Dual collaboration

First graders at Pleasant View Elementary are getting a sampling of Spanish conversation each week. Katie Sonsalla, foreign language teacher at WCHS and her Spanish II students visit Michael Ross’s first grade classroom each week to teach Spanish language skills and incorporate rudimentary Spanish skills through games and activities.

Pleasant View first-grade teacher Michael Ross and Sonsalla came up with the idea for collaboration after Ross inquired about educational Spanish programming for students in elementary school.

“I was just looking for a way to kind of incorporate a little bit of Spanish into the classroom and asked Senora Sonsalla if she’d like to come in and to work together,” said Ross.

Each time Sonsalla and her students visit, the energetic atmosphere in the room is easy to see.

“She comes in about once a week and just does a wonderful job with the kids and the kids are loving it too,” said Ross.

The Spanish II class meets during sixth period, which happens to be intervention time at Pleasantview, so Sonsalla and her students visit and teach at that time.

“They’re just so enthusiastic. They’re good kids. They appreciate learning,” said Sonsalla.

The kids play educational games and have started having beginning level conversation with Sonsalla and the high school students.

“Basically we try to do as many chants as possible. I’m big into music. Anytime we can get up and do some dynamic learning where you’re actually getting up and touching the color or you’re doing the movement, I think always helps with learning a second language,” said Sonsalla.

Kenzie Hedeen, a sophomore at WCHS, enjoys going to the elementary school and working with the students.

“I like just hanging out with the little kids. They’re so fun and they’re learning a lot,” Hedeen.

“Anything getting us up and moving and having a little bit of fun is kinda what I believe in as far as teaching a second language goes,” Sonsalla said.