Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Tuesday Tips: My Top 13 List of Redirects in Spanish for Classroom Management in the TL

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT is something many teachers in the elementary Spanish classroom cite as a challenge. No matter whether you are a new teacher, or a veteran, adding to your toolkit of strategies is always a good thing. Here is a list of the top 13 redirects I use in my classes to stay in the target language and yet get the point across to remind, reinforce, and redirect behaviors. Some of them are shortened versions of a longer command or sentence; keeping them short and sweet makes them comprehensible and to the point.

A LITTLE EXPLANATION FOR A FEW OF THESE (many are self explanatory):

*NACHOS-SALSA: This is my call and response. I say 'Nachos' and my students respond 'Salsa', my way of getting their attention when I am going to give instructions or when we are ready to transition.

*NO TOCAR: I often have materials, whether they be our crayons, pencils, etc bins or manipulatives, on the rug ready to go, which can be a distraction when my kiddos first come into my room. A quick reminder that we don't touch the materials until permission is given keeps those little hands off!

*TIC-TOC: I use this sometimes during our greeting activities where one kiddo is rolling the ball to another or has to make a choice as to whom to greet next....and there are those who just can't make a decision, scanning the circle endlessly. To keep the activity going, I will prompt them with a 'tic-toc', giving them a heads up it's time to make that decision so others can have a turn.

*MOMENTICO: A few years ago I watched another teacher hold up her index finger in the 'wait a minute' sign for a kiddo who had his hand raised and wanted to be called on. The message: "I see you, acknowledge you have something to say, and will get to you in a moment". Very powerful! I do the same, saying 'Momentico' as I do so.

*ATENTO, CALLADO, RESPETUOSO: These are our three "audience" behaviors... we chant them before any activity where the class has to pay attention to one or a group of speakers, and I use them regularly as reminders when kiddos need it.

*NO ES TU TURNO (or alternatively, Es mi turno.): When kiddos talk out of turn, this is an easy, cognate driven reminder to hold on.

*EN CONTROL: Yup, this one is very obvious- get your body in control.

THE KEY TO ALL OF THESE is consistency- using a small set of redirects repeatedly helps your students to understand expectations, and are predictable. What ones do you use? We'd love to hear!

AND CHECK OUT OUR POST ON HAND SIGNALS and gestures for classroom management that also help you stay in the target language. Read it here!

LOOKING FOR SOME MORE CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT TIPS? Check out our FREE download with lots of tips and ideas to make your classes run more smoothly! Click here!

Tips for Classroom Management


  1. Hi Julie, thank you for these tips. Wouldn't the correct phrase be "no te toca" instead of "no es tu turno" in Spanish? I think the latter is a direct translation from English and not used in Spanish-speaking countries. Thanks!

    1. Hello and thank you so much for your comment! Certainly, no te toca, or me toca a mí are great options for the situation, which I frequently use interchangeably, but 'hablando por turnos' or the use of 'turno' can be used as well, and since it is a cognate, can be useful for comprehension especially with the littles :)