Spanish Class Routines

Author – Allison Wienhold

Spanish Classroom Routines was originally posted by Allison Wienhold 2.5.19. & most recently updated 4.19.24.

Inside: Spanish class routines are essential for Spanish teachers. Weekly Spanish bell ringer routines in Spanish class to save time, build community, and provide input in Spanish. Use more Spanish in the classroom with Spanish class activities to start class in a fun way with Para Empezar.

Spanish Classroom Routines - Para Empezar from Mis Clases Locas

Why Use Spanish Class Routines?

I started this blog when I was a baby second-year Spanish teacher in a tiny school as a #deptof1. Some of my first blog posts ever were about Spanish bell ringer classroom routines that I had started. Here is what I wrote in 2014 about classroom routines in Spanish in the classroom:

One of the best forms of classroom management I have found, is having a Spanish bell ringer, or as we call it in my class Para Empezar, for the students to complete as they enter the classroom. They know that as they walk in there is a task they should be completing. So it helps to get them to their seats and thinking about Spanish.

At first I would write what each class should be doing on the white board, but this took up a lot of time each morning. I then switched to a PowerPoint which I know keep on my desktop and just add to throughout the year. It included tasks like reading and answering questions about a Spanish meme, video, teaser to new topic, or review from previous day’s lesson. Slowly I started implementing a certain activity for each day’s bell ringer such as loco lunes, free reading on Tuesday and Thursday, música miércoles, and baile viernes


Spanish Class Routines Evolution

Flash forward to almost a decade as a teacher and some of these classroom routines are still a staple in the weekly routines of many Spanish teachers. One big upgrade over the years for these bell ringers was moving from PowerPoint to having everything in Google Slides. What I love about slides is you can embed videos right in the slide, so students can both watch as well as see a task as needed. Also, anyone can access Google Slides on any device, even school-issued Chrome books.

**Update get the newest year of Para Empezar 2024 in my shop or get Para Empezar 2024 on TPT**


What is a Typical Week of Class Starters in Spanish, aka Para Empezar?

Use these Spanish bell ringers to start with more Spanish in the classroom.

More Details on Spanish Class Daily Activities

Monday – Weekend Talk

Weekend Chat Monday Spanish Class Routine

To build community, as well as work on using preterite tense, most classes start Monday with weekend chat. Weekend Chat is just chatting about your weekend in Spanish. It personalizes your content to what students want to talk about, plus builds in a social-emotional check-in.  10 ways to mix up weekend chat has many ideas of how to keep weekend chat fresh.

Plus, I have many ready-to-go weekend chat resources as well. Some days this is as simple as just chatting for a few minutes in Spanish. But other days, especially after a break we dig a little deeper and the entire lesson might be based on a post-break chat. ( Examples, post-summer chat, post-Winter break, Spring Break Chat

Ready-To-Go Weekend Chat Resources



Tuesday is the day that has been the least consistent for me over the years in my Spanish class routines. My main Tuesday themes for Spanish class have been free reading, martes del meme & martes del mapa. You can pick and choose what works for you at each level. 

Free Reading

Once I had a classroom library, I typically started both Tuesday and Thursday in upper levels by having about 5-12 minutes of free voluntary reading depending on the level. See this post about how I started my classroom library and this post about the game changer starting Free Reading.  Students knew on these two days they go straight to the classroom library and pick out something to read. I know that many teachers do not have a classroom library, hence the other Tuesday options. 

Martes del mapa Spanish Class Tuesday Routine

Martes del Mapa

The goal of  Martes del mapa is to expose students to geography and the diverse countries of the Spanish-speaking world. Each slide focuses on a different Spanish-speaking country. This way students leave Spanish class with a better understanding of the diverse places and people who speak the language. Read this blog post to learn more about using these travel videos.

Martes del Meme

Martes del meme came from the push to have more social-emotional check-ins during Hybrid teaching. I created this Spanish class routine for SEL for early novice Spanish but could be adapted for all levels. If you are looking for a way to check in on your students, on any day, as well as connect to build a positive classroom community while staying in Spanish, this Tuesday resource is for you.

