Thank you for making 2017 a great year for Fun for Spanish Teachers! Starting a new year is an opportunity to hit the reset button and start again! I have so many goals for myself this year on both a personal and professional level. I’ll continue working toward some of my goals from last year. Some of the them actually involve working less or smarter, though I aim to share more via this blog with all the Spanish teachers out there. Along with that, I would love to go back to running, since it is an activity that I truly enjoy and serves as a form of moving meditation. As far as my professional goals, I hope to continue learning from other teachers to integrate new approaches and methodologies into my teaching. I also look forward to connecting with many of you! What are your goals for the New Year? Please feel free to share them in the comments. I would love to read them!
I leave you with some love for your classroom! Click on the pictures below to download them!
Print the pages of this black and white calendar and use them as your
personal planner or a calendar for your students to keep up with your class.
Print these letters and place them on a bulletin board or cart
One of the things I love about Facebook is how easy you can find online communities related to any topic and interest. And teachers really do know how to take advantage of Facebook. Just type keywords into the search bar to reveal different groups and pages related to them.
I want to share with you some groups that have been created for teaching Spanish at the early and elementary level. Please note that for some of the groups you will have to request to join the group; this is because they want to make sure only Spanish teachers join. Also in some of them the moderators will have to approve your question before it is posted on the wall. In an effort to keep the group clear of spam, some moderators will delete anything that is not related to teaching at this level. The language of interaction changes according to the group; some groups use English and Spanish, while some of them just use English, and some only Spanish. You will have to find the one you think works best for you.
CharlaELE is a special place on Twitter created by Spanish teachers for Spanish teachers! How great is that? It’s an opportunity to participate in a live discussion about the topics that we, as Spanish teachers, care the most about. And each discussion happens completely in Spanish! Teachers from different parts of the world dive in to participate in dialogue and share their expertise on topics related to teaching Spanish at different levels. When you participate in the chat you will always leave with the feeling that you really learned something new.
If you are on Twitter, just make sure to follow @CharlaELE1 and keep your eyes open for the tweet that will give you the discussion topic of the live chat, which uses the hashtag #charlaELE1. If you can’t participate during the live chat, the team of CharlaELE has you covered! You can visit the WikiPage to learn about every past discussion.
Need a little more information about how CharlaELE works? The video below tells you all about it!
Isn’t this wonderful? An opportunity for professional development from the comfort of your own home or favorite cafe!
Make sure to follow CharlaELE’s moderators on Twitter since they are always sharing interesting topics and insights related to teaching Spanish.
If you are on Facebook, Pinterest or enjoy following blogs, you may like to know that there is a group of Spanish teachers who are active on social media. They are all dedicated educators who share teaching tips, classroom management ideas, what has worked or hasn’t worked for them, and a lot more when it comes to teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Following them on social media can save you some time and will keep you on track while navigating the internet.
I created this in no particular order. The levels are identified by the following letters:
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.