche…” (one night)–here, I model turning off the lights with comprehensible language, and by the third class, I can ask students in Spanish to do this independently. We proceed to sing our goodnight songs and whisper “Buenas noches” (good night), when ALL OF A SUDDEN! a loud crash of thunder awakens us from our sleep: there is a storm outside! Oh no, ¡qué problema! (What a problem!) Students volunteer to play various roles (e.g., sitting on a barco/boat made out of chairs in class) and/or assist with sound effects (e.g., la lluvia/the rain).

Eventually, Pato gets to the point and answers the question–or doesn’t, and wants to reenact the “how I jumped into a pool” part of the story with students just for fun. One of the most adorable moments of this past month was when one class started chant-whispering [unprompted], “¡AG-UA, AG-UA, AG-UA!” (Water, water, water). Gracias for a great term.


August Summary

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.


Trimester 2: Please see THIS POST for a medley recording of all the songs students sang and/or heard this year.

February: We had a great Spanish class this morning–jamming out to Wreck-It Ralph in Spanish via freeze dance (link above), reviewing songs and rhymes, and giggling hysterically to a Pocoyo episode, link HERE. ¡Feliz día de San Valentín! Happy Valentine’s Day! Your children comprehend and produce SO MUCH Spanish, it is awesome! For example, I have started replacing the lyrics of songs they know: instead of “Estrellita/Twinkle, twinkle little star”, today the star became a heart/corazoncito, and somehow, a tiburón/shark also snuck its way in… which had them all laughing! Have a great long weekend.

February: Cuando yo voy a España, siempre-siempre-siempre ha hecho calor. ¡MUCHO calor! Se ven señoras en todas partes con sus abanicos y pues, ambos son una parte de la cultura, sin duda. Hoy en clase traté de crear una correlación lógica en las mentes de los niños a través de una serie de preguntas: cuando hace frío afuera, qué nos hace falta? Una chaqueta, un abrigo, una bufanda? Por qué? Para protegernos y calentarnos, verdad? Igual que cuando hacemos ejercicios. Y qué tal el calor? Cuando hace calor, necesitamos un… abanico, verdad? para crear una brisa y enfriarnos. Demostré el calor aquí con una secadora de pelo (enchufada y prendida!)–¡me encanta el calor!–y cada uno se turnó con el abanico mío de España. De esta manera, estoy tratando de conectar ideas y vocabulario, no solo para experimentar [experience] sino también para empezar a desarrollar ideas de causa y efecto y correlaciones lógicas en la lengua meta.

Dicho esto, hemos pasado dos días en clase ahora haciendo nuestros propios abanicos de papel. Pero ¡cuidado! Los niños no saben muy bien el nombre del artefacto [artifact] porque, en mi opinión, esto no resulta una palabra de alta frecuencia (para un principiante). Piénsalo así: si tuvieras que elegir las 100 palabras MÁS IMPORTANTES en inglés–lo más útil, lo más eficaz en cuanto a comunicar cualquier mensaje–cuales elegirían? Serían las únicas con las que podrías comunicarse. Es por eso, que el enfoque esta semana ha sido expresiones como “¡Mira!” y “¡Ayúdame!” Mientras que “abanico” es una palabra hermosa lingüísticamente, es mucho más práctico aprender frases que los niños van a poder usar con más frecuencia y en otros contextos. Espero que esto te haya dado una ventanilla para poder entrar en la clase de español. Avísame si prefieres este tipo de actualización en Seesaw en vez de mi publicaciones/correos a través de Veracross!!

Por último, si bien no menos importante, iba a mandarte las canciones y rimas que cantamos y decimos en clase, pero en total ahora hay 18!!! Sigo pensando en la manera más eficiente de comunicar esta información.

January: Esta mañana, los del preescolar aprendieron sobre el güiro–un instrumento del caribe–y luego hicieron su propio instrumento (de papel, escarbadientes y palos) para llevar a casa. Se oye el güiro en la canción famosa, “La cucaracha”, enlace AQUÍ y el güiro aquí. Ayer, tocaron una campana tibetana para empezar su estudio de sonidos. Su comprensión del idioma es increíble.


October: La canción empieza al minuto 0:40. La hemos cantado varias veces en clase, pero hoy cambié la letra para que diga “[Un pez] estaba jugando cuando XXX [estudiante] lo atrapó, te voy a comer y se lo comió” mientras pescaban con la caña de pescar y unos peces magnéticos. ¡Qué divertido!

October: Students made Worry Dolls in class. In Guatemala, these dolls are traditionally placed under the pillow at night to take away one’s worries. The children were intrigued by these tiny dolls.

September: Hoy, los del preescolar vieron un MAPA de tesoro por primera vez por dos razones: 1) para hacer una conexión a lo que hacen con mapas y la comunidad en su salón; y 2) para seguir con las aventuras de Pato. Habrá varios problemas con los que se enfrenta Pato en su camino al tesoro—para empezar, un tiburón bailarín que tiene mucha hambre (después de haber bailado un montón). Pato ya sabe volar, o sea, ha aprendido a volar (para escaparse del tiburón), pero ahora su amigo Oso quiere acompañarle y por eso, habrá que usar un paracaídas, hecho de un filtro de café. Esto lo haremos la semana que viene. ¡Hasta la próxima!

September: Hoy en clase, Pato se encontró de nuevo en una situación difícil: el tiburón (que ves arriba) tenía mucha hambre y quería comer un sándwich de Pato. Las opciones de espaguetis, pizza y fruta no le apetecían a él para nada. Pero un pez (o sea, pescado!) y un pato, ¡qué rico! Como consecuencia, Pato siguió aprendiendo a volar para poder escaparse y huir del tiburón. Como que solo saben nadar los tiburones y no volar, Pato aquí tenía una ventaja, gracias a sus alas. Sin embargo, una herramienta no vale nada si no sabes cómo se usa. Por tanto, lo atamos a un hilo y practicaba hoy, el arte de volar. Mañana, planeamos en expandir su envergadura (“wingspan”) para que Pato pueda volar aun más lejos.

August: Hoy en clase, preescolar vio Pocoyo por primera vez. Este programa/ serie ha sido traducido en más de veinte idiomas, pero empezó originalmente en España. Había comentarios esta mañana así: “¡Pocoyo habla igual que tú!” Es bueno que empiecen a entender que yo no soy la única que habla español en este mundo.

Resumen, 18-19 (Grade 5)

Term
AUGThis month, students in fifth grade worked to create an epic saga in the target language.  These class stories are teacher-asked and student-led (agency), and tend to get rather creative rather quickly.  For example, for 5.A, this meant an extraterrestrial named Bobby who lives on the sun and whose ultimate adversary in life is Señor Dorito (yes, like the chips).  For 5.B, this meant an intense rivalry between two classmates, where McDonald’s was pitted against Chick-fil-A/PDQ, which ended when both restaurants were closed—because their owners, the Kardashians, were on vacation with their evil donkey.  Ahem. 

In other news, fifth graders also chose individualized password cards; responded to action commands; watched a YouTube video about the Bolivian railway system; and also learned that there are 21 Spanish-speaking countries and 400+ million Spanish speakers, but that Chinese is actually the most-spoken language in the world right now (English is number three behind Spanish).  Gracias for a great month. For links, please visit my other website and look under “Monthly Updates”.
SEPTThis month, students in fifth grade practiced jumping on and naming Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map before they sat down each day (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay). For their Summit mini culture project for Chile and Argentina, students “built” the Andes Mountains in three minutes with building blocks, and then watched as a terrible “mudslide” destroyed the mountain range—so that the next group could have a turn to build. For Uruguay, they traced a painting of a famous Uruguayan artist who wanted to define and identify Latin American art on his own terms, instead of in relation to North America and Europe; ultimately, the painting of an inverted map is about taking new perspectives and questioning tradition.

Fifth graders also continued working on their class stories. It is important to remember here that storytelling is the linguistic foundation of every culture: whether it is a simple conversation about where you bought your coffee this morning, or a more detailed narrative about how your two-year-old dumped juice all over the floor and then ran around the house screaming, we all partake in the timeless tradition of storytelling on a daily basis. Every conversation is a story—and sometimes the story leads where you least expect it.

That said, the story of 5.A. led to Señor Dorito escaping from jail with his two evil donkey friends in a broken down school bus (autobús roto). When fifth graders could not agree on an ending, they broke off into groups and wrote out their ideas—agreeing to disagree.

In 5.B, a slightly more realistic plot ensued, where Frito Bandito ‘rescued’ the imprisoned evil donkey and escaped, only to find himself in a courtroom in the next scene being tried for multiple crimes. In between the judge announcing, “Se abre la sesión” (court is in session), inkpad fingerprints presented as evidence, and an unexpected, but tearful confession, there was also a zumo y limonada/juice and lemonade break to ease the unspoken tension in the room.

Last but not least, students continued acting out their animal passwords, played Hangman/ Dunk Tank (tú ganas/you win), and learned part of the chorus to Pedro Infante’s famous “Cielito lindo” (ay yie yie yie, canta, no llores/ay yie yie yie, sing, don’t cry)—which managed to make its way into both class stories. They also watched the Frito Bandito commercial from the 1960’s, which can only be fully appreciated after you are familiar with the original [aforementioned] song.  Gracias for a great month. For links, please visit my other website below and look under “Monthly Updates”.
T1This trimester, students in fifth grade began by creating several wildly creative class stories, with plots about evil donkeys, broken down school buses, a serious Chick-fil-A vs. PDQ rivalry, stolen jewels from an art museum, and even a real courtroom trial (5.B). Here, fifth graders worked on answering questions about the stories and composing their own original sentences in the target language. Fifth graders also jumped on and named the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map, and played a highly addictive, “Guess the Language” online game (LingLang) to strengthen and hone their listening abilities; being able to distinguish one language’s sounds and cadence from another takes time and is a skill that will only benefit their language study.

Cultural tidbits were sprinkled throughout the trimester: from sneezing iguanas (Ecuador), dangerous railroads (Bolivia), a painting of an inverted map (Uruguayan artist), and the frightening legend of the Chupacabra (Puerto Rico/5.A), to Pedro Infante’s famous “Cielito lindo” (ay yie yie yie, canta, no llores/ay yie yie yie, sing, don’t cry/Mexican singer), El Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead class discussions (Mexico), and a tradition of saying, “Salud, dinero, amor” (health, money, love) when a person sneezes (Colombia), fifth graders began to deepen their appreciation for different and new perspectives. Gracias for a great first trimester.

Please visit thespanishcave.wordpress.com (“Monthly Updates”) for links and more information.
NOVThis month, students in fifth grade began a theater unit. First, fifth graders heard a short legend in the target language, and then were assigned groups and given scripts to practice reading lines and acting out the legends: La casa embrujada/The Haunted House (Peru); El ratoncito que sabía ladrar/The Mouse Who Knew How to Bark (Cuba); and El collar de oro/The Gold Necklace (New Mexico). The goal here was not to memorize parts but rather to get into the routine of rehearsing in another language, as—fingers crossed—fifth graders will be presenting a formal program of Spanish plays at the end of the year for you in the target language. Both classes started reviewing their first official plays for the program this past week. You will receive more information and details/specifics about this event in the January newsletter.

Summit students also learned to dance how to dance the Salsa after they started naming Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean on the tape floor map; the dance is particularly popular there. To inspire them for their cookie cutter design project, 5.B learned about the Night of the Radishes Festival in Oaxaca (Mexico), where enormous radishes are carved in the days leading up to Christmas. As always, feel free to visit my website for links and more information.

NOTE: Due to both a short month [December] as well as class cancellations for rehearsals, field trips, class parties, etc., you will receive the next newsletter at the end of January.
JANThis month, students in fifth grade became a bit fanatical about jumping on and naming all of the 21 Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map in a certain number of seconds. The Lower School record at this point is 8.32 seconds—wow! Students took an official test to demonstrate their mastery of the material. Fifth graders also began rehearsing their Spanish plays in the White Box Theater, playing with the new space and working to not back the audience. They took a day to create humorous commercials (Target/Espera más, paga menos/Expect more, pay less, McDonald’s/Me encanta, Crest toothpaste, etc.).

Later, they delved into a mini-grammar unit, learning that nouns in the target language are organized as masculine and feminine, or “boy” (el) and “girl” (la) words. Students had fun racing to the board—markers in hand—and trying to find, translate, and spell words and short phrases correctly… before their opponent, of course. Finally, students listened to a few song covers in the target language. For example, HERE is the Spanish cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”.

NOTE: Due to rehearsals, holiday parties (Christmas and Valentine’s), and several long weekends, fifth graders have missed quite a few Spanish classes this past month. Because they only meet twice a week as it is, in January students began working to fill in these gaps by signing up for a language-learning app of their choice (i.e., Duolingo, Memrise, MindSnacks, FluentU), and spending three days a week, for five minutes each day on the app. If your child has taken a break from this practice, please encourage them to restart! […particularly because ALL of Summit will be participating in this Spanish App Challenge very soon, and there may be prizes down the road…] And as always, feel free to visit my website below for links and more information.
MARApparently, did not write an update.

Resumen, 18-19 (Grade 4)

Term
AUGThis month, students in fourth grade learned about Spain’s famous tomato-throwing festival, La Tomatina, held the last Wednesday of August every year.  To celebrate and reenact the day sans actual tomatoes, fourth graders made catapults out of Popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and hot glue, and launched decorative, lightweight balls at G.I. Joe firemen and LEGO men figurines.  Students also chose individualized password cards, and then practiced thinking up ways to physically act out each one as part of their beginning-of-class routine; responded to action commands; and worked on their class stories, which are interactive, teacher-asked but student-led creations in the target language. 

Here, the main character is absolutely ravenous, and desires a plateful of juicy, red tomatoes; however, his foe (in one class, Taylor Swift) has eaten all of the tomatoes in the entire world.  Thus, our hero must travel to Mars, the red planet, to get what he wants—and, presumably, battle Taylor for it, in a struggle not unlike La Tomatina, thereby spreading Spanish culture beyond this world (4.B).  Last but not least, students learned that there are 21 Spanish-speaking countries and 400+ million Spanish speakers, but that Chinese is actually the most-spoken language in the world right now (English is number three behind Spanish).  Gracias for a great month.
SEPTThis month, students in fourth grade made copies of their animal password cards for the Summit hallway bulletin board; sang along to a silly video called, “¿Puedo ir al baño?” (Can I go to the bathroom?); and took a trip down memory lane by watching Pocoyo: Invisible in the target language. They also jumped on and named certain Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map before they sat down each day: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia. For their Summit mini culture project for Chile and Argentina, students “built” the Andes Mountains in three minutes with building blocks, and then watched as a “terrible mudslide” destroyed the mountain range—so that the next group could have a turn to build. For Uruguay, they traced a painting of a famous Uruguayan artist who wanted to define and identify Latin American art on his own terms, instead of in relation to North America and Europe; ultimately, the painting of an inverted map is about taking new perspectives and questioning tradition.

Fourth graders also continued their tomato saga, adding kings and queens of various planets (and even the galaxy!) to round out the story, and ended with a dramatic, slow motion, galactic force fight inside Taylor Swift’s jail cell—with Kung Fu Fighting playing in the background, of course. Taylor refused to hand over all of the tomatoes (todos los tomates), so really, there was no other option: “¡La fuerza!” (the force!). Since then, fourth graders have been working on a humorous script of their class story in Spanish—trying to memorize lines, coordinating words and movements onstage and, most importantly, making sure they know what they are saying! Gracias for a great month.
T1This trimester, students in fourth grade began by celebrating La Tomatina, a famous tomato-throwing festival in Spain. To celebrate and reenact the day sans actual tomatoes, fourth graders made catapults out of Popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and hot glue, and launched decorative, lightweight balls at G.I. Joe firemen and LEGO men figurines. Other cultural projects included ‘building’ the Andes Mountains out of blocks on the tape floor map (South America); tracing an inverted painting that is meant to change one’s perspective and question tradition (Uruguay); and decorating sugar skull cookies for El Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead (Mexico).

Fourth graders also created and acted out several class stories. In one, a dramatic, slow motion, galactic force fight inside Taylor Swift’s jail cell ensued—with Kung Fu Fighting playing in the background—because Taylor would not hand over all of the tomatoes in the galaxy to the planetary kings and queens (la fuerza/the force). In another (4.B), a rocket ship with alien sisters on board crash-lands in the Atacama Desert (Chile); two groups of spies witness the crash and begin throwing lemons at the intruders; unexpectedly, the aliens love the sour flavor and graciously thank their attackers. Students built spy forts in the classroom to act this out and participated in official Spy Training.

Fourth graders also practiced reading and writing sentences and mini-stories in the target language; jumped on and named the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map; played a highly addictive, “Guess the Language” online game (LingLang); and made connections between their project time topics (Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans) and Spanish class. Gracias for a great first trimester.
NOVThis month, students in fourth grade worked on starting their sentences with, “Pregunta” (question) whenever they wanted to ask something, and learned how to dance the Salsa after they started naming Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean on the tape floor map; the dance is particularly popular there. Fourth graders also played the “offline dinosaur game” and designed their own live video game course in the Spanish classroom, complete with jumping obstacles, gold as the prize for completing all of the levels, and Super Mario music playing in the background for 4.B—whereas talented 4.A musicians opted to play video game type songs on the class keyboard (jugar/play; nivel uno/level one; salta/jump; el oro/gold).

Students also helped create more mini-stories in the target language. For example, in 4.A, an orca named Flippers has a boat/barco and is saved by a student in an airplane during a highly unusual storm, where it rains lemons. Fourth graders listened to the famous Ojalá llueva café en el campo by Juan Luis Guerra (Dominican Republic); in the song, it rains coffee. In another story, a Minecraft lamb named Lime/Limón Verde lives in a haunted house. Students have begun bringing in their favorite stuffed animals and toys around which the stories are then created. In 4.B, students chose a spooky genre, and things got a little weird: a lizard named Burrito lives in a haunted house with ghosts and zombies. One night, his dog is sleeping, and one of the zombies, Pocoyo—fourth graders decided on this cartoon character because the stuffed toy version’s head spins—is hungry and eats the dog’s brain/cerebro. The puppy calls a doctor, but the doctor is actually a mad scientist/cientítifico loco and gives him a super brain, with all of the information in the entire world. Yikes!

Last but not least, students in 4.A learned a clapping rhyme that children recite to pass the time when they are waiting (~in line, on the bus, etc.): Jorge robó pan en la casa de San Juan, quién yo, sí tú, yo no fui, entonces quién/lit., George stole bread from Saint John’s house/who me/yes, you/it wasn’t me/then who). To inspire them for their cookie cutter design project, 4.B learned about Las Fallas, a unique celebration in Valencia (Spain) where people build massive parade floats, and then burn them all at the end of the week.
JANThis month, students in fourth grade moved on from naming all of the twenty-one Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map, to identifying major landforms in South America: montañas/mountains (Andes Mountains); desierto/desert (Atacama Desert); and río/river (Amazon River). They made storyboard comic strips in the target language to wrap up their storytelling unit; chose Spanish first and last names; and practiced reciting the Pledge of Allegiance/Juro fidelidad a la bandera—at students’ request. Fourth graders also listened to both more traditional music (Mama Tingo, Johnny VenturaOjalá, Silvio Rodriguez/esp. 4.A) as well as pop songs (Tal vez me llames/Call Me Maybe Spanish cover; No tengo dinero, MAFFiO).

Later on, they began a centers unit. Here, students write form letters in the target language, filling in the blanks where necessary—or sometimes reconstructing it from memory—and receive immediate feedback re: accents, spelling, punctuation, etc. They choose their preferred activity of the day: tocar el piano/play the piano; jugar baloncesto/play basketball; pintar/paint; jugar a los naipes/play cards; jugar en la fortaleza/play in the fort; construir un videojuego/build a videogame; and/or work on a guided culture project—e.g., painting tiles for La Alhambra, a Moorish palace in southern Spain. The goal is to incorporate more Spanish words, phrases, and expressions at each center.

For example, when they play cards, students exclaim, “¡Tú ganas!/you win!” or “¡Yo gano!/I win”; in basketball, they might say, “Pásala/pass it”, or in the fort, “¡No zapatos!/No shoes!”. Any time they want to switch centers during a class period or leave the room to get extra materials or go to the bathroom, they have to ask in the target language. Naturally, certain items will intentionally go ‘missing’ from time to time, leading to forced linguistic interactions; if I hide the basketballs in the closet, fourth graders must ask for the keys in Spanish to open the closet (Necesito las llaves/I need the keys). Teehehee. If you are intrigued or questioning the importance of play in the classroom, please visit the Language Blog* on my website and read my latest post entitled, “Just Play”.

On one particularly exciting day, a student colored all over his hands with florescent marker (wait for the explanation before you say, “WHAT??!”), and put them under the class black light to demonstrate bioluminescence—a natural phenomenon where your skin glows underwater when it comes in contact with algae in certain parts of the world, including Puerto Rico. This kind of experiential creativity, combined with language and culture, is what learning is all about to me.

NOTE: Parents with children in multiple grades may notice that there has been some overlap in terms of content between the grades this past month and half. The purpose here is twofold. First, when children realize that they know the same Spanish vocabulary, a conversation begins—a door opens between grade levels where everyone is invited to the Party called Learning. If everyone in the world only knew segregated vocabularies, no one could talk to anyone!

Second, in the cultural realm, and now that students have more or less mastered the map, projects have begun popping up all around the Spanish room. When a class enters and there are suddenly masking tape designs all over the floor and a cardboard box tower in the corner, they naturally want to learn why and who and where and how and what. Of course, lessons are differentiated and age-appropriate, but it is absurdly exciting to hear first and fifth graders reference La Alhambra (Spain) or ‘jugar’/play in conversation. I feel that it builds a more inclusive, Spanish language-learning community when there are a few common building blocks.
MARApparently, did not write an update.

Resumen, 18-19 (Grade 3)

Term
AUGThis month, students learned that they have been selected to join the world-renowned Spanish Acting Company.  As participants, third graders will perform in multiple shows throughout the year, as main characters and audience members.  The importance of each role was emphasized here.  Performed as theatrical plays, each story will include both fiction (creative, student ideas) and nonfiction (cultural, historical facts) elements.

