July is in full swing, and for all of us teachers out there, that means we are thinking about how to start to school year off on the right foot with our students. The first day of school is still the most nerve-wracking part of my school year – the inability to sleep the night before, picking out the right outfit, reviewing the class lists, double-triple checking the classroom space and seating charts. In an effort to prepare the physical classroom space, I often have found myself without the most important part of the day – lesson plans! So this year, I prioritized creating lesson plans in Spanish for the first day of school, and wanted to make them available on my Teachers Pay Teachers store – and of course give a more in-depth preview to my loyal readers of Pura Vida Moms!
Building strong student-teacher relationships and a sense of community in the classroom is the key to a successful school year for everyone – teachers and students alike. I quickly learned that when I presented myself first as a person, and then as a teacher, and allowed my students to present themselves first as people, then as students, it set a powerfully positive people-first tone centered on collaboration. So it makes sense that I created this first day of school lesson plan and activities in Spanish as a way for my students and I to get to know each other and have fun!
You can purchase the minute by minute lesson plan (complete with ties to habit targets AND academic skills), instructions (what teacher is doing, what students are doing) and resources (print and teach!) on Teachers Pay Teachers, but let’s preview one of the slides from my first day power point, and I’ll tell you how I use it to evoke conversation and questioning with my students!
Background: Several summers ago, on a trip to Costa Rica, all kinds of “cosas tontas” happened to me. I had lots of stories to tell when we came back home to Denver, and I wanted to capitalize on those authentic tales from Latin America as I started the school year. I also strongly believe that the first day of school is NOT for rules and regulations, rather it is a time to set young minds at ease about the course, make students feel confident, and for everyone to get to know each other. I came up with the idea to use my stories as a rigorous yet fun listening and writing activity for the first day of school. The concept was simple: watch silly things people do on You Tube, reflect on your own silly story, and then determine which of Ms. Jimenez’s silly stories you want to hear and re-tell. This lesson capitalizes on the academic skills of listening and writing, and student work samples gave me a window into their academic ability and personal interests. More importantly, I started the school year off by honoring one of the great Latin American traditions – storytelling.
Are you interested in replicating this lesson, but would rather spend your Back To School time prepping other things? Then head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and download your packet!