Welcome to a new month of Spanish class! 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are doing great so far! Before I get into the breakdown of what my 3 grade levels are doing this semester (remember K, 1, and 2 are in the “off semester” until late January), I wanted to let you know that I have started a new routine that allows me to be more available to the students when they need help. Every day during arrival, I sit down at the colorful tables in the 4th grade commons (right in the middle of the long 3rd-5th grade hallway). Every day so far I’ve had at least two “customers” come get help from me on their homework and several more pick up extra copies of homework. However, some students are still waiting until the next class to tell me they didn’t understand the homework or that they lost it. There’s no need to wait an entire week — they can get help every morning Monday through Friday! Remind them to come see me when they get off the bus so I can get them the help they need! (Usually they need one pointer and they are good to go!)
So here’s what’s going on in this upcoming month:
In this upcoming month, 3rd graders will really be digging into our restaurant unit. They will be first be learning the basic food vocabulary, so please encourage your 3rd graders to study their food words using the flashcards given to them in class, the word tricks discussed, and any other resource, such as games on our website, http://www.fcspanish.com. We will also be learning to make combinations of foods with “con” (with) and “sin” (without), as well as describing types of foods using “de” (of). We already discussed how “strawberry yogurt” sounds like “yogurt of strawberry” in Spanish (yogur de fresa). The students will also learn to order foods using the phrase “Me gustaría…” (I would like…). This will be slightly challenging altogether, but very rewarding! As with any other skill, the more practice, the better!
In 4th grade, the students will continue developing their understanding of giving a weather report and will actually do a presentation for class. The better they know their weather expressions, the easier giving their weather report presentation will be, because the phrases will flow more naturally off the tops of their heads if they have studied them thoroughly and have committed them to memory. We will then move into a seasonal clothing unit and will discuss the clothing that we typically wear for each type of weather.
My fifth graders are developing their skills in descriptive writing. Lately we have particularly been discussing how adjectives behave differently in Spanish (to learn, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThMYAVBSFkM). The students are learning to understand that we will always be better writers than speakers, because with writing we have time to pause and think about what we know, whereas when we are speaking, we are often pressured to produce words and often do not have time to edit our own speaking. So when we are writing, they are to focus on using tools to remind them of their rules of adjectives (checklists on their homework or a writing rubric that was given in class). Encourage your child to be a reflective writer, taking advantage of their vocabulary sheets, checklists, and rubrics when writing. Please dissuade them from looking up too many words in a translator or dictionary, as the more words they use that they don’t know, the less their own writing makes sense and the less learning happens and the less benefit they get out of the activity. I would prefer a paragraph riddled with errors, but that was authentically written by a student than a perfect paragraph written by Google Translate! 🙂
As always, if you have any questions, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Señorita) Jessica Taylor