Meeting many of you during school visits, conferences, and workshops is one of my favorite aspects of what I do! Will I see you at any of these events this year? If not – or if so! – will I meet you at Camp Musicuentos next summer? Read on!
KWLA ’15 – September 25-26, Louisville, KY
It’s always a privilege and a pleasure to participate in my home conference, the fall conference of the Kentucky World Language Association. This year we’re welcoming the conference back to Louisville. Honestly, I have greatly enjoyed the Lexington venue for the past several years, and I’m not sure how I’ll like the switch back to my hometown. I always enjoy a conference more if I stay with attendees at the conference hotel, but I can’t exactly justify a hotel expense in my own city, right? On the other hand, the last time KWLA’s fall conference was in Louisville it was my first year here and my first year with KWLA and it was a momentous weekend that turned my teaching journey in a much more positive direction- the cuentos part of Musicuentos. And I made friends I look forward to seeing again every year when I go back. Here’s my presentation lineup for this conference, which is (gulp) next week!
Cultura y Comunicación con Comerciales
This presentation is my first time presenting in the target language (why didn’t I think of that before?). I chose a topic that made sense to present in the target language, as the majority of material offered in this presentation isn’t particularly useful to teachers of languages other than Spanish. This project was born almost four years ago when I started putting commercial scripts online and asked for other teachers to help me find them, script them, and brainstorm cultural awareness and critical thinking activities to go along with them. I’ll be talking through how to find and choose an appropriate commercial and get kids communicating with accompanying activities. I also hope to be enlisting more teachers to join and expand the project. And I’ll be giving lots of shout-outs to Kara Jacobs and the great work she’s put into using commercials.
Though, if you teach another language, you really should start a collaborative project of teachers of your language curating and brainstorming through authentic commercials you could use in your classrooms! Let me know about it and I’ll spread the word.
The Best Laid Plans
I’m privileged to facilitate this three-hour workshop on effective lesson planning with Thomas Sauer, a longtime friend and mentor. We’ll discuss developing a lesson plan template that works for you, transitions, administrivia, effective targets, choosing the right activities, and the burning desire of every teacher in every classroom: streamlining and speeding up the lesson planning process.
TFLA ’15 – October 15-17, Houston, TX
This will be my first time as a guest presenter at the fall conference of the Texas Foreign Language Association. I can’t wait to reconnect with my good friends Amy Lenord and the Creative Language Class bloggers – also from Louisville, though Kara has deserted us- Kara Parker and Megan Johnson-Smith. I’ve got a full schedule in Houston!
Twitter 101 for World Language Teachers
Amy Lenord and John Cadena are joining me to talk about #langchat and how Twitter can be the PLN every teacher has always wanted: the one that’s there whenever you need it, and that you can turn off when you just don’t have the time!
Textbook as an AID: Adapt, Incorporate, Ditch
A prevailing message I hear “progressive” world language pedagogy these days is that all content in all textbooks is bad, and if you’re not creative enough to go it without one, your students will not succeed. It’s true that a great percentage of the organization and practice in textbooks is artificial and out-of-date, but it isn’t practical and it’s a defeating message to tell teachers that they must ditch it or else face the no-proficiency consequences. In this three-hour workshop want to encourage teachers to take a more balanced view, a three-pronged approach I call AID: look at the content, evaluate it by sound principles, and decide whether to incorporate it as-is, adapt it to something more proficiency-boosting, or ditch it, if it’s simply hopeless.
Mejor Comunicación con el Cuento Muy Cool
This will be a Spanish-language session (presented twice at the conference) on how any teacher can use simple cartooning, patterning of targets, and student interests to use storytelling to powerfully engage students with comprehensible input.
Goldilocks and the Three Authentic Resources
Should we incorporate more authentic resources? Yes. Even from the beginning? Yes. But not all authentic resources are created equal. To maximize their benefit for language acquisition, they need to be comprehensible and targeted. I’ll be discussing how to find and evaluate an authentic resource to determine if it is too hard, too boring, or just right.
