Last week I took advantage of a free workshop that was offered on campus. It was infusing the Spanish language into your PE class. I found this workshop very informative and useful. Spanish is a language spoken by many children in our education system. I'm sure at some point in my teaching career I will run into some student who does not speak english, especially if I work in an urban school. Most likely the student will speak Spanish so this workshop was very helpfull.
The workshop was taught by Dr. Luis Columna with the help of some Physical Education students, some who spoke Spanish and came from a different cultural background, and some who spoke very little Spanish. It showed how we could play games and use activities that we already will use in our class, and incorporate some simple Spanish in it.
The first activity we did was working with a parachute. We learned 4 colors (Red - Rojo, Green - Verde, Blue - Azul, and Yellow - Amarillo). We also learned some basic movement words such as Running - Corre, Jump - Salta, etc. The object of the activity was for the caller to call out a color and a movement. Then everyone lifted the parachute up and if you were holding on to that color you had to do that movement to a different spot underneath the parachute. It was fun, and a great way to start developing the colors and movements we would use again in the future.
The next activity was a dance where we learned how to count to four and directions (left and right). It was also a cultural dance which was interesting. The next station was a type of human board game with many different activities to do. It again inforced the movement skills in Spanish. Next was a handball game and then a modified baseball game. These taught us how to say overhand and underhand throw (por arriva and por abajo respectively).
The following activity taught us movement concepts such as circle (cirulo). Finally we ended by playing Omnikin ball in spanish using the colors again. It was a great way to get everyone involved in the final activity as because of numbers many people weren't able to participate in some of the activities.
The most informative part of the workshop was at the end when Dr. Columna put everything into perspective for us. He said it didn't matter what language the student speaks that's in your class. If you learn a few simple words, it's not that much work, and it will mean the world to the student. It must be hard not speaking english and by just including a few simple words the students see that you really do care about them learning and about them fitting in with the class.
Finally I found the handouts that came with the workshop helpful. They not only included more words in spanish but also mentioned about deaf students in the classes. I have already taken ASL at my community college, but it is still interesting to learn about the impact of just including a few simple words and spending minimal time doing so, has on these students.
It's definately something I will keep in mind in the future as I begin teaching.