Urban Discovery Academy

Skip to main content


¡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

8º Grado: Objetivos Personales

After focusing on AR/ER/IR verb conjugation together as a class, 8th graders are finishing the trimester with a few weeks of focus on their individual objectives that they chose earlier. (Students who were struggling with verb conjugation are working on that skill with me, with the chance to retake that quiz next week!)
Students are working in small groups of students focused on the same objectives, with some group activities and games, some guided practice with me, and some individual practice. During class I have been rotating between the groups for guided practice, with individual or partner practice activities in between. I have shared individual students practice resources and ideas with students by email and in class, which are also available here: http://tiny.cc/objetivos-practica  (These activities can also be used for students' weekly Spanish homework activities.) At the end of next week we will check in and see if students have mastered their objective and are ready to move on to something new.
I'm hoping that setting goals and finding individual practice methods will help students as they move toward high school - whether or not the choose to continue with Spanish or with another language!

In 5th grade students are creating their own superheroes (using clothing words and starting to look at a variety of new verbs.)
We started by looking at El Chapulín Colorado, a classic!
Students will be completing this project in class but will have the option to do things at home for their final product. For example, they can draw their superhero, dress up as their superhero, or choose another creative option.
Here is a copy of their project packet. (These are currently staying with me in between working on them in class.) 
(Students who got below a 3 on their clothing & colors quiz have had the chance to work with me in small groups during the last few classes as well as getting activities to practice at home. They will have a chance to retake the quiz on Friday during class!)
Today in class I introduced what we'll be doing with the rest of the trimester. This trimester 7th grade students are exploring identity in their core classes. In Spanish they are will also be connecting identity to the language skills they are working on - AR verb conjugations. (We have already been focusing on these for about a week!) Verbs are not just a tricky part of a new language - they can also be actions that shape and express who we are. What do you do every day? What activities do you choose to spend your time on? What do you do that makes you who you are? We’ll be exploring these questions together and creating a creative and linguistic product that expresses something about our identity (and shows off some of our conjugation skills.) Because identity is so personal, there is a lot of flexibility of what that piece is. It can be a word cloud, a poem, a performance, a photo - something that fits with individual identities.
In class I showed students two quotes to get them thinking about actions & identity: 

Somos lo que hacemos,
no lo que pensamos ni lo que sentimos.

Somos lo que hacemos día a día.
De modo que la excelencia no es un acto sino un hábito.
(Aristóteles, Filósofo griego)

I'm excited to explore and grow with my students during this project.
This will be an in-class project, though as always if time is not used wisely in class it may need to be made up outside class.
Most students will definitely need to practice the AR verb endings which we have been working on in class, using their notes and the many practice activities available via Google Classroom. Verb conjugation is tricky and requires practice! (This is a great thing to do for weekly homework activities!) We'll have a quiz on conjugation on February 8th. (Study guide here.)


5th grade students got their quizzes back today to correct and take home! (I had them put them into their homework folders.) I'm proud of all our hard work - most students got 3s or 4s. There will be an opportunity to retake this quiz for those who are interested (and those who got below a 3) after they get some more practice time in class and at home. 
We also got to share a reflection on SeeSaw about how they studied, something they are proud of on this quiz, and what they would like to do differently next time. 
Remember that any practice at home can be added to their homework report! We should be doing at least one practice activity per week outside the classroom, and keeping track of the activities on a report to turn in at the end of each month.

Prueba: La Ropa y los Colores

In 5th grade we've been describing people in Spanish, particularly using clothing and colors to practice adjective noun agreement. (Something very tricky for beginning Spanish students!)
We will have a vocabulary quiz next Friday (1/18) on these words. Students will need to recognize and identify all the words we've practiced in class, and be able to use the correct form of adjectives to match the noun. (For example, la camisa roja instead of la camisa rojo.) In class today students quizzed themselves using this Quizizz game to get an idea of how much they already know and how much they should practice. In general most of the class is comfortable with these words and I'm confident that with one more class period of practice and maybe some practice at home, they'll definitely get 3s and 4s on the quiz!
Here is a link to a Quizlet with these words (with a variety of practice activities and games.) You can also print flash cards from that site (and some students already got paper resources to practice at home, too.)
If students practice at home they can add this to their January homework report, too!

