Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Fun

Yesterday and today students are learning about holiday traditions around the world.  In 3rd grade, students read the legend of the poinsettia.  In this story a little girl is taught that the best gift is one that comes from the heart.  It was a wonderful discussion to have right before the holidays.  

In 4th and 5th grade, students learned about a Spanish tradition called "Doce Uvas."  In many Spanish speaking countries, on New Years Eve, 12 grapes are eaten to the sound of 12 bell chimes. Each grape represents a wish they have for the upcoming year (and there are 12 to represent the months of the new year).  Since we weren't able to eat real grapes, we played a game instead. Students were asked to draw a face on a paper plate.  They put it on their heads and each time the bell rang, they tried to draw a grape in the mouth on the paper plate.  Check out the video to see how much fun they had!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

4th/5th Costa Rica Ziplining

This week, students in 4th/5th grade have been finishing up their "trip" to Costa Rica.  One of our last lessons involved a challenge day!  On these days, students are given the challenge to complete a task in a certain amount of time (and of course communicating only in Spanish).  These days are really fun but very challenging as well.  On this day, students learned how ziplining is one of the most popular activities for tourists in Costa Rica.  This is because ziplining originated there!  Students were introduced to ziplining vocabulary in Spanish along with the different types that exist.  The challenge was to build their own zipline out of straws, popsicle sticks, paper and string.  The object was to get their zipliner from one end to the other.  It was amazing to see what they come up with.  Check out the pictures below to see!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

4th/5th- Supermarket Sweep!

Remember Supermarket Sweep?  It was a game show that aired in the 1960s...but we recreated it yesterday in Spanish!  Students were divided up into teams and given their own "shopping cart."  The goal was for each partnership to get 8 items from a shopping list into their cart before the other team.   It was a lot of fun to watch the students identify different "food aisles" in Spanish (such as dairy, produce and drinks).  You can tell how much fun and learning they were doing at the same time!  Below is a video clip I took from a fourth grade class to show you what it looked like...

Friday, December 4, 2015

4th/5th grade- Menu activity!

What an awesome two days it has been in Spanish.  We just finished learning all of the vocabulary for our food unit (the students know over 30 words)!  Yesterday, 4th and 5th graders had the opportunity to create their own restaurant and decide what they would serve on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Some of them decided to serve typical meals (such as cereal or eggs for breakfast) and others got very creative by mixing up different types of food.  Today, they finished creating their menus and then we learned how to say two new phrases: "How delicious!" (¡Qué delicioso!) and "How disgusting!"  (¡Qué asco!)  Students shared their menus with their classmates and they got to decide if they thought it was delicious or disgusting.  You can imagine how much fun they had with that!  The menus will be coming home with the students today, so make sure to have your child show you all they know.  Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

3rd grade- Flat Stanley project

We have ourselves a class of authors!!  3rd graders have officially finished writing their Flat Stanley books.  The students loved presenting them to the class and looking at the pictures of other Stanley adventures.  It was such an accomplishment for them to write an entire book!  They are coming home with your child today so make sure to have them present at home too.  =)

Friday, November 6, 2015

4th/5th- Día de los Muertos

We had a tremendously fun week celebrating Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Spanish class.  Since this is the fourth year students in 4th and 5th grade are studying this holiday, they came in ready for a fiesta!  While it may sound like a sad holiday, students understand it is actually a very lively and happy celebration.  This year was a real treat!  Students learned how sugar skulls (calaveras de azúcar) are a big part of this holiday.  Traditionally, they are made from real sugar and used primarily for decoration.  4th and 5th graders had the opportunity to make their own "sugar" skull out of clay.  On Tuesday, they mixed up corn starch and glue to make the clay mixture and molded it into a skull.  Today, they had a blast decorating them.  =)  Sugar skulls are coming home with your children today so make sure to ask them to see it this weekend.  Take a look at how well they turned out...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Flat Stanley and Food en Español

3rd grade- This week third graders started a Flat Stanley project.  Your child should have brought home a manilla envelope with their very own Esteban el Plano (Flat Stanley).  Each student is responsible for taking Esteban around their community and taking pictures of him in several different spots (stores, restaurants, library etc.)  The letter on the envelope has all the details.  Pictures of Esteban are due on Thursday, November 5th!

4th/5th grade- A new unit on food began today!  Students were told they will create their own "Food Network en Español" program at the end of the unit (this is what they will be working towards over the next couple of months).  They began the unit by playing games to review what food words they already knew.  It was incredible to see what they recalled from their first three years in Spanish.  Most classes came up with 20-30 words on average...before even beginning the unit!  ¡Muy impresionante!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

4th/5th Avatars and Spanish Names!

This week in 4th/5th grade Spanish, students made their own avatars!  Using a given website, students created a cartoon character they thought resembled themselves.  To wrap up the unit, the students described the avatar including information such as name, last name, address, hair/eye color and telephone number.  Our goal for the unit was "I can fill out a form with information about myself."  They met their goal with flying colors!  Avatar projects come home today, so make sure to have your child show you how well they did.  

4th graders also received their Spanish names this week.  The goal is to build confidence in each student by giving them their own Spanish identity.  By the pictures below, you can see how excited they were!  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

3rd Grade Panama

¡Buenos días!

Yesterday, was a very exciting day in third grade Spanish.  Students are currently studying the country of Panama.  In class, they had the opportunity to play three popular games!  The first was "Perigrino."  This is a game similar to hopscotch but students had to kick a rock with one foot and jump to each square with the other.  The second game was "Canicas."  This is a marble game where children try to roll marbles as close as they can to a circle formation.  The last game, was "Moneda." For this activity, students had the chance to toss coins off of a wall to see who could get theirs the farthest.  Make sure to ask your students about their favorite Panamanian game!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Beginning of the year!


Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year.  I am thrilled to be starting another year at Meadowbrook with your students.  This year we are rolling out our fourth year curriculum (for both the 4th and 5th graders).  It is exciting to watch the progress your children are making and I am honored to be a part of their world language journey.

While reading and writing are important components of our program, speaking and listening are the main concentration.  In class, I speak to the students 90% of the time in Spanish and 10% in English.  Your children are encouraged to do the same!  While this may seem challenging, you would be amazed at how well they speak.

I encourage you to keep the conversation about Spanish class going with your children at home.  Parents often ask me how to support their child's language education.  The best way is to ask them about what they are learning and have them teach you new vocabulary words or their new favorite song!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me. You can also visit "my website" to see current vocabulary lists, hear our class songs and find websites to practice at home.

Looking forward to a wonderful year ahead!
~Srta. Whitman