26 August 2016

It's that time of the year again!

It's that time of the year again......September 1 is almost here.  Very soon students will once again be filling our hallways and rooms.   While I hate to think of summer ending, I am very much looking forward to working with this year's students to increase their knowledge of and proficiency in the Spanish language.  And of course, a trip to Guatemala and Belice at the end of the year will give some  Spanish Club members something to look forward to.

My wish for my students this year is that they find that thing that sets their souls on fire and that they pursue it fearlessly.  (And who knows.....just maybe it might be Spanish!)

02 February 2016

3rd quarter underway

THe thrid quarter is off to a great start.  Here is what we are currently working on:

Spanish 1:  We finished our unit on food by cooking a complete Hispanic meal.  Dishes students chose to make included such things as tostadas, chicken enchiladas, tropical fruit salad, cornbread, churros, and a variety of fruit drinks.  Everything turned out well and was delicious! After a couple of days working on our piñatas, we are now talking about going to the beach--probably not the most relevant topic while in the middle of a blizzard, but for some, it is leading to some wishful thinking.

Spanish 2:  We finished exploring Puerto Rico and decided that we would really like to visit there to check out some of the things we read/learned about--the bioluminesent  swimming/kayaking seemed to spark a lot of interest.  We are now talking about skiing in Portillo, Chile.  Yep, we have gone from warm and tropical to cold and snowy.  Students are currently working on a project dealing with positives and negatives.  Completed videos will be shared in the next post.

Spanish 3:  We had been talking about chores and household responsibilities.  From this topic, we compared our chores to those that might be different for someone living in an Hispanic country.  This lead us to the topic of water and how many people in certain areas of Latin America (and other areas of the world) do not have access to clean water without walking a long distance and the other problems this lack of access can bring about.  To gather some firsthand experience in what this daily water-gathering might be like, students did their own water-gatherng walk--carrying gallon jugs of water for 30 minutes.  It generated a very good discussion.  We have since gone on to talk about water access as a human right and what can happen when water sources are privatized.  We are currently watching the movie "Even the Rain" about  a situation in Bolivia dealing with water privatization.  We will next be talking about solutions to water access issues and creating public service announcements about the water crisis.  If I can convince them to try it, students may also be participating in their own 4-liter challenge--a challenge in which individuals agree to live for 24 hours on just 4 liters (about 1 gallon) of water.

Spanish 4:   We are continuing with our immigration unit. We have finished both reading "Enrique's Journey" and watching "Which Way Home".  We have listened to a wide variety of music that expresses very different attitudes towards immigration.  We have researched various myths surrounding immigration to learn if they were based on proven facts or based on fear and prejudice.  (Students were surprised by many of the things they learned.)  We are now discussing the American Dream and looking at how attitudes regarding immigration have changed through time.

End of a semester

Don't know why I ddin't post this when I wrote it!!!

Hard to believe the year is just about half done.  Here is what we have been up to lately:

Spanish 1:  Students have learned how to talk about various activities that they or their classmates may do at school or at home.  They were very excited to start working on constructing piñatas.  So far, there are many layers of papier mache.  Can you guess what they will end up being?

Spanish 2:  Students have been learning about traveling by plane.  They are researching tourist sites in Puerto Rico, a country that could eventually become our 51st state.  They also took time out from work to learn about Christmas customs in Hispanic countries and to sing some seasonal songs. They decorated in Spanish style and are working on putting the finishing touches on their gift requests to the 3 Reyes Magos.

Spanish 3:  Students have been working on how to express their wishes and desires.  We had a great discussion about  Disney princesses and role-played various characters from Cinderella all discussing what they wanted/demanded/suggested that Cinderella do.  We also discussed our ideal Prince Charmings and what we would expect from them.  And with a class of al females, there were no guys to tell us that our expectations were unreasonable.

Spanish 4:  Students have started the unit on immigration.  We are watching the video "Which Way Home", reading the novel (in Spanish) "Enrique's Journey", and listening to a lot of great music that deals with issues surrrounding immigration.  We have had some great discussions based on Gaby Moreno's  "Ave que Emigra" and Ricardo Arjona's "Mojado".  And Spanish 4 students also took a break to do a small Christmas poem project in which they had to write a poem about a seasonal symbol and present it while dressed as the symbol.  Can you guess what these students wrote about?