Back to School in Spanish Class

 

Are you feeling stressed about heading back to school? You're not alone. Here are a few tips to help make the transition from summer mode to school mode a little easier...

Keep it simple. Choose connections over curriculum, especially in the first week. Check in with your students frequently. Learning a new language is not easy! And don't forget about PROCEDURES! PROCEDURES! PROCEDURES! It is soooo important to set clear expectations for class and model the procedures for several days beginning on day one. You will set the tone for your class within the first week. Preparation and readiness are key to executing a successful lesson!

You will thank yourself weeks and months into the school year if you took the time on Day 1 to establish clear expectations and classroom procedures.  

THINGS TO CONSIDER ON DAY 1:

  • SEATING  Will you assign your students a seat or let them choose? This will depend on many factors. For example, do you already know your students? If so, it will probably be easier for you to assign seats. However, if you are getting new-to-you students, whom you do not know, you may consider using random seating. The Comprehensible Classroom™ has a FREE character card seating chart. Click here to see how this seating chart works. 
  • DO NOW  Make it a habit to give students a quick "Do Now" activity at the start of class. Class will go much smoother at the beginning and this also allows for you to greet students at the door and take attendance. The "Do Now" activity should be something students can complete independently and ideally it is a review of previous taught material. The first several days of Spanish you might consider having a trivia question on Spanish-speaking countries, or an activity with cognates. Here are some examples for your Novice-Low students.
  • EXPECTATIONS  MODEL THEM! And keep modeling them for several days. Use a slideshow or other visual that clearly states what your expectations are for class. And then have students practice them. Consider the following: How do you want students to enter your room? What should they do first? What are the rules for working with a partner or in small groups? How will students address you and other adults in the room? Are there rules for getting out of seats for things such as tissues, sharpening pencils, throwing trash away? What if a students is absent - where do they go for absent work? All of these items should have clear procedures, and students should know exactly what to do in each of these situations Here is a slideshow I've used in the past. 
  • CHECK-IN  How are your students doing the first week? It's a good idea to check in with them frequently, especially in the first week. A quick slide with emotions and the vocabulary word in the target language could be enough. Learning a new language can be very intimidating. Make sure to check in with students who might be feeling anxious.  Here's a google form I created for a quick Spanish class check-in. Click here to make a copy. 


Why reinvent the wheel? Here are some already-made resources to execute a successful First Week of Spanish.

This bundle includes everything listed above in my First 4 Days of Spanish class, plus the 2022-2023 Calendar Talk and tons of posters for Word Walls and Bulletin Boards. If you'd like to see this bundle, click here.



Not ready for Calendar Talk and all the extras? Here are lesson plans for the First Days of Spanish. It includes all the activities and games listed above. You can also customize your own Classroom Expectations Slideshow for the first day! Click here to get these plans.

I am here to help! Let me know if there is something you need to start off the school year. 


 

Do you have a favorite back-to-school activity for spanish class? tell us what it is in the comment section. 

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