May 5, 2016

RSSAA World Language Day 2016

Every year the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor celebrates our World Languages Program with special events for students in Grade 8 and High School language classes. This year we celebrated our 14th German Day and 10th Spanish Day!
...intro to German Day Letter from HS German Teachers:
Bettina Hoops, Britta Keener, Jacob Menke, Walburga Zahn,
joined by LS German Teacher Margarete Walsh
...intro to Spanish Day Letter from HS Spanish & ESL Teachers:
Nereida Nazzaro, Melissa Ellsworth, Ashlea Walton, Lisa Frame, Magaly Nagpal,
joined by ESL Teacher Gloria Mason and LS Spanish Teacher Perla Schaeberle
Here we'd like to share a glimpse of the wonderful experiences our students and teachers had during April 15, 2016, German Day and Spanish Day activities, along with some world language resources available through the school library...

German Day 2016

Our students prepared for the University of Michigan German Day event to compete with other German students from over 25 participating regional schools in levels of reading, poetry, art, skits, and video, pertaining to this year's theme: Umwelt (Environment). To learn more about this event, visit the website at which also includes a list of German Day Winners.

Grade 8 German Day 2016
For the 14th year, RSSAA’s Grade 8 participated at the Annual German Day competitions at the University of Michigan German Department. Esther Crawford was awarded third place for poetry recitation, level 3. The entire group was awarded second place for their skit performance, level 2.
...Congratulations to all for these fantastic achievements! 
"I attended two rehearsals of the 8th Grade's skit on Friedrich Hundertwasser and was one of their chaperons for German Day 2016. The class really rose to the competitive occasion. Their presentation was very poised and polished, much better than I had seen it in rehearsal. The choral speaking was right on, the individual voices were clear and confident, with excellent pronunciation of German all round. Their choreography was also very well executed and, with their art work in the master's style, they presented a very colorful, informative and entertaining piece. As one of the students said, "It's the best we've ever done it!" The class was competing in "Level 2: Skits" which would normally be for high schoolers and took the silver only because our own RS High School took gold. After performing their piece, the group was enthusiastically questioned by Johannes von Molke, Chair of U-M's German Dept. --- not a normal occurrence in the course of tightly-scheduled German Day. He was very pleased to hear that the skit employed Hundertwasser's own words from his speeches and manifestos, a fine compliment both to Frau Walsh and to her prize-winning students.” 
(Martin Walsh, RSSAA consultant; Lecturer and Head of Program at University of Michigan - LS&A Residential College - Drama)

“It greatly enriched our German experience and makes me want to keep on studying it. In addition to learning a lot about German culture, it was a great way to bond together as a group. German Day presented an interesting new way to look at German and its very diverse culture.”
(8th graders Ellie,Tomas & Alden)

"German Day was important for us in helping us gain confidence in our ability to both speak and perform in German. It helped us to pull together and work as a team. Aside from this we also learned from watching the other native and foreign speaking competitors that participated in German Day with us.” (8th graders Sylvia, Reese & Enrique)

"We loved German day! Because we could see other people perform and learn. Also it gave us a good idea about how good we are at German. It was very important for our German career. Also helped us understand the language better.” (8th graders Jack, Karl, Maurice & Shane)

"German Day meant a lot to us because we came together at the last year of middle school and gave a great performance. The campus (UofM campus) was beautiful and everyone was very nice. It was a cool experience to see others work, along with feeling accomplished after ours was done." (8th graders)

HS German Day 2016
The German students of the High School participated again very successfully in this year’s University of Michigan German Day on April 15: RJ Papierniak placed 1st in reading, level 1; Deborah Fagan placed 1st in reading, level 2 and 2nd in speaking, level 2; Izzy Andrews, Franklin Distelzweig, Grace Evans­-Golden, Nate Price, Molly Schneider, Lucy Sheridan and Colton Zander placed 1st for skits, level 2; Maya An, Molly Conti, Camryn Curie, Schuyler Distelzweig, Claire Greidanus, Christopher Haifleigh, Olivia Jeris, Esther Orta and Gus Sheridan placed 2nd for skits, level 3; Maria Canzano, Chloe Crawford, Deborah Fagan, Addison Groe and Naomi Hatch placed 1st for videos, beginners; Chloe Crawford and Naomi Hatch received an Honorable Mention for art
...Herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch, German students!

1st Place Video (Beginners) submitted by Rudolf Steiner HS team
Guten Morgen Deutschland [Good Morning, Germany]

Spanish Day 2016

On Friday, April 15, 2016, our 8th grade and high school Spanish students were joined by the 7th and 8th grade Detroit Waldorf School to celebrate our 10th annual Spanish Day. This year also marked the 15th anniversary of the Spanish Language Program at the high school. The theme for this year was the Environment. To support this theme, we visited The Matthaei Botanical Gardens to learn about the important role many of the indigenous plants in the Spanish-speaking world have in our environment and daily lives. Upon our return to the high school campus, we were the lucky recipients of guacamole and pico de gallo, made especially for us by our friends at the Detroit Waldorf School. We were entertained by creative skits performed by The Detroit Waldorf students and our 8th grade students after lunch, and then created beautiful pieces of Mandala art. To wrap up the day, we planted a tree in the garden to commemorate this special anniversary and to honor our environment. (Melissa Ellsworth, RSHS Spanish Teacher)

“We opened the doors to the high school not knowing that this was the 15th annual anniversary of the start of Spanish in our school. We enter and immediately we’re greeted with the smiling faces of the high school students. We board the bus excited at the prospect of learning new thing at the botanical gardens. We learned about plants in Mexico & South America like cactus, cacao and coffee trees. When we returned we performed our skit that we prepared. Then we had some cake to celebrate the day and an art project. Then, we planted a tree to symbolize new growth and new beginnings. We had a lot of fun!”
(8th graders Zoe, SC, Urvi & Aiden)

“On Spanish Day we met up with the high school Spanish students and sang a song. After that we went to the botanical gardens and not to the Detroit Waldorf School. We all had a great experience sharing our plays (skits) with all of the other spanish groups. We would love to do this again. We planted a tree to mark the 15th year year of language at the school and 10 years of Language Day!" (8th graders Jack P., John & Cole)

“The botanical gardens made you feel like you were somewhere else. When we got back to the high school we entertained the other school with a joyful skit, song and speech. Then enjoyed homemade guacamole and salsa made by the Detroit Waldorf School. After that we participate in a cool art project with the art teachers. Then we brought new life into our world by planting a tree. In conclusion, it was a day of learning, laughter and love.” (8th graders Cree, Joshua & Ivan)

“Our favorite activities during Spanish day were going to the botanical gardens, the food that the Detroit Waldorf School prepared, watching the groups perform their Spanish skits and songs, and the planting of the tree. In the botanical gardens we saw plants that grow in tropical and dry regions: cocoa tree, cactus, guava tree, coffee tree, pineapple, bamboo, sausage tree. The food that the Detroit Waldorf people prepared were guacamole, pico de gallo with chips and for dessert, cake. The tree brought everybody together in song as we sang Mi arbol y yo.”
(8th graders Keren, Nina & Elinor)

World Language Day news was reported in the RSSAA Announcements Newsletter of April 21, 2016.

[Past RSSAA Announcements are available on our school Extranet Communication Page.]

German & Spanish books at the Ellie Klopp Library:

One Story, Three Languages to choose from!
We have a selection of books in German and Spanish to check out from the Ellie Klopp Library at the Lower School, along with books about China's culture and language...

Let us know if you have any special language book requests!

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