Comprehensible Iowa happened the weekend before last. Thanks in great part to the talented and hard-working duo Elizabeth Dentlinger and Kim Huegerich, everything was nice, and smooth. And somehow, Kim got the 80+ people present at the welcoming gathering to sing me Happy Birthday... without me knowing they were going to do it. How?! When?! She's good.
I was excited to bump into some of my northeast Iowa colleagues like Megan Gates, Kathy Corkery and of course Anne Wuebker. I also got to meet new friends IWLA President Jason Noble, Heidi Grimm (who just so happened to graduate from Luther College the same year as me and now teaches at Nevada HS where the conference took place... ¡Qué casualidad!) and many others.
I'm reading Timed Writes from my Spanish 1 and 2 students and pondering the relative value of good spelling in the first 100-200 hours. If a kid writes it "othro" for example, and another correctly writes "otro", but the latter says something in his head and in speech more resembling the hard-T English pronunciation... Is the first student therefore better off in terms of L2 proficiency* if all other variables are the same (speed, breadth of vocabulary, etc)?
Isn't the ability to process aurally and produce orally in the first 100-200 hours much more important than being able to produce with more accurate spelling? If you had to end the year with one of the two hypothetical students above, Which would you pick?
Maybe we put too much stock in spelling outcomes in the first couple...
--I tell my students at the beginning of the year and remind them often that "language is a big mountain and we only know the paths we have explored." When someone knows or does not know something from a different teacher's class, I just say, "they were on another path. This is the path that I value." No need for insecurity or feeling dumb, etc. The main thing is to enjoy the journey, because this mountain will take a lot of exploring to discover all of the trails.--
I would have liked to have this beautiful metaphor in hand when my Spanish 1 and 2 classes all got jumbled and mixed at semester. I was worried that some kids...
The other day I was chatting with my Spanish 4 students (my first year with them) about why I had missed work the day before. So I was telling them that my daughter's day care provider had cancelled because she had hurt herself the night before. I was trying to get them to guess what she hurt, and they were throwing out different body parts like neck and foot and head and stomach and nose and so on. No, no, and no.
Then one girl pointed to her back with an unsure look on her face. I said, "¿Se lastimó la espalda?" (She hurt her back?) following that up with "¿Saben la palabra 'espalda'? (Do you guys know the word 'espalda')" They all shook their heads. I kind of laughed, mostly in my head but a little out loud, and immediately apologized, not because they should have known it (I've...
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I am expected to give a 90-minute final exam at my school. The next time, I think I will try to replicate my latest attempt which for me went remarkably well, was enjoyable, required no prep, took me about 30 minutes per class to mark and grade, and provided me good evidence of their abilities, which were of no surprise.
I did this with notecards. There are four parts. I like putting Parts A and B on the front and Part D on the back (Part C gets regular 8Xll" paper for the timed write, it's easier to read).
I have kids turn their cards over while they're not using them, to discourage any answer-changing and for me to easily notice such activity if it were to occur.