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: www.quia.com/web

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.