I hope everyone is having a great school year so far! This will be my 4th week with students. We spent the first week and a half making it a safe place for our students, getting to know to know one another and giving them a chance to get to know the space. I teach K-5, and this week was my first full week with my K students. Everything is so new for them that our school principal and their teachers feel that for specialists to start teaching them subject material from day one could be terrifying! I love this new approach of getting to know our students before we dive into our curriculums.
I have been working on classroom routines, classroom rules and encouraging them to use hand signals when we are in class. I have decorated my classroom with some input for them but will be adding more little by little. I feel that it doesn’t make sense for me to fill every space on the walls of my classrooms with signs that they don’t yet understand, and I know I am not in need of them yet.
I have been making some changes around the room according to the needs of my students. I have a deskless classroom. My K-2 students sit on the rug, and grades 3-5 have assigned seats. Each chair has a pocket where we keep our notebooks and pencils. That saves me time when we do writing activities.
I have a calendar, but I mostly use an online version projected on the board. The online version of the calendar has links to guess the day’s temperature in different Spanish countries.
I have about 115 students, so this poster has been helpful to remember dates. Every month we change it, and the children quickly write their name and date of their birthday.
I have a class list and have assigned a number to each of my students in each grade. I use these popsicle sticks (not a new idea!) to choose participants in the different games we play, since sometimes it is hard to choose. Students also have the choice to say “paso” to indicate “I pass.”
I added a reading corner to my classroom. I haven’t use it yet, but I plan to add copies of the TPRS® stories we do this year. I have some students who are heritage speakers, so I think they could benefit from other stories as well.
I also like comparing the time zones in different countries. I have a clock that shows Colombia, one for Austin and one for Equatorial Guinea. I might change the countries later.
I have decorated the classroom with some useful language, question boards and signals, and classroom rules. At the top of the board, I keep the flags of the countries of study. We do about 8 per school year with grades 2-5. One more thing is that this year the interactive board comes with a microphone which is great for the little ones. They can hear me better and are more engaged.
I have a projector that I can use to work on rewriting stories together or simply filling out worksheets in class. Best thing to have ever!
Next to the projector, I have a table with different props and with some Yoga cards that I use as brain breaks with my students.
I also keep a chime handy when the attention getters I use don’t work. Voice saver!
I have decorated the classroom with art from different Spanish speaking countries. I wish I had one to represent each country. So far I have a lot from Colombia, Panamá, La República Dominica, Guatemala, Ecuador, México, and Chile. I write the name of the country under the piece of art so students know where it comes from.
I also have have other small decorations around the room, mostly around my computer. I have a chair next to some furniture that is part of the classroom.
I use this chair for students to sit when we sing the birthday song.
This is a Friday selfie! Feeling ready to go home!
How is your school year going? Do you have a classroom, or are you traveling? I used to be a traveling teacher and wrote a post a while back about how I used to roll! You might find the post helpful!
It has been a while since I have hosted a giveaway here on my blog! I went to Colombia this summer for a few days and thought of bringing something home that I could share and help one teacher decorate his/her classroom or cart.
I decided to bring back a hat that has come to represent Colombia as a symbol, “El Sombrero Vueltiao.” I feel strongly connected to this symbol because my parents are both from the Atlantic Coast of Colombia, and although I was born and raised in Cali, I was always surrounded by the Sombrero Vueltiao, las abarcas (traditional sandals) and all the flavors from the Coast: suero, pescado seco (dried fish), yuca (cassava), and more. I have memories of listening to Vallenatos everyday at home with my parents who loved to host simple fiestas on Saturdays with some other Costeños and neighbors.
Sombreros are a big part of the rural Colombian culture and the different festivals and carnivals around the country. There is a sombrero for everything, and they all look different. Some of the sombreros are engrained in particular cultures, which is the case of the Guambianopeople in the Cauca Department who have a very special bowler hat. This said, not everyone wears sombreros in Colombia, so don’t get disappointed if you ever visit and don’t see any sombreros.
Since the Sombrero Vueltiao has also become an icon in attempts (which has been pretty successful!) to attract tourists, I am sure you will at least see one sombrero and some pictures of it in Colombia.
This video below explains the history of the Sombrero Vueltiao and its meaning for the people from the Atlantic Coast of Colombia.
Ready to participate in the giveaway?
If you would like to participate in this giveaway and have the opportunity to win this awesome set of Colombian decorations for your classroom or cart, just enter below to participate. The winner will be announced on August 5th, 2017. Participants in The United States Only!
A few months ago I shared an ice-breaker activity to help students warm up after returning from winter break. It turns out that this activity can also be used as one to close the school year. It’s a great activity to get everyone moving, using the language, and talking about plans for the summer break.
This activity is set up as an interview. Students have to move around the room asking different classmates about their future plans. I usually give them five to ten minutes to complete the activity. My rules are that they need to use Spanish and need to find one person per box.
At the end of the activity, you can count and see which student got the most names. You can also graph the activities to identify the most popular summer plan.
It’s back-to-school time for me, and I’ve been busy working on new products that I plan to use with my classes. I have been sharing them during the summer on my Facebook page and finally decided to put them all together in one post so you can decide what works for you. Some of them are freebies, and some of them are paid products. 1. Labels for Interactive Spanish Notebooks and Folders