The Blog

These are a few of my favorite things

What items are really perking up the start of your school year?

After a year’s hiatus from being in a classroom with students I can’t tell you how excited I’ve been to explore how to make this new situation (small classes of homeschooled students -ages 6 to 14- meeting with me once a week) work as well as it can for all involved.  Most interestingly, the space where I teach is great but it’s not mine and I have to leave it the way I found it, every week.  So, I asked my amazing colleagues on Twitter for advice and then I hit Target and Office Depot with an exploratory agenda and came away with a lot of ideas to try.  In no particular order, here are the things that I’m loving now three weeks into the school year.

White board tape

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Oh, yes, this is a thing, and thank you Scotch.  I about fainted in the aisle at Target.  And speaking of targets, I can write a target of the day on the table. I can write on the table. And leave it in front of them the whole class.  And erase it.  And put something different there next week.  And remove it.  And replace it.

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Like I said, I have to leave my room the way I found it every week. This is some thick display board I used to make a question-word display. I put dry-erase tape down the middle and violá, I can change the target question for every lesson. Olé.

Post-it notes

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I went Post-It crazy. I got long ones. Regular ones. Tiny ones.  They’re super sticky and they are my #1 low-prep way to get kids out of their chairs.  Write vocab (like an opinion) on the Post-It and put it somewhere in the room and get kids moving to which one is their favorite, which one they agree with, which one is most like them, etc.

Craft sticks

This isn’t my photo, but it’s exactly what I did. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but I had never tried it.  I always used the Fruit Chooser but honestly, sometimes a little trick like this trumps the digital tool. The kids are loving it.  My younger ones are liking it for a reason I had not thought of – it keeps my bilingual 6-year-old who is in the class from jumping in with all the answers!  I love it because the kids never know who’s coming up next and they can’t think they’re being left out on purpose.

The shower-curtain word wall

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Get this – I have never had a word wall.  I had verbs up on the wall several years ago with images and I loved them, but the idea of a word wall has been something I’ve wanted to try for a long time.  So I asked on Twitter, how can I pull off a word wall when I have to leave the room the way I found it?  I got several great suggestions and tried most of them.  I got a display board and hot-glued clothespins to it.  (The words weren’t big enough to be helpful.)  But someone suggested, of all things, a cheap shower curtain.  Bingo!  With the added problem that nothing with any weight will stick to the walls in my room, the shower curtain + sticky tack makes it happen!  I bought a $2 shower curtain from Target and I cut off the magnets and holes for hooks.  Then I cut the curtain in 4 pieces.  I’ve made categories of sorts and we’re adding them as we go along.  It’s working and I love it!

The Speak/Wait sign

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This is an idea I got from Carol Gaab a long, long time ago and I don’t know why it took me this long to try it.  She suggested it as a way to allow all learners to process so that the fast-processors weren’t jumping in with the answer before the slower-processors could get what was going on.  And I use it that way with my younger class.  But guess what my older class does with it?  They decided they wanted it for themselves to tell me to wait for them to catch up with me in the story drawing before I kept going (my students write and draw everything I write and draw while storytelling).  All I did here was print out a blank octagon outline on red and green cardstock, glued them on one craft stick, and wrote the Spanish words for “WAIT” and “SPEAK” on them.

The last teacher bag I’ll ever buy

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Warning, this one’s pricey.  I’ve loved the Artifact Bag Company since I bought my husband’s awesome lunch tote there.   Ever since the Field Bag No. 705 came out it’s been on my Amazon wishlist and I’ve been saving and wishing.  Months.  It takes a lot of thought and tension for me to spend this much money on a bag, but Artifact’s bags are worth every penny (and more).  This summer my husband surprised me with the Field Bag for my birthday and I’ve been proudly shouldering it ever since.  Every time I heft it up I think, “Some guy in Omaha made this thing by hand and it.is.phenomenal.”

Pumpkin Spice Latte

“Starbucks’ most popular seasonal beverage of all time.”

Nothing says back-to-school like bringing your teacher pumpkin pie in a cup. Enough said.

Happy back-to-school, happy September, happy almost-fall, happy teaching, everyone!

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August 31, 2015 2 Comments

ANNOUNCING: The 2015 updated performance assessment rubric

This might be my most important resource release this year.

First, you can read here about all the things that frustrated me about that snazzy 2011 rubric that I used to use (and that got downloaded from this site a lot). Some of them probably frustrated those of you who used it, too. So I decided to do a total overhaul. No starting from the original document allowed. A blank page. (Well, really I started with a yellow legal pad and about 12 Chrome tabs open.)

