- Heritage Elementary School
- Meet the Teacher
Degrees and Certifications:
Hola. I graduated from Alma College with a French major and a Spanish minor. I got my Master's Degree in English Literature from Oakland University. I have taught every grade from kindergarten through twelfth grade. I have been teaching elementary Spanish since 2014. I married my husband, Philip Jones, in 1992. We have four sons.
October HappeningsPosted by Joelle Jones on 10/18/2021
Happy October! It is my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, the color of the changing leaves, and that the holidays are just around the corner.
In September we focused on numbers. Kindergarteners practiced counting one to ten. In first grade we worked on counting up to 20. In third grade it was bumped up to 50. In fourth grade they counted to 100 and in fifth grade they were challenged to count all the way to 1,000.
In September there were some cultural topics as well. In Kindergarten we talked about the traditions of Mexico's Independence day on September 16th. In first grade we talked about the tradition of building castells, human towers, in Spain. In second grade we learned about Costa Rica and a toucan named Grecia. In third grade we discussed Panama and the importance of the Panama Canal. They made "Molas" which are a typical artisian handicraft from Panama. In fourth grade we learned about Colombia and biodiversity. In fifth grade we talked about Bolivia and the importance of litium that is mined in Bolivia. In fourth and fifth grade we also discussed Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15)
Looking ahead to October we will be learning colors. In Kindergarten the goal will be to identify some colors and by 5th grade they will work on being able to talk about color preferences. In the second grade we will be learning about the Dominican Republic and the importance of baseball in their culture. In first grade we will be learning about Christopher Columbus, the three ships that sailed on his first voyage to the new world, and the foods that were indigenous to the old world and the ones that were indigenous to the new world. In Kindergarten we will discuss the traditions of "Día de los Muertos" in Mexico.
Don't forget to look at the pictures. I have posted some pictures from 2nd grade and 3rd grade. So cute!
September Happenings 2021Posted by Joelle Jones on 9/3/2021
We are a month into the 2021-2022 school year and we are starting to get into the groove.
My Kindergarten students are learning my name, Señora Jones, how to say "hola" (hello) and "good-bye" (adiós), and that "Yo me llamo" means My name is.
First grade is reviewing how to greet someone, and how to say "My name is.." when asked "¿Cómo te llamas?". They also started learning about Spain. We talked about the festival of "La Tomatina". Then we had out own little "tomato" fight.
Second grade reviewed greetings and the questions "¿Cómo te llamas? (What's your name) and "¿Cómo estás?"(How are you?).
Third grade reviewed greetings and the questions "¿Cómo te llamas? (What's your name) and "¿Cómo estás?"(How are you?). Students worked on asking and answering these questions in full sentences.
Fourth grade reviewed greetings and the questions "¿Cómo te llamas? (What's your name) and "¿Cómo estás?"(How are you?). Students worked together in partners to practice these questions. They did a great job asking and answering in Spanish.
Fifth graders eviewed greetings and the questions "¿Cómo te llamas? (What's your name) and "¿Cómo estás?"(How are you?). Students worked together in partners to practice these questions. They did a great job asking and answering in Spanish. Students were encouraged to extend the speaking activities by either using vocabulary they have learned in the past or using the vocabulary in new ways.
The three goals for August for all of my students were 1) I can greet someone in Spanish, 2) I can ask/answer the question "¿Cómo te llamas?" (What is my name?), and 3) I can ask /answer the question "¿Cómo estás?" (How are you?)
Looking ahead to September we will be talking about cultural topics and practicing numbers.
It's been a great month. Looking forward to September.
Welcome Back! August 2021Posted by Joelle Jones on 8/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
Welcome Back! It is so good to be back at school! I love seeing all my friends.
In August we are going to be reviewing and practicing our greetings, classroom expectations, and how to be good listeners. In the younger grades we will practice simple greetings such as "hola" (hello) and "adiós" (goodbye). In the older grades the greetings will be more complex "hasta luego" (see you later), "Hasta...."(see you...), etc.
I will be trying to post some pictures and videos of the activities we do in class. I love showing off my students. They are amazing!
It's great to be back with everyone in person (even if it's in masks). I am looking forward to a great year!
January-February 2021Posted by Joelle Jones on 2/8/2021
What is one of the best things during this pandemic? My students!! They keep me coming to school. I realize how much I missed them when they come back to school after a break or a quarantine. They are a blessing.
In January and February we have been focusing on body parts, weather words, winter clothing vocabulary, months, and days.
