Back to School: Setting School Year Goals for Your Spanish Classroom
Setting measurable school year goals is key for both teachers and students.
Knowing where you’re heading and get there can be challenging for both parties. Yet, the benefits of setting and achieving school year goals make it worth the effort.
Keep reading to get inspired to set effective school year goals—and achieve them!
Benefits of Setting School Year Goals
Setting clear school year goals in your classroom increases your student’s chances for success.
If you’ve ever made New Year resolutions, you know how challenging it is to achieve your goals. However, setting new school year goals is doable. You just need to keep two essential things in mind.
To track your goals, make sure they are SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. They need to be possible to reach and important for students or child (if you’re a homeschool parent).
Are they specific enough to be measurable? How are you going to measure your and your students’ success?
Involve Your Students
Make it a team effort. Present an array of goals. With your students, choose three or four that you want to pursue this year.
Communal goals foster cooperation and mutual responsibility. If nobody knows that you have set a goal, nobody will know if you achieved it or not. Sharing goals is a form of accountability.
School year goals naturally differ from middle to high school. But, devoting time to setting, measuring, and assessing the goals is equally important.
15 School Year Goals for Your Spanish Classroom
Some of the school year goals on this list focus on your improvement as a Spanish teacher, and others focus on your students’ growth. I hope you get inspired by them, adapt them to your unique context, and create some of your own.
1. Organize Your Teaching
I find it’s ideal to plan out your whole school year as much as possible. Make a general overview before you start teaching to have your academic school year goals clear and measure your time. Then plan every unit in advance.
This way, before each lesson, you’ll only need to print and get materials and not lose time on last-minute improvised planning.
Have a look here or here for helpful apps for better organization
2. Improve Your Students’ Grammar
Being a Spanish teacher means you need to make sure your students climb up the grammar levels.
If you’re not sure about your students’ current level, have them take a placement test, such as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Then plan for the desired progress.
Note how many hours you’ve got available and the grammar and vocabulary topics you have to teach. Assess student progress regularly to ensure your students are on the right track.
This article suggests grammar topics to study throughout the year: The Ultimate Spanish Study Guide for Beginners.
3. Improve Your Students’ Spelling
Prepare lists with spelling words for each week and plan accompanying activities. Check small chunks every Friday for example.
Set up a bigger goal at the end of the school year. A Spanish spelling bee with prizes? Why not?
Use high-frequency Spanish words to prepare your weekly lists.
4. Improve Your Students’ Writing
Assessing writing is time-consuming but necessary for your students’ progress.
Being realistic is crucial. Start with composing sentences, then paragraphs, and then short texts. Give clear instructions and go over model texts.
Check out 15 Simple Tips to Improve Your Writing in Spanish for helpful inspiration.
5. Improve Your Students’ Listening Comprehension
Improving your students’ listening comprehension is a great school year goal, but a challenging one.
Quite often, school hours are not enough to make them jump to the next level. Motivate your students to listen to Spanish at home. Ask them to bring a Spanish song every week to build classroom playlists, organize movie nights, or group Netflix watching.
How to measure your students’ listening progress? Choose a listening activity with comprehension questions. Do it at the beginning of the year as a placement test, and then again at the end. You should see an improvement!
Some helpful resources:
- Spanish People Talking: 10 Best Listening Resources
- A How-To Guide on Spanish Listening Practice
- 25+ Resources to Promote Spanish Listening Practice for Kids
- The Ultimate Resource for Intermediate Spanish Listening Practice
6. Improve Your Students’ Pronunciation
This is a fun school year goal that involves tongue twisters and songs!
Teach your students a new tongue twister every week. Have them memorize them and organize speed contests. They’ll love it!
Middle and high school students love songs. Listening to them improves their comprehension skills, and singing is great for pronunciation.
Record your students at the beginning of the school year reading short Spanish texts and do the same at the end of the school year. You’ll have fun comparing the recordings!
If you want a more formal resource to back up your teaching, check out A Complete Spanish Pronunciation Guide for Beginners.
