Knowing how to pronounce your students’ names correctly is one of the most valuable things to start connecting with your students from day 1. Below you will find some tips that might help:
Get Ready in Advance
Take a look at your class lists. Don’t assume that you already know how to pronounce your students’ names.
Investigate prior to your class the name each student goes by or their preferred name.
On The First Day in Class
Ask each student to say their name. Repeat their name back by saying “Hola, (insert student’s name). ¡Mucho gusto!”
Let your students know that is ok for them to correct you if you mispronounce their names.
You might want to make a video of your students saying their names, recording their voice on a device, or ask them to use platforms such as Seesaw for them to record themselves saying their names. Use the recordings or videos to practice your students’ names.
This will require a little preparation on your part.
Once you know your student’s preferred name, create a document where you type your student’s name in a rectangle not bigger than 2 inches wide.
Cut each nameplate out.
Give your students time in class to decorate their nameplates.
Keep the nameplates in your classroom. You can use them for grouping activities, keeping track of turns, for other name activities, and so on!
This actually works better than the numbered sticks and students love seeing you use something that they worked on!
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!
Tingo Tango is one of those games that brings back memories of growing up in Colombia. This game is traditionally played in a circle passing a small object. I have played this game before, and my students were really asking to play – and I finally figured out how to adapt it to our current situation. Read my previous post here.
This version works well for both in-person and virtual classes.
How to play:
1️⃣ Use the website Wheel of Names, and add the names of the students participating. This will generate a wheel spinner to pick a random person.
2️⃣ Create a list of “penitencias” (translated for this game as tasks) for your students to act out if they get chosen. Swipe to see a sample.
3️⃣ Chant together “Tingo, Tingo, Tingo …” and “Tango” when the wheel is about to stop. The person who gets chosen by the wheel will have to complete a penitencia from the list.
4️⃣ Continue playing the game and having fun! Visit my Instagram post to see the game in action!
I don’t explicitly teach vowels in Spanish but try to find ways to incorporate them in my lessons through games or songs. The good news is that there are five vowels in Spanish and each of them has only one sound! That makes everyone’s lives easier!
An easy way to introduce the sounds is by using the song below. In the past, I have used a puppet to sing along. As you can hear in the song, the name of the vowel is introduced, and then the sound.
Having small posters with pictures that represent each vowel sound is helpful. One activity I have used is to show the vowel and then place pictures that go along with each vowel.
Another fun way is to create gestures or movements for each vowel. Write a list of words that your students already know, project them or show them to the class, and then have your students do the movement any time they hear or see a certain vowel. I like keeping it to just focusing on one vowel per word. If you don’t want to create a different gesture for each vowel, you can just use actions such as jump when you hear the vowel A.
As I mentioned above, I don’t teach vowels or even the ABC’s as a unit anymore. I just like finding ways to incorporate them and using them when needed in class.
ClickHERE to download the posters and use these activities with your students next time you see them!
This is a twist on the traditional “Veo, veo” song/game. I used a short version and added a movement component to it. This game has been a hit in my in-person and virtual classes.
This game can be used with anything you are teaching in your classes. I have used it to review vocabulary, with images from stories for retelling and more! As you can see in the video, I used it with my virtual students during our Zoom class and gave them access to the annotation tool.
How to play the game:
One student chooses a picture of the chart projected in class. That same student says “Veo, veo” (I see, I see).
The rest of the class responds by saying “¿Qué ves?” (What do you see?).
The student that said “Veo, veo” says the name of the picture and also chooses a movement for everyone to do. For example, “Veo una cara feliz. ¡Corre!”.
The rest of the participants start running (in place) once they see the picture.
Then the student asks a volunteer to point at the picture, and the game starts all over again with a new student choosing the picture.
¡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.
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.