Reflection … Finding Time in The Crunch
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Reflection … Finding Time in The Crunch

There was a time not long ago that I would write a week’s worth of lesson plans at a time. On Friday I sat down (with my textbook teacher’s edition) and planned out the next week’s lessons, pulling the support materials, and then following the set plan.  Since making the shift to teaching for proficiency, […]

Oh the Places They Will Go…..
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Oh the Places They Will Go…..

Sometimes I feel like a broken record but I will keep saying clear targets that guide instruction are key to success. The World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages outline what we should teach. And the first standard is communication. If you agree that the reason to teach students a language is so they can communicate, then the […]

Another take on the G word …
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Another take on the G word …

Many teachers I meet who are interested in making the shift to a performance driven instructional repertoire have this idea of a false dichotomy. The all or nothing approach – either we teach grammar or we teach toward performance and proficiency.  I can say there are few things in life are that clear-cut. Teaching toward […]

Product v. Process
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Product v. Process

I have been told at times how much people love our curriculum in Shelby County Schools (SCS). It is really flattering to see that your hard work has received some praise or acceptance outside of your context. At the same time I have also been asked, if it’s good why do we keep revising it? […]

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 […]

It’s not About You – Or Is It?
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It’s not About You – Or Is It?

Most of you will agree that the Planning piece of any lesson is absolutely key to the lesson’s success and, therefore, to helping students increase their proficiency. Most will agree, as well, that it is probably the most difficult piece for any number of reasons. I was recently asked to observe a dual language immersion […]

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 […]