7. Decorate Your Classroom
Primary school teachers are typically amazing classroom decorators. Middle school and high school teachers tend to focus more on academics than the classroom decor.
Make this year different. Print posters with inspirational quotes in Spanish, grammar aids, and maps. Change your classroom decoration monthly to celebrate an important event for Spanish culture. Maybe even paint or decorate your door!
8. Make Your Students Fall In Love With Spanish-Speaking Countries
Your students will be more eager to learn Spanish if they learn about Spanish-speaking culture, traditions, and cuisine.
Choose one Spanish-speaking country of focus per month. Use texts, movies, and songs from that nation. Discuss its geography and history. At the end of the month, dedicate a lesson to a country-inspired party with food, music, and costumes.
At the end of the year, organize a contest about the countries you got to know. You’ll be delighted to see how much your students already know.
9. Build Your Spanish Library
A nice way to build up your Spanish library is to ask each one of your students to donate one Spanish book.
Organize fundraising activities and invest in Spanish books for your classroom. If you’re one of the lucky teachers who have school financial support, go to the Scholastic web page to shop for quality Spanish books.
10. Have More Fun in Class
Remember, students learn best if they’re having fun! Set up a personal goal of organizing at least one fun activity and add this section to your planning.
Check out the following articles for ideas:
- 10 Online Interactive Games in Spanish for Kids
- 12 Spanish Grammar Games to Power Up Your Fluency
- 7 Amusing Spanish Memory Games for Kids
11. Bring Movement to your Classroom
Students nowadays don’t move enough. They spend hours sitting at desks and then hours sitting in front of their devices at home. Dedicate 5 minutes of your class to movement. And if you do it in Spanish, you’re also teaching!
Try 10 Classic Schoolyard Games Kids Play in Latin America or play Just Dance Spanish songs on Youtube.
12. Make Your Students Fall in Love with Spanish Literature
Students love stories and if they discover how colorful and exciting Spanish literature is, they will feel even more motivated to study.
How to turn it into a school year goal? Be realistic, choose a book or a few, depending on the length, and plan time to read it to your students. If their level is at least intermediate, assign them books and do fun reading projects. Book reports can be boring but what about recreating a scene in a shoebox? Or painting a t-shirt with book characters?
Check out these books in Spanish for teenage readers or download 20 Free Spanish Books, Novels, and Stories in PDF and Printables.
13. Improve Your Teaching Skills
Setting school year goals for you is also important. Make sure you attend at least one professional webinar per term or do one course a year. Aim to add at least one book with professional resources a year to your personal library.
14. Get to Know Your Students
One of your school year goals should be getting to know each one of your students.
Some of our students are easy to get to know. They approach us and chat without any invitation. Others are more introverted.
Invite another teacher or friend to your classroom and ask them to write down the names of the students you interact with during the lesson and how many times you do it. This will help you realize which students are left behind and make an improvement plan.
Make time to chat with a different student every day for a few minutes. Put a mailbox in your class to have students drop messages and letters for you, or open a virtual channel on a platform of your choice.
15. Teach Your Students to Set Goals for Themselves
This is one of the most important school year goals. Teach your students to set their own goals.
Teaching content is important, but teaching skills is even more so. Ask your students to set up personal school year goals for themselves. Teach them about SMART goals and how to assess them.
Have them share their goals and discuss how realistic they are. Students could write down suggestions from their peers on how to reach their goals.
Dedicate some time each month to journal writing, tracking, and assessing their progress to make sure they stick to their goals. Teach them that long-term plans are necessary. Slow and steady wins the race!
Do You Need Help Tracking Your Students’ Spanish Goals?
Setting school year goals for your students empowers them to become successful, multilingual individuals. Children who know Spanish learn other Romance languages like Italian, French, and Portuguese more quickly.
As a classroom teacher or homeschooling parent, you might need support with tracking your students’ goals. Homeschool Spanish Academy provides 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 online Spanish classes for K-12 students. We help alleviate the difficulty of having many students of varying levels of performance. Sign your child up for a free trial class with our friendly, certified teachers from Guatemala today!
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