For Parents

Welcome to Sra. Alane Andrian-Castillo!

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EHMS parents are known for their willingness to invest extra time and effort in improving their child’s academic success; I am honored to be on the same team with you. In addition to teaching your child the Spanish language and cultures, I will also do my best to model for him and to encourage him to practice such life skills as integrity, initiative, perseverance, accountability, problem-solving, respect, cooperation and caring for others.
Back to School & Getting to Know Your Child:
At the beginning of each year, I like to take some time to get to know more about you. Usually, I ask my students to complete a Getting to Know You questionnaire and to participate in icebreaker activities in class. This questionnaire is available online as a Google Form. If your child is one of my 2017-18 students, he should log on to our Google Classroom Spanish class and follow the link provided there to complete the form. It would be helpful to have your child complete it before the first day of school!
The homework calendar can be found here by following the link for your child's graduation year.
Here is a link to E.H.M.S.' "Guidelines for Successful Completion of Homework" for parents.
Students who come to class without the homework completed will be asked to fill out a Homework Excuse Note". This provides the student an opportunity to explain without other students listening in and without taking up precious class time. Students should pick one up from the supply area and fill it out as soon as they walk into class. This way they can quietly hand me the note when I come around to check without drawing attention to themselves.
If getting homework done and turned in on time has been a source of frustration for your child, I recommend you printout a copy of "Taylor's Homework Chain QuestionaireIt will provide you and your child with a list of steps required for successful homework completion. Go over the list with your child to discover where the weakest links are. Discuss and decide on a strategy to strengthen the weak links. Then consistently implement those strategies. This year, you and your child could finally free yourselves from the frustrations of the past!
My teaching style mixes both traditional direct instruction, flipped lessons and cooperative (student centered) teaching strategies. For an idea of how flipped classes work, see the infographic displayed further down this page. Although I am not entirely 'flipping' my classes, much of the information in the infographic will apply to the lessons that I choose to flip.
I call on students whether or not they have their hand raised - so they need to stay focused on the speaker!Their classmates can also call on them. If a student doesn't know how to answer, I will give him hints to help him figure it out. If that doesn't work,he can call on another student as a lifeline. Then,he will be given the chance to repeat the correct answer.
Sometimes students are assigned online video lessons to watch at home, to take notes on and to answer questions about the content. They are then expected to share their notes and answers with team mates to demonstrate their comprehension of the content and to also help team mates clarify their own understanding. Students are expected to actively participate in discussions of the content before engaging in activities that require them to apply what was learned.
Many of the cooperative activities (structures) that I incorporate in my lessons have been researched and developed by Dr. Spencer Kagan. Training in using these strategies has been provided by our school district. You can see some of our students engaged in a variety of these cooperative activities by visiting my Expectations in MIddleSchoolSpanish page.For extensive information on the Kagan Cooperative Learning system and the research behind cooperative learning, please visit The following excerpt from Dr. Kagan's article, "Kagan Structures Simply Put", briefly outlines the rationale and benefits of carefully developed cooperative learning strategies:
"What are the basic principles of Kagan Cooperative Learning? Why do we need basic principles?

The basic principles of good cooperative learning are that:

1) The learning task promotes teamwork and students experience themselves as being on the same side;

2)  Each student is held accountable for their individual contribution;

3) Students participate about equally; and

4) Many students are engaged at once.

These simple principles ensure students will cooperate, that each will make an independent contribution, and that all students participate about equally and participate a great deal. They are important because if we leave them out, students can hide — they can take a free ride allowing others to do the work. In the traditional classroom, participation is voluntary. Many students, for whatever reasons, simply do not participate. When the principles are in place, all students become intensely engaged."

 "Students who grow up with English
as their native language should not be
denied the opportunity to see issues
from different perspectives, hear
arguments with a different timbre
and articulate ideas using different
strategies of communication.
Multilingualism is a smart investment
in developing students with the
cognitive and academic skills to be
ready for a world in which, as Mr.
[Lawrence] Summers points out, 'the
capacity for analysis beyond simple
reflection has increased.'”
Anthony Jackson, January 29, 2012 
New York Times,
Digital Textbook:
Our Spanish classes use the high school Spanish Level 1 digital textbook. It is called Realidades and is published by Pearson. Your child will need internet access at home in order to access the e-text and the various audio/visual activities and digital resources provided by Pearson. Please review the following guides:
There is also a Pearson eText for Schools student app for iPad or Android available. After logging on, you can download the digital textbook to a tablet. Here is a guide provided by Pearson: Student Online Access to Mobile E-text

Grading and Class Policies:
On this website you will find details regarding how I grade class participation in Class Participation Rubric 2017 and an assortment of information meant to help you enable your child to successfully learn to communicate in a second language. Class procedures and supply locations are listed in the Class Syllabus at the bottom of this page.

Throughout each marking period, I send out email notices of upcoming tests, quizzes, projects, fiestas, etc. It is important to me to keep you up to date. Please write your email address on the A Million Words or Fewer form sent home with your child so I can include you in each mailing. Please indicate on the form if you only have an email address that is accessible to the rest of the family. I strongly encourage you to communicate with me via email.

What Does Research Show About the Benefits of Language Learning?
  • From the American Councial of Teachers of Foreign Language.
  • From the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages: "The Benefits
  • of Being Bilingual"
  • Is your child not convinced that learning a second language is worth the trouble?
  • Perhaps this article,  "Why Learn A Second Language?", can provide you with
  • some additional talking points:

  • Could you use some guidance in helping your child to learn a second language?
  • The following link will take you to an article entitled, "

From the Science Daily

Infants Raised in Bilingual Environments
Can Distinguish Unfamiliar Languages
(Feb. 20, 2011) — Infants raised in households where Spanish and Catalan are spoken can 
discriminate between English and French just by watching people speak, even though they 
have never been exposed to these new ... > read more
Babies Able To Tell Through Visual Cues
When Speakers Switch Languages
(May 25, 2007) — At four months, babies can tell whether a speaker has switched to a 
different language from visual cues alone, according to a new study. Psychologists found 
that infants are able to discern when a ... > read more
Babies Raised In Bilingual Homes Learn
New Words Differently Than Infants
 One Language
 (Sep. 30, 2007) — Research on the learning process for acquiring two 
languages from birth found differences in how bilingual babies learned words compared to 
monolingual babies. The research suggests that bilingual ... > read more
A Second Language Gives Toddlers an
 (Jan. 20, 2011) — 
Toddlers who learn a second language from infancy have an edge over their monolingual 
peers, according to a new study. The research team tested the understanding of English 
and French words among ... > read more
Bilingual Benefits Reach Beyond
 (Nov. 9, 2010) — 
Speaking two languages can be handy when traveling abroad, applying for jobs, and 
working with international colleagues, but how does bilingualism influence the way 
we ... > read more

Have you ever thought of math as a
 You may find this article interesting: