Let’s chat about 5 different strategies and relationship building activities for Spanish class! This is something we work on all year long in our classes, so I wanted to share some ideas that are beyond the getting to know you activities for you to do later in the year. They would also be great for things to do at the start of the year with a class you have had before where you already know each other’s names, but want to do more!
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Relationship Building Activity #1 Special Person Interviews
Special Person Interview is an activity from Bryce Hedstrom. Some people call it Star of the Day or Star Student, but essentially it’s taking one student, putting them in front of the classroom, and interviewing them in the target language. Bryce Hedstrom has many posts about how to get started as well as this resource explaining step-by-step how this process works!
If you’ve never tried Special Person before, my favorite way to get started, especially in novice classes, is to invite in a special guest. Check out my blog post here explaining how to do that!
Relationship Building Tip #2 Recommend Books Based on their Interests
If you use Free Voluntary Reading as a routine in your classroom, taking a moment to recommend a book based on their interests can be great for developing relationships! Even beyond that, making sure that you have books available in your classroom library that are suited to their interests is a great step. Need help growing that classroom library? Check out a book list here!
Relationship Building Tip #3 Check in With Guardians
I know this can be easier said than done, but taking the time to regularly check in with guardians can make a big difference. Just the simple reminder that you care for your students and you know their grown ups do, too, can help!
This might feel like a lot, but here’s how I like to handle it in a way that’s not SO overwhelming. Once a week, I sit down and write 5-6 emails (one student per class period). Then it’s just a short note that I use a template from my Google Keep, with a few details tweaked depending on the student. It saves a ton of time, but makes this routine manageable!
I always mark off who I have sent an email for on my rosters. That way I don’t miss anyone, and if I get to the end of the semester and have reached everyone, I can start over.
If individual emails feel too overwhelming, you might try a weekly, monthly, or even quarterly newsletter instead! This will keep everyone in the loop all at once. Click here to check out my templates for that!
Relationship Building Tip #4 Share About Yourself
There’s a range of comfort levels here, but this can be so powerful! As you learn about your students’ lives, whether it’s through Special Person, Weekend Chat, or just talking with them, don’t forget to offer a bit of your own story in return.
Connect your own personal experiences to those of your students to show that you feel some empathy for those late night practices, or long rehearsals – anything you have experience with!
Relationship Building Tip #5 Play Games With Them
This is one of my favorite, quick relationship building activities! If you’re playing a digital game that is running itself, log in and play with them. A little competition is great, and it can be good fun all around.
If you have a weird schedule day for assembly, fire drills, or even if you have a home room, bring in some board games. Here are some of my favorites for that:
Some of these are great in the target language, but don’t forget – sometimes it’s okay to just PLAY.
More Relationship Building Activities for Spanish Class
I have always found that students are more comfortable taking risks in front of each other if they have done some getting to know you activities with their classmates. Check out this round up of getting to know you activities here:
A quick and easy game for learning names or other short Q&As is the ball game! Learn more: