I have seen many plans over the years that give students an opportunity to show their work ethic and social skills by completing creative tasks together. My sub plans were not like this. I spent most of my years in a middle school with large classes of 35 squirrely, defiant pre-teens and teens, and sub … Continue reading Sub plans for challenging classes
Film, politics, sports, conservation, and activism--these are just a few of the topics that the stories from the new EL MUNDO EN TUS MANOS subscription have addressed. Maris and I are passionate about finding stories that your students will connect with and that will open their eyes to the things happening in the world, near … Continue reading Reading activities for current events
You have done your research and planned your year with lessons and activities that are guaranteed to help your students make forward progress on the path to proficiency. Your planned lessons are input-rich and you know how to keep it comprehensible. You can't fail! ...except, you are failing. You're a few days in...a few weeks in maybe...and … Continue reading Practical advice for classroom management
Once I decided to teach for proficiency, I become hungry for stories--real stories, invented stories, silly stories, sad stories, unbelievable stories, scary stories...anything. Language is best taught when it is being used to transmit messages, not when it is explicitly taught for conscious learning. ― Stephen D. Krashen, The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom If you … Continue reading Current events & free fiction magazine in Spanish
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 … Continue reading “I don’t understand how to ask a story.”
You’ve ditched your textbook and committed to comprehension based methods of teaching. You’re looking at a blank lesson plan book and....you’re stuck. TPRS? CI? SLA? CBM? T1? T2? How will you ever fill an entire year with lesson plans when you are still trying to keep all the acronyms straight? There are SO MANY teachers … Continue reading Blast to the Past: Addressing AP Themes using Past Tense narrative
How do you grade reading comprehension? This has been a hard question for me to respond to for quite a few years now. I have felt somewhat torn about what kind of reading skills I have wanted to assess in order to fit my vision for a proficiency oriented course. Finally, I have a plan, … Continue reading How to grade reading comprehension?
As language teachers, our goal for our students is to be more proficient in the target language when they complete our course than when they began. We probably have other goals for our students (being more kind, more empathetic, more responsible, more culturally aware), but all of these objectives fit into the overarching mission of … Continue reading What is Proficiency Oriented Language Instruction?
Here is a really brief, one-page overview that SOMOS/Nous sommes teachers can share with parents of their students about what to expect from the class. Click here or on the image below to download. What key information do you think is missing? What do you think is important to share with parents?
Shakira's Octavo Día is in my iTunes Music Library and on my Música playlist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1Jfqcmteh0 Octavo Día was my favorite song from Spanish 5 with Señora Gates--the same class in which I actually had a higher grade than my superstar brother, convincing me that the Spanish language was my calling in life. Shakira was sooooooooo cool--way … Continue reading Strike a Chord: Gift card winners & music for Spanish class