Unpacking it

From talking to lots and lots of teachers about it, I hope I can anticipate a lot of questions you might have about the document. Several teachers helped me realize that simply posting it out here isn’t enough. You need some explanation on it. And so I may do a screencast and I may do a PDF but at least, here are explanations of the sections along with some screen shots.

2015 rubric page 1

Just looking at the front you can see some major changes. In the old rubric, there was an incredible amount of information that required very small type. The center sections were the target proficiency levels and they were colored in, which visually communicated, in my opinion, that half the rubric was irrelevant. So to begin, since by the time I’m doing performance assessments Novice Low is not a target at any point, I removed it. And since the majority of our students do not achieve intermediate mid in our classes, I kicked off IM and IH as well. But some do. And so I have promised Bethanie Carlson-Drew that I will develop a version ranging from NH to IM.

You’ll also notice the title is Performance toward Proficiency. This is because most of us are not qualified to say, and it is not our intention on assessments to say, “You achieve X proficiency.” Rather, our message is this: “On this particular performance, you are using language characteristic of X proficiency.”

Another major change was the column on the far right: it is a place you can simply check if either the section is not applicable or there is insufficient evidence to assess the category.  For example, the comprehension section is not applicable in a presentational writing assessment.

Page 1:

There are now four major sections on the front page and each is divided into a few subsections.

  • Message Type: What language do I use?
    RUBp1box1messagetype
    The first section is called Message Type and communicates to students what kind of language they are using. The ingredients and how they come together, if you will.
    The first sublevel here is structure. What pieces of language are the students using: just words and a few phrases? Phrases and some sentences? All sentences when appropriate? How much does the structure reflect their native language (“Yo gusta deliciouso taco”)? I have to give you a major caveat here: for some unknown reason and in a very confusing turn of phrase, ACTFL says that Intermediate Low pronunciation, structure, etc. are strongly influenced by the first language, and that those features in Novice High may be strongly influenced by the first language. I promise. Check it out. This seems completely backwards to me and so I made a judgement call to switch them.
    The second sublevel is depth of vocabulary. I’ve always loved this phrase. It’s what happens when students throw out “I adore it” instead of “I like it” and “many people perished” instead of “many people died.” Is the student just using very common words he’s memorized? Can she begin to personalize words by, for example, adding -ísimo to adjectives?
    The third sublevel is context. This is a positive section helping students realize what situations they can handle. Is it very common situations they have practiced? Good job. More contexts that are still familiar, everyday situations? What about throwing a bit of complication in there? Great work! More contexts for you!
    QUESTION about this context section: a teacher friend asked me a very good question: if we’re dictating the context in the scenario, is it fair to judge this part? In other words, should this section be eliminated, or is it needed to tell students what kind of contexts they’re handling and let them know if they’re going beyond or behind their demonstrated proficiency here, compared to other areas? Let me know your thoughts.
  • Message Depth: How do I support my communication?
    RUBbox2Depth
    The second section is called Message Depth and communicates to students how well they are supporting section 1; that is, how does the language they choose to use flesh out their message?
    The first sublevel here is content support. This is one place I desperately needed on a rubric that simply didn’t exist on the JCPS rubric, and I noticed the need for it from scoring AP essay after AP essay. I needed a place to tell students how well they were using prior knowledge to support their message. Could they include references to what they’d learned from authentic resources in the unit? This is what ACTFL calls “talking about something I have learned.” In this section I can tell students how well they provide examples from interpretive sources and elaborate on them.
    The second sublevel is communication strategies. How do students sustain communication? Lower-level novices have a lot of difficulty keeping up a conversation and they often switch to English or just stay silent. Or use  and no in ways that don’t make a lot of sense, right? But as they improve, they can ask some questions and even use minimal circumlocution to keep talking when they don’t know a word for something.
  • Message Interaction: How do we understand each other?
    RUBbox3InteractionThe third section is Message Interaction and is probably the most straightforward of the group. Simply, can the learner interact with someone in the language? Are they comprehensible and how much do they need things repeated in order to comprehend something themselves?
    This section has to do with the ever-present question of errors. I get asked at almost every workshop: “How do you assess errors? How much do you correct them?” I have two answers, depending on the student’s goals: for the College Board, patterns of error are what you’re looking for and trying to help students eradicate. For example, I had students who consistently wrote verbs with no attempt to change the endings at all. That’s a pattern. On the other hand, ACTFL’s guidelines are more about comprehensibility. When the error causes a breakdown in comprehension, in that the student made an error that means I can’t understand their intention, this is a problem.
    Also, the proficiency level sometimes has to do with who can’t understand the learner. I can understand many things that someone who doesn’t speak English, or isn’t used to dealing with language learners, wouldn’t understand. As students improve their proficiency, they begin to be more and more comprehensible to native speakers who are not “sympathetic” – that is, they don’t know how or aren’t willing to work harder to understand someone who is a language learner.
    This aspect was on the back page of the previous rubric under “Minor focus.” In scoring assessments, it never felt like a minor focus to me when an error made a learner incomprehensible. So it’s on the front now, on equal footing.
  • Cultural awareness: How do I show what I know about other cultures?
    RUBbox4 culture
    This was a glaring omission on the previous rubric and really it was the AP exam that made me want to add it, followed by the new ACTFL performance indicators which include a section for cultural awareness (the language here is a mixing of the language from that document). I didn’t have a place to tell students how well they were incorporating cultural knowledge into their production, something absolutely essential for the AP. So if a student can do that, I want to let them know.
    To see a much deeper explanation of this aspect including some production examples, please, please read this post.

