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¡Hola a todos! Me llamo Señora Kennedy.
I'm so excited to spend another year with all of you. This is my fourth year at UDA and my tenth year teaching! 
A little bit about me:
I grew up in a small town in Michigan, in a very big family. I am not a native Spanish speaker - I started learning Spanish in high school and enjoyed it so much that I decided that I wanted to help others learn it, too. My favorite part of knowing more than one language is that it has connected me to people and places in the world that I never would have imagined otherwise. Currently I am trying to learn Arabic as my third language. We'll see what comes next!
I have been teaching since 2008. I taught K-8 Spanish in Detroit, and a few years ago I also got a Fulbright grant for one year in Spain. That means I got to live in Spain for a year, teaching English, speaking lots of Spanish, and getting an in-depth look at the Spanish language and culture. (I also got to spend a summer walking across Spain on the Camino de Santiago - about 300 miles.) More recently, I made another big trip: I moved across the country to San Diego to teach Spanish here at UDA!
Learning about new languages and cultures is very important to me. I believe that making connections and forming positive relationships with people - especially people different from ourselves - is a way to change the violence, misunderstandings, and injustice that we often encounter in our country and our world. Here in San Diego, almost a quarter of the population speaks Spanish, which makes the Spanish language a crucial way to participate in our local community.
I live with my husband and mi gato. I also volunteer with Youth for Understanding (mentoring exchange students from around the world.) In my free time, I spend time on grading your creative projects, activism, writing, photography, dancing, sleeping, spending time outside, drinking coffee, and telling cheesy jokes.
I'm on twitter @kennedyspanish (where I try to share photos of the stuff we are doing in class!) and I have lots of resources on my weebly website: kennedyspanish.weebly.com. You can reach me at skennedy@urbansd.com or with the contact link on this page!
Need some individual help? Come see me:
  • Tuesday & Friday during 6th/7th grade lunch (11:50-12:35)
  • Tuesdays after school (3:30-4:30pm)
  • Before school by appointment!


Recent Posts

¿Cómo es mi escuela?
5th grade is describing their school for their pen pals in Spain. Students can use this set on Quizlet to practice vocabulary they need to describe the school. Their pen pals also have this set so that they can practice the English words (and maybe even compete on some games like gravity!)

Photo Club Trimester 3

If you signed up for this trimester's photography club, I sent out a confirmation email to all students and parents! If you did not get this confirmation, please let me know. If you have changed your mind about participating, also please let me know - the club is full and there are others interested, so if you do not want your spot I can pass it on to someone else!
Our first meeting will be on April 4th, the Tuesday after Spring break. See all details and our schedule here.
A few updates and reminders:
  • SeeSaw: We are sharing our photos using this app that allows us to easily and safely share our learning. For new members of the club, I will send home paper instructions and codes the first week. Parents can sign up to see everything their child has shared, and we'll all share some photos publically on our blog: https://blog.seesaw.me/udaphotography
  • Cameras & Devices: If students would like to bring their own camera or device for taking photos, feel free to give it to me on Tuesday morning and I can lock it in my office until the club time. 
  • Attendance: Please let me know if you will not be able to attend or if you will be picked up early. This helps with planning, especially if we will be taking photos off campus. If you stop attending regularly, there are quite a few other students who would like to be in the club and I can pass on your spot to someone else. 
  • Pick up time: Please remember that our club is finished at 4:45pm. I am delighted to stay after school and donate my time for this club, but I do eventually need to go home or to other commitments. 
  • Snacks: Although snacks are not provided, students are welcome to bring a snack to eat during the beginning of our club. 
  • Volunteers: If parents are willing to come and help out or to walk with us on a walking field trip, please let me know. We'd love to have you!
  • Donor's Choose: I have created a project on Donor's Choose for our club, if you would like to share with family and friends! We have been focusing on free digital resources and using the devices we have access to, but this will allow us to get a few more cameras and supplies to mat, print and present our photos
As always, I am available for any questions and concerns. Thank you for being part of our club! Have a great break, and see you on the 4th!

La Misma Luna - Permission

Queridas familias,
En la clase de español vamos a ver La Misma Luna, una película que trata de un niño que viaja solo de México a Los Angeles para reunirse con su mamá. Cómo la clasificación de la película es PG-13, quería avisarles. Esta clasificación es por lenguaje (leve) y unas situaciones peligrosas, pero en mi opinión no es nada muy serio y creo que es apropiada para su edad. También creo que es una película buena y oportuna para nuestra ciudad fronteriza, y que puede presentar oportunidades de conversaciones importantes.
Hoy he enviado una carta a casa con sus hijos, para que usted pueda avisarme (por devolver el papel firmado, o por correo electrónico) si no quiere que su hijo/a vea esta película en clase. Si tiene la autorización de verla, no es necesario avisarme ni enviar el  papel. 
Como siempre, estoy disponible para cualquier pregunta o duda.
Dear families,
In Spanish class we will be watching Under the Same Moon, a movie about a young boy who travels from Mexico to Los Angeles to reunite with his mother. Since the rating of the movie is PG-13, I wanted to notify you. The rating is due to mild language and some dangerous situations, but in my opinion it's nothing too serious and I believe that it's appropriate for their age. I also think it's a good movie and a timely one for our border city, and that it can foster some important conversations in class.
I sent a letter home today with your student, so that you can let me know if you do not want your child to watch this movie - either by signing and returning the paper, or by email. If s/he has permission to watch it with us, there is no need to let me know or return the paper.
As always, I am available for any questions or concerns.

Español 5º: Trimestre 2

It's hard to believe it's the end of the trimester already!
Things we worked on this trimester:
Students used this rubric and checklist to grade themselves before I used it to grade them for this trimester's report cards. 
If you have not seen student's progress via SeeSaw, check it out! You can see what we have shared with our class and with our Pen Pals in Spain.
SeeSaw parent links:

Photo Club Updates!

