Well, it has happened. This morning, I crossed the great divide into the land of the 30s. In honor of this life achievement, I would like to share one TPRS®/CI thing that I love for each year with which my sweet Lord has blessed me! In no particular order…

  1. Jesus Christ. If I weren’t able to rely on His strength, wisdom, and provision, I’d be spending my days curled up in a ball under my covers–not blogging or collaborating or chasing after my boys.
  2. Michele Whaley. I would still think that TPRS® was the west-coast’s acronym for TPR if it weren’t for her. Beyond that…well, if you’ve spent more than five minutes with Michele, she’s on your list, too, I’m sure!
  3. TPRS Publishing, Inc. I thank God every day for Pat and Carol Gaab and their amazing business! They provide invaluable training and mentorship to TPRS®/CI teachers, and their novels are fascinating for students and life-saving for teachers. Pat and Carol, I love you!!!
  4. Teachers Pay Teachers. This website has helped me to realize my dream of being a full-time mom to my boys and still working in the field that I love–language education!
  5. Laurie Clarcq. Can’t make a list about love without listing Laurie! She exudes caring and love for her students and her colleagues.
  6. Jennifer Pike’s pinboards. Seriously. They are amazing.
  7. #langchat While not technically a TPRS®/CI resource, #langchat has helped me to understand and articulate how the many trends in language education apply to TPRS®/CI teachers as I discuss them with colleagues that teach many different languages, in different ways, in different states and countries!
  8. Señora Spanglish Rides Again. Okay, aside from the fantastic blog title…I love Laura Sexton’s mind! She shares the ideas and instructional goals that she has, and then she shares the process, in great detail, of working toward those goals.
  9. Carrie Toth. Author of my favorite novel ever (La Calaca Alegre) and 2014 ACTFL Teacher of the Year Finalist, Carrie has no reason to acknowledge my un-renowned and un-distinguished existence, and yet I consider her a friend. I realized this week that her blog was missing from my ‘Blogs I love’ list, and I paid for this great sin of mine by eating five cookies in honor of her successful diet of which I am so jealous.
  10. Kristy Placido. Authentic resources, music, novels, beauty, humor, tenacity, and the best teacher stink-eye I’ve ever seen. Since Kristy was responsible for introducing TPRS to Michele, who introduced it to me, I guess you could say that she is my professional grandmother. I have great genes 🙂
  11. Grow Story Grow. Loooooooove this website. It’s electronic embedded reading–worth every penny.
  12. Embedded Reading. Embedded reading is an effective strategy for language teachers. Embedded Reading is an effective strategy developed by Laurie Clarcq and Michele Whaley for language teachers that facilitates language acquisition. Embedded Reading is a fabulous, effective, essential strategy developed by….you get the point.
  13. Scott Benedict. He saved my sanity and made me a better teacher by teaching me what Standards Based Assessment is and what it looks like in the language classroom. My students’ grades are now full of meaning!
  14. YouTube. Where would we be without this endless fount of content for #authres, MovieTalk, music, and more?? Thanks to Firefox’s add-ons, available in the ‘Tools’ menu, you can even download any of their vids at home so that you don’t have to deal with firewalls and streaming at school.
  15. Noah Geisel. He recently wrote about how blog posts that share lists are not as helpful as blog posts that share “one really great and practical suggestion that is accompanied by specific ideas and examples from real classrooms”. As you can tell, this post is not that ;-).
  16. Crystal Barragán. She embodies Noah Geisel’s recommendation for quality blog posts as described in #15. She takes a lesson plan, activity, strategy, method, etc. and explains exactly how to apply it to your classroom.
  17. Textivate.com. A truly excellent Web 2.0 tool for any language teacher–the site is constantly developing and adding more and more ways to interact with a text!
  18. Cynthia Hitz. As much as I love her cookies, I love her blog even more. And she uses iPads like nobody!
  19. Mira Canion. Oh, the mind of Mira! The only thing that saves my brain from exploding when I talk with Mira about language acquisition, world language education, and the meaning of life is her uncanny ability to locate really, really good food.
  20. Deidre Kelly, Kim Hart, Ellen Roberts, and everyone else that takes the time to email me when they notice an error, typo, or inconsistency in one of my products. You are so kind and so gracious to help me!
  21. Pages 4.3. I’m obsessed with pretty documents, and I couldn’t create them without this outdated, killer software that is no longer easily, legally available. Glad I had iWorks ’09 on a disk so I could re-install it after the newest version threatened to destroy everything I love about Word Processing!
  22. Sharon Birch. Hard to say whether I love her blog or her pinboards more. If you spend any amount of time digging through my blog archives, you’ll find more than a few ideas that I’ve gotten from her!
  23. Quizlet.com. This, along with Textivate, was my solution to the perpetually absent student. Make sure your target vocab list is up-to-date on Quizlet and your readings and stories are on Textivate, and your kiddos will be able to receive CI without any extra effort on your part.
  24. Ben Slavic. Without his blog, I never would have started TPRS in the first place. It gave me the scripts and education I needed to try it out! I finally met him the summer–talk about exciting!!
  25. Amazon.com. With free shipping to Alaska on orders over $35 (truly, this is a rarity), Amazon is my marketplace of choice. Whether I’m buying a doc cam, class whiteboards, videos, books, or any number of teacher essentials…I love Amazon! (I’ll be ordering the doc cam and whiteboards from my August giveaway from Amazon!)
  26. Kristin Duncan. She has a knack for finding the best resources and ideas from the TPRS®/CI world and cataloguing them in a systematic way that makes it easy to find exactly what you need, when you need it.
  27. First Fridays. Michele started this regional PLN, and it has sustained me professionally throughout the last five years! If you are looking for a source for encouragement and collaboration, start your own regional group or find one that is already going by sending out a query on the…
  28. MoreTPRS listserv. I am not that active on the listserv, and I do not read every email, but I scan every daily digest that I receive! I’ve gotten so many great ideas and insights from the folks on this network!
  29. Elizabeth Dentlinger. Elizabeth and I email back and forth often enough that we probably qualify as 21st century Pen Pals. A fellow Pinterest junkie with the desire to incorporate culture into every lesson that she teaches, I’m sure that you will love her blog as much as I do!
  30. Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell. My sista from anotha mista, Sara-Elizabeth and I keep finding new things that we have in common. Her blog was the very first language teacher blog that I followed after I began teaching full-time…which means that it has been around for awhile! Don’t visit it for the first time unless you are free from commitments for the next…oh…60 hours.

