Why Use Spanish Class Routines?
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.
What is a Typical Week of Class Starters in Spanish, aka Para Empezar?
- Monday – Weekend Chat
- Wednesday – Música miércoles
- Friday – Baile viernes!
More Details on Spanish Class Daily Activities
Monday – Weekend Talk
To build community, as well as work on using preterite tense, most classes start Monday with weekend chat. Weekend Chat is basically just chatting about your weekend in Spanish. It personalizes your content to what students actually want to talk about, pus 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 literally 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
- NEW Weekend Chat 2023 – 45 Google Slides!
- Weekend Chat 2022 – (part of the PE 22)
- Original Weekend Chat Slides + Find Someone Who
- Question Cards & ¿Fuiste…? question cards
- Weekend Chat 2 – digital slides with class starters & discussion slides
- Weekend Chat 21 – digital slides with move your people
- + Get the weekend chat bundle for all of my weekend chat variations together.
- Weekend Chat Youtube Video Below
Tuesday is the day that has been the least consistent for me over the years for 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.
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 own 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
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.
- NEW martes del mapa 2023 – a mix of videos in Spanish, one from each country
- martes del mapa 2022 – all travel videos, one from each country (part of PE 22)
- 22 weeks of martes del mapa –a mix of infographics & videos, one from each country
- 1 year of martes del mapa -a mix of music videos & travel videos
- Travel Video Youtube Video Below
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
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 detail 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
- Mis Clases Locas Mega Music Bundle
- *Música miércoles Growing BUNDLE.
- Música for middle school & Música for Elementary Spanish
- Music Youtube Video Below
If you want to intentionally diversify your music in Spanish class
Thursday – Jaja Jueves
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.
Ready-To-Go Spanish Joke Resources
- Jaja jueves Bundle – every set of jokes altogether, enough for 1 every day of the year!
- Jaja jueves 2023 – my newest, most squeaky clean joke set for elementary-conservative high school
- Jaja jueves 22 – another sqeaky clean joke set (You can get it as a part of Para Empezar 2022)
- 1 year of jaja jueves – enough memes for every Thursday of the year, the most popular version
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
- If you want tons of options – Baile viernes bundle
- The newest dance in Spanish videos – Baile viernes 23
- Newer videos –Baile viernes 2021
- A mix of real people & Just Dance –Baile viernes for a year.
- Baile viernes for middle school.
Future Weekend Talk – another Friday optionIf 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 2022 has the following
- Hispanic Heritage Month (Sep15-Oct15) one song from each country bracket
- Afro-latino (Feb)
- Mania musical (March).
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.
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
The past year of Para Empezar you might prefer based on what you want to be included.
- 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 in order for a few weeks.
Spanish Classroom Routines was originally posted by Allison Wienhold 2.5.19. Most recently updated 8.21.23