Inside: Weekly classroom routines for Spanish class to save your sanity. Daily routines to help with classroom management while teaching in-person, hybrid, and virtual.
Hey friends! It is Allison from Mis Clases Locas. Wow, what a school year this has been so far. As with many of you, I have taught in every possible way this year. I started the year Hybrid, has some time fully virtual, and now at my school in Iowa students are back 100% face to face (as required to be offered by the state). Also, for the first time, I have taught this whole year on a block schedule. If you are interested you can read more about my tips for Hybrid in this blog post.
Why have classroom routines?
Since the school year has been very unpredictable, I am so glad that I have continued to implement classroom routines. These routines have given all of us a little bit of stability and normalcy in what has otherwise been a year full of change. Routines work well in all settings, in-person, hybrid, and virtual.
Classroom routines make life easier for teachers, which we all desperately need this year! I know what to expect each day at the start of class, which makes planning for four preps easier. By keeping these routines consistent across levels, I am 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 for 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 classroom and put away phones, do the posted daily task of the day. (Posted Google slide instructions 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.
This year with our every other day 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 students 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 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 my first year teaching and the names stuck. Feel free to change the Spanglish sounding names to fit your classes).
Here are the themes I am currently using this year.
- lunes – weekend chat – blog post to learn about ways to mix up weekend chat
- martes – martes de meme + 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.
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 mapa, 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 as 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
- Cinco de Mayo: ideas for Spanish Class
- Lip Sync Night
- Awards Ceremony/Spanish Honor Society
What daily, weekly and yearly traditions do you have in your Spanish classes? Please share!