Day 3
Reviewed our greeting and the gestures for: I don’t understand, may I speak English? Repeat, slower and write it on the board.

I introduced the classroom rules in Spanish. Yes, you can explain your expectation in Spanish as long as you make it comprehensible. Ah, and don’t  forget to  and check for comprehension often.I got this idea when I attended a COACH training last fall. Additionally, teaching rules in Spanish was  as a great way to  review the following verbs.
Puedes- you can
Tienes- you have
Necesitas- you need
So how did I make this topic comprehensible?  I used   cognates, props, and lots of gestures.  I wrote the words with its English translation on the board. Then, I showed them the gesture, I modeled for them and had them practice. Then, I introduced the rules one at the time. Here is an example of how I introduced my number one rule.
En la clase de espanol puedes hablar espanol.
Puedes hablar espanol en la clase? si o no?
Puedes hablar Frances en la clase?
No, no puedes hablar farance en la clase.

Here are some comprehension checks activities I created after I taught the rules and procedures.LAS REGLAS


Day 2
a. I welcomed student’s at the door while I asked them to tell me the password. I got this idea from the Amazing Alina Filipescu. I assigned the password on Fridays and students will say it to enter the classroom Monday through Friday of the following week. The password for the first week was ¡Que ridículo! Here is more information about how to use passwords in the classroom.
b. Reviewed our greeting and the gestures for: I don’t understand, may I speak English? Repeat, slower and write it on the board.
c. Assigned classroom jobs. I heard about classroom jobs through Bryce Hedstrom’s session at iFLT the idea is to have students do the work that they can do so you can focus on providing compelling input. Assigning the jobs creates a sense of community and ownership. It’s helping me manage time, save my energy and buys me a few minutes of silence between passing periods.
Let me give you a little bit of background information on what went on my classroom. Last year I had my best CI experience ever! My students were super engaged, I had the story asking routine down, parents emailed the administrators to express how happy they were with CI etc. But,  I was EXHAUSTED all the time,  I didn’t have the energy to anything else after school and by the end of the first semester, I was completely burned out. I realize now that I was doing ALL the work for 42 students in five different periods! That’s a lot of work! I noticed that when was tired I let my students get away with not following procedures. I feel more alert now that I had assigned all these tasks to students than last year when I was running the show and doing all the administrative tasks. Here is Bryce Hedstrom Post on Classroom jobs.

Some of the jobs I have assigned so far:
1. The class reporter- takes notes of the activities in class and reports back to absent students
3. The Board Eraser
4. The hole puncher
5. The person who passes handouts
6. The person who collects handouts
7. The lights person
8. The doorman
9. The tardy slips person
10. The telephone person
11. The sneeze person
12. The first aid person
13. the classroom monitor- walks around the classroom 4 minutes before the bell rings and remind students to pick up their bottles of water and any trash.
14. The 4 minutes person- tells me that there are 4 minutes left of class.
15. The English police.

I have substitutes for each position in case the person in charge of the job is absent. I also have posted the job description in the classroom and the name of the student responsible for each job.


For the past eight days, I’ve been talking about the Olympics while getting to know my students and establishing routines. The goal is to build a classroom culture based on trust, respect, and kindness. In Spanish II we often get students from different schools and even districts so  I also use these two weeks to am assess students’  proficiency level . Finally and most importantly, I am front loading all the vocabulary students will need to read Felipe Alou by Carol Gaab, but my students don’t know this yet. As far as they know, they think I just like to gossip about athletes and the coaches at our school.

Day 1:
a. I welcomed every student at the door with a friendly smile. Then I said to them in Spanish “backpack on the table please.” Oh, I forgot to mention that I have a desk-less classroom.
b. I assigned seats to students from day one. This step is critical because it sends a message to the students that you’re in charge (Ben Slavic.) Then, I told them to greet their neighbor with “hello, how are you?” in Spanish.
c. I told them in Spanish to stand up, and I modeled our daily greeting. We practice that twice.
d. I taught them the gestures for I don’t understand, may I speak English? Repeat, slower and write it on the board.
e. I shared some information about my life with them in Spanish. I also reminded them to use the gestures I just taught them to show me that they were listening. I only shared a few details using lots of cognates and asking comprehension questions. I also engaged them in the conversation. For instance, I told them that I live in Long Beach, I asked who has visited Long Beach. A handful of students raised their hands. So I picked one of them, I ask him his name, and then I asked him again you visited Long Beach? Yes! I repeated his answer, and then I address the rest of the class “oh class ___ visited Long Beach.” What I’m doing here, is teaching my class that everything that they say is important to me and that they need to show appreciation and respect when we talk to one another. Then I continued to ask the student more questions about his visit to Long Beach. When? where? how? with whom?
f. Wow! The ten-minute bell rang! Time flies by when you’re having fun. I used the last ten minutes to assign the password to enter the classroom (Original idea accredited to the Awesome Alina Filipescu) and we practiced our exit procedure (Credit: Bryce Hedstrom)
Profesora: ¡Clase!
Estudiantes: ¡Sí, señora!
Profesora: Gracias por aprender.
Estudiantes: Gracias por enseñarnos.
Profesora: Pueden guardar sus cosas.
*Disclaimer: None of these ideas are of my creation; they are based on things I have learned by attending workshops and observing other teachers and Carol Gaab two-day visit to our school district.