It doesn’t matter if it’s the first or the 20th year teaching, the feeling of the butterflies in the stomach always comes back on the first day of school, and I had mine this week!
Every year I have new students so I put together a book or a powerpoint. This year I decided to go with a Prezi presentation – I used the free version. I included pictures of my family and Colombia and shared them with my students. I used this with my second and third grade classes. At the end of my presentation we played a game called “Falso o Cierto,” and it was basically questions about my presentation. I asked questions such as ¿Es tu maestra de español de Costa Rica?, ¿En la familia de tu maestra de español hay 5 personas? and the children had to answer if it was false or true. They seemed to enjoy playing this game. Many of them participated, and the new ones got to learn something about me.
After the game we played “pasa la bola,” and students had to answer, using full sentences, when asked ¿Cómo estas? and also ¿Cómo te llamas?
They needed a little bit of movement, we reviewed colors and the shared about their favorite color before playing the “color, colorcito ” game.
(image taken from the Boston Children’s museum website)
It was time to settle down and talk about the rules in class. Toward the end of last school year, I started using “Whole Brain Teaching“in my class. I had great results, so I decided to implement it from the outset of this school year.
We went over the first 5 classroom rules and practiced them a lot!
At the end of class, I used an oral “exit ticket” about the rules and then they went to line up to go back to their classrooms.
It was a simple lesson, but it seemed to be a good fit to start the new school year. If you were wondering if this all happened in Spanish, yes, it did! Modeling a lot, using TPR, and tons of visuals help! It was a 45 minute period too!
I am so excited to be part of this bilingual blog hop that will help you get ready for the new school year. 19 bilingual teachers have teamed up to share with you all these amazing resources that I hope will make your transition to the new school year easier. If you have already started teaching, these materials will serve you well too!
ONE DAY FREEBIE ALERT!
I have put together a set of six flipbooks with vocabulary related to the fall season. These flipbooks can be used as a way to introduce or support your units.
Last but not least! As part of the blog hop we are also hosting a big shopping spree giveaway. Two lucky teachers will win $100 worth of products from our TpT store. Just fill out the Rafflecopter to participate. ¡Buena suerte!
The first days and weeks of school play an important role in how the school year might go. In this post I have shared a series of practices and strategies I use in my classes.
Find a Signal To Get Your Student’s Attention
I’m a fan of having chimes in different places in my room. I also have them in my bag when I travel from classroom to classroom. Watch the video to see how I use a three-tone chime in my classes. I would love to say that I came up with this idea, but I learned it from an awesome colleague and translated it into Spanish.
Use Call and Response Chants
Yes, sometimes using our chime or clapping our hands doesn’t work! I have found that call-and-responses work magic to get my students’ attention while using the language. Find some that you like and work for your class!
Use Songs As Quiet Reminders and Transitions
Songs are great a way to remind your students what they need to be doing at the moment, especially younger students. You can use songs to remind students to line up, clean up, and so on!
Set Classroom Norms and Expectations
Some teachers like to set their norms prior to the first class, other teachers create them with their students and others piggyback on the norms students created with their homeroom teachers.No matter what you decide, make them simple, talk about your norms and expectation, model them, practice them and also make them part of your everyday routine. If possible place posters in the front of the class to keep them as reminders!
Greet Every Student
If you have a classroom, waiting for your students and greeting them at the door is one of the best ways to set the tone for your class. If you don’t have a classroom, you can still make sure to greet every student in your class. Remember that saying their names when you greet them is important for your students, and also a way for you to remember all their names.
What else would you add to this list? Write them in the comments!
We will always remember this past school year for all the difficulty it was! One of the things that I really learned was to be flexible and to let go. It was a tiring school year and I really needed to take a break from many things. As a result I actually haven’t added any new posts to this blog since April. But I love to blog as a way of publicly reflecting on my teaching, and I really enjoy sharing about what happens in my classroom. However, like many of you, I was too exhausted to even open my blog to add one more post.
I’m writing this post close to the new school year, and somehow I feel a lot of excitement to go back to school because I’m going back to a school I have in my heart and really love. But I also have mixed feelings because we don’t really know how everything will run until we are all together in school.
One thing that I learned through this pandemic, and I can’t believe it took experiencing something like this to learn (!), is to take “un día a la vez.” I decided to make it my motto because taking one day at a time for me means being flexible, having the ability to let go, and being reflective! Say no more, I will start the school year with this mindset!
¡Hola! I am Carolina, a Colombian elementary Spanish teacher based in Boston, MA. Fun for Spanish Teachers is the result of my passion for teaching Spanish to children and my desire to inspire collaboration and creativity in a vibrant teaching and learning community. It’s the perfect stop if you are looking for songs, games, teaching tips, stories, and fun for your classes.
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