Gear up for ACTFL!
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Gear up for ACTFL!

The ACTFL Annual Convention & World Languages Expo is gearing up for an exciting weekend in San Diego, California! Many are already there to take part in pre-conference workshops, as well as to participate in the NCSSFL and NADSFL conferences. Since the ACTFL convention is so large, and there are so many great sessions happening […]

Creating Your Conference Path
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Creating Your Conference Path

There is not a doubt in my mind that attending professional conferences early in my career has strongly influenced my beliefs and practices as an educator. I can still recall the intellectual cloud nine I would be floating on after returning from a conference. There is a giant pile of free bags stuffed with handouts […]

Classroom Connections
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Classroom Connections

I think it would be fair to warn you, I am somewhat obsessed with my classroom. I love the empty, bare walls at the beginning of the year, and the possibility of the language learning that is going to happen.  Crazy, right? I love that I get to be creative and prepare the best  environment that […]

Strategic Planning
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Strategic Planning

Planning for a lesson in a world language classroom must include more than vocabulary. So often I have heard teachers talk only about the vocabulary that their students need to know for a certain unit, but these very teachers have been dismayed by how stilted their students sound while speaking in the target language. On […]

Keys to Planning
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Keys to Planning

Time and time again teachers say to me “Just show me what a lesson looks like… a good one”. At times I wish there were a magic formula to give teachers insights to the entire process of planning, and most of the time I am glad there is not a magic formula because that is […]

Back…for Good
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Back…for Good

Four years ago, I left the classroom abruptly in the middle of February to go to (what I thought at the time) was my dream job. While I don’t rue my decision, I definitely know that it led me to realize how much I value being in the classroom and how much I love my […]

Mindsets
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Mindsets

I did not come to teaching via a direct path. I knew I wanted to help kids, but I started as a psychology major. After working for several years at a residential facility while pursuing my degree, I realized that perhaps there was a better way to help kids before they got “locked up.” Meanwhile, […]

Proficiency and Grading Mashup
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Proficiency and Grading Mashup

“I can’t put Intermediate 1 in the gradebook,” I declared to my class. “I wish I could, but I can’t.” I continued, “So how are we going to show the number equivalent to your proficiency rating?” It turns out that everyone’s fine with being on target unless it interferes with their GPA. Shelby County Schools, […]

Shifting Gears
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Shifting Gears

If students can’t use the language they are learning for practical – REAL WORLD – purposes then why do we do what we do? I think (desperately hope) that most teachers agree our focus should be on teaching students how to use the languages they are learning. Many of us have attended a workshop on proficiency or maybe […]

Some thoughts about the “g word”
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Some thoughts about the “g word”

No matter what group of teachers. No matter what the original topic of the conference session, workshop, or professional learning training. Without fail, at some point someone is going to ask the dreaded question: “But how do I grade this?” While I try to be as helpful as possible and provide some solutions for the […]