Monday, March 6, 2017


It was wonderful to see so many parents at conferences last week!  If you were unable to schedule conferences with me and would like to talk to me about your child's progress, please feel free to e-mail me.  I would be happy to send you a quick note, set up a phone call, or arrange a conference before or after school at a time that is mutually convenient.

Several parents had questions about our online homework system.  I wrote a more detailed blog post about this in January, but I am posting the direct link to the online homework here:

Fourth grade students are assigned homework in full group classes.  (Kindergarten students are never assigned homework.)  If you have a fourth grade student, he/she will be getting homework approximately every eight days (six school days plus a weekend).  I give students a few minutes during every full group class to start working on the homework; I use this time to answer questions and help students log in.  The first time we used the online homework system in class, students received a piece of paper with their username and password.  In addition, I instructed students to save their username and password in their computer.  If a student doesn't have the username and password saved to their computer (for example, if they reset their internet browser) and if they can't find the original piece of paper with their username and password, I write the username and password on an index card.  Students should keep this index card in their computer bag.  If your student has trouble logging in at home for some reason, please e-mail me and I will send you their username and password as soon as I can (I check my e-mail frequently).

Please let me know if you have any questions about online homework!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

City Vocabulary Words for Homework

la panadería - the bakery
la pastelería - the bakery (sweets and cakes)
la zapatería - the shoe store
la librería - the bookstore
la tienda de ropa - the clothing store
la tienda de café - the coffee shop
la frutería - the fruit store
la florería - the flower shop
la pizzería - the pizza shop
la juguetería - the toy store

Monday, February 6, 2017

Fourth Grade Update

Fourth grade students have been very busy!  We are doing a unit on places in the city.  Students enjoyed learning words like: la panadería, la pastelería, la heladería, la zapatería, la papelería, and la librería.  We used these words to create a story about an alien who comes to earth and is hungry.  He goes to many different places and tries the food.  Finally, he finds a food he likes!

A few weeks ago, we switched from paper homework to online homework.  Students have given me overwhelmingly positive feedback about doing homework online!  Many of them are also choosing to do the optional "extra challenge" homework each cycle. 

Kindergarten Update

We have been very busy in kindergarten Spanish!  We are just wrapping up a unit on transportation.  We practiced these words by acting them out.  Students loved pretending to be un avión, un coche, un barco, un tren, un helicóptero, una bicicleta, and un autobús.  They also enjoyed reading a story called Elefante va a la escuela.  One of their favorite activities was playing a game with transportation toys in many different colors!

We are approaching 100 days of school.  We are excited to learn more about the number 100, cien, in Spanish.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

El Día de los Reyes Magos

We have been very busy in kindergarten and fourth grade Spanish!  When we returned from winter break, we learned about the tradition of eating twelve grapes on New Year's Eve.  We watched a video of the ball drop on New Year's Eve in Madrid and counted the twelve chimes of the clock.  In Spain, people eat one grape on each of the twelve chimes.  If they eat all twelve grapes by the time the clock is done striking twelve, they will have a lucky year.  Many people also think of a wish before they eat the twelve grapes, just as we think of a wish before we blow out our birthday candles. Students enjoyed sharing their wishes with the class!

January 6th is El Día de los Reyes Magos -- the Day of the Three Kings.  In Spain, the three wise men bring gifts to children on this day.  In kindergarten Spanish, we learned the names of the Three Kings and put out water and food for their camels.  Each kindergarten student also took off one of his/her shoes and put it in the hallway, since children in Spain traditionally left out one of their shoes for the kings to fill with gifts.  At the end of class, kindergarten students were very excited to find gifts in their shoes -- the Three Kings had visited our hallway!  We finished our lesson on the Three Kings by eating Rosca de Reyes, a traditional sweet bread.  There was a small plastic baby hidden in one of the slices of bread.  The student who found the baby received a special gift!

Fourth grade students also learned about El Día de los Reyes Magos.  We read a story about a boy in Spain who writes a letter to the Three Kings.  He asks them for a soccer ball, an iPad, and a puppy.  Many students also chose to read our "extra challenge" story about a puppy who lives on the street.  The Three Kings find the puppy and bring him to a family!  We watched several videos of Three Kings Day celebrations in Spain and ate Rosca de Reyes, a traditional sweet bread.  There was a small plastic baby hidden in one of the slices of bread.  The student who found the baby received a special gift!

Kindergarten students are currently studying travel and transportation.  Fourth grade students are studying places around the city, with a special focus on all of the stores that end in -ería: la panadería, la pastelería, la zapatería, la heladería, la librería, and so on.

4th Grade Homework Update

A few weeks before winter break, I began assigning homework to 4th grade students.  The homework has been due once every 6-day cycle.  In addition to regular homework, students usually have an "extra challenge" -- an optional assignment that is more difficult than our regularly-assigned work.  Many students have been choosing to complete the extra challenge!  They can be very proud of their efforts!

So far, students have completed all of their assignments on paper.  In the next 1-2 weeks, fourth grade students will have their first online assignment.  They should do the following:

1) Go to the following address:

2) Enter their username (their first name and last name followed by a number) and their password.  Students will receive their username and password in their next full group class.  If they lose their username or password, please e-mail me and I will be happy to send you their information.

Many students previously used the Quia website to complete our optional summer work.  I previously used this website to assign homework when I taught middle school students.  My favorite part about this website is that students have multiple tries to answer each question.  If they answer a question incorrectly, it will turn red, signaling that they should try to answer it again.  If they answer the question correctly, it will turn green.  Students love getting instant feedback about their work in Spanish!

Please let me know if you have any questions as we roll out online homework.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

4th Grade Homework Story

4th graders have received or will soon receive their first homework assignment!  Students brought home or will bring home the story, ¿Dónde está Bigotes?  Students should read the story and complete the accompanying worksheet.  The front side of the worksheet is for all students to complete.  The back side of the worksheet is optional and can be done as an extra challenge.

Because of our 6-day rotation, some students were assigned this story before Thanksgiving Break.  Other classes will be assigned this story after Thanksgiving Break.  Homework is always assigned on one day of the 6-day rotation, (for example, some classes are assigned homework on Day 2).  Homework is due on the same day of the next 6-day rotation.  For example, if homework is assigned on Day 2, it will be due the next Day 2.  If homework is assigned on Day 4, it will be due the next Day 4.  This helps keep homework consistent for students and classroom teachers.

For the homework assignment, students brought home a text-only version of the story (without pictures).  I have uploaded a link to the full version of the story, in color and with pictures, so that students can refer to it if they have questions.

Link to the story on my Google Drive:
¿Dónde está Bigotes?