Alphabiography

I got this great idea from an English teacher at our school! It’s called an “Alphabiography”. The idea is to have students write their biography in small installments of 4-5 sentences, basing each installment on a word that begins with a different letter of the alphabet. This would make a very cool on-going focused free…

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Gestures

When introducing new vocabulary for a story, it is very important to establish a gesture for each term. Often, I come up with a gesture and teach it to my class. For more difficult terms or for “fun” terms, I ask students to create a gesture. This week, the second strategy was immensely successful with…

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Say what?!

We were in the middle of a story yesterday, and one of the actors was a student that speaks Spanish at home, named “Jimmy”. In the story, Jimmy got yelled at, and I (as the narrator) said, «Jimmy se enoja» (Jimmy gets angry). And Jimmy said, «¡enoja!». I repeated, «Jimmy se enoja», and made an…

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Standards Based Assessment

Standards-based assessment means assessing students’ performance in reference to predetermined standards, goals, or outcomes for the course. In language classes, teachers will typically set targets for students to reach in the different communicative skills: interpretive reading, interpretive listening, presentational speaking, presentational writing, and possibly interpersonal speaking. I began using Standards Based Assessment, or at least…

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Cornell Notes

Developed “far above Cayuga’s waters“, Cornell Notes are an effective note-taking strategy that can be used across grade levels and content areas. I was first introduced to Cornell Notes by my administrator in a 6-8 public school in Anchorage, Alaska. She didn’t have to sell me on it too hard since my grandfather, my parents,…

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Running Dictation Relay Race

Running Dictation is a review activity. Traditionally, language teachers have used this fast-paced team game to review a story. Students benefit from repeated exposure to information and to language, and so content area teachers will find this activity just as helpful as language teachers. Running Dictation in a nutshell In a Running Dictation, students are…

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