¡Bienvenidos a la clase de español de Maestra Overton! 

Dearest parents and students,

    This new school year has brought many exciting changes to the World Language department at Skinner.  We are welcoming Maria De Rodriguez (Pedigo) to the team! Additionally, changes have come to my classroom.  Over the summer, our wonderful facility crew replaced my standard student desks with free standing chairs. This one change has had a tremendous impact on the classroom in just a week! Rather than having only one center aisle to walk through with desks pointed to the center, there is now the possibility of arranging the classroom with no far away corners inaccessible to me. This allows everyone to more easily move about the classroom and interact with the lesson. 

    Writing surfaces are still useful which is why I have a class set of clipboards. I also recently had a Donor’s Choose project funded, and my new fold-up tables will be delivered soon! We will have a procedure in place for getting out and putting away these tables so that students who feel more comfortable having a more traditional writing surface will have access to it.  Finally, during the DPS Proficiency Assessment (pre-test), I borrowed fold-up tables from the facilities crew for some students, others used clipboards, and still others opted to sit on the floor. This allowed students to choose differentiated spaces to do their work, which I believe puts the responsibility and power in the hands of the students.  

    Because the nature of my classroom is different from a traditional classroom (see my syllabus for more info), much of class revolves around communication rather than note taking.  Students hear and react to Spanish in a variety of contexts so that they develop an ear for the language.  In just a week, I have seen the use of chairs help students engage in class to become more active learners while using Spanish.  Additionally, the chairs help to constantly remind me to get students up and moving.  I love allowing students to walk to a partner and have the space to do it.  Also, I use frequent activities that require students to be out of their seats and brain breaks which support student's learning (click for article about movement by Dr. Krashen)!!!!  

Please let me know if you have any questions!  

This photo of me standing with my mom was taken during the summer of 2016 at San Felipe del Morro, a fortification, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and National Historic Site in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  I received a scholarship from CCFLT (Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers) to participate in a work-study at the San Juan National Historic Site that summer! I worked with the education coordinator and learned about the culture and language. My parents came to visit while I was there, and the whole trip was an amazing adventure!