Hello fellow foreign language teachers! Are you ready to head back to school?? Or have you already begun? We don’t start until September 2nd in Minnesota.
Do you have a checklist of things that need to be done before the 1st day? I am a woman of many checklists. They help keep me organized and focused.
Here are some things from my before-school-starts checklist:
1. arrange desks
2. make sure I have enough classroom supplies (markers, erasers, paper, paper clips, staples, etc.)
3. bulletin boards / classroom décor planned, printed, laminated & hung
– “Autumn Fast Finishers” (Find my Autumn Fast Finishers bulletin board here!)
– “All About Me” bulletin board with a map and photos of where in the world I’ve traveled
– “Why Study a Foreign Language” PP or bulletin board posters. (You can find it here!)
– “Autumn Boggle Bulletin Board Set” (You can find it here!)
– “Spanish Alphabet Poster Set” (You can find it here!)
– welcome banner printed and hung (You can get my BIENVENIDOS banner free here!)
4. first 2 weeks of lesson plans ready
5. “We’re out of the room, etc.” Doorhangers in English/Spanish printed and laminated. (Find them here!) I keep these in a box right next to the door. Whenever I need one, I just take it out and hang it on the door.
6. set up “craft” bins
I have 6 bins with markers, colored pencils, erasers, glue & scissors. When students are working on projects, they can take a bin to their group.
7. emergency sub plans ready
Many schools ask that you have emergency sub plans ready before the first day of school, just in case. At a minimum, create a sub folder with the following information:
– hourly schedule (A substitute shouldn’t have to guess when the bells are going to ring or when
he/she has a lunch break!)
– duties (If you have a lunch supervision duty, for example.)
– a copy of each class roster, clearly labeled with the hourly schedule for each class period.
– an activity that a teacher who doesn’t teach a foreign language will be able to assign
8. make sure your snack drawer is full
– Going back to a regular schedule and only being able to eat at certain times of the day can be a
difficult transition (at least, it is for ME, am I alone in this??). It’s great to have a “snack
drawer” that you can reach for in between classes to help get you through the first days!
9. prepare for Open House night
– I always have my syllabus and a welcome PowerPoint displayed.
10. set up your calendar
-Some teachers have a whiteboard calendar where they write each days goals & assignments.
-Some teachers also have a bulletin board calendar with the entire month, days of the week in
Spanish and school events posted.
And what about the very first day of school? Are you ready?? I am a big fan of checklists, so here are some of my tasks to check off:
1. daily lesson plan printed and in binder on my desk
2. print out class rosters
3. create your seating charts
– For new students, I usually have them sit alphabetically until I get to know their names and
personalities a bit better. For returning students, I plan out a seating chart for each hour.
4. A welcome PowerPoint / Bell Ringer ready to display.
5. Syllabus printed (Have you considered using MEMES to explain your classroom rules??)
6. Student questionnaire printed (It’s so fun to read these again at the end of the year!)
7. Table tent supplies
– I am notoriously HORRIBLE at remembering my students names. My students make “table
tent” name cards the first day (or two, depending on timing) that they are responsible to keep
and place on their desks for the first several weeks. The kids get to use their artistic talents and
have fun showing their personality. The table tents help me remember their names, and to
reward them for remembering to place their table tent “nametags” out, I will go around and
stamp them occasionally with silly stamps (the kids think these are fun to collect) and once they
have 4-5 stamps I’ll let them pick out a sticker. After a couple of weeks, when I have everyone’s names down, they aren’t required to keep their table tents on their desks, but some choose to because they’ve decorated them in such fun ways.
8. Notecards – I have students write their names on notecards. Then I keep them in a recipe box separated by class periods. I shuffle these and use them to put students in pairs & groups throughout the school year.
10. Copies of Spanish FACT Scavenger Hunt! (Found in my TpT shop here!)
During the first week of school, we go over a LOT Of vocabulary in Spanish 1!!
I tend to not give handouts for numbers/letters for several days, but I have them ready.
1. Spanish Alphabet and Numbers Handouts FREE HERE!
Once students are more familiar with greetings, then I might assign this:
2. Beginner”s Vocabulary Puzzle with greetings.
And once students have learned the classroom vocabulary, I’ll hand this out:
3. Beginner’s Vocabulary Puzzle with classroom objects.
And during our review of the first chapter, we’ll always do this one:
4. Beginner’s Vocabulary Comecocos
And then we get ready for the first STATION!
I love providing options and differentiated instruction for my students!! Over the summer I put together a STATIONS unit for WEATHER and I’m SO excited to see how my students like it!! You can find my Weather Stations here!
Are you excited for the first day of school?!