When the Tail Wags the Dog, or How a Standards-Based Rubric May Make Me a More Effective Teacher
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When the Tail Wags the Dog, or How a Standards-Based Rubric May Make Me a More Effective Teacher

How do we convince students to stretch beyond their comfort zone when writing and speaking in the target language? I believe that teachers have to educate students about proficiency, both on a course level and the task level, so that they are invested in our collective work. Truly, we have a mighty task before us as we […]

Allowing retakes: how well is your parachute packed?
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Allowing retakes: how well is your parachute packed?

In my education program, my professor would tell us a great analogy about grades and retakes.  She said that as teachers we should allow students to retake assessments, so they can continue to practice and improve with the language.  We want students to practice so well that they can attain a proficiency with the language.  […]

Starstruck
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Starstruck

The character Leslie Knope from the show Parks and Recreation is known for her love of organizational binders, waffles, and geeking out over giants in her field that other people might not recognize. I do the last thing on this list, which I call “Knope-ing out” from the infinitive “to Knope out.” A couple of […]

Fresh Eyes:  Seeing Work Through the Lens of Proficiency
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Fresh Eyes: Seeing Work Through the Lens of Proficiency

Through my posts on this blog, I’m tracking my experiences, as both a novice teacher (in regards to proficiency) and as a more veteran teacher, with ten years of public high school teaching in my past.  This first two months of being back in the classroom, after five years outside of public schools, have been […]

When I’m Not There: Sick Days and Proficiency
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When I’m Not There: Sick Days and Proficiency

For many years I’ve wrestled with how to handle my absences from school– but generally, I have two options for my elementary and middle school students: 1) cancel classes or 2) have an adult who is not normally with the students/not a Spanish teacher supervise class time.  My struggle with this stemmed, essentially, from the […]

Singapore American School Visit Catapults Us On Our Path
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Singapore American School Visit Catapults Us On Our Path

University School of Milwaukee World Language Teachers Share Their Notes From Visit to the Singapore American School This past May 2017, my colleagues, Alison Dupee, LS French teacher; Neelie Barthenheier, a MS French teacher and LS and MS World Language Chair; and I returned on fire with inspiration to grow as 21st-century world language educators. […]

Keeping My Eye On A New Path…
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Keeping My Eye On A New Path…

After a long time, and an ‘aha’ moment, I’m introducing proficiency this year as a key part of my students’ learning. I’m using it fully with my Yr1&2’s this semester. There’s been much thinking and reworking of ideas with the help of colleagues, the resources on P2P and the ever-generous #langchat PLN.  I know that […]

Traveling the Path2Proficiency
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Traveling the Path2Proficiency

My personal journey on the Path2Proficiency began when I was a teenager. I had the opportunity to learn languages in several very different settings. I started learning French in junior high school using the Audiolingual Method (yes, I know, it was a long time ago). We never saw a word written in French for at […]

Focus on adjustment
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Focus on adjustment

As teachers, we are constantly adjusting.  It seems like we adjust frequently with different trends that emerge- PBLs, no homework, IPAs, differentiation- you name it.  However, the best of each idea seems to stick as we work on the next idea emerging from education.  Also, as foreign language teachers, we are all adjusting our beliefs […]