Monday, June 5, 2017

Sonrisas Spanish for Elementary & Middle School

Sonrisas Spanish for Elementary & Middle School
This is a sponsored post with Sonrisas Spanish. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

A little over a week ago, I shared with you a new preschool Spanish curriculum available from Sonrisas Spanish. Today, I'm happy to follow up with a description of their elementary and middle school curricula!

Name of program: Sonrisas Spanish: Levels 1, 2, & 3
Target age: Prek - 8th grade
Amount of materials: Moderate
Price: $389 - $575

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to review Sonrisas' Level 1 curriculum. Since then, the creators have continued to improve and expand their program to include two additional levels for older students. So I when they asked me to share an update of their program, I was happy to do so.

Sonrisas Level 1 ($489.00) was designed for students in PreK through 5th grade. It comes with:
  • Teacher's Manual
  • Student Portfolio (workbook)
  • Level 1 Resource CD
  • 2 CDs w/lyrics
  • Calendar Time Guide (see my review here)
  • 69 small, full-color posters
  • and 4 large, classroom posters.
There are 35 lessons in all that cover basic Spanish concepts and vocabulary. The teacher's manual is EXCELLENT; it's very thorough. Beginning with the methodologies behind the curriculum (together, the creators have more than 30 years experience teaching Spanish), the manual also covers the best practices for using the curriculum, how to use the lesson plans, song lists, reproducible templates, and much more.

Each lesson comes with...

The lesson overview 

It is structured around three main sections: Circle Time, Story Time, and Art Time. During Circle Time, children learn new vocabulary and phrases. They listen to songs and/or poems. Story Time is (you guessed it!) all about getting a chance to listen to a read aloud related to the material presented. (The books are sold separately.) And finally, Art Time allows students to express their creativity and create a hands-on project related to the topic of the day. 

The lesson procedure 

This section gives you more detailed instructions, including what supplies you'll need, how to organize your lesson, and the order in which you should teach each activity.

The art project procedure 

This is pretty self-explanatory, but it lists the materials you'll need and the instructions for completing the activity.

The Student Portfolio is a valuable resource, too. Each lesson comes with a student assessment page, an activity page, and (my favorite part!) a Home Report page that you can print and send home to parents with suggestions on how parents can enrich their child's learning at home.

Sonrisas Level II ($575.00) is for intermediate students in 2 - 6 grades. It is set up with the same format, plus an additional section. Partner Time allows your students to interact with each other and practice their newly learned vocabulary and skills. There are 37 lessons in total for this level.

Again, the Student Portfolio is an important addition for reinforcing the concepts that are learned in class and allowing students to practice outside of the classroom. It is similar to the one included in Level 1, with the addition of one more type of page (to complement the additional section in the lessons): Partner Time. 

Sonrisas Level III ($389.00) is best suited for elementary and middle school students in 4th - 8th grades. This level deviates quite a bit from the others. It is definitely geared to older children. Instead of individual lessons, this program is divided into units that focus on specific grammar concepts. Each unit also features a specific cultural tradition. So for example, Unit 3 covers the verbs ser and estar while exploring el coquí from Puerto Rico.

Each unit is divided into 10 lessons. There is also a greater emphasis on written Spanish. Each lesson opens with a Calendar Time, then moves on to a TPR activity and then spelling. After that, each lesson has a different activity.

For example, the final activities in Unit 3 are: 
L1 - Culture Introduction (reading about el coquí)
L2 - grammar lesson
L3 - students write a part 1 of a story
L4 - continues working on part 1 story
L5 - begin working on part 2 of story writing
L6 - continue writing part 2
L7 - begin writing part 3 of the story
L8 - continue writing part 3
L9 - talks about getting the meaning of a word or phrase from the context in which it was used
L10 - ends with Partner Time

The Student Portfolio is more advanced and includes six different types of pages: 
  • Grammar Lesson
  • Grammar Exercise
  • Communication Strategy
  • Reading 
  • Partner Time
  • Assessments
  • and Home Reports
Overall, it is obvious to me that a lot of thought and work has gone into creating this program for elementary and middle school students. The Teachers Guides are comprehensive providing the teacher with everything they'd need to teach Spanish for a whole school year. 


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