Tuesday, August 6, 2013

First day of full instruction--Spanish 1

Hi everyone--
Just a bit about the first day of school.  I don't care for it too much, really, because I don't get to teach nearly as much as I'd like to.  I hear myself prattling away in English about my class rules and procedures, homework, etc, and I wonder if they're as sick of it as I am.  Probably--I'm one of 7 teachers that have to give them the same exact thing.  But then--I show them how to play the game.

With the first year, I give them their first three words--there is/are, his name is, he goes.  And then we just have fun.  I show them my cow puppet --There is a cow.  Then I stop and tell them how to play the game.  "Remember that I am the most interesting person you've ever met.  Why?  Because I'm the one who gives you your grade, of course! (Big smile).  So when you hear a sentence, you want to show me that you think it's really interesting.  We then practice "interested" sounds.  So then, I say it again, and of course it is followed by "ooooo, ahhhh, wow,"etc.  We go on.  "¿Hay una vaca?"  And I tell them that this part is really easy.  Just answer the question.  We go on.  "¿Hay una vaca o hay un elefante?"  They answer.  "¿Hay un elefante?" No!  "No, clase, no hay un elefante, hay una ______."  Then I ask, "For a dulce, who can tell me what that sentence means?"  For a candy, someone is always ready to tell you what they think the sentence means.  So I listen, and 99% of the time, they get it right.  Whether it's right or wrong, I still give them the candy because they're volunteering.  "Class, how did you know what that sentence meant? Dulce."  Again, candy gets results.  Someone will invariably say "It was on the board!"  And then I will say, "Hay was, yes, but how did you get vaca?"  And that person will snort and say, "Because you have it in your hand!!"  "Oh, yeah, I guess that's right, huh?

Then we go on and put more info into the story.  They get to decide where the cow goes and so on.  After that. I write the story as a CLOZE exercise on the board, and I leave out a few words.  They fill out the story.  Then I call on more volunteers (dulces), and they take turns telling me how they filled in the blanks.  Whether it's right or wrong, I write it down.  Then I ask if there is a problem, but only if there's a problem.  The wrong answer is crossed out and the correct one is put in above--modeling how I want them to do this retell in real life.  After it's all over, I ask them if they think they could learn Spanish this way.  Invariably, they give me a resounding "Yes!"

I like to start school this way, since it gives me a chance to take away any fear the student might have.  I've had students come to me and whisper that I shouldn't expect much.  Those same students are the same ones who are my biggest cheerleaders when they realize that they can learn using TPRS.

So that's my first day with ones.  If you want, I can do 2's tomorrow.  Also, if you have any questions about starting school or need a friendly shoulder, please don't hesitate to comment or email.



  1. Yes, please share what you did with your 2s! Our first day is Friday but it is only 20 minutes...tough to get in Spanish AND make sure they get their binders by Monday. :-)

  2. I still struggle with 2`s. Would love to know what you do. Plus we're reading a story for the review unit ( the other teachers aren't) and I'm very nervous about starting it!

  3. All right, then! I'll try to get the 2s in today. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for sharing! How can I follow your blog?

  5. I think it's to the side of the blog. I'm not sure, but you might have to follow on google +.


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