Another school year is officially over. Classrooms are empty, textbooks and supplies are stored away, keys have been turned in and the school building which is generally filled with noise and activity is now quiet and mostly empty as most everyone is gone already and is beginning to enjoy a much deserved two month summer break. How fast another year came and went! But before I can fully say goodbye to the 2018-19 school year, I like to look back, remember and reflect on what students were able to accomplish this year. Join me in this short trip down memory lane as I look backwards and highlight our 2018-19 Second Semester in Spanish class.
This was our show off your Spanish skills month. We conducted ¨Persona Especial¨ interviews, a 2 minute daily interview with a randomly selected student. The student was interviewed by me and asked some familiar questions as well as open-ended questions not previously practiced, but based on the student’s interests or earlier answers. It was great to see how students were able to engage in this type of authentic interview. Sometimes, they were able to ask me questions, too!
We planned and prepared for End-of -the Year Projects in May. The Spanish 1 class worked on individual projects or projects with a partner, while the Pre-AICE classes worked on a group project. Some Spanish 1 students created flipgrid videos to talk about “Mi Vida” (my life) highlighting the major themes we talked about this year. Other students created a Pecha Kucha style presentation. Students were able to speak in sentences and give details about themselves and their preferences, their school, families, hobbies and ideal vacation. Two students created replicas of a Spanish artist artwork and shared a little bit about the life of the artist. The Pre-AICE students were “Profe por un dia” (Teacher for a day). Each day a group was responsible for leading the day’s lesson in Spanish. They were in charge of presenting the vocabulary and conducting all activities to help the class acquire new vocabulary. For each presentation they had prepared games, partner activities, writing and reading activities and sometimes even food was a part of the lesson which was always a class favorite. I was amazed at how well they planned and executed each lesson. They were so creative integrating technology and occasionally even humor into the lesson and they were able to keep everyone engaged during the day’s lesson. I can’t say enough about how proud I was of the great job they did. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the year seeing students use Spanish in new and creative ways while helping others acquire new vocabulary.
We increased our “no inglés days” or Spanish only days to four days per week during the month of April and finally selected our winning song for the Mania Musical which we had started the previous month. One of our favorite songs of the week during the month of April was Julian Luis Guerra’s latest release, Kitipun We participated in the challenge to create videos dancing to the song. Students created flipgrid videos and challenged our friends in Ecuador to dance, too; however, they did not accept our challenge although they said they enjoyed our videos.
In April during our lab days, we also enjoyed watching a series of Señor Wooly‘s videos as another way to add more comprehensible input through stories and songs. Some favorites included: La Dentista, El Banco and Es una ganga.
This was our toughest month with an unexpected personal challenge at home, students had to face their own challenge to independently continue to acquire the language. Google Classroom was an invaluable tool for creating relevant assignments and Remind was perfect for keeping in touch with students. We did however manage to wrap up the month on a high note with our 9th annual Culture Knight event which was fantastic, very well attended and enjoyed by all.
We closed our unit on families with a PechaKucha style presentation and used Padlet to write posts about a variety of topics like: “what I did last weekend”, or creating simple stories, basically anything that would engage us in writing and collaborating with others. We played “Un Minuto Loco” students were divided in teams and each team would have one minute to talk about a particular topic. The team that said the most number of words in one minute would win. Another more competitive game we played was Pop Up! – a game I learned from Sra. Chase -Students enjoyed the competitive aspect of the game and by May we were playing it where I called out the phrase in English and students popped up to say it in Spanish.
We started the new calendar year by comparing and contrasting our own New Year’s traditions with those around the Spanish-speaking world. We partnered up with Inmaculada, a school in Ambato, Ecuador through flipgrid This was a great experience to hear from high school students who speak Spanish and are learning English. We exchanged videos during most of the semester and got to see a little bit of their community and school and shared about ours. Beginning in January, we used comprehensible input to talk about all the countries and capitals for all the Spanish speaking countries adding one each week. We talked about some basic facts about each capital city using numbers and pictures, and by May students were able to say all of capitals and countries.
Well if you stayed with me during this look back trip, we’ve come to the beginning of the semester. It was a semester packed with activities, some high and low moments and lots of comprehensible input to help students acquire Spanish. As always it all went by much to quickly. I am extremely proud of what they accomplish and grateful for the opportunity to be their teacher. Happy summer!