In order to get our brains thinking in Spanish, we begin each class with some sort of preguntas (questions) activity. Students practice exchanging information about their names, origin, age, birthday, likes and dislikes, favorites, feelings, and even capitals of Spanish-speaking countries. Most students love to chat, so this is a great way to get them talking in Spanish. We have had to be creative with our paired activities in order to maintain physical distance. One of the favorites this year is Preguntas con La Rueda de Nombres (Questions with the Wheel of Names). Check out the fifth graders in action!
Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15th and runs through October 15th. During this time, students have been expanding their knowledge on various topics, such as history, food & culture, and geography. In Upper School, students have dug deep in discussions concerning equality in ethnic groups prevalent in America. We have discussed the difference between “Hispanic” and “Latino/a” and the common misconceptions associated with each term. Each week, we have been watching a docu-series called Street Foods Latin America. This has opened up the floor to several debates, such as which Latin-American country has the best dish and overall street foods, and how different countries define success and how it compares to America’s definition of being successful. This highlights Target Language Tuesday, since each episode is completely in Spanish and gives students the exposure to different dialects, vocabulary and accents. We have also been using Nearpod in class, which was recently introduced to teachers during the full faculty meeting that was held on September’s late start day. It has been a great, beneficial tool to address several topics while also allowing 100% class participation.
We will wrap up our unit on Hispanic Heritage month on October 15th, then move on to our Todo Sobre Mi projects. Then, we will move on to a new unit: for 7th/8th, we will focus on Las Celebraciones y Tradiciones and for high school, Los Pasatiempos.
– Señora Raven
Sixth graders are gearing up to present their first Spanish culture projects of the year this Friday. Students have been using Fridays to research and complete a project on a Spanish-speaking country or countries of their choice. Some examples include informative travel videos, how to videos of authentic crafts, recipe books, cooking demonstrations, or performing an authentic dance or song. Through this process students broaden their global lens and share what they learn about other cultures. While the final product is what students present to peers, an emphasis is also placed on the process and what they learn from the experience of completing the project. Some key elements used on the rubrics for assessment include overall effort, collaboration, correct use of grammatical structures and vocabulary, pronunciation, time management, and evidence of preparation.
Masks and physical distance have not stopped the joy of learning in Spanish classes this year! Students are well into their first thematic units.
First grades students have reviewed the alphabet, colors, and numbers, and began learning about various items found in the classroom. Their cultural focus for the 1st trimester is the country of Honduras. See if they can show you were it is on the map!
To connect with what they are learning in their classroom, 2nd grades students are learning the names of planets and other space vocabulary in Spanish. Soon, they will begin to research and write a short report in Spanish about one of the planets.
Third graders are learning various words and phrases to use when in nature or when traveling. They also began researching and creating a Google Slide presentation about the country of Honduras.
In fourth grade, students have entered the wonderful world of verb conjugations. They have learned how to conjugate the verb ser (to be) in the present tense and how to apply it using simple sentences. They are also working on presentations about the culture of Nicaragua.
Fifth grade students are creating Google Slide show presentations to share about their favorite pets. They are utilizing the present tense to write Spanish descriptions about each animal’s characteristics, features, and habits. Fifth graders are researching the culture of Nicaragua.
In middle school, sixth grade students are learning how to conjugate stem-changing verbs, make comparisons, and describe foods. Their first thematic unit is Vamos a comer! (Let’s Eat!). Students are learning vocabulary and phrases needed when ordering food at a restaurant. They are also working in groups to create their own restaurant, complete with a menu and a presentation in Spanish about their concept, decor, favorite dishes, etc.
In Spanish class we’ve been talking about 3: ser, estar and tener are verbs that can all mean “to be”, depending on the context. Although most 7th and 8th graders have already had exposure to their conjugations and its proper applications, it has been valuable review material. One of the most important aspects of learning a foreign language is revisiting old topics and recycling through them as often as possible, especially when it comes to verbs that have their own set of rules and exceptions, like the ones mentioned above. Along with Target Language Tuesdays (where students hear very minimal English), students have several opportunities throughout the week to practice their language skills through self-paced activities, games and classroom discussions. This is often where the “Aha!” moments happen. Students grab a hold of the concepts that were discussed in lectures and they begin applying them correctly and effectively. Students will have the opportunity to apply everything that has been reviewed in class through an “All About Me” oral report that will be solely done in Spanish. This will take place the week after our one-month study on Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins September 15th and lasts through October 15th. Great and exciting things are happening within the Spanish classroom!
