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 :)