My First Day Back to School

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!
Download your rules here!

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!

Have a wonderful school year!

Back-To-School Bilingual Blog Hop

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!

 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. 
Download your free copy HERE!
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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep hopping!



As we approach the final days or weeks of the academic year, maintaining student motivation and focus can become  challenging. Nonetheless, seizing the opportunity to make these last days count is a positive way to conclude the school year on a high note. Here are some tips to ensure these days are productive and meaningful:

Maintain Your Routines

You’ve worked hard to establish routines throughout the year, so it’s important to maintain them until the end. Keeping these routines helps provide a sense of continuity and stability for both you and your students, helping a smooth transition into summer.

Continue Building Classroom Community Until the Last Day:

Look for opportunities to celebrate your students’ accomplishments and milestones. Reflect with them on all they’ve achieved throughout the year, and keep finding ways to continue connecting and building on those relationships. It might be the case that you will have the same students the next school year

Keep the Brain Breaks Going

Simple brain breaks, such as Chocolate or the Aguacate game, that invite your students to move and then center back into the activities will help! If there’s too much energy, breathing breaks will help with this!

Make the Last Days Extra Fun

Wrap up the school year with your students’ favorite games and tunes in your class. Sing-alongs are always a hit! Try the Wheel of Names to pick the songs and games. This will also add excitement!

Bring Quick and Easy Activities

Bring in activities that don’t require a lot of follow-up and can be completed in one or two classes. Examples include creating a craft with memories of the school year, working on a short story with a follow-up craft, or doing color-by-code pages. These activities are fun and easy to manage, providing a relaxing yet meaningful end to the school year.

Reflect on Your Teaching Practices

Take time to evaluate what worked well and what didn’t throughout the year. Engage your students in this reflection process by having them complete a short survey to share their thoughts on what was helpful in their learning. This feedback can provide valuable insights for your upcoming school year.

The calmer and happier we are in the final weeks, the better our students will do. Stress causes more stress, so plan ahead and take deep breaths!




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!

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