Archive for December, 2014

From Costa Brava to a Medieval Market

Written by Núria Araguas. Posted in 4th Grade Spanish-Catalan Studies, 5th Grade Spanish-Catalan Studies, Spanish-Catalan Studies

Discovering Salvador Dalí’s masterpieces and life we explored one of the most beautiful landscapes in Catalonia: Costa Brava. First, we learned about Dalí’s family and life and then, we worked on different vocabulary words and expressions to describe a painting. Connecting to Dalí, each of the students chose an area to investigate and elaborated a research project: from a set of given websites, they gathered information and designed a poster. Once the research project was finished, they presented it to the rest of the class. Peers were listening and asking questions about each of the projects.

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After our journey through Costa Brava, we learned about Vic and its medieval market. Every year, when December arrives, this little town dresses up to feature medieval guilds, tournaments, games and typical dresses, food or traditions. Learning about this medieval market, we acquired some knowledge about the medieval period, its architecture and social structure.

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Fairy Tales & Paperman

Written by Núria Araguas. Posted in 4th-5th Grade Advanced SAL, ES CSCS, SAL

Learning the nuances between the past tenses in Spanish, using them properly in context, is not an easy task. Therefore, over the last few weeks we have continued working on project based activities to acquire fluency and accuracy, creating situations in which choosing the correct past tense is necessary in order to communicate effectively. First, students took a glance at Ms. Nuria’s biography by ordering a jigsaw reading. They took that text as a model to, later on, write and explain about their own lives. We kept on analyzing both tenses, discriminating indefinido forms from imperfecto forms, drilling with the tenses and structuring the different conjugations. Once they have written about their lives using both tenses according to context, they were ready for the next level.

Story teller time was a great framework: our 4th and 5th graders have been working hard writing and illustrating their favorite fairy tales. They have been using imperfecto to describe the setting and characters of the story, and indefinido to captivate their audience with an interesting plot. Once our fairy tales were written and published, we visited our little friends in Pre-k and read our stories. They were a great audience and 4th and 5th graders were highly motivated.



When our Fairy Tales unit was completed, we recorded an audiovisual story about Paperman, an animated silent short film by Disney. We watched it and then our students had to write the plot and record it, giving voice to a narrator and the characters.

Practicing verbs

Written by Maria Guttierez. Posted in 2nd-3rd Grade Beginner SAL, ES CSCS, SAL

These days, students have been learning everything related to school: objects, subjects, people who work at… Also, we have introduced some regular verbs related to this topic, and they have been practicing the conjugations, in present tense, through different activities.  Students have learned about some infinitive verbs that in Spanish finish with -ar-er-ir.

Little by little, they feel more confident with the language and they are practicing writing every week. In the coming weeks, we will start reading simple books to practice the pronunciation and vocabulary that they have studied. We will continue with the verbs and we will introduce new ones.


Suggestions for holiday activities (2): literacy

Written by ValerieW. Posted in 2nd Grade

Suggestions for holiday activities (2)


Dear Parents,


These weeks off are a time for rest and play!  But if you would like some ideas for helping your child with literacy, here are some links with great online activities and games for your perusal.  The list is long, and please remember these are just suggestions!


These websites have loads of fun activities, in reading and in math:


For online reading:  over 42, 000 classic books, free, online!  For all ages  250 free books online, for kids of all ages many free books for kids online  a number of free online stories for children requires subscription.  Please ask Emma and Valerie for your child’s reading level to know which books to read.


Vocabulary: for all ages!  For each correct answer, the website donates 10 grams of rice to the World Hunger Programme.  Note:  this website is addicting!


Writing: ideas for a holiday writing journal December writing journal prompts


For practicing high frequency words (sight words):


Create your own crossword puzzles!


Create your own handwriting practice worksheets:

For other language arts activities:   (Mad Libs!)


On another note, we wanted to give you some information about a new educational program that the  Learning Support Department at BFIS School has been recently working with.  It’s called  Nessy Reading, and it is an online program that promotes literacy development.  The Learning Support Department is very impressed by this fun, engaging program which uses the very same instructional techniques that the Depatment teaches to those receiving learning support.

Unfortunately  the learning support program does not have the budget to pay for individual memberships for each student who would benefit from the program. But, if you would like to get a subscription for your child, the LS Departmant can help facilitate his or her work on Nessy.

The price for a one year subscription is 25 euros, which would be a great holiday gift.  Check it out at


Above all, remember to treasure the time spent with your child!


Warm wishes from the Second Grade Team!!