Back to School
Back to school!? Wait...where did the summer go? As I sorted through piles of papers and props that I left at the end of last year (note to self: no matter how exhausted you are always finish cleaning your classroom at the end of the year) activities to start the school year started spinning through my head...
I find the beginning of the year to be a tricky time--I want my students to leave after the first day feeling excited about learning and knowing that they are an important member of our classroom community. This is often a tall order when you only have 30 minutes and a classroom full of squirmy elementary students! My beginning of the year activities are always evolving and they have been largely inspired by Bryce Hedstrom's La persona especial and Ben Slavic's Circling with Balls. I love both of these beginning of the year activities because it gives the students a chance to learn more about one another and it also gives you as the teacher an opportunity to show that you are invested in each individual student. Having said that, I personally have found that at the elementary level students have a hard time staying engaged and focused if I spend 5-10 minutes in a discussion about each individual student. I value the premiss of these activities so I've come up with a few alternatives for the elementary classroom...
How are you beginning the year? Feel free to post your own ideas below!
8/31/2015 11:56:57 am
Thanks so much for posting! I was able to incorporate several of your ideas last week with my elementary students. I would love to hear more...what do your September plans look like?...
9/1/2015 05:06:08 am
Thanks so much Carrie! I'm glad to hear that you were able to use some of the ideas. I'll be posting more plans and stories as the year progresses. You can subscribe to my blog at http://www.nikitottingham.com/subscribe.html
4/6/2016 09:22:34 am
I love to read your blog. I love Martina Bex's stuff also. I was totally jealous of your picture with her!! How lucky! I wish there was a Martina Bex of elementary Spanish!
4/7/2016 05:18:38 am
So glad you are enjoying the blog Anne! And you got it correct, I limit vocabulary but not grammar. I simply tell my students that "fue" is just like "va" but in the past (as language teachers we tend to make this into a bigger issue than it really is). I use language in context so as long as I establish meaning for any new words that I am using with the students they will be able to comprehend what I am saying.
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