¡Bienvenidos a 2017!

Fifth and sixth graders are well on their way towards the second marking period now.  In class we have created our passport checklists for the second trimester.  These are the skills that students must demonstrate before the marking period ends on March 10th  (The list is at the end of this post).  If a student demonstrates mastery of the skill in class through a quiz, skit, sporcle game, poster, conversation or other method they will get the national sticker that is associated with the skill.  If they get each skill on or before March 10th they will be meeting my expectations for the marking period, and receive the grade of 3.  Going above and beyond that would gain the student the grade of 4.

This month we have been looking at the calendar skills: days of the week, months of the year, and seasons.  We have been talking about the dates and holidays to help us focus on this vocabulary in grades 3-6.

In K-2 we have been practicing many different skills: colours, numbers up to 10, (and sometimes higher) shapes, directions (up, down, left, right, forward, back), sizes and playing games to help us practice this vocabulary.  We will also work on recognizing and answering questions like ¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo te llamas? (How are you?  What’s your name?)

Passport requirements this marking period

Please look on the Passports page for more information.  Many of these skills were practiced and required for the first trimester.    The idea is that we can build on them this marking period, but that we have retained the knowledge.  Please note that some of these skills are not related to Spanish.  I want to encourage the students to practice their other subjects as well.

Required list for 5th grade.

☐Afganistán (el abecedario)
☐Algeria (el verbo gustar) ***
☐China, República de (los pronombres atónicos)
☐Colombia (las cuatro preguntas importantes)
☐Cuba (los colores)
☐España (leer en español)***
☐Timor L’este (los números ordinales)
☐Honduras (los meses del año)
☐Kosovo (las fracciones)
☐La Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU) (las direcciones)***
☐Paraguay (los días de la semana)
☐La República Dominicana (los pronombres personales)
☐Rusia (los números hasta 999.999.999)
☐New Math skill
☐New Geography skill
☐New Spanish skill
☐New Reading skill
☐New skill of your choice #1
☐New skill of your choice #2
☐Barbados (las frutas)

Required list for sixth grade:

☐Afghanistan (alphabet)
☐Chile (gustar)
☐China, Republic of (object pronouns)
☐Colombia (4 important questions)
☐Cuba (Colours)
☐Dominican Republic (personal pronouns)
☐Timor L’este (Ordinal numbers)
☐Honduras (months)
☐Kosovo (fractions)
☐Paraguay (days)
☐Peru (seasons)
☐Russia (numbers up to 999,999,999
☐South Sudan (direction words)
☐Spain (read syllabically)
☐USA (ser)
☐Tonga (US States in English)
☐3 choice from 1st marking period
☐3 new choice for second marking period (one geography, one Spanish, and one more of any subject)

Please note:
My hope is that each student will find a way to demonstrate these skills that works for them.  I will provide opportunities every week or two just to demonstrate passport skills.  Of course, any quiz, assignment or project that is done independently could also be used to demonstrate these skills.

Also, any students who joined us this school year have modified expectations, and I talk to them on an individual basis.

Lastly, should any student ever feel that a skill is not clicking for them, they have the choice of making a poster, in Spanish, about the country that is associated with that skill in lieu of demonstrating mastery of the skill.  Should a student attempt a skill via a quiz or other assessment earlier in the trimester, and not accomplish it, they will be encouraged to try again on another day.  I make no distinction between the person who knew the information prior to class and the person who struggles but masters the skill on the last day.  They have both learned the skill in the timeframe given.

Octubre 2016

In 5th and 6th grade we are studying the verb ser, meaning “to be.”  We are looking at how to describe people, places and things.   We are using a variety of resources to help us learn some of the basics of verb conjugation, including games in class, flashcards, Duolingo, Sporcle.

We have also started working on passports.  Once every two weeks the students are expected to show their progress towards passport skills.  Please look at the Pasaporte section under 5th/6th grade for more information

Third and 4th graders are focused on the basics of introducing ourselves and meeting others.  In third grade this month the students had the option of choosing a “Spanish name.”  They are focused on “Profe Bob’s 4 important questions.”  In 4th grade we are taking this a few steps further and working towards an “all about me style project” where the students will tell audiences who they are.  4th graders are practising talking about what we like and dislike.  As a grade, we created a 3 page vocabulary list.  Each student identified at least five things they like, and two that they dislike, as well as three other words of their choosing.  These are their vocabulary list, allowing each student to create an individualized vocabulary list while we work on the same larger topic.  Please look at the 3rd-4th grade section of this webpage for more information.

K-1-2 classes are starting to work on literacy, and noticing the similarities and differences of different languages.  We are reading stories and playing games in an active curriculum.  We aim to become familiar with our numbers, letter sounds, colours, shapes, and some basic questions and answers in Spanish.  Please look at the K-2 section of this website for more details.


Vocabulary lists for all grades can be found in the helpful links and tabs at the top of the page.

AR verb conjugation :)

Verb conjugation is one of, if not the most difficult part of learning Romance Languages.  As such, I am trying to introduce them to the students now, so that the concepts are not entirely new for them when they are older.  First up, we have to look at the pronouns in Spanish.  Then we have to look at the verb endings that go with the different subject pronouns.  Then, we can try to match the verb “stem,” which tells us the action that is happening with the ending that matches the subject.

