As you may know, teachers and administrators at the Spanish Immersion Program have been deeply looking through the way we do things, reevaluating, and receiving wonderful professional development through conferences and coaching. One of the areas that we need to put more work is on Interpersonal Communication. Our students are really good at interpreting the language, and presenting orally on a prepared project, but how about the day to day conversations on normal topics, the ability to talk back and forth during a dialogue? For this reason in our camp, encouraging this adventurers to speak more of the language every day is one of our main goals. Fortunately these campers are all for it, and the amount of positive Class Dojo points on "communicates in Spanish" has grown significantly. Not only during our guided reading groups, but also during games and group activities without me being present, students have made an effort to practice their spoken Spanish. This week, we have been talking all about money exchange, with an activity where students had to withdraw money from the bank, purchase and object, calculate the quantities, and save money for a bigger purchase, using sentences like "es barato" (it's inexpensive), "es caro" (it's expensive), "prefiero ahorrar" (I rather save), "me gustaría comprar" (I would like to purchase). To keep them accountable when I was not in their group, students recorded their conversations on "Voice Memo". Also, as you know, the campers have started blogging in Spanish, and commenting on their friends' pieces. The editing process has tested their stamina and perseverance, what makes the final publishing even more worth it. During guided reading, the students have been retelling the stories with their own words, self-timing their words per minute to practice fluency, and recording their reading, questions and answers during partner reading.
And yes, we even had time to breathe :)
Take a look at this week's slide show for a small peek at our camp.
Looking forward to what the Spring will bring!
It has been several weeks in the camp since our last journal, weeks with tons of activities and fun. Our campers did an amazing job taking on the challenge of the snow person, and that has led to work on different areas in the curriculum. For example, with the pictures of the snow people that you took, I could create some cards that the campers had to organize by size, by type of accessories, and by amount of accessories. After organizing them, they created line plots to study the data. Then, during writing, they started the creation of a "Como hice mi muñeco de nieve" (How I built my snowman) story in Spanish, using the writing process of coming up with the vocabulary, writing the first draft, revising, editing and writing new drafts, and finally publishing. We are still in the process but their pieces will be published in an online blog for kids.
During math, our campers have been working on addition and subtraction with three digit numbers, using strategies of place value, regrouping base ten blocks, and using the number line. To finish the chapter, the campers had to use their best exploring skills during our two day escape room challenge "El misterio del caldero de oro" (The mystery of the pot of gold), where a mischievous leprechaun had destroyed the rainbow, and hidden the seven colors in seven different treasure chests, that the students had to "open" after finding the clue hidden in the different addition and subtraction challenges, and the color represented by the words in the limericks. It was just amazing to see how they didn't want to stop working on the challenges even during snack time, and the second day they went directly to the table of challenges at arrival before almost even saying hello. Check out the pictures to see how all of them got to get to the pot of gold, and also to see their funny faces during the most complicated and puzzling challenges!
Finally, during Social Studies, the campers have been traveling around the world to visit some of the continents and oceans, getting their passports stamped, and their boarding passes ready for such long flights to the second grade classes in the school.
And what about the projects coming up? Well, the fun hasn't finished, next week we are planning on hammering away and assembling our bird feeders and bird houses, installing a camera to see the birdies enjoy our treats, and we will soon start a pen pal program with the second grade SI Memorial students!
School is cool!
Hola! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a Spanish Immersion teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!