The Spanish program at Lee Academy aims to help students from Early Childhood through high school achieve the basic skills to understand and communicate in the language, and to develop an interest and appreciation of the Hispanic culture that has become such an important, integral part of American life. As they move through the school students are faced with greater levels of complexity, building upon previously learned vocabulary and grammar.

There is a great emphasis on conversational skills through storytelling, music, role-playing and games, as well as many other activities that facilitate language acquisition through immersion.

The program’s goal is to create a positive, challenging, fun and energetic classroom environment that will motivate and help students succeed in becoming proficient in the language.

 

Upper School Anatomy and Physiology students participated in an exercise to recognize and learn the technical terms for the various tissues in the human body. Rather than just being given the terms, they started out by observing and recording the similarities and differences in the tissues. Focusing on the individual cells, they wrote descriptions of what they had observed, such as “square shaped in a single row.” When they were later given the technical vocabulary, they already had a good understanding of what terms such as ”simple cuboidal” actually meant. Using an inquiry-based, student-centered approach to learning gives gifted students the opportunity to think for themselves and work things out. Learning gains are higher and students are more involved in the learning process.

Middle school students took part in an exercise designed to help them understand that scientists don’t always know the answers to questions and how collaboration and experimentation help to inform understanding.

They worked with a sealed tube with rope coming out of 4 holes. They manipulated the ropes and the tube to observe how it works (it makes noise when you shake it) and to determine what it might look like inside the tube. They discussed over 20 hypothetical drawings of the inside of the tube and then they students were asked to make a model (using one of their drawings) so they could see how well the model behaved compared to the real tube.

Without exception, the students wanted to break open the tube to see exactly what was inside but they had to learn that scientists often can only hypothesize and model and not always see for themselves.

As soon as possible, LS F, LS G, US A & US B students will explore the marine biology, diversity and natural beauty of the Florida Keys. Students will work hard before the trip to be fully prepared, then will be rewarded by being able to observe mangroves, lobsters, fish, birds, coral, and even the elusive key deer.  The trip will include an interactive stay at Mote Marine’s Summerland Key Research Center where they will study marine life and snorkel on the nearby reefs.  The trip will also include a visit to the unique community of Key West, with its historic and cultural attractions. After fully resting from this trip, students will apply their newfound knowledge in their classes to address various environmental concerns of the Keys.