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Brianne Smythia

Brianne Smythia


(Toledo Children’s House-Level 3)

Read the latest happening about CH-Level 3 Spanish. Brianne is the CH-Level 3 Spanish teacher. She grew up in Uruguay, South America, and loves sharing about the culture she was raised in.

Children’s House

Many of the Children’s House classrooms have been learning about South America. Since I grew up in Uruguay, South America, it was the perfect opportunity to teach on Uruguay. I brought in blue agate stones that were dug up in the northern part of the country. I also brought in a leather map, flag, jewelry, pictures and a rug/blanket made out of sheep fur and skin.  The students loved touching the sheep rug/blanket since it is soft. They also enjoyed hearing about how children their age live in Uruguay.

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Lower Elementary

It has been too nice to hold class inside! On sunny days, we have taking our Spanish learning outdoors. We have been playing games that involve learning the names of items such as tree, grass, sand, sky and so on. We have also been creating stories and artwork inspired by Pablo Piscasso’s line drawings and friendship with Lumpito, his dog.


Children’s House

The students have been busy at work in Spanish over the last few months. They have been learning “La Paz y Libertad.” The Kindergartners will preform this song at Spring Spring. We’ve had several works to help with learning the words of the song. “Mundo, niños, paz & libertad” (world, children, peace & liberty) are the main words we have focused on. We have colored and played games to grant opportunities for the use of the words.

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We have continually been working on being able to say the day, date and month in Spanish. Many of the student can now say it on their own! The current month of April is “abril” and can be tricky to pronounce. We have done a coloring work to help us to know how to say it properly. Also, we have been playing Spring themed games to review colors and numbers.



Level 1-3

Winter weather lasted too long! Being indoors as much as we were gave us the opportunity to explore creative movement activities. One activity that quickly became a favorite was Zumba Kids. Zumba Kids is an exercise program that teaches children how to dance while having fun. One dance was La Cachumbalera and taught a dance native to Columbia. The students have quickly picked up the moves and are on their way to becoming great Latin dancers!

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Besides learning about Latin dancing, we have been learning how to ask questions. The students have been introduced to “how, who, when, where, what, why & may I” in Spanish.  Also, we have explored the difference between the verbs “ser & estar” which both mean “to be.” Our last lesson introduced how to use and say “I have” which is “tengo.”  The students have been eagerly incorporating these words during class.

It is already one month into 2015 and we have been busy in Spanish with calendars, cultural holidays and learning new songs.

In Children’s House through Lower Elementary, we have learned about Three Kings Day. It is a huge celebration in Spain and other Spanish speaking countries. There are parades, candy, parties and gifts. To finish our cultural lesson of this celebration, we made crowns.



In Children’s House, we are learning a new song about “Magic Words.” The words we are learning are “thank you, you are welcome, please, excuse me, nice to meet you and I am sorry.”  Click here to preview the song. This week the focus was on “thank you (gracias) and you are welcome (de nada).” To encourage the use of these words, the children drew pictures and then complimented each others’ work. It was very sweet.

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In Lower Elementary, we created our own calendars. These calendars were done in the Latin style. The weeks start on Monday instead of Sunday. The students were able to decorate their calendars. It was a great work and wonderful to see their creativity. Also, we started learning our song, La Bamba, for Song Fest. Click here to here the song.



Making copo de nieve (snowflake) collares (necklaces)


Creating copo de nieve (snowflake) ornaments

Children’s House

Fall has inspired our lessons for the months of October and November. In October, we focused on the pumpkin (la calabaza). We used the calabaza to help us count to high numbers, to learn the orange and green colors and to serve as an model for beautiful artwork.


IMG_0404During November, so far, we have focused on the acorn (la bellota) and what eats acorns. We made a bellota out of a brown paper bag. Also, a new song about a squirrel (ardilla) named, “Lola”, who enjoys bellotas, has been introduced.

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 Lower Elementary

A few highlights of the past weeks have been having dance lessons at the 3rd level fiesta, making paletas (Latin style popsicles) and studying about Diego Rivera.

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Diego Rivera was a Mexican muralist who influenced the world by his art. The Detroit Museum of Art is home to some of his great murals. The students created beautiful art work inspired by Diego Rivera. They also wrote stories to accompany their creations.

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