Monday, March 23, 2015

Beginners Spanish weeks 1-16 @ Pioneer Elementary

Hola padres de familia!/ Hello parents & family!

This has definitely been a special start of the year at T.A.L.K. The reason I say this is because having both old and new students come together has been a magnificent experience. The old help the new which is a good teaching opportunity for the old, and kids love having the mic when possible. This has given all students the chance to earn themselves stars as their point system. The star/point system was implemented to help the kids keep track of their efforts, attendance, and behavior in class. The more stars they earn the more competitive they become towards the end which makes them want to obtain more Spanish information! At the end of the month, the kids obtain their sums and receive a prize from those who have the most to those who have less.

In the first week the students learned about the basics in Spanish such as greetings (buenos dias y adios) , the two main rules, and how the point system worked.

Here the kids were introducing themselves in Spanish by passing the ball and who ever caught it had to present themselves to the group. 

The kids were taught the *magic* question in Spanish whenever they find themselves lost or stuck: "Cómo se dice _______ en español?" To get the hang of the power of the question, they were given the chance to practice with their own examples. 

For week two, the kids learned how to say useful sentences needed in the classroom like those demonstrated below. We played games where they had to act out each command, each being their own creative self, off course. Their face expressions were quite impressive! 

For week three, the kids learned the Spanish Alphabet!     They were taught the name and pronunciation to each Spanish letter including the four letters that the English alphabet does not have like the "Ch", "LL", "Ñ", and "RR".  The video posted below helped them with the pronunciation in Spanish. At first the kids were weirded out, but learned to enjoy the sounds.       
Los Alpha Amigos 

Another activity for this week was that of a post-it or scavenger hunt each with a letter from the Spanish alphabet. The kids were divided into two teams - the red team (naming themselves the "Mochilas"- Backpack) and the blue team (naming themselves the "Español"- Spanish). The purpose of the game was to find all the post-its of their color and place them in order on the white board and the first team to finish won. 

As you can see, they worked very well in teams! There were a lot of leadership positions taken within the team which really impressed me.

They were able to master most of the Spanish Alphabet, off course still needing extra patience for the new four letters that are not present in the english alphabet. (CH, LL, Ñ, RR)

During week four, the kids learned "Las Figuras Geometricas"- The Shapes. I started the lesson plan with showing them the video below on the shapes in Spanish. They mastered the title! Too cute!! 

As they viewed the video, they were asked to take their own notes either by drawing or writing to remember the pronunciation and the spanish translation to each shape. They love working on the mini white boards and have noticed that helps them focus more; which can be viewed as a distractions, but in this case it helps them.
After the video was played about two to three times, they played "Simon Dice"(Simon says) in Spanish by getting assigned to either walk, run, jump, or roll to a certain shape created on the floor with masking tape. They responded well since they were very familiar with the shapes.
Some wanted to take pictures with each shape after the game! 

For Week five, the kids learned the school materials in Spanish. Since it was about two weeks before Halloween, I took advantage of the arts and crafts aspect of it and had them practice their new vocabulary by making a Halloween Pumpkin! 

But, there was a twist and challenge to it. They were asked to use the "figuras geometricas" (shapes) as a review from the previous week in creating the eyes, nose, and mouth of the pumpkin. So, i

So, in the back of their pumpkins they listed what shapes they used to create the eyes, mouth, nose, and eyebrows. Some went the extra mile and provided the colors they used in Spanish. 

For fun that same week, the kids reviewed the Spanish alphabet and the shapes through a life size Shoots and ladders game created with masking tape on the carpet.

The dice was a tissue box created by one of our highly creative kids. Oh, the student in dark blue on the picture below. 
The kids listened attentively and reviewed the material well. Towards the end, they became highly competitive since they were near the end. The image below was another activity where the kids were asked the following question: "If you were the last person alive on the planet, what school supply would you rather have to keep you company? Why?"The responses were quite impressive. Some said that they'd like to have a computer so that they can surf the web everyday and that way would not feel lonely or bored. Others picked books because it would keep them imagining they were in other worlds and a notebook to write stories and more stories of all kinds. 
For week 6 the kids learned about the family, personal pro-nouns, and directions in Spanish. We began the week by introducing the new vocabulary to them in the board and had some kids share how many siblings they had or where their grandparents lived. Kids get super excited when asked about their family members and reminisce on family events which is nice because it gives the class the chance to find out more about their peers.  

One of the activities during that week was called "Hop to the board!"(Salte a la pizarra!) In this game, they had to for two teams (Equipos) and come up with their names. As you all can see, they wanted to be flowers that day. The purpose of the game is to review the vocabulary by racing to the board and writing the english translation to the spanish word verbally given to them. The first person to finish and get it correct takes two full points and the other gets one point for trying. They really like it because it involves a lot physical activities.

Another fun activity that they took part of was dancing while practicing their directions to Spanish songs. The kids were taught to go left (izquierda), right ( derecha) , adelante (forward), a traz (back), hands up (manos arriba), and hands down (manos abajo). We danced to two songs: "Follow the leader" and "el caballo dorado".

For week 7, the kids learned about the Spanish Alphabet and more Halloween vocabulary in Spanish. In addition, they were taught a little about the Day of the Dead which is highly known in Mexico to pay tribute to lost loved ones by making an altar for them and bringing in their favorite dishes. The kids were shown the video below as a quick glimpse of the Mexican festivities. They liked it very much and watched it more than once. 
The day before Halloween, they colored and cut out "Calavera"(skull) masks to depict the video they had watched.Then, they made their masks into 3-D and wore them for our Halloween celebration. 

