Happy holidays! It is almost time to wrap up 2022. I really can't believe the first semester is done.
Here's a rundown of what we have been working on in November and December.
We have been working hard to master counting one to ten. More than 70% of my students can count to ten easily. If students cannot, I always emphasize they can't do it yet. Learning a language is a process and everyone learns at a different pace. If they keep practicing, they will get there.
In first grade, we focused on counting to 20. 80%-90% can count to ten and I will begin assessing if they can count to 20 during the second semester.
In December we learned about holiday traditions in Spain. My elf (Duende) visited Spain and taught us about some of the holiday traditions in Spain. The students really liked learning about the lottery (el gordo), feeding the Christmas log, the lottery (el gordo), playing practical jokes on December 28th, and eating 12 grapes on New Year's Eve.
In 2nd grade, we continued to practice counting 1 to 30 and we learned about Puerto Rico. We talked about how PR is an island, it's part of the United States, the Coquí tree frog is PR's mascot, the first people to live in PR were the Taínos , and the holiday tradition of Parrandas. Parrandas are Christmas caroling with a twist. Some of my second grade classes surprised some of their classmates by giving them a "Parranda". It was really fun!
In 3rd grade, we reviewed and practiced counting 1 to 50. We also learned about the country of Nicaragua. We talked about how there are 19 active volcanoes in Nicaragua. What is really amazing is that Nicaragua is almost the same size as Alabama. That's a lot of volcanoes. We watched a video about how scientists are studying one of the most active and volatile volcanoes in the world, Masaya. Brave scientists go down six stories into the volcano and study the sensors they have placed around the volcano. They hope the sensors can give them warning of when an eruption is imminent. More than a million people live within 15 miles of the volcano and scientists hope to give them as much warning as possible to evacuate.
In 4th grade, we continued to review and to practice counting to 100. We also learned about the country of Colombia. Students learned that Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world. Colombia occupies only 0.8% of the world's land mass but has 10% of the world's plant and animal species. Students also learned that Colombia is the leading producer of emeralds, known for its coffee, and exports flowers. Colombia is also home to a river nicknamed the "liquid rainbow" due to the bright colors of yellow, red, blue, green, and black. A rare type of algae gives the river its bright red color. Students exchanged letters with our penpals in Vermont. They are in the process of writing stories. Heritage students started the stories with two or three sentences. The Thetford school continued the story by adding two or three more sentences. We are going to keep sending the stories back and forth as each school continues to add on to the stories. It will be very interesting to see where these stories end up.
In 5th grade, students continue to review and to practice counting from 1 to 1,000. Students also learned about the country of Chile. Students learned that Chile has on average 8,000 earthquakes a day. The country is as long as our country is wide. Chile has the driest desert in the world. We talked about the mining accident of 2010 and how 33 miners were trapped underground for 69 days. Their story of the mining accident gained worldwide attention with over 5 million people watching their rescue.
It is the season of counting blessings. I feel very blessed to be able to share my love of languages and culture with my students. I really, really enjoy teaching about Spanish-speaking countries.
I hope everyone has a great vacation! Enjoy your time with family and friends.