Inside: How to start Spanish class with High Frequency Words. First week of Spanish class using comprehensible input. Distance learning plans for the first week of Spanish class.
Does anyone else stress out with what to do the first week of Spanish class!?! I have tried many ways to start the year, but I finally used it the same way. I do not think that I am alone in overthinking that first week. We want everything to be perfect to set the stage for 180 wonderful days together.
Here are a few of my previous first week of Spanish class plans.
- 1st Week Stations
- Name Game Speedball – my go-to activity for 1st day with a new group of students
- First Week using High-Frequency Words
- First Day of Spanish 2-4 Plans
Why high-frequency verbs for the first week of Spanish class?
Which words to focus on the first week of Spanish class?
What can I do with these words?
How can I implement personal interviews with high-frequency words?
A typical in-class day:
- Introduce focus vocabulary of the day, which is written on my sideboard to reference. (We start with just the I, you, and s/he forms, as that is what is needed in the interviews. You can add the others later).
- I ask the special person personalized questions using that target structure in a slideshow (idea from Kara Jacobs). I use my clicker, which prompts their first-person answer. Then the class chorally states the information back. We circle the information until we feel comfortable moving on.
- Once we are done interviewing, we give the student a positive validation and do a brain break. For each target structure, I have a song with many repetitions of that structure (For example with soy it is the song “Soy yo.”). Here are a couple of ways we have used the song:
- Students tally the number of times they hear the word
- They stand up and jump every time they hear the word
- Students raise their hands every time they hear the word
- They stand up every time they hear the word
- Then students grab either a blank piece of paper or a guided notes sheet (if they need more support) and a clipboard and take down the notes over our special person that are written on the board. Or you could have students work with a partner to write down as much as they can without using any notes from the board.
- Finally, at that point depending on how much time is left, we may do another interview using the same questions, or go on to do a different activity. There might be some first week of school logistics or other content that the teacher is required to “cover.” I also know some teachers have used this unit as a review or with heritage speakers, going quite quick through all questions, and interviewing many people in a day.
What else do you do with these words?
*New High-frequency Verbs Question Cards – get students up and moving while asking and answering the questions.
What about upper levels for the first week of Spanish class?
For Spanish 3 and 4 you could do a similar unit to start the year in the past tense with either imperfect or preterite. Another teacher told me she has students send her pictures of themselves as kids to project. It adds something extra special to the past tense interviews. If you want all 3 of the Super 7 units, along with the accompanying Find Someone Who activities, the Super 7 Bundle is available. You can also see in my Curriculum plan for this year that I plan to start Spanish 1 with Super 7 present, Spanish 2 with Sweet 16, Spanish 3 with imperfect, and Spanish 4 with the preterite.
What if I am new to CI?
What if I have to start the year with distance learning? (Update 2020)
If you want to be prepared for both digital and in-person learning and do not already have some of my high-frequency resources, you will want the brand new Blended Learning High-Frequency Verbs Bundle. The unit includes the high-frequency verb unit, the new distance learning unit, plus in-person activity ideas of Find Someone Who and Question Cards, all recycling the same material. It will help you be prepared with some paper activities if you get a chance to see students in person. Plus you will have digital while learning remotely.
We hope that we can all see our students this fall, but we know that might not be an option right away.
Update! I now have the Super 7 Unit in French too!
Need more ideas for back to school? Check out all of our SSS Back to Spanish Class posts
- 1st Week of School
- Top Priorities Before Day 1
- Getting Started with Interactive Notebooks
- Teaching Tips to Get Excited for the 1st Week of School
- 9 Ways to be a Happier Teacher
- Classroom Management Strategies for a Smooth Year
- 5 Great Back to School Purchases
- Transition Tips for any Classroom
Hi there! I am so grateful for all of the info that you share on your blog! I have taught for many years, but this will be my first year teaching in a private high school where I will have lots of autonomy. We have the Realidades textbooks. I am not obligated to use them, but as a new teacher with limited resources I am thinking that I will try to blend CI methodologies with the Realidades temas. Do you think this could work? I would LOVE to go all in with CI, but I need to get my feet under me and get more resources (novels and such)! I am thinking I will do what you say, skip the para empezar chapter with days of the week and such and instead start off the year with high frequency words.