Sneak peek: How to throw a relaxing party in Spanish class when it’s first hour or your group isn’t very lively.
We love throwing parties in heritage Spanish class, but this past year I had the challenge of having a 1st hour and a 4th hour class. I’m an equal opportunity party thrower, and something about this time-of-day mix just wasn’t coming out evenly. During 4th hour, students are hungry and awake for the day, so throwing a party was a piece of cake; however, during 1st hour, students aren’t exactly sure if they are ready to commit to waking up, let alone dancing, posing for photos, or eating color-themed food. To party well under these circumstances required some out-of-the-box thinking, to say the least.
So, how does one party effectively under early morning conditions of dreariness and dread? While it was certainly a bit of a challenge because students weren’t hungry for savory foods, nor were they very lively, we found a way to party well! Don’t let schedules cramp your party-throwing inhibition.
I basically had to throw two different types of parties, one for each class period. For 4th hour, we could do our typical potluck/music/dance style fun party, but for 1st hour we had to get creative.
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Since it was early in the day, students aren’t quite hungry for tacos, chips, or sodas. But rest assured, students are always hungry, and it’s more a matter of aligning with their time-of-day preferences. So, I went to a local Mexican bakery and ordered a huge box of pan dulce. It cost me just $17 for a HUGE box of fun, colorful pastries.
One of my 1st-hour students volunteered to bring in fresas con crema and I also brought in some mini cans of soda. 12 ounces is a big commitment to the daily sugar intake so early in the day, but it sure seemed like 8 oz hit the sweet spot.
In the past, I have been able to schedule and pick up a hot water heater from the cafeteria in order to offer hot chocolate, but sadly, I didn’t have time. I do highly recommend that option, as it certainly fits the taste and time of day requirements of a relaxing party. Abuelita hot chocolate would have been lovely with the pan dulce but, it is what it is.
For the relaxed entertainment piece at our party, we played lotería. This was a huge hit, of course. I asked students ahead of time if they could bring in lotería cards, but you could also buy these on Amazon. I would suggest buying two packs so there are enough for each student in class. You will have two students paired up per game board, but it is way better than not having enough.
For prizes, I cleared out things from my classroom cupboards and let students choose random things. Think of it as a chance to clear out your clutter, white-elephant prize style. Since this particular party was at the end of the school year, it was a good time for me to do some spring cleaning anyway.
This was the perfect ending to our school year and this relaxed party setting turned out to be a lot of fun! As teachers, we typically have minimal say in deciding which hours we will have certain preps. With this party idea in mind, I hope you find yourself empowered to still be able to let down and enjoy some party time with your students, no matter the class hour you have them!
If your students are more lively you should check out this color party idea.
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