Starting Class


Using passwords is a joy and a great way to set the tone for each class period, but passwords also yield long-term language results. Last week I  asked the students which passwords they remembered from the entire school year... and as a group, each class remembered them all. Students said them all in Spanish and I compared them to a list I had prepared beforehand from my memory. They remembered ones I had forgotten. I am giving them this slam-dunk test as part of their final exam this week. I expect most students will score in the the 95% range, [...]

By |2018-05-21T08:35:38-06:00May 20th, 2018|Categories: Passwords, Starting Class|0 Comments


Get Bryce's new book on classroom passwords here. This project grew out of a short blog post. I was enthusiastic about the results I was getting with passwords with my students and wanted to share what was working with my colleagues. Originally it was just a few examples of passwords that had worked for me and an invitation to share ideas. It could have been written as a blog series, but I just kept adding to the original post. This is the result. As ideas from the original short blog post began to flow comments, questions and suggestions from colleagues [...]


I had the students watch the video of Pobre Ana on Friday. Normally I do not have students read this novel until December in level 1 (Actually, in the past couple of years I have only read the book with a small number of students because most of the class had already read the book independently by that time of the year). The sequence has always been read the novel, discuss, do activities and quizzes, and then show the video. But on Friday I was up to my neck in paperwork so I did an experiment to keep the little [...]

By |2017-10-11T13:22:14-06:00September 26th, 2015|Categories: Acquisition vs. Learning, Starting Class, Writing|0 Comments


I feel so fortunate to be able to observe outstanding teachers from time to time as I travel. Last month I had the privilege of observing two in California: Doug Stone and Alina Filipescu. I will share more observations in the weeks ahead, but today I want to focus on starting class. Both teachers greeted their students at the door. Students are not allowed to enter the class until and unless they shake hands and make eye contact with the teacher. I see this as a preemptive classroom management move--it is much harder to disrespect someone with whom you have [...]

By |2017-10-11T13:22:15-06:00May 15th, 2015|Categories: Classroom Management, Daily Routine, Starting Class, Teacher Tips|1 Comment