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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. […]

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 […]

Don’t Get It Twisted
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Don’t Get It Twisted

As we kick off another school year, a lot of topics are swirling about in department meetings, district PD, online forums, Twitter, workshops, and more. This organization system or that one, new seating charts or going deskless, standards-based grading or category percentages, and much more. But, as Rihanna tells us, don’t get it twisted. There […]

Unpacking My Old Classroom Practices
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Unpacking My Old Classroom Practices

This fall, I’m returning to the high school classroom after being away from teaching students for five years.   During this time, I made an effort to remain professionally active and connected, and I learned more than I would have if I had been working full-time, thanks to social media, professional organization, podcasts, and conferences.   Since […]

I’ve never met a rubric I liked.
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I’ve never met a rubric I liked.

Did I really just spend June and early July working on a series of performance rubrics (about 20 hours worth of my life) only to throw them all out in late July with a smile on my face? Well, sort of… I’ve been creating rubrics for world languages for a long time. Back in the […]

‘Tis The Season
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‘Tis The Season

Just like magic, standup comedy, sports, and talk shows, effective teaching can look organic and improvised to the naked eye. Experts in those fields, however, know the amount of preparation, precision, and rehearsal that those require. Effective teaching and learning are no different, and actually draws many uncanny parallels. Some elements are highly contextual in […]

But first, let me take a selfie…
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But first, let me take a selfie…

… as in, a self-assessment, on proficiency. Ask yourself: “What exactly do I know about the levels and what they look like? Can I explain it to students, and/or parents? Can I hear, read, and observe examples and then rate them?” For me, a lot of work went into the paradigm shift that is proficiency-based teaching, […]