Procedures: Video into the Weekend

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.  To see previous entries, click here.

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Videoing into the weekend is something I stole from my high school AP US History teacher, Mrs. Wilson.  After a taxing week taking notes, she set aside the last 20 or so minutes of class on Friday to Video into the Weekend.  Normally, this was watching a documentary about the time period we were discussing.  I’m sure she realized because she is brilliant, but Videoing into the Weekend was something I looked forward to every week.

I adapted this for my Spanish classes, and every Friday we watch a movie or documentary for the last 20 minutes or so.  Let’s be honest–everyone’s brain is fried by Friday at the end of class.  I know that I am ready for the weekend, and the students are too!  So I opt to not fight the fight of squeezing one more thing in before the weekend.  We Video instead.

Before you jump to conclusions about me being one of those foreign language teachers that only shows movies, this is only 20 minutes a week.

Depending on the class, I show either travel documentaries about Spanish-speaking countries or animated movies dubbed in Spanish.  Anthony Bourdain is my favorite travel show.  I do send home this permission form at the beginning of the year for parents to approve.  He’s so funny, and the kids love it.  There is some occasional cursing and dirty jokes, but the usefulness outweighs that in my opinion.

If Anthony Bourdain isn’t an option or I’m not feeling it, I will show an animated movie dubbed in Spanish with English subtitles.  I know this is sometimes frowned upon, but again it’s only 20 minutes.  I like to show movies that the kids have seen, so they know the storyline already.  Finding Nemo, Zootopia, and The Emperor’s New Groove–or whatever Netflix has–are some of my favorites.  If nothing else, the kids are hearing Spanish being spoken by native speakers and seeing the word association.

While I don’t recommend this as an exclusive form of langauge teaching, I think that showing movies has it’s place.  Videoing into the Weekend has evolved in my Spanish III class.  Now on Fridays, we watch an authentic movie from a Spanish-speaking country that goes with the theme of the novel that we’re reading in class.  Look for more posts about Spanish III and novels in the future!

Do you Video into the Weekend? What do you think about it?


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