The first story begins with the following: a famous actor with absurdly strong bodyguards—stuffed animals under students’ sleeves as muscles—must summon his courage to deal with a most calamitous situation: his arch-nemesis has stolen all of his money and pets (3.A) and car (3.B).  How to manage?  Only time will tell… particularly as the class stories are teacher-asked but student-led.  In addition to storytelling, third graders also chose individualized password cards, and then practiced thinking up ways to physically act out each one as part of their beginning-of-class routine; responded to action commands; and danced to the song Madre Tierra during brain breaks.  Gracias for a great month.
SEPTThis month, students in third grade chose animal password cards and made sure to ask, “¿Qué es?” (What is it?/“K S”, pronounced like the alphabet letters) when they could not remember a word. If their password card was at the wrong seat, third graders responded, “¡Esta no es mi contraseña!/ This is not my password!, focusing on the “ñ” sound that requires your nose to crinkle a bit when you say it—‘nyah’, as in español, contraseña, baño, etcetera. 3.B got excited about their sound study and proceeded to work on a tricky tongue twister, just for fun: Pepe Pecas pica papas con un pico. Con un pico pica papas Pepe Pecas. (Pepe Pecas picks potatoes with a pick. With a pick picks potatoes Pepe Pecas.)

Third graders also jumped on and named certain Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map before they sat down each day; a new country is added about once a week. To make this activity more meaningful, students created pasaportes/passports that are stamped as they enter and exit each country. They began their travels at the tip of South America with Chile and Argentina; more stamps will be added upon completing the continent. Now that they have finished working on the actual passports, students must show their booklets upon crossing the official frontera/border 0f the Spanish Cave every class (“customs”). No passport, no entry!

Later, third graders learned about Easter Island (Chile), and then created and painted replicas with air-dry clay of either the Moai statues or one of the undecipherable Rongorongo tablets (written in hieroglyphs and reverse boustrophedon). Students seemed to latch on to the idea that the tablets were engraved/carved using shark teeth and volcanic rock, but gracefully accepted that they would only be using toothpicks in Spanish class. Note to self: next year, I will not use the word ‘tablet’ to describe the wooden boards; in this digital age, third graders thought I meant that iPads were discovered on Easter Island. Ahem.

Third graders continued with their class stories as well. Updates as follows: In 3.A, the enemy forces—namely, a magic school bus/autobús mágico and train/tren—traveled from Egypt to Los Angeles, California to steal a famous actress’ money and pets, and then escaped with the goods to Hawaii, with an out of the way stop at Easter Island. The class went to Easter Island to fight the enemies—but tragically, students were hungry upon arrival, rashly touched a magical apple, and were turned into statues. Better luck next time? Note: If anyone reading this happens to be in possession of a large refrigerator box, I would gladly take it off your hands to build a time machine and change students’ luck.

In 3.B, and with Pato held captive as his prisoner, the evil pig (el cerdo malvado) decided that a delicious bocadillo de pato (duck sandwich) would really whet his appetite. The class voted by chanting either, “¡Ayúdame!” (Help me!, as the voice of Pato) or “¡Cómelo!” (Eat him!, as encouragement to the evil pig); when the votes were tallied, the evil pig was no longer hungry. *Sniff, sniff* However, students ended up making unicorn, witch, and wizard hats and turned our dear friend Pato into a ghost. Obviously, he has some unfinished business on Earth.

Last but not least, third graders were given the terribly onerous, yearlong task of collecting one fruit and vegetable sticker, label, and/or clothing tag, from each of the 21 Spanish-speaking countries. They were told to keep their eyes open particularly when grocery shopping; bananas, for example, are frequently from Spanish-speaking countries: if/when you buy them, students may add said sticker to their page (and eventually, passport). They are strongly advised to post a blank page on the refrigerator so as not to lose it! This homework assignment (and import/export study) will be ongoing throughout the year. If one country is particularly difficult to find, we will discuss as a class the “why” behind it. For now, please just encourage students to keep their eyes open! Gracias for a great month.
T1This trimester, students in third grade practiced acting out their password cards and naming the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map. They also acted out wildly creative story plots: from an evil pig, duck sandwich, powerful notebook, town named HairGel, and a ghost who wants revenge (3.B), to a magic school bus, stolen pets, daring enemy escape by plane, and musical keyboard accompaniment by talented student musicians (3.A), third graders began to grasp how to make the target language come alive in their minds. In addition, students had fun identifying ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ words (i.e., masculine and feminine nouns: el/la/los/las, or the four ways to say ‘the’ in Spanish), and ‘claiming’ them as their own property, respectively; began tuning in to pronunciation details and new sounds, such as “ñ” (nyah) and the forever silent “h” (hola); and took a few “Kindergarten/Activity Days”, where third graders painted, drew on the board, played fútbol/soccer, and explored their own personal interests via centers.

Cultural projects and facts were sprinkled throughout the trimester: from sculpting Easter Island statues out of clay (Chile), coloring calaveras/skulls and making papel picado for Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead (Mexico), learning about the 900-page, world renowned novel Don Quijote and tracing Picasso’s painting of the main characters (Spain), to singing La cucaracha and hearing different types of güiros (Latin America), third graders’ energy and thoughtful questions continue to inspire. Gracias for a great first trimester.
NOVThis month, students in third grade practiced saying the Pledge of Allegiance (Juro fidelidad a la bandera) to continue working on their phonetics study. They also sat according to their birthday months, made personalized passports—with miniature flags of all of the Spanish-speaking countries—and continued telling and acting out their class stories.

In 3.B, Pato was eaten by an evil pig, who is friends with a Powerful Notebook. Students paused here to brainstorm a list of powerful things and then drew a collage of said concepts around the word poderoso/powerful. Anyway, the fantasma/ghost of Pato wants revenge, and decides that because the evil pig is allergic to flan (a Spanish dessert), he will use it to get back at him and make him sneeze uncontrollably—there is a tradition of saying, “Salud, dineroamor/health, money, love” when a person sneezes (Colombia). However, because the Powerful Notebook, or cuaderno poderoso has the flan, he will have to visit his home, a cobertizo/shed filled with cucarachas/cockroaches and other insectos/insects.

Because the story centers around venganza/revenge, third graders watched a silly cartoon chicken video about animal sounds in Spanish, where the chicken gets strong and gets revenge against a truck (Pollito pío). Additionally, third graders took a day to made Popsicle stick sheds with paper insects. This class also went on a tangent one day—though I realize all of this sounds like a tangent!—and had a mature discussion about endangered languages and untranslatable words. Students tasted dulce de leche (not flan, but very sweet at least!) and fried crickets, too, as it was [mostly] relevant to their class story.

In 3.A, students only had four classes in November, due to Student-Led Conferences and Golden Guest Day rehearsals, and spent the time finishing their passport booklets and reviewing their class story: here, a policeman and dog chase after two enemies that have stolen money and stuffed animals from the main character. The enemies put dulce de leche (Argentina) on the ground, which slows down the police. Students were also able to taste this sweet, caramel-like spread in class.
JANThis month, students in third grade worked on naming and jumping on all of the twenty-one Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map independently. Many have demonstrated complete mastery of this skill. It is almost overwhelming—when you hear them rattled off— to grasp that there are completely different Spanish accents, vocabularies, and cultures (music, foods, art, sports, customs, etc.) in each of these places. My goal as an educator is to provide a general overview here; now that students are familiar with the names of these places, they can associate cultural and historical events with said countries in a more meaningful context.

With that in mind, third graders spent a day trying to replicate the Nazca Lines (Peru) around the Spanish room. These are an ancient mystery: at ground level, they appear to be lines, or trenches, in the desert going in all directions; however, from an airplane, you see that they are in reality massive geoglyphs of animals and plants—and yet, these civilizations existed prior to the invention of the airplane! Hmm… Students also painted and colored tiles for the class fort, aka La Alhambra, which is based on an actual Moorish palace/fortress in southern Spain; ate twelve grapes to celebrate New Year’s Eve (tradition in Spain); learned that an ice cream shop in Venezuela holds the world record for the greatest number of flavors offered: 900 (3.B); and began building a model of Machu Picchu in Peru (3.A).

In other news, students wrote first and second drafts of their storyboard comic strip stories in Spanish, and then shifted from storytelling (Q&A in the target language) to centers, where third graders sign up for their center of choice each day (tweeting, writing a form letter, or speaking aloud), requesting any materials they need and explaining what they want to do in Spanish* (e.g., build roads to drive their Spheros (construir/build), play Twister or basketball (jugar/play), make slime (hacer baba/make slime), play the piano (tocar el piano), etc.).

They have been listening to Tal vez me llames (Call Me Maybe) by Kevin Karla y la banda regularly as well; it is funny to hear the cover of a song you are already familiar with in another language! As always, feel free to visit my website below for links and more information. If you are intrigued or questioning the importance of play in the classroom, please visit the Language Blog* on my website and read my latest post entitled, “Just Play”. Last but not least, students chose Spanish first and last names in the target language, and had fun practicing writing their new signatures all over my whiteboards.
MARThis month, students in third grade had more than a few discussions about phonetics and language in a more general sense, as opposed to “only” Spanish. There are, after all, about 7,000 languages in the world! These conversations touched on word loans—tacos, tortillas, quesadillas, and deja-vu, for example, have all been borrowed from other languages; there is no word in English for “taco”.

This led to more talk about untranslatable words; there are many words with no English equivalent, such as pisanzapra in Malay (the time needed to eat a banana), or 木漏れ日 (komorebi) in Japanese (the light that filters through the trees). It is easy to describe these concepts with English words, but there is not a single word that encompasses either concept. Third graders also watched a video by an actress, Amy Walker, who travels geographically around the world and says the same thing in 21 different accents—from England and Russia to New Zealand, South Carolina, and New York; they later practiced identifying languages on a “Guess the Language” online game to hone their ears. At one point, English was spoken with such an unfamiliar accent that students guessed it was Czech!

Third graders continued adding to their Spanish vocabularies via center work, and spent a chunk of time presenting in front of their peers in the target language in mini-speech form. Their confidence has grown tremendously since they began this practice near the end of January. They also heard several jokes in the target language, some of which were in Spanish and others with Spanish and English wordplays—e.g., Seven days without tacos makes Juan weak. Students are also required to say the password upon entering the Spanish Cave: after one student says, “Dime la contraseña” (tell me the password), the other responds with the fruit or vegetable of the week (that is, naranja/orange, plátano/ banana, zanahoria/carrot, espárrago/asparagus, melocotón, durazno/peach, arándano/blueberry, cebolla/onion).

In the culture realm, students learned a bit about El Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile hike and pilgrimage across northern Spain (that their teacher completed last summer); cooked and tasted fried plantains (patacones or tostones), which are eaten in many Spanish-speaking countries; and used photos in the Spanish classroom to inspire various projects during center time. For instance, some students tried to create a replica of an underwater art museum in Mexico in a fish tank with florescent paper fish, rocks, and flowers, which was amazing… until the tank started leaking; others made dozens of Coquí frogs (Puerto Rico) out of green paper; and still others opted for pick-up soccer games (fútbol) outside, as soccer is a hugely popular sport in many countries.

Resumen, 18-19 (Grade 2)

Term
AUGThis month, students in second grade chose individualized password cards, and then practiced thinking up ways to physically act out each one as part of their beginning-of-class routine.  They also began rehearsing a class script for what will eventually be a news show, with famous, real-life Univisión anchors, Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas, as leads (all the boys played Jorge; all the girls were María). 

Later, second graders worked on a teacher-asked, student-led class story: here, an evil penguin with an unbearably evil cackle flies to a student’s house and steals a sword (2.A) and hat (2.B) from the protagonist during a tremendous rainstorm; the two characters do slow-motion karate, but in the end, the enemy escapes—oh no! Obviously, this crime will make its way into the news show at some point in time.  Last but not least, students read a letter from their trustworthy but silly, stuffed animal language-learning companion, Pato (duck), and signed up for centers in the target language—construir/build; pintar/paint.  Each week, a new center (and sight word) will be added, so that by the end of the year, second graders will have a substantial word collection.  Gracias for a great month.
SEPTThis month, students in second grade continued acting out their password cards, and added a few more centers (¡Mira!/Look!), paying special attention to the upside-down question marks in the target language when signing up for one (¿Puedo hacer un avión de papel?/Can I make a paper airplane?; “¿Puedo hacer un comecocos?/Can I make a fortune teller?).

Later, they learned that their beloved stuffed animal duck friend, Pato, had been listening when they were jumping on the tape floor map in the Spanish room (naming Spanish-speaking countries)—and decided to travel to Argentina… without them! However, he was kind enough to send a text and video informing of his whereabouts, and claimed he would be back soon. He is currently exploring Iguazu Falls, or one of the world wonders, which is made up of an amazing 275 waterfalls! Song lyrics: “Where is Pato? Where is Pato? ¿Dónde está? ¿Dónde está? / ¡Dime, por favor! ¡Dime, por favor! Tell me, please! Tell me, please!”

Students also learned that their teacher hiked a famous 500-mile long walk in northern Spain this summer, called the Camino de Santiago, and decided to make their own Camino down the Lower School hallway (2.B) with flechas/arrows and conchas/shells—symbols of the actual Camino. Later, they walked it, complete with backpacks, walking poles (hockey sticks), and water bottles.

When Pato returned from his travels the following week, he had no interest in sharing stories about Argentina, but instead, was already planning another trip. Apparently, the stuffed animal duck is jetting off to España/Spain next to walk the Camino de Santiago (he must be telepathic, although neuroscientists need to explain this one to me). However, he personally informed that directions are not exactly his forte; and thus requested second graders’ help (2.A) in creating a faux Camino outside, with chalk arrows and shells, and piles of rocks to help guide him. Second graders even built a ‘chair mountain’ for him to practice climbing in the Spanish Cave. Later, they listened to a fast, upbeat song (in Euskara, a language spoken in Northern Spain) about the Camino as well.

In other news, students continued with their class story. Update as follows: the protagonist is upset that evil Pingüino has stolen his/her things, but decides to think before acting; in fact, s/he thinks and thinks (piensa y piensa) for ten years (2.A) and ten centuries (2.B). To represent this passage of time, students made paper beards and moustaches, at which point the main character finally comes up with step one of a brilliant plan: to build a bridge (construir un puente)—but the bridge is a trick. ¡Peligro, peligro! (Danger, danger!)

Students built said bridge in class with Kleenex, paper clips, tape, and many, many, many Popsicle sticks, and then watched a slow-motion video of Pingüino falling off the [intentionally] poorly constructed bridge… and then transforming into a fantasma/ghost (i.e., the teacher trying to introduce Halloween vocabulary before Halloween). Gracias for a great month.
T1This trimester, students in second grade practiced acting out their password cards and naming the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map. While the map focused on South America, culture projects and discussions were not limited to these countries. For example, after learning about El Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, second graders created their own faux Camino both down the Lower School hallway as well as outside, with arrows, shells, and rock piles.

They also acted out one of the chapters of Don Quijote, a world renowned, 900-page novel from Spain; spent a day talking about El Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead (Mexico); learned that children in Guatemala put tiny Worry Dolls under their pillows at night to take away their worries while they sleep; and watched a video from Pato about his travels in Argentina. In the linguistic realm, students began the term with a class story about an evil penguin who falls off a (student-constructed) paper clip and Popsicle stick bridge and transforms into a ghost after stealing from a student (what?!). Later, they signed up for centers, or sight words, which morphed into a class town.

At this point in time, the town’s most popular destinations include the aeropuerto/airport (international flights available) and teatro/theater (watch mini Don Quijote and Coco plays performed). The dinero/money situation is developing, as second graders begin to demand compensation for products and services. One class also incorporated a cemetery and ofrenda after learning about the Day of the Dead, while the other started up a street market/mercado (without realizing that mercados are actually very culturally relevant and present in many Spanish-speaking countries). Gracias for a great first trimester.
NOVThis month, students in second grade continued naming more Spanish-speaking countries and developing new businesses and locations in their class pueblo/town. For example, one day a student created an enormous soccer field in the classroom out of masking tape and asked to play (¿Puedo jugar al fútbol?/Can I play soccer?). Next, some second graders at the class hotel/hotel hung paper television frames to watch the game and videoed it all on an iPad, while others took it upon themselves to make banderas/flags for the Spanish-speaking teams playing (i.e., Colombia vs. España/Spain) and cheered on the sidelines (golazo/goal; por acá/over here; pásala/pass it; casi/almost; vamos/let’s go; rápido/quickly). Later, the team decided to stand for Spain’s National Anthem before starting the game. Amazing!

Students also recently created an art museum/museo de arte and zoológico/zoo (with feeding stations and live pets as well as toy animals; one day, a bunny escaped from the zoo and ended up on the soccer field (2.A), which caused a bit of chaos until animal control was able to handle the situation). Another week, a few talented street musicians even entertained on the keyboard for tips.  Last but not least, students learned that the map of their town was created on an authentic map of downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina, home of the widest avenue in the world: 16 lanes of traffic. Second graders also tasted dulce de leche, a sweet, caramel-type of spread eaten in Argentina and many parts of South America.
JANThis month, students in second grade worked on naming and jumping on all of the twenty-one Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map independently. Many have demonstrated complete mastery of this skill—bravo! In the written world, they began differentiating between statements and questions “quiero/I want and ¿puedo?/can I?”, in both speaking and writing (e.g., intonation, punctuation). Here, second graders chose various (differentiated) modes to express themselves; while some opted for a fill-in-the-blank style letter or posting to Seesaw, others preferred to “text” back and forth to a friend in Spanish on printed out phone templates (not sure if this counts as tech integration or not!).

In order to emphasize why spelling and details matter, they learned about a true translation disaster: once, shirts were printed for the Pope’s visit, but the translator messed up and the shirts ended up saying, “I love potatoes” (la papa/potato, el Papa/the Pope, el papá/dad)—whoops! Translations are funny things: we like “see you later, alligator” in English because of the sound, but in Spanish, in order for it to rhyme, you say, “Adiós, corazón de arroz” (goodbye, heart of rice). Second graders had a good laugh at that one!

Once second graders became pretty comfortable with naming the Spanish-speaking countries, they took a day to redesign the Spanish room for a more project-based approach. Some days, culture was merely a fun fact or short activity. For example, when students saw a thirty-second video of sneezing iguanas (Ecuador), they physically reacted—jumping and sneezing around the room for a few minutes, mimicking the reptiles’ action. Another class, they ate twelve grapes and hoisted a plastic disco ball to celebrate the New Year in Spain.

On other days, however, culture was a full-fledged project: students cut out feathers to create a bulletin board display of the Andean Condor, a bird with a wingspan of nearly eleven feet; built a replica of the Alhambra (Spain) out of cardboard boxes and massive amounts of tape, and then decorated the Moorish palace with painted geometric tiles (a lot of LS classes helped with this!); and drew out the Nazca Lines (Peru) with masking tape all over the floor—designs in the desert that you can only see from an airplane.
MARThis month*, students in second grade had fun adjusting to a new daily routine: at the door of the Spanish Cave, after one student says, “Dime la contraseña” (tell me the password), the other responds with the fruit or vegetable of the week (that is, naranja/orange, plátano/banana,  zanahoria/carrot, espárrago/asparagus, melocotón, durazno/peach, arándano/blueberry, cebolla/onion). To start the month, they took a day to welcome seventh graders and listen to Powerpoint presentations of mini-stories that students had written in the target language. After phasing out their center work (e.g., quiero trabajar en la máquina del tiempo/I want to work on the time machine; quiero jugar baloncesto, ajedrez/I want to play basketball, chess; quiero ser una espía/I want to be a spy), second graders launched into several new culture projects with the question and song, “¿Adónde vas?” (Where are you going?).

First, they “went” to Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia) and tasted sal/salt—and azúcar/sugar, just for fun!—because it is the largest salt flat in the world. The interesting thing, is that during the rainy season, a thin layer of water over the salt allows the sky to be reflected perfectly, which is especially gorgeous during sunrises, sunsets, and starry nights. Second graders recreated these symmetrical reflections with watercolors by folding papers in half.

Later, students began assembling paper cubes to build a replica of “El Castillo”, a pyramid in Chichen Itza (Mexico), which is famous for its extraordinary mathematical calculations: every year, exactly on the equinox, a shadow of a tail appears on the side of the pyramid, which aligns perfectly with a snake head. While recreating the shadow itself would be difficult, second graders worked together to try to build the pyramid as a class. They also tasted fried plantains (patacones or tostones) that first and third graders had made (a popular snack in many Spanish-speaking countries), and were encouraged to make them at home. Last but not least, they played a game called Tingo-Tingo-Tango (Colombia).

More recently, second graders have been building their vocabularies by playing Policías y ladrones (Cops and Robbers) outside: quiero ser un policía/I want to be a police officer; ¡a la cárcel!/go to jail!; no quiero ir/I don’t want to go; ayúdame/help me; soy inocente/I’m innocent; libertad/freedom; no evidencia/no evidence; juez(a)/judge). 2.A also took a day to act out a very exciting pirate play in the target language, with kings, queens, a boy named Target and a pirate named Jimmy, a shipwreck during a terrible storm/tormenta, and an evil forest allergic to maíz/corn. It has been an exciting few months. 

**NOTE: Parents with children in multiple grades may notice that there has been some overlap in terms of content between the grades this past month and half. The purpose here is twofold. First, when children realize that they know the same Spanish vocabulary, a conversation begins—a door opens between grade levels where everyone is invited to the Party called Learning! If everyone in the world only knew segregated vocabularies, no one could talk to anyone.

Second, in the cultural realm, and now that students have more or less mastered the map, projects have begun popping up all around the Spanish room. When a class enters and there are suddenly masking tape designs all over the floor and a cardboard box tower in the corner, they naturally want to learn why and who and where and how and what. Of course, lessons are differentiated and age-appropriate, but it is absurdly exciting to hear first and fifth graders reference La Alhambra (Spain) or ‘jugar’/play in conversation. I feel that it builds a more inclusive, Spanish language-learning community when there are a few common building blocks.

