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7115 W. Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43615-3010
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Perrysburg, OH 43551-1154
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Donna Sharper

Donna Sharper

Read the latest news about the students’ work in Spanish class on the Toledo Campus for students in levels 4-8. Donna Sharper is in her third year at West Side Montessori.

On Friday, March 13, the Spanish Middle School Class presented the Señor Wooly music video “Pan” to all five of the Children’s House classes.  Click below to see one of their four amazing performances.


Gus shows Daliah how to fry churros.


“Sara,” Dina and Loretta roll the churros in the sugar and cinnamon while other 5th level students look on. “Pepe” stacks plates that are ready to be served.




Churros before they’re coated with sugar and cinnamon.


Middle schoolers wait their turn to help make churros.


6th level students work on churros.


Joanna and her daughter Helena show their finished product.


Donna and 6th level students.




Highlights from our Middle-School Spanish Program

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences, October 13-24th
  • Spanish Heritage Awareness Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15
    • Cristopher Columbus Day, AKA, Día de la Raza, AKA Día de Resistencia Indígena
    • Read and translated authentic (written by native Spanish speakers for the same audience)
    • Watched videos of indigenous Latin Americans and discussed multiple implications of this holiday
  • Intro to Tango music and dance, African and Argentinian origins
  • Studied famous Mexican muralist, Jose Clemente Orozco and his mural “Zapatista”
  • Self-assessments using the American Council for Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) “Can Do” Statements — Most middle schoolers ranked themselves at Intermediate Mid to Intermediate High — testing to follow for verification of students’ self-assessments
  • Listened to TedxTeen on Tim Doner, 17-year-old polyglot of 20 languages, see — and discussed ways to make 2nd language learning more meaningful
  • Listened to and responded to questions about authentic (native speakers talking to native speakers) recordings utilizing
  • Journal entries on what they have done and plan to do during the weekend
  • Discussed/studied unit theme on birthday parties, concerts, movies and museums
  • Discussed/studied unit theme on summer and winter weather and activities, as well as resorts in Spain and Latin America
  • Reviewed and utilized the preterite tense of -ar, -er and –ir verbs; ir, ser, leer and oír verbs; negative and affirmative words, and direct object pronouns
  • Re-enacted the Accelerated Integrated Methodology (AIM) play “Marco el Mago” primarily by doing ad-libs (it was hilarious)
  • Students participated in a Classroom Assessment Technique (CAT) on 10/24/14

Unfortunately, one of the best moments during our daily warm-up discussion was when our middle schoolers discussed the implications and threats of the Ebola virus after a dog was euthanized in Spain.  I was very impressed with their ability to articulate their thoughts.  — Our discussions are totally in Spanish and students are encouraged to probe one another with questions, and we gently and respectfully correct one another’s grammar and pronunciation only if it is absolutely necessary to do so.  In this way, classroom discussions mirror those in real-life situations.

~ ¡Adelante!


Buenos Dias Amigos (Hello Friends)!

Welcome back to another year of Spanish (levels 4-8) at Westside!

We are off to a great start!  Students are growing in leaps and bounds by producing Spanish on their own using the wonderful new program we implemented last year.

That program is called Accelerated Integrated Methodology  or AIM.  Here are the key components of AIM:

  • 99 % use of Spanish in the classroom (total immersion) — English is only used as a “sandwiching” tool
  • 99% use of gestures while we speak — commonly used words and expressions have a gesture and are used by the teacher at all times — to ensure comprehension
  • the class speaks chorally (as a group) with the teacher at all times — this ensures comprehension and ongoing practice of the second language by the students
  • using Spanish in raps, songs, plays, games and opening and ending classroom procedures
  • maintaining a low-anxiety environment which encourages students to express themselves freely in Spanish
  • interesting, cultural and relevant content to motivate students to want to learn as much as they can
  • small-group and partner work in which students practice their writing, speaking and reading skills in a manner that promotes team work

Well, here’s looking forward to the amazing journey that lies before us.  I look forward to working with you and your children as we embark on another exciting and fruitful school year in the wonderful world of Spanish.

Saludos cordiales (warm greetings),

Donna Sharper

Spanish Teacher (levels 4-8)