"Culture is not an exotic notion studied by a select group of anthropologists in the South Seas. It is a mold in which we are all cast, and it controls our daily lives in many unsuspecting ways. Culture hides much more than it reveals, and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants."
A few months ago as we were developing a One Word Image, a class of mainly sophomores wanted our personified bar of soap to kill the shampoo because it was jealous of it. I believe ten, or even five, years ago I wouldn't have blinked an eye at accepting the suggestion. This time I stopped, thought about it, then said no.
If I am honest about my first years stumbling around with teaching and trying to get better at TPRS, I recall scenarios that, had I had the time and wherewithal to reflect on them, certain violent details would likely not have past muster. With years of experience growing my ability to discern in real time the picture we are painting together, not to mention some important conversations with TCI colleagues, I have certainly changed in what I allo...
Gist: A student gets someone to feed her pet, but the person gives the
poor animal something bad.
Main Questions Who has the pet that needs to be fed?
Why are they unable to feed the pet?
Who do they get to do it?
What does this person feed the pet?
Optional: What happens when the pet gets sick? (not death)
Script Super Simple Garrett has a dog named Oscar. Garrett needs to give Oscar food. But he can’t because he’s ill. So his grandpa gives Oscar food for him. His grandpa gives Oscar a bowl of Fruity Pebbles.
Simple Amanda has a pet chinchilla named Frank. Amanda needs to give food to Frank. But she can’t because she’s on a date. So Amanda asks her sister to give food to her chinchilla. Her sister gives Frank 20 bags of Skittles. Frank gets sick and vomits on her shoes.
I based this off of Rachel Emery's excellent slideshow of drawings and captions which she shares on TeachersPayTeachers for free. The slides are nice and simple, so I was able to use it with all of my classes while differentiating the discussion to suit.
Feel free to edit and if sharing please credit Rachel. If sharing with students, you might want to pull in a few pictures of the various characters/places/things. I do not share those here as copyright law is different than for what I share in my classroom, as I understand it.
This reading was made with my Spanish 2 and 3 classes in mind. I use the word "gente" to describe the insurgents. Seems appropriate, plus we had been listening to the song Mi Gente last week.
In less than 3 weeks Comprehensible Midwest is coming to eastern Wisconsin. Ripon WI to be exact. The second annual.
Bob Patrick is going to speak to everyone as the keynote. To say that he transformed his school's Latin program would be an understatement. For his exceptional work he was named a finalist for the ACTFL Teacher of the Year. I am really looking forward to hearing Bob's message.
I personally believe that state and regional conferences like CIMW that are popping up around the country are a really big and important development. I am jazzed to be participating again this year.
We're moving Equity and Personalization to the front of the conversation. We're training each other in the skills and strategies of Teaching with Comprehensible Input. We're c...
Kyle who came to my workshop at Comprehensible Iowa this summer recently asked me about some routine things I do in my classes. Here's one.
I often do a Weekend Chat on Mondays. I think a lot of teachers do something like this. Below is my approach. I can't recall if I learned this simple twist from an other teacher or if I came up with it. Chances are the former, so I'll just say that I stole it from one of my many mentors in the CI world and apologize up front for not being able to properly credit. It's also possible that nearly everyone does this and I am oblivious.
For Spanish 1 especially, but also in upper levels, I prefer to constrict the question to one verb i.e. "What did you X?" (yell, eat, break, throw, drop, etc). For novices, this is nice because I don't h...
I really like to start class by playing some Spanish-language music in my classroom. A couple years ago I started doing a bell-ringer, which is a short task for them to complete or a handful of questions for them to answer or a few phrases for them to translate. Below I'll walk you through how I incorporate this little system of daily music into my classes.
I have decided which song I am going to play this week prior to Period 1, but sometimes only 2 minutes prior. I encourage my students to send me songs (with lyrics) they'd like to listen to in class. They know I will not accept songs with school-inappropriate lyrics (um, Despacito???). Most of the time however, nobody sends me anything to consider... so I get to choose!
I play the same song for all my classes, Spanish 1 thru 4. S...
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...