Resumen, 18-19 (Grade 1)

Term
AUGThis month, students in first grade chose individualized password cards, and then practiced thinking up ways to physically act out each one as part of their beginning-of-class routine.  Later, students read the daily Letter from Pato—a very lovable, stuffed animal duck who is learning how to read Spanish himself; jammed to the theme song from Rompe Ralph/Wreck-It Ralph; and signed up for centers in the target language (colorear/color; jugar/play).  Each week, a new center (and sight word) will be added, so that by the end of the year, first graders will have a substantial word collection. 

First graders have already demonstrated ownership and agency within these centers, as in one class, the “jugar/play” center morphed from a golf course spread out across the Spanish room (with plastic white balls and paper cups) to a bowling alley (stacking the cups and knocking them down with colorful, oversized dice).  Another day, “jugar/play” became a class parade, complete with students marching around the room to Spain’s National Anthem, all while dressed up in scarves and sombreros, and carrying a huge flag of Spain.  Language grows ever deeper within a meaningful context; when its layers and roots begin to connect with real-life experiences and memories, “jugar/play” is no longer a translation, but a breathing, living entity in students’ minds.  Gracias for a great month.
SEPTThis month, students in first grade continued acting out their password cards and reading the daily letter from Pato. By the end of September, students were able to recite the letter as a class group effort—bravo! First graders also watched a silly video called, “¿Puedo ir al baño?” (Can I go to the bathroom?), and practiced naming Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay.

They continued to add centers to the daily Letter from Pato as well (who managed to fit in a quick trip to Argentina while first graders were working hard and he was, ahem, hardly working). Centers—i.e., sight words—up to this point include: colorear/to color; jugar/to play; pintar/to paint; construir/to build; cantar/to sing; and the newest addition, hablar/to talk.  To start building short sentences in the target language, first graders added, “Quiero” (I want/‘key-arrow’) when signing up for centers: for example, Quiero pintar/I want to paint. 

As their list of centers begins to grow, students learn vocabulary specific and relevant to each center. For example, in one class, the porristas/ cheerleaders learned a cheer for the soccer game (este partido, lo vamos a ganar/we’re going to win this game), whereas students more interested in coloring or painting learned words like papel/paper, cinta/tape, tarjetas/cards, marcadores/ markers, etc.  As a result, and when first graders want to try a new center, they are encouraged to teach each other new words. That way, it becomes a genuine community of learners where knowledge is not hoarded but rather shared for the growth and advancement of all. Gracias for a great month.
T1This trimester, students in first grade practiced acting out their password cards, reading the Letter from Pato, naming the Spanish-speaking countries in South America on the tape floor map, and singing and dancing along to daily class songs (esp. Rompe RalphMoana in Spanish, and “¿Puedo ir al baño?” [Can I go to the bathroom?]). Their primary focus, however, was on signing up for centers in the target language, and adding new sight words each week. Centers are teacher-guided but ultimately student-created.

For example, when “construir” (to build) was added, first graders grew this into a complex fort-building project—with chairs, blankets, flags, cardboard boxes, a spinning disco ball, etc.—until “Quiero construir una fortaleza” (I want to build a fort) rolled off their tongues. When they tired of that, soccer games and paper dragon-type creature crafts became the new rage. Later, students worked on leading group discussions with the question, “¿Qué quieres hacer?” (“K key-air-race ah-s(air)”/What do you want to do?). They also took a day to learn about El Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead, and made connections with the movie CocoGracias for a great first trimester.
NOVThis month, students in first grade continued naming more Spanish-speaking countries and adding new centers to their Spanish sight word collection (e.g., dormir/to sleep; trabajar/to work—students get to use the fake dinero/money and ‘work’ at the bank). They also began using lapices/pencils instead of marcadores/markers when signing up for centers, and explained with whom they were planning on playing (Quiero jugar con…/I want to play with…), both to learn the word ‘with’ as well as how to spell their classmates’ names.

As part of the beginning-of-class routine, first graders also jammed out to Feliz Navidad and pretended to be príncipes/princes, princesas/ princesses, reyes/kings, reinas/queens, unicornios/ unicorns, caballeros/ knights, caballos/horses, and more (the teacher went around and placed an invisible crown on their heads). Students have become masters at the daily routine and enjoy adding new, creative pieces to the ever-evolving puzzle each week.
JANThis month, students in first grade began differentiating between “¿Qué quieres ser?” (What do you want to be?) and “¿Qué quieres hacer?” (What do you want to do?). This was actually an unintentional wordplay that grew out of the class activity of pretending to be príncipes/princes, princesas/princesses, reyes/kings, reinas/queens, unicornios/unicorns, futbolistas/soccer players, caballos/horses, perritos/puppies, and bufones/jestors from last month. As a result, “Quiero ser…” (I want to be) became the new rage; but phonetically, it was a challenge to hear the difference between ser (“s[air]”/to be) and hacer (“ah-s[air]”/to do).

First graders alternated days writing and speaking in the target language, while continuing their map practice. The majority can now name fourteen of the twenty-one Spanish-speaking countries—bravo! Their official class song has changed as well: the translated version of Wreck-It Ralph/Rompe Ralph (by Auryn, a pop group from Spain) had been a favorite for many months, but with the clean slate and fresh air of 2019 came a new beat—Hoy es domingo (Today is Sunday) by Diego Torres. It is about how wonderfully relaxing Sundays can be, and students have already started singing along with the words.

Last but not least, and as part of an all-of-Lower-School project, first graders painted and colored tiles for the class fort, aka La Alhambra, which is based on an actual Moorish palace/fortress in southern Spain.
MARThis month*, students in first grade began class by putting their shoes in the center of the circle and tapping their feet to the names of each of the Spanish-speaking countries they knew (instead of jumping on the map, for a change). They also had fun singing the “Buenos días” song (good morning) and explaining how they were feeling that day.

To enter the room, prior to any of this, they were required to repeat the fruit or vegetable password of the week (that is, naranja/orange, plátano/ banana, zanahoria/carrot, espárrago/ asparagus, melocotón or durazno/ peach, arándano/blueberry, cebolla/onion). Students’ end-of-class routine was to try and clean up before their teacher arrived and then wait, crouched down in line with the lights off, so that they could jump up and shout, “¡Sorpresa!” (surprise), once their teacher returned—the surprise being that they had cleaned up on time.

In the linguistic realm, in order to build their noun vocabularies, first graders focused on completing the sentence, “Necesito…” (I need). First graders presented at the class podium in front of their peers (¡Hola! Buenos días. Soy X. Hoy quiero X. Necesito X. ¡Próximo!/Hello! Good morning. I’m X. Today I want to X. I need X. Next!), and some of these new nouns quickly became class jokes. For example, one girl uses the word, “cobija” (blanket) at home with her Spanish-speaking nanny, and as a result, took this opportunity to teach it to all of her classmates, repeating, “Cobija-cobija-cobija-cobija-cobija” nonstop whenever anyone asked her.

In 1.A, the word, “Chocolate” (‘cho-koh-lah-tay’) reduced everyone to giggles. The ‘chocolate’ piece came about after learning a Mexican rhyme (Bate, bate chocolate, tu nariz de cacahuate/stir, stir the chocolate, your nose is a peanut!), and seeing a video about how the tool used to stir the chocolate—un molinillo—is carved out of wood. It is absolutely gorgeous.

After first graders asked how to say, ‘fox’ in Spanish, they learned that ‘zorro’, or fox, was also the name of a fictitious character who used to save people in trouble (that took place in the Mexico/California region), and would carve the sign of the “Z” wherever he went to let the villains know he had been there. Students watched the black and white introduction and theme song to this show from 1958; some were even overheard afterwards declaring, “¡Soy Zorro!” (I’m Zorro!).

Later, they played Musical Chairs and a game from Colombia called Tingo-Tingo-Tango, and calmed down with a “siesta” (nap) after hearing about this custom in Spain—all of the businesses really do shut down in the middle of the day! Last but not least, they enjoyed marching around to Spain’s National Anthem; watched Pocoyó: Piratas and El perro y el gato; and—as you already know—cooked and tasted fried plantains (patacones or tostones), which are eaten in many Spanish-speaking countries.

Resumen, 18-19 (Grade K)

Term
AUGThis month, kindergarteners met “Pato”, a very lovable and silly stuffed animal who speaks Spanish but forgets how to say a lot of things… a lot of the time.  However, he always has a new idea up his sleeve (wing?).  For example, one week, kindergarteners took turns hoisting him up-up-up to the sky on a yarn pulley so that he could learn how to fly.  This skill became particularly relevant and useful after a tremendous baking soda and vinegar volcanic eruption forced him to flee for safety.  Kindergarteners crinkled their noses after getting a chance to smell the vinegar and then gasped as the powder turned into a foamy mess.  

Students also had fun lining up as a class “tren/train”, repeating “el cacahuete/peanut” and dancing to the beat (part of a rhyme kindergartners will learn later on), and stopping periodically to fill up the gas tank.  They also learned how to say, “Tengo sed/I’m thirsty” to get a drink from the water fountain; responded to action and animal commands in the target language; giggled as they read the translated version of ¡No, David! by David Shannon, responding “¡Qué problema!” to each page when David misbehaves; and worked on a design project that involved food coloring, paper, and coffee filters. Gracias for a great month.
SEPTThis month, kindergarteners began an ocean unit. First, and whenever they wanted to go get a drink (Tengo sed/I’m thirsty), students were required to bring back a cup of water to the classroom from the water fountain. In this way, they managed to fill up a plastic container (más agua/more water); underneath the clear plastic was a printout of sea creatures, making it appear to be the ocean—especially after adding a few drops of blue food coloring. Later, kindergarteners hypothesized whether or not items would float or sink (flota/floats; se hunde/sinks), and later built group boats out of Popsicle sticks (barcos/boats), complete with paper flags! To test their craftsmanship, students put the boats in a bowl of water (2.A) and kiddie pool outside (2.B) and watched as they… ultimately sank, ¡qué problema! Students also made catalejos/spyglasses with orcas and octopi and fish at the end of the telescopes, pretending to be pirates, and saw a very relevant episode of Pocoyo: Pirates.

To shift away from constant trips to the water fountain, a new song was introduced: “Tengo hambre” (I’m hungry). Afterwards, students broke off into groups and used tiny, lightweight, wicker-type balls to knock down “fish”, or GI Joe men standing on pictures of sea creatures. Then they shouted, “¡No me comas!” (don’t eat me!), and giggled as a ravenous tiburón/shark (read: manila folder with scary shark pictures) ate up all of the knocked down “fish”.

Kindergarteners also searched for “tesoro-tesoro-tesoro-TREASURE!” at the bottom of the sea; watched a few more episodes of Pocoyo; and, lastly, built a submarine out of chairs to keep them safe from any other hungry sharks (grande/big; pequeño/small). Gracias for a great month.
T1This trimester, students in kindergarten experienced immersion in the target language through a variety of multi-sensory and scientific activities. From hoisting their stuffed animal friend Pato up-up-up to the sky on a yarn pulley so that he could learn how to fly; to crinkling their noses at the smell of vinegar and gasping as baking soda turned it into a foamy, volcanic eruption mess; to a design project that involved food coloring, paper, and coffee filters; to building group boats out of Popsicle sticks, complete with paper flags; to floating and sinking objects and pirate adventures with spyglasses; […]

to searching for treasure, swimming away from hungry sharks, building submarines, singing along with Elmo to Para bailar la bamba and making sailor hats and boat steering wheels; to fort building, fruit markets, and writing Spanish sight words for the very first time; and finally, to making a class video of their ocean unit and learning about molinillos, a wooden tool used to stir chocolate in Mexico (bate, bate chocolate, tu nariz de cacachuate/stir, stir the chocolate, your nose is a peanut!), kindergarteners certainly gave it their “all”. Gracias for a great first trimester.
NOVThis month, students in kindergarten spent a class learning about El Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead, and were thoroughly fascinated by a silent film about the holiday—so much so, in fact, that each class ending up watching the three-minute video on repeat for a minimum of thirty minutes. To tap into the essential question of their regular classroom, kindergarteners made superhero masks to demonstrate their own personal poder, or power; learned a po-der-o-so/powerful clapping rhyme; and built card houses, until the power of various forces (esp. air and breath) knocked down the delicate constructions.

Students at first thought that agua/water was not powerful, until they considered hurricanes. K.B also made a planetarium of stars underneath one of the tables in the Spanish room—the power of the beauty of the night sky? Finally, they began a structured free play unit, where students chose and wrote down a Spanish sight word; this determined their activity for the day (e.g., colorear/color; jugar/play). Many kindergarteners tilted their heads, a bit perplexed, when trying to match the “who-garr” pronunciation with a word that starts with “j”; their understanding of the phonetics world has officially been turned upside-down!
JANThis month, students in kindergarten continued with their free play unit, with a special focus on math in the target language. Here, class begins with a Buenos días (good morning) song and answering the question, “¿Cómo estás?” (how are you?) with muy bien/very good, bien/good, mal/badtengo sueño/I’m sleepy, tengo sed/I’m thirsty, tengo hambre/I’m hungry, or me duele/it hurts (~head, knee, etc.).

Next, kindergarteners make a class bar graph of who wants to do what—colorear/color, jugar/play, pintar/paint, dormir/sleep, construir/build, or leer/read—and practice counting the votes (from cero/zero), working to isolate numbers and identify them out of sequence. Students note which is the tallest column, and sometimes even try to add all of them together to see the total. Granted, this number is slightly skewed and does not represent the number of students in class because they are allowed to choose more than one activity. Next, kindergarteners proceed to write their preferred sight word on the board before launching into said activity. Students heard Corre, perro, corre (Go, Dog, Go) over several classes as well (¿Te gusta mi sombrero?/Do you like my hat?; Sí me gusta/yes, I like it; No, no me gusta/no, I don’t like it).

Students also hum and sing along with Feliz Navidad, Rompe Ralph, and Para bailar la bamba playing in the background, many times without even realizing they are doing so! Please feel free to add these songs (links on my website) to your car playlist and see if your children notice, just for fun!
MARThis month*, students in kindergarten were encouraged to add more depth to their center work. The sight word, ir/to go (pronunciation: ‘ear’), for instance, became an entire week’s activity. Steps 1-5 as follows: build an airplane out of chairs (construir un avión); draw a plane ticket with name, destination, and a picture of the flag of said destination; pack a bag with clothes and toys; order jugo/juice, agua/water, and/or fruta/fruit from the stewardess (yours truly); and land after a tiny bit of [feigned] turbulence. Some students traveled to Mexico and the Alhambra in Spain (la fortaleza/the fort), while others ventured as far as China, and one even went to Colorado for the skiing—read: taped paper skis onto her sneakers and pretended to ski down the Lower School hallway.

Another week, kindergarteners wanted to play with the [fake] dinero/ money in the Spanish classroom, but had to think up ways to earn it—money is not free for the taking; you must be willing to work/trabajar. As a result, some students tidied the classroom, while others felt inspired to set up small businesses after seeing photos of the popular street markets/mercados or ferias in Argentina. Students set out blankets on the floor, and sold everything from art supplies to stuffed animals. A few even started making paper wallets to hold their cash. Nice!

In the culture realm, kindergarteners made abanicos, or hand-held fans, and learned that due to the extreme heat, daily siestas/naps are part of the culture (Spain). They also practiced basic steps to the Tango. This is a ballroom dance from Argentina, but was taught with the American T-A-N-G-O style because the Argentine variations are too difficult for this age. Additionally, they sang along with and danced to A mí me gusta bailar el ritmo vuelta, a Merengue group dance, and took a day to play a game called Tingo-Tingo-Tango (Colombia).

Finally, students watched a few new episodes of Pocoyo (including Pocoyo: Despierta; Pocoyo: El baño de Loula); mimicked the movements in two silly videos about animal sounds in Spanish that have more than a billion hits online (Pollito Pío: Original/ Venganza); were intrigued by a calming flower/flor mindfulness activity; practiced saying, “¡Sorpresa!” (surprise) when their teacher came to pick them up; and worked to master their trickiest sight word yet: “y”—which means ‘and’ but is pronounced like the English alphabet letter “e”.

Resumen, 18-19 (PK)

Term
AUGThis month, students in PreK learned that “Señorita” speaks Spanish, which sounds a little different than English.  They were not sure at first that they could follow the strange new mix of sounds, but after a few “tests” (toca la cabeza/touch your head, salta/jump, etc.), Junior Knights realized it was not so difficult—even if it still sounded funny!  In terms of content, students heard and followed gestures for the song Saco una manita; responded to action commands; met a stuffed animal duck named Pato, who will be their trusty companion all year long; made monsters out of paper, cups, and green pipe cleaners; and took a ‘Field Trip’ down the long Lower School hallway to identify all of the puertas/doors (note: there are quite a few). 

They also jammed to the theme song from Rompe Ralph/Wreck-It Ralph, and watched two episodes of the cartoon Pocoyo in the target language.  Many lessons this year will be built around Pocoyo: students will do a class project or hear a story, and then watch a cartoon that follows the same theme and vocabulary. Gracias for a great month!
SEPTThis month, students in PreK continued responding to action commands (cohete/rocket ship, baila/dance, marcha/march), following the gestures for the song Saco una manita, dancing to Rompe Ralph/Wreck-It Ralph, and watching relevant Pocoyo episodes (Pocoyo: La llave maestra; Pocoyo: Vamos de pesca; Pocoyo: Grande y pequeño). They also practiced requesting markers [colors] in the target language during project time. One week, for example, students made fishing poles with Pato out of Popsicle sticks, yarn, and tape. After decorating the poles, they were able to “go fishing” in a kiddie pool filled with pictures of sea creatures—the adhesiveness of the tape “caught” the paper fish!

Another week, students played a hot/cold game while searching for tesoro-tesoro-tesoro-TREASURE! Inspired by their enthusiasm for treasure, the teacher presented two different types of treasure, divided by size—gigantic stuffed animals and tiny books, cars, and beads (grande/ big; pequeño/ small). Students then chose a size, and either 1) filled a box with very large or very small treasures; or 2) drew a very large or very small picture. Some pre-kindergarteners even taped multiple pieces of paper together to make their drawings even bigger—bravo! Later, students made an enormous car out of chairs in the classroom. Where will they go? Only time will tell. Gracias for a great month!
T1This trimester, students in PK responded to action commands (baila/dance, toca la cabeza/touch your head, salta/jump, da la vuelta/turn around, etc.); sang along with Saco una manita; followed the gestures to Estrellita (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star); danced to Rompe Ralph/Wreck-It Ralph; and watched relevant Pocoyo episodes—see my website for links. Basic skills such as color and number practice were incorporated into project days, of which there were many.

From making monsters out of paper, cups, and green pipe cleaners and taking a ‘Field Trip’ down the long Lower School hallway to identify all of the puertas/doors, to fishing with Pato for sea creatures in a kiddie pool, searching for tesoro-tesoro-tesoro-TREASURE!, painting cohetes/rocket ships, building towers out of cups, blocks, and markers, getting stuck in traffic with ‘car-chairs’, playing Luz roja, luz verde (Red Light, Green Light), and marveling at the sound and feel of maracas, students adjusted well to being immersed in the target language. Gracias for a great first trimester.
NOVThis month, students in PK only had two classes, due to the Thanksgiving break and Trim the Towne celebration. (This is why the Spanish Seesaw Corner has been virtually silent [bad pun] as of late.) In one class, they made spiders and spider webs out of a variety of materials to make connections with the nature unit in their regular classroom.

The following week, they practiced saying and acting out the lyrics to a clapping rhyme in the target language—Jorge robó pan en la casa de San Juan/quién, yo/sí, tú/yo no fui/entonces, quién? (lit., George stole bread in Saint John’s house/who, me/yes, you/it wasn’t me/then, who?)—where “Jorge” becomes each persons’ name in the circle. It is a difficult rhyme to catch on in one class, but students did quite well with the challenge. As always, feel free to visit my website below for links and more information.
JANThis month, students in PK continued experiencing the target language in context with more project days. For example, one week, they stretched the creative part of their brain by seeing what they could make with a single sheet of paper—no other materials allowed! Initial frustration—no scissors? no markers?!—turned into something beautiful by the end: from treasure maps and a shirt to telescopes, the letter “r” and a pizza, students’ imagination shined. Another week, they painted tiles for the Alhambra fort that other Lower School students had built for the Spanish room, and then had fun taking a “siesta” (nap) inside the cardboard construction.

Pre-kindergarteners also practiced singing along with the Buenos días (good morning) song and answering the question, “¿Cómo estás?” (how are you?) with muy bien/very good, bien/good, mal/bad, or tengo sueño/I’m sleepy. Students kept track of who said what, and then counted how many of each response there were as a class (uno-dos-tres, etc.). They were encouraged to not spit out a series of numbers and instead focus on relating number values with individual digits.

While learning how to count to ten is valuable, it is more meaningful to understand that “tres” is “three”. In the culture realm, they heard the Legend of the Poinsettias (Mexico) for Christmas, and then ate twelve grapes to celebrate the New Year (tradition in Spain).
MARThis month*, students in PK worked on a variety of culture-based projects to point out that Spanish is spoken in many different places (and not “just” Spain and Mexico). For example, one day, they made and played güiros—an instrument from the Caribbean—out of paper and toothpicks, and tried to identify this unique sound in the song, La cucaracha (the cockroach).

Another day, to connect with their classroom nature unit, they discussed where salt comes from, and then tasted salt and made watercolor reflections of the sky based on photos of the largest salt flat in the world, Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia); during the rainy season, a thin layer of water over the salt allows the sky to be reflected perfectly, which is especially gorgeous during sunrises, sunsets, and starry nights.

Pre-kindergarteners ‘traveled’ to Costa Rica the following week, and made Morpho butterflies with tissue paper, while listening to a song called Mariposita (little butterfly); these creatures are naturally bright blue in color and found in some parts of South America as well. Finally, students learned a popular rhyme from Mexico (Bate, bate chocolate, tu nariz de cacahuate/stir, stir the chocolate, your nose is a peanut!), and saw a video about how the tool used to stir the chocolate—un molinillo—is carved out of wood.

Students also played musical chairs, where the person who ‘gets out’ has to answer a question in Spanish; played duck-duck-goose (pato-pato-ganso); read Itzi Bitzi Araña (Itsy Bitsy Spider, to go along with the song); saw several new Pocoyo episodes (Pocoyó: MercadoPocoyó: Supermercado; and Pocoyó: La ducha de Pato); and continued with their regular classroom routine–i.e., passwords to enter the Spanish room, songs, action commands, and circle time. 

