The first few days of school are such an exciting time! You have classes filled with new students to get to know. Getting to know students on a personal level and building a sense of community is one of the most important things we do as teachers. Students need to feel valued. When they have a sense of belonging, they will step outside of comfort zones to take risks (like speaking Spanish!) That is where the learning occurs.
Relationships are important. Learning about my students was one of my favorite things about teaching middle school. Build positive relationships and connect with students on a personal level all year long by taking an interest in what interests them.
Get Spanish class off to a great start with these fun back-to-school activities that are sure to break the ice!
1. SPANISH CLASS QUESTIONNAIRE / CUESTIONARIO
Ask lots of questions! Learn about families, favorite things, and aspirations. You will find you have a lot in common as well as differences to celebrate! Add student interests into your lesson plans throughout the year to truly personalize learning. When students are interested in something, they pay attention and learn. Tap into their interests and watch them engage!
2. STAND UP IF / LEVÁNTENSE SI
A quick movement break where simple statements are read aloud and students stand if the statement is true for them or sit if false. Choose simple statements based on likes and dislikes, favorite hobbies, music, books, or movies. (Stand up if you like cats. If you like to sleep. If you like to run...) Students instantly see those with similar likes and dislikes.
3. SPANISH CLASS INTERVIEW / ENTREVISTA
Have students interview each other using a list of basic questions. This can be done in pairs. Information can then be presented to the class. Use their answers in a guessing game. Students can also interview YOU! Be sure to share information about your life with your students. Tell them about your family, pets, travels, favorite things, and memorable moments. Include photos!
Find these three activities together in one resource! All About Me Activities
4. ALL ABOUT ME / TODO SOBRE MÍ BANNER
A quick activity where students can write their name, age, birthdate, where they are from, and a few of their favorite things. Display completed pages as a banner for your classroom. Help students easily make connections with others.
Find this banner here
5. FIND SOMEONE WHO
A clever way to get students out of their seats, speaking Spanish, and bonding with each other. Create a list of 12 questions that are meaningful and relevant to your class. (Do you have a dog? Do you have a sister? Is football your favorite sport?) Print out copies for each student. Students walk around the room asking each other questions. When they find someone who can answer a question with "sí," they get a signature from that student. The first to get twelve signatures wins! Try this activity for FREE!
Getting to know students through meaningful activities will set you up to build good relationships where learning takes place. When you have good relationships, you can do anything!
Have fun getting to know your students this year. Hope these ideas are helpful. Click on any of the above images for ready-made activities. Happy Back-to-School!