End of the school year!

St. James Students continue to have many activities as the school year winds down.  The kindergarten students compete with each other to be the first to identify in Spanish different colors.  They learn the names and sounds of the Spanish alphabet. They are also learning how to spell Spanish words by sounding them out.  Most impressively, students are able to write short sentences in Spanish in their notebooks.  I am so proud of them and I can’t wait to the next school year to start so that they can learn even more.

 The 1st through 7th grade students are having fun learning how to make piñatas, and then, of course, busting them open.  Students learned about the historic significance of Cinco de Mayo and the importance of Mothers’ Day in Mexican culture.  I also assigned the Spanish sight-words that they learned and were able to use in sentences.  Students learned to read and write the numbers 1-100 in Spanish, and many of them were able to count up to 200 and above.  We continued to work on verb agreement, nouns and pronouns, and regular and irregular verbs.  I also excited for these students to return next year so that they can develop their Spanish even more.  Meanwhile, I wish everyone a great summer! 

Susannah Joyce

The Kindergarten class is mastering the alphabet, numbers, and words with one to two syllables.  They have fun drawing their favorite animals or sketches. The First, Second, and Third graders are reviewing past and new vocabulary, sight words, and numbers. They are writing short sentences using the sight words. The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh graders are working on when to use one of two Spanish verbs that translate to TO BE. Spanish has two different verbs for the English verb TO BE, namely SER and ESTAR.  Sometimes Spanish also uses the verb TENER to denote TO BE.  Students often find translating the verb TO BE confusing because a direct translation with all its meanings does not exist with just one Spanish equivalent verb.  But once students learn the differences between SER, ESTAR, and TENER, they are on their way to learning some of the most difficult aspects of mastering Spanish: learning the verbs. 

Susannah Joyce

6th and 7th Grades

The sixth and seventh graders’ Spanish-mini projects were marvelous. Unlike the fourth and fifth graders, the sixth and seventh graders were allowed to use computer applications, such as PowerPoint, to present their research. However, some students decided to present their research on a white poster. Both the presentations and the content of the projects were excellent.  The students had fun with it, but, most importantly, they did a great job talking about what they learned from conducting research on a Spanish-speaking country.

The sixth and seventh graders learned not only about the geography of the country they studied, but they were able to identify their country on a map.  They were also able to formulate research questions and answer them.

After the students presented their work to their classmates, I asked them some questions, such as what aspect of conducting your research did you like best and why? I was impressed with their thoughtful answers.

Wonderful job Sixth and Seventh graders!

Susannah Joyce

Fifth Grade

It was so wonderful to see how hard the Fifth Graders worked on their Spanish-mini projects. They made it look easy and fun, but, most importantly, they were eager to talk about what they learned from conducting research on a Spanish-speaking country.  Although I told the students the project was not meant to be hard, I knew it was. Fortunately, they worked hard and did an excellent job completing projects on Spanish-speaking countries. Fifth Graders learned the geography of the country they studied and how to find their given country on a map.  They were also able to formulate research questions and answer them. They did a great job and we had fun!

Susannah Joyce

Below are some photos showing the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th graders conducting research on a Spanish-speaking country.  Each student chose a Spanish-speaking country to do a research presentation. The students are working hard on their presentations, which they will present to their classmates next week. I can hardly wait to see the students to do their presentations!  

1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders are learning to distinguish between feminine and masculine nouns, and singular and plural objects.  They are also practicing how to use a Spanish-English dictionary.

Kindergarten students are working on learning the numbers and naming the letters and their sounds.  

Susannah Joyce

The second graders at St. James Day School had a wonderful performance at the Grandparent’s Day celebration!!  The title of the poem the second graders recited was “Mis Abuelitos” (My Grandparents). They not only learned a poem in Spanish, but they also learned how to incorporate emotions using their hands and faces to express how much they love their grandparents.  The students at St. James continue to learn new Spanish vocabulary and parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, articles.


Susannah Joyce

¡ Feliz Día de los Abuelitos!

Happy Grandparents’ Day!

Wow! Time is going by fast! The second grade students in St. James’ Spanish classes are preparing to recite a poem in Spanish during the celebration of Grandparents’ Day. Other students are working on writing sentences and using proper subject verb agreement. We are also learning different parts of speech in Spanish to construct sentences. We are still working on reviewing previous vocabulary, words, numbers, the alphabet, and vowels. I hope the students are continuing to have fun as they learn new vocabulary!

Susannah Joyce

Students in St. James’ Spanish class are learning the Spanish word for certain farm animals, including goat, horse, cow, sheep, pig, and dog. They are also learning new sight words such as over there, here, on the top, etc. I am using different teaching methods to help students learn vocabulary and conversational Spanish.  One method is to divide students in small groups and give them assignments to build vocabulary and have short conversations in Spanish. The conversations are designed to help them retain old vocabulary and learn new words. They are engaged and love working together.