*Note that my definition of “month” here is not necessarily aligned with society’s views on temporality

Resumen, 16-17 (PK-5, Q2)

Grade
PKThis month, students in PK met several of the most beloved stuffed animals from the Spanish room, including Pato/Duck, Oso/Bear, and Tiburón/Shark.  Getting down to business right away, it became apparent that Pato needed to learn how to fly, as any young duck ought to.  Running up a ramp [book on an angle], jumping, and lifting off did not go as planned, however, since Pato has the attention span of a fly—[not entirely his fault, as the space between his nonexistent ears does consist of fluffy white stuffing]—and, in the case that he did lift off, got scared and failed to flap his wings.  A pulley system was therefore erected, easily hoisting our hero off the ground and high, high, up to the sky. 

Tired of the yarn harness cutting into his feathers, Pato opted to go sailing after a while, only to encounter a terrifying, four-foot-long shark in the ocean—who was ravenous for a “sándwich de pato”.  While seriously distressing, this proved a wonderful impetus to learn how to fly—as in, immediately—or: to build a house at the bottom of the ocean, cover it with a blue blanket, and hope that the shark mistakes it for a lumpy wave.  Right…  In the end, the two become amigos/friends, and the shark wants to learn how to fly (since Pato is obviously an expert in this field). 

Adventure #2 begins with Pato lifting weights (read: a pencil, then a marker) in order to increase his wing-strength (fuerte/strong) and be able to lift his new friend, the shark.  In addition, students also hummed along to the beginning and end-of-class songs, responded to basic action commands, and said how they were feeling each day in the target language.  Gracias for a great month!
KThis month, students in kindergarten reacquainted themselves with several of the most beloved stuffed animals in the Spanish room, including Pato/Duck, Oso/Bear, Conejito/Bunny, Patito/Ducky, and Ardilla/Squirrel.  After a summer of scrounging on crumbs in the Spanish room, Pato was, not surprisingly, beyond famished, and discovered in a gigantic bag full of plastic eggs.  Because the eggs happened to fit his head quite perfectly (just like a helmet), he decided to build a tobogán/slide with the class and cruise down at top speed—with the helmet, of course: safety first.  Conejito likewise nestled himself inside a plastic egg, and whoosh, down the slide he went! 

It should be noted that he kept a miniature cell phone inside the egg in case of an emergency, and did call initially because it was rather dark inside the shell and he was a bit scared.  All of this led to Pato covering himself with plastic eggs (armor, obviously), jumping aboard a stuffed-animal-sized winter sled with Oso, and requesting that kindergarteners pull the sled across the table—there was a long piece of yarn attached to the sled—so that they could “go skiing”. 

In-between these wild adventures in the target language, kindergarteners practiced acting out their password cards, made duplicates of said cards for their lockers, and held onto their sombrerosPato is bound to be up a tree or scuba-diving at the bottom of the ocean the next time you see him.  Life is far from boring with bilingual stuffed animals roaming the Spanish room…
1This 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!
2This 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?!).
3This month, students in third grade learned that they have been 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 will perform in multiple shows throughout the year, as main characters and audience members.  The importance of each role was emphasized here.  Performed as theatrical plays, each story will include both fiction (creative, student ideas) and nonfiction (cultural, historical facts). 

The first story begins with the following: Evil Orange lives in Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany (Deutschland/Alemania).  One night, he laughs his notorious, evil cackle, and sails to Puerto Rico.  The adorable Pato lives there and is nestled in bed with his favorite stuffed animal, Patito, dreaming of raindrops on roses and everything nice, when Evil Orange proceeds to kidnap Patito.  Oh no!  Evil Orange brings Patito back to Neuschwanstein Castle, and… you’ll have to tune in next month to find out what happens next.  “Duh-duh-duhhhhh!”  Third graders also practiced acting out their passwords in a timed setting, trying to associate a specific action with each word; began recording key vocabulary in their Spanish notebooks; and saw pictures of bioluminescence—their nonfiction fact of the month.
4This month, students in fourth grade learned that they will be participating in a yearlong town simulation.  Their first stop was Argentina, where fourth graders explored the history of Yerba Mate, or ‘the friendship drink’ of South America via photos and physical cultural artifacts, and later were able to taste the strong, somewhat bitter (but delicious!) tea.  Then, it was time to travel again: after grabbing their passports, boarding passes, and luggage from the Locker Bay; removing their zapatos/shoes for the infamous TSA security screening process; watching a bilingual ‘safety instructions’ video; enjoying snacks—goldfish and water—from the stewardess during the flight; and experiencing a tiny bit of turbulence, students finally arrived in Madrid, the capital of Spain. 

Then, it was only a matter of deciphering the puzzling (but authentic) city map, 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.  The intense summer heat of southern Spain was reflected (bad pun) in the covered streets—colorful sheet canopies high above protect the city from the urban heat effect.  Students left their baggage at the hotel, noticed the famous Moorish palace (La Alhambra) across the street (beautiful!), and set about their first set of business: deciding where to live and drawing up floorplans of the inside of their new homes.  Yay!  Fourth graders also practiced acting out their passwords, in order to associate a specific motion with each word.
5This month, 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.  Their first play begins with two news reporters.  To make this more culturally authentic, students learned about and watched a short video clip of two famous reporters from the Spanish-speaking television network, UNIVISIÓN—Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas.  From there, they proceeded to unravel the complex mess of new Spanish vocabulary, stage directions, and what is hidden between the lines yet nevertheless crucial to express on stage. 

For example, when Pato poisons Dora the Explorer on live television and the news reporters are undecided as to whether or not they should cut to a commercial, fifth graders must create an intense, unspoken tension in the room.  What?!  Daily oral assessments and weekly written quizzes ensured that students stayed focused and on top of the material.  Additionally, fifth graders randomly chose a number from 0-105, which became their age and consequent ‘role’ (i.e., mother, father, grandfather, cousin, etc.) in the Class Family.  This was to emphasize the importance of working together as a team and family, particularly in light of the aforementioned theatrical debut, scheduled for February 17, 2017.  Can’t wait to see you there!

Grade
PKThis 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.
KThis 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 PocoyóGracias for a great quarter.
1This 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.
2This 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.
3This 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.
4This 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.
5This 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.

Resumen, 16-17 (PK-5, Q1)

Grade
PKThis 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.
KThis 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 PocoyóGracias for a great quarter.
1This 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.
2This 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.
3This 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.
4This 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.
5This 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.

2016-17

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?!).

Resumen, 15-16 (Grade 5)

Term
1This term, students in fifth grade spent the bulk of their time immersed in the target language and ‘The Art of Storytelling’.  Accordingly, students mixed culture and creative imaginations to create numerous class story-plays with student actors.  From a cockroach/la-cu-ca-ra-cha who stole instruments from a Mariachi band and a peccary who lives in Costa Rica, to a microscopic world and an upset guinea pig (Oreo—canta, no llores/sing, don’t cry), the linguistic journey never ceases to be original.  Gracias for a great quarter.  Also, please mark your calendars: May 20, 2016 @1:45pm is the end-of-the-year Fifth Grade Spanish Program and a must-see!
2This term, students in fifth grade assumed new ages and identities in the Class Family; chose individual passwords; acted out two Latin American legends in the target language (based in Cuba and Peru); participated in a mini-soccer unit; discussed the major differences between interpretation (spoken) and translation (written); learned about El Día de Los Tres Reyes Magos and later tasted Rosca de reyes; reviewed the basic Salsa and Cha-cha dance steps; heard a presentation about Guatemala from a visiting Upper School exchange student; and then talked about and received Worry Dolls (Guatemala).  In addition, fifth graders also began brainstorming, rehearsing, and preparing for their end-of-the-year program on May 20, 2016 @1:45pm.  Looking forward to seeing you there!
3&4This semester, students in fifth grade began preparing for the Fifth Grade Spanish Program.  After familiarizing themselves with each of the three plays, fifth graders were assigned a main part in one play and minor roles in the others.  Since then, students have been working on using appropriate vocal intonation and expression; facing the audience; adding relevant movements; brainstorming creative costume ideas and what type of music might be fitting for certain scenes; gathering items for their prop boxes; and memorizing their lines. 

Students should be immensely proud of their dedication, grit, preparation, and linguistic and theatrical skills.  As a result of all of their hard work, the upcoming theatrical debut (on Friday, May 20, 2016 @1:30pm) is sure to be a tremendous success.  As the year wraps up, fifth graders will divide their time between a basic grammar review and soccer games, weather permitting.  Gracias for a fabulous year and (sniff, sniff!), best of luck in Middle School!

Resumen, 15-16 (Grade 4)

Term
1This term, students in fourth grade excitedly delved into the task of creating their own pueblo/ town.  A typical day consists of students striving to use the language in a variety of meaningful contexts and situations.  As a result, the learning environment tends to be more boisterous than not, but in a lively, jovial sort of way, where fourth graders spend their time traveling to the bank, taking out money, working at the local shops, buying, selling, bargaining, trading, and occasionally employing ‘frantic gesturing’ when they find themselves unable to recall vocabulary or simplify an idea.  Gracias for a great quarter.
2This term, students in fourth grade began opening new businesses in the pueblo/town.  For example, there are a few street musicians who play on the classroom keyboard and earn their living from passers-by; students who buy tickets to watch Sr. Wooly videos at the town movie theater; and customers who frequent the Italian Restaurant on a regular basis.  Fourth graders also spent some time away from the town to learn about outdoor street markets/mercados (in South America) as well as the importance and multi-faceted roles of street art in Argentina (e.g., graffiti, murals, political statements, etc.).  Later, they also worked on written translations as mental warm-up exercises for the beginning of class routine, and then created their own authentic mercado
3&4This semester, students in fourth grade divided their time between working in the town and getting a healthy dose of grammar.  In the latter, fourth graders ‘leveled up’ from one written translation to another, deepening their understanding of and making connections between Spanish etymologies and general syntax.  After grasping the overarching idea (of both verb conjugations and nonliteral translations), students created their own quizzes to test one another, and then worked to apply this newfound knowledge in meaningful contexts. 

For example—in addition to the town simulation—they also rehearsed and presented (partner) stories with puppets, and invented their own class story about a bear named Jellybean who lives on Mars.  Additionally, fourth graders talked about exchange rates and other currencies; learned about Cinco de Mayo; and wrapped up the year with a focus on how to ask questions in the target language.  Gracias for a fabulous year.

Resumen, 15-16 (Grade 3)

Term
1This term, students in third grade discussed how ‘language is a sport for your mouth’, as phonetics is a major part of the third grade curriculum.  Students also worked on memorizing several tongue twisters in the target language; chose Spanish names and Inside-Out passwords; made replicas of Easter Island Moai statues out of clay; told two class stories with student-actors; saw pictures of La Alhambra in Spain and Iguazu Falls in Argentina; and were delighted by a video about accents (Amy Walker).  Gracias for a great quarter.
2This term, students in third grade chose new animal and button passwords; practiced action commands; rehearsed and presented dialogues in the target language; learned about the history of churros and then had a ‘churro party’; built impressive fortalezas/ forts during structured free- play lessons, while responding to the teacher’s interruptions with cued responses (flip-cards); discussed untranslatable words; were presented with a country-sticker challenge (imports/exports focus); prepared for the Spanish portion of students’ second semester speeches; and continued with their yearlong storytelling unit.  The latter included several hands-on projects, including a roller-coaster building session, designing a Telescope v2.0, and a three-story long yarn-pulley that hoisted Pato away from an Evil Flower.
3&4This semester, students in third grade began by helping the rest of Lower School build an impressive 3-D model of part of Chichen Itza out of colorful paper cubes (Mexico).  One particular cube managed to attach itself to a Popsicle stick and grow a face—and thus was borne Cubby el cubo cubano (Cubby the Cuban Cube).  In order to tell the story of present-day Cubby, however, it was necessary to travel back in time; through role-playing, third graders learned about the lost treasure and Spanish Fleet of 1715, and then used this story (nonfiction) as a point of origin for their own original story (fiction). 

Their adventure involved intimidating bodyguards, good and evil forces (e.g., the girl who poured a milkshake on Cubby, the paper cube!), the fact that Cubby lives in a printer and therefore could photocopy and clone himself, and a ridiculous and messy finale of soap and marshmallows that expanded in the (yes, real) microwave.  Later, students went on another historical voyage to learn about endangered languages and how creoles/languages are formed, and as an extension, worked to create their own languages.  Knuffle Bunny added some good food for thought here—is thinking language, pre-language, or merely wordless emotional stuff?  Lastly, third graders chose class (food) nicknames; had a ‘masculine and feminine nouns’ competition; learned about Cinco de Mayo, and began their final class story of the year.  Gracias for a fabulous year.

Resumen, 15-16 (Grade 2)

Term
1This term, students in second grade read and translated the daily letter from Pato; responded to the stuffed-animal duck in their class notebooks; rehearsed and presented silly mini-conversations in the target language with puppets; chose individualized fruit or vegetable passwords; were introduced to the Merengue, Salsa, and Tango ballroom dances; played a hot/ cold type of game called “Busca el murciélago” (Look for the bat); and jammed to various beginning- of- class tunes, including Madre Tierra/ Mother Earth and ¡PAN! (BREAD!).  Gracias for a great quarter.
2This term, students in second grade traveled around the globe [virtually] to check out the weather forecast in a variety of locations; discussed military time; had fun pronouncing the twelve syllables in Spanish —estacionamiento prohibido— that signify ‘no parking’; identified typical Hispanic foods, such as empanadas and tamales; creatively acted out their sea creature and animal passwords; chose Spanish names; made comecocos, or chatterboxes; practiced naming the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map; and transitioned to a storytelling unit, where plastic insects were placed in culturally-authentic settings but highly unlikely scenarios.  In the latter, students had fun role-playing parts of the story and dramatically responding to class cues.  Gracias for another great quarter.
3&4This semester, students in second grade continued with their daily journal entries.  Here, they wrote about how they were feeling (emotions), included the day and date, and described the weather, paying special attention to accents, spelling, and punctuation.  They also made sure to note which geography-level they were working on: levels one through three deal with naming the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map, and level four involves flag identification (independent work). 

In addition, second graders had fun acting out their new animal passwords; built an impressive 3-D model of part of Chichen Itza out of colorful paper cubes (Mexico); talked about the concept of Spanglish; practiced reading their lines in a Spanish mini-play script; learned about Cinco de Mayo; and played a variety of games in the target language, including Charades, Pirinola, Bingo, Game Show, and Cops and Robbers.  Gracias for a fabulous year.

Resumen, 15-16 (Grade 1)

Term
1This term, students in first grade read and translated the daily letter from Pato, learning which ‘islas/islands’—[read: activity centers]—were open that day.  First graders then submitted written requests expressing what they wanted to do.  As a constantly changing mix of toys spark students’ imaginations, the archipelago comes alive with creativity and authentic linguistic exchanges between teacher and students.  It should also be noted that they are all hard-core fans of the silly song, “¿Puedo ir al baño?” (Can I go to the bathroom?).  Gracias for a great quarter.
2This term, students in first grade continued submitting written requests expressing what they wanted to do and reasons to support their choice.  First graders also spent time learning about the 900-page, 400-year-old Spanish literary masterpiece, Don Quijote, and had fun imagining and acting out various chapters. 

Later on, they identified a painting by Picasso based on the novel; chose individualized professions-passwords; constructed a model of Machu Picchu out of clay as a class (Peru); heard about La Tomatina, an annual, giant tomato fight in Spain; and listened to a hilarious chipmunks-voiceover of their class song, “¿Puedo ir al baño?” (it should be noted that dance choreography evolved quite naturally in response to the video).  Gracias for another great quarter.
3&4This semester, students in first grade worked on understanding the difference between a statement and a question in Spanish (quiero/I want vs. ¿puedo?/ can I?), through context cues and punctuation.  Later, they were given age-appropriate worksheets in the target language and, via use of logic, sight words, and teamwork, had to deduce the instructions themselves! 

Additionally, students composed both silly and serious sentences; chose food nicknames; tasted Mexican candies; made Me gusta/ I like collages; learned a soccer chant from Spain; earned (fake) euros for cleaning the classroom (limpiar/ to clean); built an impressive 3-D model of part of Chichen Itza out of colorful paper cubes, in an “assembly-line” type of factory (Mexico); and had fun playing Hangman and Spanish Bingo.  First graders also increased their clean-up routine productivity by imagining the trashcans as “Monstruos de la basura” (Trash Monsters), and then feeding the ravenous creatures with papers and scraps at the end of class.  Gracias for a fabulous year.

Resumen, 15-16 (Grade K)

Term
1This term, students in kindergarten met several of the most popular stuffed animals in the Spanish room, including Pato/Duck, Oso/Bear, and Changuito/Monkey.  Over time, kindergarteners began to understand that the stuffed animals are silly—quite silly, indeed: Changuito is constantly hiding, Pato wears a sock for pajamas and a nightcap, and Oso tries to sneak in a nap whenever possible.  As a result, most classes begin with a humorous mini-story that naturally leads into a hands-on class activity—e.g., disappearing ink, vinegar volcanoes, dyed paper, a REAL egg whose fate was to be smashed, floating and sinking objects, monsters, art projects, etc.  In-between activities, students jam to the theme-song from Rompe Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph) and watch Pocoyó.  Gracias for a great quarter.
2This term, students in kindergarten began learning the names of all the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape-floor map.  However, because Pato insisted on teaching, there were constant wordplays and distractions.  For example, after tasting a [plastic] pear in Peru, he decides that he doesn’t like it, exclaiming, “EKK! [wah-door]” (Ecuador), and then traveling through the door/puerta to the next country.  Later, he doesn’t know which way “Venez-WAY-lah” (Venezuela) is, and gets thirsty in Nicaragua (“knee-car-AGUA”). 

In the end, kindergarteners were teaching Pato.  In addition to el mapa, students responded to action commands in the target language; began recognizing sight words in Spanish; learned about Angel Falls in Venezuela; and worked on student-led, multi-disciplinary projects (e.g., building life-size forts and art museums, sledding indoors on large plates, or bracelet and quilt-making).  Gracias for another memorable quarter.
3&4This semester, students in kindergarten let their imaginations run wild.  What began as responding to action commands (verbs)—“Run!  Jump!  Fly!”—gradually evolved into acting out any word, from keys and vegetables to a blossoming class flower (aerial view, with shoes in the center and reverse sit-ups).  Later, verbs and nouns were tied together via reenactments of the daily morning routine—brushing teeth, putting on clothes, washing face, riding or biking to school, greeting teacher, and even earning stickers for completing math problems in the target language! 

In Project Land-ia, kindergarteners combined droplets of food coloring to create beautiful designs; had fun with more floating/sinking experiments; went on a plastic insect treasure hunt; created a life-sized spider web out of yarn; pulled Pato up and down on a pulley system; ‘traveled’ to Spain/España in a boat (i.e., a box dragged across the ocean—rather, floor—on the tape floor map by yours truly); were introduced to the Salsa (dance); created a school, movie theater, and house for Pato, and a hospital for Stan (a paper pet dog of Pato, who speaks Stan-ish, and was injured [crumpled] one day when he tried to run away and someone grabbed at him).  Finally, students have been working on both reading and writing Spanish sight words.  Gracias for a fabulous year.

Resumen, 15-16 (PK)

Term
1This term, students in prekindergarten learned several songs in the target language (Buenos díasTengo hambreQueremos bailar; Te amoAdiós, amigos); were introduced to numerous stuffed animals from the Spanish room; practiced responding to action commands; listened to stories; 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.
2This term, students in prekindergarten practiced singing songs in the target language and responding to new action commands.  They also listened to increasingly creative class stories involving Adventures in Stuffed Animal World.  For example: once, the ever- mischievous Pato managed to get stuck in-between the windowpane and the screen, and complained for days afterwards about how cold he still was; after surviving that drama, he built a pulley-system to learn how to fly properly (as young ducks ought to), but ended up making a rocket ship to aid in the process; next, he brought a snowball to class but couldn’t understand why it kept getting smaller and smaller; and one day, he even started speaking in English to make sure that everyone was paying attention! 

It should be noted that he now has VISA (Very-Important-Stuffed-Animal) status as a newly inducted member of the Wishing Well, complete with photo.  [That said, taking attendance led to an interesting philosophical conversation about the Smartboard—if you are there on the board, then who is in front of me?  Zoikes!]  In addition to imaginative stories and class conversations, pre-kindergarteners also worked on several mini-projects (with shapes, animals, index cards, glue, dominoes, and cards), and continued building their vocabularies at an impressive rate.  Gracias for another fantastic quarter!
3&4This semester, students in prekindergarten built the night sky—size-appropriate for stuffed animals—out of glow-in-the-dark moon and star stickers on blue paper; chose a stuffed animal to cuddle with under a huge blanket/manta; had the class electrician/electricista turn off the lights; whispered buenas noches/goodnight to their peers; and then pretended to fall asleep as they listened to Pato sing Estrellita (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star). 

When the sun rose, students stretched, chatted, and then started the bedtime routine all over again!  They also met Stan, the pet dog of Pato—“Why is he named Stan, Pato?”  “Because he speaks Stan-ish!”—and played a few sports games together.  In addition, students spent a week decorating their very own mini-piñatas; read Corre, perro, corre (Go, Dog, Go) and several David Shannon books, among many others; classified and sorted toys by color and size; and even ventured outside (yes, Spanish exists there, too!).  Gracias for a fabulous year.

Resumen, 14-15 (Grade 5)

Term
1This term, students in fifth grade spent the bulk of their time on creative storytelling in preparation for the student-written Spanish plays performed at the Latin American Showcase (May 15, 2015 @1:30pm).   Inspired by Argentine animals, abstract paintings, fuzzy photographs, troll-goblin statues and more, the stories evolve through question and answer type discussions and cannot help but grow a life of their own. 