Objetivos Personales

Here at UDA we have very diverse levels of Spanish in the same classes - students just starting at UDA and just starting Spanish, students who have had Spanish here at UDA, students who are native speakers, and everything in between! Project based learning is a great opportunity to differentiate for all learners, but when it comes to focusing on specific skills I am constantly looking for effective ways to make sure all my students can learn and grow. With this goal in mind, this trimester along with the skills and grammar we will be practicing together as a class, we are also choosing personal objectives (objetivos personales.)
I made a big list of objectives that students have learned before (in the last 4 years if they have been in my classes here at UDA.) In class this week students chose 2 objectives that they want to focus on - both things that are new (especially if they are new to UDA) and things that they feel they need to brush up on. They will practice these specific objectives both in class and as an option for their weekly homework. In class I'll be able to group students based on level and on the objectives they are focusing on. After practicing, checking in, and self-assessing, students will be assessed on the objectives they have selected.
Here are the objectives that students chose from:
Resources to practice are here for students to use as homework: http://tiny.cc/objetivos-practica
(We will have other in-class resources and I will add to this list as we go forward!)
Students should have gotten an email confirmation today if they checked in with me or turned in their choices. 
One of my biggest goals as a language teacher (especially in an exploratory program) is to help students develop skills as independent language learners. I'm hopeful that these personal objectives and practice groups can help with that. Although I always try to incorporate student choice and feedback in lessons and products, this is a new plan for me so I appreciate any feedback or suggestions!

We've had a great start to the 2nd trimester! 
In class, students are working on describing people in Spanish! In class we are playing a lot of guessing games and exploring a variety of practice activities so each student can find something that works for them. Here are some ways they can practice at home:
Don't forget our Spanish homework! During the 1st trimester we explored these activities in class and so not completing homework did not impact grades, but in this trimester I would like students to get more accustomed to practice outside of the classroom. (This can include the practice activities listed above, or others from the list if students are already comfortable with this vocabulary!) Students should have this paper in their homework folder, and should be choosing at least one activity per week from the list and writing down what they did. The list is always available on Google Classroom and at this link: http:tiny.cc/tarea5
As always, I am available for any questions!

6º Prueba de Vocabulario: U1L1

6th grade will have a vocabulary quiz on Monday, November 27th.
(This is vocab we have been working on during the first trimester, but I did not want to give it at the very end because all my quizzes can be made up and I wanted students to have a chance to study and retake if needed!)
A study guide with the vocabulary and resources is here and sent home today on paper. There are also other practice resources in Google Classroom!

Photography Club!

2nd Trimester I will be running a Middle School photography club again! Please see the attached document for more information and an application (or pick one up from me in person.)
Space is limited so sign up soon! The deadline for applications is Monday, November 27th.
In 6th-8th grade Spanish classes, students will be making zines again this year to kick off the year with explorations of why languages are important! In class this week they are exploring a variety of zines from local artists and from middle school students last year, and planning out their own zines. We will be sharing these zines on Saturday, October 7th, at the San Diego Zine Fest! See more info on our project overview. Can you help our young zinesters finish, copy, fold, and share our zines? Sign up here
Middle school Spanish students are working hard on their zines! They have made rough drafts and written author bios in Spanish, and in the coming week will be finishing up the finals. 
Can you come help us finish, copy, fold, and share zines at the San Diego Zine Festival? Sign up here!
If you are able, stop by at our table at Zine Fest on Saturday, October 7th!

Middle School: Remind.com & Homework Calendars

The beginning of the school year is going well! As we work together to cultivate responsibility in our middle school students, we have a variety of reminders for students and parents.
Resources and assignments are shared with students via Google Classroom, and they have planners to write down reminders of deadlines. All teachers' Google Classrooms automatically post to one combined homework calendar, which you can find at these links:
Middle School is also using Remind.com to send text and/or email updates to parents and students. If you would like to get these updates, you can either go to the website below (from your computer or smartphone) or use the text code.
  • 6th grade: 
    • Website: rmd.at/udaspan6 
    • Or text code @udaspan6 to the number 81010
  • 7th grade:
    • Website: rmd.at/udaspan7 
    • Or text code @udaspan7 to the number 81010
  • 8th grade:
    • Website: rmd.at/udaspan8 
    • Or text code @udaspan8 to the number 81010

5th grade Border Angels Field Trip

This October, fifth grade students will be taking a field trip as part of our Journey North Project! Information about the field trip and the project are available in the attached information sheet, which was sent home today along with a permission form.

Please return this signed field trip form by the end of this week!

We need volunteers to drive for this trip! If you are able to drive, please contact Señora Kennedy with the number of kids you can take: skennedy@urbansd.com (Information about our volunteer requirements are available on our website.)

Please let me know if you have questions!