Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spanish Phonics

In our bilingual classroom we don't "do" spelling tests.  There has been a lot of studies done that say that Spanish phonics skills are best learned through authentic writing activities, so even though we do a lot of isolated phonics practice throughout the week, we end the week with a final dictado for assessment.

This week the kids are learning about suffixes in Spanish (sufijos).  We have learned about different suffixes before this week, so I consider my kiddos experts (proud teacher mama, anyone?).  After the introduction to -able and -ible the kids did an entry in their interactive word work notebooks.  We always start off with a "title" to explain what the topic is about.  This time I left blanks for the students to show their learning.  

They know p-p-prefijos are at the p-p-principio so that means sufijos must be at the end.  Then we talked about how these suffixes can go at the end of a noun or verb to make a new word (an adjective).

They then put their page together.  They really are so good at following directions with their interactive notebooks.  They cut in the right places and glue in the right places...and believe me, it wasn't always like that, but I love that I can hand out the pieces to their notebooks and they are off and learning!

This time I provided the kids with a list of words to sort on their own.  Sometimes we do it whole group and I orally give them the words and sometimes they work on their own.  When they were done, they had to go back and highlight the sufijos in every word.

At this point of the year I still have kids who are at all different speeds of cutting...Some kids are wham and done and others, I look at the clock, and really?  15 minutes of just cutting?  So I had to come up with an activity for my early finishers.  I pulled out my sufijos center for next week.

A quick note on that.  As a school we had been seeing that these kids rock the phonics skill the week it is being taught, but then the benchmark test five weeks later, they are forgetting the skill.  So I decided to extend the lessons and the phonics center the following week reviews the skill.  That way we have all had a week practicing the skill and an extra week reinforces the skill.  So even though this is a literacy center the students will be doing next week in their small groups, they loved playing it early.

Tuesday is when I reveal the week's dictado.  I want to get more into what our dictados consist of in another post, but all of the markings on our SmartBoard are the students' observations.  So we definitely reinforce our phonics skill by finding the words in our dictado and we practice writing it in different ways throughout the week.

So that is Spanish fon√©tica in a nutshell in our second grade bilingual classroom.  What do you do in your classroom?  I would love to hear some new ideas to use with my kiddos!


  1. In my DL classroom, we have letter boards, similar to the FUNDATIONS letter boards where the kids make the words that I say-if we are learning a particular syllable, we focus on that syllable and how the words are the same and different. I also use a website called The Learning Patio. There are games where the computer says a word with the focus syllable missing. The class gets whiteboards and they have to write the word with the missing syllable (Example-if we are learning ll, a word and picture that may come up for ll is lluvia but it is like this __via. The computer says the whole word and the class has to write the missing syllable. They love it! How does the dictado work?? I have been told to use spelling assessment and they are not doing well with them. I do incorporate into my weekly comprehension assessments matching words with the picture to help reading and vocabulary but would love to try the dictado and see if that helps my students! Thanks!

  2. I understand you are a dual language teacher but I wonder if you could comment on the ESL portion of a bilingual classroom (not dual)? I too am a second grade teacher and I want to use Words Their Way sorts and Chunk Spelling to develop their English phonics. I was going to give English spelling words as homework.

    My students are reading well below grade level in both English and Spanish. I have 2 that are reading at grade level in Spanish and 4 reading at grade level in English. We MAP test in English. Any thoughts? How do you incorporate English into your instruction? THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!

  3. You have the best classrooms for the teaching and I think that the method you employ to teach is also a brilliant way to achieve this. I really want the full insight of this.

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