Children's House & Lower Elementary Spanish
|Children's House and Lower Elementary Spanish Programs|
There are three major goals of the Children's House and Lower Elementary Spanish Programs:
1.To encourage children to have fun while learning Spanish in various ways that reach their different abilities and styles
2.To immerse students in Spanish during their class so that they increase their understanding of Spanish by listening, speaking, singing, and reading (or pre-reading)
3.To promote an appreciation of the diverse cultures of Spain and Latin America in order to widen children’s global perspectives
All Children’s House students have 30 minutes of Spanish class per week. Classes are taught mostly in Spanish so children can be exposed to the language as much as possible. While half of each class has Spanish in the Spanish room, the other half remains in the classroom. During circle time in the Spanish room, the entire class joins together to sing songs, read books, do finger-plays, and play games in Spanish. Some of these Spanish activities are repeated weekly to reinforce Spanish vocabulary and to boost the children’s confidence. There are new elements every week, which change according to themes like colors, numbers, animals, clothing, food, opposites, and parts of the body. These changing elements give those students who speak Spanish at home a chance to demonstrate their skills and to inspire their peers. Children enjoy stories, songs, and games from Spanish-speaking countries, as well as Spanish versions of familiar stories, songs, and games from other cultures. Because thirty minutes is a long time for 3-6 year olds to pay attention in a group setting, there are many opportunities for them to reenergize through music, movement, and visuals. The following examples of Spanish activities offer a glimpse of the many and varied ways students enjoy Spanish, which hopefully will lead to a lifelong appreciation of learning languages
• Singing Spanish songs as they join together to walk along the edge of the circle pretending to be part of a train or sea serpent
• Jumping slowly and then quickly while counting from one to twenty in Spanish
• Learning parts of the body by playing "Simon Says" and practicing yoga
• Acting out animals that appear in beloved children’s book or song translations
• Repeating the Spanish words for colors that correspond to pieces of yarn bouncing up and down in the center of an outstretched parachute
All Lower Elementary students have thirty minutes of Spanish class twice per week in the Elementary Spanish room. A wonderful new elementary Spanish program called "Descubre el español con Santillana" is the basis of the LE Spanish curriculum. The audio/video materials, textbooks, e-books, workbooks and online activities for classroom (plus for homework for third years) of this program received rave reviews upon their release in September 2011. LE first and second year students follow the characters, Lisa and Tony, as they visit México, Nicaragua, Chile, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Spain, Venezuela, and Cuba. LE third year students follow the characters, Anna and Charlie, as they visit México, Bolivia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Spain, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala. All LE students virtually visit these countries while learning Spanish vocabulary and grammar. It's exciting to envision how much LE students are traveling light years in their Spanish listening, speaking, reading, and writing with the help of such an avant garde program. If you'd like more information, please click on the five different links posted in the "Links" section of this web page.
Parents, caregivers and relatives are welcome to visit these classes anytime. Please feel free to email any questions, comments or concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org). Muchas gracias.
Upper Elementary & Middle School
|Curriculum and General Course Information for Upper Elementary and Middle School Spanish|
About Upper Elementary and Middle School Spanish
In Upper Elementary Spanish we continue to build on our students’ receptive language skills with an emphasis on speaking skills, but we also introduce reading and writing in Spanish. UE Spanish is organized by grade level (UE Lowers, UE Middles, UE Seniors). Each class meets two times per week for 45 minutes. For a small group of students who speak Spanish at home, we offer a modified program in which they come together for lessons once a week, and they join their grade-level classmates for a second class session.
In UE and MS we seek to provide students with many opportunities to be exposed to Spanish. It is for this reason that we use a thematic approach where key vocabulary and functional language structures are practiced and modeled through audiovisuals, songs, dialogs, pantomimes, and story telling.
At this level only simple grammatical structures are introduced in order to lay out the foundation of more complex structures and topics that will be studied in Middle School. The grammatical structures studied in this level include:
- number and gender agreement
- personal pronouns
- conjugation in the present tense of regular and some irregular verbs
- expressions of likes and dislikes.
Some of the themes studied in UE are:
- Personal introductions
- hobbies and pastimes
- describing family and friends
- talking about school activities and schedules
- complaining about house chores
- ordering food
- describing animals
- asking for directions in a city
In UE Spanish, homework is all about practice of the material that has been taught in class. I expect students to spend 40 minutes per week practicing Spanish at home. I strongly recommend that they do 8 minutes of work, five times each week or 10 minutes 4 times per week and to avoid doing all 40 minutes in one day. Spreading it out is more effective and memorable.
Last year we began to assign online homework using QUIA where I created customized games that helped students learn vocabulary.
In addition to QUIA, for this year we purchased students licenses for QTalk, a method that uses visual and auditory cues that help with memory and retention.
Also, I have asked your children to create and account in Edmodo, an online site that provides a safe and easy way for the class to connect, check homework assignments and get direct links to class activities and videos.
The Spanish teachers are constantly educating ourselves and investigating the best teaching methods that can help your children reach their full potential. Your help is also necessary to reach this goal.
|Our Blog with PR|
Our Blog with PR
On February, the MS will be visiting Puerto Rico.
To prepare for our gathering with the students in la Escuela Nueva, we have created a blog with the idea of getting to know each other more and develop a closer relationship before going to Puerto Rico.
The theme of our first blog was to talk about ourselves, families and personal interests.
We just heard back from them and it’s been fun to see how many things we have in common.