My mentor teacher opens the cultural lessons narrating travel experiences around Spain, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. For grammar lessons, she connects the Spanish grammar with English grammar to facilitate its understanding. To introduce vocabulary she uses flashcards, mimics, body gestures and a good sense of humor that helps students to relax while learning the new language. During lessons, the teacher moves over the classroom and integrate all students in the lesson. She asks questions following the seating chart, so everybody has the same participation opportunity. If the student need helps to answer the question the next student in the row has a turn to help and so. To close the lesson my mentor uses written practice to keep students busy until the end of the period. If they don’t finish, they take it for homework and must turn in on the next meeting.
For transitions, I have observed that students have a sticker on their desks, three different colors, the teacher call students by the sticker color to collect their Chromebooks when is time to work independently on computers. The teacher assigns a written practice to work with while she calls students to present their dialogues. Students stay focused on the written practice while presenters speak to the teacher. Students work on written practice during the last part of the class. Five minutes before the bell rings the teacher asks them to clean up the area and taking the written practice as homework if they haven’t finished it. Then students unlock their cellphones from the Yondr pouches before leaving the classroom.
The seating chart is one strategy that I’ll be applying to my classroom. Changing seats every month helps students to know each other and to practice Spanish conversations with different partners during the semester. The teacher can make changes to the seating chart many times as needed to keep students engaged and avoid side conversations that will affect the classroom management. The cellphone-free zone is another strategy that I’ll integrate to my future classroom.