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My 3 Favorite Reflection Strategies for Spanish Class

Student Reflections + Surveys in Spanish Class

Start the year off right

I always start the year with my editable Back to School Survey. I find that this preps my students to reflect on their goals and learning strategies right from the start!

During those first few days of school, we usually do a LOT of talking. I used to give this survey as my first homework assignment of the year, but realized that I didn’t get them all back or answers seemed rushed. (I’ve also stopped giving homework completely but that’s a different story!)

Now, I strategically use this survey during the first week and give students 15-20 minutes in class to complete it. I try to pick my busiest day, or a day when I know I could use a few minutes to just breathe.

By giving my students time in class, I get meaningful answers AND I can take a break from speaking for part of the class that day! I like to use this time to walk around from group to group and practice my student’s names 🙂 

This survey helps me get to know my students, and gives my students the opportunity to reflect on why they are in my class, what they hope to learn, and what they need from me!

My editable resource includes both Google Doc and Google Form (TM) options. You can choose to edit either one, and use whichever is best for your students! I typically use the electronic copy/ Google Form so that I can track my students’ responses from year to year.

Looking for more ways to get to know your students at the start of the year? Be sure to check out the blog posts below!

Promote reflection throughout the year

A few years ago I made the switched to a proficiency-focused gradebook and teaching approach.

My gradebook is broken down as follows:

Interpretive: 30%

Interpersonal: 30%

Presentational: 30%

Participation: 10%

The final category can be used for homework, study habits, or anything your school has determined as the norm. Since I don’t give homework, it’s strictly participation. And to cut right to the chase, MY STUDENTS GRADE THEMSELVES. Yes, they determine that final 10% of their grade. Yes, they are in complete control. And yes, I trust them and have not had any real issues.

If you want to read more about how and why I developed this exact system of student reflection, you can read more details here.

Over the past few years, this reflection has evolved to cover more than just participation. I now provide areas for students to consider their strengths in different areas of the language as well as their overall proficiency. This reflection tool has become a staple of my approach in my classroom.

Students fill out this rubric EIGHT times per year for me. That may seem like a lot, but participation (and reflection) is something that matters every day of the year. So we take time to reflect on it at each midterm and report card. 

Students read the 5 categories of the rubric, and decide which category fits them best. Not perfectly, but best. At the top of each category, there is a grade range. Students must choose an exact number from within the category where they have placed themselves. 

There are reflection questions (with options included for use each quarter on the teacher page) and there are proficiency-focused goal setting areas as well.

By putting this emphasis on self-reflection, students see how important their participation is to our class success. By making space to reflect, discuss, and examine, we set the tone that goal-setting and personal growth are integral parts of our class.

End the year with time for reflection

It is important for all of us – students AND teachers – that our students are given the opportunity to reflect at the end of the year. This is a wonderful opportunity to collect feedback from our students.

I am very mindful in my wording of this survey so that students have a chance to reflect on their progress and goals while ALSO providing me with meaningful and actionable feedback I can use to enhance my teaching practice. 

That mindfulness looks something like this in a few of the questions:

What is one thing you suggest your teacher change next year? (This wording allows your students to provide honest feedback without just being flat out mean or grumpy. It also motivates them to choose the single most important thing, in their eyes. This avoids “Let us chat more in English!” etc.)


What is something you hope your teacher keeps the SAME next year? (This allows you to see what your students truly enjoyed!)

“How many opportunities did you have to participate each day” followed by “How many times did you choose to participate” gives you insight into whether your students were feeling timid, or if you truly need to provide more wait time, opportunities, etc.

I have included plenty of questions for students to reflect on their own learning, while also providing you actionable feedback to move forward.

I really look forward to reading these survey responses during finals week. It’s a nice way to wrap up the year with my high school students 🙂

Again, this survey is provided in both doc and form formats. You can print and have your students complete it on paper, OR have them complete it as the included Google Form. Both formats are editable 🙂 so you can truly customize the survey for your students.

Thanks for reading!

I hope you’re leaving with some new resources and strategies to provide your students with opportunities for meaningful reflection. If you’re reading this at the end of the year, YOU MADE IT, PROFE! I hope you have a wonderful summer!

Please feel free to share this post with your world language teacher colleagues and friends!
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My name is Erin and I have 10 years of experience teaching high school Spanish. I love building positive student relationships and bringing a bit of fun into my lessons to keep my students engaged!

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