We live in a town where a good portion of the population speaks Spanish, and most of my kids' local friends are learning Spanish starting in Kindergarden, so my Kindergarden boy was thrilled when I said he got a whole Spanish program to try, just for him. We received the Educator's Spanish Collection from Whistlefritz. Now he can have fun trying to speak and recognizing words with his friends across the street, and all over town.
We received quite the package of books and DVD's with this curriculum which included 5 DVD's, 3 CD's, Spanish matching cards, and a lesson plan book. At first I was really confused when I received a package with only 4 DVD cases, but I soon realized that there were 2 discs per case which means that the CD's were in with the DVD's, so it was all contained in one small box. I think that's a great way to keep it all together, and less for me to store!
The colorful pictures all over these DVD's were so inviting. My little boy wanted to start as soon as he could get them open. I went ahead and let him watch the first part of one of them even before I was able to crack open the lesson plan book because I didn't want to discourage his excitement. But, this program is so flexible that it didn't really matter because he can watch these DVD's over and over again. These videos, and lessons are intended to "immerse" the child in Spanish, which is exactly how they do it at our local schools. The videos immerse the child in Spanish through words, play, and song.
We finally got into the lesson plans, and had a better idea of how much to watch, and what to do. The lesson plans include many directions to the help the parent/teacher build on what is going to be watched in the DVD's both before and after. Some things include review, teacher input, guided practice, independent practice, closure, and extension activities. I felt like I could use as much or as little of that part of the lesson plan that I felt my child could understand or use. Some of it was a little too much, and so we just used the extension activities, or we adjusted to fit our needs or supplies. I think these plans have great flexibility.
The first few lessons we were to watch was "La Fiesta de Fritzi," or Fritz's birthday party, and learn about balloon colors, and all kinds of birthday party fun stuff. Watching the DVD is definitely fun and entertaining. They move along at a swift pace. We had to go back through and watch the colors again a few times, but that's the blessing of a DVD, right?
We also watched them make a cake on the DVD, to get ready for Fritzi's birthday party, and decided to make our own cake as well. This wasn't suggested by the lesson plan, but my little guy saw that cake and just had to have one of his own. We talked about some of the words he heard them saying while making a cake on the DVD. I was able to repeat the name of cake "el pastel" over and over again, and that helps him to remember!
Overall I think the DVD's are great. I found the lesson plans to be useful as a general guide with many helpful ideas and worksheets to copy for the child to write or color things that go along with what they are learning in each lesson. The lesson plan book does give dialogue for the teacher that is very useful, so I guess the parent can also be learning along with the child!
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