*Stations* is a buzzword that can be very intimidating. Where do I start? How many activities do I need for Spanish class stations? How much time do we spend on each one? What levels are stations appropriate for? Which type of Spanish class activities should I include? What if it doesn’t work? And the list of questions/doubts can go on.
After reading this post, you’ll have over 10 new ideas to try as you prepare to try stations with your Spanish classes.
Why make the effort to plan stations in Spanish class?
- Stations days are some of the most relaxed/fun days for me, now that I have gotten comfortable prepping for them. It is important to remember that we do not have to be instructing every minute of every class. I feel that this leads to our feelings of burnout and being overstressed. Explicit planning can help us avoid this.
- I have noticed high student engagement in the target language during stations. (Much higher than if I were to say, OK everyone has 10 minutes to study individually on Quizlet!)
- It is easy to identify the students that need 1×1 support, and it is easy for me to provide it on these days while other students are actively engaged and on a firm schedule that doesn’t need much prompting from me
Tips for successful stations in Spanish class
- Utilizing 5-6 Stations in the classroom
- Centering 1-2 stations around technology/individual work if possible, so that I can assess individual student progress
- Using groups of 4-5 students max; I have found that even numbers help but aren’t necessary
- Utilizing reusable activities (to save me from running out of paper copies between classes)
- Dedicating 7-10 minutes per station, depending on class size and class length
- Projecting the timer on the board, and designating one student to be the “Nos queda un minuto” announcer. This student then also resets the timer for me.
- Never using a NEW activity as part of a stations activity. If I include Guerra de Miel, I make sure we have played it at least once that year already.
- If I want to introduce a new activity into our “stations” routine, I make sure I use that activity as a warmup at some point that week. YES, it is OK to use a puzzle for a warmup and then use it a few days later as a station activity! (I will explain the different ways I use them briefly below.) Some students need to build confidence, and repetition helps them to feel successful. This goes a long way!
When and how to plan stations for spanish class
My 8 Favorite Spanish class Stations
- Reusable from group to group, leaving little to no prep for you between classes
- Partially reusable, requiring new copies of the game boards for each class while the game cards are reusable
- Not reusable, but require minimal copies of 1 sheet OR can be completed on an iPad or personal device
Before you read, I want you to know that there are FREE versions of almost all the resources I mentioned available in my TPT store.
Spanish Class Station #1 – Puzzles
*Reusable, only 5-6 copies needed for the entire day*
When we complete puzzles during a normal class day, my students work in pairs. To use puzzles as a stations activity, we treat them a little differently. I provide enough puzzles at the station for each person in the group. While at this station, students race for the best time. They complete the puzzle once, and the last person to finish is “out.” They continue this until they are down to one person. If there is time, they start again. After two people have gotten “out”, it is then their job to race each other so that they are not just watching for the remaining few minutes.
You can see all of my available Spanish puzzles here, including EDITABLE TEMPLATES so that you can create your own very easily! The templates include two versions ready for text or to print and go.
Spanish class station #2 – Conversation Strips
*Reusable, only 5-6 copies needed for the entire day*
For conversation strips, I create conversations of 10-15 lines that students have to arrange in the correct order. I instruct students to complete this activity in pairs. This means that there will be 2-3 groups at any given time at the station.
If you don’t want to cut out the strips at all (6 copies isn’t bad, but I still understand the hassle) you can print one copy per pair instead.
My conversation strips don’t come in order, so you can print the sheet as-is and instruct students to simply rewrite the conversation OR number the lines in the correct order on their sheet. You can then provide an answer key at the station, which I provide for you.
This activity is fairly easy to create, but you can see my examples below.
Spanish class station #3 – Quizlet (live)
iPad or personal device needed
My students LOVE Quizlet and Quizlet live. This is an online competition where each round only lasts a few minutes. I make this station the closest one to my desk, so that the group can restart the round themselves when they finish, since they will hopefully have time for 2-3 rounds within the time limit. I also do this so they feel that I am watching them (I’m not ever at my desk, but somehow being *near* the teachers desk affects them. I always have the technology stations nearest my desk.)
Spanish Class Station #4 – Guerra de Miel
Reusable game cards, but new game boards needed for each pair/small group. I make 10 per class
The card also may have a special power, such as ROBA 1 ESPACIO or TOMA 2 TURNOS. There is also a MIEL GRATIS card. Unfortunately, if they pull a card that says LO SIENTO… they skip their turn!
Students compete to claim honey spaces by answering correctly on the line and then writing their initials in the honeycomb. I provide an answer key, and since the numbers on the game board are scrambled you can provide it to students without too much fear of them being able to cheat. As long as their partner makes sure they are just taking a quick glance at the answer key, they shouldn’t be able to hunt for other answers.
If you like the idea of this game but would like your students to have TWO OPTIONS before answering, you should check out my Doble Donas game sets.
