One of the best forms of classroom management I have found, is having a bell ringer, or as we call it in my class Para Empezar, up and ready for the students to complete as they walk into 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 was both old school and 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. This way I can also reuse things from class to class or year to year including any of the following: 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.
Flash forward almost five years and some of these classroom routines are still a staple in our weekly routine. One big upgrade was I moved from PowerPoint to having everything in Google Slides. What I love about slides is I can embed my videos right in the slide, so student can both watch as well as see a task as needed. Also I can access my Google Slides on any device, even our school issued Chrome books.
Para Empezar typical week
To build community, as well as work on using our preterite tense, most classes start Monday with weekend chat. 5 ways to mix up weekend chat has some ideas of how to keep it fresh, or 1 year of weekend chat has many ways to mix it up in any level Spanish. Some days this is as simple as literally just chatting for a few minutes in Spanish, but others we dig a little deeper if there is time. This resource also includes 22 weeks of weekend chat, as well as activities for each other day as well.
martes y jueves – leer
We start both Tuesday & Thursday by having about 5-12 minutes of free voluntary reading depending on the level. See this post about how I started my own classroom library and this post about the game changer starting Free Reading. Students know 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, so this resource includes martes del mapa (each week focusing on a Spanish speaking country) and jaja jueves (a comprehensible joke or meme in Spanish). I also have a separate martes del mapa & jaja jueves.
As students enter class on Wednesday a fun song in Spanish is playing (loud enough that even those in the hallway are interested in what kind of fun we are having in Spanish). Students watch the video and we then discuss or write about it. Usually this whole process is only about 5 minutes and you could save it for a brain break instead if there is other input you want right away. See this post for more detail about música miércoles or this giant growing bundle with enough songs for years!
– We do pause the routine for times like Hispanic Heritage Month (Sep15-Oct15) one song from each country bracket, Afro-latino (Feb) & Mania musical (March). (Year of Para Empezar 3 has all of those plus more).
Sometime if we are doing a class novel and are reading a new chapter that day, we may not do free reading as well. You have to adjust as needed.
Even if you do not have a set 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 bag 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.
- Para Empezar 2021
- My newest one – 22 weeks in one slide show & separate ones for HHM, afro-latino & March Madnes
- Para Empezar for a year 3
- 22 weeks in one slide show & separate ones for HHM, afro-latino & March Madness
- Para Empezar for a year 2
- a slideshow for each day of the week
- Para Empezar for a year 1
- multiple seasonal slide shows