Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tips for Having Your High school Students Teach Spanish to Elementary School Kids

MY DISTRICT IS VERY LUCKY IN THAT WE HAVE AN ELEMENTARY SPANISH PROGRAM starting in Kindergarten (I started the program in 1998, if you can believe that!), but I know that many districts are not so fortunate. One way districts have found to provide a fun language connection in the elementary school is to have high school students come down to teach basic vocabulary to the littles. Here are some quick tips to make that a successful venture in your district (until there's enough funding to start a full on elementary program! :) ) :


*CHOOSE VOCABULARY SETS THAT ARE CONCRETE, such as numbers, colors, animals, foods, etc and that of high interest to little kids. These also provide a great base to work off of!

*KEEP THE ACTION GOING! Little kids have short attention spans, so having a variety of activities is key! Mix up the lesson with movement activities, songs, games, and LOTS OF HANDS ON activities. The average attention span in minutes is approximately the same as the age of the kiddo- so, a five year will be focused for about 5 minutes before he/she is heading to squirrel town... yep, I live this every day! Four Corners is a great activity to keep them moving and practicing vocabulary-here's how I get the most out of it!

*DID I MENTION HANDS ON? Toys, counters, cut out pictures, games that involve manipulatives, play food, etc are always going to increase the motivation of elementary students, so incorporating them in lessons will keep more focus on your budding teacher and less on the ant crawling across the floor. My students LOVE pom poms- click here to see a post I wrote on activities you can do with them!

*WHOLE GROUP ACTIVITIES are extremely helpful for class management, especially for the really young ones (Kindergarten and First Grade). Waiting to take turns is hard for littles, especially with their short attention spans (yes, I mention it again!), so songs, whole group games, stories, poems, etc are great ways to keep everyone together and learning. If your high school student does want to do a turn-taking activity, look for something that has a surprise within it, or something that the whole class can take part it even while one kiddo is taking a turn.

Go fishing game to practice numbers in elementary language class
Attach paper clips to pictures of fish (ours have different amounts of fish on each card) and have a kiddo 'go fishing' with a magnet attached to a ribbon or string... in our set we also have a shark- if he's caught, he eats all the fish already caught! Chomp! Part of our Numbers Activity Pack here.
*CUTTING AND WRITING ACTIVITIES are challenging for many little kids, especially the younger ones, so having fewer of these is probably a good idea. Five and six year olds often still lack in these skill areas, so it is best to steer clear... instead, gross motor activities like rolling a ball for a greeting activity, categorizing items by color, acting out/ following commands for actions, dancing, etc are great ways to keep kids engaged.

*PREPARE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BEFOREHAND; they are not teachers, so giving them some guidelines and tips on how to behave with the elementary students is very important. Be sure they have prepared ahead of time what they will be doing, and double-check the content of what they will be teaching to ensure it is accurate. And it goes without saying you want to have students participate that are reliable, want to work with little kids, and are outgoing and cheerful :)

*NEED IDEAS FOR SONGS & GAMES? Click on our category 'Games' right here on this blog to find lots of games perfect for elementary school, and for songs, head over to our Pinterest board here!

Have fun!
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMk0RMH8MFmOB_yJMuvVMH7xBx_qfLl8oqOQXbA

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