As a result, characters such as Betsy la vaca (Betsy the Cow) and Boberto la berenjena genial (Bobert the Awesome Eggplant— who is actually a coatí) are wildly popular among students, and have gone on some crazy adventures involving one-thousand angry fruits, the International House of Thumbs, a golden plunger, a magical pink cape, and an army of chicken-soldiers, to name a few.  Additionally, and in-between chapters, fifth graders also chose to be embajadores/ ambassadors of a [specific] Spanish-speaking country; presented their own original stories in Spanish to the class; and traveled outside to play fútbol/ soccer to work on instinctually responding in the target language.  Gracias for a great quarter!
2This term, students in fifth grade advanced to Creative Class Storytelling 2.0, as the following plots clearly illustrate.  Hunt: After the evil team steals the Sr. Wooly password, Sr. Wooly drives a lagoon blue Beetle car to his great-grandmother’s house and tries to call the police.  However, another evil force—a group of Teletubbies whose leader happens to be Peppa Pig—has taken control of the police station.  The evil Teletubbies travel through the vortex part of their máquina/machine to the planet Neptune.  There, they see an enormous, spicy pepper who wants to eat them.  The pepper succeeds, but then the seeds in his brain instruct him to jump and, well, the contents of his stomach are emptied.  ¡Qué asco!/Gross! 

Byerley: As it turns out, the pollito-soldados (chicken-soldiers) are actually evil and try to kidnap Uni-maíz-io (lead singer of the band, “Dirección Equivocada”/Wrong Direction).  Boberto saves her, though, so then the chicken-soldiers get angry and brainstorm another plan: this time, with a machine and their evil force/fuerza malvada, they bring Uni-maíz-io to the dark side.  As Uni-maíz-io is trapped in the dark side, Boberto obviously needs to save his future wife, so his shouts, “¡Mi amor!” (My love!) in her direction.  The power of true love rompe/breaks the dark side’s evil force, Boberto proposes again, and this time Uni-maíz-io says yes.  Awww.
3This term, students in fifth grade began preparing for their Latin American Program.  After familiarizing themselves with each of the six scripts, fifth graders were assigned permanent groups and plays.  Since then, students have been working on using appropriate vocal intonation and expression; facing the audience and planning out where they want to stand on stage; adding relevant movements; brainstorming what type of music might be fitting for certain scenes; and memorizing their lines. 

They have had several combined classes, during which time groups present a previously selected and rehearsed scene, and their peers evaluate the performances [on a rubric], paying special attention to audience engagement.  As the culminating program of their Lower School Spanish experience approaches, students’ excitement is on the rise; please come join us on Friday, May 15, 2015 @1:30pm in the Community Room. 
4This term, students in fifth grade continued practicing for the Latin American Showcase.  They also worked on brainstorming creative costume ideas, gathering items for their prop boxes, and editing the PowerPoint slideshows.  Eventually, it was time: fifth graders wrapped up the final details for their program, and then performed the much anticipated theatrical debut.  Students should be immensely proud of their dedication, grit, and linguistic and theatrical skills.  As a result of all of their hard work, the show was a tremendous success.  Congratulations!!  The remainder of the quarter was divided between two main foci: grammar and soccer.  Essentially, the former is taking all of the linguistic knowledge they have, and dividing it into categories—“Oh, so those are verbs/nouns/adjectives in Spanish.” 

Fifth graders let this new information digest out on the soccer field.  Some days, however, students’ strong interest in linguistics superseded their desire to play: cue ensuing discussions regarding the intricacies of translation.  For example: “Caras vemos, corazones no sabemos” means “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but literally translates to, “Faces we see, hearts we don’t know”.  Moreover, in order to make Dr. Seuss’ books rhyme, translators worked for an entire year translating the text—yikes!  Machines can’t necessarily read between the lines, hence why some of my friends still have jobs (~as translators and interpreters).  Gracias for a highly productive year.

Resumen, 14-15 (Grade 4)

Term
1This term, students in fourth grade excitedly delved into the task of creating their own pueblo/ town.  After hailing a taxi to the airport, showing their boarding passes and boarding the plane, fourth graders sat back and relaxed, enjoyed beverages, and chatted until landing.  As they officially stepped into their town for the first time—IjusthaditvilleEspaña—the actual simulation commenced, and students signed a Language Pledge, promising to use solely the target language in the Spanish Cave.  After establishing bank accounts, buying their own mansions and designing the interior of their homes, fourth graders began looking for work and creating their own businesses. 

A typical day consists of students striving to use the language in a variety of meaningful contexts and situations.  As a result, the learning environment tends to be more boisterous than not, but in a lively, jovial sort of way, where fourth graders spend their time traveling to the bank, taking out money, working at the local shops, buying, selling, bargaining, trading, and occasionally employing ‘frantic gesturing’ when they find themselves unable to recall vocabulary or simplify an idea.  In addition to the town, fourth graders also took an ‘English day’ in order to integrate with their regular classroom curriculum, and talked about words in other languages that are untranslatable…  
2This term, students in fourth grade chose new [fruit and vegetable] identities as part of the pueblo/town simulation, with the understanding that their English name and person ‘no longer exist’ in the Spanish Cave.  In addition, fourth graders have also begun opening new businesses.  Now, for example, there are a few street musicians who play on the classroom keyboard and earn their living from passers-by (propinas/tips); students who buy tickets to watch Sr. Wooly videos at the town cine/movie theater; and generous customers who allow the party shop to thrive financially. 

However, a few strange developments have made life anything but normal: increasing tension relating to the overtly amorous conversations between a girl and her novio/boyfriend, Diego (¡Mi amor!/My love!), led several town residents to the brink of insanity.  It was therefore incumbent upon those affected to visit the town doctor(a)/doctor for some much-needed terapia/therapy.  The rabid raccoon (mapache rabioso) that escaped from the zoo also spent some time in a group treatment center.  The most effective cure?  Un abrazo/a hug.  Students—rather, citizens—refocused their attention amidst the unanticipated chaos with a call-response echo: ¿Qué queremos?/¡Queremos trabajar! (What do we want?  We want to work!).  Gracias for another memorable quarter.
3This term, students in fourth grade were required to think creatively when their beloved town was moved, well, across town (to the St. John building).  Instead of relying on the same old, same old, fourth graders delved into the challenges of a relocated classroom, err, pueblo most audaciously—redesigning, revamping, and redecorating—for the purpose of improving upon their original ideas.  Where should the panadería/bakery be located now?  What about the Azkaban prison?  How could vendors re-imagine the concept of a mercado from South and Central American countries to fit their own town? 

While this progression and conversation occurred quite naturally, it was also beautifully reflective of the creative thinking process: are students generating new ideas (divergent thinking)?  Are they taking risks?  Can they overcome and push past the mental obstacles of an idea that results in complete and utter failure?  Did they synthesize their experience into a cogent, cohesive product (convergent thinking)?  The creative thinking process manifested itself not only within the confines of the town expansion, but also in students’ linguistic development.  Do students put language together in unusual and novel ways, beyond what the teacher has taught?  Does the product work (was the message communicated effectively)?  Welcome to a new era, the age of creative thinking!  Fourth graders have hit the ground running; gracias for another magical quarter.
4This term, students in fourth grade extended their understanding of the word ‘pueblo’: the town does not only exist within the four walls of the Spanish Cave, but also beyond it… and thus a parque/park was borne.  This outing begins with a class conversation: “¿Qué queremos? Queremos ir a jugar al fútbol en el parque” (What do we want?  We want to go play soccer at the park).  Later, fourth graders request relevant vocabulary; the doctoras/doctors and enfermera/nurse pack up their medical bags in case of an emergency; and students head out to play with a Guatemalan saying on their minds, “Ganamos, perdimos, igual nos divertimos” (we win or we lose, either way we have fun). 

Partway through the game, there is a ‘half-time show’, where a talented gymnast performs complicated flips, round-offs, and cartwheels for the class; and when it is time to go, they form two lines/filas and say, “Buen partido/good game”.  Later on, students saw photos from my trip to Iguazú Falls (Cataratas de Iguazú) in Argentina; discussed what Spanglish is; and had a game week in the target language (Spanish Monopoly, rompecabezas/puzzles, La Guerra/War [card game], Spot It, and Bingo).  Prior to catching a flight back to their hometown, fourth graders took a day to learn about and taste the traditional friendship drink and famous tea of Argentina, called Yerba Mate.  Hasta la próxima (until next time)citizens of Ijusthaditville, España.  Gracias for a beautiful year.

Resumen, 14-15 (Grade 3)

Term
1This term, students in third grade discussed how ‘language is a sport for your mouth’, as phonetics is a major part of the third grade curriculum.  Students then worked on memorizing several tongue twisters in Spanish so as to over-exaggerate the mouth-moving process: Pito, pito colorito; Pepe Pecas; A-E-I-O-U, el burro sabe más que tú (the donkey knows more than you); otorrinolaringólogo/ ENT doctor; Q-U-E-S-O, or ¿Qué es eso?  ¡Eso es queso! (What is that?  That is cheese!); and ¿Qué te pasa, calabaza?  Nada, nada limonada (What’s up with you, pumpkin?  Nothing, nothing lemonade).  Third graders earned a class reward for all of their hard work—to make a donkey piñata in class. 

Later, and as part of an ongoing conversation unit, they worked on asking and answering two basic questions in the target language: ¿Qué quieres hacer?/What do you want to do?; Quisiera jugar…/I would like to play…; ¿Qué haces?/What are you doing?; Estoy jugando/I’m playing.   Finally, students practiced their lines in a Spanish mini-play; watched several videos from the Señor Wooly site as a Halloween treat (El banco, Las excusas, and ¡PAN!); and began a storytelling unit about Pato el actor famoso/Pato the Famous Actor and an evil flower/flor malvada.  Third graders had fun responding dramatically to certain key phrases in the story.  Gracias for a great start to the year.
2This term, students in third grade continued developing their class stories.  Plot: Pato is flying to the torre/tower in either Romania (Petersheim) or Croatia (Naso) in order to rescue his kidnapped stuffed animal Patito from la flor malvada/the Evil Flower.  Unfortunately and en route, his avión/ airplane crash-lands in the mar negro/Black Sea (Petersheim) or the mar mediterráneo/ Mediterranean Sea (Naso).  In said body of water, Pato sees a multitude of sea creatures (estrellas de mar/ starfish, medusa/jellyfish, etc.) and a yellow submarine, or submarino amarillo ♫.  In one class (Petersheim), the submarine was not a threat to Pato; in the other (Naso), it was… uh-oh!  Later on, third graders used some of this common pool of [story] vocabulary to create their own original comic strips. 

The final drafts were laminated for students to take home.  Additionally, they listened to the catchy song Botas perdidas (Lost Boots) from last year; took some time to dance the Merengue in a circle with their peers (Bailar el ritmo vuelta), and compared and contrasted it with both the Salsa and Tango; and tried dulce de leche, a well-known milk caramel type of spread from South America.  As a tangential conversation, students also learned about La Copa Mundial/World Cup and what the celebrations were like in Argentina this summer (non-stop horns for 24 hours straight!).
3This term, students in third grade accomplished a great deal.  For starters, they finished their class story about Pato, a stuffed animal who became impatient with Señorita one day and decided to jump into a five-gallon bucket of real water when she wouldn’t stop talking on the phone.  Next, third graders told a story not about Pato [gasp].  While the characters and locations varied from class to class, here is a general outline of the plot (Naso): One afternoon/una tarde, a mouse is eating cheese when an evil doctor grabs the cheese (una doctora malvada agarra el queso) and replaces it with mostaza/mustard.  The doctor drives a red Mustang to his secret cave underneath the Eiffel Tower.  By means of “the force”, or la fuerza, the cheese also arrives in the cave.  Mientras/ meanwhile, the mouse sneezes and laments his string of bad luck. 

Both classes had fun using ‘la fuerza’ to levitate a short table and later a ping-pong ball (with a hairdryer).  Third graders also watched the song-video “¿Qué dice el zorro?” (What Does the Fox Say?); practiced answering the question, “¿Cómo te sientes?” (How do you feel?); completed several translation exercises, and then identified how those verbs and nouns related to their class stories (conjugation patterns; masculine/feminine nouns); jumped on and named the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map in the Spanish Cave; and finally, began researching one of these countries on the school iPads.  Gracias for a terrific quarter!
4This term, students in third grade spent the first half of the quarter creating their last class story of the year.  Plot (Petersheim): Wilbur the Pig lives in Mexico.  Student X lives in a mansion in Spain (La Alhambra) and is very rich because he is a famous soccer player/futbolista.  Student X is in possession of a magical necklace that Wilbur wants.  In front of the mansion, however, are four knights/caballeros.  Wilbur decides to ask his friends for help to get past the knights guarding the mansion. 

As a result, Pato sneezes on the first knight, causing him to leave to get a tissue.  Bob, the second knight, is invisible and asleep, and therefore not too much of a concern.  The third knight loves squirrels/ardillas, so when an audience member shouts, “Look!  A squirrel!” he enthusiastically chases after it.  The fourth knight slips on a banana peel that a nearby monkey places in front of him… and voilà: the line of defense no longer seems so intimidating. 

In addition to storytelling, third graders made flag booklets, and were encouraged to collect stickers or tags on fruits, vegetables, and articles of clothing from Spanish-speaking countries (imports/exports).  Later on, students learned more about La Alhambra, and then built a replica of the fortaleza/fort out of cardboard boxes and tables and colored in Moorish tiles with beautifully intricate geometric designs and patterns.  Finally, they listened to Hai Kur Mamashu Shis (Yagan/English) and Tour the World (geography RSA animate video).

Resumen, 14-15 (Grade 2)

Term
1This term, students in second grade had fun learning about The Adventures of Pato—one of the most mischievous stuffed animals in the Spanish Cave.  When necessary, they also helped discipline the sometimes quite rebellious and stubborn duck: ¡No puedes hacer eso!”  (You can’t do that!).  Second graders also played the “¿Qué haces?” (What are you doing?) class game from last year; learned how to say “I love/I’m lovin’ it” or “I don’t love/I’m not lovin’ it” via the McDonald’s tune in Spanish: (No) me encanta ♫; rehearsed a mini-play in the target language; played a hot/cold type of game called “Busca el murciélago” (Look for the bat), to integrate with their regular classroom bat study; learned about accent marks in Spanish; worked on experiencing pure boredom in order to associate the emotion with the word ‘aburrido(a)’; and wrote out what they wanted to do on their miniature whiteboards, commenting on each other’s ideas in Spanish. 

Additionally, students made a cultural analogy—Ohio:football:: Argentina:Tango—and saw photos of an Argentine milonga band, heard the song La cumparsita to give them a sense of what Tango music sounds like, discussed the differences between Tango and Salsa, and then used all of their muscles to maintain good posture and take their first steps… T-A-N-G-O (American style Tango basic).  Gracias for a great quarter.
2This term, students in second grade spent the bulk of their time reading, practicing, and later presenting humorous mini-dialogues in the target language.  They worked on adding expression (‘talk with your hands!’) and vocal inflection so as to better understand the emotion behind the words.  Here is a sample script: Estoy aburrido(a)./¿Quieres comer un tomate?/No, gracias./¿Quieres comer cinco tomates?/No me gustan los tomates./¿Quieres comer mil tomates?/¡Te dije que no!  (I’m bored/Do you want to eat a tomato?/No thanks./Do you want to eat five tomatoes?/I don’t like tomatoes./Do you want to eat one-thousand tomatoes?/I told you no!).  The last line is from the Sr. Wooly song, ¡PAN! (BREAD!), and is pronounced: ‘tay-DEE-hay-k-no’. 

Second graders had fun pretending to be frogs and jumping on every syllable to practice the tricky phonetic combination.  Additionally, students made comecocos, or fortune tellers; taught Pato how to sound out words in Spanish (a rather exigent task, considering his general inability to focus on anything relevant); learned how to dance the Merengue in a circle with their peers, while shaking a pair of authentic maracas from the Dominican Republic (aka place of origin of the Merengue); and had fun jamming to a few of their favorite songs (Colores, coloresBotas perdidasBilly la bufanda).
3This term, students in second grade were given a certain radical freedom—to choose any word in the universe as their new password.  The results were impressive and not always literal.  For example, one student choose, “Something” (algo) so as to cleverly include everything, while another decided on something more concrete but rather ephemeral: “Fireworks” (fuegos artificiales).  Later, and as a creative thinking exercise, students tried to ‘become’ these words in their action commands.  For the password, “pollo polaco” (Polish chicken), second graders clucked the Polish word for chicken [kurczak] as they strutted around the Spanish Cave. 

After practicing naming the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map, students were assigned a country in which to park themselves after each action, and had twelve syllables—estacionamiento prohibido—to get there.  No one else was allowed to park in their space, rather, country, hence the translation, ‘No parking’.  In-between snow/cold days, second graders also worked on reading a class script, (an extension of their mini-dialogues from the second quarter); learned about the concept of ‘Spanglish’; discussed the differences between translation (written) and interpretation (spoken); tried their hand at pronouncing a mouthful of syllables: La República Dominicana/The Dominican Republic (‘lah ray-POO-blee-kah-doe-me-knee-kah-nah’); and danced to the song Madre Tierra ♫ by Chayanne.
4This term, second graders transitioned to a storytelling unit, where student-created characters and culturally authentic settings created a unique blend of fiction and non-fiction.  Plot: Bobby/Shù the grasshopper/saltamontes is flying in his paper airplane [or: surfing on his surfboard], when a sudden and violent thunderstorm causes him to crash off the coast of Brazil.  Most unfortunately, he lands in a ‘no-parking/estacionamiento prohibido’ zone in the backyard of a gigantic butterfly who, up until the crash, had been sleeping quite peacefully.  The blast jolts him awake and naturally initiates a few karate battles between the two insects.  In fugitive-mode, our protagonist hightails it to La Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) archipelago off of Chile and Argentina, and then Monte Fitz Roy (Fitz Roy Mountain) in Argentina.  At some point, he also disappears into a Time Machine Void to visit the dinosaurs.  Oh no! 

Second graders had fun traveling around the globe [virtually] to check out the weather forecast in these places as well as other locations (chubascos/downpours; tormentas/storms; nublado/cloudy).  Later on, students inspected real Argentine pesos and tried to wrap their brains around why money is worth different amounts in different countries; discussed military time; saw a video of a recent volcanic eruption in Chile (Calbuco); repeatedly listened to the songs Madre Tierra and ¿Adónde vas?; and played Policías y ladrones outside.  Gracias for a fabulous year.

Resumen, 14-15 (Grade 1)

Term
1This term, students in first grade alternated between Story Days and Activity Days, although the two oftentimes overlapped and blended into one.   For example, once Pato mentioned that he would like to visit the piñata hanging from the eighteen-foot ceiling in the Spanish Cave.  But what could he use as a mode of transportation?  The class decided on an avión de papel/ paper airplane, and after making one for their friend, joined in on the fun themselves and made their own models.  Another day, he couldn’t get his beak out of a book, rather, novel—Don Quijote (the 900-page, 400+ year-old Spanish literary masterpiece)—and students pestered him to share the story. 

As a result, the Spanish Cave transformed into a stage where student actors and actresses had fun acting out the famous windmill chapter with Don Quijote, Sancho Panza and, of course, the windmills.  As the first quarter winds to a close, students have become confident with both writing and explaining what they want to do each day (Quiero colorear/jugar/construir/pintar/dibujar/ir afuera/ver; I want to color/play/build [with Legos]/paint/draw/go outside/see [a video]), and also reading the daily letter from Pato.  In addition to the stories and activity centers, first graders also watched a silly song called “¿Puedo ir al baño?” (Can I go to the bathroom?), and practiced lining up backwards in number order.
2This term, students in first grade began exploring the Spanish written word in greater depth.  In addition to reading the daily letters from Pato and their own individualized password cards (aka sight words), they also wrote out their Activity Center wishes each day on the mini class whiteboards.  This process involves all students requesting whiteboards (pizarrón, por favor), chatting with their neighbors—“¿Qué quieres hacer?” (What do you want to do?)—and then completing the sentence Quiero… [dibujar] pero necesito… [papel] (I want [to draw] but I need [paper]) at their own pace, while student helpers ask their peers what color marker they would like to write with. 

Sentences vary from day to day and week to week, which allows first graders to see the possibilities of linguistic versatility as well as get a lot of practice.  To enforce the idea of ‘versatility’, students also made “Me gusta” (I like) collages with their favorite infinitives (jugar/to play, dormir/to sleep, etc.) and an excess of glitter sprinkled all around the page.  Last but not least, they played Luz roja, luz verde (Red Light, Green Light) in the target language; asked one another what they wanted to do and recorded the information, survey-style; and worked on possessive articles (Lego station: ¡Mi caballo!  My horse!  Art station: ¡Mi papel!  My paper!).  Gracias for a great quarter.
3This term, students in first grade continued learning through the ‘continuously evolving’ activity centers.  First graders focused on honing their writing skills—e.g., not looking at the bilingual signs to spell a word in the target language (tarjetas/cards)—and building their vocabularies.  Words take on a new level and layer of importance when they are acquired in a meaningful context, and so while some are learning ‘caballero’ (knight), others are learning ‘cinta’ (tape), depending on their interests.  When the caballero-student decides to, quite literally, connect two knights in shining armor with tape, s/he learns from the cinta-student. 

During this process, first graders are frequently subjected to unanticipated follow-up questions, to work on linguistic spontaneity.  For example, “¿Qué quieres construir?  ¿Por qué?  ¿Qué haces?” (What do you want to build?  Why?  What are you doing?).  While students begin the year with a very basic Q&A in the target language, this conversation grows, builds and continuously spirals throughout the months so that by the beginning of April, students feel confident with a variety of questions and answers.  In-between snow/cold days, they also practiced naming the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map in the Spanish Cave; made Mi libro password booklets; and read La Mariposa by Francisco Jiménez.  From “Creative Crafts”, stickers, and colored paper, to rubber ducks, tire swings, and scaly crocodiles, it has been a fun quarter!
4This term, students in first grade decided as a class either to listen to (escuchar) their peers express their preferred activity for the day, or write (escribir) down their ideas on the miniature whiteboards.  Students focused on including their reasons for wanting to do an activity— “Porque es mi amigo(a); porque es amable; porque me gusta” (because s/he is my friend; because s/he is kind; because I like it), and then traveled to their centers.  Some like to stick with the same-old, same-old, while others rotate stations weekly or choose rather arbitrarily.  Regardless, it is fascinating to see where their creative minds take them.  From scary monstruos/monsters hiding out in their cuevas/caves and piano players insistent on turning up the keyboard’s volume, to emoticon drawings, buried treasure and a class bank (banco/bank; comida/food), first graders clearly work best when playing. 

