May, 2009


La Clase de Espaņol


Dear Parents,


Summer is creeping (sloooowly) toward us.  It is hard to believe this is the last newsletter of the year!  It has been such a fabulous learning experience for me.  I hope that your child has enjoyed the Spanish classroom as much as I have! 


6th grade:  The smart sixth graders just started the unit on clothing.  Next week they will pack their suitcases for a (imaginary) trip!  If you would rather your child not bring in particular items, s/he may draw a picture of it to show to the class.  This lesson includes a review of definite and indefinite articles, colors, agreement in number and gender.  The quiz is scheduled for Monday, May 11.  The second unit this month is La Persona.  In this unit, the students will learn vocabulary to describe people’s personality and physical appearance.  At the end of the lesson, students will be able to write in paragraph form about their favorite pet. The last unit of the year is La Familia and they will focus on their family.  We will also focus on refining our speaking and writing skills.


7th grade:  The super seventh graders are working diligently on finishing their three dimensional cubes that describe themselves.  They will be on display in the Spanish room if you want to come check them out!  In the next unit, La Familia, the students will be creating family albums with Spanish captions.  On Fiesta Fridays in May the students will create original paper mache animal masks very similar to those found in Mexico and worn to celebrate el 5 de Mayo.


8th grade:  The excellent eighth graders are finishing up the unit on El Cuerpo.  In this lesson they learned body vocabulary, how to tell a doctor someone is hurt, and speaking about obligations in the future.  Their next unit reviews vocabulary on clothing, colors and the verbs ser and estar (to be).  They will also be introduced to regular conjugated verbs in the present tense (I buy, you shop, he works, etc).  In cooperative groups, they will make commercials for their favorite clothing store.  Look for their videos on the Spanish webpage!  The last unit, La Persona, offers the students a great opportunity to practice their speaking abilities.  Students will write a speech describing their friends, peer edit the writing and practice their fluency.  This month Fiesta Fridays focuses famous Spanish speakers.  In the media center the students are going to make the book jacket for their favorite Spanish speaker’s autobiography! 


Spanish I: The fabulous first year students are wrapping up unit 5 next week.  Their test is Friday, May 8.  In unit 6, they will learn how to use the preterite (past) tense in both regular and irregular verbs.  Students will work in cooperative groups to create skits in Spanish.  I could not be more proud of these classes.  They have put in some amazing work and have come so far since the beginning of the year!  I look forward to seeing some of the same students next year in Spanish II.


Spanish II:  The sophisticated second year students are also wrapping up a long year of hard work.  This class, too, has made so many improvements in their Spanish acquisition. They are finishing unit 4, strengthening their use of the imperfect and preterite tenses.  At the end of the semester, they will be watching the movie Amexicano.  The movie deals with the relationships between Americans and Mexicans living in the United States.  Given a variety of choices, the students will write an end of the year reflection/research paper referencing the movie as well as various stories we’ve read in class.  I cannot wait to hear what they think!


Some of the Michigan Standards taught during this month:

Middle School:

1.1.M.SL.e: Share a detailed description about feelings, emotions and health of contemporary figures.

1.1.N.SL.h: Exchange information in the target language on familiar topics such as personal interests, memorable experiences, school activities, and family life.

1.1.N.RW.e: Ask questions in writing about physical appearance, character and personality traits of friends, family, classmates, and answer in writing using a list of traits.

1.2.N.R.c: Understand written interpersonal communication on topics of personal interest such as preferences, family life, friends, leisure and school activities, and everyday occurrences (email, letters, messages, notes, and text messages).


High School:

1.2.M.R.b: Understand main idea and supporting detail, and summarize accessible written materials on familiar topics in the target language such as, textbook content, magazine and newspaper articles/ads, websites/internet, poetry or stories.

2.1.N.H.d: Identify and describe significant current events in a country in which the language is spoken.

3.2.N.a: Use audio, visual, and/or print materials available only in the target language to recognize that a topic or situation may be viewed differently in one’s own culture than in the target culture.

4.1.M.d: Select phonological features recognizing that meaning is not always conveyed through equivalent application of the same features from one’s own language to the target language.


I am available to help your child before or after school, during seminar and lunch if s/he would like any extra help.  Feel free to contact me at if you have any concerns.  As a reminder to your child, he/she can access homework and missing assignments through Moodle (linked to the OCS website).   







Mrs. Naomi PM Kolehmainen