Set the tone in your classroom from day one! High school students are overloaded with policies and procedures the first day of school. Why not begin by getting them immersed in the language and excited about the class?
Think about what is important in your classroom……for me, it’s that my students feel comfortable with me and each other, and that there is an excitement for learning each and every day. Students must feel that positive affect if they are to thrive in a world language classroom. Play music, decorate with color, and use interesting technology to enhance the student experience.
I use a Prezi slide show and a Voki avatar the first day to model what I expect them to discuss with other students.
The students then interact by asking each other questions in the target language through a “speed-dating” activity that helps them get to know each other in a relaxed, fun, non-threatening atmosphere.
As a closure, they write about one new friend they made.
Hopefully, they immediately see the focus in my class: an authentic, respectful, and exciting learning experience!