This game has similar directions and setup, but the student can choose between two verbs before answering.
Some of my advanced classes love to make an additional requirement amongst themselves that they actually have to answer both instead of choosing one… and I don’t hate it!
Spanish class station #5 – Taco Tuesday
New game boards needed for each pair/small group. I make 10 per class. I also provide markers at this station. Any highlighters, colored pencils, or crayons would also work. You will only need 6 of those for the whole day.
*Special note* Every Taco Tuesday game is now ready for digital game play, in which case your students won’t need any supplies other than a device to play on!
Taco Tuesday game boards are filled with vocab words or verb conjugations. To play, the announcer describes the word in Spanish or simply give the English equivalent. The students playing (competing in pairs or groups of 3 max) race to find the correct word on the Taco Tuesday game board.
The student who finds it first colors it in their color.
If playing digitally, students move their markers to cover the correct taco.
At the end they count up the Tacos to see who claimed the most!
I have a more detailed game tutorial with differentiation ideas for playing Taco Tuesday with your Spanish Classes.
Are you interested in designing your own game boards (print and digital) to use again and again? Check out the Editable Taco Tuesday templates, which include 5 game sizes 🙂
There is a separate post with support for playing digitally, I have a free Taco Tuesday game for you, and you can grab a few additional free resources to try below!
Spanish class station #6 – Music
*Reusable, only 5-6 copies needed for the entire day*
You can find my favorite songs to use in class here, but this can be completed with any song that you like!
I really love utilizing the Locura de Marzo playlists each year, which you can find on Spotify! Be sure to visit www.senorashby.com to learn more about these competitions that are held each year!
Spanish class station #7 – Llama Mía
*Reusable game pieces and game boards, only 5-6 copies needed for the entire day* You also need 1 die, or students can use Siri or Random.org to roll a die digitally.
So far we have included stations activities that address READING, LISTENING, and WRITING. Students have not, however, had to SPEAK yet! Llama Mía fixes that easily.
In Llama Mía, students choose an adorable llama game piece that they will move about the board. Students then take turns rolling the die. They start at the ENTRADA, and their goal is to make it to the SALIDA in the center. Students move around the board, and at your behest they must either speak a simple conjugation or a full sentence in order to advance to the space.
I love this activity because it works wonders as an explicit speaking activity. Students don’t have to worry about writing anything down, but they must be using the target language!
My Llama Mía sets provide options for differentiation. For example, I have game sets with the irregulars are identified for novice or struggling learners. I also have game sets that cover regular verbs exclusively.
Feel free to check out my ready to go Llama Mía Spanish class games, or grab the EDITABLE TEMPLATES so that you can create your own! The templates are ready for you to enter text digitally, or to print and create on the go (like during lunch duty… I won’t tell!)
Some other ideas for SPEAKING stations activities:
Spanish class station #8 – La Lluvia
Each student would preferably get their own sheet throughout the day, so I often offer this one to be completed via Google Classroom on the iPad. N0 printing required!
This is my favorite activity for offering student choice while still motivating creative writing. You can read a more detailed Spanish writing activity tutorial if you’d like to learn more.
I love using this activity in my lower level classes to build confidence with my struggling learners. Building confidence is a huge stepping stone to achieving proficiency 🙂 I require even my novice learners to complete the written extension activity as well!
I have Editable La Lluvia writing templates available as well.
Thank you! This is a great post! I'm going to try a few out this Tuesday before Thxgiving break. 🙂 I've never played Quizlet live before, but I always hear teachers mention it. Is it free to play? Also, how long are your classes? Ours are about 50 min. Whenever I do stations, I always feel like the kids are rushed (and sometimes don't get to completely finish the actv), but I don't like using less stations b/c it means bigger groups. Trying to find a balance…thanks, again!
Hi Tara! Yes, Quizlet is free to play! There is a teacher subscription, but I do not have that. My classes are almost exactly 1 hour each day. I have found that with stations, sometimes they don't finish and that's OK! They are getting lots of exposure to different modes of learning. I try to be mindful and choose activities that are quick enough that they can even do them twice during the 7-10 minutes 🙂 but it is always OK if they don't finish one of them. Thank you for reading, and for writing me!
Great post ! I love this idea but I have 29 kids and barely 40 minutes. I am thinking 7 groups/stations but then that's only about 6 minutes per station. Is that enough time in your opinion?
Hi! Depending on the activities you choose, 6-7 minutes per station could be fine! Otherwise, I would say take away one of your stations and have 5 students per group. If you like the smaller groups, you COULD keep the 7 stations and up the 6 minutes to 7 or 8 minutes. This may mean that each group misses out on one station, but again with explicit planning that would be OK! That might actually be a way for you to find out which activity your students like best. If your students are bummed that they missed the Taco Tuesday station, you could use that game as a reward later in the week! Thank you for reading 🙂 and for writing to me!