Inside: Mix up Weekend Talk in Spanish class or mix up Weekend Chat in Spanish class.
I mentioned in my post about planning for upper level classes, that we typically start Mondays with a “Weekend Talk” or “Weekend Chat.” I had heard about doing this for years in the CI circles, but never seemed to find time to do it. What is interesting is I have always been a #deptof1 so when I can not find time for something it is just me, myself and I putting tight requirements on pacing and curriculum. I am not sure why I felt the need to rush into the week full force and how I could not “find time” to spend a few minutes casually chatting in Spanish about what the students are thinking about.
What do you want to talk about and think about on Monday? Your weekend!
Do I want to make class interesting and relevant? YES!
So I guess I should let us all spend some time talking about what we did over our weekend (or break).
What is great about having routines like the weekend talk is is actually saves you time planning. Once you have a few options of how to talk about your weekend in your back pocket, there is a chunk of every Monday all planned out for you. A few years ago, I came back from maternity leave as a walking zombie teacher mom with a baby who got up many times a night. As a teacher mom, this means I can use all the no prep, ready to go activities I can get.
This year I plan to start Mondays in Spanish 2 and above with some variation of a weekend talk. I hope to add in Spanish 1 second semester as well, as it is a great way to casually and naturally bring in past tense. For easy planning, I usually decide on one variation that all classes will do on a day, but you can always let them pick from a couple options as the year goes on and they know their choices. Instead of boring them to tears having everyone go around and say one sentence about their weekend in past tense every Monday, here are my favorite variations on a weekend talk.
This is my newest way to mix up regular weekend chat or chatting after a break. I have multiple version of these Question Cards that can be used in different ways each week. Mi Verano set is perfect to talk about the summer during back to school, ¿Fuiste…? only uses one verb and would be perfect to start introducing past tense in Spanish 1 or Spanish 2 or general weekend chat question cards would be great to use variations all year long. Here are a few ways to mix up question cards.
Partners/Small Groups– with enough set for each partner or small group, students take turns asking and answering the questions (laminate to use over & over)
Walk and Talk – print set of the larger question cards and post them around the room or even the school or common area. Have students walk with a partner to answer out loud or on a sheet.
Students Sign – print one set of the larger questions and post on a whiteboard. Have students write their name under anything they did & then discuss as a class who did what. (Idea from Christy Lade) The ¿Fuiste…? version of this way is posted below.
Tell students what you did (& embellish it)
Students are given a prompt on the board to interview their partner about their weekend. They can then share what their friend did over the weekend, instead of talking about themselves. Andrea Brown shares a helpful handout to give students in this post. This is a good way to get in other forms instead of just I.
2 Truths & a Lie
I used to use this icebreaker as a camp counselor all the time. I did not think about using it in the language class, until it was in a unit plan from Martina Bex. Now I always keep these 1/4 sheet 2 Truths & a Lie forms ready to go for a no prep weekend talk activity. Students grab a sheet on their way in and write two things they did and one they did not without telling anyone what they are writing. They place them in a basket once done and the teacher reads them one by one. By having the teacher read them out loud you can fix any errors (without ever letting them know) and make sure what is heard is correct. In my class I first have students guess who wrote it, and then guess which is the lie.
You could just do a couple and save the others for brain breaks, or we have spent almost an entire class period with this activity. The first day back from Spring Break last year, I had one level two group that kept going with this for the whole. They thought they were being tricky and “wasting class,” but really we were all talking in Spanish in the past tense. #teacherwin
Find Someone Who
If you have a class that just needs to move on Monday morning, a find someone who people hunt is for you. I have found that these are especially great for the first day back from breaks, when students have a ton of energy. The first day of Spanish 2 and 3 this year, we will be doing a Find Someone Who about mi verano.
I wanted a no prep option that could be used on any Monday of the year to talk about the weekend in general, so I made a Find Someone Who – Weekend Talk. I am going to print off enough of these for all classes and have them ready to go as my emergency Monday plans. There is a version with the verb forms provided that I will use with lower levels, and one without for upper levels. With the possible extensions, including writing about classmates, it could easily fill an entire class period if needed. Even though I try to leave Friday with my plans ready to go for the next week, this is going to be my go to back up for a Monday. It would also be great if a chunk of kids will go gone so you do not want to move ahead on your unit or novel, but want something engaging and worthwhile for the rest to do.
More Weekend Talk Ideas
- 18 Activities to talk about the weekend** gold mine
- Weekend Talk ideas – Cynthia Hitz
- 4 Variations of Weekend Chat – Andrea Brown
- Para Empezar – Intermediate Spanish – includes 6 different types of weekend talks for each Monday
- 1 Year of Weekend Chat – no prep!
- Weekend Talk Question Cards – no prep!