I want to thank you, all the pre-K and Kindergarten families, for your support during this our first year of FLES program in our district. It was a successful first year! I won't stop saying how amazed I am by the children's ability to learn Spanish this year. Thank you so much for sharing stories of how the kids are enjoying learning Spanish, for your valuable feedback in the surveys and for the words of encouragement many of you had for me in the classroom visits. 

We are all excited about the summer vacation. Many parents have asked me what they can do for their children to keep practicing Spanish so they wouldn't forget much of what they learnt this year. Young children learn languages easily but they can also forget easily if they don't practice or are somehow exposed to the language. Giving children the opportunity to practice Spanish in any way will build their confidence and fluency and will help them retain what they learnt. Here are some suggestions what you can you. ANYTHING helps!

Suggestions on how to keep Spanish learning during the summer

-Just play and have fun: Count in Spanish with your child, ask your child the colors/shapes/sizes you see; play Simon says (Simón dice) with parts of the body; ask your child what clothes he/she is wearing; talk about the weather; name the pets you have or see in the park; ask your child what he/she likes (¿Te gusta....); what food she/he is eating; ask him/her to sing a song he/she learnt in Spanish, or learn a new song; go wild and dance to Spanish music with your child...etc.

- Go to the public library and get some CDs. Play Spanish songs in the car or in the house. There are also Spanish language learning DVDs such as Little Pim, Whistlefritz, Muzzy and Spanish for kids, among many others you might find. You’ll find them in the Foreign Language section.

- Give your child the opportunity to interact with Spanish speaking people. If you don’t have friends, relatives or neighbors that speak Spanish….no, you don’t need to travel abroad! We are very fortunate that in the Boston area there are authentic Spanish communities (in neighborhoods like Jamaica Plain, East Boston, East Somerville, among others). Just by exploring these neighborhoods -grocery stores, parks, restaurants- you can expose your child to the Spanish language and culture. And he/she will get a taste of how it feels like being in a Spanish speaking country. Your child can even greet some Spanish speaking people.

- Visit this blog with your child once in a while during the summer if you can. I will keep the blog open over the summer for this purpose. Find free online games and many of the songs and videos we used in class. We carefully selected them for language teaching purposes.

- If your child gets to have movie time, have him/her watch some movies in Spanish on rainy days. You can set the language on most DVD movies. Many Netflix movies have different language options as well. It'd be better to start with very familiar movies and, most importantly, in a laid back way (never force your child if you find resistance). Also, it is possible to find YouTube episodes of most children’s shows in Spanish -i.e. Dora la exploradora, la casa de Mickey mouse, Peppa Pig, Plaza Sésamo (Sesame street), los hermanos Kratts (Wild Kratts), etc. Type the name of the show in English and add 'in Spanish' or ‘en español' in your search if you don't know the Spanish name of your child's favorite show.


May-June Assessment

If your child is telling you that there has been no Spanish class this week (5/30-6/2), it's true. We are performing end of the year assessments. All the students are cooperating and trying their best...and I'm really impressed! Assessments might sound boring, but I enjoy having this opportunity of interacting one-on-one with every single child. And they like it too because it's just like playing games and having a conversation with Sra. Sharpe.

Visit the Watertown Public Library

The Watertown Public Library is always good place to go to. Now that your child is learning Spanish at school you have one more reason to visit the library. They have a good selection of books in Spanish and we have suggested some books for them to acquire. You can also find some books with CDs that your child can listen to.

If your child(ren) watch movies at home, you can get their favorite DVD movies from the library and change the language to Spanish. Most DVD movies have English, Spanish and/or French audio tracks, and that is usually stated on the back of the DVD's case. You can set the language from the DVD menu. I recommend to start with movies that your child is familiar with and already knows the plot so that he/she is not too worry about understanding the spoken language.

You can also find -or order from another library within the network- Spanish learning DVDs for children such as Little Pim, Muzzy, Whistlefritz and Spanish for Kids. They usually are suited for beginners and children find them silly and funny.

Have fun at the library...and thanks for encouraging your child to learn Spanish!

¡A mitad de año!

I cannot believe we are already half way through the school year. Kindergarteners and pre-kindergarteners are continuously learning the Spanish language every day. For many, it has been a challenge to be in a fully immersed new language class, and even more to speak that language. But now I can say every single student is speaking Spanish in class...singing songs, saying words, responding to simple questions and expressing themselves using basic phrase patterns.

We continue learning to count, colors, body parts, the calendar and weather, clothes, and family members. Also, students have been learning about food and how to express likes and dislikes. We also have been working on using simple phrases such as: Yo tengo....(I have...) and Yo necesito (I need...). Since culture is part of acquiring a foreign language, I incorporate different cultural elements whenever I can, from fiesta/salsa days to typical food and traditional songs.

Our second assessment is coming up next week (February 6th). We perform oral assessments with the purpose of keeping track of the students' progress as a group.

The blog has a new page: Online Games. Here, you can find many of the learning games that the students play in Spanish computer lab every other week. Feel free to have your child play his/her favorite game at home. Also check out the videos and songs.

Keep encouraging your child to learn Spanish and, better yet, learn with her/him!

I enjoyed talking with many of you in different occasions. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions at ludmila.reateguisharpe@watertown.k12.ma.us


Señora Sharpe
FLES Spanish teacher
Hosmer School
We now have Spanish Computer Lab!

We are very excited that our pre-K and kindergarten students are now having Spanish Computer lab twice a month, besides their regular computer lab class. Through interactive Spanish games, both individually and as a group on the smart board, we are reinforcing what children have been learning in class (greetings, colors, counting, parts of the body and new vocabulary). This is a fantastic way to integrate learning of both Spanish language skills and computer skills. And the kids love it!

Most games are free. I will be posting some of them so parents can have children practice at home and see what they are learning.

Feel free to contact me with any questions: ludmila.reateguisharpe@watertown.k12.ma.us

I am Señora Sharpe, one of the Spanish teachers of the new FLES program. This is my first year being part of the Watertown World Language team. For more information about the World Language Department, please visit http://watertownworldlanguages.blogspot.com

This year kindergarten and pre-k students are having 30 minutes of Spanish everyday.  The Spanish lessons are interactive and fun: songs, stories, games, music and movement, arts and crafts projects and other activities alike. It is my hope that children will enjoy learning the Spanish language and culture in a natural and fun way. The focus of the program is on communication and oral proficiency, thus I speak only Spanish in class. We use lots of visual aids, short videos and repetition.

Parents of children that have never been exposed to Spanish or any other language, do not need to worry. Research has shown that at this age children learn languages in an amazingly easy way. On the other hand, children who have Spanish as their heritage language will feel encouraged, motivated and more confident to speak their home language.

Please, feel free to contact me with any questions at ludmila.reateguisharpe@watertown.k12.ma.us. I will be delighted to share with parents and families, through this blog, the wonderful journey that your child is about to begin!

I look forward to an exciting year!
Señora Sharpe
FLES Spanish Teacher
Hosmer School
Watertown Public Schools