October 23, 2019 | #EarlyLang

Routines in the #Earlylang Classroom
from October 23, 2019

On October 23, language teachers from grades K-8, and beyond, met for the biweekly EarlyLang chat. Participants discussed the importance of routines in the #earlylang classroom and how to introduce them. They also suggested routines to promote student engagement and ease transitions within the class. Finally, they mentioned ways to use routines to reduce the challenge of planning for #earlylang.

Q1:What are the benefits of implementing routines in the #earlylang classroom?

Participants agreed that all learners, especially the youngest, thrive on routines. Routines help students know what to expect and provides security and anticipation. An additional benefit for the #earlylang class is that it allows for more instruction in the TL. Class runs more smoothly when students know what to expect and understand the procedures. Routines are also more efficient for teachers, there are fewer things to model and teach in advance so they can maximize instructional time. Finally, when students know what is expected, they have opportunities to take on leadership roles.

Q2: How do you introduce them & keep them consistent throughout the year?

Participants agreed that introducing routines should be done slowly and use the same language. One suggested to roll out routines one at a time, using a basic song that can change once the first routine is, well, routine. For some routines, beginning in English is an option, then transition to the TL. It is also helpful to establish the overall classroom flow so students understand how the different routines combine to create the class structure and maintain consistency in planning to create that structure.

Q3: Which routines help increase student engagement?

Participants agreed that call and response to gain attention as well as introduction and closing songs help to signal class time. Yoga or a brain break at the beginning of class or in the middle can help students to refocus and be more engaged in learning. Starting class with a daily theme for students to discuss can help them to focus and prepare for class. Finally, routines help students know what to do, so they can engage in center activities with predictable directions or partner activities to get all students participating.


Q4:Which routines facilitate transitions between activities?

@MaCristinaRV, “A song or specific sound can signal the students that it’s time to greet each other, transition between activities, or time to reflect on today’s learning and say -¡hasta luego!”

@SECottrell, This classic @CalicoSpanish song is a bit under the radar so you may have missed it – Señor Reloj is a #Spanish transition song that invites kids to shout out what the next activity is.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfNkvBWU7jM

@LfMcClintock, “Following basic instructions in the TL such as return to seats or rotating stations or activities. This can also apply to using partner clocks to switch partners for a given activity.”

@rrrrrrrrrrrrosa, “Oh goodness. Transitions. I’ve started using a timer on the board so the kids know how much time they get on a certain activity. When it dings, it starts counting up. “It took us 2 minutes & 30 seconds to transition. We can do better next time.”

@MundodePepita, “definitely call & response to help us re-focus, I also use the song ‘la lechuza’ w my primary grades when transitioning from higher energy to more focused activities-it really helps calm them down.”

@nathanlutz, “The Synergy chime. And if I can’t find it, my whining.”

Q5: What routines have you instituted for your own planning and prep that ease some of the challenges of teaching #earlylang?

Some suggestions included a calendar for each class in case of assemblies, change of location, or due to meeting at different times and places. Creating checklists of daily routines, having a consistent class schedule of activities to fill in with current lessons, and reflection notes on lessons for the future are other ways to lessen the challenge of planning for many different classes. Several teachers mentioned planning and prepping for the next week so everything is ready to go at the end of the current week. Finally, self care is important whether it is getting coffee, leaving by 4 pm, or leaving the heavy schoolwork at school.

Reflaction (Reflection+Action) Knowing what you know now, what will you do to incorporate routines into your teaching practice?    .

Streamlining current practices and looking at routines used in different grades to change things up were mentioned. Several teachers commented that they are looking to be consistent yet intriguing so students know what to expect but don’t get bored with the same thing every day.

Thank you to all who participated in this #EarlyLang chat! Thank you to our lead moderator,M Cristina Rdz-Villa (@MaCristinaRV) , and our co-moderator, Jenny Delfini (@JL_Delf), for helping to guide the conversation. Thanks also to our image card creator Nathan Lutz (@nathanlutz).

Want to vote for our upcoming #Earlylang topics? https://t.co/l1VbHqzLU1

This week’s chat is

sponsored by:

EMC School

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