On to the back page!

2015 rubric page 2

Page 2

The back page is a back-and-forth between me and the learner. They fill out some of this at the beginning of the unit, and some of it after they get my feedback.

  • Proficiency Goals
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    The student actually fills out what proficiency I’m expecting to be shown on this performance.
  • The Staircase
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    On my old rubric, I simply put a smiley face in the box for “approaching expectations” or “meeting expectations,” etc. But what if a student showed novice high proficiency in two areas and novice mid in two? What then? Well, I put the smiley face at “approaching expectations” for novice mid, but farther up in the box, toward “meeting expectations” (novice high). Yes, really. Like any student ever noticed that.
    I think it was Greg Duncan and Megan Johnson-Smith who first got me mulling over sublevels to the sublevels. What if there were a way I could tell a student, “Great job! You’re performing novice mid in several areas, but look at these two! Novice high!” What was that? Well, it’s Novice Mid +.
    I fill out this section. The plus signs and minus signs are my way to communicate how many of the categories they’re holding at a certain proficiency. I love, love this part.
  • The grade
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    Yes. I’ve given in, and there’s a grading scale.
    For more information on how I’ve always assigned grades to a proficiency rubric (there’s no change here), see this post.
    So, I’m trying to put ownership of the learning in the student’s hands, and my thinking here is that the student looks at the proficiency I’ve marked and circles the expectation box herself. Then you can put the grade in if you want to (I think I still won’t). And you have a nice feedback box here on the proficiency part.
    My students aren’t allowed to score below “approaching expectations.” If this happens they must set a date to re-try. Depending on my class size, I also allow students who score “approaching” to re-try if they want to (and I have had several take me up on this offer to improve).
  • My language tasks
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    The one part of the old rubric that absolutely had to go was the “task completion” section. As it turns out, in three years of scoring assessments I misunderstood this from the JCPS rubric and what I considered “task completion” was on the front in language use. But the back “task completion” section said “I completed (part, almost, all of) what I was asked to do.” And I was scoring AP assessments a lot. On the AP, students are told to incorporate all three of the authentic sources they’ve seen into their presentational essay. If they didn’t, their score would suffer significantly. So it wasn’t a “minor focus” for us like it said on the rubric. It was a big deal. And my old rubric didn’t give me a place to say that.
    For an analysis of task completion and this issue being the one that inspired me to overhaul the rubric this year, read this post.
    In this section, the student writes (at the beginning of the unit) what language tasks they will be asked to perform in the assessment. Will they need to show they can disagree? Incorporate information from an infographic you discussed in class? Mention some opinions of another person in class? Here’s where they record that. Then, you check whether they’ve shown strong, weak, or no evidence of this skill.
    This section is not a place for students to write “I can use 7 verbs in the preterite tense.” If you have them write that sort of thing here, you might as well tear up the rubric because what you are doing is not a proficiency-based performance assessment, it’s a grammar test masquerading as a performance assessment. If you’ve determined that’s what you’re looking for, stop reading now and close this tab. Please.
  • Teacher feedback
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    This is pretty straightforward.
  • Student reflection
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    This is perhaps one of the most important sections in the rubric and you owe it to Colleen Lee-Hayes and Natalia Delaat (ありがとう y спасибо colegas).  We’re putting the ownership in their hands!

