Mid-year Strategies for Your Sonrisas Spanish Class

As you enter the second half of the school year, this is a good time to think about how you can build upon the language that your students have acquired so far in the Sonrisas lessons. In this blog we will outline some simple strategies that you can use to increase your students’ acquisition.

First, if there are any songs, games or activities from your early lessons that you had discontinued, this is a good time to re-introduce these into your Circle Time routine. Your students will welcome the familiarity of these, and they will benefit from the repetition. This includes revisiting songs, games and activities from Level I for Level II students.

For Level I:

  • During Roll Call, after you ask who is present, you can now incorporate counting into the roll by asking the students, “¿Cuántos estudiantes están aquí hoy?” and “¿Cuántos niños/Cuántas niñas están aquí?”.
  • By now you should have established a routine with your Calendar Activities. It is appropriate now to start introducing some simple circling during these. (See page 15 of the Introduction to the teacher’s manual.)
  • If you are playing the Me llamo game in Circle Time, your students are used to the routine of having you toss a ball to them and ask the question, “¿Cómo te llamas tú?” Now you can introduce a new question into the game such as “¿Cuántos años tienes tú? or “¿De dónde eres tú?” Introduce additional questions one at a time, but then make them part of the rhythm of the game: toss the ball and ask the student two or three questions in succession.
  • Keep repeating and reinforcing what your students know every chance you get. A great opportunity for using previously-learned vocabulary is during the art projects. As students are working, constantly inquire about their work using vocabulary from the early lessons: “¿De qué color es? ¿Cuántos hay? ¿Cuál forma es? ¿Qué lleva ___? ¿Dónde está ___? ¿Te gusta ___? ¿Es grande or chiquito?” etc.

For Level II:

  • By now you should have established a routine with your calendar activities. If you have been doing all the writing on the board during these, it is appropriate now to let the students begin to write the answers. Follow the same routine, but any time you have to write something, ask for a volunteer to come and do it.
  • Depending on how far along you are in the alfabeto, you can start to spell words out loud with your students. As you start this, first you may need to lead them, and then you can have them do it as a group or ask for volunteers to do it individually.
  • If you have not starting integrating El país del día into your calendar activities, you can start to do it now. Your students will love learning about other countries, and it provides a vital cultural component to your lesson as well as a connection to the science content area with a focus of geography.
  • Just as you would in Level I, keep repeating and reinforcing what your students know every chance you get. Use vocabulary from Level I (see above) as well as phrases learned in Level II: “¿Cómo se llama ___? ¿Qué dice ___? ¿Dónde fue ___? ¿Qué tiene ___? ¿Qué tienes tú?” etc.

Another important thing to remember at this time of the year is that language acquisition takes time and consistent effort. If you continue to implement the Sonrisas lessons effectively you will be amazed by what your students know at the end of the year, and after two, three, and four years. Stay confident in your students’ natural ability to acquire language and your ability to guide them through your commitment, focus, and enthusiasm. Happy teaching!

Sonrisas Spanish creates, publishes, and sells preschool and elementary Spanish curriculum. The Sonrisas Spanish Curriculum consists of fun, effective, standards-based Spanish lessons for children.

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