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Thank you - gracias - everyone who attended the Lexington Spanish Showcase at the Board meeting last month, and who attended our morning presentation the next day, Wednesday. I was able to explain a bit about our program. It is a Foreign Language in the Elementary School program (FLES for short). In this type of program we follow the California standards for foreign language teaching, incorporating the four modes of communication - listening, speaking, reading and writing. Another type of elementary school language program is dual immersion - a program which will lead to fluency due to the 3 hours or so students spend daily immersed in the language. Our total minutes K-5th in the FLES program is different, equal to about what you get in 2 years at Fisher Middle School or one year at the High School, since students have Spanish class about 90 minutes per week at Lex, (40 minutes weekly in Kindergarten). Our program, therefore, is Spanish one - spread out over the six years at our school. Students will have a good introduction to basic Spanish.  The advantages of beginning language study early is usually a good accent and less self consciousness about speaking, as compared to many older learners.  Only an immersion program, though, will produce fluency. We incorporate conjugating verbs and other grammatical points primarily in fifth grade. In the earlier grades we use a more 'Whole Language' approach, as is usual in the lower grades in English as well as in foreign language.
Please let your child read all of their work to you as they bring it home; they've spent time learning in class and it helps greatly to reinforce it again at home. For additional independent activities at home please see my newsletter on the Lex website. As always, 'muchas gracias' for your support of your child's Spanish learning!

Songs to extend learning at home

For enrichment at home, youtube has so many songs for children that can help your child hear, read and learn Spanish!  For younger ones, a good place to start is 'Los Pollitos' by GallinaPintadita.   The older students have really enjoyed John De Mado's 'Festejemos' series.  The first one is 'Como es tu familia?'  and they continue on from there.  I'd love to hear if you find others that your child especially likes!   Muchas Gracias,  Maestra Alison   

' Noticias' Winter/Invierno

El invierno/The winter, has perhaps come and gone!  Conferences have been a chance for the younger ones to show the Spanish room and their activities to their parents.   Older students have been able to read and show their latest projects to parents.  I am very proud of the students' enthusiasm to practice Spanish.  The fifth grade will be beginning their shopping simulation this week in which students buy and sell in Spanish from each other.  We have a 'supermercado', 'papeleria','libreria', 'tienda de ropa' y 'tienda de mascotas', selling food, stationery, books, clothing and pets, respectively.  It is always an exciting time, even though we only use play money!  

Noticias Fall/otoño

Students are enthusiastically reviewing their Spanish learning from last year, and getting accustomed to the routines of school again. All classes have been reviewing especially the tools that we use in the classroom (such as lapices/pencils, etc.), and the most common greetings and questions. For kindergarteners, everything is new, and they have been learning songs, shapes and colors quickly. Second through fourth graders will be receiving homework at least monthly in Spanish, and fifth graders weekly. Many papers that we finish in class will be sent home. Please review these with your child carefully; ask him or her to explain and read what they did. This will reinforce learning greatly, since repetition is vital to learning a second language.
Muchas Gracias, Maestra Alison  

Practicing Spanish over the summer

Here are some fun ways to keep up the Spanish that you have learned this year while enjoying summer vacation:
* Order food in Mexican restaurants 'en español'.   Remember 'Por favor' and 'Gracias'.
* Use online games such as '123teachme', 'language', 'Magic Schoolbus' and other free sites.
* Watch Spanish children's TV.  Plazo Sesamo is good.
*Talk to people around you who speak Spanish!
Que tengan buenas vacaciones.