Following on from last week’s post containing some visuals I’m using with my French classes for setting up classroom language, here goes with some for Spanish:
One of my little ‘challenges’ as I get going with lots of classes which are completely new to me is working out how to keep track of which expressions I’ve begun to get going with classes and which I haven’t. This is simpler when you only take on a couple of extra classes a year (if that’s how your school does it), but when you are new to a school at any stage of your career and you want to set up routines with all of them, this poses an extra challenge!
I’m teaching all of six of the Year 7 French classes and the school runs on a 2-week timetable. As some of the groups will have their third class with me before others have had their second, my poor old memory might not stand up to it! To get round this, I’m using this simple grid: Year 7 Classroom language
Basically, at the end of a lesson, I tick which expressions I have actually used with the class (rather than those I intended to use) and which I presented properly (as opposed to fleetingly). Different linguistic events will crop up with different classes and will require different expressions. This grid helps me to see whether all classes are getting pretty much the same deal or if one is lagging behind the others. Without something like this to look at, I might not actually notice for quite a while. The ticking can be done between one class leaving and the next arriving and it’s easily done – I only need to see which new ones have been slapped on the wall before I quickly take them down before the start of the next lesson. There is no need to make sure that every class has used exactly the same expressions in the same week or anything like that – this is what contributes to the authenticity of the interaction – but it will help me to see at a glance if there are any gaps I might want to fill with the class which is on their way down the corridor. I would, however, try to teach the same range with all classes over a half-term period.
As expressions get extended or more complex, or synonymous phrases crop up, they can be added to the bottom of the list.
So. Monday’s coming! Have a good week everyone!