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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 […]

‘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, […]

Taking ownership of their proficiency path
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Taking ownership of their proficiency path

Coming back to school after the winter break was a fulfilling time for me this year! We revisited the proficiency guidelines, and students reflected on their progress on the path to proficiency infographic. What more could they do now that they couldn’t in October or even in August? As I teach students in Spanish 3, 4 […]

Performance a la Mode
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Performance a la Mode

Thanks to a couple of Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grants I was very fortunate to be able to build K-12 language continuums. Working in the 21st largest district in the country, providing a meaningful language experience for all students in all 125 elementary schools was out of reach. I was  however, able to build a LCTL […]

Tracking Proficiency
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Tracking Proficiency

When I taught in a charter middle school, the administration wanted us teachers to post summative data about our students–how they did on what test and what the criteria were. I was always behind on posting mine because we did so much formative assessment in class. As the only Spanish teacher in the school at […]