When the bell rings, the first thing projected is the goal for the day. This is in English (which I am changing ASAP!) and lacks that “wow” factor. So in order to catch students’ attention and get their minds working in Spanish, I now try to have something cultural on the big screen before they walk in the door. I choose images with text that matches something we have learned, quotes about learning languages, information about Hispanic celebrities, authentic ads, or an interesting Tweet.  It is nothing fancy, but my students are learning from them even before class starts. Now I’m starting to put the goal and a question in TL with the picture. Growing. Here are a few that I’ve used…

I hear them talk to each other trying to figure out the meaning of a word or phrase.  I’ve heard girls saying “Who is that? I’m looking him up later! He’s cute!” about a Prince Royce picture from a CD cover. Some kids even come in from other classes to look at certain pictures. When class starts I will make a comment or two (in Spanish, of course) about the picture and ask a quick question about it. Do you like it? Is this funny? Isn’t this really strange? Sometimes I’ll get a few questions about it, but most of the time that’s not the case. It really just takes advantage of the time between bells and gets students to think… and be curious. Their time with the target language is limited, but those 2-3 minutes each day BEFORE each class could really add up if we started to use them for learning!