Week 4: To be….or to be – that is one tough question…

Hola todos/Ciao tutti!

As always, week 4 was a busy one here in room 238.  All classes are now fully “in the swing” of the school year and are managing new grammar, fresh vocabulary lists and interactive projects that target writing and speaking skills.  Here’s where we’re at in each class:

Spanish II CPS students started off talking about the verb “to be”.  We discussed how there are two ways to express this in Spanish and that most of the time….students “sort of guess” at which verb to use.  We talked about how relying on a policy of “it sounds right” isn’t as accurate as we’d like to be in Spanish II.  So, we set forth in differentiating the two ideas.  We’ve covered the topic by learning a helpful mnemonic device (DOCTOR ELF) which highlights the scenarios that use verb.  We’ve practiced with some interactive group work, took a game show-style quiz on Kahoot, and even wrote on our desks to differentiate situations that use each verb.  With each class and each activity, things are starting to “click” for students with this challenging topic.  In addition to a ser vs. estar quiz (which will be held this Friday, 10/2), the culmination of this concept will be our first project for Term 1.  Students will blend their knowledge of city vocabulary with ser/estar to create city brochures/maps about a city of their choosing.  The project sheet can be found attached to the end of this post.

Spanish II Honors…wow.  They really impressed me with their incredible skits about city places and professions.  These students went above and beyond in preparing and came to class with costumes, creative props and hilarious alter-egos.  I have to say, this year’s Spanish II Honors students were some of the best prepared – with their lines memorized, their skits well written and their acting skills on display!  I can’t wait to see how these students perform in the iMovie projects that will come up in the next month or so!  ¡Bien hecho, todos!  Well done, all!

This week, Italian III students began reading their first book in Italian!  The book is called Destinazione: Italia (or Destination: Italy) which highlights the adventures (and misadventures) of a school group traveling to Italy with their teacher.  Not only is this topic exciting for many students who will be doing some of their own traveling this coming April, but the book is also a great step for upper level language students.  Reading a novel in the target language takes patience, specific reading strategies and plenty of time.  Students will have covered the first two chapters by the end of September, and will begin guided conversations about the reading (all in Italian) this coming week.  Bravi!

Keep up the great work, everyone!
Signora/Señora Blackburn

Span 2 – Project 1, La Ciudad

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