mega888 Planning – Path 2 Proficiency

My To-Don’t List

Whew. Fall semester is over, and it has officially been zero days since I showered and changed into real clothes clean pajamas. The stuff of teacher vacation dreams, right? Besides chugging hot chocolate, only eating food that should come with a side of Lipitor, and bingeing Netflix, I’ve also been coming back to the same …

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

Maybe, just maybe, Vanilla Ice was channeling his inner teacher when he wrote the lyrics to Ice Ice Baby. And, maybe, just maybe, the Universe was trying to tell me something on my way home from work yesterday when it came on the radio. Regardless, it did, and it was immediately after one of the …

Highlight Reel Or Highlight Real?

Whew. I’m tired just thinking of all that went into this semester, and I’m not actually sure how it all got done. Beyond just thinking, I find that reflection, true, intentional, pointed reflection, is critical, and as tiring as anything else. Coming off of ACTFL weekend recently and looking into various PD endeavors for the …

When I’m Not There: Sick Days and Proficiency

For many years I’ve wrestled with how to handle my absences from school– but generally, I have two options for my elementary and middle school students: 1) cancel classes or 2) have an adult who is not normally with the students/not a Spanish teacher supervise class time.  My struggle with this stemmed, essentially, from the …

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

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

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

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

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 …