The today in history activity is a great way to engage students with a critical thinking activity in the target language - originally shared by Justin Slocum Bailey of Indwelling Language

Today in history: engage students with a simple critical thinking activity in the target language

I first heard the idea for “Today in History”; or rather, “NOT Today in History" by reading a blog post from Justin Slocum Bailey on the Indwelling Language blog back in 2014. Click here to read the first post: and here to read the second. Recently, I have been looking for new kinds of ‘puzzles’ that … Continue reading Today in history: engage students with a simple critical thinking activity in the target language

What is explicit instruction?

Comprehension Based™ Teaching as Explicit Instruction

Michele Whaley, a Russian teacher at West High School in Anchorage, invited me to her classroom in 2009 to observe a TPRS® lesson. I went in expecting to see a glorified version of Simon Says. What I saw bemused me, and it drove me to park myself in front of my TV for the next … Continue reading Comprehension Based™ Teaching as Explicit Instruction

CCSS Aligned L2 Reading Comprehension Questions

About two months ago, I wrote a post explaining how second language teachers can use the Common Core Anchor Standards for Reading to give depth to their reading assessments and challenge students to think critically in the target language. Read it here. Understandably, some readers were left wondering what an assessment composed of CCSS Aligned questions … Continue reading CCSS Aligned L2 Reading Comprehension Questions

Shrinking Summary: A reading activity disguised as writing

My favorite kind of writing activities are the ones that are actually reading activities in disguise. Shrinking Summaries are just that: incognito reading activities that allow your students to feel the pride that comes with output and benefit from critical reading at the same time. What is a shrinking summary? To write a shrinking summary, … Continue reading Shrinking Summary: A reading activity disguised as writing

TPRS®/CI and the Common Core

Over the last year, I have received many email requests from teachers, administrators, and conference planners that need to know how TPRS® and other Comprehensible Input strategies meet Common Core standards. Teachers must explain the connections so that they are permitted to use these best practice strategies in their classrooms, administrators seek to know whether … Continue reading TPRS®/CI and the Common Core

High School Dropouts and Middle School

This is a fantastic video from Frontline about how a student's middle school experience--even in sixth grade--can predict whether or not that child will drop out of high school: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/education/dropout-nation/middle-school-moment/ The video states that if a sixth-grade student in a high-poverty school is present less than 80 percent of the time, fails math or English, … Continue reading High School Dropouts and Middle School