The First Week of Spanish Class, Part 2

The First Week of Spanish Class!

The First Week of Spanish Class

This is Part 2 in a series of blog posts discussing ideas of how to set up your Spanish classes in ways that will can help create an environment conducive to language acquisition.  I hope you find some of the information useful!  I would also love to hear your suggestions because the more we share the better teachers we become!  Please consider leaving a comment with your suggestions at the end of this post!

According to The Danielson Group, as teachers we have 5 major tasks to consider when creating our Classroom Environment.

2a Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport

2b Establishing a Culture for Learning

2c Managing Classroom Procedures

2d Managing Student Behavior

2e Organizing Physical Space

Please see my suggestions for each of these Domain components.   This is part 2 of a 5 part series in which I will discuss the framework 2b.

“…a culture of learning is a collection of thinking habits, beliefs about self, and collaborative workflows that result in sustained critical learning.” Terry Heick, Promoting a Culture of Learning

2b Establishing a Culture for Learning:

  • Identify the characteristics you want your students to demonstrate and implement the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model in your classroom.
  • Model the behaviors you want to promote in your classroom. Want your students to speak in the Target Language?  Speak in the Target Language.  Want your students to encourage each other?  Encourage your students.  Want your students to show respect?  Show respect.
  • Make sure students are aware of the process, steps involved and outcome expected. Give examples of the kind of work you expect your students to produce.
  • Give students the tools they need in order to succeed. As part of introducing your students to the classroom, do a class tour and let them know where they can find supplies, Spanish/English dictionaries, etc.
  • Model revision.   One way to do this is to write sentences on the board that need grammatical revision and allow students to decide what needs to be changed in order for the sentences to be correct.
  • Offer learning strategies, study techniques and personal anecdotes of the learning process. Let students know they WILL make mistakes and it WILL be ok.  Tell them stories of your own language mistakes when you started learning the language- let them know you’re human!
  • Show students their own progress throughout the year by revisiting previously submitted writing and work. Being able to visually see the progress they have made is inspiring!
  • Get out of the way. Give students just enough support to run with an idea they have for a project and then sit back and watch as they implement their ideas.  Be there to answer questions and to guide, and continue to model and encourage them!
I sincerely hope that this list has given you some new ideas to work with in your Spanish classes!  As always, if you have an idea to add to this list, please consider leaving a comment below!

Gracias y Buena Suerte,