Thursday, September 10, 2015

Spanish Classroom Decor 2.0

Just a few photos of my walls this year :)

I created a culture wall this year but used my same Instagram photos from last year. Each large photo has a caption in Spanish describing its significance.

 My High Frequency Word Wall (with Useful Phrases now) is available on TPT.

 My fun meme door! They LOVE reading these and trying to figure out what they mean. (All found on Pinterest)

Behind my desk (mini posters available on TPT)

Hope you enjoyed!

The First Days of School

I like to start of my first day with a healthy mixture of scaring them and peeking their interest :)

I start off by standing at my door with a clipboard in hand. I allow them to sit wherever they like because (unbeknownst to them) I base my seating chart for the next weeks off of who they chose to sit next to the first day. I then take attendance in Spanish. They must say "aquí" after I call their name and then the next day turns into "estoy aquí."

I then hand out my syllabus (see older posts). I have students read the large parts out loud and then I go over my expectations, materials they need, class rules and procedures, technology rules and consequences, and homework and grading policies. Finally I ask if there are any questions (usually no) and I have them pack it up and take it home for their parents to sign for 5 points. 

Typically this only takes about 15 -20 minutes or so, which is why I created a little intro to Spanish Powerpoint to inform them / see what they know already. They really enjoy this and it gets them a tiny bit excited to learn.

Here we talk about which countries speak Spanish. We see how many they can name without looking at the map. Luckily our 9th graders took Geography last year so they remember a lot!

 We talk about words of Latin origin and loan words that the English language has borrowed...

 This is where I build their confidence and take away any fears of learning a new language. They'll already be able to recognize over 3,000 words in Spanish! And it will help them learn other languages in the future :)
I read through this list and they call out the English meaning. 
 Finally we talk about the importance of learning a language and some students share why they think it will be useful.
And that's it! Please share any ideas from your own first days in the comments below :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Is it August ALREADY????

Yikes! Between building a new house and trying to tweak things for my second year at my new school, summer has FLOWN by. My wheels are turning and I've already got my mind set on the first week of school (it's uncontrollable!).

I typically start off my first day with my syllabus. I created last year's with Piktochart (as inspired by Creative Language Class' blog post last year about the best syllabus). It was a beautiful masterpiece in my humble opinion and focused on rules as well as the language journey that my students make throughout the year and how far they will advance in the proficiency path. Take a look!! I think it's really pretty and I'm obsessed with it :)

This Path to Proficiency is available for free download on TPT!

I'd LOVE to share this with you guys, so instead of paying a buttload to be able to "share" the editable version with you all, for now I'm going to post it on TPT. *When you purchase it you can send me an email and I will EDIT it and personally replace my info with yours and truly make it personal for you and your school. Is that crazy?? YES, but I'd love to help you all out and my students truly loved going over this the first day of class. Here's the link below:

Next, I go over my expectations for each class with a heavy emphasis on behavioral issues. Luckily, my school is full of wonderful students with very involved parents so a simple threat or phone call home will stop any annoyance or issue right in its tracks. If it goes any further they are immediately sent out and typically sent home for the day. (I know, right??)

I also have this sign hanging right next to the front board. And another one next to the door. And another one next to the clock. :) If they interrupt me, which I HATE, they have to write this sentence a certain number of times (my choice) as a first warning. After that, they get sent out. Adioooooos!
And I have these signs above my board as a friendly reminder:

This concludes my first day - for now. Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers!

Hi guys! Thank you so much for your recent interest in my High Frequency Word Wall and my Vowel posters! 

I've created a Teachers Pay Teachers account so you all can easily download my FREE documents. I've borrowed a lot of free resources over the years so I'm making these free for all of you too! Enjoy :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pretty Spanish Classroom Walls!

So I started writing this post last August and got SO entirely busy that I never finished it. Take a look :)

(August 2014)
I have to admit - one of my favorite things about teaching is getting to decorate my classroom. My Mom is an interior designer and she passed on her talents to my sister and I. So all summer it's been in the back of my head: what's my color scheme? where can I find great wrapping paper deals? how much decor am I going to reuse and how much am I going to buy new? Ugh. Too much to think about.

Anyways, I'm trying to FOCUS on one thing at a time, which is hard when all of my stuff is packed away in boxes. Also, it's amazing how much my taste and purpose has changed. My first year, I just wanted everything to look "pretty." Now, everything has to have a function. So here's my list:

1. A "key" word wall that the students can reference at all times
2. An instagram picture wall with a hashtag attached that the students can use for extra credit
3. A student center with everything they'll need during class
4. A display of Proficiency Targets + Stamp Sheets (if you're unfamiliar with this, please visit the Creative Language Class blog).

On a side note, this year I'm starting at a new school. I loved my old school (middle - public), but I got an offer I couldn't refuse at my alma mater (9th-10th - private)! So I really am starting from scratch. The biggest change within the classroom (besides class sizes) will be moving from a brand new Smartboard to having an iPad with Apple TV (oh each kid has an iPad too - eek!). So once I figure that out, I'll write about it. But for now, I'm just focusing on decor and what I can use from the last three years and how to improve it. 

Here's a before picture of my new classroom :)

Here are the after pictures!

My Instagram wall is in the center (photos were printed into 4x4s from Walgreens online)

My High Frequency Word Wall! I LOVE IT
These were a lot of hard work - about 40 words total!

And here's my semi-clean desk area. You can see my rules above the white board, vowel sounds to the left, and my question words below.

Hope you guys enjoyed my room! My kids loved it this year and it was my best, most enjoyable year of teaching yet!