4 ways to get your students back after the holidays! :) - Island Teacher

4 ways to get your students back after the holidays! :)

So it's back to school on Monday for me...I'm imagining it is for many of you as well. It seems that something happens to students over these breaks. I'm going to go ahead and predict it now that I will have students who walk in this week who will appear to have forgotten everything about Spanish that they've been taught....EVER! Does this happen to you too? You're in such a groove with a couple of tiresome weeks heading into the winter break, but you feel like your students are making progress and then...WHAT?! I get a blank stare when asking a simple question. Here are 3 things (plus an extra to think about in the future) that I'm doing this week to get my Spanish superstars back! ;)

1. Get them sharing! For the most part, students love to talk about themselves and their experiences. I made some templates which you can use to help them brainstorm in Spanish about 1, 5, or 10 words to represent or describe their break. They can then draw a picture to go along with the words. I then have students share in small groups or with the class. This helps their brains to working in Spanish again. The templates are FREE for awhile in my TpT store, if you'd like to download them HERE.

2. Get them speaking! It's been a few weeks since they've uttered anything in Spanish, so they'll probably need to be prompted into conversation. I'll be using my Spanish Character Cards and Activities to jump start the dialogue. 

With these cards, each student takes on the role of an assigned character. They then mingle with other characters (their classmates) to find out basic info such as name, age, characteristics and hobbies. These cards come with quite a few resources and ideas for use. This week we'll use a resource in the packet called "Busco a alguien que..." where students circulate the room looking for characters which fit the descriptions on their sheets. When they find someone who fits, that character signs their sheet. The student with the most signatures in the given time is declared el/la ganador(a). :)

3. Get them listening! Chances are, your students have heard little to no Spanish over their breaks. If you've never explored the videos put out by the University of Texas at Austin, head over there and do it. Here's the LINK. This is a wealth of listening resources. Native speakers from various Spanish speaking countries speak about a variety of topics. I love that it gives students the opportunity to hear different accents and vocabulary. Video clips are organized by level and topic. You can choose to listen with or without a corresponding script. Each topic also contains a list of related vocabulary, phrases and grammar points emphasized. You can create cloze activities or questions to along with the different video clips. Creating more activities to go along with these and using this website more often this year is on my to-do list. 

4. Never lose them in the first place...give them an assignment prior to the break! Ok, so this is what I wish that I would have done. There's always next time, right? It doesn't have to be a complex assignment, just something to keep them thinking about Spanish. I'm thinking of having them find examples of Spanish in "real life" in our community. Whether it's a street name, something they see in the store, a newspaper article, etc. I'll have them bring in the items or photos of 3 (or however many) different examples that they have found. This will also generate some fun conversation after the break as well. I may even make this a bonus assignment. I'm still thinking about the details, but I think there are some good possibilities here and that I'll definitely implement something like this before the next break.

What about you? How do you get your students back in tune after a break? 


  1. Excelentes ideas. Las voy a implementar esta seman gracias por compartir.

  2. I like these ideas! I am a first year teacher and I am definitely learning from what I do this year. I may either implement this or save it for the next year!

    1. Thanks for commenting Kristin! Even after 12 years, I am learning and trying new things. Best wishes to you!


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