“Brazos, manos, dedos…brazos, manos, dedos…”. My class always began with reviewing the body parts in Spanish. Useful vocabulary, check! Proper pronunciation practice, check! Repetition, check! Critical to teaching young children Spanish, getting students up and moving, CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!
Average Attention Span = Age of child +1
With this in mind, the best laid lesson plans can be lost within 7-15 minutes of implementation for most of our students! Younger learners will tune out even the most entertaining teacher if they are required to sit still and focus past that 7-8 minute mark.
Think about real life language. Children are emotive, children gesture, children are interactive and children are constantly MOVING! Emulate real life and get your students moving at regular intervals. Keep classroom activities varied, concise and interactive and young learners will stay engaged and attentive through the lesson.
Have a lull between activities? “¡LEVÁNTENSE, CLASE!” and quickly review the gestures and movements from class vocabulary. Play a speedy game of “Simón Dice”, practice numbers by counting jumping jacks in Spanish, organize a simple game of “Cuatro Esquinas”, build sentences on the board with a class relay, or have the whole class act out this week’s story as you eloquently model it! Are your students getting squirrelly? Do you notice a distinct hollow glaze in their eyes? Is English permeating your lesson? Create a grab bag of easy to implement review games that Get Your Student MOVING!
Kinesthetic learning gets the blood flowing, awakens the brain, and most importantly, is FUN! Shifting gears for a minute or two to move around and interact with each other in Spanish will refocus your class and revitalize any lesson.
We want our students to look forward to Spanish class! We want our students to go home excited about Spanish! We want our students to become lifelong learners of Spanish! So, we must GET THEM MOVING!