Back to School Ideas for Bilingual Learners

Back to school ideas for bilingual learners can consist of summer reviews, Spanish letter practice, and reading. Of course, trying to get into a routine might not be easy at first.

The relaxing summer days slowly turn into the busyness of school. So, with a few back to school ideas, your bilingual learners will get back to learning and be ready for the new school year.

Back to School Ideas and Tips

Perhaps, one of the most valuable ways to create a back to school routine is to start with a schedule or planner. While this schedule may not be necessarily set in stone, organizing your day can help your bilingual learners prioritize activities.

For instance, using a digital or online calendar may be ideal for bilingual families with multiple bilingual learners at different schools. In that way, you can color-code each child’s calendar and organize times.

Also, each family member can access the calendar online anytime from a personal device. On the other hand, using a paper calendar or dry-erase board calendar can help you organize back to school ideas and activities.

For example, you can schedule events weeks and months ahead of time. That is, you can get a big picture of activities. 

Bilingual Educators Back to School Ideas

Getting organized before back to school might be a starting point for many bilingual educators. But, perhaps, the most time-consuming of back to school is developing engaging lessons and activities for those first weeks of school.

For example, you might want to start thinking about your multicultural classroom. Is it the way you want it to be to motivate class discussions and learning?

Those first few activities can indicate how your students will respond to other tasks in the classroom. Having a fun bilingual classroom with positive education quotes or decorations warms up the room.

However, developing activities that will engage your students are also important.

  • For instance, as you plan your week or month, consider adding discussion sessions to encourage your students to get to know each other.
  • As a result, using icebreaker activities can motivate your students to participate in different ways.
  • For example, take some time during the end of the day to create brain teasers.
  • Similarly, use the beginning of the day to bring in funny puns or sayings into your lessons.
  • This approach may allow your bilingual students to ask questions, get to know other students, and feel more confident in the classroom.

Just as you plan activities for your students, you might also need to prepare family night literacy activities. There are many back to school ideas for family literacy night.

However, consider adding Spanish events for families that are bilingual or need more information in Spanish. That way, you incorporate your students’ families into the multicultural classroom. 

 back to school ideas for bilingual learners

Bilingual Reading Review 

How do you welcome new bilingual students into the classroom? Those first few days for back to school can set the tone for the rest of the school year.

Some students may feel comfortable, while others are hesitant to share ideas. Reading for review can motivate other students to learn new concepts.

For instance, you could use back to school books that are funny or relate to how your students feel during those first days. In that way, your students might feel at ease in the classroom to try new activities.

While you might want to begin the school year with rules and guidelines for the class, it might be okay to leave those lessons later. Consider using the first few days to get to know your students and what motivates them to learn.

For example, you can develop different reviews of Spanish letters, numbers, and colors to encourage them to participate in activities. Then, as the days progress, you could add one classroom rule or expectation.

Furthermore, you could start a chart of behavior rules that your students think it’s positive or negative. By allowing them to participate in these activities, you implement ways that students can engage in discussions. 

Back to School Bilingual Read-Aloud Activities

The first day of school for most bilingual students may be a hectic and anxious time. But creating a warm classroom with bilingual terms, posters, anchor charts, and supplies can ease the tension.

For instance, reading a bilingual story can calm those first days of school jitters. Use bilingual read-aloud activities like the My First Day of School as a Bilingual Student story.

Then, take a few minutes to read the story and point out the different emotions of the bilingual student. Next, you could ask students to think of words that could describe the student.

You might want to write these down on your board or paper. After that, you could start the bilingual lapbook activity or flipbook. 

  • First, gather file folders that you might not use anymore or large construction paper.
  • Next, cut out the tabs around the file folder.
  • Then, fold into four parts. Set aside.
  • Print the my-first-day-of-school template.
  • Cut out the labels and boxes.
  • Paste each section as you see fit for each student or class.
  • Optional: take a picture of each child to paste in the Selfie Picture box. 

Back to school ideas can help educators and parents to get ready for the new year. For some bilingual learners, transitioning from summer break to learning can be a daunting task.

By taking a few steps in preparation and organization, you can help your students start learning with encouragement.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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