Create digital versions of your favorite manipulative activities

If you’re anything like me, you love a good manipulative activity. Here are some common manipulative activities used by language teachers: sequencing events from a story that are printed on strips of paper matching chunks of authentic texts to paraphrased summaries sorting quotes into groups based on who said or would have said each one…

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Wacky Chat: 75 totally random questions to ask your students

It’s January– you’re tired, they’re tired. Routines have started feeling…routine…and the same old challenges that you’ve been dealing with since the fall are starting to feel really old. Now is a particularly great time of year to be predictable in expectations but unpredictable in planning. Instead of starting the next unit or chapter and working…

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How to ask your first story

My students and I made strong, lasting connections as we co-created stories. Whether it was TPRS® (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) or OWIs (One Word Images), we had so much fun being creative together. It was through storyasking that I first experienced the power of acquisition-driven instruction. As I helped my students to understand…

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20+ stations for proficiency oriented language classes

Whether you call them Stations or Centers, you probably love them—and so do your students. Stations give you a laissez-faire teaching day and provide lots of movement and small group interaction for students.  Stations do not, however, come without challenges. Stations often take quite a bit of prep work. For the proficiency oriented, comprehension based…

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“I don’t understand how to ask a story.”

You’ve got a new comprehension-based curriculum, and you’d be 100% sold if it weren’t for that storyasking part. You’ve got a script, but what the heck do you do with it? Many teachers have asked the same question before. Storyasking is an invented word meant to differentiate creating a story from telling a story. If you’ve…

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How to write comprehensible texts

Once I moved away from using the textbook as the center of my curriculum, I was free to bring in all kinds of new texts. Popular songs, novels written for language learners, picture books, short non-fiction readings prepared by me, infographics, edited stories written by my students or co-created by the class, and more. By…

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