For example

In Spanish we have the verb hablar, which means “to speak.”  In English, we don’t walk around saying “I to speak. She speak. We speaks.  He speaked French.”  While we might still be understood, there is a good chance we will not be understood, or not taken seriously.  In Spanish we have a similar process.

Yo is the pronoun that means “I.” The regular verb when talking about yo is -o.
I take the verb hablar, and I take off the -ar ending.  This leaves me with the stem habl, which stays consistent.  Then, I add the ending -o to give me the verb hablo, which means “I speak.”

In 4th grade we are looking at the yo, tú, él, ella forms of the verbs (I, you, he she)

In 5th grade we are adding the nosotros/nosotras (we) ellos/ellas (they)

In 6th grade we will be taking it a few steps further with some irregular verbs, and maybe the -er and -ir verbs.


To start us off, let’s practice these quizzes from Sporcle, going in order


Subject pronouns

AR verb endings

Conjugate the verb actuar

Conjugate the verbs dibujar and comparar

Spanish to English translation of several verbs

Verb vocabulary list

¡Buena suerte! And remember, this is difficult.  I’m teaching this now, so that by the time you’re at TA it’s not completely new and challenging.





19 octubre 2015

The students in the upper grades (5-6 at TES) are continuing their work with the verbs ser/estar, both meaning “to be.” On Monday we are compiling lists of adjectives that can be used to describe a person. We are breaking them into different categories (personality traits, physical traits, nationalities, occupations, state of being, emotions). We will be doing this by using a couple of useful online resources: wordreference.com and wikipedia.org. While Wikipedia can be hit or miss on the factual information, it can be a very useful tool for translating proper nouns like city names. To do this, I recommend that you type in the name in English in the Wikipedia search, then on the left hand side if using a computer, and on the bottom if using a mobile device, you will see either other languages listed, or a button “read in other languages.” By choosing the target language you will see the name of the person place or thing in your target language!

Primeras semanas de octubre

In the younger grades we are reading books, learning how to introduce ourselves, colors, shapes, sizes, numbers and other basics. Have your kids shared this with you? Resources can be found in the different sections of this page.

In 3-4 we are talking about body parts, and the verb “tener” meaning “to have.” We have been learning how to say things like “I have ten fingers,” “I have two big brown eyes,” or “I don’t have three long purple tails.” The expectation is sentences like the first one, but to encourage further learning, we are also looking at the last two types of sentences. In the next couple of weeks the students will start working on projects to show what they’ve learned.

In 5-6 we have been talking about one of the most difficult things in Spanish, the verb “to be.” In Spanish there are two verbs for this, “ser” and “estar.” We’ve been discussing when you use each verb, and how to conjugate them, making this a challenging unit. In the next couple of weeks we will be starting to write skits to show what we’ve learned so far.

Duolingo updates, 5 October 2015

I would like to add each of you as my students on Duolingo.  It will allow me to see which skills you have completed, in any language you choose to study.  Please find your current grade, click the link and then log in to your Duolingo account.  If you have more than one, please log in with the account you would like me to be able to see.


Thetford 4th graders

Thetford 5th graders

Thetford 6th graders

Newton 6th graders

Newton 7th graders

Newton 8th graders

17 septiembre

Over the last few weeks the older students have been focusing on numbers.  In 3rd grade we have been working on number recognition in Spanish, trying to recognize the numbers without counting up each time.  In 4th grade, we have tried some of the same, but looking at larger numbers as well.  In 5th and 6th we have been working on saying, listening to and reading the names of numbers, up to nine digits, including negative numbers and decimals.  Earlier this week the students took a quiz on this.  I hadn’t told them when it would be coming up, because we wanted to see what they could do without cramming.

Meanwhile, the K-2 classes have been starting to settle in to the school year.  In K we have been learning a few basic words like buenos días, arriba, abajo, as well as answering the questions ¿Cómo te llamas? to help Profe learn our names, and ¿Cómo estás? to tell us how we are feeling.  In 1-2 we have been reviewing these, and playing some games with numbers and colors to review what we learned last year.



This week, the third graders picked Spanish names, and 4th graders helped me pick a vocabulary list, so that we can start looking at the verb tener, which means ´to have,´ as well as clothing and body parts vocabulary.




In K we will continue working on learning Profe Bob’s two important questions, and we will learn the game Zapatito Blanco, which will help us learn to count in Spanish

In 1-2 we will review the two important questions, colors, shapes and numbers before moving on to directions and other units to reinforce students’ interests and classroom content.

In 3-4 we will learn and review Profe Bob’s four important questions, adding ¿Dónde vives? and ¿Cuántos años tienes?  as well as adding the new vocabulary.

In 5-6 we will probably start our look at verb conjugation!  This is one of, if not the hardest thing for most people in Spanish.  I do not expect most 5th and 6th graders to fully understand it, but I teach this unit so that when they move on in foreign language it’s not completely new.

Año nuevo 2015-2016

¡Ya llegamos al curso nuevo!  En estas semanas vamos a empezar con actividades de repaso y otras actividades para conocer a los miembros nuevos de nuestra comunidad.  Dale un vistazo a las páginas para ver lo que hicimos el año pasado para un idea de lo que vamos a hacer este año.

We are ready to start a new school year.  In these first few weeks we will be doing some activities to review and get to know the new members of our community.  Explore the site a little bit to see what we did last year for an idea of what is to come.