Successes and Challenges: Friday Favorite!

This semester, I’ve implemented a new Friday tradition with my students: Éxitos y desafíos (Successes and Challenges)! We begin class by sharing at least one of each for the past week. I normally go first, modeling my response in Spanish, and then we go around tag-style. Students have told me that they really love this new tradition because it reminds them they are not alone. So many of their challenges end up overlapping: time management, working too hard, missing friends…

I do this with all 3 levels: Spanish 2, Spanish 3, and Heritage Spanish 2. For my L2 learners, I screen-share sentence starters. I encourage them to share in Spanish, but it’s not a requirement. I also welcome Spanglish, which is definitely the preferred language of my Heritage students. As they talk, I pull out common phrases I hear them using in English and put those translations in the chat at the very end. They can take a picture of it or take notes, I tell them that our challenge is that by the end of the semester we can do the activity completely in Spanish. They seem to have risen to that challenge; I see them increasing their use of Spanish for this activity every week!

This no-prep activity is simple, but I believe it goes a long way to forming relationships and supporting my students’ mental health. We celebrate each other and commiserate with each other and I’m loving my little class communities this semester!

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