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OCT. 31, 2013

The Floating Dock

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 A couple of weeks ago, our Spanish students went on a little adventure. The day before, I told the students to be ready for classes at The Lake. When they arrived to the classroom, there was a sign posted on the door: CLASSES ON THE LAKE. They knew exactly where to go. They arrived at The Lake, and I was already out on the floating dock. I shouted, “Welcome to The Outdoor Academy! You know what to do here.” Jeremy, the only Spanish I student, runs to the canoe shed, gets a life jacket, a paddle, and a canoe. He arrives to the floating dock. I greet him with hot mint tea, fruit, and animal crackers. We reviewed his last lesson about time and weather. He practiced with me in Spanish, and then we realized that our time is over….Math is his next class. He takes the boat and paddles off to go to Math.

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Spanish III arrives, and this is a little larger class: “Jaco,” Clara, Nathan, Eleanor, and Katherine. We review the subjunctive mood and how we can use it to express ourselves. And then Spanish IV students arrive: “Juan”, Wade and Preston. We start talking in Spanish about the last lesson: the influence of the Moors in the history of Spain and why Spain is so different to the other countries in Europe. We talk about the way that they lived during that time. They lived in harmony, Muslims, Jewish and Christians, and they together made important discovering about medicine, math and other sciences. Wade, John and Preston loved the conversation about it and we related it to actual times.

Suddenly we saw a bird flying over us, and I asked: “Qué hace el ave?” They thought about it and found the verb. One student said, “volar” and I said, yes but “volar” is a boot (stem-changing) verb. They knew what to do and conjugated the verb correctly. Once again the time “vuela” and students go to the next class.  I see Josh and Keyleigh walking and getting ready to arrive at Spanish II class. We sit at the edge of the dock and place our feet on the water and splash them. We practice Spanish skills, and I realize how well they focus during that time. I love to see them learning Spanish during the time that we are in this magical place on the floating dock in lake with the trees changing around us.

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And then, we go back to the Sun Lodge because it is time to have lunch. We have a warm lunch prepared by Ashton, and I think about how great the morning was. I am glad to have the opportunity to work with my students in this beautiful campus. We are lucky to be here.