In Kindergarten we recently read a story about super heroes. Before the story we practiced being super heroes by listening to the theme from Superman and practicing super hero actions (run "corre", jump "salta", fly "vuela", pega "hit", and patea "kick").
In first grade we read a story about a potato head named Enzo. We used a Mr. Potato Head to act out the story.
In second grade we read the same potatoe head story but students got to make their own potato head drawings. They turned out so cute! I put uploaded the drawings. Make sure to check them out.
In third grade we have been practicing months and days. We learned to say the months to the tune of the Macarena. We even incorporated the moves to the Macarena as we were saying the months.
In fourth and fifth grades we have been working on winter clothing words using some videos about a scarf named Billy la Bufanda. The students LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Billy la Bufanda. I would confidently say that some have even come home singing "Billy la Bufanda" since it is a very catchy tune.
The students are doing great and continue to amaze me. I am so glad I get to be their Spanish teacher.
November-December 2020Posted by Joelle Jones on 12/14/2020
¡Hola, amigos! (Hello, friends!). I hope everyone is surviving 2020.
As I type this, we are on a hybrid schedule. I have mixed feelings about this schedule. I feel so much safer with less people and more room for students to spread out. I love having the opportunity of getting to know my students better. There is so much more personal interaction when there are fewer students. The part I really do not like is not being able to see all of my students. I encourage all of my students that miss Spanish to take the opportunity of watching the videos on Schoology. Videos are not as good as having a lesson with a teacher but they are much better than nothing. I know the videos will really help students to be up to speed when our normal schedule resumes. "Use it or lose it" could be the slogan for all language learners so watch the videos to not lose ground.
In November and December we have been working on body parts vocabulary,colors, shapes, and we have been talking about weather terms (hot vs. cold). In first grade we have been focusing on the holiday traditions of Spain, in second grade we have been talking about Puerto Rico, in third grade we talked about the volcanoes of Nicaragua, and in fourth grade we talked about Colombia and its holiday traditions.
Even in 2020 it is a joy to teach Spanish to students at Heritage elementary. Happy holidays! Looking forward to a better year in 2021!
September-October 2020Posted by Joelle Jones on 10/2/2020
Happy Fall! I am loving this cooler weather! It feels so nice to be outside when it is not so hot.
In September we worked on reviewing our greetings. We reviewed how to say how they feel and how to introduce themselves. We also practiced numbers. Kindergarten had 1-10, 1st grade, 1-20, and 2nd and up 1-100. We are going to review numbers all year. I don't feel like we had a lot of practice since September was all virtual. If your student can not count to 100 now don't worry because we will keep practicing and reviewing all year.
In September our cultural focus in Kindergarten was Mexican Independence Day. We talked about the how the people of Mexico celebrate their Independence Day. In 1st grade we talked about the Tomatina festival and the Human Tower competitions in Spain. In 2nd grade we talked about ecotoursim in Costa Rica. In 3rd grade we talked about the importance of the Panama Canal. In 4th grade we talked about Venezuela and the difficult economic situation the Venezuelan people are suffering from right now. We also talked about Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world. In 5th grade we talked about Bolivia and the salt flats that are located in Bolivia.
In October I will be going back face to face after Fall break. It will be good to see everyone again. I have been missing my students.
In October in Kindergarten we will learn about the tradtions of Día de los Muertos in Mexico. In 1st grade we will talk about El Día de la Razo (October 12). In 2nd grade we will talk about Dominican Republic and the Dominican's love of baseball. In 3rd grade we will talk about Nicaragua and the volcanoes of Nicaragua. In 4th grade we will talk about Colombia and biodiversity. In 5th grade we will talk about Chile and the different regions of Chile.
I will be so glad to see everyone again.
¡Hasta Pronto! (See you soon!)
August 2020Posted by Joelle Jones on 8/4/2020
2020-2021 School Year
Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year. I am glad to be back. This year will not be boring. I feel like a first year teacher again. I am excited and nervous about how my lessons are going to go. I am sure there will be rough spots along the way but I feel confident that I will figure out how to adjust when things do not go quite as planned. It might just take a few tries.
This summer I virtually attended the National Network of Early Language Learning (NNELL) Summer Summit. I was inspired by how many of these teachers are encouraging their students to grapple with some really big issues in the target language! These teachers are inciting their students to delve into real world issues such as social injustice or world sustainable development goals while learning Spanish, French, German, or another language. The goal is not to teach lists of vocabulary words like colors, numbers, food vocabulary but rather to teach students how to communicate about real world, relevant issues. Students continue to learn vocabulary but they develop their vocabulary in the context of looking at some of the problems our world is facing today.
The question to myself was how do I attempt this with only 30 minutes once a week? Our program is an exploratory program which means the goal is to introduce children to a language with the purpose of arousing an interest in further language study. Keeping our program's goal in mind, I came up with two focus questions. The questions would reflect the objectives of our program while still offering an opportunity to examine in greater depth the value of learning a second (or third) language.
My two focus questions this year will be "Why is it important to learn another language?" and "How is life similar/dissimilar in Madison, Alabama to other places in the world?" When I plan every lesson I am going to look through the lens of those two questions. At the end of the year I would like every one of my students to be able to answer why it is important to learn another language and some of the similiarities and differences between our culture and cultures of the Spanish speaking countries we have talked about during the course of the year. A lofty goal but I think goals should be lofty. I don't want to lose ground during this pandemic. I want to challange myself and my students. I want to see what we can accomplish despite the obstacles we face during this world pandemic.
I look forward to seeing all my students again in person. Until then I hope you are all well.
February HappeningsPosted by Joelle Jones on 3/4/2020 7:00:00 AM
What happened to February? It flew by! I am so happy that March is here and that warmer weather is on the way. It just has to stop raining! Even with all the rain it has been a fun month.
Kindergarten and 1st Grade
In Kindergarten we have been working on body parts. We read a story about Poor Enzo (Pobre Enzo). He was a potato head that was missing his hat (sombrero), eyes (ojos), nose (nariz), mouth (boca), arms (brazos), feet (pies), and ears (orejas). We also read and acted out a story about super heroes and monsters. They really enjoyed that story. Looking ahead in March we will be talking family, pets, weather, and animals.
In 2nd grade we have been working on body parts and learning about Cuba. We also read the story "Pobre Enzo"(Poor Enzo) and we drew our own "Enzo". Then I used the pictures to review vocabulary with the students. They really enjoyed seeing each other's drawings. We have been talking about Cuba, Little Havana in Miami, and Celia Cruz. They really enjoy learning about other countries.
In 3rd grade we reviewed and practiced body parts vocabulary and the expression (It hurts). We did a lot of partner practice.
We also learned about Honduras. We talked about Honduras being a very poor country, about the poor living conditions in many of the places in Honduras, and we talked about finding the lost city of the Jaguar(La Ciudad Jaguar).
4th & 5th Grades
In 4th and 5th grades we reviewed and practiced clothing vocabulary. We did a lot of partner practice We also drew people wearing different articles of clothing and then used those drawings to guess the Mystery Drawing. We have been practicing clothing words by watching "Billy la Bufanda" videos. They love Billy la Bufanda! That has been a lot of fun. This month we started talking about the country of Ecuador. We are learning that in Ecuador it is possible to stand in the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere since the equator passes through Ecuador. We will also learn about the animals of the Galápagos Islands and how bananas grown in Ecuador get to the super markets in the U.S.
Looking ahead there is only one more marking period left of the school year. I will be so sad to see my 5th graders leave Heritage. I have had them from Kindergarten and they have been a blessing to me. I am going to have a really hard time say "adiós".
December and January HappeningsPosted by Joelle Jones on 2/3/2020 7:00:00 AM
¡Hola! December was a short month so I thought I would combine December and January updates. As always, there is a lot learning happening!
In Kindergarten we practiced clothing and body parts as part of our snowman unit. Students dressed me like a snowman, we read stories about snowman, and we sang songs about a snowman. Here are some links to songs that we have sung in class:
In First Grade in December we talked about the holiday traditions of Spain. Every year there is a big lottery called "El Gordo" (the Fat One) in Spain on December 22nd. It is a tradition to buy a ticket and then people watch on tv to see if their ticket wins. There was an advertisement for "El Gordo" on Spanish tv. We watched the commerical about Justino, a character, that works in a mannequin factory. The commercial has a great message. We also talk about how Spanish people eat 12 grapes at Midnight on New Year's Eve. On December 28th people in Spain like to play pranks on each other similiar to what we do on April Fool's Day. In January students have been reviewing shapes, body parts, and clothing. I have included some links below to songs that students really like that review body parts and clothing.
In Second Grade in December we talked about the holiday traditions of Puerto Rico. Of course, we talked about José Feliciano, the singer of "Feliz Navidad". We also talked about the tradition of "Las Parrandas". In Puerto Rico there is a tradition of going to someone's house unannounced with a group of people to sing Christmas carols. When the singers finish their song they are invited in by the owners of the house for food and refreshments. We also learned about important places to visit on the island. In January we have been reviewing body parts. We read a story about Enzo, a potato with problems. Then we drew our own potato heads and used those to review and practice "tiene" (has) and "¿Dónde está?" (Where is...). The potato heads turned out super cute. I love how creative and artistic my students are. I put pictures of the potato heads under the pictures tab. Below are some song links that practice body parts.
