domingo, 20 de noviembre de 2016

ACTFL 2016 - My takeaways


Image result for actfl conventionIf you have never been to an ACTFL convention, I highly recommend it! During the past three days, I learned so much. I will still be processing and using a lot of things over the next few weeks, but I am going to share a few takeaways and highlights here. In addition to sharing, this is also a place that helps me reflect... reflexiones :) 



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  • Thursday I went to a pre-conference workshop titled: World-Readiness Standards: An Introduction to Standards-Based Unit Planning for Today’s Language Learners. It was presented by Laura Terrill and Donna Clementi (authors of the book to the right). There was a ton of stuff that I need to sift through and process. I worked with Jennifer Fraser and Rosa Blais to start a unit about social media for Spanish 2, so that was good. I am definitely going to use some of Arianne Dowd's stuff for that unit. And on that note, TPRS was not mentioned at all at this workshop, so that didn't sit well with me. I was hoping it would be mentioned as another option or as part of a language class, but it wasn't.


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  • SLA Myths with Stephen Krashen and Bill Van Patten - This research presented in this session validated a lot of what I have been doing the past few years, especially in level 1 with TPRS and CI. I really like the Tea with BVP podcast, but I don't always have an hour a week to listen to it.



  • So on the podcast theme, I did find another awesome podcast (and listened to 4 of them on one of my runs while I was in Boston). It is called Teachers that Teach. Louisa Walker is the "host" and she has short (10-12 minutes) podcasts about a variety of TPRS/CI topics. Here a few that I highly recommend:



  • Jean Rueckert and Lauren Mehrbach's "Out of the Language Box" session shared her school's language program. The program at the Singapore American School is a dream program! And it would be an incredible place to work.


  • Assessments that Guide Instruction and Reward Growth in Proficiency - This session was presented by Cynthia Hitz and Krista Kovalchick. My big takeaway from that session was that maybe I shouldn't be telling students when assessments will be, then I will really be assessing what they can do and what they know.




  • Beyond Digital… Taking Storytelling Mobile - This session was amazing with so many different ideas that I still need to process. Noah Geisel is an excellent, funny, and passionate presenter. See his presentation here. These were a few takeaways (more to come in future posts):

    • Use Snapchat for digital storytelling - It is quick, easy and students know how to use it!
    • Use StoryCorps for interviews.
    • Use periscope to present to an authentic audience... or just use periscope as an authentic listening/viewing experience because you can click on the map and see what people are doing in other countries.


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  • Powerhouse Strategies - This session was presented by Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido. These two are excellent presenters and I got some great tips! The session also inspired me to use Felipe Alou again. When I tried to use that book in the past it was in a "sports" unit so it didn't go that well... but now I realize that I can totally reframe that unit and do a much better job. A couple of other takeaways:
    • Use Possible or Probable questions, instead of sí or no.
    • Guest speakers - If you can't have them come to the classroom, bring them from YouTube or dress up like them.
    • *Note* It may seem like I am always promoting them, but I do not get paid :) I just love everything that Fluency Matter does!



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  • Breakout EDU: Immersive Learning Games for the World Language Classroom - This session was presented by Leslie Davidson. It was a fun problem solving activity that I hope to try. I was not very good at it, as I didn't realize that some of the locks had letter combinations! That was a good takeaway for me :) Another takeaway from that: backwards planning is KEY to this going well. I hope to do one of these for the novel Noche de oro.


  • And finally, I stopped in to the #uncon to learn a bit more about Snapchat with Laura Sexton, Maris Hawkins, Noah Geisel, and some others. I wished I had stayed until Sunday, but had to head back to NH!




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                    In addition to all these wonderful sessions, I was so happy to meet so many of my online colleagues face to face! In particular, it was really fun to attend three sessions with Arianne Dowd! I highly recommend her blog!

                    And it was fun to share the experience with my French-teaching colleague (and friend) and with another friend who is a new Spanish teacher :)

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