There you have it!! I could go on forever, I think, but these were the first 30 that came to my mind on this particular day. Hope you found something new to add to your list of favorite TPRS®/CI things!!

8 replies on “30 {TCI} things I love

  1. Happy Birthday to you! You are the peas to our carrots, the peanut to our butter! You have reached so many and with so much. Congratulations!!!!

  2. You are too kind including me on this list! None-the-less, I am very grateful to be included and the feeling is mutual! I had some good stuff last year, but my students are even MORE excited this year with your lessons. Thank you so much. I hope to meet you in person at Central States!

    ¡Feliz Cumpleaños! =)

  3. Happy birthday, Martina!
    #’s 17 and 23 peaked my curiosity. Can you elaborate on how you use textivate for kids who have been absent? I have tinkered with some of the “games”/activities on there, but how would I put a story/readings on it? And quizlet? Do you do something other than the flashcards for absent kids?

    1. If you pay for a subscription, you can upload your own stories and readings and make them available to your students and the Internet in general if you so choose. With quizlet, my favorite feature is the ‘Learn’ feature. No matter what they’re doing, it’s still rote memorization–but when they are not in class for CI, we sometimes have to resort to desperate measures!

  4. I love your blog! I have purchased lots of your materials to use this year! I am so excited. I have been using TPRS for about 10 years and I love it. I have met several of the people on your list at TPRS conferences. They are great! I hope sometime to meet you. But your materials are refreshing and love the detail of lesson plans. Thank you so much! I hope you had a very blessed birthday! Jesus is my source of strength also! You rock!

  5. Martina, I was just looking for the link to your classroom posters and was scanning back through this post…when I saw my name! I am honored that you would mention me and am humbled by it, because I greatly admire your work. You have helped ME so much with using more CI in my classes! Thanks for all you do.:-)

    I also wish you were going to ACTFL this year, because I’m going for the first time and would love to meet you! That precious little boy is worth staying home, for, that’s for sure.:-)

Leave a Reply