Spain Exchange 2016

In September, some students in 7th and 8th grade traveled to Spain to LaSalle II  sister school for two weeks partnering up with Skinner North Elementary. Students stayed with host families in Madrid and attended school at IES Ramiro de Maeztu. Students were immersed in a Spanish-speaking environment most of the time and learned interdisciplinary content in the lessons they attended as well as all the learning trips students took in Madrid and around.
LaSalle II students had the chance to explore four different “Comunidades Autónomas” or the equivalent of a state here. They visited la Comunidad de Madrid, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla León, and Andalucía. Weekdays they attended classes, had school activities and educational and cultural visits, and in the evenings and weekends hosting families organized countless activities everyone enjoyed. It was hard to say goodbye to the host families as they truly became LaSalle II students’ families overseas. Students forged really strong relationships with their families in Spain that will last for a lifetime!

Youth Chinese Test Results

Congratulations to our Chinese students who took the Youth Chinese Test (YCT) exam last May. We had 55 students participate. For levels I, II and III, all but two students passed the test. For level IV, seven students passed. We are very proud of our students!

French at LaSalle II

Throughout the year at LaSalle II we learned about more than just new French vocabulary or how to conjugate verbs but we also learn about the different cultures in the different countries where French is spoken.

This year our students learned about the different regions of France. Regions in France are like states and each one is different. Students were assigned a different region and they presented it to the class.

IMG_5537 (1)

With our artist in residency program this year brought different people from around the world who speak French. We had one from the African continent, one from Marseille, France and one from Northern Quebec. All of these artists taught our students songs and games from their country.

Our 5th, 6th and 7th graders went to Alliance Francaise in May where students learned how to make a typical French dish. Students also watched an authentic French movie. As we studied the different regions of France we came across “Lorraine” where the quiche in quite popular. In June our 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders are going to Kids’ table where the will learn how to make a French quiche.

IMG_5467

BAC Mother’s Day Festival

The BAC held their Mother’s Day Festival on May 12th. It was a beautiful event with Mexican dancing performances.

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations!

1st grade guitarras

Happenings in the 8th Grade

Cultural Kitchen

This spring students in room 212 and 214 participated in the Chicago hostel program called Cultural Kitchen. Our eighth graders slept overnight in the downtown Chicago Hostel, the place where thousands of people from around the world choose to stay. Students had the unique opportunity to mingle with visitors and cook traditional French dishes such as Ratatouille, Gratin Dauphinois (potatoes), and Cherry Glafoutis (cherry tart). As part of the night, students performed a presentation on France, which included a Wheel of Fortune game show theme, called The Wheel of France.

 

Room 212 studied and presented to participants about Saudi Arabia. They cooked traditional foods such as Al Kabsa (chicken stew), Shorba (lentil soup), and Al Haysa (date dessert), and shattered the myths behind the people of Saudi Arabia. They performed traditional belly dancing and taught participants how to do the well-known Penguin Dance.

 

Model UN
On May 6th the 8th graders participated in CPS’ Model UN project. Students acted as diplomats for a specific country in which they have heavily researched. Working with other middle school students from around the city, LaSalle II students created and implemented solutions to real world problems that included such topics as The Situation in Syria, Eradicating Poverty, Gender Equality, and Combating Racism.

IMG_5476 (1)

Midwest Chinese Speech Competition

Three of our LaSalle II students participated in the 8th Annual Midwest Chinese Speech competition. All three students earned a Gold Medal! Congratulations to Vaeda V., Diana C., and Eleanor F.

DSC_0024

Spanish Exchange Students Visit

LaSalle II partnered for the first time with Skinner North to welcome our sister school from Madrid – Institute de Enseñanza Secundaria Ramiro de Maeztu. For the second time, twenty students and two teachers, Silvia Fernández and Gónzalo Ferrando, stayed with host families. During the day, the students and teachers observed classes and went on excursions around the city. They visited the Willis Tower, the Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, DuSable Museum, the Chicago History Museum and Mitchell Museum of the American Indian. They also went on an architecture walking tour of the Loop. In the evenings, they spent time with their families to immerse themselves in the many different American cultures of our families. Two highlights of the trip involved basketball – one Bulls game and our first ever USA vs. Spain International Basketball Classic.

Thank you to all of our host families, volunteers, the LaSalle II PTO, Friends of Skinner North, administration, and faculty who make these experiences possible for our school community. A special thank you to Mr. Santiago and Mr. B for turning what Ms. Aquino thought was just going to be a fun scrimmage into an unforgettable international event.

Beijing Exchange Trip

From Ms Wang

Summer Palace

Through an exchange program, five LaSalle II eighth graders had an exciting two-week visit to Beijing in November 2015.

We travelled to Beijing along with ten students from LaSalle. We not only experienced life in BFLS (Beijing Foreign Language School), but also were able to visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the Olympic Park (the Birds’ Nest and the Water Cube) and other cultural and historical sites.

We also had an exciting excursion to the Great Wall. There is a Chinese saying: “You are not a hero until you climb to the top of the Great Wall.” It was chilly, snowy and slippery when we climbed the Great Wall, but students climbed to the top and had a blast!

Students also had an opportunity to visit a number of Beijing markets including Walmart and were able to use their mastery of Chinese to bargain for items of interest. On the last day in Beijing, we went to a local family who prepared a home-made lunch for all of us. The house owner showed students how to wrap dumplings and students were able to try their hand at this activity.

At BFLS, students had the opportunity to create a seal using carving tools under the guidance of a well-known expert in this art form. They also had classes in Chinese traditional painting and mask painting. BFLS also arranged for our students to learn martial arts. The students loved all the classes very much. At the end of the classes, every student had created their own seal, Chinese painting and a painted mask.

Art Class

The BFLS also arranged for a teacher to teach two oral Chinese classes that included how to interact with host families and how to bargain in a market place. After the class, the BFLS arranged for all of us to take taxis to a local shopping center to practice shopping in China.

On the two Friday afternoons, each student was picked up by their host family with whom they spent the weekends. This was truly an immersion experience. The Chinese families treated our students like their own children.

Each day throughout the two-week visit, the Chinese partner students came to meet our students for dinner. A lot of good friendships were established. We can hardly wait until the Chinese students come to visit us in Chicago.

IMG_4853

At the Farewell party, all fifteen students stood on the stage and expressed (in Chinese) their thanks to the school, to the teachers, to the families and to their Chinese partners. Our students also gave a group performance that included singing and dancing. In addition, LaSalle II students, Mia gave a solo and Andrea did an individual dance. At the end of the party, all fifteen students and three teachers received gifts from BFLS.

This exchange experience has dramatically broadened the world view of our students as well as that of our and will surely have an impact on them in the months and years ahead.

IMG_4857

Paper Cutting Artist

From Ms Aquino:

On November 4th, Ms. Guo Meihua came to LaSalle II to demonstrate the art of papercutting to our students. She presented examples of her work and while sharing her history with us, created detailed paper cut babies.

IMG_8395

First through third and sixth through eighth grade students had the opportunity to make their own designs out of special red paper used for this traditional Chinese folk art from Shanxi province. First and second graders created paper cut apples, while the older students created symmetrical designs.

IMG_8400

Ms. Guo is well known throughout China for her artistry. Thanks to the Confucius Institute of Chicago, Ms. Guo was able to leave a lasting impression on the students and staff of LaSalle II. We were very fortunate to welcome her.

IMG_8414