Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happenings in the Spanish Room

Despite the cold weather, eighth graders ushered in la primavera with Cascarones. Cascarones are confetti-fillled hollowed-out eggs that you crush on top of somebody's head.  This tradition, already popular in Mexico, is expanding to other Latin American countries.  Cascarones often appear during Carnival celebrations, Easter, Halloween, Cinco de Mayo, and even during weddings.  Having an egg cracked on your head is said to bring good luck.  Whether or not this is true is open to question.  However, I can tell you that it did create a colorful trail of confetti leading from the ball field to the classroom.

Eighth graders will be starting their final unit of study next week.  The focus of this unit will be on leisure time activities in Spanish-speaking countries.  Discussions about Hispanic art and music will be an integral part of this unit.  During the week of June 2-6, eighth grade Spanish students will take a final exam.  This is the same test that is given to all level I students in the region, including those at the high school.  It covers the material studied this year and is a requirement for any student entering Spanish II.

Sixth and seventh grade Spanish students are working on an interdisciplinary project combining technology skills and Spanish.  Mrs. Nelson introduced the students to the project via a catchy "Billy, la Bufanda" video on YouTube (see the blog entry below).  Students are preparing the animation under the guidance of Mrs. Nelson and will work on the Spanish narration during our class time.

Seventh graders will start their final unit of the year - FOOD!  We'll talk about the traditions surrounding food in various countries and compare the eating habits and diet of various Spanish-speaking countries to our own.  There will be some opportunities to sample different dishes created in and out of class.  Seventh graders are also required to take a final exam.  This test is actually the mid-term exam that is given to level I Spanish students at HVRHS in January.  Review will take place during the week of June 2-6;  the exam will be administered the following week.

On the Tuesday before vacation sixth graders traveled to Kent.  There they participated in a Zumba workshop.  Under the tutelage of Wanessa, a vivacious instructor who hails from Brazil, the students learned multiple Latin American dances.  We also learned a bit about the history of the salsa, cumbia and merengue.
The favorite dance among the students appeared to be the Capoeira, an interesting blend of Brazilian martial arts, music and dance.  A special shout out to Juan, Haley, Luke, Lucas and Arieh who boldly stepped forward to lead the class in the dance.  Wanessa was quite impressed, and so was I!  A special treat for me was listening to Juan as he conversed so beautifully in Portuguese with Wanessa!

I'd like to take advantage of this forum to recognize Roxy (grade 8) who has been very generous with her time.  Not only does she help in the Spanish room with the first grade during her Flex time, but she also assists me with a Pre-K Spanish class that meets after school.  Roxy's patient, thoughtful manner coupled with her knowledge of young children and Spanish, have made her a valuable asset in the Spanish room.  Muchas gracias Roxy!

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