Whew. If you care about using this kind of rubric, I hope you put up with all that explanation!

Two more issues to go.

Where’s interpretive mode?

Good question. Please know that if you do stand-alone interpretive tasks on integrated performance assessments and use an interpretive rubric or some sort of scoring system to grade them, you are in the majority and I am not. Honestly, I do not know another teacher who handles this the way I do. So don’t feel like I’m telling you that you need to do this.

Eliminating stand-alone interpretive assessments was something the College Board inspired me to do. In the AP essay, students are given sources on which to base their essay, but there are no comprehension questions on the source. Rather, the writer must use the information they understand from all three sources to inform their response.

To me, this is what we do with interpretive tasks in real life, and this question is always in my head: how can my class better reflect the way this plays out in real life? We watch a movie and we don’t fill out worksheets on it. We don’t draw pictures of it or answer multiple-choice questions about the plot line, which we may not accurately remember even though we understood it at the time. No, we use what we saw to tell our good friends what parts we loved, what we hated, why the actress was terrible, and how it compares to the first installment in the series.

That is what I ask students to do with integrated performance assessments. So the answer to your question (“Where’s interpretive mode?”) is that it’s in “Content support” and perhaps also in “My Language Tasks.”

If you’d like to see an example of how I do this, here’s one for novice.

I don’t think this heading will work.

Please tell me all your issues. I’ve been developing this rubric for six weeks and it’s been reviewed by dozens of teachers, but it can’t be a game-changer unless a whole lot more teachers “get their hands dirty” with it, using it on real production assessments and contacting me about how it’s working for you. I’ll continually change this post with updates.

So where is it?

Ready to get the file? If you put up with the rest of this post, you deserve it!

Download the PDF here. Contact me or comment below if you’d like access to a .docx file to edit. Please respect intellectual property rights. If you modify the document for your purposes, please leave the footnote at the bottom directing users to Musicuentos.com/handouts for credits. You may modify the footnote to include a reference such as “Based on the Musicuentos performance assessment rubric. For more information visit Musicuentos.com/handouts.”

Credits

I didn’t write this rubric. I simply stole a lot of stuff and put it in one place. I can’t begin to effectively acknowledge how much the work of some very smart people helped inform this rubric in all its drafts. Thanks to Amy Lenord, Colleen Lee-Hayes, Bethanie Carlson-Drew, Martina Bex, and the Ohio language gurus, whose fingerprints can be seen in various sections here. The majority of the wording is taken from either the ACTFL performance descriptors, Can Do statements, and proficiency guidelines; the old Jefferson County (KY) performance assessment rubric; and the Ohio rubrics. Thanks to Natalia Delaat, Thomas Sauer, Sarah Bolaños, and Jacob Shively who took the time to give me honest, in-depth, extensive feedback that greatly improved the validity and user-friendliness of this document. I know your time is super valuable, and we’re all indebted to you for your generosity with it. And definitely, thanks to Melanie Stilson, who gave me the push I needed to get working on this project that had been on a back burner for a while.

Thanks to all the teachers at Camp Musicuentos who gave me some rocking suggestions for improvements. For one thing, you owe the staircase to them, and that might be the best part of the document.

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August 24, 2015 3 Comments

Let me tell you about tacos… I mean crêpes!

strawberries-395590_1280Many teachers have enjoyed using the taco talk to help beginning students and their parents (and administrators!) understand what a novice-level, proficiency-based class is all about.  This year I finally tweaked the document to be helpful to teachers of intermediate students.  And then a French teacher contacted me for permission to change the “taco” portion to be more relevant to French students.  Well, what a great idea!

Thanks to Marci Harris and Wendy Farabaugh for their help with the novice and intermediate versions of this document for French teachers.

Enjoy your crêpes!

Now, if we can just get it with pretzels, sushi, dumplings…

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August 19, 2015 1 Comment

You can’t possibly teach it. But you can do this. (Black Box)

What if a prominent teacher and researcher told you that you couldn’t possibly teach your students what they need to know in order to understand authentic target language and incorporate what they understand into their own language production?

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But don’t lose hope; Waring (and the presenter of this Black Box Videocast, Justin Slocum Bailey) helps you understand why he makes this claim and what you should be doing about it. Watch this videocast to find out what extensive reading is- and then ask your administration if you can go shopping for a comprehensible classroom library!

The Musicuentos Black Box is a collection of media resources designed to bridge the gap between Second Language Acquisition research and teachers in the classroom. The project is co-sponsored by Musicuentos and Indwelling Language. For more information or to find out how you can keep this resource freely available to teachers, visit the Musicuentos Black Box page.

