If your child has come home singing and clapping to "bate, bate, chocolate," it's a sign Spanish lessons are rubbing off on him or her. In Spanish class, WMS students across almost all levels are engaging a variety of senses to help them commit various Spanish words, phrases and verbs to memory.
- At the 6-9 level, students have been learning authentic Spanish songs and games to reinforce new vocabulary words. "Bate, bate, chocolate," which translates to "beat, beat chocolate," is a great way to prepare students for an upcoming Spanish class activity: making hot chocolate (chocolate caliente)! All the ingredients will be presented in Spanish and students will repeat the steps involved in making the hot chocolate using their Spanish vocabulary.
- In Primary, students have been learning their shapes (figuras geométricas) in Spanish. For Valentine's Day, students made shape necklaces to share with their parents. They have also been practicing their shapes in Spanish by creating them with their bodies, and will explore shape bingo and hopscotch to reinforce Spanish shape names. "Activities that encourage creating shapes with hands and bodies help [students] to understand shapes in a concrete way," said Spanish teacher Ana Brown.
- At the 9-12 level, students conduct most of their time in Spanish class in Spanish. When they enter the classroom, they observe which flag is designated - Mexican or American - for conversation. Sometimes Ana will select the American flag when she is introducing new concepts (which require more discussion in English). Most of the time Ana addresses the class in Spanish. However, if she senses students need clarification, she steps inside a hula hoop, which indicates she will be speaking to them in English.
- Middle-schoolers, under the guidance of Spanish teacher Rocio Viscarra, are exploring Spanish language through conversation and correspondence. "My goal is for [the students] to get comfortable speaking in Spanish," Rocio said. "We do a lot of activities where they speak and play games to give them practice speaking and listening to one another." At the start of the school year, Rocio partnered with a middle school Spanish class in Magny-les-Hameaux, France, via Edmodo to establish a pen pal correspondence between the WMS middle school students and a group of French students studying Spanish. The result has been three rounds of correspondence in Spanish in which students talk about their families, holidays and ask questions about each other. Through this correspondence, some students have even connected via the video game Fortnite.