Spanish Curriculum for Elementary Grades
Spanish for You is a Spanish Curriculum that allows students to begin where they are regardless of skill and then flow right into a high school program if you want to continue on. The lessons are grouped by grades in 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and there are NOW three levels: Estaciones (Seasons), Fiestas (Celebrations) and Viajes (Travel)...Viajes won't be completely available until June. As a teacher, Debbie had specific things she wanted when she created these materials: The ability to place new students in with experienced students, affordability and it had to be easy to use. This program power packs a lot of learning into an affordable package. Each lesson in each book has been used in a co-op type classroom setting.
So, we received a Fiestas Package that came with a Soft Cover Book, a Lesson Guide (PDF), worksheets for all levels (PDF), Audio Files of the entire book with a bonus native speaking version (Many asked why there are two versions of the files included...while Debbie explained this better than I will, it is nice to be able to hear it slower for learning...and then hear how it is supposed to be.) The native speaker is from Mexico and the Spanish in the program is considered a middle of the road Spanish...you should be able to understand and speak to any Spanish speaking person.
The books are geared towards things that children are familiar with and still introduce the culture...so in the Fiestas book, it begins with the birthday and introduces pinata, but also talks about cake and candy. There are five lessons in each book, broken down into between 24-30 weeks of work. Grades 3-4 are longer to go a little more slowly through the program. The lessons have the material presented in the same format...Vocabulary, Verb Conjugation and Usage, and Grammar Concepts. Then at the end of the lesson, you bring all of those parts together. As you work through the book, it all spirals for excellent review. The material is set up so that you begin learning in a conversational manner. You can start in any book, just at the student's current grade level and work through either very quickly or much more slowly as you need. The more books you complete, the more skills are built. There are 70-80 activity pages included in the PDF we received. Debbie recommends printing these as you need them and I would give a HEARTY second to that...Also, all of the worksheets are now separated by level, so it will be VERY EASY to grab and go! Debbie has used these books in co-op settings, so the books are set up with 4 days of activities/work.
Debbie recommends that as you work through the Spanish for You curriculum, you have your students check their own work, rather than you grading it. When they see the error, it often locks the concept into their learning. Also, while it just flitted through my thoughts, I want to talk for just a second about the Flash Cards...First, the drawings are done by Debbie's daughter...now what Momma doesn't LOVE that...(Plus it helps keep the cost of the program down),but the flash cards are an important part of the learning process. I know what you're thinking...I'm thinking it too...those cards are going to be all over the house...and yes, some are all over my house...but after hearing that, I went back and printed the flashcards again and we will put them into a zippered pouch at the front of my children's Spanish Folders.
There is a list of HANDY materials that I will give you:
dry erase squares/markers
board game markers
Nothing too hard to find, but it will make doing the activities in the book much easier if you have these things gathered into one spot. There are SEVERAL MORE activity pages on the Spanish for You Website, so you can continue with your Spanish through breaks, or just have fun doing something different.
So..how did this work in our home?
Well I worked this program with my Principessa(5th Grade) and My Older Guy (9th). I think it was a little below Lou's level, but he was still able to learn. My daughter ABSOLUTELY LOVED the program. She BEGGED me...CAN I PLEASE do Spanish today...
I think this is a GREAT program! For $64.95, you get three levels of a one year program, with NOTHING else to buy. I LOVE that it is geared to things they ALREADY know something about and are EXCITED to learn more about. I love that you just begin where you are...skilled or not and build from there. I REALLY love that the drawings are from Debbie's daughter. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that there are AUDIO FILES since I am NOT a Spanish speaking person! I REALLY LOVE that there is a non native version of that too!!!!! We did have an issue with the papers...and all the king's men couldn't put humpty together again...so I am STARTING OVER...and will put the sheets in order into a folder. I have decided to pull in my little guy (1st grade) and let him join in on the activities...he may not be able to do all the worksheets, but I think he will be able to catch on to more than I thought he would. I may even have the Principessa teach him the lesson...we will see on that one. The author, Debbie Annett was WONDERFUL to work with as well...
I would add from personal experience...When I was in my 4th year in French, I got to go to France...and COULD NOT UNDERSTAND MUCH...I think it would be extremely valuable to add in time to talk with a spanish speaking person on a regular basis...so that you can get used to hearing how it is spoken...so you can first catch a word or two...then a phrase, etc.
Not sure if Spanish for You is for you...try it out...there are a few mini lessons you can grab for free
There is also a Spanish for You Blog...where Debbie posts some fun things...right now, I think she is telling me I need to go to a Mexican Restaurant...WOOHOOO!!!! I am very excited about that because
See what my Team Mates had to say about Spanish for You here