Students also began incorporating the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map into their free play—knights invading Bolivia, a rubber duck boda/wedding in España/Spain, a gigantic tower of cajas/boxes in Brazil, etc.  Finally, first graders read Corre, perro, corre; listened to La Invitación; and worked on two free play projects that extended beyond one class period: a formal wedding ceremony with invitations, dress-up clothes, and more (Huck); and the construction of an enormous fort made of boxes and blankets, with accompanying Japanese ninja music playing in the background (Ranallo).  

Resumen, 14-15 (K)

Term
1This term, students in kindergarten let their imaginations run wild.  Straightforward, one-dimensional stories evolved into highly complex sagas, growing longer and more complicated from one week to the next.  A new week merely indicated a new chapter. 

From magia/ magic on the SMART board (the rubber- duck witches/ brujas took full responsibility), to disappearing and reappearing fantasmas/ ghosts, to a scary dragon who kept threatening our hero Pato with updates on the state of his voracious appetite, to a spinning disco ball with colorful lights that created exciting shadow effects on the auditorium ceiling and make the oscuridad/ darkness not so terrifying, to a treasure map that led to a box filled with balloons, to a REAL egg whose fate was to be smashed, to a cluster of grapes that turned out to be a bottle of purple paint—so that’s why Pato is sporting a purple beak these days…—the linguistic journey [clearly] never ceases to be original. 

In addition to storytelling, kindergarteners also played Roca-papel-tijeras (Rock-paper-scissors) in the target language, watched the theme song video from Rompe Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph), and read a special book for Halloween: Bruja, bruja ven a mi fiesta/Witch, Witch, Come to My Party.  Gracias for beginning the year on such a fast-paced and wonderfully creative note.
2This term, students in kindergarten listened intently as their dear friend Pato took on more of a leadership role, for better or worse.  His first idea for a project actually turned out quite well.  One afternoon, he invented a game: after drawing a rectangle on a piece of paper, dividing the shape into columns and filling in the mini-rectangles with bold, vibrant shades, he stood up the corresponding markers on each narrow quadrilateral.  A single spurt of water resulted in an impressive domino effect of the markers, and left an even more impressive design on the paper: smeared colors, lines, and water all mixed together. 

Later, kindergarteners had the opportunity to create their own beautiful marker/ water patterns, and then cut out snowflakes from the dyed paper.  His second idea—to learn the names and locations of Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map in the Spanish Cave—was successful for kindergarteners, but not necessarily for the highly unfocused [divergent thinker?!] duck.  Chile?  Well, it’s a good thing I’m wearing my warm Christmas sweater!  Argentina?  Arrr, I’m a pirate!  No, Pato, in Spanish it’s pronounced ‘Ar-hen-TEE-nah’.  A pirate (arr) and a chicken (hen) drinking tea (tee)?  Cool!  (Nah.)  What about Uruguay?  You mean the circle?  I got an A+ on shapes in Math class: triángulo, círculo…  Well, at least kindergarteners understand!
3This term, students in kindergarten continued learning the names of all of the Spanish-speaking countries on the tape floor map.  However, because Pato insisted on teaching, there were constant wordplays and distractions.  For example, after tasting a [plastic] pear in Perú, he decides that he doesn’t like it, exclaiming, “EKK! [wah-door]” (Ecuador), and then traveling through the door/ puerta to the next country.  Later, he meets a bee in “Colom-BEE-ah”, doesn’t know which way “Venez-WAY-lah” (Venezuela) is, and gets thirsty in Nicaragua (“knee-car-AGUA”).  In the end, kindergarteners were teaching Pato… 

When they had mastered the bulk of the map, students transitioned to acting out their individualized password cards—“Hmm… how can I become a basket/cesto?  A fort/fortaleza?  A fairy/hada?”—and enjoyed ‘stopping’ in the country of their choice when it was time to change action commands.  In-between the numerous snow and cold days, they also learned a song about ten little fish/diez pececitos; read Los hechizos de Chela La Lela (Batty Betty’s Spells); played Spanish Bingo; watched Pocoyó: El gran tobogán/ Pocoyó: Loula huele mal; and elected either to play/jugar or color/colorear on activity days (juguetes/toys, peluches/ stuffed animals; papel/ paper, marcadores/ markers, crayones/ crayons).  Gracias for another memorable quarter.
4This term, students in kindergarten circled back to the class stories from the beginning of the year, but this time, focused on incorporating student actors and actresses into the plots.  The quarter’s most exciting story stretched itself out over the course of several classes: as our rubber-duck protagonist finds himself face-to-face with a giant knight in shining armor, he must think quickly to devise a plan of escape.  How about hiding out in his very own house?  In theory, this was an ingenious idea, but in practice, he found his house —aka an empty box— already inhabited by kindergarteners… who refused to let Señor Bearington/Paddington in when he knocked!  Eventually, a compromise was reached: the ‘house’ was flipped upside down and transformed into a boat, whose skipper invited the duck-fugitive aboard. 

Amidst background waves crashing against the sides of the ship (www.noisli.com), the Uruguayan flag waving back and forth, and a determined teacher dragging the box-turned-boat across the room (with kindergartener and Señor Bearington/Paddington inside), the characters finally arrived on the coast of Uruguay.  Phew!  Later on, students the Rompe Ralph and Pollito pío songs; heard a new song in honor of the baby chicks that lived in their regular classroom (Los pollitos dicen pío pío pío); read the book Crow and Hawk; and practiced reading and writing Spanish sight words for their Play Day options.  Gracias for a terrific year.

Resumen, 13-14 (Grade 5)

Term
1This term, students in fifth grade chose a class mascot to be the main character in their class stories.  From this point, creativity took the reins…  Hunt: A crazy scientist, aka Pocoyo, takes the pato-bailarín as his prisoner, but the dancing duck grabs the flag of Spain, knocks him down and escapes in a pink shoe to South Sandwich Islands.  Byerley: Enemies of the beloved Snurkey (and the Butler) are established in the form of an evil team—Darth Vader, Turkal, Professor Coco-Mantequilla and Barney.  One night, Snurkey is hungry while watching the Barney Show.  He ends up entering the ‘pixeled void’ and eating Barney, thereby destroying one-quarter of his enemies.  Still hungry (and presumably scared for his own personal safety), he escapes to the Arctic Circle. 

Fifth graders also selected a Spanish-speaking country to represent as ambassador/embajador(a); practiced identifying banderas/flags from the Spanish-speaking world; sang along with the bilingual song Wavin’ Flag—played at the 2010 World Cup—before traveling outside for Spanish soccer games (fútbol/soccer); had their first free-write of the year (with partners); and signed a Language Pledge promising not to speak English within the walls of the Spanish Cave.  Gracias for an exciting start to the year!
2This term, students in fifth grade spent a good deal of time recycling and reviving vocabulary from years past.  Whether it was through creative short stories (both spoken and written), Señor Wooly song-lyric videogame challenges, Class Wordles, animal password cards, daily online weather forecasts (comparing temperatures in other ciudades/cities and países/countries), songs-that-get-stuck-in-your-head-and-don’t-leave (Botas perdidas/Lost Boots), class plays, or translation exercises on their miniature whiteboards, fifth graders had fun combining old and new information. 

They also had a few class discussions about meta-linguistics, and tried to define “Language” itself—not an easy task.  Later, students used their detective skills to identify and label twelve paragraphs written in different languages and alphabets.  Last but not least, fifth graders chose new identities (or Spanish names) for the New Year, and began discussing the presentation format of their Latin American Festival program, scheduled for the beginning of May.  Mark your calendars!
3This term, students in fifth grade continued with their daily board work translation exercises, and wrote back to their pen-pals.  They also began discussing and preparing for their Latin American Program.  Because fifth graders chose to write the plays this year, they were given class time to brainstorm adventures for their characters and to incorporate facts about their Spanish-speaking countries into the plans.  This resulted in complex, wildly creative historical fiction plots focusing on the most famous of stuffed animals in the Spanish Cave: Pato

Later—after the stories had been converted to script-form—students broke off into small groups and began rehearsing both individually as well as in front of their peers.  Fifth graders worked on taking their time, reading between the lines, and adding relevant actions, and are beginning to understand how to add humor and advanced expression to their roles.  As the culminating program of their Lower School Spanish experience approaches, students’ excitement is on the rise; please come join us on Friday, May 2, 2014 @1:30pm in the Community Room.
4This term, students in fifth grade continued rehearsing for their Latin American Program, and really honed in on the details (e.g., big or small facial expressions and bodily gestures, squeaky and/or deep growling voices, and movement with purpose).  Students also practiced performing the plays sans props, and then offered positive and ‘constructive criticism’ feedback to their peers following each presentation.  After working on transitions and polishing their acting skills, they had a wonderful dress rehearsal in front of the entire Lower School.  Their final culminating program for parents and friends that Friday was an equally huge success. 

Congratulations to all—you were spectacular!  Subsequently, fifth graders reviewed songs from years past (Ave María, Botas perdidas, Wavin’ Flag); watched the newest Sr. Wooly videos; had fun reciting their lines from the Spanish plays in different contexts; got a taste of language-learning the traditional way—via grammar—to prepare students for Middle School and beyond; and practiced naming all of the Spanish-speaking countries in the world by jumping from one to the next on a tape map on the floor of the Spanish Cave.  The majority of fifth graders already knew all of the countries, so the goal was more time-oriented for this grade level: Can you jump on and name all of them in less than fifteen seconds?  Gracias for a great year.

Resumen, 13-14 (Grade 4)

Term
1This term, students in fourth grade excitedly delved into the task of creating their own pueblo/ town.  After establishing bank accounts and buying their own mansions, the actual simulation commenced.  A typical day in either Epicville (Papageorge) or Marlow Mayhem (Marlow) begins with workers being dismissed to their jobs.  Businesses open at this point include the banco/bank, juguetería/toy store, tienda de arte/art store, and teatro/theater.  Later, students travel around town, taking out money from the bank, buying what they need and want with realistic-looking euros, communicating solely in the target language, and occasionally employing ‘frantic gesturing’ when they find themselves unable to recall vocabulary or simplify an idea. 

It is amazing how innovative fourth graders become when they are desperate to express a thought.  In addition to working and living in the pueblo, students also translated key words in their constellation poems from English to Spanish; signed a Language Pledge promising not to speak English within the walls of the Spanish Cave; tweeted their favorite movies; learned how to use the internet dictionary WordReference; wrote letters to their pen-pals in Oaxaca, Mexico; and worked on a “Class Wordle” of all the words they know in the target language.  Gracias for a great start to the year!
2This term, students in fourth grade received letters and photos from their pen-pals in Oaxaca, Mexico; chose new Spanish identities, with the understanding that their English name and person ‘no longer exist’ in the Spanish Cave; tried their hand at several translation exercises; sang along with the overly dramatic Sr. Wooly video, ¿Adónde vas? (Where are you going?); and, of course, continued with their pueblo simulation.  In addition to the usual browsing, buying, selling and even trading, several instances of corruption were also witnessed; members of the police department were allowing prisoners—i.e., thieves sent to la cárcel/jail for petty crimes—to escape in exchange for [plastic green] money. 

Such blatant injustices and brazen disrespect of the law led to a ban on all criminal activities.  Later, students refocused their attention with a call-response echo in the target language: ¿Qué queremos?/ ¡Queremos trabajar! (What do we want?  We want to work!).  Other town updates as follows.  Epicville: Students have created an Apple Store, where they sell technological gadgets and devices to their peers, such as handmade laptops and teléfonos inteligentes/ SMART phones.  Marlow Mayhem: Students have added a cine/movie theater, where they sell tickets to anyone and everyone who would like to watch a show.  Gracias for another exciting quarter.
3This term, students in fourth grade focused their energies on two specific goals each class (¿Cuál es la meta?/What is the goal?).  Generally speaking, the goals tend to be to repeat a certain linguistic structure as many times and in as many relevant contexts as possible in the town simulation.  For instance, “¡No puedes hacer eso!” (You can’t do that!), “Quiero comprar eso” (I want to buy that), and “¿Por que?” (Why?), can easily be incorporated into almost any conversation.  Moreover, students who take piano lessons were permitted to play songs from memory for the citizens of Epicville or Marlow Mayhem on the classroom teclado/keyboard.  Excellent performances resulted in several very affluent musicians (propina/tip). 

In addition, fourth graders learned that Wikipedia has a wonderful translation feature on the sidebar; deduced what names of BrainPop videos were using common sense and logic (e.g., La gran explosión/The Big Bang); participated in a Virtual Word Search; rehearsed and then presented dialogues in the target language in front of their peers; generated their own linguistic discussions as they helped each other translate their pen-pal letters from Mexico, and worked on rough and final drafts of their letters, attaching tiny gifts of appreciation for their new friends (e.g., origami, beaded bracelets, stickers, etc.).  Gracias for another outstanding quarter.
4This term, students in fourth grade played Spanish Monopoly; bought mansions and created a handmade map of the town; discovered that the map is authentic and of downtown Buenos Aires, and that the main street, or Avenida 9 de Julio, happens to be one of the widest in the world (with a whopping sixteen lanes of traffic); opened up a café, and then sipped and learned about the traditional friendship drink and famous tea of Argentina, called Mate; and extended their understanding of the word ‘pueblo’: The town does not only exist within the four walls of the Spanish Cave, but also beyond it… and thus a parque/park (in which to play fútbol/soccer) was borne. 

Not long after, fourth graders learned of a dramatic new development.  The town had suffered a desastre natural/natural disaster, and as a result, no longer exists.  Following the initial shock, fourth graders began to wonder—what if your friend has a sweater and you don’t?  Rationally minded individuals suddenly become desperate, even when la fuerza/the force—illustrated by a ping-pong ball levitating above a hair dryer—is on their side.  Thankfully, the Red Cross/La Cruz Roja was able to collect and donate $50,000 to all citizens affected before things got too out of hand.  Students read the generous letter and began planning how to spend the cash (needs vs. wants).  Gracias for an incredible year. 

Resumen, 13-14 (Grade 3)

Term
1This term, students in third grade practiced a new routine to begin class (Luces, cámara, acción, redoble por favor/Lights, camera, action, drum roll please); learned three tongue twisters (Pito, pito colorito; Pepe Pecas; Q-U-E-S-O/ cheese); and worked on pronouncing a very long word in the target language: Otorrinolaringólogo/ ENT doctor.  Third graders also made comecocos, or fortune tellers, and later created flip cards that said, “¡Estoy jugando!/I’m playing” on one side and “¡No me molestes!/Don’t bother me!” on the other.  After verbally answering the question, “¿Qué quieres hacer?/What do you want to do?”, they proceeded with the activity of their choice (e.g., jugar/play, pintar/paint). 

Within a matter of seconds, however, they were ‘interrupted’ by the teacher, who asked repeatedly and nonstop, “¿Qué haces?/Whatcha doin’?”, until said student answered the question aloud.  Students pushed this comparative investigation of infinitives and gerunds even further via Play Days and translation exercises.  Because third graders referenced the walls of the Spanish Cave when they got stuck, the latter seemed tantamount to being literally inside a word search.  They wrapped up the quarter with several songs, new and old—Yo me llamo, El banco, Botas perdidas—and last but not least, chose Spanish names.  Gracias for a great start to the year!
2This term, students in third grade had fun studying the metamorphosis of shapes that the mouth undergoes when pronouncing Spanish vowels.  After trying to enunciate a few lengthy but vowel-rich words —such as electroencefalografista— students tried their hand at an even more challenging rhyme (A, E, I, O, U, ¡el burro sabe más que tú!/ A, E, I, O, U, the donkey knows more than you!).  When the sounds began to mush together, third graders just laughed, content with their theoretical understanding of Spanish phonetics.  Students also rehearsed and presented several humorous dialogues, which led one afternoon to a tangential discussion about the term Spanglish

For whatever reason, third graders became fascinated with the idea of mixing languages, so much so that they insisted on [repeatedly] practicing the lines of their class mini-play in English, Spanish, and Spanglish.  When they were not engrossed in a world of meta-linguistics, students reviewed passwords from previous years (e.g., animals, foods, months of the year); ‘passed notes’ to their neighbors to practice their writing skills; created a Class Wordle of all the words they know in the target language; read ¿Quién está durmiendo? (Who Is Sleeping?); and learned about La Tomatilla, a huge tomato fight and tradition that takes place in Spain every August.  Gracias for another brilliant quarter!
3This term, students in third grade presented scripted partner-dialogues; learned two more rhymes in the target language, to add to their collection (“¿Qué te pasa, calabaza?  ¡Nada, nada, limonada!” and “Espejito, espejito, que está en la pared, ¿quién es el hada que más le gusta a Usted?”/Mirror, mirror on the wall); tweeted their favorite books, movies and activities on the faux Spanish twitter page outside of the Cave (e.g., @señoritapato; me encanta bailar); circled words that they recognized in the Spanish version of Pepita Talks Twice (Pepita habla dos veces), which students had already read in their regular classroom; […]

posted a ‘brick’ to the Word Wall Castle; compared the difference between “¿Qué quieres [hacer/jugar/comprar]?” (What do you want to do/play/buy?), and then had fun ‘purchasing’ items with fake dinero/money from the toy shelf; watched a multi-lingual video of Let it Go (in 25 languages), as well as the translated version of “What Does the Fox Say?” (¿Qué dice el zorro?); discussed the term gibberish after seeing a short clip of a girl speaking gibberish in multiple languages; and made Fold-It Books, where they literally folded a book out of colorful paper, pasted in paragraphs in the target language of a silly Pato story, and then illustrated each page with relevant drawings.  In spite of all the snow days, it has been a busy quarter!
4This term, students in third grade practiced answering questions in the target language (e.g., ¿Te gusta comer hamburguesas con queso o con cebollas o con queso y cebollas?/ Do you like to eat hamburgers with cheese or with onions or with cheese and onions?); learned about the history behind Cinco de Mayo, and then acted out the story with live actors and actresses (colina/ hill; lodo, mud); held a mini-auction (Note: Popular items included Waddles, the stuffed animal duck that sings lullabies, and a chicken that zips up into an egg and unzips back into a chicken [what?]); created a crazy class story about two witches who turn a famous dancer’s next door vecino/neighbor into a Monstruo de papas/Potato Monster; […]

did a book word search, recording all of the words they recognized in the target language and tabulating the results; wrote and illustrated their own comic strips, making certain to include at least one word or phrase in Spanish in each box; had a ‘kinesthetic discussion’ about el/la/los/las (the) categories and deduced that most el words end in -o, while most la words end in -a; and finally, practiced naming all of the Spanish-speaking countries in the world by jumping from one to the next on a tape map on the floor of the Spanish Cave.  Gracias for a beautifully creative year filled with laughter and fun.

Resumen, 13-14 (Grade 2)

Term
1This term, students in second grade had fun learning about The Adventures of Pato — one of the most mischievous stuffed animals in the Spanish Cave.  When necessary, they also helped discipline the sometimes quite rebellious and stubborn duck.  One day, second graders watched as Pato created an enormous mess of toys, and then decided that he wanted to play with his stuffed animal friends instead.  When he later asked to play, the class responded, “Pues, déjame ver… ¡no, no puedes! (Well, let me see… no, you can’t!). 

Because he claimed he had to read the answer in order to understand it, the class spelled it phonetically on the board—“p(ways), day-hah-may-bear”.  Naturally, his response was not to clean up his toys but rather, “A BEAR!  Oh no!  Run, everyone, run!”  When they weren’t putting him in a time-out or teaching Pato to read, students learned about the Spanish literary masterpiece, Don Quijote; talked about el and la words in the target language; played a game called “Busca el murciélago” (Look for the bat); decorated a house and car for Pato; practiced reading action words on the board; rehearsed their lines in a Spanish play; and learned the basic step to two Spanish dances, the Salsa and the Tango.  Gracias for a great first quarter.
2This term, students in second grade continued practicing the basic steps to the Salsa and Tango.  When second graders felt confident, they presented this knowledge, as well as a Spanish mini-play, in front of an audience (Wintersteller: Upper School Spanish I class; Lipowski: Lower School Assembly).  Subsequently, students continued hearing about The Great Adventures of Pato and teaching their friend that puedo (I can) and PlayDoh are not the same word.  And then one day… Pato vanished.  A week later, students read in a handwritten postcard that their beloved protagonist had flown south of the equator, to Argentina, in order to escape the polar vortices and drab, hoary landscape of winter in Ohio. 

In his absence, second graders took some time to get a feel for the South American country, looking at pictures of the famous Iguazú Falls (waterfalls) and typical Argentine foods (beef!), and listening to Argentine Tango music.  In addition, they made and then colored ‘talking-bookmarks’ of either Don Quijote or an Aztec warrior; listened to Mayan, Náhuatl, and Quechua tunes (indigenous languages); watched the movie Wreck-It Ralph/Rompe Ralph in the target language (Spanish voiceover with English subtitles); and sang along with two very catchy Señor Wooly songs: “¿Puedo ir al baño?” (Can I go to the bathroom?), and “¡PAN!” (BREAD!).
3This term, students in second grade spent time reading postcards from their beloved stuffed animal friend Pato and learning about all of the places he traveled.  First, he flew to Argentina and saw Iguazú Falls; then he went to Machu Picchu in Perú (students were able to explore a 360⁰ panoramic views of the Incan ruins online at www.airpano.com); and finally, he visited an active volcano in México named Popocatépetl (“poe-poe-KAH-tay-peh-tle”).  Second graders practiced pronouncing the mouthful of vowels, and decided that should it erupt, the threat of red hot lava rushing toward him would surely encourage Pato to return home. 

