How to Flip your Spanish Class
Updated: Jan 17, 2019
Flipping your Spanish Class is great when you want to spend less time listening to yourself talk and more time focused on putting Spanish language learning into action. Flipping your Spanish class means that students do the nitty-gritty lecture part at home before class even starts. That way they walk in with a foundation of knowledge that you can build on.
How do you do this? Read on…
To flip your Spanish class, you will need a library of instructional videos. You can always make these yourself or go to youtube. I have posted a number of Spanish videos to youtube, feel free to use them! (There is a link to my youtube channel at the end of the article.) Utilize the videos by assigning them for homework. For example, if you are planning to focus on the verb ser for class, you would have your students watch an instructional video about the verb ser and most likely have them complete a homework assignment to go along with it. I have a great example here, if you would like to check it out:
I would recommend assigning a comprehension homework assignment to go along with the video, because I am sure, like me, you know plenty of students who would watch the video once and feel like they have completed the assignment. By giving them actual questions they have to answer, you are encouraging them to really try to understand what they are watching.
A big PLUS for structuring your class this way is that students can watch the videos as many times as they need in order to understand the concept being introduced, unlike a traditional lecture. They can also revisit the videos as part of the review process for upcoming quizzes or tests!
Warm ups are a great way to check for student understanding or allow for follow up questions from the homework. It is great when you have an opportunity to answer an insightful question or clear up any confusion (compared to spending the whole class lecturing away)! I generally like to have students answer a few comprehension questions at the beginning of class to get a grasp on who mastered the homework and who may need additional help. A quick and easy way to do this is to use google forms, if your students have iPads. However, you could easily do this with pencil and paper or by verbally asking questions to check for comprehension.
So, if you are not lecturing during class, what are you doing? The answer to this question really depends on you and what you believe is the most valuable use of your class time. I use class time for a variety of things, including projects (for both language and culture), reading and speaking activities, and bookwork.
Time for an example!
I have assigned my students The Verb Ser Instructional Video and Comprehension Assignment for homework. I have given a warm up that has let me know their level of understanding. At this point, I feel that they could really use some more practice with the verb. So, I assign them a few assignments from their textbook. Fortunately, I am available for any questions they might have as they work through the assignment during class. Next, I want to give them an opportunity to utilize what they have learned in a meaningful and interesting way. Therefore, I assign them a project - a presentation on their families in which they must use various conjugations of the verb ser. Because my students have ipads, I require them to create a keynote presentation with interactive links between slides that include pictures and grammatically correct sentences about their family members in Spanish (Ex: Mark y Sara son mis primos.) Then, I have them present their projects to the class so they can practice speaking aloud.
Check for Understanding/Exit Ticket
Before moving on, I like to check my student's understanding. There are a variety of ways to do this. One idea is to come up with the specific knowledge you would like your students to gain from the topic you are studying. I mean boiling it down the the absolute necessities. You can even share this information with them at the beginning of the unit or lesson. (You absolutely must master x,y, and z!) Then, check if they have in fact mastered this. It can be a formal method, like a quiz or test. Or, an informal method, such as a conversation or a journal entry. It is up to you! The main thing is knowing if they have mastered the objective.
Flipping my Spanish class has been a great experience, and I hope it will be for you as well! I know it can be challenging to find quality educational materials and authentic assignments for the classroom, so I will continue to post materials to my website as I create them. Please feel free to stop by any time to check them out!