First Day of School Bilingual Reading Tips

The first day of school is just as nerve-wracking for teachers as it’s for students. Most of the time, students may have met the teacher during meet-the-teacher events.

However, for students that couldn’t attend those events, they might feel nervous. Usually, students don’t know what to expect.

Also, they may feel anxious about their classmates and the school environment. With all these emotions, teachers need a calm moment to allow the first day of school to go as well as possible. 

First Day of School Teaching Tips

Every year, teachers go through the first day of school. Even first-year teachers will have the first day of school. Preparation to handle those early days is invaluable.

You dream of having a perfect day, but sometimes unexpected events happen. So, to plan and prepare, organize your first day of school in a way that you can create flexible lessons.

These flexible lessons don’t have to be extensive and detailed. One teaching tip is to consider reading a book, creating a class photo album, or doing a first-day class project.

The best suggestion to start the beginning of the school year is to learn from your students. Take this time to know their preferences, books, foods, animals, and favorite subjects.

Perhaps, you can make an interactive game of get-to-know-you bingo, puzzle, or matching activities. In this way, your students get to know their classmates, and they get to know you.

  • Also, use this opportunity to place the first letter of the first name of each student.
  • Moreover, you get to know your students’ first names.
  • For example, you could write letters on the board or use post-it notes.
  • Then, you can add them to your board.
  • Using your roster, you might ask students to start with a specific letter.
  • Next, you can repeat for other letters.
  • Once you have all the students’ names, you can ask them to count the names.
  • The group of students with the most names of that letter wins.
  • If you rather, you could also have your students try to make a silly pet name with all the different letters.

Use the first day of school to get to know students and create a positive learning environment. 

first day of school

Class Procedures and Rules

While interactive games engage your students in fun ways, explaining class procedures may not be fun. Indeed, young children don’t want to sit and listen to activities they can’t do.

They want to know what they can do. So, if you have to go over class rules and procedures, make it a fun activity.

  • For example, come up with rules that allow them to participate.
  • Avoid too many phrases with the word ‘no’.
  • Boost class morale by using emojis, fun characters, or cute little monsters.
  • Perhaps, you can dedicate a few minutes a day to implement essential procedures.
  • Then, model those expectations.
  • Once they’re ready, incorporate the specific task or transition you want them to accomplish.

If you practice those specific steps, then your students will know what to expect. If you bring in new expectations every day, they may get confused.

Bilingual Classroom Routines for the First Day of School

Often, children need repetitive steps to understand what the next steps are. For instance, use rhyming songs or clapping.

Other activities might include bilingual classroom routines to identify specific times of the day. For example, if you have bilingual reading in the morning and art/music class in the afternoon, you want to emphasize those specific times.

Create a board with particular times and days of the week. Then, you would remind students about those tasks at each specific time.

Another way you could emphasize time is by using bilingual stories. Using a storyline page, you can identify activity, task, and time.

Also, since each student would have a sheet, you would point out those specific moments. Other ways can be to laminate these pages, cut them, and paste them (to be removed later) onto their desk as a daily reminder.

In that way, each student knows where and what to look for during the day. 

Class Reading Activities for Bilingual Learners

Bilingual reading activities are even more interactive when students participate.

  • For example, you could use a fun book about the first day of school that suggests routines or expectations.
  • Then, you can add a class project that would involve students in different ways.
  • For instance, you might want to take a picture of each student.
  • Then, you can make the first day of school collage.
  • At the end of the year, you can compare before and after pictures.

Another exciting way to motivate student participation is by using interactive reading activities.

  • When you use stories that students can take part in, they are more apt to open up to discussions.
  • Instead of a teacher reading aloud a story and children listening, involve the students to participate too.
  • In the bilingual First Day of School free ebook, you can read a story in English and Spanish.
  • Besides reading a bilingual narrative, your students participate by choosing a character in the story.
  • As you continue to read the story, pause on specific pages for teacher-directed questions.

In this way, you involve your students to play a part in the reading. 

The first day of school is unlike any other day of school. Of course, teachers and students are anxious about what to expect.

Well, even parents may be nervous about the first day.

However, appreciate that first day in making a lasting impact on children’s lives that walk into your classroom. 

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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