Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spring Update

Somehow 3 months of blogging have gotten away from me!  Given that this was my first year of teaching a Spanish Immersion preschool, I have been thrilled with how much Spanish the kids have learned and the success of an immersion program.

There is too much to catch up on in one post but one of the kids new favorite songs/games is "Jugaremos en el bosque"  (We will play in the forest).  The kids taunt a wolf as they sing, "We will play in the forest while the wolf isn't around because when he appears he will eat us all.  Wolf, are you there?"  The wolf responds that he is brushing his teeth, or bathing, or putting on his pants or his shirt until finally he comes out to eat all the children.  We'd only sung it for a week, when I overheard my son and another of my students playing on their own outside of class.  They were incorporating all the pieces of clothing we'd learned.  "I'm putting on my shirt.  I'm putting on my socks."  Always makes me smile when they speak Spanish impromptu :)

Here is a link to the song...  Juguemos en el bosque

***Starting June 4th I'm going to do a summer class for children with their parents,  I still have room for a few more students.  If you'd like more information, click on the "summer classes" link on the right and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Friday, January 18, 2013

El ciclo del agua (the water cycle)

This week as we talked about the water cycle, we soaked cotton ball clouds and let them rain and made terrariums.  There is a great free App about the water cycle and along with a flannel board description and our terrarium I think the kids were interested in the continual cycle of agua.  With all the explanation in Spanish and the aid of plenty of visuals, even our newest student exclaimed "So that's how water works!"

Language Learning Tips:

I talk to anyone I can that has experience teaching children to become bilingual.  One thing I have heard several times is that movies in the target language expand and expose vocabulary and important structures.  I think t.v. and movies can be very effective if a child has a strong base, something to build upon and if they have an opportunity to interact and exchange language in other settings.  I'm going to consistently have my son watch shows in Spanish for the next month and see how it goes.  Look for updates!

Student Updates:

Now that we've been back from winter break for 2 weeks, I've noticed some big language milestones from each of the students.  Here is a fun update about each of them:

  • Madalyn who has been with me for 7 months has mastered 6 basic structures in the first person and can make short sentences with all kinds of vocabulary.  She has an incredible memory and likes to memorize books that have repetitive lines with rhythm.  Last fall, she memorized "Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?" after hearing it only 4 times.  
  • Vincenzo LOVES to talk and has to be reminded to try and say his thoughts in Spanish but once he attempts, although not with beautiful grammer or structure, he can get his point across.  He understands everything, can pick out vocabulary from songs on the radio, and his brain switches over to Spanish when he hears someone at the store or library speaking in Spanish.
  • Sydney has only been in Spanish class since the beginning of November and it only took her a few weeks to begin to understand Spanish-I think she has a natural knack for it.  She also loves music and I often hear her singing one of our songs in class.  She can uses one structure regularly and repeats everything she hears so I'm sure it won't be long before she spits out some more impromptu phrases.
  • Rhiannon is my newest student and this week something clicked for her and she understands what is going on.  She also started saying her first words!  She is a very bright girl and I can see that her brain is in constant motion and can't wait to watch what happens with time.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Agua, agua, agua

This month is all about water. This week we've talked about ríos, lagos, y montañas (rivers, lakes & mountains).  Today we created ice caves with frozen blocks of ice, salt and colored squirt bottles.  We were using the structure "Necesito más sal, necesito azul, etc. (I need more salt, I need blue).   Kids loved it-while I didn't get pictures of ours they looked a lot like these.

New song:  Los diez perritos

This is a traditional counting song that starts with 10 puppies and as something happens to each one, the children begin each verse with "Yo tenía 10, 9, 8, etc. perritos"  (I had 10, 9, 8, puppies).  Click on the link to listen.