Spanish

Spanish Teacher Profile- Spanish 2017-2018

¡Hola!  Bienvenidos, welcome to a new school year.  I am very excited to be here and I look forward to bringing the joy of learning about various Spanish cultures and a new language to our children each time that we come together.  I am so delighted to be back to teaching.  Sweet baby girl Sember Jane Gordon arrived on January 17th and I had the fortunate opportunity to stay with her until August 2nd.  She and her brothers are doing very well and our  family has found a happy rhythm of play, work, and rest.  

Here is a bit about me and my history as a Spanish learner.   I was born and raised in  Northern California.  I grew up hearing Spanish spoken by friends at school, my dad’s coworkers, and by my parents who also enjoyed speaking some Spanish.   With this around me, I felt inspired to learn to speak and write in Spanish.  As I took classes throughout my middle school and high school years, my passion for the language and culture continued to grow.  Thus, in addition to the classes I continued taking while attending college at UC Santa Cruz, I was delighted to have the opportunity to study abroad at La Universidad de Córdoba in Spain.  This was a huge turning point for me as a language learner.  The immersion was very intense, but after almost five months in Spain, I felt very comfortable speaking, writing, and living in a Spanish culture.

During my graduate work, at San Jose State University, where I completed my teaching credentials and a Masters in Science and Literacy, I had the itch to return to a Spanish speaking country.  This time I chose Costa Rica, as I wanted to be by the ocean and enjoy what sounded like such a beautiful, natural place.  And that it was!  I lived with a family and attended Spanish classes each day at a local school called Intercultura.  It was incredible.  The Spanish in Costa Rica is much different than the Spanish I had become so close to in Spain.  It was a very pleasant difference, as the people spoke slowly and overall had such a calm way about them.

I have visited Costa Rica twice since that first visit and I hope to return often.  Three summers ago  I had the fortunate experience of going back to Spain, where I attended the Festival of San Fermin, mostly recognized for the Running of the Bulls, in Pamplona, Spain.  It was such an adventure!  Two summers ago,  I had the wonderful opportunity of going to Guatemala.  I lived with the kindest family and attended Celas Maya, a language immersion school in the city of Xela.  I absolutely loved Guatemala, the countryside, the people, and I hope to go back. Since Guatemala, I have continued to connect with my adopted family there.  We hope to take our three children to Nicaragua or some other Spanish speaking country in the next couple of years.  I miss the excitement of traveling and being immersed in a completely different culture.  From all of these experiences, I enjoy sharing stories with our students and how unique each Spanish speaking country is from the next.  

I moved to Nashville ten years ago.  I live with my wonderful husband, Cameron, and my three incredible children, Anthony, Rocco, and Sember.  Both boys are students here at CKS.  We have a sweet kitty named Honey Boots who loves climbing our tall trees!  We enjoy reading together, playing games, going on hikes, singing songs, and finding our way to a beach as often as possible.  One exciting thing from this summer is the tree house that will soon be complete in our backyard.  They boys are thrilled and can hardly wait to “camp out” in it.  In my spare (and rare) time, I love practicing Iyengar yoga, cooking, practicing guitar, and finding creative and healthy restaurants to enjoy.


I began teaching 14 years ago.  I am known for being very kind, but firm.  I love to connect with children and nurture their curiosity.  I look forward to continuing to work with such a large range of ages. This was a wonderful and challenging experience over the past three years and I can’t wait to start again!  I am very happy to talk with parents or family members during my planning time if I am available, or after school.  Please just send me an email or call me anytime.  ~Señora Gordon            

michelle.gordon@cks-nashville.org

615-777-8983 (direct line)

                                                                                                          

Spanish Class  Discipline and Procedures, Christ the King, 2017-18

Welcome to a new year of Spanish with Señora Gordon!  

I am so excited to teach and inspire our children to feel curious and enthusiastic about learning a new language.  Below are a few of the logistics that must be shared to help us have a wonderful year together.  Thank you for taking part in our Spanish class!

