When a substitute teacher is filling in for a Spanish instructor, the Spanish periods can still be meaningful and productive for students. Knowing what to do by way of having guidelines or activities in place will ensure the day is not a lost for learning Spanish. Here are some suggestions a Spanish teacher can use, even if the substitute teacher has no knowledge of teaching Spanish.
Emergency Spanish Sub-Plans
If you are in an urgent need to have ready-made lesson plans, jump right into these options:
- Spanish Substitute Lesson Plans for Beginner Students
- Spanish Substitute Lesson Plans for Intermediate Students
- Spanish Substitute Lesson Plans for Advanced Students
All these lesson plans are for high school students and designed so that any teacher can covers you, even if he/she doesn’t speak Spanish!
Spanish Teaching Guide for Substitute Teachers
Games can be a student’s best friend when they are used properly and under directed supervision. They just need to be age appropriate. Learning levels are also important to enhance learning. Some recommended games are:
1. Flashcards: Draw or paste cut-out pictures of objects on flashcards and label them in Spanish. Teacher holds up flashcards for students to identify the words. An alternative is to assign students to groups of two to five students and let them alternate a leader to hold up the cards to members of their group.
2. Scrabble: Let students make up Scrabble cards. Pair up students to play the game by creating words in Spanish.
3. Frio, Tibio, Caliente: Send one student outside. The teacher or another student will hide an object inside the classroom. When the student is invited to return, they will move in the direction of where they think the object is hidden. If the student is far away, the others will say, “Frio!” If the student gets close, the others will say, “Tibio!” When the student gets close, the others will call out, “Caliente!”
Worksheets can be constructed for all grade levels as reinforcement exercises. They should always be at the students’ instructional and independent reading levels because their main objective is to reinforce previously taught skills and concepts. As a time-saver, Spanish teachers can copy worksheets after presenting regular lessons. Worksheet ideas include:
1. A list of English words to be translated to Spanish
2. A list of Spanish words to be translated to English
3. Pictures and drawings for students to label in Spanish
4. Drawings of people, in comic fashion, talking to each other; let students write in Spanish what they think each character is saying.
5. Connecting words to the correct pictures
6. Connecting pictures to the correct words
Quizzes are great memory devices. When they are composed from a motivational standpoint, they can capture students’ interest. Base quizzes on interesting topics like sports, music, television shows and games.
Compose written quizzes for the substitute teacher to oversee, but let the students work in groups to complete them. Quizzes should consist of words with which they are familiar. Let them know that the quizzes are not for recorded grades, but to help improve their memory and retention skills.
Studies have shown that music boosts student’s ability to grasp and retain information more rapidly. To capitalize on this fact, Spanish teachers can build a music library by investing in Spanish music. To garner and maintain students’ interest, music selection should include various artists and genres. Activities in this category may include:
1. Name that tune: Play selected songs, let children listen until they think they can identify the songs. An extension to this game is to identify the artists.
2. Sing Along: Let students sing some of their favorite songs from Spanish CDs or music sheets.
3. Music Composition Contest: Students will compose songs, put them to music and teach them to the class in Spanish. The class will vote on the top three. Be sure to have them congratulate the winners and be happy for them.
Click here to receive our free list of 500+ Spanish songs with teaching topics and video links.
Watching movies is an excellent motivational activity. However, students’ attention span must be considered. Make sure they are not too long and/or boring. Activities include:
Show a movie in Spanish, but one that shows the English translation on the screen, and verse visa. Have a discussion afterwards to invoke more conversation about the movie. Have them recall the Spanish words they were able to identify. They can also be encouraged to write down the words as they watch.
Have special workbooks just for the substitute teacher. The exercise should be based on skills and concepts the students have already mastered to refresh the concepts. Exercises may include, for example, spelling activities like letting children unscramble words to form words in Spanish or complete words by filling in the missing letters.
Making a learning tree can help to reinforce colors, sizes, names of animals and other nouns. Using construction paper, make a tree, have students label pictures, and attach them. The labels should be descriptive, for instance: uno, casa, blanca (one, white, house).
Most times when teachers are substituting, students feel that the substitute lacks the same authority as the subject teacher. Therefore, they display different behavior and reactions. Consequently, one of the biggest challenges substitute teachers faces is the inability to capture and retain students’ attention.
This inattentiveness creates classroom management problems, which result in lost teaching time. In the case of a foreign language like Spanish, matters could worsen, especially if the substitute teacher cannot speak the language. To avoid losing teaching time, involve students with engaging, motivational, and interesting materials.
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