ACTFL 2015 – November 20-22, San Diego, CA
The national conference was a blast last year and I’m thrilled to be returning this year, and even more so because it will be my first visit to California. I’m collaborating on three presentations this year, including the presentation on #langchat and these two others:
Goldilocks and the Three Authentic Resources
Meriwynn Mansori and Heather Witten, two colleagues on the project I work on with VIF International, will be working with me to bring this session to San Diego to help teachers find and choose authentic resources that are not too hard, not too boring, but just right.
Linguacafé: We need to talk…
Quick background: In the Mecca of world langauge teaching that I didn’t know Louisville was, once upon a time Nadine Jacobsen-McLean taught over 600 students every week at a JCPS elementary school. When my school dropped me into elementary school when all my training was in secondary, I knew I needed help, and Thomas Sauer connected me with Nadine to observe her for an afternoon. I can’t describe how much that one visit did for my elementary teaching experience. One idea that has continued to foster communicative skills in my early language learners was Linguacafé, a short period of time in every class when students mingle around the room practicing the conversations they know in Spanish. We have the worst time slot ever at ACTFL, 11:15 on Sunday, but I’m thankful Nadine’s letting me join her on this presentation to add my experiences with her amazing idea, and I hope you’ll stick around the conference for it. You won’t regret it.
Hooray for the Central States Conference coming back closer to me! This is one of my favorites. I’ve been to four of the last six CSCTFL conferences and I’ll be back in Columbus this year, and very, very busy.
Arming Students for a World of Incomprehensible Input
This is an AllStar session from CSCTFL ’15 that I will be repeating. It offers research-based suggestions to teach students from even early levels to use circumlocution as a critical strategy to make incomprehensible input comprehensible.
The Best Laid Plans
Thomas Sauer and I will be repeating this session on lesson planning at CSCTFL.
Social Media: The PLN You Always Wanted
My fellow #langchat moderators Amy Lenord and Laura Sexton will be helping me present the benefits of social media and #langchat in particular as a professional networking tool.
Effective Storytelling with Cartooning, Consistency, and Cool Content
I can’t wait to team up with Wendy Farabaugh, Camp Musicuentos alum and blogger extraordinaire, for this session, offering examples in Spanish and French.
Camp Musicuentos is an intensive curriculum-planning workshop I run personally. Participation is limited to 20 participants per day at each site and has filled up quickly both years. I designed the workshop to try to help you get as much planning done as possible in one or two days so you feel more ready for the school year than ever.
Louisville: We’ll be back at the Hyatt Place Louisville East for the Louisville workshop next year. The dates are June 16 and 17, 2016. The price remains the same this year: $139.00 for one day and $259.00 for both days. This price includes snack, drinks, and lunch. Participants will also receive a reduced rate at the hotel if booked enough in advance. Thursday, June 16 will be most helpful for teachers of novices and Friday, June 17 will be helpful for teachers of intermediate or pre-advanced students.
Northeast: The one-day Northeast workshop will be at the Hilton Garden Inn in Warwick again on Friday, July 29, 2016. The cost for this workshop is $139.00 for the day and includes snacks, drinks, and lunch. Participants will also receive a reduced rate at the hotel if booked enough in advance.
North Carolina: Will Camp Musicuentos end up in North Carolina next year? I’m currently evaluating a third site for the workshop, in North or South Carolina.
Interested? If you would like to be notified when registration for a Camp Musicuentos workshop opens before that information is released on the blog, please fill out this form.
Where should Camp Musicuentos go next? I have a goal to run this workshop four times per year and so I have one more location left to choose. I’m considering for 2017 adding Tucson, Phoenix, Denver, or Oakland. Sound off in the comments.
I’ve enjoyed working already this year (twice) with the great teachers at the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, and I’m looking forward to a remote review with the teachers in the New Castle County (DE) Vocational Technical School District in February. Perhaps I’ll show up soon at a school or conference near you! If your school, district, or conference is interested in hosting me for curriculum development or review, workshops, or presentations, let me know through the contact form. To maintain my family priorities I don’t participate in more than four conferences per year and commit to travel no more than once a month, so I have limited availability for the 2015-2016 school year, but feel free to contact me about next year. I hope to meet you soon.
Tags: Camp Musicuentos, conferences.