19 December 2014

Top 14 of 2014


In case you haven't seen it, my guide to becoming a 21st Century world language teacher is THE SINGLE MOST POPULAR THING I HAVE EVER POSTED. I collected resources from a lot of the big brains around our little Twitter PLN for this page. It's not a "post" per se, but it's my version of a textbook for people wanting to up their game.

14. Daily Instagram Updates April 24
I had to write my objectives and agenda on the board each day AND I had to post them online. So I just took a picture and set up my site to take pictures of the board from Instagram!

13. Proficiency by the Bikes Aug 14
I borrowed from Srta. Barragan, Kelly Daugherty and Martina Bex to make students aware of where they're heading from the beginning and help them set reasonable goals. I think it helped me even more than it helped them, keeping me honest about what tasks are appropriate for their level.

12. Genius Hour Agenda Overview March 18
I've since revised the sequence of activities and moved the bulk of the process to the beginning of the year instead of the end, but here's how it went down last spring.

11. Make an Interactive Infograph Syllabus Aug 31 563
If I'm going to make a syllabus, I want people to actually look at it and use it. Infographs draw the eye, and you can add resources to it to make the whole thing a one-stop shop for the whole course pretty much.

10.  Setting Independent Language Goals with Students January 19
I presented on homework choice with Sara-Elizabeth and Bethanie at ACTFL14, and this post helped me get the structure together to be more manageable for this year. There are still kinks, but it's working pretty nicely.

9. Why LangCamp? May 10
Alas, LangCamp 2014 never got off the ground, but there's still a chance we could get something together for this summer, right? Picture it: hanging out with the best, smartest, funniest minds in our field and finally really digging into our language teacher plans to take over the world.

8. Start with a Song: Pop Music Motivates Oct 19
I love coros. My kids love coros. If there is one thing they will still have when they have been done with my Spanish class for years, it is coros. Here's how to set it up to make students look forward to Spanish class and to keep Spanish stuck in there head all day for years to come.

7. Genius Hour Agenda, part 1: Setup and Vocabulary January 11
As I said in another ACTFL14 presentation, the key to making Genius Hour work is in the scaffolding, really structuring assignments to build proficiency in topics students love, starting with vocabulary.

6. Strategies for Standards-Based Portfolio Curation January 4
I'm arduously redesigning the portfolio structure yet again, to push leveling up quicker and easier organization (kids hated the approach this year). But standards-based principles remain in place.

5. Why and How You Should Do Stations on Day 1 Aug 18
This is the follow-up to my all-time most popular post. Basically, it's all about setting the tone and positive--yet high--expectations.

4. Three Apps, Three Types of Movie Projects July 14 756
I didn't do as much with Sock Puppets or Green Screen as I'd hoped, and I actually didn't do anything with Voice. Next semester.

3. Proficiency Portfolio Re-Design May 28
Portfolios went better than ever before. But they still took literally days off of my life and frustrated kids. Be on the lookout for the next incarnation--this time with ACTFL I-cans!

2. Your Own Personal Spanish Curriculum Jan 9
Genius Hour, personal goals, and portfolios mean a lot of choice...perhaps too much. But I'm working on it.

1. First Day Fun Stations July 18
While not quite as popular as the 21st century language teacher guide, this is by far the single most popular post I ever did publish. I'm working on how to adapt it for a set of kids I already know on a personal and a Spanish level, but the idea of keeping kids moving trying different things was certainly a hit and really set the tone for what I would be willing to call the most successful semester of my 11-year teaching career

So here's to another year of growing, reflecting, and plotting together, my dear PLN! Happy holidays!

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