Discipline

I will be following the school wide plan when it comes to helping our students get refocused when needed.  I will use the chime and “hand up” as my primary signals to gather attention.  I will use interactive modeling to teach the procedures of coming in, sitting down, listening well, completing our work, and for how we end our class.  

If a behavior begins to take away from our learning, I will remind and redirect the behavior.  If the student continues to need reminders, a logical consequence may take place.  Some examples of logical consequences are: changing seats, removing an object, narrowing choices, taking away a responsibility or privilege (which can be earned back when student it ready).  If a student appears to need some space to refocus, they can go to our “take a break” chair and return to the group when they feel ready or when the teacher finds that they are ready.

As a Specials teacher, I will be adding or taking away Dojo points and taking notes each day on any significant behaviors in Spanish class.  The homeroom teacher will read and determine a final behavior grade at the end of each week.  The behavior grade will be based on the student’s overall behavior in each of their classes for that week.

If I ever have a serious concern, I will notify the teacher and principal personally,  and the parents when necessary.  




Procedures

As our time is limited, I expect students to walk in a focused and quiet line to greet me at my door for our time together.  We will greet each other in Spanish each class.  I expect students to walk quietly into our classroom and take their assigned seat.  If homework is due, I will ask that students turn it into the designated spot, or keep it for correcting purposes.  I expect that students will raise their hands to offer their comments, ask a question, or give an answer.  As this is a language class, I want noise when it is time to talk.  This is productive sound!  I expect students to be brave and participate in discussions, practice, games, and all other ways that we will practice speaking Spanish.  When it is time to clean up and go, students must be responsible for the materials they have used and put them away neatly and carefully.  I will ask students to line up once the room is tidy.  Students will then quietly and respectfully walk to their next destination.

Homework

I ask that all students practice the vocabulary, songs, phrases, and any Spanish that we learn at home!!  All it takes is a few minutes each day to study the new words you have learned and like magic, you begin to recall words with ease!  I ask that families participate and ask their children what they are learning and perhaps learn many of the words with their child.  Grades preK-4 will not be given specific assignments to take home.  I just ask that they enjoy reviewing what they have learned.  Grades 5-8 will be given assignments that will help them practice and build the skills that they need to meet the foreign language goals set forth by the Diocese of Nashville.  I will check homework when class begins and students that are missing work will put their name, date, class, and assignment in our Missing Homework folder.  Students are able to earn 80% of that homework grade if they bring the assignment by the end of that same day. If they bring it it the next Spanish class day, that I am here (not necessarily when they have class), they can earn 70% of that homework grade.  If they do not turn it in by this point, they will earn a 0% for that homework grade.  It is each student’s responsibility to bring their work in on-time and to follow through with bringing it in if it is late.  Homework is a “completed work” grade and a “coming to class prepared grade.”  Some assignments are more heavily weighed and some less.  A student will also lose a Dojo point for coming to class unprepared when they do not bring their homework and this will be reflected on their weekly conduct grade.

Grades

Grades will be based equally on the following:

Participation

Effort

Class work/Homework

Assessments (formal and informal)



Curriculum

PreK and Kindergarten will enjoy many songs, stories, and art activities that help us begin to learn Spanish vocabulary.  Grades 1-3 will continue to use and enjoy Calico Spanish level one, and grades 4-8 will use Calico Spanish level 2, along with other resources such as stories, research activities, and the Spanish Now text, depending on the objective we are working on.  Please remember that Calico Spanish, our primary teaching tool, is a creative and interactive program that helps me create an immersive   environment for our students.  Calico Spanish uses fantastic visuals, gestures, literature, and songs to make learning Spanish a more natural experience for our students.  The goal of this program is to develop student’s receptive language, which means they will begin to understand messages spoken in Spanish.  Once the student has the basic framework for understanding a language, they begin to build confidence in using and making their own messages.  This program focuses heavily on comprehension, which the authors advocate to focus on before introducing rigorous grammar studies.  I look forward to continuing my work with these programs to help me bring meaningful learning to the time that I have with your children.

Each month I will send home a newsletter about what we are learning and any other fun or exciting Spanish news that seems worthy. I look forward to working with your wonderful children!