The beginning of a new quarter...Posted by Bobbie Lynch on 11/2/2010 11:00:00 AM
Yesterday we began a new quarter, which means a new chance to be successful. Some students worked really hard last quarter and some not so much. I hope all of the students take the opportunity to recognize this chance for renewal. We have begun again, and everyone has the possibility of reaching his/her full potential in the class.
Interestingly enough, the new quarter began on an important holiday in Mexico, El Día de los Muertos. We started class yesterday with a mini-lesson on the holiday and the students are busy working on a mini-project designed for their level of cultural and linguistic understanding. These will be displayed in the classroom, and I will upload a picture or two to the site.
Due to the two major holidays that take place during this quarter, time is going to fly by, and it will be January, and midterm exams, before we know it. Please, please, please keep up with assignments and studying.
These next few weeks...Posted by Bobbie Lynch on 10/8/2010 7:00:00 PMThese next few weeks are crucial. We have a lot of learning and producing happening in class, but there needs to be a lot more studying and completion of assignments going on with the students.All projects must be recorded in the next two weeks so that I have time to grade them (I finally have the computers and microphones up and running). If I invite a student to record during class and they're not ready, they will have to come do the recording on their own time either before or after school.My Spanish III students must be studying their scripts diligently in order to perform their plays on October 26. I'm looking for some good acting and even better pronunciation of the language. They will have an audience, so the performance should be at its best.I want to applaud those students who have been coming after school for tutoring beyond just making up work. The work that you put in after school coupled with what you do in class will really benefit you in the end. Besides, sometimes just a little one-on-one re-instruction of the material can make a world of difference.I also want to remind all students and parents that I will not accept make-up work after October 18. I am being very generous with the time here because some of these assignments are from the first week of school. Next quarter, I will not be so generous. Get the work done and turned in on time, and you only get two days after each absence. Remember, it is your responsibility to come see me about your missing assignments, not mine to track you down.All-in-all, this has been a good and productive week.
I know it's been a while...Posted by Bobbie Lynch on 10/6/2010 10:00:00 AMWow...have we been busy. I know it's been a while since I have done any updating, but I hope you've noticed that I have been posting powerpoints like crazy along with a recorded lesson for each. Each group should be completed with their PowerPoint slideshow by now and we are in the process of recording the audio presentation. Unfortunately, some technical difficulties have prevented them from being done already, but we are working steadily and surely. If your student has a microphone at home, or a built-in one on a laptop, they can easily record at home and upload to the site without waiting for the class.As far as learning is concerned, the students have been busily learning many new phrases and bits of information everyday:Spanish 1: The students in Spanish I now know how to talk about the calendar, the seasons, the weather, and time. They also know how to greet people they meet. As a matter of fact, if they have been paying careful attention, they now have all of the necessary language to hold a basic conversation in Spanish.Spanish 2: The students in Spanish II did a wonderful job learning about the Spanish-speaking world and now they are learning how to talk about things going on in school, which a major part of their world. Check out the PowerPoint for school and classes that I have posted for them.Spanish 3: Spanish III students have been reviewing some important elements of the language, such as how asjectives are used when describing people and things. They already have a fairly strong grasp on vocabulary, but we are strengthening those key elements to effective communication. They will soon be beginning a unit on the arts, which should be a lot of fun.Spanish 4: The students in Spanish IV have read and analyzed their first story of the year. They have talked about it in their group and written about it in their journals. We will now be starting a new story that I hope they will enjoy, El arbol de oro. They too are reviewing and strengthening the key elements necessary for good communication.As I said, they and I have been very busy keeping things going in Spanish class. Please make sure your student is in class everyday because one day missed could take a week to catch up.
Week ending September 17, 2009Posted by Bobbie Lynch on 9/17/2010 5:45:00 PMThis week students have been working hard on learning some new material and participating in online research for a group project. We have begun to have some minor discipline problems in a couple of the class, which I hope to address with a seating chart for next week. Another thing I plan to address beginning next week are the different ability levels found within the classroom. I have already begun to place learning resources, including powerpoints and video lessons, on this website for the students who are struggling. I will begin to offering more challenging materials and coursework for the students who are prepared to move ahead. Language learning is not a one-size-fits-all thing, so I plan to do my best to offer each student what he or she needs to meet his or her full potential.Here is a brief synopsis of what we have been working on in each course:Spanish I: In the Media Center, we have been researching the Spanish-speaking countries to find out information about the countries, their capitals, and their individual struggles for independence. Students have been compiling their information on a group wiki, and they will begin to organize their information into a PowerPoint next week. In class, we have have been continuing to add to and improve on our basic conversation skills. The students now know how to ask for and answer questions about their name, the date, their birthdate, their age, and the weather. Ask them. They are having a quiz next week on all of those things except the weather because it's brand new.Spanish II: In the Media Center, the students have been working on a group research project about Latin American Dictators in order to recognize that not all independent nations are free. They have also been compiling their information on a group wiki. In class, we have been working on the two verbs for "to be" along with different descriptions used with each. They should be able to describe themselves and tell how they feel. We have also added the nationalities, which are descriptive words, to our study of countries and capitals. The students need to know the 21 Spanish-speaking countries and their capitals, as well as where they are located.Spanish III/IV: These two groups have been working on researching the major indigenous groups in Latin America before the Spanish conquest. They have also been working on accentuation and adjective placement. The students have already begun writing in journals and reading stories. Spanish IV has read a work of literature and are discussing the text and writing about it. I'm really looking forward to seeing how far this class can go.
What a great week!Posted by Bobbie Lynch on 8/27/2010 7:00:00 PM
This has been a tremendous week. We did a lot of getting to know you activities and began to familiarize ourselves with the language study we will be doing all year. I am very pleased with the behavior and participation level of the students thus far, and look forward to a fantastic year!
Level 1 students have already begun to learn the numbers, days and months by our daily practice with the calendar. Ask them to tell you what year it is; they are doing great already.
Level 2 students have learned the 21 Spanish-speaking countries and on which continents (in Spanish) that they are located. We listened to a song, "Latinos" by Proyecto Uno, that says all of the countries, except one. They had to try to put them in order as presented in the song, which was a little frustrating, but quite a few students got the list.
Levels 3 & 4 students have become familiar with the websites we will be using this year and are prepared to meet the challenges of the class.
Please be sure to ask your student about what we do in class. There is never a day when we do nothing.
Getting ReadyPosted by Bobbie Lynch on 8/23/2010 4:00:00 PMWow...I can't believe we're getting ready for another school year! Sitting here in this classroom, I realize that these few days before school starts are rather lonely. Teachers are all busy doing their individual things to get ready for classes, and there are no students around. Regardless of what they kids may think, we really do recognize the emptiness of a school without students. Having said that, I must thank all of the parents and students who came to Freshman Orientation and Open House last week. It was great to have so many young people in the building.I have been working hard this summer trying to learn new ways of integrating technology into Spanish class. I'm now blogging (on here and my personal website), twittering (you can follow the class for additional reminders and announcements), contributing to wikis (students will be doing this also), and creating personal avatars (Did you notice my voki on the welcome page?). In addition, I am creating podcasts and digital presentations that will be available on this site for students to access as needed. I hope for these tools to help enhance the learning of Spanish for all of the students.I'm looking forward to a wonderful year of learning and discovery. If at any time you have questions about what is going on in the class, please send me an e-mail or call the school and leave me a message. I will say that e-mail is the most effective form of communication, aside from face-to-face conferences, because I can access and reply from anywhere. Also, please check back here for regular updates on class activities.