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Exploratory Spanish - 6 week plans

For the first time ever this year I teach junior high exploratory Spanish. This means I get to have all of the 7th & 8th graders, each for a 6 week block of time. We are on trimesters and have about 60 minute classes. You can see my reflection on one special student from my first group. it is a pretty neat opportunity, because it means I get to have every single junior high student and help to convince them to take Spanish in high school. Usually it is just encouraged to the "college bound" at my school, but I want to change that because EVERY student can benefit from knowing Spanish in their future. 

I spent a lot of time thinking about exactly what I wanted to do with these students for our 6 weeks together. Well Friday 2 was the last day of group one and I am very sad to see them go. The progress they have made in our 30 hours together is amazing and I can not wait to get to see these 7th graders again next year before they even take Spanish I. I wanted the basis to be a fun, enjoyable experience, where they were surrounded with comprehensible input and the language came naturally. The items below were a part of our daily routine every day. 

Explore Daily Routine

  • Para Empezar - Exploratory - Every day we had a fun class starter. They especially loved Música miércoles & Baile viernes
  • Special person interviews - We then had our "persona especial" interviews, which really helped me to learn about everyone, as well as reinforce basic questions and answers.
  • Real World Choice Work - Their only homework, was one stamp style sheet, collecting eight cultural experiences using Spanish. These included playing Duolingo, asking people their names in Spanish, being the greeter, the special person, watching Snapchat stories, or any other way they used their Spanish or learned about culture. 

A huge thank you to Martina Bex's amazing storytelling units, for making up every other week of our class. The students LOVED acting out stories, and I think I may add more in with the next group. I also thought it was important for these first time Spanish students to have an idea of where in the world speaks Spanish, hence the mini geography unit. Not included in the 6 weeks were the two days the week of Christmas we has school, when we watched The Book of Life. So here is what we did with our time together. 



Week 1





Week 2





Week 3





Week 4





Week 5





Week 6


  • Write own story & create project - This was my first time attempting something like this, and I think I will try and add more direction the next time around. It did not help that I was home with a sick little boy the day they started writing their stories, so they missed some crucial early guidance. I was hoping for more creativity with their projects, and may add risk taking to the rubric for next time. I think I will really encourage them to make some kind of video next time, so they will be able to look back at them to see their progress the next year. These videos would also work well to show the other sections. 

Have you done exploratory classes? What other plans have worked well for you?

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