What a great year we have had!
Spanish is all around us, and lessons take place in and out of the classrooms. You can hear students singing Spanish songs, playing cultural games, and dancing to Latin American music.
We take long walks around our beautiful campus, and we practice Spanish by naming what we see during the walks and talking to each other.
This year, some Upper Elementary students requested French and German lessons, so we began offering them on campus through the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute. Students enjoy practicing French and German vocabulary that they learn during these lessons.
The school year is almost over, and each year we ask students to tell us what lessons they have enjoyed. We have very positive comments, and I chose one that reflects what many students have said:
"This year I have really enjoyed Spanish. It was really fun. I like how we write stories, and sometimes we act out those stories. In my Spanish notebook, I write words and translate them, and I also wrote each word pronunciation. I may publish my whole book so other people can learn Spanish." - Alexandra, Upper Elementary
Lower Elementary students love building forts. The usually say, “Mira (look) Maria Asunción!” Their creativity shows all through the process.
Maria Montessori says, ”Give children the opportunity to stir up life and leave it free to discover.”
“Maria Asuncion, mira worms!” "Lombrices? (worms?)” "Si, muchas lombrices! (Yes, many worms!)”
Our “Circulo de Costura,” or sewing circle, is growing. This year Lower Elementary students have worked on weaving, knitting, crocheting, and sewing, Some students are learning fancy embroidery stitches with Claudia.
Students are always learning through play.
Viernes! On Fridays, we set aside time for students to dance to Hispanic music. Here we are moving and listening to Cuban music.
Maria Montessori says, ”As soon as children find something that interests them, they lose their instability and learn how to concentrate.”
At Abintra, classes take place in and out of the classroom. Students will find a comfortable place, and “comenzamos nuestra leccion” - we begin our lesson.
Cultural activities are part of learning a foreign language, and our Spanish Club members had a great cultural day learning about food, dance, and music at Plaza Mariachi. We even wore our Spanish Club t-shirts! This was great way to learn and bring awareness of our school out into the community.
We held an Alumni event on April 21, and I had a chance to meet with some of our alumni and share many memories together. We even had a chance to practice some of the songs we used to sing!
For those of you who ask your children, ”Are you learning anything in Spanish?" remember that children will go through a "Silent Period," where they absorb everything that they are learning. We don't force students to produce material - the goal is for students to comprehend the language.
It's been a wonderful year!