¡Hola a todos! Hello everyone!
It has been a busy place around here in Spanish class since the start of school! For one, there have been some updates to the way Spanish class is done. The good news is that I have my own classroom this year! The students travel to me now, and this has opened up a new doorway of possibilities as a teacher, as I can use more materials, have things set up before the students arrive (a time-saver), and organize the classroom to provide maximum support to the lessons. So far, I LOVE it! I’m able to give the students more time to work with their Spanish vocabulary than ever before, and that’s what it’s all about! Secondly, the schedule has changed from a semester system to a quarter system. Instead of 3rd, 4th and 5th grade having Spanish class during the 1st semester and grades K, 1, and 2 having it in the 2nd semester, now grades 3-5 have Spanish in quarters 1 and 4 while grades K-2 have it in quarters 2 and 3. For the little ones, this will be nearly the same as before, but for the older ones, this may result in some vocabulary loss during the 18 weeks in the middle of the year. There’s not a whole lot we can do to prevent this aside from encouraging the students to practice independently in that time. (Remember, http://www.fcspanish.com is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere with internet!)
What are my kids doing in class?
This month, 3rd grade is entering into their number unit, following pretty closely what the upper grades just finished, however, with a little more flexibility in understanding that a higher percentage of students may still be working on mastering counting to 20. In this unit, I understand that students learn at different rates and in different ways, so students always are in control of which goal they study (1-20, 10s-100, 1-100, 100 out of order) and how they do it. I just provide a lot of cognitive training in how to set goals, as well as provide some ideas for ways to study, which we practice in class.
4th grade will be moving into a clothing unit soon, learning to describe what they are wearing for a variety of weather and describing it with adjectives. Hopefully before the end of the quarter we can squeeze in a fashion show project so the students can strut their stuff while describing either serious or silly outfits in Spanish!
5th grade will be beginning their nature unit in which they will learn to describe what there is in a scene as well as how to describe those nature objects in Spanish. This will be tricky, as the adjective always matches the noun, whether feminine/masculine, or singular/plural. I will, of course, be very flexible as students begin to conceptualize this grammatical concept, and grapple with what their English-speaking brains try to convince them is right. The goal of this type of unit is not to master with 100% proficiency, but for the students to develop the cognitive awareness that romance languages function in this way, as well as to gain some practice in working their ways to this goal. Realistically, it takes years of serious study to master this skill!
Open house is just around the corner! Feel free to stop in to room 200 to check out the new Spanish classroom and talk to me about Spanish class, our activities, or even the 2016 Multicultural Night (March 31st)!