When springtime hits and the sun starts to shine, it’s nice to take your students outside! Here are some tips, ideas for activities you can do, and information about how to take your Spanish class outside!
Tips for How to Take Your Spanish Class Outside
I posted on my Instagram the other day asking for tips so I’m sharing recommendations and my own personal experience!
- Before going outside, check with your admin or secretary for the rules your school might have. It’s important to know where students are for safety purposes. Many schools require you to notify the office and make sure they have a way to reach you.
- Be aware of any student allergies! If you have a student allergic to bees, make sure you grab the epipen so you are prepared.
- Within. your classroom, set the rules and expectations before going outside. Once they’re out, it’s a lot harder to set those boundaries and make sure you have all of their listening ears!
- If you plan on splitting up, or spreading out, make sure your students either have set a timer on their phones, know what time to return (and have a way to tell time!), or establish a signal that is loud enough for them to hear that lets them know to come back
- If they’ll be sitting or if it’s earlier in the morning, you might want to let your students grab a jacket or a sweatshirt. Sometimes the mornings are a bit cooler, and the ground can be damp from dew. No one likes a soggy bottom!
If you are nervous about taking students outside, don’t be afraid to just start with one class period. Test the waters and see how it goes! If another class says, why don’t we get to do that, you can be honest and say you were just trying something out!
Another thing that helps is to remind them of consequences and behavior expectations. If the expectations are X and students are not participating or following those expectations, you can return your whole class to the building, or use your walkie or cell to inform the office that a particular student will be sitting in the office until your class returns because they made a choice. Set the expectation, and follow through, just like with everything else.
I personally love to take my students out towards the end of the year for some independent work time. Maybe I will bring my laptop and conference with students who have missing work or need some support, or I might just bring grading out and let them enjoy some reading or a review activity or two! I usually try to stay away from students working on devices while outside, just because the glare from the sun can be annoying, and sometimes the wifi doesn’t stretch too well. Here are some ideas that work well for individual practice during outside time:
- Maze Games
- Read outside – Allison from Mis Clases Locas shares a few ideas for what students can do with a reading in her post here!
- Gallery Walks – just hang them on the side of the school!
- Corre en Círculos – spread them out on tables in a courtyard, or hang on the side of a building. Check out the post below for a picture!
- Chalk – plain old sidewalk chalk! Have them illustrate a scene from a story you’re reading (one sentence or chunk each), draw flags from Spanish-speaking countries, or just play a guessing game with vocabulary and use the chalk to keep track (like 20 questions!)
Sometimes it’s nice to take your class outside and play a game together as a whole group! When I taught middle school, the end of year lined up really nicely with the World Cup starting soon, so we talked about it and then went and played soccer together. You can also play review games, scavenger hunts, and more! Here are some whole class ideas:
- Walk Talk from Sarah Breckley – think of it like a little stroll where you narrate what’s happening for your students!
- Running Dictation – you can make them run further outside!
- El Toro – if you’re far enough away from other classrooms, this is a great option because it tends to get a little noisy anyways! Just make sure the students bring the baggies or rubber bands for any extra cards so they don’t blow away
- Simon Says – perfect for reviewing body parts! You could also play a game like Shipwreck to have them practice their listening skills. Just review the instructions before you go out!
Learn a Simple Review Game for Outside!
Join Courtney Nygaard and myself as we chat live about a simple review game for Spanish class!
A quick note I wanted to bring up – if you are in a hybrid setting, Courtney mentions that her virtual learners were still practicing the same materials, just in a different way! It’s okay to mix it up and give your students an option. This is the same thing I might recommend for a student who was absent and needed some extra practice when they miss a game day like this!
How to Take Your Spanish Class Outside
What tips do you have for taking your class outside? What questions do you have? Drop them below!