On their own path this week (01/16/2016)

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It’s not a secret that reading blogs is one of my favorite hobbies and many mornings my Feedbin (RSS Reader) is the first thing I open when getting online. Over the years, I have been able to create the ultimate curated newspaper for myself through hundreds of subscriptions to a wide variety of blogs. Everything from politics, food, TV, education, silly cat videos, Apple products and so much more. My favorite folder however are the world language blogs. Every day someone is keeping me on my toes by sharing ideas, a resource, or just their musings on why life as a language teacher has been hard, rewarding or crazy on that particular day. It’s my hope to start this series of posts where I can share some of my favorite posts from the previous week.

  • What if I’m just fed up with my students’ attitudes about language?

    Spanish high school teacher Carrie Toth summarizes her very own path to proficiency sharing results from her classroom and the many sometimes painful steps it took. Her post is such an inspiration for others who might be afraid to start on this journey, she keeps repeating one important message that  is so important to hear: it takes time! Ready Carrie’s post –>

  • Template Shopping: Pick Yourself a Winnter

    French middle school teacher Rebecca Blouwolff critiques curriculum templates from three world language educators that have shaped my own thinking so much, so it’s nice to have a comparison all in one place. Rebecca provides links to curriculum templates from Laura Terrill, Greg Duncan, and Helena Curtain. Anyone thinking about curriculum planning this summer should definitely bookmark this link. Read Rebecca’s post –>

  • My Evolving Gradebook: From Numbers to Descriptors…

    It’s so exciting to see teachers who are on the proficiency journey beginning to realize the fallacy of grades. Japanese teacher Colleen Lee-Hayes, one of my favorite “brave” bloggers, gives her attempt at moving away from grades and towards true feedback. After all that’s the real purpose of assessment. And while she reflects and says: “it started with removing all numbers from my rubrics. Big step. Removing the ‘calculation’ from the task” she also shows us how to satisfy the need for traditional grades that still exists in school. Read Colleen’s post –>

  • Final IPA Performance Data, round 2

    Another interesting assessment post this week came from North Carolina this week. Laura Sexton, Spanish at an early college high school, shared the results from her final IPA’s from last semester. Seeing her students’ growth represented visually is just inspiring for me as a reader, but I can only imagine what it means for her as a teacher and as she closes her post what it means for her students: “My students grew significantly in one semester, and I think it’s because they knew where they were headed.” Read Laura’s post –>

  • Blogs to Watch 2016

    One of the first world language teacher blogs I’ve ever read is the the now widely-read Musicuentos blog from world language educator Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell, so it’s nice to see her share her passion for blogging. I won’t lie, but I was kind of excited to see her include Path2Proficiency on her list of blogs to watch for in 2016. Thank you! We’ll take that as a challenge for the coming year.  Read Sara-Elizabeth’ post –>

It’s my goal to share with you these kind of summaries of interesting blog posts each week. What did you read this week that made you pause, reflect and perhaps even do something different with your students?

Thomas Sauer is the Director of Design and Communication for AdvanceLearning and an independent consultant. He previously held…

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