As we all plan to “go back” and meet our new group of young minds to transform into Spanish speaking geniuses, I have been working on a “Get-to-know-you” Google form for students to fill out during the first week back. The survey has been designed to get to know student’s interests, self assess on their Spanish speaking/writing/reading/listening abilities and any obstacles and/or future goals they have for themselves. By starting off the year with a goal in mind, at the midway point in the year, I like to one on one conference with students to see whether or not they have met the language goal they had proposed and if they haven’t or are still working towards it, they are then asked to state at least two actions that are reasonable and realistic to help them attain this goal by the end of the school year. Students, although nervous, have reflected in their “Yo aprendí” journals that they like goal-setting and reminders that I make for them.

{Yo aprendí.. journals are where students provide a short writing sample, demonstrating their knowledge of the targeted structures and also reflect on how they feel they did during this unit of study. At the end of the school year, students re-read each of their entries and select the one they are most proud of, to include in the “letter to themselves” as part of their end of year reflection} 

The get-to-know-you survey is comprised of three sections:

(1) Basic background information, interests both in school & out of school

(2) Statements using “I can or Yo Puedo” and a rating scale of: Nunca/Never, No mucho/Not a lot, A veces/Sometimes, Posiblemente/Possibly and Por Supuesto/Definately. The statements are written in Spanish/English for novice learners.

For example: Puedo hablar con una pronunciación buena en español. / Puedo escribir oraciones en español. / Puedo hacer preguntas en español. / Puedo expresar ideas importantes en español.

(3) Past difficulties in learning Spanish (if any 🙂 & Goals/Hopes/Learning Aspirations for this coming school year

Every teacher may have a different perspective on what information is important to collect in the beginning of the year. Some may also like to include contact information of parents and birthday information from each student. Tailor your survey to fulfill what information you feel is important to gather about each of your students.

We all understand that it is important to get to know our students and begin to forge relationships right from the first day. By developing strong connections with students, classroom teachers are able to establish climates of respect and mutual understanding in caring, nurturing environments, where student success is celebrated {no matter how big or small!} and learning becomes contagious.

How will you begin your new school year?