Now that August has hit, it seems like everything is falling back into place. As usual, I have been inspired with a lot of back to school resources by other bloggers, and I have been inspired by taking a shower (as per usual!) The first day of school we have shortened classes. Our schedule hasn’t been released yet, but I have tentative plans that I can lengthen or shorten based on our actual schedule. Here are my ideas so far:
For all of my classes, I plan to be by the door with Spanish music playing in my class. I also will be able to make sure that they are all in the correct place- especially my freshmen students! I also always want to reiterate that even though I RARELY orally take attendance especially as the first thing, that is ALWAYS the first thing I do on the first day of school. I would hate for a student to sit through the majority of my class to find out that they had me for a different block or were supposed to be next door! I always explain this to them at the beginning of class, and I believe that it goes a long way to establish that I care about them.
For Spanish I, I want to start with the presentation from Creative Language Class. After that, I will have a few big pieces of paper for them to brainstorm in small groups any words that they already know in Spanish. This will give them a nice break from listening to me (and all of their other teachers on the first day!) After this, I will have them make name tags with a few items that they like, so we can start discussing this. This is based on Ben Slavic’s circling with balls that Scott Benedict also does a good job of explaining.
For Spanish II, I plan on keeping most of my same plan from last year. I will do the Soy Yo activity along with the play doh activity on Seesaw. It was a lot of fun, and it sets a good tone for the class.
I will be honest. Spanish V was a hard one to tackle. Everyone discusses the early levels because that is what most teachers teach. In addition, I have taught the majority of my students before, so I didn’t want to do anything too much like an icebreaker either. Most of these students know each other as well since I will not have any new to our school students. Finally, it hit me! I plan on creating a Pear Deck with the following information. I want to show a picture of me when I was a junior/senior in high school which is their current age. That always breaks the ice because everyone likes to see old pictures. I plan on sharing why I started taking Spanish (it was the only foreign language that they would let me take in 7th grade… I really wanted to take Latin!) and why I kept taking it (pretty much, so I could major in Spanish in college, so I could study abroad for a semester in Spain.) Sometimes, it would seem that we are so different from our students. While I definitely loved speaking a foreign language, I didn’t keep taking it for the pure love of grammar structures. Also, I can share that awkward feeling of when your parents try to force you to speak Spanish in any restaurant that they believe has someone else who speaks Spanish in it.
After explaining that, I want to give them the opportunity to anonymously share why they decided to take the course via Pear Deck and what they hope to get out of the class. Pear Deck is great because I can see why all of the students are taking the class, but their responses are anonymous. Also, this gives them some think time to start writing in Spanish instead of expecting them to speak right away. Spanish V is obviously an elective for all students as they could have stopped taking a language a long time ago. I want to know why they decided to sign up for it when they had a lot of options. Finally, I plan on giving each student a sticky note to write one goal that they have for the end of the year or something that they want to improve. I want them to display this on the bulletin board. This can serve as a reminder why they are in the class throughout the year. The second day, I want them to craft an introduction to me via Seesaw. I am interested in learning their proficiency levels of Spanish as many students are coming to me from different classes. By looking at their writing, I can start crafting ways for them to improve.
Finally, while I have a lot of goals for my school year, I have a BIG one for my first day of school. Even though this will be my 11th year teaching, I always get really nervous before my first day of school. I have crazy nightmares (starting in July) where I cannot find my own class. I also do not sleep well the night before school starts. My goal this year is to focus on relaxing and looking forward to seeing my students. I am really excited to teach some of my same students as juniors and seniors that I taught when they were in 8th grade! I want to focus on my excitement with being able to work with these amazing students again and not worry too much about the details! Hopefully if I am conscious about it, it will happen for me! Do you have any first day of school goals? Plans? Share away! I can’t wait to hear them.