1st Weeks of Spanish Class Reflection - Mis Clases Locas

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1st Weeks of Spanish Class Reflection

Inside: Reflection on my first week of Spanish class

1st Week of Spanish Class reflection - Mis Clases Locas

Most of my most popular posts revolve around plans for the first week of school. These are usually made mid summer when I am well rested, refreshed, tan and pumped for a new school year. Then the new year starts like a rocket and I rarely have time to reflect here on how things actually went. So far I have had eight school days and this is what we have done in each level.

Exploratory & Spanish 1

Day 1 - Name Game Speedball
Days 2-8 - Super 7 Unit

Spanish 2

Day 3 - Verba viernes
Days 4-7 - Tomatina Unit
Day 8 - Living on $1 (to prepare for Esperanza Unit)

Spanish 3

Day 3 - El Internado Friday
Days 4-7 - Tomatina Unit

Day 8 - El Internado Friday

Exploratory & Spanish 1 - reflection

The first thirty minute class period was spent playing Name Game Speedball. It was a great way for me to remember or learn names and for them to practice how to introduce themselves in Spanish. It is also an entertaining way to get everyone up and having fun the first day. 

I decided to start my exploratory 7th grade class and Spanish 1 with the same Super 7 Unit for a couple of reasons. My Spanish 1 has a mix of students who have never had Spanish before, those who had one quarter with me in 7th grade, and those who had two quarters in both 7th & 8th grade exploratory. I wanted to make sure everyone has a solid foundation together of high frequency verbs. Also, when you have four separate preps, anytime you can have two preps doing the same thing saves me time. 

So far in the Super 7 Unit we have done the following: introduced the first four verbs using special person interviews and the musical brain breaks, story asked the mini story (& then created 3 box storyboards and did blind retell), had a matching and free write quiz over the first four interviews, and completed the fifth interview. 

Each day we start with a new special person interview. We go through the questions, reviewing and adding the next word each day. Then we do the musical brain break. The special person has been coming back up for a speed round, where we just quickly go through the questions and answers to make sure everyone caught everything. In my slower processing class, this is usually the end of the class period. In the faster class, I think we will start skipping the review and just do a second interview. (For the first few days if we had some extra time at the end of class they would copy down their vocab, answer the interbiew questions about themselves, go over the syllabus, sign up for Google Classroom, do a Just Dance video, or complete other start of the year administrative tasks). In our Friday feedback a couple from the quicker class (where most were in my exploratory classes) said they think we are moving too slow, so I want to try and pick up the pace as to not lose their interest. 

Advice for the Super 7 Unit
  • Ask for a volunteer to be the secretary the first day. I then shared the guided notes from the unit, and they type in the answers as we go. I have this document shared on our class google Classroom for students to check if they are gone, or to review for quizzes. I then used these notes to create our ten question matching quizzes. 
  • Use the song brain breaks! I have the song of the day playing as they enter, as well as we play it after the interview as well. While it is playing I tell students they are free to dance, walk around and move, just as long as they are listening and not talking. After the first day, I had a student email me at night asking for the song I played in class. #teacherwin
  • Take a break after four days and do the story. Get out props and let them be silly. Day four of interviews was a DRAG. Students were getting bored, which then caused them to start to balk at our deskless class for the first time. The story on day five was a blast and fun for everyone. It let us review the verbs, but in a new and different way. 
  • Do what works for YOU and YOUR students. I have had many people contacting me with questions about if they are doing the unit "right." Please go with your gut and listen to the feedback from your students. For example one reader said her heritage class went straight through the list of questions day one and does an average of three interviews per day. Great! If your heritage speakers or level two students want to move quickly, go for it. That would be way fast for my new baby parrot novices, but please do what works for you. Remember this is my first time doing this unit as well, so I am learning and growing right along with you!
Update! You can get all of my Super 7 Units together here. or get it in French.

Spanish 2 & Spanish 3 - reflection

The Find Someone Who - mi verano activity was great for the first day. I appreciate all of you who gave me advice over the summer and helped me tweak it to make it better. I am glad that I added the first person responses, because it helped build confidence on the first day, especially for my level 2s. To stretch it another day with my level twos, I read what they wrote about their own summer one by one (correcting and reading it correctly without letting them know I was doing so). They then had to guess who I was describing. It was a great way to get in more repetition of the first person form, and as a class building activity for everyone to learn more about everyone else. (Update - I have this activity in French now too!)

The Tomatina Unit was a big hit in both classes as well. It was an engaging topic, which included a lot of reading and listening input in Spanish to get them back in the swing of things. It was also entertaining that the principal walked in as we were watching a delayed live feed of people climbing the greased pole to touch the ham and start the tomato fight. On the last day I gave them about fifteen minutes to do a free write about La Tomatina explaining if they would go or not and why, as well as including what they learned about it. I was quite pleased with most students and this short writing gave me a baseline performance level to start with for the year. 

What is next?

If you are wondering what is next, here is our tentative curriculum plan for the year. I have already changed some things, but that is the beauty of being a #deptof1. Nothing is rigid and I can adjust to fit my students. This week only has three school days with Labor day and a day of PD. It will be a transition week with exploratory and Spanish 1 finishing the Super 7 Unit, Spanish 2 doing introductory culture for their Esperanza Unit, and Spanish 3 doing Sr. Wooly. We are moving towards starting novels in Spanish 1-3. 

With school back in session my goal is blog once a week, but if not, you can get more frequent updates from me on FacebookInstagram & Twitter. If you are looking for more back to school ideas, you can see all of my back to school posts here. If you start on Tuesday, good luck & have a great year!


  1. I got more great ideas from this post! Thank you! the students loved the "Soy Yo" video.

  2. This is wonderfully helpful! Question- How do you structure the special person interviews each day? Is the entire class focused on one student at a time? Thanks.

    1. I started with just one student per day. Once we got going, we moved up to 2 people. Now we are done with this unit, put still start class a couple days a week with interview to make sure everyone has a turn

  3. Very helpful suggestions that help in the optimizing topic,Thanks for your sharing.



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