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¡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!
 
 

Recent Posts

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!)

Tarea (Spanish Homework)

I've introduced our monthly homework in all our classes by now! Homework in my class is designed to practice beyond the classroom. Becoming proficient in a language requires daily practice. We have 2 hours of class time a week, which is great for an introduction and for structured practice (and hopefully some cool projects) but is just not enough for fluency. Students should complete at least one practice activity each week outside of the classroom and keep track of evidence in a report. At the end of the month they'll turn in the report of what they've done. Each month we’ll have a detailed list of activities to choose from, along with descriptions of the evidence needed for each. (See the options for each class below!)
 

We’ll start the year by exploring some of these activities during class time, so that each student can find activities that fits with their individual interests and learning style. 

Here are what homework looks like in each grade:

  • 5th grade: Homework options and report
    • Since this is the first time students have had monthly Spanish homework, we will be exploring lots of these options in the classroom for this first month. We've been talking about what kind of learners we are, and how to find practice that is just right for us!
  • 6th grade: Tarea de septiembre
    • Students who had me for Spanish last year will already be somewhat familiar with our homework. In 6th grade the options gradually become more advanced, and we increase our use of technology. The first month, they will choose from the options and report what they did on paper. After we go over technology norms and have access to technology (hopefully by mid September) they will be logging their activities and evidence online through Google Classroom.
  • 7th & 8th grade: Homework options (Report on Google Classroom)
    • 7th & 8th grade students are already familiar with our homework format and with the reports on Google Classroom. The activities are organized a little differently and I've adjusted some options, but the format is the same. Their Tarea de septiembre is already posted, along with their individual report.
Homework is always due at the end of the month. Middle school students have weekly reminders and all deadlines posted on their homework calendars.

Proyecto: ¡Zines!
 
Our first middle school project will be to make zines. Our zines will answer the question: ¿Por qué aprender idiomas? (Why learn languages?) We will publish and share our zines at the San Diego Zine Festival on October 1st.
 
To start, this week 7th & 8th grade students will be interviewing friends, family, or community members about their experiences with languages.
 
See more details below!
 
Resources:
What is a zine, anyway?
What will ZineFest be like?

¡Bienvenidos!

Welcome to the new school year!
 
Some changes this year:
  • I am teaching 5th through 8th grade Spanish. Sra. Gabriela has returned and is teaching K-4th grade. With the addition another 8th grade, we are now at full capacity! In addition to having the time I need to collaborate on projects for all my classes, I am also helping with our EL students.
  • We've increased the amount of Spanish, especially in younger grades. Now 5th-8th grade gets two hours per week. The younger grades get more Spanish per week, which will really help with fluency!
Since I changed grade levels a bit, this year I know all of my students already - with the exception of a few new faces! I'm so excited to work with all of you again.
 
This page is a space to get updates and resources, especially for parents. You can subscribe to individual classes, to my page, and to any staff page so that you are emailed updates when they are posted. In middle school (and later on in 5th grade) we use Google Classroom for many assignments and reminders. We also have homework calendars for each middle school grade to help them keep track of assignments from all their different classes.
 
For more details about grading, homework, and helpful resources, please click on your syllabus below:

Journey North Spring Update:
 
After spending the winter in Mexico, our symbolic monarchs flew back North - along with the real monarch butterflies.
 
We got class butterflies for each class and one symbolic small butterfly from each student! Students got these to take home. (If you were absent and didn't get yours yet, please see me! I have some extras.) The students who took care of them over the winter in Mexico wrote about how they are caring for the monarch butterflies, and we brainstormed ways that we can also care for both the butterflies and their habitats.
 
Click here to see where our butterflies landed! (Some people even have messages written to them from the students who got their butterflies - see if you can find your name!)
 
Click here to add your butterfly to the map to show students where their butterflies landed. (I added all our class butterflies, but you can add your own individual butterfly to show individual students where theirs ended up.)
 
I loved doing this project with our 3rd through 5th graders and am excited to participate in the future!
Have you seen the examples of 6th grade's Lotería projects hanging up in the downstairs hallway near the Hive? Check them out!
 
After doing this project with 6th grade, it worked so well that I modified it to do with 7th grade. Hopefully this will be a great way to review some of the language skills we have been working on, and finish up the year with something creative.
 
We will be peer editing rough drafts in class this week, and turning in the final product next week. Check out our homework calendars, Google Classroom, or our project packet for specific due dates for each class.