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#MyFives: Blog posts I recommend from 2018

December 27, 2018

Welcome to Day 2 of the #MyFives #langchat series! I loved reading all of the #MyFives Teachers I followed posts from yesterday, and I'm excited to have a slew of new people to inspire me in the coming year because of it!

Today's post is about BLOG POSTS. What have you read or shared this year that you recommend to other teachers?

As you share your #MyFives posts from 2018 that you recommend, feel free to share ANY posts that have inspired you on ANY platform. They could be podcast episodes, Tweets, Facebook posts or LIVEs, YouTube videos...anything! The recommendation is open.

Shout out to #teachersofinstagram - Wrap up #2018 with some #reflections. Share your list each day with #MyFives #langchat

#MyFives Day 2: Blog posts I recommend

I'm going to cheat a little bit and post TWO sets of FIVE blog posts that I recommend reading as you return to school next week: FIVE that I wrote and FIVE that I read.

Share 5 posts that inspired you in 2018 with #MyFives #langchat to pass your recommendation on to other world language teachers!Share 5 posts that inspired you in 2018 with #MyFives #langchat to pass your recommendation on to other world language teachers!

Five blog posts I wrote

I have published 70 blog posts so far this year. That's a lot of content to sort through even without looking back at the other 700+ posts from previous years.

Let me help you out by recommending FIVE posts that I wrote this year that I recommend reading (or re-reading). I'm not going to recommend the Songs I love for Spanish 1 post, or the Best Brain Breaks post, or the Stations for World Languages post, or the Ways to Talk about their Weekend post, or the What to do When You're Done but the School Year Isn't post. All of those posts are about specific activities that you can do in class: they will give you new ideas, but they probably won't give you new insights. The posts I recommend, however, will help you ask questions, find solutions, and change directions.

How to teach such that they understand

The single most important factor in determining your students' success is this: can they understand you?

Support your students' comprehension of the target language using the tools outlined in this post. Teach such that they understand, and they will acquire language.

Language teachers can use these comprehension supports (1) to help a learner understand a message and the individual words and phrases that we use to communicate it, (2) to determine whether or not an individual is understanding a message, and (3) to make adjustments to the message accordingly. #TPRS #CIClick to learn how to use these tools!

Develop assessments that support student success

This post, published in March, was inspired by a SOMOS teacher.

Click here to learn how to Develop assessments that support student success.

Are my students ready to read this text?

If you have ever wondered why your whole-class reading experience is failing, you need to read this post. It was a collaboration with one of my mentors, Mira Canion, and it followed our post about factors that contribute to text complexity.

Click here to learn how to determine whether your Students are ready to read a text.

How to grade reading comprehension?

Many years of reflecting on assessment and grading are behind this post. If you find yourself wondering how best to grade the interpretive mode, then ponder along with me.

Click here to consider How to grade reading comprehension.

What is Proficiency Oriented Language Instruction?

2018 was, for me, the year of proficiency. I shared my Pique Proficiency workshop throughout the country, and this blog post is the manual for that workshop.

Click here to learn What Proficiency Oriented Language Instruction Is.

Click to read this post!

Five blog posts I read

These five blog posts were written by five different teachers that inspire me through their blogs and beyond. I chose these posts because they were so memorable that I had no need to look them up. It wasn't a vague memory of some post that someone had written about something; I didn't have to peruse blog archives to jog my memory. In fact, I created my list as I was on my run today--totally detached from technology. I am confident that you will be inspired by these posts, too:

On going slow - Blair Richards

Blair's post "iFLT and Slow" perfectly captured what I experienced in Paul Kirschling's language lab at iFLT in July.

Take some time to read through Blair's list S-L-O-W-L-Y and consider how you can SLOW DOWN as you are communicating with your students.

On classroom management - Cécile Lainé

Cécile had a challenging class last year, and I bet you have one...or two...or five...this year, just as she did. Connecting with students, caring for students, and comprehensifying content for students wasn't enough.

Cécile sought out help, she stepped out of her comfort zone, and started to see results! She shared her hard-learned lessons in classroom management in May, and I know that what she has learned will help you out, too.

On being a contributor - Cynthia Hitz

If you are reading this post, you are probably connected to the online community of world language teachers. You're probably aware that the way that we are teaching language is shifting, and that the shift toward comprehension based, proficiency oriented language instruction is a good thing.

There's more work to be done, and Cynthia lays out a chart of FIFTEEN ways that you can contribute to the work of proficiency. To be a contributor, you don't have to be a Master Teacher. You don't have to have a big personality or be tech-savvy. Anyone can contribute, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, and I love how Cynthia's post empowers us all!

On feeling like a failure - Laura Sexton

Have you ever had a bad day? One of those days where it seems like you are failing your students, failing your values, failing your family, failing society, failing yourself?

Laura wrote The Truth Is... in May, and I predict that this poignant post will resonate with you just as it did with me.

On achievement - Grant Boulanger

As if Grant hadn't already nailed the coffin shut with his Nov 2017 post shared data proving that comprehension based instruction increases enrollment, he followed it with another nail in June of 2018.

Comprehension Based Instruction increases achievement, and Grant shares the data to prove it. If you are advocating for a change in your department (with great grace and humility, I hope!), save this post. If you ever need to defend what you're doing to your parents or administrators, save this post. Maybe you want to contribute to the wave of data being gathered about the effectiveness of what we are doing - then save this post and do what Grant's district is doing in terms of data collection and analysis.

Save this post!

Your turn!

Share five blog posts (videos, podcasts, tweets, etc.) that inspired you in 2018 and that you recommend to other teachers!

Share with #MyFives #langchat so that we can find your recommendations!

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