Classroom Spotlight

By: Summer Ford

Pedro Alonso teaches Spanish II (H) and AP Spanish. In his three years at Shorecrest, he has also taught Spanish I. All of his classes focus heavily on developing students’ speaking and listening skills, giving frequent presentations combining various topics. The AP class builds real life skills including writing formal emails, expressing their opinions, and relaying anecdotes. The Spanish II classes also do this is through “Juegos de Roles” where students act out scenarios ranging from doctors’ appointments to airport security checks.

The AP Spanish class ofrenda

His classes also enjoy the chance to be creative, working together to make a Dia de los Muertes display showcasing the themes of the holiday. They began by building the ofrenda which is a collection of objects placed on a ritual display during the annual and traditionally Mexican Día de Muertos celebration. The students brought in components from home just as people who celebrate the holiday do. By doing this before they began research, they were able to tie their learning to what they had already experienced.

Al Irwin another phenomena Shorecrest faculty member teaches both Spanish IV (H) and Spanish V. This is his first year teaching at Shorecrest, but he has 15+ years of prior teaching experience. In his class he explores alternative ways to exams. While he still gives some multiple choice test on grammar/vocab he also gives his students quizzes where they have to make posters about a cause using their Spanish knowledge. It is clear that he wants to create an engaging classroom enviornment and with his assesment style he is doing just that. Recently the IV H class learned about the revolution in Mexico and then later made projects, as seen in picture B, that expressed the views of the time. Al’s classes learn through not only traditional classroom discussions and lessons, but also projects that give a greater depth to the material.

Picture C- Lyrics written by Al irwin’s Spanish IV Honors Class for a project.

Most every grammar topic Al teaches goes with a mini project to utilize the new information. An example of this can be seen in picture C, this image shows song lyrics that Al had his students write after teaching them about enviornmental issues and how to discuss them in Spanish. Other small projects Al has come up with include memes made with a specific grammar topic, oral presentations, group presentations from researching Spanish-speaking countries, and a faux debate from the viewpoint of two different countries on an issue.

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