Imagining the very real perils of this possibility, they had fun creating a soft chanting-beat with the words “Peligro/danger” (i.e., the boys repeat peligro-peligro-peligro, while the girls repeat danger-danger-danger; and then they switch words).  When Pato finally returned, the class celebrated with a “Play Day” to welcome him back to the Spanish Cave.  In-between the numerous snow days this quarter, students also took several translation tests; watched a new Señor Wooly song called Las excusas; posted a ‘brick’ to the Spanish Word Wall Castle; and made comecocos, or fortune tellers, using tijeras/scissors and green or yellow paper.  Note: Next year, Pato needs to have a serious chat with Punxsutawney Phil…
4This term, students in second grade approached their language study through a variety of games, creative class stories, and written activities.  The students’ most-requested game was when the teacher pretends to give a boring addition lesson, and one second grader is secretly given permission to ‘act out’ and be silly.  When the teacher looks at her list of students and decides to call on the one who is acting out, she ‘finds’ said second grader and demands, “Qué haces?” (What are you doing?), to which s/he responds, “Nada” (nothing). 

Later on in the quarter, students created a spooky plot around the word pesadilla/nightmare, which is not to be confused with quesadilla.  While both classes had very different ideas, they agreed that including the powerful magical chant, “Abracadabra, pata de cabra, ¡chiquitipuf!” was a must.  Students were tickled pink to learn that ‘pata de cabra’ means ‘goat foot’.  In addition, second graders created their own comics; demanded the password from their peers (dime la contraseña o no puedes pasar/tell me the password or you can’t come in); practiced counting backwards from ten in the target language; pretended to buy items from the toy shelf with faux euro bills; and learned the names of all of the Spanish-speaking countries in South America by jumping from one to the next on a tape map on the floor of the Cave.

Resumen, 13-14 (Grade 1)

Term
1This term, students in first grade alternated between Story Days and Activity Days.  On the former, students tended to ask Pato was he was doing, and oftentimes he would invent a wild adventure (that coincidentally included Activity Day vocabulary).  Once, though, he couldn’t get his beak out of a book, and students pestered him to share the story.  Because it was either that or a time-out from SeñoritaPato began to relate the adventures of his hero, Don Quijote de La Mancha, to first graders.  He started with the renowned windmill chapter, and conveniently, students were able to make connections with the windmills in this novel and the windmill in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The class so enjoyed hearing about the Spanish literary masterpiece, that from that point forward, Pato focused all of his energy on the book.  Students also translated the daily message; played Luz roja, luz verde outside; read two books in the target language; and practiced answering the question, “¿Qué quieres hacer?” (What do you want to do?), on Activity Days, with one of four choices: Quiero jugar/ I want to play; Quiero dibujar/ I want to draw; Quiero ir/ I want to go; or Quiero pintar/ I want to paint.  Gracias for a fun-filled start to the year.
2This term, students in first grade continued adding and expanding upon their various activity centers.  For example, one week first graders built structures out of Legos and/or popsicle sticks, and the following week, they deepened their understanding of ‘construir’ (build) by molding and later painting various structures out of air-dry clay.  Partway through the quarter, first graders practiced using their new ‘connecting’ words to combine activities —y/and; con/with— and either read, wrote, or voiced their preferences aloud. 

Many students seemed to appreciate the official nature of submitting what they wanted to do in written form (e.g., “Quiero jugar con mi amigo Fred/I want to play with my friend Fred).  In addition, they also chose new professions passwords to integrate with their regular classroom; read the daily letters from Pato and the book, El artista que pintó un caballo azul (The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse); discussed the difference between amigo and amiga; made postre/dessert collages to practice asking for materials; played Spanish Bingo and Roca-papel-tijeras/Rock-paper-scissors in the target language; and were introduced to the witty ‘class conversation’ games that will reappear throughout the remainder of the year.
3This term, students in first grade played a variety of games to escape the ugly winter doldrums.  In one, the teacher pretends to give a boring addition lesson, while one first grader is secretly given permission to ‘act out’ and be silly.  For example, students can sit in their chair upside-down, take a sombrero and maracas from the toy shelf and start dancing, or even hide underneath the table.  When the teacher looks at her list of students and decides to call on the one student who is acting out, she ‘finds’ said first grader and demands, “¿Qué haces?” (What are you doing?), to which s/he responds, “Nada” (Nothing).  Students also played Spanish BingoSimon SaysHot Potato with practice counting backwards from ten, and Pato-pato-oca

The latter quickly morphed to “Tomate-tomate-tocino” (tomato-tomato-bacon) for the sheer delight of being able to make ‘sopa de tomate’, or tomato soup, when someone was tagged and sent to the ‘soup’, and as an extension, first graders learned a rhyme to accompany the game: “Bate-bate-la sopa de tomate (Stir-stir-the tomato soup).  Students also listened to the ever-popular Rompe Ralph (Wreck-It Ralph) theme song, and learned that rompe means break.  To illustrate this point, the class made an inedible soup with broken rotten eggs, slime, baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring (¡Qué asco!/Gross!; ¡Chévere!/Cool!).  Adiós, winter blues!
4This term, students in first grade participated in an interactive class drama presentation in the target language.  In the story, a police officer was guarding a pile of stuffed animals, but decided to take a short siesta.   Meanwhile, multiple thieves dressed up in silly disguises stole stuffed animals as well as the police officer’s key.  All of the ladrones/thieves were sent to la cárcel/jail, but ended up playing with the toys there because the police officer fell asleep again.  Students wrote out and made a goanimate.com video of this class drama on the SMART board. 

Later on, first graders ventured downstairs in the tunnels to hang up pictures of monsters and goblins on the wall, and searched for each others’ frightening creatures; read La Mariposa (The Butterfly); were introduced to the Sr. Wooly song ¿Puedo ir al baño? (Can I go to the bathroom?); had fun forming words and mathematical equations with their bodies; made boats out of Popsicle sticks, cinta/tape, and pipe cleaners (requested by color and quantity desired); and finally, made a bar graph of what they wanted to do—x axis, ideas; y axis, number of votes.  Based on the data, students’ favorite activity was traveling outside to play Policías y ladrones/Cops and Robbers (descanso/rest or break, when out of breath; libertad/freedom, when escaping from jail).  Gracias for a fantastic year.

Resumen, 13-14 (K)

Term
1This term, students in kindergarten let their imaginations run wild.  Straightforward, one-dimensional stories evolved into highly complex sagas, growing longer and more complicated from one week to the next.  A new week merely indicated a new chapter. 

From a loud alarm clock brriiiiing that catapulted Pato across the Spanish Cave, to disappearing ink on the SMART board, to rubber duck witches materializing out of thin air, to an evil bat-ghost kidnapping a flower and bringing her to a tower in a faraway land (and, of course, the quest to rescue said flower), to Pato conquering his fear of heights and fear of the dark, to a short video about castañuelas/ castanets, to hungry dragons, parachute fun, leaf collecting, Shadow Tag, and a cluster of grapes that turned out to be a bottle of purple paint—so that’s why Pato is sporting a purple beak these days…—the linguistic journey [clearly] never ceases to be original.  Gracias for beginning the year on such a fast-paced and wonderfully creative note.
2This term, students in kindergarten continued creating wildly imaginative stories.  However, instead of just passively listening to the comprehensible input, they began playing a more active role in the plots.  For instance, in one adventure, the suspense of a crocodile on the point of devouring Pato led to a tangential activity, where students had fun simultaneously opening and closing hard cover books at different speeds, mimicking the scary jawbone action (abre/open; cierra/close).  The consequent delay of his demise allows our beloved stuffed animal to discover a treasure chest full of balloons, and as a result, proudly parade around with a green bag of air—until he chances upon a box of thumbtacks. 

He is wisely advised by the anxious kindergarteners to not touch, but in the end, curiosity kills the source of entertainment.  Students also drew out the sequence of events in La casa adormecida/The Napping House; played a detective hide-and-seek game; traveled outside to the playground, shouting, “¡Tobogán!” as they slid down the slide; and [repeatedly] listened to the theme song from Wreck-It Ralph¿Cuándo te volveré a ver? (When Will I See You Again?), after Pato decides to head south and escape the polar vortices.  Finally, kindergarteners had several activity days, in which they could either jugar/play or colorear/color.  Gracias for another brilliant quarter!
3This term, students in kindergarten learned that while Pato flew south for the winter, Oso had no intentions of leaving whatsoever; in fact, he was quite content to hibernate in his cueva/cave until the warm temperatures returned.  While he slept, kindergarteners imagined what types of provisions he might be storing with him.  Oso took a break one day from his busy schedule of siestas to report that he ate REAL eggs for his winter breakfasts.  Students did not believe at first, and thus a thorough inspection took place. 

From shaking and then hearing the yolk jiggle inside, to cracking the eggshell and seeing a beautiful spider web pattern form, to finally smashing it, at last kindergarteners realized that it was most definitely not de plástico (¡Rompe el huevo!/break the egg!).  Later on, students compared and contrasted the size and color of US money with Euros, and then ‘bought’ juguetes/ toys, peluches/ stuffed animals, or comida/ food with their earnings; heard Ven a la carrera (Pocoyó) and Suéltalo (Frozen); and finally, received a real, live phone call one day, which informed that Pato was on his way home and eager to share his adventures with everyone.  From talking parrots and not-so-scary dragons, to erupting volcanoes, magical lightning bugs and a shark that ended up eating the treasure, Pato had quite the story to share.  What a great quarter!
4This term, students in kindergarten experienced the world from a duck’s perspective.  However, it should be noted that this is not merely any duck, but rather the world-renowned, forever young, mischievous yet adorable stuffed animal Pato.  Examples detailing his thought processes as follows: When Patito noisily sipped a large glass of water (consequently filling the plastic rubber duck cavity with liquid), Pato invented a game that resulted in a domino effect of markers, and beautiful water patterns and designs (chorro de agua/ spurt of water).  When Pato learned how to play Roca-papel-tijeras (Rock-paper-scissors) and Pollo-pollo-arroz/ Chicken-chicken-rice, he asked to combine the two activities by making a mini-menu booklet, which later inspired an in-class restaurant simulation. 

When Pato tripped over a hairdryer and—believing it to be a monster caught in a spider’s web—began running for dear life, kindergarteners began to understand his unique point of view.  Oh Pato, we love how you think!  In addition to the lessons in perspective-taking, students also heard a new song in honor of the baby chicks that lived in their regular classroom (Los pollitos dicen pío pío pío); played Spanish Bingo; watched a few Pocoyó episodes; and read a book called El artista que pintó un caballo azul in order to inspire their own charming drawings.  Gracias for an amazing year.

Resumen, 12-13 (Grade 5)

Term
1This term, students in fifth grade recited their passwords, listened to songs from various Spanish-speaking countries, and practiced reading contextualized language every class period.  They also heard the first of four Latin American legends (a Cuban tale about the importance of learning another language); created their own class story; and played soccer on Fridays to work on responding instinctually in the target language.  In addition, fifth graders had several highly academic meta-linguistic discussions in English about Spanish.  Kudos to all for an excellent start to the year.
2This term, students in fifth grade heard the second Latin American legend of the year (La casa embrujada/The Haunted House); worked on asking and answering questions with extended responses; learned basic steps to the Salsa and Cha-Cha, or two ballroom dances that originated in Cuba; identified patterns (converting gendered nouns); and continued creating their own class stories and playing soccer in the target language.  Students also had their first few free writes in Spanish (stream-of-consciousness writing), and extended their password routine to include entire sentences, versus single nouns.  Gracias for such a fun and productive quarter!
3This term, students in fifth grade put their theatrical skills to the test.  In lieu of the password routine, fifth graders were assigned lines in a class script, which they practiced together each period.  Once students had mastered their lines, they began adding expression and personality, which really allowed the plays to come to life.  Fifth graders also started analyzing the verbs and vocabulary they know from a grammatical perspective; putting this information in chart form helped to organize their knowledge in a mathematical way, and point out subtle patterns in the language. 

In addition, students learned a little bit about linguistics and where sounds originate; listed pairs of rhyming words in Spanish, and then wrote original raps with these words to an instrumental background beat; presented a short story in the target language to their peers; and continued playing fútbol/soccer matches outside when the weather cooperated.  Their March homework challenge was to watch a movie in Spanish (Spanish voiceover with English subtitles).  Gracias for another great term.
4This term, students in fifth grade spent a good deal of time preparing for their Latin American Festival plays.  They first used rubber ducks to map out where their characters would be on stage, and later worked on memorizing lines, reading with expression, and adding physical gestures and movements to reflect the narration.  The culmination of all of this hard work resulted in two highly successful dress rehearsals for Lower School students and a polished final program for parents (which included four Spanish plays, Latin American cuisine, tri-fold presentations, and a Spanish soccer game). 

Additionally, students watched a video about the possibilities for linguistic expression (21 Accents: Amy Walker); discussed a language Infographic about the hardest languages to learn coming from English; and composed a postcard written from the point of view of the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes.  They also continued playing fútbol, and were assigned lines for a daily ‘class conversation’ prior to the outdoor games.  Fifth graders have done a great job this year of applying the target language in a meaningful context.  Gracias.

Resumen, 12-13 (Grade 4)

Term
1This term, students in fourth grade excitedly delved into the task of creating their own town (pueblo).  After establishing and building their own bank accounts—learning and recording teachers’ Spanish passwords was one way to earn money—the actual simulation commenced.  A typical day in the pueblo begins with fourth graders stating where they are going to work.  Businesses open at this point include the banco/ bank, juguetería/ toy store, and tienda de arte/ art store.  Later, students travel around town, taking out money from the bank, waiting in line, purchasing items, occasionally getting fined for speaking English, and buying houses or renting apartments, should they so desire.  Workers are paid with realistic looking Spanish paychecks, and students oftentimes tip their peers for a job well done.  Thanks to all residents for bringing the word p-u-e-b-l-o to life.
2This term, students in fourth grade chose new animal passwords; reviewed gerunds and incorporated them into el pueblo (e.g., trabajando/ working); settled into a routine to determine who works where each week; read and presented dialogues, and then integrated these written dialogues into the pueblo simulation; dived into challenging translation exercises (English to Spanish, which is generally more difficult than Spanish to English); and discussed Spanish accentuation.  Fourth graders also composed letters to their pen-pals in Oaxaca, Mexico.  After writing rough and final drafts in the target language, students decorated their papers with patterned designs, colorful feathers and ribbons, little pom-poms, and other fun do-dads.   Some even attached tiny gifts for their new friends.  Gracias for another great quarter.
3This term, students in fourth grade took some time to deconstruct the Spanish structures that they already know.  This was accomplished primarily via ‘wall word searches’.  That is, fourth graders had to first find the relevant signs on the walls of the Spanish Cave, and then piece together the answers for a variety of translation exercises.  The two class sections also had a friendly competition, in which students became word detectives, pouring through both translated and culturally authentic texts, searching for (and later recording) as many words and phrases as possible that they recognized in the target language. 

Fourth graders also focused on deciphering the difference between “Voy a hablar/I’m going to talk” and “Estoy hablando/I’m talking”; wrote back to their pen-pals in Mexico, and glued candy hearts with Spanish words onto the letters—e.g., AMIGO/friend; and worked on two short class plays.  The first play was a formal meeting with an unexpected visitor, while the second was more mystery-themed (the aftermath of a toy store robbery).  Finally, fourth graders made Spanish fortune tellers, or comecocos, to practice uncommon color shades for the outside flaps (primrose/prímula), and the challenging phrase, “Voy a ir” (I’m going to go), for the inside flaps.  Gracias for another great term.
4This term, students in fourth grade learned of a new dramatic development in el pueblo: A natural disaster had struck.  While they no longer had bank accounts, housing, or any physical possessions aside from the clothes on their backs, fourth graders did have… a [faux] Twitter account to vent their frustrations in the target language.  Following the initial shock, students were led through a string of real-life possibilities and emotions: Desperation, violence (i.e., a paper-ball Dodgeball war, err, game), the need to emigrate, passing through ‘customs’, Red Cross donations, et al.  When students recognized the necessity of emigration, they were shown numerous photos of Spain and Argentina, and then voted on where they wanted their new pueblo to be located. 

Both classes chose Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, and very ironically, were able to connect their simulated experience of a natural disaster in the pueblo to an actual natural disaster in the world: The flooding in Argentina over Spring Break.  Starting from the ground up, fourth graders found part-time work in a local library, and eventually moved up the corporate ladder to their dream job (masseuses, lawyers, veterinarians, etc.).  Later, students learned about and were able to sample the national tea (and very popular ‘friendship’ drink) of Argentina: Yerba Mate.  Gracias for an incredible year.

Resumen, 12-13 (Grade 3)

Term
1This term, students in third grade sat wherever their password card appeared each day.  Third graders also memorized the equivalent of “Eeney, Meeney, Miney Moe” in Spanish (Pito, pito colorito) along with a tongue twister called Pepe Pecas; participated in their own Game Show (¡Tú ganas!/You win!); shared their interests and skills via a class Talent Show (luces, cámara, acción, redoble, por favor/ lights, camera, action, drumroll, please); predicted the future in Spanish (va a/is going to); invented a story about a conejo/rabbit; and began a conversation unit.  Students heard a Sr. Wooly song called ¡PAN!/BREAD! intermittently throughout the quarter as well.  Gracias for a great start to the year.
2This term, students in third grade learned more Spanish rhymes, and alternated between conversation days and story days.  On conversation days, students explain what they want to do and why, and then must answer follow-up questions with pre-taught, formula responses in the target language as they are playing.  Student-made, bilingual flip-cards (with sample questions and answers) further reinforce reading and comprehension.  On story days, third graders hear about the great adventures of Pato—the day he jumped in a bucket of water instead of waiting patiently for Señorita to finish her conversation (and subsequently got in a lot of trouble); the time he was accused of robbing the bank and failed to provide a reasonable alibi; and the night his arch-nemesis stole his favorite toy.  Gracias for another great quarter.
3This term, students in third grade continued with their storytelling unit.  Sample plots include: Developing an epic plan for Pato to get his juguete favorito/ favorite toy back from his enemy; calling a superhero (Naso: Súper-Pato, el rey/the king; Lipowski: Mermaid Man), when the epic plan suddenly became not so epic; and the night Pato had a horrible nightmare/ pesadillarhymes with quesadilla— about Justin el castor/Justin the Beaver.  To clarify the latter, beavers like to eat patos, and Justin the Beaver specifically wanted a Pato sandwich. 

Third graders also worked in small groups and later presented a mini-play to the class; focused on internalizing gerunds via a new ‘actions’ routine (¡Estoy saltando!/I’m jumping!); read ¿Quién está durmiendo?/ Who Is Sleeping?, El misterio del queso/The Cheese Mystery, and Debajo de las olas/Under the Waves; made Spanish fortune tellers, or comecocos; identified words they recognized in various picture and chapter books, which boosted their confidence with the language; and selected many impressive words for their new personalized passwords, including sarcophagus, griffin (the mythological creature), and artichoke.  Gracias for an amazing quarter!
4This term, students in third grade began with a class story about Fred, the invisible hummingbird.  Because Fred loves to dance, third graders were obliged to learn the basic steps to the Salsa, Merengue, and a line dance.  They also talked about the major difference between translation (written) and interpretation (spoken), and then were given the opportunity to become actual translators.  Students translated in both directions—from Spanish to English as well as English to Spanish—using the walls of La cueva de español as a resource. 

Additionally, students memorized a catchy song about losing items called Botas Perdidas; mastered another challenging tongue twister: otorrinolaringólogo (ear, nose, and throat doctor); and created their very own password cards.  As a culminating wrap-up, third graders circled back to the beginning of the year Play Days, but this time around, they were no longer permitted to speak any English.  While initially quite the challenge, students adjusted and began realizing just how much they could say.  Kudos to all for a job well done!

Resumen, 12-13 (Grade 2)

Term
1This term, students in second grade sat wherever their password card appeared each day.  For review purposes, they began the year earning money for correct responses to translation questions (Spanish to English).  This money was then used to buy items from the Art Center.  If the activity they desired to pursue was ‘more expensive’, second graders collected extra cash by learning their peers’ passwords.  A bilingual web of communication, or information exchange, was thereby established, gently encouraging students not only to learn from the teacher, but also from one another.  Later on, students presented mini-dialogues in the target language (public speaking skills).  Students will focus on building and honing their conversational skills from this point onward.  ¡Hasta la próxima!/Until next time!
2This term, students in second grade continued working on their conversational skills via class games and activity days; listened to familiar children’s songs in the target language; and made new password cards for their birthday months.  They also illustrated a class book, in which each second grader is mentioned on a different page in the context of a short story.  Later, second graders were introduced to the Spanish, world-renowned, literary masterpiece Don Quijote de La Mancha by Cervantes.  They learned that the main character, Don Quijote, is an old man who loves to read about knights in shining armor.  However, he gets so involved with this fictitious world that he decides to become an actual knight, and right all of the wrongs in the real world, which, naturally, causes some problems.  Nine-hundred pages of problems, to be precise…
3This term, students in second grade began a storytelling unit.  Instead of multiple, unrelated mini-stories each class, however, second graders ended up creating a quarter-long tale about a red Martian and a purple Martian.  Essentially, the red Martian steals all of the purple Martian’s money, and tries to escape in his getaway vehicle, but the car breaks down, and he has to buy a new one.  The new one is too small, so he goes to a witch for some shrinking powder, but the witch is evil and the powder turns him into a bat.  When the witch is chasing after the bat, she raises her magic wand to cast a spell, but drops her bag of potions in the process; the magic dust falls down, down, down… and lands in the Spanish Cave.  To be continued…

When they were not talking about magic potions and the like, students learned the basic dance steps to the Tango, Salsa, and Merengue; practiced saying, “Voy en segundo grado” (I’m in second grade) for their speeches (public speaking); participated in a scripted class conversation with their peers; played a game called, “Busca el murciélago” (Look for the Bat); read their action commands on the SMART board, instead of hearing them aloud; enjoyed watching several episodes of Pocoyó; and chose new passwords based on if they were an el word or a la word.  Gracias for a great term.
4This term, students in second grade continued with their storytelling unit.  Here, they learned that their beloved murciélago/bat had disappeared over Spring Break.  This was the catalyst for a frantic search until, when interrogated, the witch handed over a post card addressed to the class from the bat… with a post mark from España/Spain!  After traveling via Google Earth to a street level view of Madrid, Spain, second graders ‘explored’ the city and found the building from the post card.  Students received another card not long after, but the third one took a while to arrive and had a different postmark—evidently, their dear friend had flown from España all the way to México, and was staying at a hotel near the famous volcano Popocatépetl

Pronouncing the multi-syllable Nahuatl word proved to be quite the challenge.  For a change of pace, students also learned the basic step to the Cumbia; played Hide and Go Seek and Red Light, Green Light in the target language outside; made miniature password books for all of their passwords from the entire year; read two e-books in Spanish (Los gatos garabatosDaniel quiere un dinosaurio); and finally, circled back around to a mini-story about a monster that liked to eat stinky socks.  Gracias for a wonderful year!

