Rituals in the World Language Class

I cannot stress enough just how incredible Bryce Hedstrom’s (Tweeter: @BryceHedstrom;  website: brycehedstrom.com) #iFLT16 sessions were.  I was extremely fortunate to attend both his Classroom Management with Respect & Care (found on his freebies page with this title) and Harnessing Social Power: Personal Interviews with your Students presentations (relevant resources are also on his freebie page).  I love that Bryce shares insights from what he’s reading (collected so eloquently in his document called Books Every Language Teacher Needs to Read) and how it applies to the classroom, how practical his advice is, and he has a wise-and-soothing kind of presence that reminds me of my mentor who just retired last year.  There is so much I will be taking from Bryce into my classroom next year, but there’s one I wanted to share with you today: classroom rituals.  Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a ritual as “done as part of a ceremony or ritual” and that it’s “always done in a particular situation and in the same way each time.”

Rituals in the World Language Class | Inspired by Bryce Hedstrom | Shared by Elizabeth Dentlinger at SraDentlinger.wordpress.com

Rituals in the World Language Class | Inspired by Bryce Hedstrom | Shared by Elizabeth Dentlinger at SraDentlinger.wordpress.com

Bryce shared three rituals with us:

  1. Beginning of class: Bryce said he uses his la palabra secreta (the secret word – sometimes known as the password) as his beginning of class ritual.  He has an excellent description of la palabra secreta here.
  2. End of class: At the end of each and every class, Bryce says “Clase…” and they respond “¿Sí, señor?”  He then says “Gracias por aprender” (Thanks for learning) and the kids respond “¡Gracias por enseñarnos!” (Thanks for teaching us!).  He closes with “Hasta mañana.”  It seems so simple, yet it teaches so much language!
  3. Birthdays: When there’s a birthday, he uses the Sapo verde eres tú song and then has a stuffed green frog that he carries towards the birthday person.  The frog then gives him/her a kiss on the cheek and then s/he gets the frog on their desk for the day.  This is brilliant and I can’t wait to use it!

One ritual I would like to add is for when student-athletes leave in the middle of class.  Bryce said he changed from saying buena suerte (goodluck) to trabaja fuerte (work hard).  I’m thinking about having students who aren’t leaving line up get in two lines by the door (forming a tunnel between them), doing spirit fingers, and saying both buena suerte y trabaja fuerte before the student-athletes run through.  However, I’m open to suggestions and would love to have a ritual that better reflects the target culture – so please let me know if you have ideas!

Once again a big, BIG thank you to Bryce Hedstrom for all he shared with me last week and for all he shares with teachers all over the country/world.  I extremely grateful!


I love connecting with other world language educators!  Please feel free to add me on Google+, tweet at me on Twitter, love my blog on Bloglovin’, and check out my pins on Pinterest!

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6 thoughts on “Rituals in the World Language Class

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