"I wanted the choir to be good. I wanted us to sing good music, and to be a success. Some of the volunteer singers had beautiful voices; one had a great one. Some of them couldn't stay in tune and pulled the whole group down into a flat, sodden mass. One woman stayed in key, all right, but at full volume at all times, and with an unpleasant, nasal whine. If the choir was to be a success, the obvious first thing to do was to ease out some of the problem voices.
"I couldn't do it. I don't know why, but something told me that every single person in that choir was more important than the music. 'But the music is going to be terrible,' I wailed to the invisible voice. 'That doesn't matter. That's not the reason for this choir.' I didn't ask what was, but struggled along. The extraordinary, lovel...
How could I avoid another punny title about this exam?
Seriously though, the AAPPL (Form A at least) is rotten. I had my 6 Spanish IV students re-test with Form B, two weeks after doing Form A. Here are the comparative results on Interpretive Listening (IL) and Interpretive Reading (IR).
“There were rules about how to listen well and how to respond. There were lessons about how to empathize and where to find the courage to speak. I enjoyed these lessons much more than my high school classes. They seemed important. We learned how to care about ourselves and about each other.”
-Glennon Doyle Melton, recounting time spent in a psychiatric hospital during her senior year of H.S.
Here are the slides to my 3-hour workshop, part of the Iowa World Language Association's Fall Conference Workshop. Of course much more was discussed, experienced, practiced (and sung) than what you'll see in the PPT slideshow.
It only took me four months to get it uploaded, having had to overcome a technical glitch and some severe procrastination. But here it is now. Leave any questions and thoughts in the comments below.
A rare few times each year I tell my students we're having class in English. These are reserved for things like discussing the syllabus, learning about language acquisition, or the topic I explored with students this last week: Immigration.
We had just finished a week-long unit of the movie La Misma Luna. Students now all shared an emotional connection to several immigrants, most of them undocumented. I don't think it matters that they are fictional characters.
I always preface with the disclaimer that I will not judge opinions nor hold them against anyone if they were to disagree with my own. I ask and remind them to be civil, and open to listening to their classmates.
I quickly tell them why we are going to discuss this topic in English -- because I've found i...
I will be presenting a three-hour workshop at IWLA on the afternoon of Friday, October 12. I'm pretty darn excited about it. I'm also really excited about the other workshops that are happening [Insert frustrated caps] AT THE SAME TIME AS MINE! Nah, I say that with a very giddy and happy heart at the abundant learning opportunities in one city on one afternoon in the middle of Iowa. And... I want to go to literally every other workshop that is offered that afternoon (and morning). You probably do too. Check them out. http://iwla.net/workshops
(Some of the most beautiful wall art I could dream of for my classroom)
This beauty arrived during 3rd period, delivered by our handy shop teacher and a crew of young carpenters. They zipped in a couple screws to fasten the 2 "L" brackets, and headed back down to the shop. I've been glowing since.
Browsing some bookshelf-making resources shared by colleagues on an online forum, I settled on my favorite design last Winter. I tweaked one of Ana White's plans, opting for a stretched-out version given the particulars of my room. Right before school started, the shop teacher and I came up with a plan (I get the lumber, he and his students build it) and it turned out to be one of those blessed situations in which everything ends up working out better than hoped and planned.
I've just started another round of Final Exams to finish off another school year. Two things I did differently for my first final today:
1. I chose a typed-up story from a different class last year and quickly changed some of the language to align more with vocabulary I expected them to know. This took about 15 minutes. I had already done the Writing section last week with this class, and knew I wouldn't have time to type up a reading during the actual exam. Plus, since this was a Spanish 3 class, I wanted them to have a bit longer of a story to read. I assessed by having them write a short ending to the story and answering 15 comprehension questions about the story. (I think an English summary would have been a superior tool to assess their comprehension, but I didn't want them having t...
I am expected to give a 80-minute final exam at my school. Each time I’ve done this now it has gone remarkably well, is enjoyable, requires no prep, take me about 30-45 minutes per class to mark and grade, and provides me good evidence of their abilities, which are of no surprise.
There are four parts:
B: Story Asking
C: Timed Write
I have students do Part A and Part C on either a regular 8.5 x 11" paper or in their composition notebook, while Part B and Part D go on a notecard. (Photo above shows Part A on the notecard, but I've changed how I assess their interpretive abilities on this first part of the exam as you'll see below.)
I have kids turn their cards over or slip them into their notebook while not in use, to discourage any answer changing and for me to e...