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August 15, 2015 1 Comment

Homework choice for elementary students (and my syllabus)

What would homework choice look like for elementary students?

elem choice optionsI can’t believe it didn’t occur to me to ask this question earlier.  I knew this year I was going to have a group of students ages 6 to 10 but I thought I’d just give them the same options sheet as my older group.  Ha! These kids don’t have Facebook. They’re not engaged by Audio Lingua clips. They don’t know what the U-Scan is, much less how to use it.  They want to meet Noah and hear stories.  Obviously, the choice list needed an overhaul, an even greater one than was required for the early-novice list I released several days ago.

My little guys need to fulfill one point per week and if they do a two-point activity, they will be able to skip a week.  To see the options, check out this document.  You’ll be able to tell that I had to slaughter my old list and frankly, I’m not able to come up with as many effective, motivating options suitable for young children with no measurable proficiency. Once they get some skills I can think of all kinds of authentic websites I can add, but for now, I encountered incomprehensibility in site after site. Please, if you have any ideas, post them in the comments!

This choice list is part of my elementary syllabus for the fall.  Keep in mind as you look at this document that I teach in a faith-based homeschool co-op where I have 60 minutes, one day a week with my students.

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August 13, 2015 5 Comments

BTS: The Taco Talk for Intermediates

tacos-245241_1920As part of last year’s back-to-school posts I posted a document to get kids (and their parents) talking about tacos to explore what proficiency is and what a focus on proficiency will look like in your classroom. Since then I’ve gotten several requests to adapt that document for intermediate students. Ask and you shall receive (sometimes, and usually much later…).

View the document here, and use the “File” and “Make a copy” function to make your own editable version. I had to do some resizing and unfortunate crowding to get it to fit on two pages but I’m okay with how it turned out. Please leave the copyright footnote intact except that you may include wording like “Based on the Musicuentos version copyright 2015 by…” and so on.

I hope this is helpful!

(P.S. See this post for a helpful back-to-school post from 2013)

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August 11, 2015 4 Comments

Finally: My homework choices for very early novices

Easily one of the top five topics if you look at my most popular blog posts: Choice in homework.

syllabus choice activitiesI won’t go to deeply into what I mean by homework choice because you can see a pretty good summary here in one of the most popular posts of 2014. After you look at that, you may have a question I’ve been asked many times:

What does this look like for novices?

After not having taught novices in five years, this year I have the chance to find out. I’ll have two classes of students with no measurable proficiency. The situation is even more interesting because one of the groups is ages 6 to 10. (Yes! I will be making a homework choice adaptation for elementary students!)

So, I’ve finally adapted the choices to fit (I hope) very early novice students, in my case ages 11 to 15. You can find the PDF and .docx files at the end of my post about my syllabus, or you can see the list here. Feedback welcome, as always.

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August 7, 2015 4 Comments

The five things I must have in my syllabus

Stressed about creating your class syllabi this year?

There are a lot of really great syllabi flying around the internet. There are even competitions to see who can do the (best? most creative?) one. I have to tell you, it’s stressful. I don’t at all think it’s intended this way, but I think it feels like really heavy peer pressure – including for those creating and posting their syllabi.

Whoa. Infographic syllabus, I didn’t know about those. I’ve got to do an infographic syllabus too! Otherwise, how will my students know how cool my class is going to be?

Oh my. Infographic isn’t enough. That interactive, infographic syllabus is amazing. If I’m going to be amazing, I have to do one too.

I am not mocking. I’m telling you honestly, these are the thoughts in my head, and so I’m guessing they’re in other teachers’ heads too.

I saw a few tweets last week that helped me realize I’m not alone in feeling this pressure (whew), and as I happened to be developing my syllabus for this year at the time, I decided to mull over what I thought were the essential items on my syllabi, and blog about it. And so, in order of importance:

5. Content overview

syllabus sem overviewI think this is the most-often-skipped element in a syllabus. Because of the syllabi I received in college (since I was homeschooled, that was my introduction to the concept), I assumed that a syllabus always gives students an overview of what the semester’s content entails. But when I got a teaching job I quickly found out that many teachers don’t include this, and the reason is usually that they haven’t mapped it out.

If all you can get done before school starts is determine 1) what units/chapters you’re going to teach (you don’t have to teach them all!), 2) how long they will last  (probably) and 3) where they fit in the calendar, you’ll feel more prepared for your school year and your students (and their parents) will greatly appreciate the bird’s-eye view.

