At this point in the year, some of you are already back to school or getting ready for it! I still have a few days left until I see my students. I have some new things I would love to try this year. At a conference I attended this summer, a teacher shared with me that at the beginning of the school year she sends home a survey for her students to fill out along with their parents. I know homeroom teachers do it, and I recall getting a few of these when my own children were in preschool. How in the world is it that it never occurred to me that I could do this with my students? That’s why I love the teaching community, so much sharing and helping each other!
After doing some research, I adapted one that I will share with my students. I plan to use it in class in something like “el estudiante misterioso”which basically will be like sharing with the class special facts about this person, taking a few guesses, and then revealing the name of the mystery student. After revealing the name, I will again ask the class to give some facts about this person. For example,
1. ¿Cuántos hermanos tiene Anna?
2. ¿Quién tiene hermanos en la clase?
3. ¿Cuántos hermanos tienes?
This way other student can relate with the mystery student.
I’m not sure where I will take it from there. Maybe the mystery student will have a special place to sit in class or will have a special job. Please share your ideas in the comments. I will be so excited to hear them all and update this post with them!
Download your pages for “El estudiante misterioso” HERE!
I partnered with Mundo de Pepita to share activities for the first day of school in Spanish class.These is a collection of what I shared on my blog. Make sure to click on every picture and read all the different activities.
I am really happy to welcome all the new teachers! Thank you for spreading the love of learning a new language in your school community and to your students!
Planning is one of the most important aspects to ensuring a successful class over the course of a school year. Of course, getting to know your school community and the needs of your students are intimately tied to this part of the teaching process. You also need to be clear regarding what kind of language program your school wants to develop or has in place so that you tailor it to the demand and expectations appropriately. In many cases, we language teachers are in charge of planning our class 100% while building a curriculum from scratch, especially since textbooks at the elementary level have limited applicability for a natural approach to language teaching and learning.
In over fifteen years of teaching languages to children, I have found that planning a week in advance for the following week works perfectly and gives me time to assess the material, reflect on the way I am teaching, and to adapt for my students as needed. Although there are fancy higher tech ways to do this, I’m old school when it comes to planning, choosing to keep it simple. I plan for every day on a single sheet of paper, and by the end of the school year, I have about two big binders with all my lesson plans collected in one place. I re-use this lesson plans the following year, but I create a new binder with changes as I adapt activities year by year.
How to write a lesson plan for a 20-30 minute lesson
Prepare a routine: Make sure you develop a clear routine for your class. A routine doesn’t equate to boredom and doesn’t mean that the activities are always presented in the same way. Creating a routine means creating a space for learners to feel safe about their knowledge and to be ready to switch gears. Prepare two to three elements that are always in your routine, but make sure they can be presented with plenty of variation.
This objective is one objective or piece of an objective drawn from the objectives planned for the entire unit. Remember that a spiral curriculum plan will allow you to come back to your other objectives later. This singular focus helps ensure that your entire lesson is well-targeted and clear. It’s the foundation for all that you do with your students.
Includes your routine (calendar, weather, birthdays, etc). Singing or playing a game related to the routine or theme of study helps students warm-up for your lesson and creates a positive environment.
The activity is the core of your lesson. In this stage of the planning, students will get engage with your theme for the unit. Different strategies are stated here to allow students to accomplish the lesson’s objective. It is important to determine the steps of the activities and to be clear about them to create a confident learning environment. An unclear set of activities will create confusion between students.
This allows you and students to know clearly when a class is over and feel a sense of accomplishment. This ending can be done through a simple game or by reviewing some elements that were explored in the lesson.
In a FLES class, the assessment is mainly done during the progress of the lesson. Try to focus on a few students per lesson, and observe them closely during the development of the lesson.
List all kinds of resources you will need to teach your lesson effectively. This will also help you to prepare in advance and avoid trips to your office during class.
Hola amigos ¿cómo están? (Hi friends -boys-, how are you?)
Muy bien! (Very well). Hola, amigas ¿cómo están? (Hi friends -girls-, how are you?)
Muy bien! (Very well).
Bienvenidos amigos (welcome(boys)),
Bienvenidas amigas (welcome (girls))
Bienvenidos, bienvenidas, la, la, la,
Bienvenidos, bienvenidas, la, la, la.
Activities: • Use a friendly puppet to introduce the song. Have a short interaction with the puppet: You: Hola, ¿cómo estas? Puppet: Muy bien gracias Puppet and you: Bienvenido, bienvenida a la clase de español . • Pass the ball in the circle asking each student “Hola, ¿cómo estas?” and giving them the opportunity to answer “muy bien gracias”. Invite students to volunteer using two puppets with the same question and answer. • Make instruments with recycled materials such as cereal boxes, milk bottles, and spoons. Have students sing the song while playing instruments. Divide the class in two groups. Ask one side of the class to sing “hola, ¿cómo estas? And have the other group respond “muy bien”
(My name is Julián) A, E, I, O, U ¿Cómo te llamas tú?
(What’s your name?) A, E, I, O, U Yo me llamo Alana
(My name is Alana)
Activities: • Bring a puppet to class. Introduce it by saying “Yo me llamo ….”(my name is), and then say “¿Cómo te llamas tú?” (what’s your name) pointing at the puppet and have the puppet respond to you. • Have a puppet ask the children in class ¿cómo te llamas tú? • Have the class stand up in a circle. Throw a ball while asking “¿cómo te llamas tú? They should respond by saying “yo me llamo…” or simply say their name and throw the ball back to you, and then proceed to sit back down.
• Variation: The student with the ball responds to the question saying “Yo me llamo…” and then throws the ball to another classmate asking “¿Cómo te llamas”. Once their classmates answer, the student who had the ball previously can sit. The game continues until they are all seated.
¡Feliz regreso a la escuela!
¡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.