Looks like spring is finally here – well at least where I live – and with it are all those thoughts of renewal and spring cleaning. Unfortunately, our outdated school calendars don’t allow for much of that thinking and for so many teachers March is a rough time and often represents the end of an incredibly long uninterrupted stretch of teaching days. It’s with that thought that I hope you are reading this post either on your way to or from spring break or with plans for a weekend that includes some activities designed to take care of YOU. Perhaps you shouldn’t even be reading this right now at all and just bookmark it for later. In any case, here are the blog posts that caught my attention this week:

  • 5 ways to use infographics in language class

    Using authentic resources is certainly one of the ways that we can engage students with language, but many teachers don’t know where to find the right resources and what to do with them once they do find them, especially when it comes to Novice language learners. Spanish teacher and super blogger, Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell shares five specific strategies that cover a range of both input and output activities. Be sure to also check out the comments where I shared the link to a fantastic wikispace and Pinterest boards of graphic organizers curated by language and theme. Read Sara-Elizabeth’ post –>

  • Encouraging Risk/Rewarding Growth with “Checks And A Smile”

    True learning happens in the heads of our students. It’s hard to get into the heads of our students and their reactions to whatever we have planned for them on any given day doesn’t always paint an accurate picture of the success of an activity. More importantly, completing an activity doesn’t necessarily mean that students have grown as a learner. Japanese teacher, Colleen Lee-Hayes, shares her latest attempt of making learning a bit more transparent and transferring the ownership of the classroom to her students. It’s really an easy trick, but one I bet will pay off down the road.  Read Colleen’s post –>

  • CSCTFL 16 Takeaways

    A lot of world language bloggers from both within and outside the CSCTFL region attended this year’s conference and shared some interesting summaries about their learning, aha moments and plans for the future. I should have written one as well, as the content of so many session was pointing towards a new direction for our field which is pretty exciting. Since I didn’t, feel free to explore these great summaries from Carrie, Wendy, Laura, TaliaMademoiselle.

Published by Thomas Sauer

Thomas Sauer is the Director of Design and Communication for AdvanceLearning and an independent consultant. He previously held positions as world language specialist in the Fayette County Public Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools for almost ten years and taught German at the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College and Kentucky Educational Television. He has directed a variety of state and federal grants, most recently as program director and consultant for several successful STARTALK programs. Thomas has served as President of the Kentucky World Language Association as well as on the Board of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages and the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Named the 2011 Pearson/NADSFL Supervisor of the Year and a 2010 Global Visionary by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, Thomas is passionate about helping educators making the shift from teaching to learning.