Class rules in Spanish can help establish a positive, cooperative atmosphere and are also an opportunity for language learning. This fall with a few of my groups I am going to expand on what I usually do by adding an activity suggested by All Together We’re Better. It involves making a paper chain. I have included an explanation and the printable below.
I keep my class rules in Spanish very simple. They are in the nosotros form and describe how we act in class:
Caminamos. – We walk.
Nos escuchamos – We listen to each other.
Nos hablamos con respeto. – We talk to each other with respect.
Hablamos sin gritar. – We talk without shouting.
Guardamos nuestras cosas. – We put things away.
After we talk about the rules and how they make Spanish class more fun for everyone, I teach the rules with a rhyme and actions. Below are two versions of the rhyme.
The first rhyme is very simple. It is just the rules ordered for rhythm. The words rhyme because of the verb forms. The second version has more language, but is also very simple. We recite the rules and do the actions. The actions remind children of the meaning of the Spanish words they are saying.
Caminamos. (Walk in place.)
Nos escuchamos. (Turn toward each other, hand to ear.)
Y con respeto nos hablamos. (Say “gracias” to the person next to you. Just model a quick gracias and go on to keep the rhythm of the rhyme. Kids get good at saying it quickly.)
Nuestras cosas las guardamos. (Act out putting things away.)
Y sin gritar hablamos. (Say this line a little more quietly.)
En la escuela caminamos, (Walk in place.)
Así vamos a llegar.
Con respeto nos hablamos,
Así vamos a trabajar. (Say gracias to the person beside you. See note above.)
También nos escuchamos, (Turn toward each other, hand to ear.)
Sin gritar vamos a hablar. (Say this line a little more quietly.)
Guardamos nuestras cosas, (Act out putting things away.)
Así las vamos a cuidar.
Below there are links to printable versions of the rhymes that look like this:
Paper Chain Activity
There are a variety of activities online where kids make a paper chain with class rules on the links. The concept is that the rules are like promises we make to work together. I like the hands-on activity of making the chain and the opportunity to talk about the rules (there are pictures to represent them on the printable).
One way to use the chain is when a rule is broken, to break a link with that rule. Then, teachers go over it with the child or the group and repair the chain when they have found a positive solution.
I think that even without breaking the chain, the activity of making it, and having it available as a visual reminder of the rules, is valuable. The extra step of breaking the chain is something that each teacher has to evaluate depending her situation.
I adapted the activity for Spanish language learners and my limited class time:
- Because many of my students do not read yet, the links in our chain have pictures to remind children of the meaning.
- I have limited class time, so I print the rules and cut them apart. The kids make the chain. We talk about the rules while they are making the chain. This gives me the chance to be sure they understand the pictures and relate them to the rule.
- I print each rule on different color paper.
Link to Printable Class Rules in Spanish
Class Rules Rhyme 1 (shorter)
Class Rules Rhyme 2 (longer)
Link to Spanish Class Rules Activity
You may also be interested in this post: Spanish Activities for the First Days of School