Are you teaching AP Spanish for the first time and not sure how to plan for these AP Spanish classes? It can be very overwhelming to try to figure out how to plan for AP Spanish and all the requirements of curriculum and test prep! Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way!
1. Carve Out a Big Chunk of Time for Planning
Teachers plan their lessons in a variety of ways. Some people like to go day by day, others plan week by week. I highly recommend planning out an entire unit with AP Spanish. It takes a big chunk of time, so you should plan ahead to reserve this time if possible. But in order to make a plan for AP Spanish that is cohesive and leads students to success requires forethought. Starting with the essential questions you will use for the unit, how will you find out what they learned?
Figure out how you want them to demonstrate what they know by the end of the unit, and then work backwards to fill in the different kinds of activities you will use to get them there. When I plan this way, I write down what I want these activities to be, even if they don’t exist yet! This way, I know that my students will have ample practice and opportunity to learn new information before I ask them to show me what they learned.
2. Check Your Plans for Each Skill
Planning for AP Spanish is complicated. You must ensure that you have provided enough new information to cover each essential question. You must inject your lesson plans with ways for your students to grow their vocabulary, increase grammatical accuracy and also practice for the AP test.
After your plans are made, go back! Analyze what you have written down to ensure that your activities are balanced. Do you have ways for students to practice reading, writing, listening and speaking? Did you include enough activities to make sure students can talk about their thoughts for the essential questions? Did you include at least one or 2 AP Test-style practices?
One easy way to keep track is to make yourself a list! I’ll link one here in my free resource library! Just make tally marks as you go through your plans. If you see that something is unbalanced, it’s easy to change up your plans, especially for those activities you have thought about that don’t exist yet! Change that reading activity into a viewing activity! Exchange the writing prompt for an oral one!
3. Weekly Plan for AP Spanish
Once you have a general plan for your unit, the next step is to go week by week. It is so important to make sure that each day is a continuation of the last day, until you reach a checkpoint. This is the time to go back to the activities you want to do and either find them or create them if they don’t yet exist. Having everything ready for the entire week will help you to feel organized and confident. It will free up time for your other tasks, like correcting and planning for your other courses.
4. Don’t Do It All Yourself!
One BIG mistake I made during my first few years as an AP Spanish teacher was that I did everything myself. At the time, I used a textbook. But even still, I made all the plans, all the activities, all the homework, projects and tests, myself. And it took WAY too much time.
If you are lucky enough to have another teacher in your department who teaches the same course, divide and conquer! Share your work and lessen the load for both of you!
Use the resources that are available! There are so many ways to find free resources and also ones you can pay for. Though teaching can sometimes feel very isolating, there are many of us out there! There’s lots available so that no one person has to do it all! Check out some ideas below in my resources heading!