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Effective Lesson Planning for Your Sonrisas Spanish Class

It goes without saying that a big contributor to the success of your preschool or elementary Spanish class is how well you plan for your lesson. Sometimes, when you are following a curriculum like the Sonrisas Spanish Curriculum, it is easy to get into a rut of thinking that all your planning is done for you. While we have written detailed lessons for you and outlined the steps for each lesson, there is still planning that you need to do to make the lessons run smoothly. Here are some reminders that will insure that your Sonrisas lesson is effective.

  1. Read the lesson overview and the lesson procedure page thoroughly. Make sure you understand the Communication Objective and the Performance Guidelines. The Performance Guidelines give you a focus for the “chunks” of language that you want your students to come away with for the lesson. The lesson procedure page includes the sequence and steps for the lesson as well as helpful hints that will make your lesson run smoothly.
  2. Think through the songs, games, and activities that you are going to do in Circle Time. Remember that the Sonrisas and Canciones Culturales CDs are meant to be used as a resource for you to learn the songs and then sing them yourself with your students. All of the songs have movement and gestures that go along with them which are printed in the song lists in your curriculum book. You want to make sure that you know how you will perform these.  Read through the game/activity for Circle Time and visualize how it will go in your class. Try to anticipate any classroom management challenges you may have for a particular game or activity and have a plan for how you will deal with them. Many times the helpful hints address these potential issues.
  3. Review the book you are going to read for Story Time. Reading to you students is such an effective language-learning tool—especially when you read the story in a fun, fluent, and engaging manner. Read through the book before your class. Think about how you will tell the story and how you will engage your students in the story. It is a good idea to review the section on shared reading on pages 25 and 26 of the Sonrisas Introduction.
  4. Pick which art project you will do, read through the art project procedure page, and prep all your art materials. Most lessons include more than one art project so that you can have a choice for what you think will work best for your class. The art project procedure pages also include helpful hints to make the art project go well. Some art projects will require you to plan ahead for the necessary materials.
  5. Have a plan for your review games and activities. One of the strengths of Sonrisas is the opportunity to consistently review previously-learned vocabulary and phrases through the different games and activities in Circle Time. Throughout the year you can weave the different games and activities in and out of your lessons as you see fit. Make a plan for how you will do this.

The main reason for planning well for your lesson is that your students are going to benefit so much more than if you are putting things together on the fly or last minute. Hopefully you can establish a rhythm to your planning so that it just becomes part of your routine for each class. In doing so, you will enjoy the benefits of a smooth class, and your students will enjoy the benefits of increased language acquisition. Remember: if you ever have any questions about the implementation of the Sonrisas lessons, we are always available to talk with you. Call or email us anytime.

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