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.

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