Daily Classroom Routines for Teaching Spanish
I remember when daily classroom routines saved my mental health and teaching career. After years of teaching adults and teenagers, when I became a third-grade teacher, I felt like I was back at square one.
My classes were a mess, my students were out of control, and I became miserable and grumpy at home. I clenched my teeth and started researching teaching techniques for younger students. That’s when I discovered the wonder of daily classroom routines. I’ve used them ever since with students of all ages.
Fellow teachers, I want to save you stress and time by giving you examples of daily classroom routines. Read this article to make lessons easier and more enjoyable for you and your students.
Benefits of Daily Classroom Routines
Why are daily routines important in the classroom?
Daily classroom routines give your class stability, whether it’s in-person or virtual. Incorporating them doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing every day, but they give you structure.
Daily classroom routines make life easier for your students. The younger the kids are, the more they need them. For example, kindergarten classroom routines are essential. They establish the first structures, learning habits, and teach time frames.
Elementary students are still learning how to learn and are not yet proficient in time management. So, daily classroom routines are still crucial for their academic development.
Middle and high school students may roll their eyes if they find something too repetitive, but they still need order. When everything else in their life is changing, knowing what to expect in the classroom brings a sense of safety and normalcy.
Daily classroom routines are important for Spanish classes, as they drill the vocabulary every day. Students learn complete phrases in context, and constant repetition facilitates language acquisition.
Plus, daily routine classroom activities are beneficial not only for students but also for teachers.
Dividing the school day into chunks that repeat every day makes the day more productive. It also makes your planning easier, especially if you have multiple classes to teach. Simply adapt them to your students’ levels and age.
Choose the daily classroom routines for each day of the week that will repeat weekly. For example, Monday starts with a weekend summary, and on Tuesday morning students read independently.
8 Examples of Daily Classroom Routines for Teaching Spanish
These daily classroom routines worked wonders for me and my students! Most of them can be done at any age or level.
1. Weekend Story
Younger students love sharing their weekend stories. It’s a fun way for you to get to know them better. It enables all students to practice speaking and to share something with their classmates.
Younger students can draw a picture and talk about it. With older ones simply ask,
¿Qué hicieron el fin de semana?
What did you do over the weekend?
Use this activity to teach vocabulary, such as:
- Ir de compras – to go shopping
- La excursión – excursion
- La playa – beach
- Tiempo en familia – family time
Another idea is to make a poster with weekend activities as a classroom decoration and aid.
Students love songs and musical activities. Establish a short period for song playing as one of your daily classroom routines, perhaps before lunchtime, at the beginning of your day as a warm-up, or at the end of the day.
If you’re teaching teenagers, choose age-appropriate popular Latin music from the current Spanish music charts. Print the lyrics and have students paste them in their notebooks.
3. Correct Mistakes
I do this quick and useful routine during the 20 minutes before lunch. I collect sentences with mistakes from students’ essays and other writings. This way, I make sure I’m addressing their key errors/issues.
Write three to five sentences on the board and make sure they all have a mistake. It can be a spelling mistake, punctuation, grammar, or anything you want your students to improve.
Ask the students to copy and correct the mistakes in their notebooks. Then call one student for each sentence to the board to correct it there to assure that everybody got it right.
If you want the routine to take less time, simply print strips of paper with the sentences and make the students glue them and correct them.
Spelling is a popular daily classroom routine in English classes that is also useful for your Spanish classes.
Choose 10 words a week to teach and establish a routine with them for every day of the week. For example:
- Monday – introduce the words and have students write them down
- Tuesday – write sentences with the words on the board for students to copy
- Wednesday – ask students to make their own sentences with each word
- Thursday – play hangman with the words
- Friday – spelling quiz
Create your lists using high-frequency Spanish words or make them in alphabetical order (10 words starting with the letter “a”, then with the letter “b”, etc.). Alternatively, use topics like words related to school, animals, food, etc.
Choose one day for a reading routine. In kindergarten, the teacher reads. With older students, have a set of books at their language level. With teenage students, ask them to bring a book they will read throughout the year.
I used to have reading Tuesdays. Students knew that on this day, they had to arrive, take out their book and read silently for the first 15 minutes of class.
If you are a bit lost with where to start, read these helpful articles:
- 10 Bilingual Spanish-English Books for Young Children
- 20 Free Spanish Books, Novels, and Stories in PDF and Printables
- 10 Fun-Filled Thanksgiving Books for Kids in Spanish
Starting your lessons by talking about the weather is also a stellar classroom routine.
It helps to have a poster in class or a set of pictures you can stick in a designated place every single day. With younger kids, teach basic vocabulary like
- Spanish Weather Words for Your Preschooler
- Weather Expressions in Spanish: Types of Weather and Seasons
With older students, talk about all types of weather phenomena, including future grammar structures to use in weather forecasts.
- How to Talk About the Temperature in Spanish
- ¿Qué Tal Está el Clima? Spanish Weather Words for Adult Conversations
- Spanish Weather Forecast: Scripts and Lessons for Your Students
7. Limpia, Limpia
This is the greatest of all time kindergarten daily classroom routines. My daughters loved it and used it at home, too. Simply play a song at the end of the class that prompts students to clean up while singing and dancing.
The song is not complicated and goes like this in Spanish:
Limpia limpia guarda todo en su lugar
limpia limpia todos deben cooperar.
Limpia limpia guarda todo en su lugar
limpia, limpia todos deben cooperar.
Clean up, clean up
Everybody, do you share.
Clean up, clean up,
Everybody do your share!
8. Chat with One Student
This last one is more a routine for you than for your students but a very valuable one.
Save five minutes a day to chat with one of your students. This way, you get to know your students on a more personal level. It makes them feel important, which is crucial for a healthy classroom environment.
With younger kids, start the conversation by asking them to choose how they feel by showing emoticons with captions:
- feliz – happy
- triste – sad
- cansado/a – tired
- emocionado/a – excited
Implement Spanish Daily Classroom Routines
Having a selection of effective daily classroom routines makes all the difference in your teaching and your student’s learning process.
Take advantage of your student’s ability to gain fluency. While children are young, they can more easily pronounce sounds that are foreign and unfamiliar. They’re also capable of understanding complex grammar rules without having them explained directly. The earlier they begin, the easier it will be for them to learn.
Do you need support in your classroom? Homeschool Spanish Academy provides 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 online Spanish classes for K-12 students. We can help alleviate the difficulty of having many students of varying levels of performance. Sign up for a free trial class today to see for yourself!
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