A new partnership between Crestview's high school Spanish students and elementary students has formed as the results of a collaboration between the high school Spanish Club and AMMPED (Art, Music, Media, Physical Education Disciplines) faculty at the elementary.
"On the first club meeting we sat down and started brainstorming for projects and ideas that the students would like to do this year," said high school spanish teacher, Carla Colón. "A lot of the students wanted to have a Spanish Day at the elementary. Coincidentally, the elementary school special teachers were planning a unit on Mexico for the 2nd 9 weeks for the 3rd grade students. They approached me to check if the club students would be interested in teaching Spanish. It was just perfect timing since I had just been talking about this with my students the week before. We prepared a rotation so 2-3 club members can have a turn to be at the elementary teaching every couple of weeks. We are planning to have a lesson every Monday until the last week of classes."
Elementary music teacher, Christina Shotts, explained that the project came about as part of a multicultural unit to enrich the third grade curriculum. Each nine weeks the third graders travel to a new country and learn about different aspects of the culture in their AMMPED classes. In Art they learn about famous artist and genres of art, in Music they learn various folk songs, instruments, and dances, in Media they read books about the culture, and in Physical Education they learn about the various sports and physical pursuits. For the first nine weeks of school the third grade students visited Mexico and learned about Mexican culture, the students had such a positive response to the unit that we decided to add further enrichment by partnering with the High School Spanish Club to have weekly Spanish lessons for students.
The program's goal is to is for high school students to interact with younger kids and experience the teaching profession first hand. "I've already have some students tell me that this experience showed them that they would possibly want to become educators," said Colón. In addition to this, they would like to expand the Spanish program, awaken an interest in foreign language learning at an early age, and establishing a collaborating environment between high school and elementary school.
"The 3rd grade students are responding with enthusiasm and an inquisitive mind set," added Shotts. "The students look forward to their weekly Spanish lessons and are using the new language throughout their day at Crestview, including the classroom, lunch room, and amongst each other. Students are even furthering their learning by teaching adults in the elementary and siblings some of the words learned. It has been a very positive response from both the elementary students and high school students."
On Thursday, December 14th the third grade students will showcase all their knowledge and hard work through culture tables and stations where the audience members will rotate through and learn about various parts of Mexican culture and African culture from the students. At the conclusion of the stations students will perform songs and dances from each of the cultures as a finale to the evening.