Ya Terminamos

We’ve ended the year in Spanish with so many exciting things happening on all levels! This has been a wonderful journey through some challenges of returning to school during a pandemic, and some incredible growth worth celebrating! I am so grateful to have experienced all of this with the Fraser Woods Community. Throughout the summer, I strongly encourage children to maintain exposure to the language, so that the transition back to school is a seamless one. Remember, if you don’t use it, you lose it! Here are some recommendations for continuing exposure to Spanish through the summer:

  • Primary: Read alouds on YouTube and songs by Super Simple Español can reinforce what we have learned so far (colors, shapes, numbers, animals, body parts).
  • Lower Elementary: Read alouds on YouTube and songs by Super Simple Español, directed drawing videos, podcasts or audiobooks, word searches. 
  • Upper Elementary: Read alouds on YouTube, directed drawing videos, podcasts or audiobooks. Students will also be bringing home a year’s worth of Scholastic’s ¿Qué Tal? Magazine and they have access to the eBook platform Flangoo through June 30th.
  • Middle School: Read alouds on YouTube, directed drawing videos, podcasts or audiobooks. They have access to the eBook platform Flangoo through June 30th. There are also age-appropriate shows on Netflix in Spanish.

Some websites and resources I have used throughout the year: 

www.spanishplayground.net 

https://revistaliteral.com/ 

www.conjuguemos.com 

www.quizlet.com 

Check out the music we’ve covered in our classes: 

Primary

Elementary

Middle School


Elementary Volleyball

 

The Lower and Upper Elementary students participated in and practiced skills associated with volleyball.  Students were taught the forearm pass (bump), the set, and the underhand and overhand serve. Volleyball is a team sport that can be played indoors, on grass, or at the beach. Playing volleyball has many benefits.  Playing volleyball will strengthen the upper body, arms and shoulders as well as the muscles of the lower body. Our main focus during the unit was to improve hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. The students learned and practiced with balloons, beach balls and soft volleyballs. Games that were played were, “Keep it Up,” “Four Square Volleyball,” and hitting the volleyballs over the net.  Lower nets were used to modify the game for student success.


Storyasking en Español

Stories are a great way to acquire language. Pictures can be used to tell the story, while other vocabulary can be reinforced by asking children what they notice on each page. We read regularly in every class, allowing the opportunity to make connections, activate prior knowledge, and embrace new content. 

Recently, in Upper Elementary, we took our stories to a different level. We worked through the process of Storyasking, a technique used in TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). Storyasking is engaging for students, as they get to decide who the characters are, what they are like, and what happens throughout the story. The story is scaffolded by the instructor so that the students are able to stay in the target language, while also acquiring new vocabulary along the way. 

Upper Elementary students loved having ownership in the story, and they were very excited to retell the story with actions, complete word work with key vocabulary from the story, and even play a couple of engaging vocabulary games together.


Poetry and Art

In Art Humanities class, eighth year students created visual representations of Amanda Gorman’s poem titled, “The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country.” Each student chose a line or two from this poem to focus on, and were encouraged to imagine ways to express the feeling of the words using colors, shapes, figures, and other imagery. Students used a range of materials including acrylic paint, watercolor, pencil, and colored pencil. The results were beautiful and diverse; each student’s piece was unique to them while capturing what they felt expressed a specific theme or message in Amanda Gorman’s powerful, historic poem. Interpreting this poem using visual representation encouraged students to think critically about the poem’s meaning. Bravo young artists!!


Las Mariposas

The start of Spring is a great time to reflect on the transformation we have experienced throughout the school year. Watching primary students embrace every song, story, and project this year has filled my heart with so much joy. 

This week, we read an original story in Spanish called, “Mi Mariposa.” A boy sees a beautiful butterfly happily flying around and drinking nectar from the flowers. He decides to trap it in a jar so he can bring it home to observe its beauty. He notices in the jar that the butterfly is sad, it does not fly, and it cannot eat. The boy decides to bring the butterfly back to the garden and sees it return to happiness. 

Students also enjoyed revisiting the familiar story of “The Very Impatient Caterpillar.” We read the Spanish translation, “La Oruga Muy Impaciente.” We tied our two stories into a conversation about transformation and natural habitats. Then students were given the opportunity to express their creativity with mariposas of their own. 


Fun with Pickleball in PE Class!

Students in grades 1st through 8th participated in a Pickleball unit.  What is Pickleball?  Pickleball is a paddle sport played with a whiffle ball on a badminton-sized court with a tennis-style net.  Pickleball is enjoyed by people of all ages and athletic abilities.  In some ways it’s a combination of tennis and badminton, and goes along with sports such as table tennis and racquetball.

Pickleball is played in thousands of school P.E. programs, parks and recreation centers, camps, YMCA’s and retirement communities. This sport is becoming very popular among active senior adults at community centers and is growing in popularity on high school and college campuses.  Pickleball was created during the summer of 1965 in Seattle, WA.  The original purpose of the game was to provide a sport for the entire family.  Pickles, the family dog would chase after the whiffle balls and then hide in the bushes. The founder suggests that Pickles’ ball was later shortened to Pickleball.

During our Pickleball unit, students practiced and participated in demonstrating the proper serve, forehand drive, backhand drive, and abided by rules of fair play.  Pickleball helps improve agility, balance, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination.  At the end of the unit, students participated in a singles and doubles Pickleball tournament.  For the younger grades, students had a choice to use a balloon for more success during the game.


Upper Elementary Explorations in Clay

Upper Elementary artists have been focusing on the Art elements of form and texture through the use of various clay processes and techniques. Young artists have been hard at work creating coil-built animal bowls. The coil building technique is a hand building method of creating pottery that has been used to shape clay into vessels for many thousands of years. It is a simple process of layering coils one at a time, then blending the layers together to create a solid form. Working in a circular motion, students have been carefully building a bowl form coil by coil. Once the bowl form was complete, each young artist began adding animal features such as eyes, tails, fins, feet, horns, ears, and so on. We are looking forward to adding color to these with vibrant ceramic glazes!

Working with clay has many benefits for children of all ages beyond simply providing a creative experience. It is a complex sensory experience that encourages self-expression, helps promote self-confidence, develops problem-solving, and fine motor skills. Because clay is highly responsive to touch and very forgiving, children become engrossed in their work: they are able to express and articulate their ideas through shaping clay and learning to repair mistakes. Clay is different from other art mediums in that it requires an understanding of the three-dimensional world. While working on their projects, students must move around to see their creation from all sides. From this, they begin to understand shape, form, and perspective, and gain knowledge of planning methods and problem solving as they map out their creation. Bravo, young artists!


Cuando Hace Frío

To correspond with the weather we’ve had thus far, primary students have been acquiring vocabulary for winter gear through the Spanish Playground poem, titled Cuando Hace Frío. We also used the song, Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas, Pies (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes) to reinforce body parts as we shared where winter gear is worn on our bodies. Of course, we just had to throw in a few rounds of Simon Dice (Simon Says) for an extra fun twist!

Students then worked hard to dress a paper person in winter gear, as we used our colors and numbers in discussing materials. To see them put it all together is extremely rewarding, and I can’t wait to see how much more they acquire moving forward! 

For more winter poems in Spanish:  https://www.spanishplayground.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Poemas-invierno.pdf