4. Assessment policies

My students need to know this: how are they going to be assessed, and how often, and how will grades be calculated?

3. Tools

What tools will help students succeed in my class? I include both what resources will help them at home (Word Reference and Forvo are at the top of my list) and what they need every time they come into class.

syllabus12. Classroom culture

I believe that creating a target-language classroom culture centered in respect and mutual success begins on the syllabus. I outline brief guidelines for how we interact with each other and why.

And the top thing I must have in my syllabus:

1. Clarity

This is what keeps me from trying out some new ways to create syllabi. I know myself, and I don’t want to get so distracted by trying to be fancy that I muddy the waters. If my students start the year finding my syllabus confusing, will they be slow to believe they’ll comprehend what’s going on in class?

Please notice that I didn’t call this post the five things you must have in your syllabus. I do believe the one essential ingredient is clarity, but how that looks for you and your students, well, it could be a whole lot different than mine. So if you need permission to do a plain-Jane syllabus with clarity in your expectations and plans, here you go! I give you permission.

Have fun creating something that works for your classes!

Oh- and if you came to this post thinking I was going to post my syllabus, here’s the PDF, and here’s the .docx for you. The included images are royalty-free. Don’t feel like you need to use anything on mine, but I do want you to know that it includes (finally) a novice (no measurable proficiency) adaptation of the homework choice options.

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August 3, 2015 8 Comments

If I learn it, can I use it? The interface debate (Black Box)

Can language that’s learned be used in spontaneous communication? Yes. No. Maybe. It’s a big debate in the field of Second Language Acquisition research, and the authors of this article want to encourage all sides to take a more nuanced view of the issue.

BlackBox Cottrell Interface 1 Aug 15

This question is really complex (when I was unpacking the article I felt like I was re-reading every paragraph five times) but so important for us as teachers. If we’re teaching explicit language in class, is that okay? Is it useful for students? If we’re teaching implicitly, is that better? What do those terms even mean? Here’s an intriguing related question: Are we handicapping our students by pushing presentational mode? Watch this videocast to get a feel for how this debate is playing out in the research, and where we should go from here.

I do apologize for how fast this particular episode moves. My consolation for you is that you can always replay… and replay.

The Musicuentos Black Box is a collection of media resources designed to bridge the gap between Second Language Acquisition research and teachers in the classroom. The project is co-sponsored by Musicuentos and Indwelling Language. For more information or to find out how you can keep this resource freely available to teachers, visit the Musicuentos Black Box page.

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August 1, 2015 0 Comments

Back-to-school time! Upcoming posts, resources on sale

I hope you had a restful summer! I love back-to-school time because we’re all excited, mostly rested up, maybe feeling a little unprepared but ready to tackle what this school year has to offer.

Watch what August has to offer

rubric snipThroughout August I’ll be posting resources and information I hope will help you get a great start to the year. Just in the first several days of the month: You’ll see my next episode of the Musicuentos Black Box videocast on what’s known as the “interface debate” (hint: is everything learnable, and can students expect to use what they “learn” in your classroom in spontaneous conversation?).  You’ll see my new rubric that I hope will change the way we approach the whole issue of rubrics. I’ve gotten a ton of constructive feedback from a lot of smart people and I’m so excited to release this collaborative product.  I’ve been asked for the intermediate version of the “taco talk” and finally got around to putting that together. You’ll see an outline of what I’m teaching this year, in my interesting new homeschool co-op setting.

And, my other stuff is on sale!

Intermediate students need authentic novels

cajas screen snap 1If you teach intermediate, pre-advanced, AP or heritage Spanish and you’ve ever thought about using a truly authentic novel in the classroom, you know it’s a daunting prospect and the resources to help you are few and far between. I encourage you to try out two of my favorites, Allende’s La ciudad de las bestias and Jiménez’s Cajas de cartón (the whole memoir). I’ve developed high-quality, intensive, in-depth reader’s guides for those novels and for the entire month of August, those resources (as well as the short-story guide for “Cajas de cartón” and the verb charts) are 25% off. That means you can get the Cajas guide PDF download for $29.95 and the Ciudad guide PDF download for $37.50. The “Cajas” chapter guide is $5.25 and the complete verb pack is $4.50. The embedded listening activities (some new ones released for back-to-school as well!) are only available at my Teachers Pay Teachers store and will be on sale there too (August 3-6 and 20-23 only).

Welcome back, and have a great year!

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July 31, 2015 0 Comments