Today was our last photo club of the trimester. We will not have the club during March to give time for conferences, grading marathons in teacher land, and Spring Break. We will start a new session of this club after Spring Break.
It's hard to believe that the trimester is already over!The weeks have really flown by as I've watched this group of young photographers learn and grow together. We've learned how to take good photos using the tools that we have, how to edit using a variety of free programs, and how to creatively challenge ourselves! I've been so inspired by seeing the world through my students' eyes, and I've loved seeing some of our students incorporate photography into other projects. Check out some examples of their work at our blog:


(Parents can also sign in and see all of the things their child has shared via SeeSaw.)
A few announcements:
  • Interested in joining or continuing photo club in the 3rd trimester? Details are here and our registration form is here. Deadline for applications is March 17th, and our first meeting will be the Tuesday after Spring Break.
  • UDA Photo Club members are having a photo challenge for all UDA students to submit their favorite photo! Challenge deadline is April 2nd. See more details on our posters around school!
  • Want to support our club? Our club is free and run by volunteers, so we are always looking for help from the community! Come accompany us on a photo walk, share your photo smarts, or help us get working cameras by sharing or donating to our Donors Choose project.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions!

7th graders are working hard on the culminating piece of this trimester's Soy Yo project - creative pieces that express their identity through words and visuals!
We're drawing, painting, making word clouds, embroidering, animating, photographing, and writing on ourselves to share bits of ourselves. We can't wait to show off what we come up with at exhibition night on March 2nd!

Proyecto: Una descripción de nuestra escuela

Check out this preview of one group's project! 8th grade is working on a project to describe their school, using the vocabulary and grammar from their current unit. They will create presentations or videos to share with our pen pals in Spain. I meant this to be a somewhat small mini project, but as soon as I introduced the idea our creative 8th graders just took off with some very elaborate plans! We look forward to sharing what we come up with. Project overview is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JimtusOP_YxayLhh4EkHF2H4D1N0UbS2TNLqii_99ao As always, reminders and resources for our assignments are posted on Google Classroom and our shared homework calendar: http://tiny.cc/UDAHW8th

Pen Pal Permission Form - 5th - SeeSaw

In 5th grade we are starting a pen pal project with a school in Camarillas, Spain. We are excited to communicate in Spanish and share details about what our respective schools are like. This is a chance for all our students to learn about some very different environments, and to put our language skills to use!

You can learn more about the school we are communicating with and see some of their projects on their blog:

I sent home permission forms today. (A copy is attached here!) Please see the permission form for more details. Parents should sign it and return it this week so that students may participate in this project.

Edmodo Pen Pal Project

In 7th and 8th grade we will be participating in a pen pal project with some students in Spain. We will use Edmodo (an educational network) to respond to questions in English and Spanish.
Students will be signing up for Edmodo during class next week, and parents will have the ability to sign up for an account if they would like to see our discussions.
Please see the attached letter (bilingual in English & Spanish) for more information and a description of how Edmodo works. 
5th graders have been talking about their interests in Spanish, using a variety of activity verbs. Students did a Vocabulario Creativo activity in class where they illustrated and shared some of their vocabulary via SeeSaw (check out this sample, and D.F.'s example above!)
Here are some resources to practice these words: 
  • Practice with a variety of resources via Quizlet (You can hear the words, play matching games, practice spelling them, quiz yourself, and print out flash cards.)
  • Play this Jeopardy-style quiz show with some friends (This is the one we played in class!)
Here are some free photo editing tools we have been using in our photography club! Have any other ideas? Let me know!
Editing on a smartphone or tablet?

Snapseed (App available for iOS & Android)

This is my favorite app that I have used with kids of all grades (Kinder through middle school!) It is easy to use and has lots of tools. Search in your app store.

Editing on a chromebook or computer?

Easy to use and simple! This is good for beginners.

Sumo Paint https://www.sumopaint.com  
This is like a free online version of photoshop. It is more complicated, but has a lot of features. (7th grade is using Sumo Paint this trimester for a project, so may already be familiar with it... or will be using it soon!)

Polarr https://www.polarr.co

This is another program that feels like Photoshop. When you go to the website, click "Web Browser" and "Open Polarr Photo Editor" in the corner to get to the free version.

The new UDA Photography club has met a few times so far and I'm loving working with this group of young photographers!
Here are some resources for club members:
  • Slides from class (if you were absent or if you just need to remember what we talked about!)
  • SeeSaw Student Login 
    • Click Sign In
    • "I'm a Student"
    • "Email Account"
    • "Student Sign in with Google"
    • Log in with your UDA account
  • Parent SeeSaw Login information will be sent home next week!
6th grade has been talking about preferred activities in Spanish. (Unidad 1 Lección 1 in our textbook.) Before break they created Vocabulario Creativo using this vocabulary, either on paper or digitally. We have been practicing in class, and they will have their first vocabulary quiz of the year on Thursday, January 19th. They will need to recognize and understand these activity words in Spanish.  (They should have these words in their Spanish notebook.)
My skills quizzes are worth 10 points and can always be retaken (before the end of the trimester) since their purpose is to see what students know and what they need to practice.
Students have lots of practice activities linked on Google Classroom. Recommended practice resources:
  • Come in and study with us on Fridays at lunch! (In Ms. Sullivan's room)
  • Quizlet, which allows students to practice in a variety of ways (visual/audio flashcards, matching games, self-quizzes, printable flashcards, etc.)
  • Printable memory game
If students practice at home, they can count this as a homework activity and add it to their monthly Spanish homework report.