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!
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.
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.
The BAC held their Mother’s Day Festival on May 12th. It was a beautiful event with Mexican dancing performances.
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.
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.
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.
From Ms Wang
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From Mr Espejo:
LaSalle 2 is getting ready for a new Spain trip! Last year we started our first exchange program with IES Ramiro de Maeztu, a public school in Madrid, Spain. It was a success! After hosting 20 students and 2 teachers from Spain, 12 students in the Spanish program and their two teachers traveled to Madrid for 10 days.
Students attended classes and after school activities at Ramiro, spend time with their host families, and visited Madrid and the surrounding towns of Toledo and Córdoba.
Students had a blast and used their Spanish in a meaningful and authentic setting!
September 22, we had our first informational meeting for the 2016 when students and families expressed a lot of interest! Our 2016 trip will take place in April, after hosting the Spanish group in March. We can’t wait for this next adventure!