Tuesday, September 1, 2020

How We Learn a Language

Hello! At the beginning of the school year I like to talk a little about why we do what we do in our Spanish classes. This year I've made video explanations and included them in this blog post so it can easily be shared with parents and reviewed at any time. 

In this class, students don't learn about the language. Students will acquire the language naturally through input.  The videos below will go into detail about what I mean by this. I've broken the presentation into short videos (between 2-4 minutes) to chunk the information. I've also included a reflection question after each video to help you process the ideas of the video.

In This Class We Learn to Speak From the Heart
Reflect: What does it mean to "speak from the heart"?

What is "Input" and Why Is It Important?
Reflect: How do people develop the ability to speak a language?

The Right Kind of Input to Speak From the Heart
Reflect: What skill(s) did you develop through practicing?

The World Needs People That Speak From the Heart
Reflect: Given that our planet faces many serious problems, why is it important to be able to connect with people around the world?

I hope the videos above give you an idea of the WHY and HOW of our Spanish class. I also wan students and families to know that language learners will understand much more than they will be able to produce, and that's OK! The image below is a nice visual representation of this idea.

I'm excited to start another year! Feel free to reach out with any questions! 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Highlights of the 2019 - 2020 School Year!

What. A. Year.

This year I started teaching middle school students Spanish at an International Baccalaureate school. In early March I was so darn proud of how much my students had learned and grown. My sixth graders were reading a multi-chapter novel in Spanish and doing a great job! My 7th and 8th graders were having conversations about food, family, school, and more! These students were understanding and producing more in Spanish than high school students I've taught!  And then school closed for the year. 

I want to take a moment to highlight a few of the great moments of the year I was able to capture through photos and video.


I told lots of stories, and then we played lots of games working with the vocabulary and grammar of these stories. 
6th graders placing parts of a story in the correct order

7th graders playing BOOM game based on a story

6th graders playing Quizlet Live Relay

We had FUN

We drew, we watched music videos from Spanish speaking artists, and we danced!

A great example comparing Victor and "el otro hombre" 
6th graders drawing what they want to be when they grow up

7th graders dancing to Just Dance videos! 

7th graders trying to find differences between Señor Wooly videos.

Our Locura de Marzo Bracket!

6th graders dancing to Tooty Ta en español
6th graders dancing during a Gimkit review game

This isn't the ending I wanted for the year, but this isn't the end anyway. 

I'm very grateful that I will get to teach the current 6th and 7th graders as they move up to 7th and 8th grade. Whatever the future of school will be, I'm looking forward to continuing our learning. As the ad below says, we are never too far down to come back

I wish everyone a safe, healthy summer break!