Becoming proficient in a second language is not solely about memorizing vocabulary, learning new phrases, and conjugating verbs. It is also important to develop a better understanding of the culture of other countries and how their unique qualities compare and contrast to our own. Familiarizing ourselves with another nation’s way of life helps to broaden our global lens. This is an important element to The Summit’s Spanish program.
Fridays are dedicated to exploring various Spanish-speaking countries around the world. In the lower grades, students spend each trimester learning about a different country’s geography, flag, coat of arms, popular landmarks, animals, music, etc. 3rd through 5th graders dive a little deeper, by independently researching and creating presentations about their findings.
The upper grades take this one step further by doing their own research on a specific country of their choice and completing a cultural project that is presented in front of their peers. Some of these projects include Google Slide presentations, musical performances of an authentic song or dance, cooking demonstrations of an authentic dish, travel videos, board games, and travel brochures.
We made it through the first week… What a proud achievement that is! It seemed like we hardly skipped a beat and jumped right into all things Spanish! Although some students admitted they were feeling a little rusty, I have no doubts that we will get back up to speed as we continue to find a rhythm in our new “normal.”
Each week, High school and 7th/8th grade Spanish classes will follow themed days: Leer Lunes (Reading Monday), Target Language Tuesday, Música Miércoles (Music Wednesday), Juego Jueves (Game Day Thursday) and Cultura Viernes. This gives students the opportunity to be exposed to the language from all angles while also providing structure and consistency.
Next week, we will begin our themed units: ¡Todo sobre mi (All about me!) for 7th/8th grade and ¿Cómo eres? (What are you like?) for High School. Each unit will last about 6 weeks but may be extended or shortened depending on student interest or how quickly each unit’s concepts are mastered. I’m so excited to see how each student grows, achieves their own personal goals and becomes more fluent in Spanish this year! It’s going to be a great year!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever have any questions/concerns/comments!
– Señora Raven
Spanish classes are off to a fantástico start! At The Summit, students receive Spanish every single day…TODOS LOS DÍAS! Some of the highlights so far have been students choosing their very own Spanish name to use throughout the school year and playing one of the all-time favorite Spanish games, Mono Loco or Crazy Monkey. Mono Loco is a game that gets students up and moving around, while they practice their Spanish-speaking skills with peers. Adding physical movement to the classroom is a powerful tool when learning a second language. While the weather cooperates, it also allows students to get outside, but still stay physically distanced. We will utilize this method, called TPR (Total Physical Response) throughout the year.
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This last trimester of school has certainly been a wild ride with many unexpected bumps and turns. Nonetheless, we have grown so much and were still able to find the joy in learning Spanish, even at a distance. Below you will find a lower school and upper school choice board of activities to explore. There are a variety of different enrichment opportunities to keep your Spanish skills sharp this summer. Feliz verano!
Lower School Enrichment Activities
Upper School Enrichment Activities
Despite the distance, Culture Day 2020 was a huge success! Students were able to join various live Zoom sessions throughout the day to participate in different cultural activities.
Señora Raven kicked off the day with a traditional game of Lotería. Similar to Bingo, students used jelly beans, skittles, dried beans, etc. as markers as they tried to be the first person to cover four pictures in a row on their board.
Upper school students Sydney and Emily did an amazing demonstration of two traditional dances. Students learned each step alongside them and then were able to put all of the steps together to create one beautiful dance.
Mrs. Teed had an exciting soccer challenge. She and a guest demonstrated how to dribble a soccer ball with your feet and then challenged the students to see how many times they could dribble the ball without it touching the ground.
After lunch, students were able to join Mrs. Bradley to create their very own sugar skull drawing. With simple, step-by-step directions, Mrs. Bradley demonstrated how to draw these amazing works of art by hand. They turned out amazing!
Students learned how to make authentic tortillas with Señora Leighninger. Students were able to follow directions and make delicious tortillas in their own kitchens using masa and water. From there some chose to eat them with honey or even made tacos.
We ended our day with a fun Spanish Jazzercise class led by Ms. Amy. It was a great way to get our bodies moving, listen to Spanish music, and burn off those tortilla calories!