A strategy I implemented that has positively impacted my transitional kindergarten class and my kindergarten classes is my Fill-in-the-Blank Reward System. As the class meets behavior expectations, they earn points to fill in the blanks of a word. In my case, the class needs to spell the word TACO. Positive classroom behaviors (i.e. everyone actively participated in the activity, students spoke in Spanish, students remembered to raise their hand, etc...) will earn them points. However, if students perform contrary to the classroom expectations then I, the teacher, earn points each time they forget to meet the expectations. At the end of our Spanish class, we count the points (in Spanish of course) and see who accumulated the most points. If the class receives more points than the teacher they earn a letter for the day, but, if the teacher earned the most points then the class failed to earn a letter for the day. In this case, it would be beneficial to discuss why they did not earn a point and what can be done tomorrow to avoid the same outcome. When the class fills in the blanks and spells out the word TACO they earn a reward. The reward can consist of a sticker, a movie, extra time at recess, or play a game.
Since this implementation, I have seen a positive impact in the students' behavior and engagement. Now, as I would walk in the classrooms I can overhear students whisper to each other to sit quietly and "be ready for Señora so we can get a taco." Another proud moment was when I began to see a student who would not want to be a part of the activities begin to participate. Students get excited to try and "win Señora." This proud moment has not only impacted individual students but the class as a whole.
Teaching is the most rewarding career. This career only allows me to refine my skills and excel in my career but it allows me to share my passion for a language that was passed on to me to our future generations.
"Most lessons begin with a song and end with a game or craft. The games and crafts allow students the opportunity to practice the vocabulary she is teaching. It’s so amazing to hear them actively using the language as they’re playing and crafting. I will even catch them singing the songs long after she is gone.
Senora Nevarez also utilizes many videos in her teaching. She really tries to bring the culture and heritage alive for the students. Showing kindergarteners educational videos is an excellent way to keep them engaged and give them a deeper understanding. The students are always excited about their Spanish lesson."