If there’s something I love, in my personal life and my classroom life, it’s a good routine. Especially at school, routines make my heart sing because 1. they make planning easy-this tired teacher needs one less decision to make and 2. students know what to do and how to do it, which is another plus for this tired teacher.
In my level 1 classes, we start every day with Chit Chat. I’ve written about our Level 1 start of class routine, and that’s still going strong for my Little Darlings, but I’ve been asked about my start of class routine for my Bigger Little Darlings. This post is for you!
In the past, I’ve started class with my Spanish 4s and my Heritage Class by shooting the breeze and chatting informally about what’s going on in their lives and the word, and that’s served me well for years…but this year’s group needs a little more help. It’s no wonder, my Spanish 4s had about 1/2 of Spanish 2 before school (and the world!) shut down, and then had about 1/2 as much Spanish 3 as a normal year, due to last year’s hybrid schedule. And since we teach the students we have, not the students we ‘should’ have or ‘wish’ we had… I needed a way to start class with them, that gives them lots of language scaffolding and confidence to answer in Spanish.
Last year (or maybe the year before? I don’t know this pandemic feels like a blurry bad dream that my subconscious is trying desperately to block out) These Facebook memes circulated like wildfire:
And Language Teachers quickly jumped on that bandwagon, using these to check in with students. To be clear, this was not my idea. I just loved it and jumped in with everyone else…but I found that my Little Darlings didn’t have the language to really make this opening routine worthwhile. So, like a good CI teacher, I thought to myself, how can I give them MORE INPUT?! How can I make this language accessible and give them more language to use.
So…I added some support to the meme:
So now, first we talk about which emotions each picture represents. ¿Cómo parece número 1? ¿Parece asustada? ¿Parece traviesa? ¿Quién se siente como el uno? Then students, with a partner ask the question at the top of the screen and respond using the sentence starter at the bottom. Of course they can use emotions the already know, the easy ones like happy, sad, tired, mad, but they’ve also got a whole mess of useful adjectives to help them out.
Then, to extend it a bit, and give them exposure to some more advanced grammar in a not grammary way, each Check In Meme is followed by a question of the day, which is usually related, with a sentence starter to get the ball rolling.
Sometimes they’ll partner up with an Animal Buddy to answer, sometimes I’ll use the Magic Cards for a quick and easy speaking or listening grade, then we settle into our Free Reading, which we also do every class, which is a 90 minute period, every other day. Although I wrote these with my Level 4s and Heritage Kiddos in mind, I think these will totally work for Levels 2+
You guys…I have spent hours compiling ¿Cómo te sientes? memes and creating an accompanying Pregunta del día. Don’t worry, I swapped out inappropriate pictures to make sure everything is OK for classroom use! And because I love you, here’s the whole kit and caboodle for Spanish teachers- There are 52 ¿Cómo te sientes? Memes and 52 Preguntas del día
If you teach French, or Japanese or German or Latin or anything else… and you want to modify my slideshow for your language, I’ve got some tips to make it as quick and painless as possible:
- On the Slideshow, select “File”, then “Make a copy”
- Change the adjectives into your language… use whatever adjectives you want! Mine has two different sets of adjectives (The pink and blue slides have different adjectives, but you follow your heart!)
- Each meme slide has 3 text boxes, if you hold down shift while you select all three boxes, you can copy all three at once. On the next slide, you can hold down shift and select all three textboxes (written in Spanish) to delete them all at once, then if you right click and choose paste, you’ll paste all three textboxes, translated into your language, at once, in the correct location, around the existing Meme. Easy peasy!
- To change the question at the top of the meme, Create a shape, add text and just cover the Spanish at the top.
- Share it back with me so I can share it here with other teachers!
It’s super easy…but if you need a little more help, I made a quick video:
Hope you’re hanging in there…what a wild ride this Pandemic Teaching has been!! Stay safe and healthy, my friends!