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A second language is best learned in a fun, non-threatening environment! After teaching for 25+ years, I whole-heartedly subscribe to this idea! Students are encouraged to enjoy themselves while learning, but never forced to do anything that would embarrass them! Vocabulary word lists (for the topics we are studying in class) and links to Spanish games are available on my website:

Grades K-1
Students will experience immersion in the language (but not 100% of the time, due to only meeting once a week). Students will participate in a wide variety of games, songs, stories, and activities - all in Spanish. Colors and numbers are constantly reviewed during this level of class. Holidays and cultural topics are discussed. During some classes, students read and do activities together in a Spanish newspaper for kids called, “Let’s Find Out.” They sometimes receive their own copy to take home. Special attention is given to the developmental level of the students.

Grades 2-5
These Spanish classes have a high level of excitement and fun! Students will experience immersion in the language (but not 100% of the time, due to only meeting once a week). Students will participate in a wide variety of games, songs, stories, and activities - all in Spanish. Cultural points are taught as they relate to the curriculum. A piñata party is held on the last day of classes in May!

(Grades 6-8)
Students will take one of three year-long courses (listed below). A student must have taken the fall semester to enroll in the spring semester.

Spanish A (No prerequisite): Offered every other year for 6th or 7th graders. Pages 1-100 in textbook Realidades A are taught and covered.

Spanish B (Prerequisite is Spanish A): Offered every year for 8th graders, because we always have incoming 8th graders who have taken Spanish A in the past! Covers the second half of textbook Realidades A. Students taking Spanish B must have completed the full year of Spanish A.

(In Spanish A and B, we use the same textbook as VSW and VHS so students who plan to dual enroll are ready. After 8 th grade, some students are ready to enroll in Spanish 2 at VSW or VHS. Some prefer to take Spanish 1 (which is basically what we covered in Spanish A and B.)

Spanish Stories (No Prerequisite): Offered every other year for 6th or 7th graders. Spanish Stories is a unique and cutting-edge Spanish course taught through stories! No Spanish experience is needed.  The class utilizes the TPRS/CI strategies which are currently sweeping the nation as the BEST way to enable language acquisition.  For more information on this teaching/learning
style, watch this short video by my friend and colleague, Profe Craig Klein:

In Spanish A, B and Stories, students need to attend weekly. No homework assignments are given, BUT there is a mini-quiz at the beginning of each class period, covering what we learned the week before. In order to progress, students are expected to study for this quiz during the week. A review sheet is given at the end of each class AND all review information is available on my website at:
A food fiesta or lunch at a Mexican restaurant will take place on the last day of class in May (or a piñata party if the students prefer).




I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a Specialization in Spanish while at Iowa State University. I also obtained my Reading endorsement. My previous experience includes teaching preschool, kindergarten, 4th grade, and junior high Spanish, and serving as a tutor for home bound students with long-term illness. This year marks my 7th year with the WDM HSAP program. I LOVE my job!

I have been married to my husband, Ryan since 2001. We have two children, Reed and Kate, who attend school at Des Moines Christian and
Van Meter.

I enjoy being with my family and friends, being outdoors, traveling & exploring, staying active, reading and watching movies.

I am passionate about children, teaching, learning, and literacy. Inspiring students to feel confident and excited about their learning really motivates me. 




I have lived in West Des Moines all my life, having attended Fairmeadows Elementary, Stilwell Junior High, and Valley High School. I studied Elementary Education and Spanish at Drake University.

I taught third grade at Phenix Elementary for three years and then took a year off to be a mom. In 1997, I began teaching Spanish very part-time, and I have been doing it ever since!


My husband, Chris Cooper, and I have five adult children and three grandchildren. We have one Hawkeye (currently in law school at Drake), and four CYCLONES (insurance manager, police officer, Civil engineer, and study abroad student currently living in Italy).


I enjoy entertaining, crafts, planning events for my family, reading the news, and listening to either Christmas music or talk radio.  My favorite hobby is painting kindness rocks for "The Kindness Rock Project."


I love kids of all ages!  I love Spanish!  I love books!


You can find the units and vocabulary that we will study in any given year on my website.  There are also links to on-line games, videos, and songs in Spanish, which we have used in class.  Additionally, you can find, FAQs, course descriptions, and the mini quiz study links for 6th-8th grades. 

The website is:

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