Back to school week: First few days lesson plans

First day of school lesson plans

Happy back to school week!  In Maryland, we teach through June, so we still have about a month left of summer.  But I am slowly starting to get myself back together for back to school.  Plus, I know that many of you are already going back to school.  I wanted to put together a week’s worth of posts to help you prepare.

Next year, I will be teaching levels 1, 3, 5 and 6.  First, I wanted to share some of my old lesson plans with you for the first day of school that you may want to try.

  • This is my post from last year where I detail my plans for level 1 and level 5.
  • This was my post from two years ago for level 2.  (I would still keep many of the same activities if you are looking for level 2!)

As I have stated before, I have really short classes on the first day.  Sometimes we only get about 10-15 minutes.  Plus, I have to take attendance because I don’t want someone to be in the wrong place listening to me going on and on in Spanish and not having any clue what is going on and where they should actually be.

Level 1

For level 1 this year, I want to continue to do the Creative Language class presentation.  One big goal of mine this year is to be conscious about doing more brain breaks.  I want to focus my first few days on working them into my day to teach students how to do them correctly.  We will start with some high five brain breaks.  I will do the TPR commands.  In this activity, students will practice standing up, giving a high five to a neighbor then sitting down.  Then, students can practice with two neighbors.  Then, we can see if everyone can high five 5 different people in the class in 10 seconds.  I will also make sure that we take a class selfie on the first day of school.  I wish I had something similar last year when I was putting together my end of the year video.  I want to make sure that they are returning to their desks promptly after.  Also, it is easy to demonstrate this and stay in the target language.

My next goal this year is to try out passwords before students enter the classroom.  I will explain this step to them, so they are ready.  For my level 1 students, I will have them just say “buenos días or buenas tardes” for the next day.  Based on the time, I may have my students brainstorm the Spanish words that they already know!

After this, I will start my unit 1 which is where students talk about what they like and learn how to make very basic small talk.  I have detailed out most of my unit throughout the blog.  One thing that I am changing this year is that I am going to use whole points instead of categories in my grade book.  Therefore, I am going to get rid of the interpersonal assessment until November or December.

Level 3

For level 3, I want to work on affirming that they are capable in Spanish.  I want to focus on Laura’s affirmations that they are able to learn Spanish, and I am there to help them.  Then, we will do some similar brain breaks from level 1 including a selfie one!  Finally, I am going to start a variation of card talk in level 1.  Instead of drawing a picture of something they like, I want my students to either draw their favorite moment from last year/this summer OR something that they are looking forward to this year.  I believe that this will start the year on a positive note.  My students will start making their card with their name and their favorite moment.

I will also explain the password for the next day.  I want to start with “Poco a poco se va lejos.”  I wanted to pick a positive password to start the year!

Since I have a short class, it will be over.  However, if I had a longer class, I would pick one or two students to discuss their favorite moment.  With my students, I am going to have them write a small description of their favorite moment or what they are looking forward to this year in the target language.  I will use this as an exit ticket.  I hope that it will be somewhat low pressure and help me see where my students are.

Later this week, I will be discussing how I start my year without a review.  In that post, I will give an overall summary of my first unit for my level 3 class.

Level 5

I plan on keeping a similar plan from last year.  I will share a PearDeck (or you could do a Google Slideshow) to discuss how I was as a junior and senior in high school and what I wanted to learn in Spanish.  Then I will have my students share in Spanish what they would like to learn.  You can do this via a Google Slideshow as well.  The one big change that I will make from last year was that I had my students make a Spark post with their goal.  That was a bit too much, and the tech overrode my goal.  This year, I will stick with Google Forms to have my students share their goal.  Plus, my plan was to print out their goals, and that didn’t happen!

I will also have my students take a selfie with me, too!  (I will be honest though- I always wear wedges, and I am a bit worried about climbing up on the chair each time… maybe flats it will be for me this year!)

For my level 5 icebreaker, I want to do two truths and a lie.  I won’t get through all of them in one day.  Plus, it can get a little old after the first few people.  I will probably do 4-5 students a day and save the others for another day.

Level 6

So I am really happy that my level 6 class consists of all of my former students.  Some I just taught last year, but many of them, I taught in 8th grade, 11th grade and now as seniors.  We will just chat in Spanish about what they are looking forward to this year, and what they did over the summer.

For both my level 5 and level 6 classes, I want to encourage them to take part in the Lead with Languages campaign to share their story on why they take languages.  I want to use some of this with my level 1 students and parents with back to school night!

Whew!  Over 1,000 words!  Thanks for sticking with me.  What are your plans for the first day?!

ps: Looking for more resources?  My Teachers Pay Teachers store is participating in the Back to School sale this coming August 1st and 2nd!  I have updated my store with some videos explaining how I plan and some new Integrated Performance Assessments!




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