23 May 2015

Local LangCamp

We have yet to pull off a face-to-face LangCamp to get our LangChat compañeros together to plot and plan over the summer. But that doesn't mean we can't have our own LangCamp parties close to home!

I think North Carolina's Analysis of Student Work portfolios for teacher evaluation are pushing a lot of people to begin the shift toward proficiency-based courses. Turning in a bunch of vocab and grammar quizzes is NOT going to align with NC Essential Standards for world languages, and it will NOT get you labeled an effective educator.

It was all I could do not to burst out in song during that snow day meeting of language educators in my district when one colleague voiced what she thought would be an unpopular suggestion: maybe PD in the summer to get ready for next year?

Heck. Yeah.

So I've been thinking about what we could do and how we could do it to meet everyone's learning needs. I really want this to happen.

What I envision is a sort of Edcamp for language educators. Basically, everyone who wants to work shows up, and we decide what we want to work on specifically and break off. Edcamps are typically a day-long event, so we could probably get a few different rounds in for those who want to work on a few different things (more if we could figure out lunch! Maybe we could go in on some pizza?) We could have 2 or 3 concurrent sessions (depending on how many show up) for maybe three or four hour-long rounds, and then a final sharing time.

I brainstormed some topics I think local amigos might go for, but of course with the Edcamp model, people could add more suggestions, and we'd all vote to decide which sessions we'll actually do!

Possible local LangCamp topics:
  • understanding and assessing proficiency levels
  • project-based learning
  • novice units and activities (levels 1 & 2)
  • intermediate units and activities (levels 3 & 4)
  • AP planning
  • finding and using authentic Spanish texts & videos for novices 
  • finding and using authentic Spanish texts & videos for intermediates
  • finding and using authentic [other language] texts & videos for novices/intermediates
  • rubrics and assessments
  • ASW backward planning
  • assessing for proficiency
  • personalization and student engagement
  • teaching in the target language
  • adapting textbook activities
  • infographs in the language classroom
  • interactive notebooks
  • cool apps and websites for language learning & communication
  • community connections
  • focus on interpretive skills (reading/listening)
  • focus on interpersonal skills (conversation)
  • focus on presentational skills (writing/speaking)
  • student portfolios
  • flipped classroom
My question to my LangChat amigos is this: if we build it, will you come? I mean, I'm not 100% sure that we could invite outside parties, but I'm checking on it. I'm sure we could accommodate a few fellow Carolinians at least.

If we still can't work out the face-to-face time, rest assured that we can still collaborate via LangCamp Google Community this summer. Plus we'll have ten LangCamp Google Hangout sessions during the month of July, starting on the 1st. Edcamp style, we're going to figure out who's going then pick the topic for each session, so be sure to vote on days and times for week 2, week 3, week 4, and week 5.

Either way, I can't wait for a summer of mind melding!

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