In Third Grade in December we talked about the country of Nicaragua. There are a lot of active volcanoes in Nicaragua! There are 19 active volcanoes in an area smaller than Alabama. We talked about one volcano, Masaya, that has an active lava lake that scientists study in hopes of learning how to betterpredict volcanic eruptions. We also talked about how people can "ash board" down another volcano, Cerro Negro. We talked about the extreme poverty of Nicaragua. 40% of the people live on $1 or less a day. In January we have been reviewing body parts. We reviewed and practiced "Me duele..." (My...hurts). I have included a song that we used to practice "Me duele..".
In Fourth & Fifth Grades in December we reviewed clothing vocabulary. We watched a video about a scarf, "Billy la Bufanda" that falls in love with pink boots. My students are loving this video. We have played games using vocabulary from the video. One fun game we played was a meme game. I gave students some cards that had memes and they had to pick the meme that matched a picture from the video. They really enjoyed this game and it was great review and practice. In January we have been reviewing clothes to talk about what someone is wearing. I have included the link to the "Billy la Bufanda" song.
Looking forward to February we will be reviewing and practicing seasons and weather vocabulary. We will be talking about Cuba in second grade, Honduras in third grade, and Ecuador in fourth and fifth grades. It is going to be a great month! Teaching about culture is so interesting and students love learning about the different Spanish speaking countries. Good times!
November HappeningsPosted by Joelle Jones on 12/9/2019
Ready or not December is here! It was a really good November. I got the opportunity to attend the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages conference in Washington D.C.. I got to meet and to learn from some of leaders in the field of world language education. It was such a good experience.
In Kindergarten we talked about Día de los Muertos. We talked about the traditions of this holiday in Mexico. We also talked about things that were commonly seen such as skeltons, pan de muerto (sweet bread), papel picado (cut out paper banners), candles, pictures of loved ones, and mairgolds. We continued to review and practice colors. We began to practice body parts with "Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas, and Pies" (Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes) song. Looking ahead in December we will continue practicing body parts vocabulary. We will also be singing a snowman song, Mi Hombre de Nieve. We will be practicing our vocabulary with body parts and clothing words associated with a snowman.
In first grade we continued to practice and review our color word and body parts vocabulary. I decribed a monster and the class listened and tried to draw a description of the monster that I described. We built a tall tower with our "Caja Mágica" and we reviewed our body parts with "Señor Cabeza de papa" (Mr. Potato Head). Looking ahead we will continue to review body parts and we will be talking about the holiday traditions of Spain. We will review where Spain is located, and "un duende" (an elf) will visit Spain to help us learn about the traditions. We will also sing "Cascabel" (Jingle Bells) in Spanish.
In 2nd grade we continued to review colors and we finished our unit on the Dominican Republic. Looking ahead we will be talking about the holiday traditions of Puerto Rico. We will be talking abou the popular places to visit on the island such as "El Moro" ( a 500 year old fort built by the Spanish, Old San Juan, and "El Yunque"(the Carribean Rainforest). We will talk about the effects of Hurricane Maria. We will be talking about "Las Parrandas" (the tradition of Christmas caroling).
In 3rd grade we read a book in Spanish about a turkey that disguised itself so it wouldn't get eaten. Luckily it was talking to a rabbit that was a vegetarian! Students then created their own turkey disguises(while reviewing "No soy un pavo"(I am not a turkey) and "Yo soy" (I am). Students were very creative coming up with ideas on how they could disguise their turkey so that it wouldn't get eaten. I loved seeing their creations. They did a fantastic job! In December we will be learning about Nicaragua.
We reviewed colors by reading a book in Spanish about mixing colors. Then they used paints to create their own color combinations. The students had to write if they liked or disliked the color combinations. They really enjoyed using the paints. In December we will be finishing our unit on Venezuela. We talked at length about Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world. We also talked abou the economic crisis in Venezuela and how it is affecting some scientists that are studying the Humboldt glacier there.
Spanish club students created llama decorations for the downtown Madison Christmas tree. This is the third year the elementary Spanish teachers have sponsored a tree with artwork from our students. All seven elementary schools have students representing the district. Every year the tree turns out really well. Check the tree out in downtown Madison.