Are you trying to get into a routine for your Spanish dictado? Here I explain quickly what my weekly dictado schedule is like. It’s fast and easy, and your kids will be keeping you accountable for that schedule in no time. This schedule along with my other tips and tricks are what make my dictado so successful in my classroom!
Before I even begin, I use a planning sheet that I’ve made. You can sign up to get it below. It allows you to plan the dictation, predict possible student noticings and potential teaching points. Check it out, and don’t forget to sign up to get it FREE below!
You’ll notice on the planning sheet that I base the dictado on a known context. In contrast, I find the fault with many dictados is they turn into a spelling list of discrete words or just nonsensical sentences with lots of words that follow the teaching point you are trying to teach.
Consequently, if you don’t base your dictados around a common context, you spend half of your time on the first day just explaining the context. Another is that your students go the entire week having no idea what the dictation is about or even means.
Now that I’ve finished my little diatribe, I will step down off of my soap box and get to the schedule as promised.
Monday – Day 1
Dictado and Talk-Through
First, you introduce the sentences of the dictado. The focus should be on meaning so that students can understand the context. I accomplish this by taking my dictado sentences directly from my mentor texts or based on my mentor texts. In the younger grades we count how many words there are and the number of sentences.
With the context understood, the students go write the dictado WITH PENCIL. This can be accomplished by the teacher saying the sentence(s) or the students listening to a teacher recording. **Read at a normal pace, NOT word-by-word!**
The students take out pens to correct their dictados with the teacher. After, the teacher talks through the dictado and asks for student noticings. In other words, what do the students notice while correcting? Any patterns, grammar or words they misspelled?
Tuesday – Day 2
The teacher selects one or two teaching points to emphasize based on student work from Day 1. Attempt to predict these when planning your dictado. Afterwards students write and self-correct
This is the most important part: students compare their work and corrections from Day 2 to that of Day 1.
A lot of times students get frustrated about making lots of mistakes. Comparing shows them what mistake they may have repeated and what errors they did not make the second time. This is the important metacognitive piece that can make this activity powerful!
Wednesday – Day 3
Students take turns reading the dictado to a partner as the partner writes. Then they correct their writing.
Finally, they compare their work from Day 3 to Days 2 and 1.
Thursday – Day 4
Expand the Dictado / Teacher-Directed Dictado
Students write the sentences that the teacher says. Students may then add on to the dictado trying to use one of the teaching points from the lesson. An attempt to apply their learning.
In the younger grades this might look like students adding a sticky note to an anchor chart with the subject of one of the lessons. For example, if you’re studying b/v tricky letters, they may add a word that has a b/v in it. In the upper grades it may look like students adding a whole extra sentence using a prepositional phrase.
Afterwards, students self-correct and compare their writing to that of Days 1-3.
Friday – Day 5
Teacher dictates and students write. Then, students turn in the final dictation for the teacher to correct and look for points that they may wish to cover in future dictados.
There are many variations of this general schedule. I’ve tried them all.
I include below of some these and WHY I DON’T do mine like this:
- 2 x Partner Dictado: This takes up a lot of time. Kids are slower doing this in pairs.
- 2 x Lessons: I hesitate to include two big devoted lessons because I prefer to let kids include an example of the lesson in their own writing on Day 4
- 4 x Teacher Dictado: I’ll admit, I still do this, but having the kids do a partner dictado is really powerful for building up reading confidence.
- Partner Dictado on Day 4: When I was a 1st grade teacher I did this because by then many of my students had the dictado memorized. Therefore, my low readers didn’t necessarily need to be able to read the dictado to dictate it to their partner
- Draw the Dictado: Oftentimes, teachers in the younger grades opt to do this to gauge student understanding. This is useful if you are basing your sentence(s) off of a context that not all students are familiar with. However, if you base your sentences off of something like a mentor text that all students have heard read aloud, this is unnecessary.
- Day 1: Teacher Dictado and Talk-Through
- Day 2: Lesson and Teacher Dictado
- Day 3: Partner Dictado
- Day 4: Expand Dictado
- Day 5: Final Dictado
This schedule may be just the beginning for you. Maybe you read this and you knew most it already. In any case, whatever schedule you choose, find something you like and can follow.
Above all, find some way to keep yourself accountable to the schedule. For example, I write my schedule down on an anchor chart and the kids have a fit if I deviate from it at all! It will hold you accountable, and if you don’t stick to it, your students certainly will.
Whereas if you are trying to refine your practice with your Spanish dictation, you may want to read about some of my keys to a successful dictado. Maybe you want some quick hacks that I’ve picked up along the way during my time of figuring out dictado, making lots of mistakes along the way, you may want to check out my post about tips for dictado.
If you’re like me and you like keeping your plans digitally, check out the editable planners at my TPT Store! The planners are on editable Google Slides.
If you want to get my dictation planner, dictation guide, and sample FREE, sign up below. They’re great if you like writing out your plans on paper.