It’s been over a year and a half since the last time I attended a conference (and three years since I attended one neither pregnant nor nursing, haha!) but the maternity leave is over! I’m back on the conference schedule for this year and I hope to meet you at one of four conferences.
KWLA is my nostalgic favorite, my home state conference, a place where I have learned and changed so much. And frankly, you’d be hard pressed to find a conference with as many proficiency-focused, outstanding educators and learners. Kara Parker and Megan Johnson-Smith of the Creative Language Class will be very busy there. You’ll also catch great stuff as always from Thomas Sauer, one of the most influential people in my teaching, and consulting, career. I’ll be doing one session and one workshop at KWLA ’14, as well as participating in a third:
- Infusing Reality into IPAs: In this one-hour session, we’ll explore how using realistic scenarios in integrated performance assessments is motivating for students.
- Curriculum Planning outside the Textbook: This three-hour workshop will be a very condensed version of Camp Musicuentos. The title pretty much says it: we’ll work through how you can feel more organized and less stressed about planning curriculum without (or with, for that matter) the textbook.
- I’m supporting a session in which we will present the new JCPS elementary curriculum.
This will be my first time at the IFLTA conference, and I’m excited to reconnect in Indianapolis with teachers from districts that have previously hosted me as well as some from Camp Musicuentos 2014. At this conference I’ll be repeating my KWLA session on Infusing Reality into IPAs.
Can you believe this will be my first time at the Big (FL) Dance? I hope to see many of you in San Antonio at the Calico Spanish booth in the Exhibitor’s Hall and/or at one of these three sessions:
- Kick the Vocab Quiz: I’ve long maintained that whether or not you have vocabulary lists is of no consequence. What’s important is to approach vocabulary assessment in a way that reflects how the brain learns language. When we do that, then our instruction will follow likewise. In this solo session we’ll explore why and how to eliminate the traditional vocabulary quiz from the world language classroom (and take selfies, too!). (Session 0424: Saturday, 5:15-6:15 PM, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Room 206 B)
- The Personalized Language Adventure: Adding Student Choice in Homework: Laura Sexton, Bethanie Carlson-Drew, and I are taking on the big H-word and turning it on its head. We’ll present why and how we each have accessed students’ intrinsic motivation by letting them choose how they interact with language outside our classrooms. (Session 1154: Saturday, 2:00-3:00 P.M., Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Room 212 B)
- #Langchat: Your Always-There Professional Learning Network: I’m also supporting this session with Colleen Lee-Hayes, Laura again, Don Doehla, Kris Climer, Amy Lenord, and more of your #langchat moderators. (Session 1794: Saturday, 10:00-11:00 AM, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Room 211)
I’ll be presenting an all-new session based on what I learned from researching for an episode of the Black Box Podcast at this conference in Minneapolis. It’s called Arming Students for a World of Incomprehensible Input. Learn how and why we should teach circumlocution, and teach it often – oh, and play Taboo! with me.
One of my favorite things I did this year was the inaugural Camp Musicuentos: a one-day workshop on curriculum design and organization. I’ve learned that calling it “A year in a day” was a bit ambitious, but you’ll still find it a workshop that revolutionizes how you look at planning curriculum, helping you feel -and be- more organized as you start the school year. I’m bringing back Camp Musicuentos in 2015 with some exciting changes, the biggest being a new second location! The workshop design will reflect great feedback I received this year, and we’ll particularly focus on putting your units on your calendar and creating the foundation for each: the integrated performance assessment. Participants will see examples and choose whether and how to use them, as well as creating their own, especially in groups who can collaborate on and use similar assessments. The workshop will still be limited to 20 participants to maximize your benefit, and registration will open in February. This year’s workshop sold out in three days, so keep an eye out for the news, or contact me if you want to be emailed directly when registration opens.
(Base)Camp Musicuentos 2015 – June (25 &?) 26, 2015 – Louisville, Kentucky
We’ll be back at our “basecamp,” the Hyatt Place in Louisville for Camp Musicuentos 2015. Here’s where I need your help: Some of this year’s participants said that the workshop was too short, and many said they could have benefited from more individualized help. It was also suggested to me to break the workshop into two days, targeted at teachers of novices on one day, and teachers of intermediate to advanced students on a second day. That way teachers could come to either, or both. I’m contemplating how these suggestions might work together: if the teachers at the workshop are all teaching similar levels, the workshop will automatically be more relevant and individualized. However, this would double the cost on my end, which means it would cost more for participants, and I’m not sure what the demand is for it. If you are seriously considering attending the workshop, would you please fill out this survey to help me decide? It’ll take just a couple of minutes. Thanks in advance. And please, help me make the right decision by not filling out the survey if you are sure you won’t attend.
Camp Musicuentos Northeast 2015 – July 24, 2015 – Warwick, Rhode Island
Teachers in and around the Northeast will be able to participate in Camp Musicuentos by joining me on July 24, 2015, at the Hilton Garden Inn Warwick/Providence Airport. Again, contact me if you want to be emailed directly when registration opens in February, and please specify that you are interested in the Northeast location.
Still wondering if you should come? Here’s what the 2014 participants had to say:
It was fantastic! I don’t want to miss it!
The structure is really helpful.
Interaction with everyone was amazing. So kind and helpful.
Loved the emphasis on standard-based backwards planning. I have been hearing this from the beginning but am just starting to grasp it, and the way that you shared with us how you brainstorm was really helpful.
I am grateful for the opportunity for this workshop. I hope to be able to encourage some change in my department, as well as in my own teaching.
I will attend this again if you decide to have another one!
It was so helpful to sit down and hash out ideas with other language teachers especially since I am the only one at my school.