Happy New Year! Feliz Ano Nuevo!! It is a new year and a fresh start in Spanish. My goal for the new year is to really challenge my students to become critical thinkers in and outside of the classroom. I fully believe that learning a foreign language allows our students to tap in to a part of their brain that is not used very often. I am very excited about getting the opportunity to fully engage my students in many different types of learning activities this semester. In kindergarten we have started learning me gusta and no me gusta. This means "I like" and "I do not like". We created a T-Chart and charted which colors we said "me gusta" about and which ones we said "no me gusta" about. The kids were able to create sentences using their favorite colors. In first and second grade, we have started to learn vocabulary about clothing. I thought this would be a great opportunity to get them writing. My friend Paco the taco helped us create some sentences together, and then each student wrote a sentence using themselves as the subject. The kids were given several choices to help them put their sentence together, but I let them choose (and figure out how to spell) the color word to describe the article of clothing they said they were wearing. That was fun! I can foresee a lot more writing coming up in the future! This was some of their first writing in Spanish and it was awesome!
This week has probably provided some of the best times in the classroom that I have had so far this year! The sweet children have been on their best behavior (because they all know who is watching this time of year!) and they have been really excited about our new, fun, and exciting unit we are starting in Spanish. Instead of spending time talking about Christmas or Santa, we are focusing more on Winter and snowmen! Snowmen have always been one of my favorite symbols of winter time. The kids are even getting to dress me up like a snowman! They are making me look as silly as possible and they are loving it. I have seen some of the teachers sneak a picture or two of me with my mismatched scarves (bufanda), gloves (guantes), and hats (sombreros). Like I have been telling the kids... You never know who is watching! :)
There are some excellent books that I would like to share with you all. A lot of the Spanish Christmas celebrations are very religious and have a strong Christian centered background. Since we live in such a diverse world, we decided to choose a different path for our Christmas time lessons, however, I want to share these books with you because they are based on very traditional Mexican stories.
The first one is The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola.
The second book is called The Night of Las Posadas, which is also by Tomie dePaola. These are both great books to share with your children.
I hope you all have a great time with your family and friends getting ready to celebrate Christmas and making memories!
I am so thankful to be able to have a small break this week. Hopefully, you are able to celebrate with your family and friends. For me, it will be the first time I will be able to go home since I was married in August. My parents have been to visit 2 times, but there is nothing quite like home. I can hardly wait!
I have had so much fun this past week. Your kindergarten students worked on numbers and counting "pavos" in Spanish. Ask them what a "pavo" is. They know! The first and second grade classes created a book about being thankful and it is written in Spanish. The students were challenged to read their book to someone this week. I will be asking next week who read their book and a special prize will be given to one of my readers!
I am so excited about the next few weeks. It will be the first time I get to buy my own Christmas tree, decorate my house, and start many new traditions with my husband. It is also exciting at school, because we are learning how to sing "Frosty" in Spanish and making our own snowmen! That is one of my favorite Christmas icons. Your kids even get to dress me up like a snowman! I am sure there will be some very funny pictures to come.
Hopefully you all will enjoy a little rest and relaxation over the next few days and get to enjoy time together with your family.
Happy Thanksgiving! Feliz Dia de Gracias!
(Disclaimer: In the current class I am taking, we have to create a blog that is related to a class we are creating. This post is dedicated to that class.)
Education. Where do we stop? Once we become adults, depending on our field of study, we are pushed to go back to school and get more education. Teachers are especially pushed to gain higher degrees and to me, it seems as if teachers cannot move up in the pay scale or gain higher ranking positions with out higher degrees. Is there ever a point where we can say enough is enough and I am happy where my life has taken me? I am taking online classes while working on my master's degree in elementary education. While I only have 3 classes left in my program, it has been a long path to get to this point while managing everything else in life. What are your thoughts and feelings about online classes? I feel that online classes for me are what works best. While I do miss the classroom setting and push of having to actually go to school, I tend to be able to work online classes around my busy schedule and hectic life. What are some of the requirements that you must consider before signing up for an online class? Make sure that you can manage your time. If you are lacking in the ability to be organized and you have no time management skills, then online classes might not be for you. If you need someone standing over you and constantly reminding you to get your work done, then I suggest you choose another route to further your education. In our class, we are going to learn some important tips, techniques, and skills that will help us be successful in online classes from here on out. What ideas have you been researching about online classes that you can share with others who are taking online classes? This blog is meant to be a place where you can voice your concerns, comments, and questions about our class. Happy learning!
Can you believe it is already November? If you are like me, you are counting down the days till Thanksgiving for a much needed small break from the run around that life throws our way sometimes.
My life has really had some big changes since April. In April I got engaged to my sweet husband who is from Cullman. I decided then to quit my job in Mississippi, where I had been teaching 7th and 8th grade Spanish for 6 years, and move to Cullman. Throughout the summer, wedding planning, moving, and finding a job took over my life. When I had almost given up hope, I stumbled upon the opportunity to teach for Madison City. I honestly walked in to my dream job. I have always wanted to teach Elementary Spanish but there isn't a program that was offered where I lived in Mississippi. Then, we got married at the end of August, bought a house that needed lots of renovations shortly after, and somehow ended up adopting a sweet lab puppy that we named Breezy. Somehow, I have also managed to continue going to grad school and keep up with that work as well. Two months later, our house is nearly completely 100% remodeled and we are spending our evenings finishing up and moving in. Never would I have ever imagined a year ago that I would have moved from where I had lived my entire life and leave all of my family, but I know that it is the best decision that I could have ever made. Thankfully Mississippi isn't that far away.
Last week, I got stuck in major traffic due to an accident on 565. As soon as I turned off of I-65 and exited for 565, I was at a dead stop. Not being from here, I don't know the back ways and tricks of getting around so I was stuck. It took me two hours to get to work that morning, and I had even left 15 minutes early, but somehow I think I really needed that quiet time to reflect on things. I realized that I have been going like the energizer bunny for several months. By the time the traffic let up, I was so excited to be arriving and school and getting to see the sweet faces of my students. They sure know how to brighten even the darkest of days.
Thanksgiving will be different for me this year. I will split the holidays between my new life here in Alabama and my home town in Mississippi with all of my family. Thankfully, I get to share the holidays with my sweet students and new found friends here in Alabama, too. I am really so lucky and have so much to be thankful for this year.
School sure is going to be busy and fun this week! We have red ribbon week, Halloween, and a half day on Friday! Wow! My favorite part of this week is getting to teach my students about Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. It sounds spooky and scary, however, it is a really happy and fun holiday. It is celebrated in Mexico, and families gather together and celebrate and remember their loved ones. Many people think it is how they celebrate Halloween in Mexico but that is not correct. It is totally different than Halloween. What could be better than a big party with all of your family where you eat, dance, sing, and tell funny stories about your family memebers? If you want to learn more about Dia de los Muertos you can check it out here: http://archive.azcentral.com/ent/dead/. This is one of my favorite websites about Dia de los Muertos.
My name is Bethany Powell and I am honored to be able to teach in Madison City Schools this year. Spanish is my passion and I cannot wait to share it with your children.