I would like to take this opportunity to explain what happens in Spanish Class every time your children come through door. My ultimate goal in class is to get students following directions and commands in Spanish throughout the entire class. For my students to be able to do that means they are learning the use of language structures and how to answer to them.
I’m lucky to teach children from preschool all the way to middle school, and that gives me the incredible chance to set goals in each of my classes thinking towards the future, and completing the step-by-step process of learning another language.
I believe that nothing gets a child more excited about learning and using a language than a good story. I use stories for every level I teach. My three year olds are currently in love with “Patty the Rat.” Patty is a stuffed animal who “steals food from the kitchen” every morning. The kids come in to class every day with such excitement and wonder at what Patty the Rat stole from the kitchen that day. On Halloween, Patty found a Princess dress. The children were thrilled. We speak about Patty and her amazing finds every day…in Spanish. The kiddos don’t even realize they’re learning. They’re having fun!
This philosophy applies to kids of all ages. Of course I cannot tell middle schoolers a rat is stealing their school lunch… they won’t buy it. But imagination is just as important a part of their learning experience. My middle schoolers recently brought in baby pictures and were tasked with captioning their pictures, in Spanish of course, as to what they would have been thinking while that picture was taken. They had an absolute BLAST, and the captions were hilarious. We put the finished projects up in the 8th grade hallway, anonymously. The kids had such a good time wondering whether their middle school peers would recognize their hilariously captioned baby pictures. Again, the kids hardly realized how much they were learning…they were having too good of a time.
When I come up with my Spanish projects I might seem a little out of the box, but that is my goal. I want to get these kids thinking, laughing, and learning, because learning is fastest when you’re having fun.
PVE & ZMS