Back-to-School Persona especial

(August 2019 Update: In my high school Spanish 2 classes, typically about 3/4 of the class had me for Spanish 1. The rest either had it in middle school or a different high school. This post is about how I built community with Spanish 2s last fall, and I plan to do something similar this year!)

How to review from last semester, have my students get to know each other, and to do it in a way that they enjoy? Look no further than Persona especial interviews, summer-style!

Examples of Questions Asked –

¿Cómo te llamas?
¿Fuiste afuera del estado? (I made sure to use state names as examples so they understood what I was asking here)
¿Fuiste a una fiesta?
¿Miraste Netflix? ¿Cuál programa?
¿Jugaste videojuegos? ¿Cuál es tu videojuego favorito?
¿Pasaste tiempo con familia? ¿Pasaste tiempo con amigos?

Y lo más importante… ¿Hablaste español?

Each question would include hand gestures, I pointed and paused to words around the room, I circled every answer, and I paused for time outs to remind the students to show me their understanding (react to the information in an appropriate way such as “oooh” “ahhh” “¡qué ridículo!” etc. or hand-in-fist to show lack of understanding). Even the students that had me last semester haven’t seen me for 2 months; the other students perhaps haven’t had Spanish in YEARS and certainly not with a CI/TPRS teacher. The key was to go S-L-O-W and check comprehension constantly.

We had a lot of fun hearing about everyone’s summers, and the new 6 have quickly blended in to the group! My favorite part was when we were done and the kids exclaimed, “¡Taza! ¡Tú eres persona especial!” They made me sit in the special seat and asked me all the questions I had just asked. It was incredible output from them that I did not request in the slightest!

If my year is anything like Week 1…it’s gonna be a good one 🙂

Happy new school year!


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