Wednesday – Música miércoles

Music Wednesday in Spanish Class

Música miércoles is a weekly tradition I started in my first year of teaching in 2012. As students enter class on Wednesday a fun song in Spanish is playing. It is usually loud enough that even those in the hallway are interested in what kind of fun we are having in Spanish.

Once the bell rings, students watch the whole video and we then discuss or write about it. Usually, this whole process is only about 5 minutes. You could save the song for a Brain Break instead if there is another input you want right away. See this post for more details about música miércoles & what to do with a song for more ideas if you want to make this more than just a warm-up or Brain Break.

Ready-To-Go Músic Resources

If you want to intentionally diversify your music in Spanish class

Thursday – Jaja Jueves

Jaja Jueves Jokes in Spanish Class

My Thursday routine for a while has been jaja jueves, sharing a joke ir meme in Spanish. As mentioned above in upper-level classes I might have them also start class by free reading, but then I still use jaja jueves as a brain break.

I used to scramble each Thursday morning to find a meme or joke in Spanish to use. So, I started putting them all together in a jaja jueves slideshow, along with questions to discuss. I project these chistes and we discuss them in Spanish.  I have multiple sets of slides of ready-to-go jaja jueves jokes. Here are the most popular jokes in Spanish in the classroom.

Ready-To-Go Spanish Joke Resources

baile viernes dance brain break in Spanish

Friday – Baile viernes 

Friday is the fun day when we start class with a dance! A Just Dance or Zumba video in Spanish is playing during passing time. Students put their stuff down and just start dancing. Do every class and every student dance? No. Is it the best part of the day or week for some students? Yes. Does it build a positive classroom community? Yes. Here is my original post on baile viernes & 5 Ways to use Dance in any class

Ready-To-Go Spanish Dance Resources

Future Weekend Talk – another Friday option

If you or your students are not into dancing on Friday, future weekend chat is another option. Basically, you just chat about weekend plans in the future. This can be some using the simple future, or ir + a, depending on what your students are familiar with so far.

Ready-To-Go Future Weekend Chat Resources


Breaks in the routine

We do pause the typical routine for certain times during the year.

Para Empezar 2024 has the following

Sometimes if we are doing a class novel and are reading a new chapter that day, we may not do the free reading as well. You have to adjust as needed.

Para Empezar 2022 Spanish Classroom Routines

Other Spanish Class Routines

Even if you do not have a set of activities students do as they enter class, teaching students a certain routine helps to set the tone for the day and have everyone ready to acquire a new language.

  • Entering the room – When students enter my deskless class, they are supposed to put their bags along the wall and only have what is posted that they need. Cell phones and headphones are to be in their bag as well.
  • Interpersonal speaking skills posters remind students of their expectations and are pointed to when everyone needs a reminder.
  • Attention Getters are posted and used to start class and regain attention when needed
  • Brain Breaks – Some of the above activities could be used to break up class instead of starting it, especially if you teach on a block schedule. If not having a chance for students to get up and move is key to maintaining engagement. 
  • More Classroom Relationships & Routines

Here are all of my Para Empezar resources

Save yourself a ton of time with resources for the entire years below. 
**Update get the newest year of Para Empezar 2022 Bundle Here!**
Spanish Bell Ringers for a year 2024 from Mis Clases Locas

The past year of Para Empezar you might prefer based on what you want to be included.

  • Para Empezar 2023
    •  22 weeks in slide shows & separate ones for HHM, música indígina & March Madness (**only one that has música indígina)
  • Para Empezar 2021
    •  22 weeks in slide shows & separate ones for HHM, Afro-Latino & March Madness (**only one that Tuesday is SEL Check-In)
  • Para Empezar for a year 3 
    • 22 weeks in slide shows & separate ones for HHM, Afro-Latino & March Madness
  • Para Empezar for a year 2 
    • The only version that there is a consistent slideshow for each day of the week (good if you want more options or do not want to stop for music brackets)
  • Para Empezar for a year 1 
    • Multiple seasonal slide shows. The best option if you live digging deeper in holidays. Also the best option if you like having your Monday-Friday slides all together for a few weeks.
Spanish Class Routines to Start Class
What Spanish class routi8nes are essential in your classes?
originally posted 7.15.14 by Allison Wienhold, most recently updated 3.29.22

Share it: