Students lead a class!

Every Spring we do this project, and I’m always thankful for it! It’s perfect for this time of the year when teachers have a little less energy and creativity than normal. The community has been established in the classroom, students are using the TL 100% of the time, and students are ready to make the decisions.

It’s changed over the last 5 years, and I believe there are lots of ways to adjust this idea, but I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing this year.

Students form groups from 2-4 people. From time to time a student will lead a class on his/her own, and I used to do that a lot our first years, but found it took up too many school days.

Once students have formed their groups, they sign up for a date to lead the class and then begin their planning.  Here is the most recent organizer I use. It includes directions and an organizer for the lesson plan.

Here is an example of a section in the organizer:

Ahead of time

  • Brainstorm topics.
  • Choose a topic.
  • Choose your picture, article, comic, or other inspiration (hook).
  • Brainstorm a variety of activities related to your topic.
  • Plan your lesson by choosing activities and putting them in order (Who leads what? Make individual responsibilities VERY clear)
  • Create any needed materials.
  • Decide who will lead which parts/your roles and responsibilities should be very clear.
  • Have your lesson plan checked by Profe at least 2 days before your class.

I allow the students to use English during their planning time. If you know anything about our program, all other projects and activities are planned and created in 100% Spanish, but I made an exception for this one. My thinking behind this was that my planning team and I often thin and speak in English when we are doing our planning. I give them two class periods and the rest is done on their own time.

Here is a rubric in Spanish that was given to me by Tess Siemer, tess.siemer@district6.org. It assesses the students on their leadership, presence, creativity, originality, flexibility, planning, execution of plan, Spanish use, and completion of requirements. While we have 7th and 8th graders lead an entire class, we have our first year students (Novice-Mids), lead 25 minutes of a class.

I wrote about some of the ideas students came up with this year in my last post. It can be a lot of fun and doing it in the Spring helps bring some new energy and fun into your classroom!

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