Holly Shannon, M.A.T., Elementary School Teacher

Change of Plans= Exercise and Spanish!

Best laid plans are always subject to change.  Our 1x a week Spanish teacher couldn't make it for her usual 30 minute teaching time.  My class was not only restless and wanting to practice Spanish, they knew they were about 30 minutes away from lunch time.  Solution: Take the entire class into the gym for a mix of Spanish, sign language, and wellness (exercise).  Our district is big on children getting wellness every day, and I've always liked to mix up spurts of exercise throughout my first graders' day.  So, when the Spanish teacher couldn't make it, we spread out various colors of cones in the gym and made up Spanish and sign language running games.  Sometimes I would call out a color in Spanish and the kids would either run to or away from that color cone. Other times I would simply do the color sign and they would run.  This spur-of-the-moment lesson, which stimulates various parts of their brains and keeps their bodies active, demonstrates why I love teaching first grade.  We can turn a change of schedule into a multifaceted and fun lesson.  The sooner kids are able to adapt and accept their constantly changing surroundings, the better.  It is a skill they will use and develop throughout their lives.

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