Katelyn Gunter
!Feliz Navidad¡

Students in St. James’ Spanish class continue to expand their vocabulary, learning phrases such as ¡Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo!, árbol de Navidad, and Niño Dios.  The students love their holiday arts and crafts that they made in the class. They made pulseras nivideñas, árbolitos de navidad, and muñecos de nieve. We even learned some riddles in Spanish.

Students continue to learn how to ask questions in Spanish.  For example, they learned how to ask a person what is their favorite book.   To do this, they first had to learn words to start a questions, such as why, what, when, where, which, who, and how. Now students are learning how to write short sentences in Spanish by using vocabulary they learned in previous lessons.  


Katelyn Gunter

Students in St. James’ Spanish class continue to expand their vocabulary and learn about Mexican culture.  They learned why and how Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead and they learned how to ask questions in Spanish, such as how to ask a person what is their favorite color.  To do this, they first had to learn words to start a question, such as why, what, when, where, which, who, and how. In addition to learning nouns, students are tackling the most difficult aspect of Spanish: memorizing how to conjugate important irregular verbs, such as “ser” (to be) and “ir” (to go).  To consolidate what we learned, we reviewed material from past lessons.


Katelyn Gunter

St. James students in Spanish class continue to have fun in October as they learn new vocabulary.  They learned the Spanish words for family members (grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, son, daughter, uncle, and aunt), and the Spanish words for parts of the body (head, shoulders, knees, feet, eyes, ears, mouth, and nose).  They are also learning how to sound out words in Spanish and how to conjugate a few regular verbs. To consolidate what we learned, we review material from past lessons, such as how to count and write Spanish numbers.


Katelyn Gunter

During the month of September, St. James students learned how the people of Mexico celebrate their independence.  They also learned some details about how Mexico achieved independence and the names of some of the leaders.  Students expanded their Spanish vocabulary, learning colors, pronouns and some verbs.  While learning Spanish, we are also learning about Mexican food and culture.


Katelyn Gunter

In Spanish class the students are delightful and eager to learn. We have done drawings, enjoyed singing songs, learned by listening, and a lot more is coming. We have learned how to introduce ourselves in Spanish and we are having a good time. Learning a foreign language should be fun, and so far it has been!


Katelyn Gunter
Currently In Spanish

Pre-k and Kindergarten are learning the alphabet and words for places in our community. Pre-k is also practicing our songs for Grandparents' Day.

First and Second grade are studying classroom objects vocabulary.

3rd grade just finished a unit on classroom things.

Fourth graders are working on the days of the week in Spanish.

Fifth grade is learning professions vocabulary.

Sixth grade is learning infinitives which is the first step in learning the Spanish verb system.

Terrie Maxwell
What's Happening in Spanish?

In Pre-k through First Grade, we are singing, marching and doing jumping jacks with our vocabulary words and phrases. We are also tracing and drawing pictures of our vocabulary. 

In Second through Sixth grades, we are playing games to learn our vocabulary. We have played Review-O-Rama ( a relay game) and bingo. We are also performing dialogs in Sixth Grade, and we are doing written work in all the classes.

Terrie Maxwell
Starting the New Year

Here are the points of emphasis for the various levels of Spanish in the new year. PreK will be studying the Spanish alphabet. They will learn to write and say each letter, as well as learning vocabulary to accompany each letter.

In kindergarten through second grade, the students will learn to spell and write vocabulary previously acquired orally. Third through sixth grade will learn new vocabulary as well as mastering points of grammar necessary for forming sentences.

Terrie Maxwell
Update about Spanish Class

Here is an update about what we will be doing between now and Christmas. In Pre-K through 2nd grade we will be learning Spanish shapes. Pre-k and Kindergarten will be doing total physical response activities, shapes videos, and drawing / tracing worksheets. First and Second Grade will be doing these activities as well as sentences using shapes with colors and other adjectives.

Third through sixth grade will be learning about definite and indefinite articles as well as adjective agreement. Our vocabulary focus will still be body parts.  Activities will vary in difficulty for the different grade levels.

All classes will be learning about Christmas customs in Hispanic countries. We will be busy between now and La Navidad.

Terrie Maxwell
Spanish at St. James

Spanish class is very busy this week. Our students are currently learning parts of the body in Spanish. This week we are learning head (la cabeza), hair (el pelo), eyes (los ojos), ears (las orejas), and hombros (shoulders). Pre-k and kindergarten are watching children's videos over parts of the body. They are also drawing faces, pasting labeled parts on paper, and tracing the words. First and second grade are drawing and labeling faces as well as writing the vocabulary. 

Third through sixth grade are reviewing parts of the body by watching children's videos, drawing and labeling, doing a vowel puzzle as well as a crossword.

I am using TPR (total physical response), a method developed by James Asher, in all of the classes. It involves me giving commands and the students acting out the command. An example is toquese la cabeza (touch your head). The students act out the command in groups, pairs, and individually. This method is effective and keeps the students' affective filter low, which is important when learning a language.

I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach at St. James. I look forward to a successful school year.

Terrie Maxwell