Getting to know my new students

As I have switched schools, I am in a new position.  The classes stay very similar, so I am trying to take time to get to know them without doing some of my old stand-bys.  I love Persona Especial! This is perfect for Spanish I and can even be leveled nicely for other levels. However, all of my students know this information about each other.  I wouldn’t get the same buy in. Also, I have started before with student likes. This can also cause some similar conversations where most students know this about each other.  I have been brainstorming some conversations that I can have that build relationships but there might be new information.

I decided to do some circling with balls with different techniques.  Since I am reading Edi el Elefante in fourth grade, I had students draw their favorite animal for some discussion.  In fifth grade, we are going to read Isabela captura un congo. I had them draw their favorite place to go. We can discuss which animals are there and what you can do there.

In sixth grade, we are starting off with Kara’s Soy Yo unit and adding in Heather’s great resources.  Parts of the story lend really well to asking personalized questions that are quick like who likes to dance, who plays an instrument and who plays basketball.  However, I want to vary up some of our brain breaks that help talk about preferences.  In both sixth and eighth grade, I have modified this student interest survey as well.  This has allowed me to find out a lot of information about my students that I can incorporate into class.

Since 8th grade can have longer conversations, I feel that I am able to incorporate some of these more into our unit.  We are starting with Venezuela.  I also plan on using the inquiry project that my friend Kristin just talked about with me on the We Teach Languages podcast.  I think this will really give me a lot of insight into their interests as well.

I would love to hear some more activities that you incorporate to get to know more students especially if they already know each other well!

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