Making Linguistic Connections at Oakwood and Countrywood

High school students gather at Countrywood to get their room assignments.
High school students gather at Countrywood to get their room assignments.
This was a great way for younger children, shown here at Oakwood, to see how beneficial and enjoyable learning a second language can be, even as they get older!
This was a great way for younger children, shown here at Oakwood, to see how beneficial and enjoyable learning a second language can be, even as they get older!
Oakwood students thought the high school students were ‘very talented and creative.’  They loved the games at the end of the stories as well.
Oakwood students thought the high school students were ‘very talented and creative.’ They loved the games at the end of the stories as well.

Spanish Honors teacher Ms. Aileen D’Addario and her Walt Whitman High School students visited the dual-language kindergarten, first-, and second-grade classes at Countrywood and Oakwood Primary Centers and the experienced proved to be enriching for everyone.

Our youngest students were very excited to meet their grownup visitors and they were not disappointed. The Whitman students had written whimsical Spanish fables to share, but the morning turned into so much more.

“This year's visit from the high school students was incredible. Not only did they share their own stories, but they had them on school iPads,” said Countrywood’s dual-language kindergarten teacher, Ms. Maria Rodriguez.  “It was wonderful to watch the veteran dual-language students interact with the younger dual-language students,” said Ms. Jeannette DeNuzzo, Oakwood’s kindergarten dual-language teacher. “The older students got a glimpse back at where they were, and the younger students admired what they will grow to be.”

The high school Spanish students used IPads to write, illustrate, and record sounds, which brought their stories to life. “The integration of technology is a wonderful supplemental tool used to foster communication and help develop and enhance students’ language,” said Lendy Milo, a second-grade dual-language teacher at Oakwood. The high school students also included something special for their younger friends by creating fun follow-up activities. “The second-grade dual-language students really enjoyed the stories that the high school students created on the iPads,” said Countrywood’s second-grade teacher Ms. Cyndi Covington. “They thought the high school students were ‘very talented and creative.’  They loved the games at the end of the stories as well.”

The primary students were mesmerized by the creative stories presented to them. What an amazing way for Spanish learners at all levels to connect and for young Spanish students to have a look into their future academic adventures. “Having the high school students in our classroom allowed our first graders to see how their Spanish education can develop and grow if they continue to work hard,” said Ms. Krystin Babcock, a first-grade teacher at Countrywood. Ms. Cristina Pica, a second-grade teacher at Oakwood agrees with her colleague. "This was a great way for younger children to see how beneficial and enjoyable learning a second language can be, even as they get older!"

Countrywood’s Ms. Rodriguez summed up the morning perfectly with the following: “Our dual-language kindergartners were excited, engaged, and amazed to see such young authors. The stories were also interactive, and the high school students were great with the little ones. We were happy to have them visit. I can't imagine what they will come up with next year!”

It certainly makes us proud to know that Walt Whitman High School has such positive role models to share with our younger students. Congratulations Walt Whitman students: Siam Ahmed, Angelique Auriemma, Lauren Beaubrun, Britney Benitez, Emily Blank, Christopher Canales, Amy Chan, Aris Chavez, Taylor Epstein, Derek Gianchetta, Nosheib Jadoon, Karthikeyan Mayilvahanan, Avery McKenzie, Mark Theodore Meneses, Michael Morck II, Meagan O’Donnell, Olivia Poplawski, Julianna Richter, Cecelia Shedlow, Deja Tejada, Kiran Usmani,Timothy Brady, Elvin Campos, Gabriella Cipriano, Katherine Cox, Alexis Cummings, Ilana Desmond, Dylan Diamond, Kristina Diaz, Kevin Garay, Richard Hauser, Matthew Havekotte, Giovanni Herrera, Matthew Jacobsen, Kelsey McDonald, Shealyn Naughten, and Sarah Panza.

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