Spanish Project

Onekama Middle School Spanish Students Get Creative


On mid-term exam day, Naomi Kolehmainen’s students were excited, chatty, and eagerly bouncing about the classroom – not exactly what one would call a typical testing environment.


For their semester exam, Kolehmainen’s middle school Spanish students at Onekama School had the choice to complete a variety of projects based on their level of readiness, interest and learning style. Choices included digital and written reports, student-created games, original songs, and oral presentations. 



In preparation, students were rehearsing their songs, setting up PowerPoints and pulling out board games for classmates to play.  On exam day, students had the chance to share the results of their hard work with their classmates.


“The goal,” says Kolehmainen, “is to allow students to show off their knowledge in a way that allows them to be the most successful as possible.”


The Spanish projects were an example of differentiated instruction, with the teacher specializing the curriculum to the individual rather than adopting a “one-size fits all” approach to education.   

 Sixth grader Taylor Yoder gives a "thumbs up" as she takes a turn playing a classmate's board game.
Maddie Carey and Maggie Madsen 
Emma Niederstadt
Kylie Gramza

Colleen McCarthy

January 2014

Emma's project

Maggie Madsen

Colleen's Project