I started a new thing yesterday, since I have a thing for new things. I started a collaborative story series on Instagram!
Well, first I joined Instagram. Then I realized that there is a whole Instagram culture that I don't understand at all. Then my kids woke up and wanted to draw, so we grabbed our favorite Usborne Learn to Draw books (Big Drawing Book, Step by Step Drawing Book, Step by Step Drawing People Book -- we order them through my friend Andrea). Then Leland and I drew a sweet picture and accompanying story. Then Millie spilled water on our picture and Elsie started eating it...
Well later that day, I returned to Instagram and tried to figure it out again, and as I was doing so, our picture caught my eye. "Ah-ha!" I thought, why not do with Instagram just what I do with my kids at home and what I did with my students in class?
So that's what I am doing! I've got a few professional passions burning right now; one of course for equipping teachers to make the (scary!) jump to comprehension based methods successfully. The other is to get more reading materials into the hands of students with budding proficiency. I do this in quite a few ways: I share some things and sell others (El Mundo en tus manos, Lecturas Diarias, etc.). I launched Revista Literal in the fall, and it is really starting to take off (66 students submitted stories in December!). And now I'm launching #somoscuentos on Instagram! SOMOS means "we are" in Spanish, and it is the name of my Levels 1 & 2 curriculum. And 'cuentos' means 'stories' in Spanish, so put it together and you get "We are stories"--which seems to me an existential statement worth pondering!
I would love for you and your students to join me. My vision is for it to be a simple, fun way for students to interact with the language outside of class. It will also be an opportunity for YOU--the teacher--to see how you can ask a collaborative story...since, after all, there is no substitute for stories.
Come join me! This will be fun!