WOW! It is simply amazing how much World Language teachers do to prepare for the first week. Many hours perusing the back-to-school aisles, revamping old lesson plans (or creating new ones!), and planning for everything. Megan and I pulled past posts that will help make that first week amazing! 

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So much of the year is done before it even begins. Here are a few topics to look over to get you ready.

Fresh Start – stamp sheet for us to plan for everything, and to keep our sanity

And the most EXCITING SYLLABUS goes to… –  examples of World Language syllabi

How Many Grades – this was my first min-step toward standard-based grading, soon I’ll share how I completely switched over

The Proficiency Path – good start if you are new to proficiency-based teaching

FullSizeRender 24Whether you have a room, a closet or a cart, these will surround them with language and culture. One of my favorite parts!

I’m Lovin’ This Map – our favorite decoration

Use Your Whole Room to Teach – put language everywhere

Never Answer This Again – one less thing to worry about

Solving the Tissue Issue – adding learning and getting boxes

TONS of other decoration ideas to promote learning – gathered from other awesome WL teachers

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When the routines are done in the TL, students can practice them daily, and it’s just more fun.

Attendance with a Ball – fun way to do what you have to

Let Them WELCOME Each Other to Class – way to cover the basics where they are the leaders

Start with video – this shows how videos can be a daily warm-up

Phrase of the Week – love this for new phrases

Decorate Your Classroom with a New Phrase – what to do with passes and late slips

Greetings and Goodbyes – greeter role

Beyond Bien – expanding the greeter role

Warm-ups That Work & Listening Task for Novice Learners – great ways to extend those Authentic Resources, for new novices too!

Independent Reading Bookmarks – to encourage reading from week one

Other class routine ideas – little things that have a big impact

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When it comes to student achievement, motivation and behavior, planning is what makes the biggest difference.

Unit Planning and Tough Questions – how to start the brainstorming part

Plan It Out – how to plan for all modes/skills in a graphic way

Rethinking Curriculum – 3 sample unit overviews inspired by culture

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They are most excited the first few weeks to learn, so set the tone immediately to keep it going all year. These ideas will help you hit that 90% TL time.

Stay Focused on the Goal – examples of daily language goals

First Day Back – “I can understand an introduction.” – staying in the TL starting on day one with CI

Get to Know Each Other Using the TL – “I can say my name and what I like.” – icebreaker in TL

Cognate Practice – Part 1 – level 1;  Cognate Practice – Part 2 – level 2 – “I can recognize over 25,000 new words today!” They love that goal!

Show What You Know! – “I can write about myself and my life.” – a quick assessment to see where level 2 students are proficiency-wise

Escaping Class in the Target Language – “I can escape from class.” They do love this goal for real!

Passport Needed – “I can say where I am from.” – whether you do TL names or not, this mixes it up

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It’s ok to mix in some non-TL time when that’s the only way to accomplish it, especially for the new language learners, but keep it short. Maybe some of these could be done at home??

Explaining Proficiency Level to Students – “I can set my language goals.” They NEED to understand this!

Language and Culture – another icebreaker for level 1 (in English)

Stations – Mme Farab listed some great ideas to take care of those “administrative tasks” in stations

Interactive Syllabus Challenge – don’t read a syllabus to them, do this instead

7 Things to Find Out about Your Students – old school post, but always good info for teachers to know



Image by Jake and Lindsay Sherbert


Don’t forget to print 2,000 or so proficiency rubrics and you are pretty much ready. 🙂 We hope you find these posts helpful as you START your year STRONG with a smile on your face and theirs!!

– Kara & Megan