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Find me at #ACTFL18

November 15, 2018

My journey to ACTFL began today with a road trip to drop off my kids with their grandparents—how about you?? Are you already in NOLA or flying in tomorrow?

For me, ACTFL is just as much about personal connections as it is about professional learning. It is an opportunity for me to meet mentors that have shaped my thinking, to hug teachers that have trusted me enough to share my materials with their students, and to spend time thinking and laughing with my virtual PLC in person. I am so looking forward to connecting—with both old friends and new.

Follow #ACTFL18 #SOYSOMOS to connect with Martina Bex in New Orleans or follow from afar for a chance to win some great prizes!

If you would like to connect with me and my TWO SPECIAL GUESTS at ACTFL, here is how to find me:


If you know me at all, you know that I am a prolific conference tweeter. Tweeting is how I take notes and how I share my ah-ha’s and questions with my online peers.

I will be tweeting with the conference hashtag #ACTFL18 in sessions.

I will also be sharing a big surprise and offering some GIVEAWAYS to folks that are at the conference and/or following my conference experience on Twitter. Search the hashtag pair #ACTFL18 #SOYSOMOS to find where I am during the conference and how you can have a chance to win!!

Follow me on Twitter!


On Friday night at 6:30pm, I will be in a secret location to share a BIG secret!

Everyone that attends will get a special something…and a few lucky teachers will get an EXTRA special something!

Search #ACTFL18 #SOYSOMOS to learn the location for the meet up—I’ll share it on Friday!

Come to hear the news or come to connect with me, Elicia, and other teachers using SOMOS in their classrooms!

Connect with SOMOS teachers online!


ACTFL is a great opportunity to preview books that you might want to use in class! I will be in the FLUENCY MATTERS booth on Friday and Saturday. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the novels published by Fluency Matters, and I would love to help you find the books that your students will enjoy reading and that will be the best fit for their place on the path to proficiency!

I will be in Booth #1119 from 9:30-11:30am on Friday and 9:00-11:00am on Saturday!

Fluency Matters is running some AWESOME promotions—whether you are attending the conference live or following on Twitter, you can win e-courses, novels, and more by connecting with the Fluency Matters team!

Visit Booth 1119 at ACTFL18 to win prizes for your classroom!

Learn how to win free stuff from Fluency Matters!



Does anyone else feel totally overwhelmed looking at the program? Pages and pages and pages of options for each time slot—bah!

I wrote down a list (well, made a spreadsheet) of all of the sessions during each time slot that seemed interesting to me, and then I looked at the list as a whole to make my final decisions.

At conferences like this, I try to balance familiar presenters that I know I will learn from with unfamiliar presenters that I hope I can learn from. I want to inject some new information and ideas into my practice in diverse areas (assessment, curriculum, culture, management, national initiatives etc.). This year I will have a sidekick with me so that we can divide and conquer!!

Here are a few of the sessions that you can find me at:


Between the Opening Session (I'll be cheering for my inspiring teacher friend Yan as she competes for TOY!) and helping teachers find the best books for their students in Booth #1119, I won't be jumping into the session scene until...

2:00-2:45pm Fostering Community while Differentiating for Multiple Levels with Music by Michele Whaley (Room R07, MCCNO 183) - Although I wish there were three of me to split between Gary DiBianca’s session about using improv and Jennifer Burchill’s Comprehensible Culture session!

3:00-3:45pm Heading to Ed Zarrow’s Strategies for Successful Storytelling session (Room 210, MCCNO 198), and I am sending one of my companions to Kristy Placido’s Beyond Flashcards session (Room 208).

4:00-4:45pm Think I can squeeze into Carol Gaab’s Interactivities session in Room R02? Having seen Carol present many times in the past, I am looking forward to learning her creative ideas for turning standard activities into comprehension rich tasks! Her sessions are always standing room only—so get there early!

5:00-5:45pm I am so torn between Carrie Toth’s All for One and One for All (R02) and Robert Patrick’s Writing Good Stories (207) sessions!


8:00-8:45am One half of The Comprehensible Classroom team will be in the ACTFL Collab Zone to learn from Paul Sandrock about what it takes to move students from one proficiency level to another, and the other half will be in John Cadena and Debra Callihan-Dingle’s session learning the changing nature of output over the course of a unit as it is fed by input.

9:00-9:45am I’ll be in the booth, but my other half will be headed to Brett Avila’s presentation in Room 338 to learn about transitioning to CI.

11:00-11:45am Super excited to play along with Wendy Mercado and Valerie Greer in their session on Game Based Learning!!

1:30-2:15pm If you are a member of the SOMOS Curriculum Collaboration group, you have experienced Elicia Cardenas’ insight and mentorship online—now is your chance to learn from her in person! She will be in R02. I can’t wait to see her in action as she shares some low prep, comprehension-based activities. (Aaaaand I might be sneaking out a few minutes early to catch some of Señor Fernie’s session in 209 since I have been a fan of his blog for many years now—moving away from the textbook to communicative teaching grounded in comprehensible input).

2:30-3:15pm I’m curious to see Elizabeth Slocum and Jenny Delfini’s take on teaching grammar in context with embedding readings, #authres, and stories. They will be in 229!

4:30-5:15pm First ever business meeting of the NEW Comprehension-based Communicative Language Teaching SIG. This will be in R02.

5:30-6:15pm What better way to wrap up the conference than to learn from two brilliant women that have shaped much of my practice, Laurie Clarcq and Mira Canion! They will be in 206 talking about to choose texts that are appropriate for our students and how to scaffold reading so that they are prepared for the texts that they will read in their language learning journeys.


I will miss EVERYTHING on Sunday! The only flight out that I could find was in the wee morning hours. Poo! to bed! I've got a flight to catch in the morning!!

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