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1st Day of Spanish Class

1st Day of Spanish Class - Mis Clases Locas

**Update** check out my plan for the 1st weeks of Spanish 1 in 2017 HERE
1st day of Spanish 2 & 3 2017 HERE 
 1st WEEK of 2015 HERE & get everything for your 1st week of school HERE!

This year I have the great problem of way too many ideas of what to do on the first day of school. This multitude of ideas came from the amazing bloggers Martina BexCarrie Toth, Laura SextonBen SlavicCourtney Cochran & Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell. After 5 summers as a camp counselor, I also have a plethora of ice breakers, name games, and getting to know you activities in my mental bag of tricks. But when you teach at a school with a total population of around 140 students 9-12, the only students who I need to get to know and do not already all know each other are the freshman.  This year I have the special privilege of having the freshman in 1st and 2nd period Spanish I. This means that I will have the honor of being the first class of their high school career. Since I am reading Teach Like Pirate by Dave Burgess, this has only raised my sense of duty that this first day and impression blow them out of the water. For tke sake of learning and growing from the past here is what I have done the past two years. 

1st Year of Teaching
On my first day of school, my first year of teaching I tried to follow a lot of what is mentioned in this post by the Creative Language Class. I modified Megan's Prezi to tell them about me in Spanish, since I was the only new teacher in the district that year. At this point most of them freaked out since their previous teachers never talked to them in Spanish much. (It was also at this point I knew I had a hard uphill battle coming that first year.) I had everyone introduce themselves and we did some sort of name game, so I could start learning 100+ new names. I also had them fill out an information sheet so I could learn more about them as people. I then did the boring first day syllabus talk. I wish I had read how to survive your first day teaching before day one. 

2nd Year of Teaching
Last year the first days of school were a blur due to the fact that without an air conditioner my room was 90 degrees, with three noisy fans running, the lights off and I was just trying my best to not pass out while 20 weeks pregnant. I followed a lot of what I did year one, added Martina's first day seating, and instead of an introduction about myself, I talked in Spanish about pictures of my summer in the past tense ending with a picture of the baby's room and revealing to them I was pregnant. (Well after the first class the whole school knew because gossip spreads like wildfire when your school is just one hallway.)

Since we start school on a Thursday, most of the students (and teachers) treat the first two days more as just beginning of the year business days with syllabuses, checking out books, logging into online textbooks and learning names and procedures. The kids come to school not expecting to actually "learn anything" until Monday. I was guilty of this myself those first two years since there is always so much business that I want to just get done and checked off my to do list. I know that this year I want them to leave class having LEARNED something, but the issue is what!?!

I actually started this post last week, but then have been bombarded with even MORE awesome ideas from the blogosphere which makes my indecisiveness go crazy. So far my plan is as follows:

Spanish I

  • BEFORE CLASS - A Spanish Pandora Station will be playing and all desks will have these seating cards
  • GREET - Greet all students at the door in Spanish with a smile, handshake and a seating card. I will ask their name in Spanish, modeling "Me llamo Senora Wienhold" "¿Cómo te llamas?"
  • INTRO MYSELF - I will introduce myself using this Prezi in Spanish with a lot of actions, movement and enthusiasm. 
  • NAME GAME - We will play name games standing in a circle. I will once again model "Me llamo Senora Wienhold" "¿Cómo te llamas?" and then pass a ball to another student, the first time next to them. Once everyone has been introduced, then in the second round the ball will be tossed to another student across the way until everyone has gotten it, and they will need to remember the order. We will then add in "se llama" to tell the name of who the ball came from and where it is going. This can keep going as long as there is high interest. Some classes want to be timed play speed ball style and beat a score, others tire of it quickly. The key is to end on a high note and keep them wanting more. This activity can be built upon with many new get to know you phrases such as me gusta or soy de
  • STATIONS - Depending how long my introduction and name game takes will decide how much of the following stations we complete day one. Most likely I will introduce it, they will begin the activities and then finish day two. I was looking for a way to incorporate choice, fun, culture, our new 1:1 laptop initiative and learn about the students all on the first day. I decided to base it around the number one student obsession in my school, Twitter. I figured it would be easier for everyone if instead of using their personal accounts, they would create a new account just for our class, where I can follow them, they follow me for class reminders, they follow Spanish artists and will tweet for reflection throughout the year. During stations I will have a chance to informally walk around and chat, getting to know them as people. With the stations they (hopefully) will:
    • Practice introducing themselves
    • Follow Spanish speakers (exposing them to culture and language)
    • Find and post books from our library to read - (showing me their interests)
    • Find and post Spanish music (giving them a voice in Música miércoles)
    • Read & reflect on class syllabus (Not just boring me droning on, but they get the information, take it home to their parents to sign, and we will discuss it as a dialogue and question/answer the next day.)
1st Day of Spanish Class - Mis Clases Locas

