Category Archives: Planning

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 […]

Can It Wait?
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Can It Wait?

We know that teachers make a lot of decisions, many of them split-second and with a lot to consider. In all of that question answering, however, I think we as teachers sometimes forget to do some of the asking. Coupled with that is how hard it can be to prioritize and decide when assessing if […]

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 […]

Transitioning from a Traditional PK-12 World Language Program to an Oral Proficiency-based  Program
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Transitioning from a Traditional PK-12 World Language Program to an Oral Proficiency-based Program

Are you considering transitioning your world language program from a traditional one to an oral-proficiency based one? In this blog post, I will share the basic steps that we, the University School of Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have taken to make such a shift in the last few years in our PK-12 World Language department. […]

Understanding Interpersonal Mode at the Intermediate Level
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Understanding Interpersonal Mode at the Intermediate Level

I think the biggest benefit of blogging for teachers is that it increases their ability to be reflective and articulate about their practice.  Stray thoughts and half-awarenesses get fleshed out into full-fledged epiphanies as teachers figure out how to talk with their colleagues about what they do in the classroom.  Back in April, I ended […]

Creating Order Out of Chaos: Crafting Appropriate Lessons Within a Thematic Unit
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Creating Order Out of Chaos: Crafting Appropriate Lessons Within a Thematic Unit

What can the biblical creation story teach us about unit and lesson planning? A lot! The Book of Genesis explains that God began with “tohu va’vohu” (sometimes translated from the Hebrew as “unformed and void”) and then differentiated the world into heaven and earth. From there, the Divine went on to separate light from darkness, […]

My Path to Proficiency: A Travel Journal
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My Path to Proficiency: A Travel Journal

The thing about embarking down the Path to Proficiency is that there isn’t just one single path you have to take.  When I first began my journey towards proficiency, I found myself often looking to others further along the trek than me and asking them for directions. I knew that I couldn’t implement everything I […]

Enough is as good as a feast.
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Enough is as good as a feast.

Yes.  I’ll admit it.  I’m a nerd. A big one. I’ll own it.  Grammar really gets me going.  Word origin, homophones, rhetorical devices and literary analysis excite me.  Old AP fill-ins were a challenging game I played against myself.  The Académie Française has nothing on me! (You French teachers know what I mean!) I won’t ask […]

Get in the Game: Let’s Talk About Stations
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Get in the Game: Let’s Talk About Stations

Hello, and Happy Spring! I just got back from the SCOLT conference for the 2nd time ever, and this time I got to present!  So this post, fair warning, is going to be partly about my process of submitting and doing a presentation, and the other part about the actual stations presentation as it happened. […]