Spanish class teaching ideas ( first days of school part II)
It looks like most teachers are already back in the classerooms so I wanted to keep sharing some useful teaching ideas with all of you. Last week I wrote a post about introductions in Spanish based on the ¿Cómo te llamas? (what's your name? in Spanish) song and video.
My goal as a teacher is to put my students in as many real situations as possible which means they have to be the center of the teaching-learning process. I like activities where I have students wondering around the class asking and answering questions to each other. The activity I am going to explain next it's all about that. It is based on "Los meses del año" (months of the year in Spanish) song and video and you can find the actual sheet for the activity on "los meses del año" Spanish worksheet for kids and beginners. It is a good activity to do during the first days of school so students can practice some basic vocabulary and questions at the same time that they interact with each other.
This is what I do:
1 . I write the months of the year in Spanish on the board and I go over meaning and pronuntiation with students.
2. Once they are familiar with the vocabulary we listen to the song. This first time we just listen and read along without singing.
3. We listen to the song again but this time I encourage students to sing.
4. We watch the video so listening to the song does not get boring.
5. Once they know how to prounounce the months properly, I hand out copies of the activity (see below. You will find it on page 5 of the Spanish months of the year worksheet) and have each student ask every single person in the class ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? (when is your birthday, in Spanish). Students fill out the chart below, writing the name of each student under the month in which they have their birthday.
It is a very simple and engaging activity in which you will have the whole class speaking in Spanish. I think it is very important to do activities like this one from the very beginnig of the school year. This way our students get used to speaking Spanish and lose the "fear" of speaking in the target language. We later add on more complicated activities and by the end of the year (proably earlier) your students will be able to have fluid conversations just by combining some of these activities together.
Another important topic that I have found useful to teach during the first days of school is the words for classroom materials in Spanish. It is helpful to have students learn how to say pen, pencil, etc. in Spanish as soon as possible. This way, every time you explain an activity or ask them to get a piece of paper or get some scissors for a project, you can do it all in Spanish. EVen if they don't understand the whole sentence at first, they will understand what you are asking for because they recognize some of the key words in the sentence.
I also have students help me label classroom materials in Spanish with sticky notes and I have them label their own materials as well. I encourage you to teach them the "cosas de la escuela" (school objects in Spanish) song and video as soon as possible. There is also a set of Spanish interactive games on the site to practice them (see samples below.)
Before saying ¡Hasta luego! I want to recommend you to follow a couple of Spanish blogs for teachers that I follow. Carolina and Jenny are constantly creating and sharing new teaching ideas so check them out! http://funforspanishteachers.blogspot.com/ and http://www.spanishplayground.net/
I will write a post next week about classroom management and ideas on how to speak in the target language as much as possible. Meanwhile stay tuned! Don't forget to check out our latest games about "verbos importantes en español" (Important Spanish verbs )