For first few posts of Me llamo Profe Hess, I will be describing procedures in my Spanish classes. When I first began teaching (only 4 years ago), I read tons of blogs explaining the importance of establishing procedures at the beginning of the year or semester. However, I couldn’t figure out how to accomplish this. I will be sharing some successful procedures that I use in my Spanish classes.
Fittingly, the first installment in this series is the first thing that we do every day in Spanish classes–say the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish.
Every morning we say the Pledge as a school over the intercom. Last year, I had a Spanish III class 1st block, and I thought why not make this daily event more applicable to Spanish class? So, I found this awesome coloring sheet from Spanish Playground, and we started saying the Pledge in Spanish along with the announcements.
At the end of the semester, I have students complete a reflection questionnaire about their experience in Spanish, and almost all of the Spanish III students recommended that I start saying La promesa in every class. They explained how having something in Spanish memorized and reciting it every day helped with their confidence in speaking. I agreed with them, and the following semester all of my classes (Spanish I, II, and III) started saying La promesa.
At the start of the semester, I print off the coloring page for everyone. Usually the second day of the semester, we go over how to say each of the words. I know there are a couple of versions of the pledge, but I like Spanish Playground’s because A) the coloring sheet–high schoolers love to color; B) the translation matches word for word, so it’s easy to see that Yo=I; C) there are examples of difficult sounds in Spanish (bajo, justica, que), and we get lots of practice with those sounds. We practice it a couple of times then they color it. I tell them to keep it in the front of their binder, so they can use it.
From that day on after the bell rings for each block, a selected student counts (uno, dos, tres), and we all face the flag and say La promesa. Most students have it memorized within a week or two. At the beginning they don’t believe it, but I’ve had students that haven’t had Spanish in 3 semesters still be able to say La promesa.
Aprendizaje. I love saying La promesa in Spanish–even though I end up saying it 4 times a day. I think the repetition helps students feel more comfortable using Spanish. Also, it brings up interesting ideas like the US not having an official language and how many languages are spoken in the USA. It also is a great way to start the class and get students focused on Spanish.
Is this something you do in your classroom? Do you think you might try saying La promesa de lealtad?