This is my first year using interactive notebooks with my students. I teach grades PreK-3, but I only use it with second and third graders, and they have Spanish twice a week for 45 minutes each class. We play games and sing a lot in class and sometimes make projects on iPads, but at the end of every unit I like making a paper project or worksheet they can keep in their notebooks. Last year I used binders and divided them into sections, but soon enough the binders were messy, and some students dropped them by accident, and pages flew all over the place. I am not sure how interactive this notebook is, but I like calling it that because it sounds less boring than calling it just a a regular notebook, at least for my own motivation! So far the results have been great and the children really love them. Creating an interactive notebook is a lot of work. I have decided to create mine along with my students and with the curriculum in progress to see what activities really work.
Take a peek inside our notebooks. These are some of the activities in the second and third grade interactive notebooks. I will keep adding more pages as the school year progresses.
Children worked on personalizing their notebooks
We used these two activities during the first two weeks of school.
The calendar in the notebook is very useful as we use it as part of our class routine and can refer to it and access it very easily.
We also glue regular worksheets in the notebook folded in half to save space.
These are two different activities second and third graders did to review and learn new parts of the body.
We also glue booklets and lyrics of some of the songs we learn during class.
This is our latest activity to share what we are thankful for in Spanish.
At the end of the notebook we glued envelopes to keep those extra papers we need to save such as our participation cards.
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More pages will be added as the year goes by and we explore more language in our classes. You can purchase all the activities above in my TpT store. The good news is that I will keep adding more activities to this set, and if you purchase this set now you will be the first to get the new activities at no extra charge. You will be notified via e-mail every time I add more to this product, and you will just have to download the recent file! The price will change as the product grows, and you won’t have to pay anything extra.
Have fun putting your interactive notebooks together with your students!
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 these 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.
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Have an awesome school year!