5 Tips for Second Semester in Spanish Class

5 tips starting second semester spanish class procedures routines

So your long-awaited holiday break is coming to an end and you find yourself facing the start of a fresh, new semester of Spanish classes. Whether with new students or continuing with previous ones, the second semester provides some perfect opportunities for a fresh start and reset, just as the new year might for your personal goals. Let’s chat about some tips to consider as you start the second semester of Spanish class!

1. Ease yourself and students back into the routine

You and your students will likely need some time to adjust back to the earlier mornings and speaking/thinking/producing in Spanish. Give yourself some leeway to ease everyone back into the routine! What might this look like?

2. Reset Expectations

Sometimes at the year goes on, students get comfortable or we teachers let things go that we normally wouldn’t because we are tired and need a break. The fresh start of a new semester provides an opportunity to reset expectations and get you and students back on track! For example, you might consider:

  • reviewing syllabus expectations
  • resetting/reorganizing the room with clear zones for students
  • implementing “preguntas prohibidas” to minimize those frustrating, repeat questions students already have answers to! Access the free download here!

3. Change up / add routines

If you found something just wasn’t working first semester, or you’d like more structure second semester, now is a great time to change up those routines! Here are a few I like to include second semester:

  • Free Reading Mondays – a great way to start off the class/week without planning something new!
  • Quickwrite Fridays – another routine to support lesson planning and support your students’ writing skills (idea prompts here)
  • Monthly independent cultural webquest – give yourself a lesson planning break while students learn more culture! (ideas here)

4. Try something new

I love using second semester to try a couple of new ideas that I’m debating whether to fully implement the following school year. Pick an idea or two you’ve been considering and test them out with your students! Create a document/note for yourself titled “Ideas for 20__ (next year)” and take notes on how the ideas work and any adjustments you’d make next time. It’s nice to do this with students that already know you because ideas may or may not flop and they will hopefully have a bit more grace with you!

5. Find your YOU time

One of the hardest aspects of teaching is finding balance. I often find I spend semester 1 running the race and then realize I need more balance going into semester 2. Try some new strategies to save yourself time so you can find a healthier work-life balance, such as:

  • finding pockets of grading time – As you circulate during independent work time, grab a clipboard and some papers to grade. Walk around to monitor students and grade a handful of papers. Doing this each period can really add up over the week to save you from grading so much on your own time!
  • implementing daily warm-ups – I love using warm-ups to start each class without requiring me to be “on stage.” Sometimes I need a few moments to check email, check in with a student or work at that random to-do list that never stops accumulating. 
  • starting a new routine or two – Routines can be so helpful to save your lesson planning time. Every Monday starts with 10-15 minutes of independent reading? That’s time you don’t have to plan a new activity every week AND can do a little in-class grading as well! Read this blog post on Spanish Class Routines for more ideas!

I hope these ideas help you to reset the new semester successfully and with some focus. What other ideas can you add to this list? Leave a comment below!

¡Buena suerte!

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