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. I am sharing some that I have learned from other colleagues, at conferences as well as some that have simply occurred to me. I like keeping a variety of them and start introducing them one by one so I can have a big repertoire. I use the short ones with my K-1 students and the longer ones with my 3-5 students. I put them on posters and am sharing them with you in this post. Click here to download them all. And if you have more call-and-response chants, please share them with me in the comments below. I would love to keep adding more to my repertoire!
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!
I am always grateful for the teachers who come to this blog to read my posts. I share them with a lot of love and really hope I can save busy teachers out there just a little bit of time (time is such a precious commodity for teachers!). This blog was started as a way to connect with other teachers because for a while I was the only Spanish teacher in one of the schools where I taught. Having this blog made me feel connected and part of a larger community. Thank you for stopping by to read my blog!
Yes! I just started the new school year, and my classroom has been ready for a couple of weeks. After being a traveling teacher for a few years I truly understand the feeling one has when other teachers share pictures of their classroom, but I also remember that I didn’t really have to use any of my time before to set up space. I just had to make sure I had enough tote bags for my class. There are pros and cons to having or not having a classroom, but I consider that a topic for another post.
I am the kind of teacher who likes to make changes every year to my room. I also never finish the school year with the room looking the same because I like to move things around according to my students’ needs. This is how my room looks right now!
I have a deskless classroom. We do a lot of movement activities so this setting is perfect for our needs.
My kindergarteners and first graders sit on the rug. These carpet Spots Markers*** are great to help my little ones remember their places on the rug. I assign seats to make that transition to my class faster.
I have a closet where I keep many of the materials we use in class. I have a set of clipboards to use when we do writing activities.
I keep the notebooks for each grade in baskets. We only use notebooks in grades 3 to 5.
This year I decided to add these light filters*** to my room because the lights were very bright. I like the ambiance they give to my room.
This map by Spanish Cuentos is a “must-have” in a Spanish classroom. It’s also good to have on hand when we talk about different Spanish speaking countries.
I like keeping my classroom rules at the front so I can refer to them when I need them.
These signs with hand signals avoid a lot of interruptions in my class. Visit this post to read more about how I use them.
I really love this reading corner! The classroom cushions***are made of a fabric that is easy to clean. My students really like using them during our free reading time.
The books in the library are leveled by grade, but if a student feels that he or she can read beyond the suggested level, they will need to conference with me to make sure that the reading is not going to make them feel frustrated. Stop by my Facebook page to get the pictures of the posters I shared there.
These are some lovely friends that accompany my students when they have birthdays or need extra love during class.
I like decorating my room with authentic art and label them with their country of origin. Most of them are from Colombia (I wonder why…).
I use these signs to greet my kinder and first grade students.
This year I changed my sign from “La frase de la semana” to “La frase del ciclo” to “honor” the new 10-day cycle schedule that we have. I figured the frase will need to stay longer on my door for my students to remember it.
We have a new class pet this year. We are still deciding on a name for it. This pet is also a favorite during birthdays. It also has different outfits for special occasions during the school year. My students love it!
I am keeping my calendar area simple. I think I already have so many colors around the room, so it was fair to keep this area simple.
I can’t believe 2018 is almost over! Thank you for all the support I receive from you, my readers throughout the world. I truly enjoy receiving messages that share how my blog has inspired new ideas in other classrooms or helped other teachers, or that express a simple hola to connect with me. This year I gave a new look to my page in the hopes of making it an easier space for teachers to navigate. I truly hope it has been more intuitive and even fun to spend time on my page!
I started this blog about 8 years ago, when I was the only Spanish teacher in a school where I taught in Boston. I started it as a way to connect with other teachers. Soon after I started this blog, I was able to meet other teachers in the area and created a small group that met face to face once per month to exchange ideas.
Seeing that Facebook was also a place to reach more teachers, I opened a page for the blog, and recently, with all the changes with Facebook, two years ago a Facebook group called“Profes de ELE para niños”was born. I am telling you a little bit of the history of this blog to let you know that this blog wouldn’t exist without you! The awesome teachers who’ve inspired me every day!
Here are my posts that were most popular during 2018! Make sure to visit each post to download the resources that go along with them.
¡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.