Monday, October 6, 2014

The year turns - new resolutions

¡Felíz año escolar nuevo, todos! (Happy new school year, everybody!) As I return to another intense and exhilarating new cycle of quarters and semesters, I'm reminded of promises I keep to myself. One such promise last year included keeping a regular blog. Updated regularly, a regular blog posting schedule would provide a forum for me to broadcast knowledge about goings-on in my 1st and 2nd year classes. Fast forward to this year, and it's plain to see that I didn't get back to the blog updates after the 2013 CHS open house. Oops.

Where did the time go? A lot of it went towards my efforts to certify with the National Board of Educators. While this process was helpful to my overall growth as an educator, it took time away from meaningful connections I could be making with my immediate and far-reaching community of parents and students.

This year, I've carved out a manageable schedule that allows me time to get these blog posts out there. It involves working with others twice a month (90 minutes at a time), wherein which we can hold each other accountable to the time we need to put in to technology learning development.

And this is what I ask of my students early each school year. I try not to give retroactive guilt trips about how they should have studied over the summer. Some do, some don't. That's in the past. Moreover, as my students show me in their summer vacation projects, there's a lot of great stuff kids get done that doesn't involve language practice. And that's awesome. What I do try to do, once we get back, is to remind them to attack their vocab. lists (from this year as well as the previous one) in manageable parts.

So, when you ask them what tonight's Spanish homework is, they may say that there's no written work to do. And they may be right. What they are not telling you, however, is that they have homework every night in addition to  any written assignments I might give. And that is to create a manageable list of vocab. terms (from either the 1st or second year) which they need to know solidly. They can study them how they wish: hear/read them back, use each in a simple sentence, write a simple quiz (i.e., matching English to Spanish) which they give to other students in class…

There are lots of options!  Throughout the year, I will attempt to get your student into different modes of practice. they may rely on one way the whole year. One former student typed the unit list 3 times in both languages. He never scored below a 98% on a test. It won't work for everyone, but it was a proven method for him to lock in the knowledge he needed to succeed.

Here's to a year of managed (and manageable) success!

Sr. C.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Reflections on CHS open house

Parents -

It was great to see everyone who attended open house last Thursday. Moreso, I appreciated the questions asked by some parents. I will compile a list of them for the blog soon enough. I did want to answer a couple of what I thought were the most urgent questions of the night. So, here goes...

1) MY homework is posted on the board as well as on the site Parents, look for the "I'm a Parent" button to click and create your own account. After doing so, all you have to enter is the group code for the class you want to see. They are as follows:

español 1:       yvtnan

español 2:       ekm5q5

Once you're in, you will know what your student has for specific written HW.

2) If nothing is posted on a given day, their daily responsibility is to the memorization of vocabulary. They may do this how they wish, but it must be done NIGHTLY to maintain control of the material. Unless a specific portion of the vocal. is targeted for an upcoming quiz, they are to tackle 7-10 words per night, and focus on the ones that give them the most trouble in terms of recognition.

3) My syllabus for Spanish 1 can be found here.

4) My Spanish 2 syllabus can be found here.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Summer - Spanish 1

¡Feliz verano a toodos!

I hope your summer is and continues to be a good one.

As I promised, here are some helpful tips for staying fresh with vocab. and concepts from first year, as you ready yourselves for 2nd year in about 8 weeks. I know, a long time, but don't let the opportunity pass you by!

First off, if you are traveling abroad this summer to a Spanish-speaking country for more than 5 days, ¡qué suerte! You have the chance to experience the language in many forms, and at different speeds. It's like being in a foreign-language classroom, only a lot more hours a day, and way more fun than any Spanish teacher could make it!

For the rest of us, stuck here in the greater 48, we need to make do with what we have here to maintain the level of proficiency we've gained so far. Lucky for us, we're in the information age. What that means is that we have access to a lot of educational resources that, previously, we had to travel to, or look up in obscure texts to find. A lot of language experience is at our fingertips. If we have the will, technology can help us find the way to a successful 2nd year.

So, let's start with the basics:

1) YOUR NOTEBOOKS: It never hurts to re-visit those vocab. lists / grammar notes pages for review. I recommend you keep your notebooks going forward into next year, as there might be concepts that we go over again entirely. Keep your notebook, and just copy and paste instead of re-writing.

2) YOUR TEXTBOOK: Sure, you turned in the physical copy, but the online version has vocab lists, grammar points, and even stuff about different countries we didn't even have time to cover last year. Go to http://www., type in your passcode in all capital letters, and away you go!

3) QUIZLET: is probably the easiest and most useful flashcard-oriented site. It prompts you to generate lists, so you can focus on the words (or types of words) that gave you the most trouble in 1st year. Or, type "quizlet descubre 1" in a google search box, and various sites with practice lists will pop up for your perusal.

4) CONJUGUEMOS: is another good memory-based learning site, with several fun games. Typing in "conjuguemos descubre 1" should yield you positive results there. Unlike quizlet, however (which is free), conjuguemos has a fee for creating your own content.

More to come in future blog posts! Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

HW for 6/14

Spanish 1:   continue on research / prep for food final

multiple choice final Friday!

Spanish 2:   use one or both of the given verb pairs in 3 sentences for each.

one must have the verb in the INDICATIVE, another in the INFINITIVE, and a 3rd in the SUBJUNCTIVE. Tenses are up to you.

Refer to p. 309 (summary of each of the moods) for help in remembering the rules on each mood.

Monday, June 11, 2012

HW for 6/12

Spanish 1:    Continue research on dish/country of origin - helpful vocab. list coming tomorrow -

Spanish 2 - Translate paragraph into English - practice multiple choice part of the final tomorrow in class

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

HW due 6/5

Spanish 1:     Study comparative / superlative forms - Quiz Wed. 

Spanish 2:     Change five (5) of the "si..." clauses from last night's HW to a different form.
                       For example:

  If I sell the house, they’re going to buy it. (present tense/ir+a+inf.)
Si vendo la casa, la van a comprar. 
        Change the verbs to create a different kind of "si..." clause:

         If I sold the house, they'd buy it. 

         Si vendiera la casa, la comprarían. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

For 6/4

Spanish 1:

No written HW...notebook checks

Spanish 2:

"If..." clauses worksheet