Here’s more about this week’s featured classroom:
Name: Señora Hanna Cacciatore
Grade: Spanish Immersion Kindergarten
School: Grand Haven Christian School
What makes your classroom special? My class is full of fun, energetic, loving, and caring students. I have never seen a class so eager to learn and constantly using their new knowledge. Not only do I have a great group of students, but we spend all day learning in Spanish! The students came in at the beginning of the year not knowing any Spanish and now I hear more and more Spanish in the classroom every day. It is so much fun to see their progress and love of learning in a language different than their own. My students have stepped up and are constantly helping one another with the language and how to communicate effectively.
In addition to the curriculum, what are some things you teach your students? Like with any kindergarten classroom, there is so much more to teach than just the curriculum. Students are learning how to become more independent, how to get along with their peers, and how to be stewards of God's earth. I also love taking my students ideas for a project and making them a reality, I love to see their minds go beyond the lesson and their creativity to come forward. Since we are only learning in Spanish a lot of basic English vocabulary and phrases need to be taught in Spanish. For example: lockers, markers, table, chair, gloves, coats, etc. all need to be taught in Spanish so that their needs can be met. I am also teaching about different cultures that speak Spanish so that students can reach out and spread the word of God to so many more people.
What special project is your classroom working on now? So far this year, my students have completed a project on "All about Me," where they had to create a picture of themselves and write adjectives around them to describe themselves. We also did a project about their families earlier this year. My students just had their Christmas program where they recited Luke 2: 7-14; it was a big undertaking but they did such a great job! We are currently working on some top secret Christmas projects that will go home to parents before Christmas break. Later in the year we will have a big project that includes the students reading, writing, conversing, and presenting a project all in Spanish. After reading about a topic, they will have to spend time writing about it and then conversing with their peers. After a couple of days of practice they will present the project to their peers.
How is your classroom involved with the community? In the fall we went to Heritage farms to learn about how apple cider is made, and explore the farm. Over Thanksgiving the students brought in canned goods to donate to a local food pantry, in February the class will be working with other classes to make Valentine's cards for those in nursing homes. Later in the year we will also be going to a local Spanish restaurant where we will get to practice using our Spanish.
How do you hope what your students are learning now will affect their future? I hope that my students will take their knowledge and love of the Spanish language and culture to explore other countries and share God's love. In the meantime, I hope they find people around Grand Haven with whom they can speak Spanish and share the love that resounds so deeply inside these little ones.