Spanish, TAG & Technology
***7th Grade Spanish Test Friday, May 3***
Middle school has finished their second and last technology rotation for this school year.
2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades will have their next rotation of technology beginning in April.
Kindergarten and 1st grades are in the middle of their second technology rotation. They have been working on using the internet to find information. Kindergarten has been working on doing a google search and first grade has been working on typing in a specific URL address. Each class is doing a little research on an animal topic.
5th – We have finished our unit over likes and dislikes. Test scores were posted as a part of second trimester grades. 5th graders are now working on weather expressions and numbers to 100. Recent quiz scores are posted to powerschool.
6th – The 6th grade has finished their food unit including a research project over a Spanish-speaking country of their choice. We are now working on discussing classes and schedules. Students took a quiz over some of their newest vocabulary before Spring break and scores are posted to powerschool. The next section of this unit is using numbers 1-30 to tell time and then combining that skill with their school classes vocabulary.
7th – We are now halfway through our unit on describing others which includes singular and plural forms of a verb and noun/adjective agreement. The second half of the unit will deal with giving reasons for why they like or don't like something using adjectives already learned. For example: I like the novel because it's funny.
8th – We are closing in on the end of our -ar verbs unit. The next couple of weeks will focus on frequency words to describe how often they do a certain verb. Students can expect a test by mid-April.
K-2 students have been working on animals and habitats most recently. Kindergarten worked on ocean animals and second grade did jungle and desert animals. First grade will do their animal unit over city and country creatures later this Spring. All 3 grades are now doing varying levels of studies about family members vocabulary.
3rd and 4th grades have just finished units using geographical skills. 3rd grade learned cardinal directions and how to read a map in Spanish using symbols for words such as house, store, and street. Their assessment was to interpret and answer questions about a map in Spanish. 4th grade used their community vocabulary from the last unit and expanded on it with directional phrases such as "to the left of" and "next to." Their assessment was to create their own map and then write 5 sentences about the buildings on it. 4th graders were allowed to use their notes but did not receive any help from the teacher for their assessment.
Both classes are now working on using the infinitive form (to walk, to dance) of some age appropriate verbs. They will be learning how to ask and answer about likes and dislikes with these actions.
All students in grades K-4 have Spanish class for 45 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at St. Joseph. Our Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students typically work with vocabulary recognition and being able to distinguish words that are all about a common topic. (e.g. school supplies, numbers, foods, family members, animals.) 3rd and 4th grades take this a step further and begin making simple sentences or using numbers to do simple math problems in Spanish. Assessments at this level often require students to write 3-4 word sentences with a word bank.
In middle school, students begin to have class for 45 minutes on Mondays and Fridays. They receive homework and are given quizzes and tests as in any other academic subject. All middle school students are expected to maintain a folder with their notes and homework for class. 5th and 6th grades are given vocabulary lists at the beginning of each unit in lieu of a textbook. Units include school supplies, weather, food, feelings, and family to name a few. Listening skills are emphasized as well as writing in the target language. 7th and 8th grades are issued a textbook and are required to reference it throughout the year. At this level, the focus becomes more conversational as students do lots of work with questions and answers. They also work a lot with speaking and are tested on their ability to pronounce vocabulary. The 8th grade incorporates lots of what has been taught over the last 8 years as a review and also stresses verbs much more than other grades. At the conclusion of their time here, our students should be well prepared to either skip to Spanish 2 or have a very easy time of Spanish 1 in high school.
Technology at St. Joseph looks very different from kindergarten up through 8th grade with the expectation going up every year. K-2 students do lots of exploratory, introductory activities such as learning the parts of the computer, how to open and close programs, and how to log in to the computer.
Beginning in 3rd grade, students are exposed to 3 programs in the Microsoft Office Suite We work on keyboarding in word, entering data and graphing in excel, and using internet research to create a presentation in power point. By the time students graduate from the 8th grade, they should be comfortable doing basic formatting in word, making pie and bar graphs in excel, and using bullets, slide formats, and animations in power point. Keyboarding is often the one thing that students like the least, yet it’s the one thing that they will need the most to succeed in their journey after St. Joseph.
Talented and gifted students are pulled for about 30 minutes once each week. These students work on “projects” ranging from logic and reasoning puzzles to self-designed and crafted scale replicas of existing items. One skill that comes out a lot in these groups is the ability to work as a group and learning how to designate tasks and make decisions together. The primary goal is to have students pursue tasks that play to their strengths and require them to think past the surface level of a task. In the past, students have done the following:
- Assemble large-scale K’nex sets
- Designed and built a city
- Used everyday objects to represent the functions of a human body part
- Explored the art of forensic science (CSI)
- Participated in Heartland AEA’s quiz bowl (5th and up)
- Held Scrabble and Clue game tournaments
- Attempted Sudoku puzzles and other brain teasers
- Attempted to reconstruct the St. Louis arch, a lock and dam, and the Titanic to scale
- And the list goes on…