2/18/13

{Crew Review} Song School Spanish

Supergirl has fallen in love with Spanish.  She has begged to learn Spanish.  Sometimes I’ll find her watching her favorite DVD’s with the audio language setting set to Spanish. So knowing how much she would enjoy this program I jumped at the chance to review Song School Spanish from Classical Academic Press.

Classical Academic Press provided us with a Student edition (with CD) and a Teacher Edition copy of Song School Spanish.  This is the same format as their Song School Latin program that we reviewed (and LOVED)in a past crew year.

Song School Spanish Student Edition With CD:

  According to the introduction of Song School Spanish (pg 5):

“Song School is a place for you and your students to have fun acquiring Spanish vocabulary and learning the basics of language acquisition.  This book is designed to lay the foundation of a strong vocabulary in Spanish, taking advantage of young children’s incredible capacity for memorization and the fun they can have singing and chanting.”

  Song School Spanish Student Cover ImageIn addition to the 31 Chapters (Lessons) this 173 paperback student edition also contains CD Track Information, an introduction containing a suggested schedule, a pronunciation guide, a chapter by chapter glossary and alphabetical glossary.

Each Lesson introduces a few words or phrases and uses chants/songs and hands on activities to reinforce the learning.  Review lessons are interspersed with new material.  These review chapters occur after 3 to five lessons and cover the material since the last review chapter.

Anatomy of Chapter (Lesson):

Each chapter covering new material has the following sections:

  • Words to Learn (or Words/Phrases)
  • Chapter Songs ~ I love this feature because the song lyrics and track numbers are included for easy reference!
  • Chapter Lesson ~ this section gently introduces some grammar related concept or a difference between Spanish or English
  • Practice Your Spanish ~ usually includes some type of tracing of vocabulary words or phrases and then other activities such as fill in the blank, drawing a picture, or matching English and Spanish words or phrases
  • Show What You Know ~ This section checks for understanding using “circle the correct answer” or “match the English and Spanish” activities.
  • Review ~ In addition to review chapters each chapter, beginning with Chapter 12, includes a small review section usually using the “circle the correct answer” type of activity.
  • Fun Activity ~ In non-review chapters 1-11, instead of a Review Section there are a variety of FUN activities that vary from chapter to chapter.  Some of these include “ask a friend” “Sing and Play” or “Put on a Play.”

Review Chapters are set up a little differently.  The chapter review covers material from introduced since the last review chapter.  They use the following headers:

  • Master Your Words ~ These are fill the blank questions grouped by chapter number. 
  • Master your Songs~  This includes the lyrics and CD Track numbers. 
  • Activities ~  This varies from review chapter to review chapter but usually includes several “circle the answer” type activities.
  • Chapter Story ~ This is my favorite feature of the Review Chapters.  Each story is in English but incorporates Spanish vocabulary.

The Teacher’s Edition

 This 147 page paperback book contains an introduction which includes a suggested schedule, The Song School Spanish Student Book with answers, Song School Spanish Activities, and Song School Spanish Activity Answers.

The student book with answers section has two student pages on each teacher edition page.  This means the print is small.  I find it difficult to read even with my reading glasses.  Some of the student pages contain a teacher’s note or suggestion.  Some of these were helpful but most are intended for use in a regular classroom setting.

My favorite aspect of the teacher’s book are the Activity Pages.  These are reproducible.  The Teacher Guide provides written copyright permission for copying pages 86- 126.  I think these pages are too advanced for a K or 1st grader but I would recommend purchasing the teacher book for access to these pages if you have an advanced 2nd grader or wish to use the program with a 3rd grader.

Using Song School Spanish:

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I love the suggested schedule provided by Classical Academic Press.  It suggests a more structured or formal study 3 days a week while encouraging the student to practice her Spanish and listen to the CD 5 days a week.   In theory this meant that I schedule the student book for M-W-F and listening to the CD for all 5 days. In reality  though we often just listened to the CD on Monday and did the book on Tuesday, Wednesday (or Thursday) and Friday. 

The schedule suggests listening to the pronunciation guide on the first day as well as listening to the songs for the chapter.  The pronunciation guide is a FREE resource available as an MP3 download right from the Song School Spanish product page!  I would not have been as confident teaching Song School Spanish without this incredibly wonderful resource. I have trouble pronouncing English let alone trying to correctly say Spanish words!

Learning Spanish has become a family affair as we all take turns helping Supergirl practice her Spanish.  Here Tailorbear helps Supergirl “put on a play” using stuffed animals as “puppets” and acting out a short conversation (in Spanish) of “Hello”  “How are you?” ,  “I am fine.” and “Good-bye”.

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Thoughts from Supergirl:

“I like it. It’s fun. I tried to learn the Spanish and I can say Como estas (mom doesn’t know how to have it be the Proper Spelling for Spanish). I know the word for male teacher.  I know hola and adios.  I listen to the songs and I like the songs.  It makes me happy. I like the first song about the teacher and the student. I like to do the workbook. I like learning the alphabet.”

The Nitty Gritty Details in Review:

This is a wonderful way to introduce Spanish to young children but there is one side effect; older siblings and parents may also find themselves learning a bit of Spanish as well and you may find yourself singing the songs at the oddest moments.

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others have to say about Song School Spanish from Classical Academic Press.Photobucket

All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no monetary compensation. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.

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