Urban Discovery Academy

Skip to main content

¡Bienvenidos!

¡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!
 
 

Classes

Recent Posts

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
 
This year on New Year's Day, a friend asked me 3 questions that she uses for reflection on her birthday.
  1. What are you proud of in the past year?
  2. What do you want to leave behind you?
  3. What do you want to do in the coming year?
I liked these as an end-of-the-year reflection, and I brought these to our Spanish classes this first week back. We made trophies for ourselves for things we were proud of from last year, wrote down things we want to leave behind in 2016, and wrote down hopes for 2017.
 
We put a lot of things into our ¡Fuera, 2016! boxes, and ripped them up (which always feels good.)
 
Negatividad
Odio
Racismo
Amigos Falsos
Tristeza
Miedo
 
You can check out some of our trophies and resolutions in the upstairs hallway near middle school, and add some of your own. 

It was a good way to start the new year. I'm so grateful to be part of the UDA family for another year.
Lectura Independiente en español: Independent Reading in Spanish
 
One of the challenges of working with a very diverse range of language levels is finding materials that are appropriate for each and every student - from new Spanish learners to native speakers. Over the years I have been trying to collect a variety of Spanish books to meet all my learners' needs, and figure out the logistics of using that book collection without a classroom.
 
This year there have been some exciting developments. We got a very nice rolling bookshelf, copies of all middle school class novels in Spanish, and 3 iPad minis thanks to a DonorsChoose project. In class we have been learning how to find books that are just right for our levels (using the "five finger rule") and doing some independent reading in class. Students are also able to check out Spanish books to read as homework. Check out some of the books from my collection here: https://profesara.libib.com/ (This is not yet a complete list. I am still working on scanning and labeling books, and am looking for parent and student volunteers who might like to help!)
 
Other reading resources:
  • For everyone: 
    • The San Diego Public Library has an excellent collection of books in Spanish for kids, teens, and adults.
    • Looking for more book ideas? Here is my ever-growing wishlist of books in Spanish (that I've resisted buying so far!)
  • For novice learners:
    • For beginning readers, build vocabulary (and fight world hunger): Free Rice 
  • For young readers:
  • For teen readers:
    • Read about current events and a wide variety of topics and answer comprehension questions with Newsela (You can adjust the reading level on each article.)
    • Read online magazines in Spanish:

Tarea de noviembre: 5th grade Spanish homework

After 2 months of having homework options for Spanish, we are getting a little more high tech! Students can keep track of the practice activities they do at home on paper, or in a Google Doc via Google Classroom! We have been using Google Docs and Google Classroom a bit in the classroom, both as useful tools for sharing information and to help get kids ready for middle school where they will be using even more technology tools.
 
Here is a copy of our homework options and report, or students can go to Google Classroom and log in with their UDA email. (Middle school siblings might be able to help, since by now they are pros at Google Classroom!)
 
As always, I am available for help!

Middle School Clubs: Student Interest Survey

As a middle school team we've been talking a lot about the "middle school experience" and getting feedback from students and parents on how we can improve.
 
One thing that is new this year is that all students have enrichment for one trimester (Visual Arts, STEAM, & Performing Arts) along with Spanish & PE all year. While this is a great way to create some really in-depth projects and fits with our school mission, many students have expressed that they miss electives. We have been talking about ways to offer more student-selected and student-driven activities, as well as creating opportunities for 6-8th groupings. One way we want to do this is through UDA clubs! Many students are already participating in some (like the Handbell Choir, Ballroom Dancing, and Art Club!) but we would like to add more clubs for the 2nd Trimester. 
 
Last week I emailed students this survey to gauge interest in several student clubs that teachers are available to lead. If any students still want to share their opinions, please do that before this weekend! (Students will need to be logged into their UDA email in order to see the survey.)
 
We will be reviewing the results and deciding which clubs we should start and when they should be held. More information to come soon!

Last week we spent time learning about the celebration of El Día de los Muertos.
8th grade took a field trip to the nearby Sherman Heights Community Center to explore community altars set up there. It was a great field trip and I would love to set up a display there next year!
 
After we learned about traditional items used for ofrendas, we set up our own in the empty middle school lockers. We will leave these up through exhibition week until Thanksgiving break, so please stop by and check them out!
 
Recursos: Día de los Muertos 

8th Grade Field Trip!

In 8th grade, we have a field trip on November 4th to see a Day of the Dead altar presentation in Sherman Heights Community Center. We will be going during our Spanish & PE time (8:15-10:30am.) The students have a permission form to sign at home. The due date is Oct. 28th. We still need parent volunteers, if you want to go as a chaperone. There is a copy of the permission slip and more details in the attached file. Thank you!
¡Hemos terminado y enviado nuestras mariposas!
 
Our symbolic class and individual butterflies are headed South to Mexico, along with the real monarchs who are migrating from across North America. You can find out more about the migration and report monarch sightings on Journey North's website.
 
Before sending our butterflies, we shared photos and descriptions in Spanish on SeeSaw. Today I sent home family login information for SeeSaw, which is an app and website that we are using to share our learning. Each family has a unique access code for their student, so that they can only see their student's work. If you did not get a copy of this or if you have any questions, let me know!

Tarea de octubre

All students should have turned in their September homework last week! I am in the process of grading that homework, but PowerSchool is updated with whether or not it has been turned in, even for the work I still need to grade.
 
This is just a reminder that October's homework is posted in Google Classroom. Since 6th grade has access to Google Classroom now, they will be turning in their report digitally instead of on paper. (7th & 8th grade are already familiar with this process!) Homework is always due on the last day of the month, though you might want to turn it in a bit early if you'll be doing other fun things on Oct. 31st.
 
As always, please contact me if you have questions, or stop by office hours!

Zine Fest this past Saturday was a success! We displayed and distributed lots of student zines, got donations for future zine projects, chatted with the community about their experiences learning languages, and made some zines with some new people! We couldn't have pulled off this project without all the help from parents and community volunteers, who helped print zines, fold zines, lend us canopies, and so much more. ¡Muchísimas gracias!
 
After grading the zines I hope to display them in the school. Grading may take a little bit of time, since I will be out of town Friday through Sunday for a family wedding. I want to make sure I give your hard work the attention it deserves, so they might not be completely graded until next week. However, I have updated PowerSchool to show which zines have been turned in and which have not - feel free to take a look if you are worried.
Today is the day - I'm heading to Zine Fest with over 70 student zines! We'll be at the Centro Cultural de la Raza from 12-6pm. (2004 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101)
 
Many thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers who helped us print, copy, and fold zines yesterday!
This week we are finishing up our zines for Zine Fest on Saturday! Students should be turning in their final zines in the next few days. I'm already so inspired by what our creative students have come up with, and I'm excited to share that inspiration with our community. If you are free on Saturday, stop by the Centro Cultural De La Raza in Balboa Park and check out our zines!
 
Can you help us at all this week? I've got a Sign-Up Genius here and am also looking for any inspiration on displaying all our zines.
 
Need resources or help in finishing your zine on time? Check out our project overview, contact me for help, or come in during office hours on Thursday before school!
 
Just want a peek at what we've been up to? Follow @kennedyspanish on Twitter!

Zine Fest: Planning Ahead!

6th-8th grade students have been exploring zines and planning their own. We're getting excited to share our zines at the San Diego Zine Festival on October 1st!
 
Can you join us? I'm looking for volunteers who would like to help us finish up our zines in the classroom, print & copy zines before the festival, and help run our table at Zine Fest! I've created this SignUp Genius with time slots for all of the above. We'd love to have you if you can join us!
 
(Check out some tidbits from last year's Zine Fest in the video above!)