Mondays are rough. They don’t have to be horrible if you have a predictable start to each week in your Spanish or Immersion class. I start every Monday by talking about the weekend and what my students did. This helps me ease into the week with a low prep (or no prep) activity that is engaging and gets the class talking (and writing) in the target language.
Once students know that every Monday they will be talking about their weekend, they will start noticing the patterns in Spanish (or other FL) that they are hearing. Many will also be excited to share what they did with their peers and the teacher. Everyone loves talking about themselves, right?
3 Ways to do weekend talks with your primary students in Spanish class or immersion setting.
1. Whip Share
At the beginning of the year, I like to do whip shares as students that are new to the language will hear the pattern and follow the pattern though they might not understand completely the first few weeks.
To do a whip share, you model first what everyone is going to say; for example: “Yo fui…” (I went) and then add a place where they went. I also use visuals when possible to enhance student’s comprehension. I give 5 to 7 examples out loud. “Yo fui a McDonalds. Yo fui a Target. Yo fui al parque. Yo fui a la casa de mi prima. etc.” To make sure it what is expected is clear. Then I have a student volunteer start. After the volunteer shares, we continue all the way around the circle with every student completing the “stem” sentence. (I do a similar thing on Fridays to practice “Yo voy a…” (I am going to…)
2. Morning Work or Writing Activity
Chatting in Spanish about your weekend in class is fun but you could also have it be a writing activity or a morning work activity that the students do for the first 5-15 mins. of class every Monday. I use a variety of Monday weekend report sheets throughout the school year so students don’t get bored.My first-grade Spanish immersion students always do Monday morning work on their weekend. They always enjoy writing and drawing about what they did each weekend. It also speeds up sharing in the morning meeting if what they did is fresh in their brain (we always do out morning meeting right after morning work).
3. Partner Share
To change it up a bit you could have students talk to one partner for 1-2 minutes (depending on level) and then do a share out OR have them switch and talk to second person. I like partner share for chatting about the weekend for three reasons. 1. They have can practice asking a question(s); like: ¿Qué hiciste este fin de semana? ¿Qué hiciste el sábado? Etc. and practice listening for an answer 2. For sharing out (and to hold students accountable) I have students share something their partner did. This way they are practicing using a different verb conjugation… Él fue al supermercado. Marta comío pollo. etc. 3. Some shy students prefer talking to someone else one-on-one versus the whole group sharing.
What is your favorite way to get student’s chatting about their weekend? I’d love to know your thoughts.