For week 8, the kids learned about the animals in Spanish: Pets, Farm, Zoo, and Marine animals. They were shown the funny video below on a dancing dog dancing to Spanish song. Very impressive!

They were assigned to make their own animal masks out of construction paper. Some made a tortuga (turtle), perro (dog), and pajaros (birds). 

For week 9, the kids learned about the numbers 1-31 in Spanish along with their pronunciations. I was 
surprised to find out that many were highly fluent in their numbers that I used them as my assistants in helping the other kids. 

As a way for the kids to practice their numbers and review their colors, I made a huge TURKEY (Pavo) with a small code at the bottom. They were responsible for working as a team and fill in every body part with its corresponding color based on the numbers. They did an amazing job and observed the great team effort. If one did not know, the other jumped in to help and rescue. 

                                                They finished! That is one cool looking Pavo!

For week 10, the kids learned about the days of the week in Spanish. They learned how to say Monday (Lunes), Tuesday (Martes), Wednesday ( Miércoles), Thursday (Jueves), Friday (Viernes), Saturday (Sábado), and Sunday (Domingo). They practiced with many activities but the biggest one was that of a calendar making project in teams. 

 In addition, they began a daily exercise of filling in a table that asks the date for Yesterday was (Ayer due), Today is (Hoy es), and Tomorrow will be (Mañana sera). The day (día), day of the week (día de la semana), month (mes), and the year (año). The kids receive extra estrellitas if they are the first to arrive to class to work on the table. They know it is first come, first serve.

For week 11, the kids continued their lesson on the days of the week with the addition of the months of the year (meses del año), seasons (las temporadas) , and birthdays (cumpleaños) in Spanish. 


Here are some of their completed calendars for both the months of January( Enero)  and December (Diciembre). 

 This was a good activity for them to practice their numbers as well since some months have up to 31 days.
 I didn't have a chance to include pictures, but we did have the chance to celebrate birthdays this same week and introduced the kids to birthday vocabulary such as: pastel (cake),  piñata, globos (balloons), regalos (presents), comida (food), dulces ( candy), pastelitos (cupcakes), etc. Oh! And most of them know how to sing the HAPPY BIRTHDAY song in Spanish!

For week 12, the kids learned about the opposites (Antonimos) in Spanish along with the incorporation of Christmas vocabulary. The kids learned vocabulary like: 

Grande- Pequeño
Cerca- Lejos
Dentro- Fuera
Alrededor-A traves
The kids were also shown videos of opposites in Spanish like this one below. It is the Spanish version of Sesame Street called "Plaza Sesamo". I used to watch this as a kid and it can never get old. 

For another activity, the kids were assigned to make a star (estrella) out of sticks that we found outside our class and ribbon. The purpose was to make a regalo pequeño (small present) for the parents to hang as an ornament on the Christmas Tree. 

The kids watched a power point, which  I cannot seem to upload, on the Christmas terms. Then they had many activities to practice their vocabulary like drawing and labeling them so that then the drawing was going to be made into an "Aguinaldo Navideño" (treat bag). It is a tradition in México like that of giving away X-mas stockings filled with candy and toys in the U.S. The kids also helped me decorate a small silver Christmas tree with ornaments containing a lot of the figures we reviewed in the powerpoint. They did a very good job.

For week 13, the kids learned about the body parts in Spanish. They began with a power point presentation which clearly pointed out each body part of the human being. 

After the presentation, they had images of Disney characters where they were responsible of naming the highlighted body parts in Spanish. Examples are below. They had a good laugh with the Mike image because I was asking if he had a neck? or ears? (No, he has none!) 

Clearly, Pinocchio has a nose. 

Another activity that the kids worked on was that of tracing a peers' body on butcher paper, labeling every single body parts, and adding color/clothing. This was a two-three day project but they certainly learned their body parts in Spanish. 

For week 14, the kids continued their review of the body parts along with action verbs and the senses.
A cool and funny activity we did was write all the body parts on post-its, one body part on each post-it. Then, the kids had to paste the post-its on themselves and act out the action verbs as a "Simon dice" game (Simon says). Below are pictures of their silliness/imagination.

 They were taught to walk (caminar), run (correr), jump (brincar), roll (rodar), and dance (bailar) in Spanish. So as they played "Simon dice" and if a body part fell off on the process, they had to pretend to continue without that body part.

For week 15, the kids learned about clothing and getting dressed in Spanish. They were shown a simple powerpoint on the clothing in Spanish and then were asked what type of clothing various characters in movies used. 

As a review, the vocabulary was written on the board and on the small white boards that they were given. They were to write down what type of clothing they wore that morning including the colors of each item. 

For week 16, the kids learned about fruits and vegetables in Spanish. We first started with the following fruits: 

  1. Sandia- Watermelon
  2. Platano- Banana
  3. Manzana- Apple
  4. Naranja- Orange
  5. Fresa- Strawberry
  6. Durazno- Peach
  7. Mango- Mango
  8. Pera- Pear
  9. Mandarina- Tangerine

After introducing the new vocabulary in Spanish, the kids played a simple game of memory with the fruits! 
 We also played a game where two teams race to the board and the first to write in Spanish or draw the item wins the points for that round. This is an excellent review activity! They love it!

After introducing the vegetable vocabulary in Spanish, the kids were also introduced to the food pyramid. 

We then played a game where they had to find all of the post-its with all of the vocabulary we review and place them on the right category of the food pyramid under two minutes.

Well, this was the end of T.A.L.K.'s first semester and it was a pleasure teaching Spanish to the little ones. To be continued for the new material in the second semester!!! Adios! :)