Resumen, 12-13 (Grade 1)

Term
1This term, students in first grade sat wherever their password card appeared each day.  First graders also stated what they wanted to do each day, requested the appropriate materials in the target language, and then proceeded to paint (Popsicle sticks with watercolors), build (colorful wire creations), sew (with felt and string), play (with Lincoln Logs), and draw pictures they found in Spanish books.   They know that they can only touch something in the Spanish room if they know and/or are willing to learn the name for it.  As students become comfortable with the vocabulary, more “activity centers” are added.
2This term, students in first grade continued adding various activity centers.  For example, one week, and in order to experience the infinitive ir/to go, first graders gave examples of where they wanted to go (Quiero ir a Chile), and then, quite literally, went places, traveling all around the school and even outside.  Another week, students had fun molding various shapes of their own creation with air-dry clay/ arcilla, sticking on palos/ (Popsicle) sticks and plumas/ feathers to add some flair, and later painting their small sculptures with washable paints.  In addition to stating what they wanted to do each day, students also learned how to ask what others wanted to do, and practiced writing and recording this information on a chart handout.  Finally, first graders began hearing mini short stories in the target language to practice hearing all of their acquired vocabulary in context.  Gracias for a fantastic quarter!
3This term, students in first grade continued hearing mini-stories in the target language.  Because the majority took place in space—from ball games sans gravity, to plastic bugs literally taped to a spinning disco-ball planet (which created colorful insect-shadow-outlines on the wall)—students allowed their science backgrounds to inform and guide the plots. 

First graders also practiced reading sight words in the target language; chose new passwords based on if they were an el word or a la word (‘boy’ and ‘girl’ words, respectively); created costumes out of the cloth in the Spanish room in order to dress up as their passwords; played Spanish Bingo and a “¿Qué es esto?” (What is this?) game; talked about Spanish diminutives (perro/dog🡪 perrito/puppy; gato/cat 🡪 gatito/ kitten); defined similar-sounding words (e.g., fiesta/party and siesta/nap); and made aviones de papel/paper airplanes.
4This term, students in first grade increased their vocabularies through a wide variety of songs, games, and password exercises.  After choosing new identities—i.e., Spanish names—first graders sang along with a catchy tune called, “Yo me llamo” (My name is).  Later, they had fun playing Spanish Bingo, Luz roja, luz verde/Red Light, Green Light, Policías y Ladrones/Cops and Robbers, and a detective game.  In the latter, someone steals an object from a cauldron and hides it, and then students have to figure out what is missing, who stole it, and where it is in the room. 

First graders also made miniature password books for all of their passwords from the entire year; sorted the money in the Spanish Cave, while simultaneously exclaiming, “¡Soy rico(a)! (I’m rich!); followed step-by-step instructions to make their own paper airplanes; selected multiple adjectives to describe their passwords; and heard a book (El despegue de Romeo y Lou/Romeo and Lou Blast Off) in both English and Spanish.  It has been a busy end to the year!

Resumen, 12-13 (K)

Term
1This term, students in kindergarten let their imaginations run wild.  Straightforward, one-dimensional stories evolved into highly complex sagas, growing ever longer and more complicated from one week to the next.  A new week merely indicated a new chapter!  From the infamous pelefante winding up in jail week after week, to parties celebrating his release (thanks to a flying duck-reindeer), to magic tricks with disappearing marker ink, to chicken soup cooking adventures, to spinning disco-ball planets and a pato- marciano trying to adjust to the strange environment here on Earth, to crocodile encounters, pizza and popped balloons, the linguistic journey never ceases to be original.  To tame the madness, students heard a scary—but “normal”—book in Spanish at their Halloween party (Bruja, bruja ven a mi fiesta).  Gracias for such a fun and productive quarter!
2This term, students in kindergarten continued creating imaginative class stories.  Here, the celebrated pelefante makes the acquaintance of many lively characters (in both dreams and waking life)—from a duck with a magical cape, to a witch casting silly spells, to muttering Chinese and Russian ducks who don’t speak Spanish, and a big, bad shark who doesn’t want to share a buried treasure.  Kindergarteners also chose brand new passwords, began logically stringing action commands together (e.g., freeze like ice, melt into a puddle, jump over the puddle, then swim through the water), and heard two books in the target language: The Runaway Tortilla and Cómo el Grinch robó la Navidad/How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Gracias for another fun-filled quarter!
3This term, students in kindergarten shifted from passive to active participants in class.  Instead of simply listening to stories and acquiring language (input), kindergarteners became physically involved in the stories and began producing a lot of Spanish (output).  For example, after the good shark finds the treasure before the bad shark, he offers to share all of the toys/juguetes with everyone in class; therefore, students had a play day, and practiced requesting names of toys they knew in the target language.  They also lined up all of their chairs in a row one day, and created a large sofá on which everyone could lounge—chaquetas/ jackets were the ‘cushions’. 

When kindergarteners began responding to action commands, the sofá became a train with one person ‘left behind’, shouting “¡Espérame!” (Wait for me!).  Kindergarteners also played Hide and Go Seek in the Spanish Cave; read and later colored the book, Jugando a las escondidas con Zog (Playing Hide and Go Seek with Zog); received brand new, sea creature passwords; learned that Salsa is both a food and a dance; practiced opening and closing hard and soft cover books at different speeds (abre/open; cierra/close); and performed their action words all around the school—through the tunnels, in the Upper School hallways, over near the Admission’s Office, and beyond.  Gracias for a fantastic quarter!
4This term, students in kindergarten chose new sea creature passwords, and then practiced their action commands all around campus, exploring the tunnels, playground, and Upper School hallways in the target language.  Integrating with their regular classroom content, students also practiced springing out of their ‘huevos’/eggs and hatching into pollitos/baby chicks.  Later, they placed themselves in the chicken’s position, and imagined what it would be like inside the shell… probably dark!  One day, they tried to watch a chicken/animal sounds video called Pulcino Pío, but Pato kept getting scared whenever Señorita turned out the lights. 

To help him overcome this fear, students taped paper wings onto glow sticks and made luciérnagas/ lightning bugs (luz/ light).  Next, kindergarteners traveled to the auditorium and flew around their pink, green, and orange glowing fireflies in the pitch black environment.  They also gaped at the colorful shadows on the ceiling high above and whispered, “Oscuridad” (darkness) whenever the disco ball light was turned off.  Even in the darkest of dark rooms, Pato felt safe and calm with all of his friends around, and decided that darkness doesn’t always have to be terrifying.  In addition, students played Spanish Bingo, Sombra/Shadow Tag, and Pato-Pato-Oca/Duck-Duck-Goose.   Gracias for an amazing year.

Resumen Q4, 11-12 (K-5)

Grade
KThis term, students in kindergarten let their imaginations run wild.  Straightforward, one-dimensional stories evolved into highly complex sagas, growing ever longer and more complicated from one week to the next.  A new week merely indicated a new chapter!  A few plot examples include: a frog who wanted to catch a praying mantis with his sticky tongue; a scam artist cockroach who helped a pig steal the Angry Birds’ eggs; the reappearance of el pato malo (the bad duck); a magical Cinderella key used to unlock a jail cell; the day Lady Gaga placed a gigantic telescope against the window inside her Harry Potter-like castle; a flying book that transformed into a peacock wearing blue shoes after the main character was startled by a loud clap of thunder; and a Martian who was forced to stop at multiple stoplights out in space while driving to Earth in his flying car. 

Kindergarteners also traveled around the border of the front field of the school to learn the word tree/árbol; created an assortment of shapes out of Popsicle sticks and pencils; and went fishing for objects in a “pond” in the Spanish room to review basic nouns in the target language.  What a wonderful year it has been!
1This term, students in first grade worked on their public speaking skills in the target language.  After one person at each table asked, “¿Qué quieres hacer?/What do you want to do?”, the others answered individually in Spanish, “Quiero [jugar]/I want [to play]”.  To extend their responses, students learned the word “con/with”.  For example: “Quiero jugar con mi amigo Peter/I want to play with my friend Peter; Quiero jugar con mi amiga Jane/I want to play with my friend Jane; Quiero jugar con los patos/I want to play with the ducks”. 

Later, students interviewed each other and recorded what they wanted to do that day and what they wanted to be when they grow up.  The rest of the quarter—after the daily password routine—was spent on free play days.  Informal, creative play in Spanish class is stressed in the younger grades to encourage language immersion versus rote memorization.  “Therefore, you best of men, don’t use force in training the children in the subjects, but rather play. In that way can you better discern toward what each is naturally directed.” –Socrates
2This term, students in second grade played a hide-and-go seek game with their password cards; read and later presented scripts to the class entirely in the target language; had a wonderful linguistic discussion comparing various languages and alphabets; identified the distinct beats of Salsa and Tango music, and then learned the basic dance steps to each one; simultaneously all forgot their passwords one week (Se me olvidó/I forgot); practiced interrogating their peers in Spanish (¡Contesta la pregunta!/Answer the question!); and finally, mastered a challenging question from a Señor Wooly song (¿Dónde estabas a las tres de la tarde ayer?/Where were you at three in the afternoon yesterday?).  Students spent the last week talking about how to incorporate Spanish into their summer plans.  For a plethora of ideas and resources, please visit my website.
3This term, students in third grade took time to pull apart and break down memorized sentences/expressions into individual words and transferrable units—essentially, deconstructing language.  They were also challenged to translate in the opposite direction, from English to Spanish, instead of Spanish to English.  Stopping to think about how language is structured led to many valuable discussions throughout the quarter which, in turn, helped students to make a slew of connections. 

Different light bulbs were turning on every day.  For instance, although third graders had accepted that “el/la/los/las” all mean “the” in Spanish, they never knew the logic behind it (i.e., masculine and feminine nouns).  Near the end of the term, students used their in-depth knowledge of the language to create and present original dialogues and stories to their peers.  Kudos to all for a job well done!
4This term, students in fourth grade continued honing their language skills while working in the pueblo.  Fourth graders focused on expanding their conversations to longer, more involved exchanges; breaking down complex ideas into basic linguistic structures for the purpose of communicating an idea (versus being “poetic” or “academic”); expressing different points of view; and taking risks with the language.  The latter implies that students do not rely solely on the information or vocabulary given, but instead are willing to experiment grammatically in order to make the language their own. 

Likewise, the pueblo itself has the ability to grow into and become “its own”.  For example, perhaps the most thrilling week of the quarter occurred when the addition of a tax collector changed the generally amiable ambiance to one of revolt and strikes (huelgas).  Citizens were charged with taxes (impuestos) for anything and everything.  The pueblo lives and breathes because of days like these; the town is both real to students and realistic by nature.  As a result, students are emotionally involved.  They are not merely translating vocabulary words; they are, very literally, living the language.  Gracias for an incredible year.
5This term, students in fifth grade presented two dress rehearsals for their peers prior to the actual Latin American Festival.  Complete with a wide variety of music selections (from James Bond to Handel’s “Messiah”) and a strong command of the target language, the performances were all highly successful.  Fifth graders spent the last portion of the year using their legend vocabulary to create an imaginative plot in Spanish.  The class decided to base the action around a friendly walrus and his arch-nemesis, Garfield.  Finally, students were challenged to present an original story in Spanish in groups of two.  Gracias for a fantastic year.

Resumen Q3, 11-12 (K-5)

Grade
KThis term, students in kindergarten began stringing their action word commands together to create miniature role-plays and to continue creating class stories.  Previously, kindergarteners would be instructed to “fall down” as a command.  Now, one student spins around, becomes dizzy, and falls down, at which point the other student runs over and asks if s/he is okay.  Pretend injuries always serve as excellent story starters, and moreover, incorporate kindergarteners into the stories as active actors and actresses (with “lines”–or cued responses–in the target language) instead of just passive audience members.  Gracias for another great quarter.  
1This term, students in first grade learned the names of all of the Spanish-speaking countries in South and Central America by jumping on the tape floor map in the Spanish room.  People tend to think that only Mexico and Spain speak Spanish, when in reality, there are over twenty countries with Spanish as their official language.  First graders also helped create several class stories, and heard a couple of books in the target language.  While class stories include vocabulary students already know, books in the target language incorporate “out-of-bounds” words and force first graders to intuit (via pictures and intonation) the storyline.  You see, it is all about stretching the linguistic mind…
2This term, students in second grade worked on their public speaking and leadership skills in the target language.  For example, instead of the teacher saying, “Dime la contraseña/Tell me the password” as students entered the Spanish room, the Star Student did.  Once inside, one student at each table would ask his/her group, “¿Qué quieres hacer?/What do you want to do?”, and the other group members would answer, “Quiero jugar contigo/I want to play with you”, or “Pues, déjame ver, no sé/Well, let me see, I don’t know”. 

Later, each group presented to the class entirely in Spanish.  As their confidence with the language developed, second graders also had to ask and answer a basic question–one question and answer per table:  ¿Qué día es hoy?/What day is today?  Hoy es jueves/Today is Thursday.  ¿Qué tiempo hace afuera?/ What’s the weather like outside?  Hace sol/It’s sunny.  ¿Cuál es la fecha?/ What’s the date?  Es el ocho de marzo/It’s March 8th.  ¿Qué hora es?/What time is it?  ¡Es hora de jugar!/It’s time to play!  Gracias for a great quarter!
3This term, students in third grade began a storytelling unit.  On Mondays and Tuesdays, the teacher produces language for third graders to absorb and digest (via highly imaginative class stories).  Stories help students to synthesize all of the vocabulary they have been acquiring and put it in a meaningful context.  More importantly, students’ creative minds make for some very memorable characters—from the grey hippopotamus HWMNBN (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named), to a Lego-man named The Lady in White, to an evil dentist and his pet bird, to the ghost named Steve who really wants to eat some sausage and bacon, third graders let their imaginations run wild. 

On Fridays, students are responsible for producing language in a more flexible, free-play type of environment.  They also changed their passwords several times this quarter, and learned the names of the Spanish-speaking countries in South and Central America by jumping on the tape floor map in the Spanish room.
4This term, students in fourth grade learned the names of the Spanish-speaking countries in South and Central America; wrote back to their pen-pals in Oaxaca, Mexico; and re-birthed their pueblo/town from the first quarter.  A typical day in the pueblo begins with fourth graders stating where they want to work—at la juguetería/the toy store, el banco/the bank, la tienda de arte/the art store, el cine/the movie theater, la escuela de danza, arte, música y karate/the dance, art, music, and karate school, or la librería/the book store. 

Later, students travel around town, taking out money from the bank, waiting in line, buying items, returning products, stopping by the casino to play a card game, getting temporarily thrown in the calabozo/dungeon for speaking English, and practicing a lot of spontaneous Spanish in practical, real-life situations.  A new money system was also instituted, in which students lose money for speaking English and earn money by speaking Spanish.  Congratulations and thanks go to all of the citizens of Legoville for bringing the word p-u-e-b-l-o to life.
5This term, students in fifth grade spent the first half of the quarter studying and rehearsing their lines for the fourth legend of the year: El hijo-ladrón (Guatemala).  They also wrote back to their pen-pals in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Later on, fifth graders were assigned their official performance groups for the Latin American Festival on Cinco de Mayo (May 5th). 

Students will work in-depth on one legend until that time, using a genre-specific lens (action movie, thriller, comedy, musical, or drama) to guide their decisions regarding music selections, gestures, humor (or a lack thereof), and costumes/props.  Fifth graders have really hit the ground running and are off to a great start.  You can definitely feel the buzz of creative energy!

Resumen Q2, 11-12 (K-5)

Grade
KThis term, students in kindergarten spent the bulk of the quarter creating imaginative class stories.  From the infamous bad duck winding up in jail week after week, to parties celebrating his release, to the good duck’s cooking adventures, to Santa Claus getting caught in a snowstorm, to a witch shrinking all of the tables in the Spanish classroom, and to the appearance of a life-size castle, the linguistic journey never ceases to be original.  In addition to honing their comprehension skills, students also worked on public speaking skills in the target language by commanding their peers with Spanish action words (baila/dance, corre/run, etc.).
1This term, students in first grade changed their passwords to colors and foods.  They also studied a plethora of weather expressions, and learned how to ask what the weather is like outside.  When first graders felt confident with the new vocabulary, they worked in groups to rehearse their lines for a short News Show in the target language.  After practicing, they presented – reading from the “teleprompter” when necessary – in the cardboard frame of a television.  Students also wrote what they wanted to do each day (either on note cards or the whiteboard) after reading the Daily Board Message together with the class.
2This term, students in second grade really focused on reading the target language.  Instead of the teacher verbally articulating action commands, students read the word on the board and then performed the action.  Second graders also read, illustrated, and stapled together their own miniature Spanish books.  Near the end of the quarter, they even read and acted out a story about a student who stole a stuffed animal from another student, complained to the teacher, and then watched in disbelief as the teacher escaped with the stuffed animal!  Finally, students identified words they knew in children’s Spanish books, and wrote those words on the board.  “Books are a banquet for the mind… Stuff yourself.”  -Charles Schultz
3This term, students in third grade worked hard to understand subtle differences in the target language.  Specifically, third graders learned how to change infinitives into gerunds (i.e., “to play” to “playing”) in Spanish; and how to differentiate the following: What do you want?  What do you want to do?  What are you doing?  Do you want [to play]?  Why?  Following the Line Leader rotation of their regular classroom, students – instead of the teacher – also took turns demanding the password(s) from their peers as they entered the Spanish room.  Finally, third graders made miniature flip cards in the target language (No me molestes, estoy jugando/Don’t bother me, I’m playing).  Some students continue to carry these cards with them everywhere, for fear that they may be interrogated in the target language without one…
4This term, students in fourth grade created a story in the target language about a man named Bob who wanted a cat named Bob.  The story had multiple twists and turns, and ended up on the top of Mt. Everest.  There, the man named Bob learned that the cat named Bob was guarded by an entire army, and that he needed the password to enter.  At this point, fourth graders voted on how to end their epic tale of the notoriously daft Bob, but their conclusion was ultimately quite inconclusive.  The Bobs’ fate will therefore be determined at a later date.  Students then analyzed the story they had created from a grammatical perspective.  Once they understood the basic sentence structure, fourth graders had the tools to piece together their own original sentences and produce their own mini storybooks.
5This term, students in fifth grade received scripts and group assignments for two more Latin American legends.  The first was called La casa embrujada (The Haunted/Enchanted House), and was based on a legend from Peru.  The second was called El collar de oro (The Gold Necklace), and was based on a legend from New Mexico.  For both of these plays, students began to take note of the details of good acting: Create movement with purpose!  Expression matters!  Always face the audience!  To emphasize the latter, students used rubber ducks as their understudies, and drew pictures to represent the stage and scenery.  Moving an object helped to emphasize where the actors were at all times, especially during stage entrances and exits.  Students are becoming increasingly more creative in their performances, which is excellent to see.

Resumen Q1, 11-12 (K-5)

Grade
KThis term, students in kindergarten had their own animal password to enter and exit the Spanish room.  Students sat wherever their password appeared each day.  Kindergarteners also reviewed vocabulary from PK (via class mystery stories), learned more action words, started recognizing sight words in the target language (juguete/toy, caja/box, ropa/clothes, animalitos/little animals), and read a scary book in Spanish at their Halloween party (Bruja, bruja ven a mi fiesta).  It has been a fun and productive quarter!
1This term, students in first grade had their own shape password to enter and exit the Spanish room.  Students sat wherever their password appeared each day.  First graders also stated what they wanted to do each day, requested the appropriate materials in the target language, and then proceeded to paint (Popsicle sticks with watercolors), build (colorful wire creations), make animal tails (out of tape and string), draw pictures, and read Spanish books.   As students become comfortable with the vocabulary, more “activity centers” are added.
2This term, students in second grade had their own secret password to enter and exit the Spanish room.  Students sat wherever their password appeared each day.  Second graders also truly experienced language this quarter.  Whether they were balancing rulers (reglas) on their heads and noses, venturing outside to collect more leaves (hojas) than the other class, flying paper airplanes (aviones de papel), measuring how far they could broad-jump in feet and inches (pies y pulgadas), playing games (busca el murciélago), or conversing in a “NO ENGLISH” environment, students began to understand that being able to translate a word or phrase is just as important as having a context for that word or phrase.  The root of language is experience!
3This term, students in third grade had their own secret password(s) to enter and exit the Spanish room.  Students sat wherever their password appeared each day.  Third graders also memorized the equivalent of “Eeney, Meeney, Miney Moe” in Spanish (Pito, pito colorito); pretended to play school, with students taking turns as the ‘mean teacher’; auditioned for the popular television shows American Idol and America’s Got Talent; performed mini-skits in Spanish as robbers tried to invade the royal kingdom; and finally, learned a song called ¡PAN! (“BREAD!”).  
4This term, students in fourth grade had their own food password to enter and exit the Spanish room.  Students sat wherever their password appeared each day.  Fourth graders also reviewed vocabulary from last year; set up businesses and worked in their class town (Legoville); were introduced to a new Señor Wooly song called Anita,¿adónde vas? (Anita, where are you going?); and have already written two letters to their new pen-pals in Oaxaca, Mexico.
5This term, students in fifth grade had their own secret password(s) to enter and exit the Spanish room.  Students sat wherever their password appeared each day.  Fifth graders also heard the first of four Latin American legends that they will study this year.  It was called The Mouse Who Knew How to Bark (or La ratona que sabía ladrar), and is based on a legend from Cuba.  Students spent the bulk of the quarter studying and rehearsing their lines for this legend (that has been converted into a play).  The rest of the time was spent drafting and composing letters to their new pen-pals in Oaxaca, Mexico.