Inside: Weekly classroom routines for Spanish class to save your sanity. Daily routines and bell ringers in Spanish class to help with classroom management.
Hey friends! It is Allison from Mis Clases Locas. Classroom routines have always been a saver for me when teaching all levels as a #deptof1. Here are my favorite ways to save your sanity with classroom routines in Spanish class
Why have classroom routines in Spanish class?
The last few school years have been very unpredictable. I am so glad that I continued to implement classroom routines. These routines gave all of us a little bit of stability and normalcy in what has otherwise been years full of change. Routines work well in all settings, in-person, hybrid, and virtual.
Classroom routines make life easier for teachers, which everyone desperately needs this year! You know what to expect each day at the start of class, which makes planning for many preps easier. By keeping these routines consistent across levels, you are able to use the same resources such as songs across all classes, just adjusting our conversations.
Routines also make things easier for students. They feel more comfortable when they know what to expect each day. My own elementary-aged son is extremely particular and easily stressed by transitions and change, so routines are everything to us. I am so glad that his school sticks with routines and schedules, so he can ease his anxiety by knowing exactly what to expect.
What daily classroom routines?
In-Person – Enter the classroom and put away phones, and do the posted daily task of the day. (Posted Google slide instructions to remind students what to do).
Virtual – Enter zoom, do the posted task of the day for attendance (posted Google Slides instructions with what to do, fill out Google form, join vocab game, etc)
Small talk – Depending on the level of the class, your small chat can be as quick or long as you would like. You can do this in person, hybrid or online. It could be as quick as an SEL check-in to see how everyone is doing or feeling. Or your small talk could include any or all of the following: calendar, weather, birthday, plans after school, what you did over the weekend, news, etc. Instead of doing the “intro” Spanish 1 unit, I incorporate these topics each day as they are relevant. We start the year in Spanish 1 heavy on the calendar, but then later in the year just sprinkle it in as interesting dates, birthdays, weather, etc happen.
Last year with our every other day Hybrid, A/B students’ in-person schedule, I did not see students each day to do our normal class starters. With our every other day in-person block, we actually started every class with free reading, and then music. I would highly suggest this if you are also on a block schedule.
What weekly classroom routines?
If you have been following Mis Clases Locas for a while, you know I love my daily themes. So, it was a change when this year with our every other day A/B student’s in-person schedule, I did not see students each day to do our normal class starters. So, just know, if you do not have students each day, it is OK if you do not have fun daily themes. With our every other day in-person block, we actually started every class with the free reading, and then our music brackets. You can learn more about how I got books to start and how I use free reading in this blog post. Plus here is my post about music in Spanish class.
Now that I am back to having students every day, we have moved back to our daily themes. As you can see, I like alliteration. (Side note, these daily themes were created by my students during my first year of teaching and the names stuck. Feel free to change the Spanglish-sounding names to fit your classes).
Here are the most up-to-date themes
- lunes – weekend chat – blog post to learn about ways to mix up weekend chat
- martes – martes del mapa + free reading
- miércoles – music – a blog post about using music Wednesday
- jueves – jaja jueves + free reading
- viernes – dance – a blog post about this routine + future weekend talk
You can get ready-to-go class starters for a year here on TPT.
Or if you prefer, you can get Para Empezar 2023 in the Mis Clases Locas shop
Or, if you want to try out these weekly themes risk-free, get this Google Slides week of Para Empezar Freebie.
Other daily theme ideas
- lunes – lunes de lectura, lunes de libro
- martes – martes de meme, martes de motivación, arte martes,
- miércoles – miércoles de música, miau miércoles
- jueves – jaja jueves, jugar jueves
- viernes – viernes de baile, viernes de video, viernes de viaje
This post from Elisabeth here on SSS has more ideas for bell ringers.
What yearly routines or traditions?
Since I am a #deptof1 and teach all levels of Spanish in the World Language department, I am able to have yearly traditions as well. These are things that students look forward to and talk about all year. Even if you do not have students multiple years in a row, this is something you could coordinate across your department and levels. Here are a few ideas of yearly traditions you could start at your school.
- Hispanic Heritage – one song from each country music bracket
- Day of the Dead ideas
- Winter holiday ideas
- Black History Month – ideas for greater equity
- National Foreign Language Week ideas (can we change that name yet?!)
- March Madness – spring music bracket
- Earth Day
- Cinco de Mayo: ideas for Spanish Class
- Lip Sync Night
- Awards Ceremony/Spanish Honor Society
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What daily, weekly and yearly traditions do you have in your Spanish classes? Please share!
Originally posted by Allison Wienhold on Secondary Spanish Space on 3.30.21. Most recently updated 1.24.23
Thanks for all the helpful tips! I have a special situation that I’d love input on. My students access their Spanish lessons and work via an online provider. We only meet in person once a week for support. Do you think there is a way to successfully use CI in this situation? I usually just review what they did in their online class for that week and answer questions about the more challenging topics.
You could for use CI in the day you meet with them. SOme would be better than nothing!