This is what I am thinking so far for Spanish I. I would love comments, additions, revisions or ideas to make it better. As for Spanish II-IV, since I know all of them and had them last year, the music and seating will be the same, but instead of asking their name I will ask them about their summer. In place of the introduction Prezi, I think I will show a slideshow of pictures of my baby, while talking about what HE did this summer (possibly making it slightly ridiculous and over the top). 

Spanish II - IV

  • BEFORE CLASS - A Spanish Pandora Station will be playing and all desks will have these seating cards
  • GREET - Greet all students at the door in Spanish with a smile, handshake and a seating card. Since I know all of them and had them last year, instead of asking their name I will ask them about their summer.
  • TALK ABOUT SUMMER - In place of the introduction Prezi, I think I will show a slideshow of pictures of my baby, while talking about what HE did this summer (possibly making it slightly ridiculous and over the top). This will naturally lead into asking them about their summers and everyone sharing and practicing the past tense (III & IV). We may expand it into Carrie Toth's battle of the vacations
  • STATIONS - I have been debating whether I would like Spanish II-IV to do a variation on the stations above. I am torn between trying to provide more CI in Spanish day one, or letting them have the freedom to peruse authentic tweets and videos, while freeing me up to talk to them in Spanish more one on one. Here is what I would post for them so far, but I would love feedback!
1st Day of Spanish Class - Mis Clases Locas

Update: If you would like to download all of my back to school products together, you can find them here.

Happy Planning!

12 comments

  1. What fun ideas! I especially like the one about having students find some music that they like in Spanish. That could give us some new things to play for Baile Viernes!

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    1. Muchas gracias Bethanie! I can not take credit for much as most ideas come from great blogs like yours!

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  2. Do your students create a separate twitter just for your class? I know my students would not want to post this stuff on their personal site. Do you have a separate account?

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    1. Yes, I had students create a Spanish Twitter account just for class, and I created a school Twitter as well. So far they have had fun following each others Spanish accounts, and creating their bio in Spanish.

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  3. Hello Allison. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all of you ideas; a huge thanks for sharing! Is there any way I can edit your Prezi with my own personal information for my classes? I have never used Prezi and my 2 year old seems to think she no longer needs naps lol :) Thanks in advance. My email is lwissing@grandblancschools.org...just in case. I'm not really sure what information you need from me.

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  4. Thank you so much Lisa! You should be able to edit the Prezi just by clicking on the link. If mine does not work, you can go to http://creativelanguageclass.com/2012/08/06/first-day-back/ where I got the template for my Prezi from Megan. Let me know if you need help!

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  5. Great ideas. I've been teaching for years and still like to find new ideas- I never quite do my first day the exact same way. By the way, I also worked at Camp Adventure! The title of the Prezi should be "Todo sobre mí" or even better, "Todo acerca de mí" to be grammatically correct.

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    1. Sabrina,
      That is so neat that you did Camp A! Where did you go? I got the Prezi template from the ladies at the Creative Language Classroom.
      Allison

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  6. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I am doing something really similar in my classes. I have a prezi about me, then plickers to check for understanding since my presentation is totally in Spanish. Then we go to stations. I love the use of twitter. However, in my District the use of twitter accounts in class is not allowed. Therefore, I created a Twitter and Instagram board in my classroom. In one of the stations, my students write a goal for the year #sisepuedenespañol, and one goal for their future (10 years) #silopuedesoñarlopuedeslograr. Level 1 can do it in English, but Level 3 and AP do it in Spanish. Other station is called "El mundo perfecto". Then, they can read each other tuits, choose at least 2 and draw an emoji (only positive emojies are allowed).

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  7. Great ideas, thanks for sharing! When getting students to share music and videos that they pick themselves, what's your approach to making sure they choose songs/videos that are appropriate? I'd love to hear how you handle that part of it. - Thanks.

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  8. thank you for sharing your great ideas! I am excited to implement some of them this semester.

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