27 December 2016

2017 To-Do List

These are not resolutions--I'm still working on my #OneWord for next year. But I am trying to organize what it is I want to accomplish so I don't end up stuck at the drawing board again. So these are a few goals that I want to start shaping up in order to sketch my semester.

1) Plan for Grading

It has occurred to me that when I plan an assessment, I should also plan when and how the actual, you know, ASSESSING is going to happen. Schedule an IPA in class? Schedule three hours of scoring. Collecting rough drafts? Gather some time for commenting before final drafts must be revised.

I suppose this is what normal people call "Logic," but this "Logic" is not my first, second, or even third language--I'm at like intermediate maybe.

Basically what this means is keeping my calendar more carefully and maybe working on my follow-through after kids are in bed.

2) Build a New Starter Cycle

I broke up with coros this year because they weren't having the results I wanted as far as listening. I wonder, though, if that breakup hurt my kids's speaking, since they really struggled with that the last 6 weeks (though for the final, it wasn't quite as bad as I thought--more on those results soon). Another problem was that they always seemed to lose their luster a month or two into the semester, and kids only ever seemed really smitten with the songs from the beginning of the year.

That's why I want to set up some sort of rotating schedule--one that takes more than a week to rotate, so don't get bored.

Some things I think I'd like to work into the rotation:
  • Classcraft check in - I think the gamification aspect is useful, and I regret letting it fall by the wayside. I should have regular time set aside for people to claim their badges/rewards.
  • FVR - I had some success with a Michelle Kindt inspired version of response for this...but this too fell by the wayside.
  • Game time - Kids L-O-V-E-D having some time to play Duolingo, Verba, and Manzanas con Manzanas, and I think it really filled in some gaps that I really didn't want to spend class time on, but gave the grammar-oriented a sense of confidence--and some extra vocab.
  • Blogging - Even if self-selected homework worked and vocabulary blogs ended up working out, making blogging a daily assignment was a bust, but setting aside time for cultural response and/or commenting on each other's ideas could be time well-spent.
  • Adobe Spark talks - I'm not sure how I want to set them up, but I want kids talking more frequently, with less stress. I think these might make better "enders" than starters, but they're on my (this) short list.
  • Conversation listening - the playlist of teachers who talked to me a few years ago was useful for my 1's this year, but this class has already heard them. Maybe I can get some topic suggestions and enlist more amigos to add to the list?
  • Random #authres fun - Sra. Wienhold has a Loco Lunes with random videos from Pinterest--a perfect excuse for some memes, comics, or infographs too!
  • And of course MUSIC - I don't know if I want to go the March Madness route or try some of the call-and-response or little dances made up to go with the words that worked this year, but I know there's gotta be music.

3) Connect with Online Kiddos

I've really been missing the part of teaching anything that made the drudgery of stuff like GRADES worthwhile, namely the connections with neat young people. Despite getting to know their skill levels, I just can't engage with them online the same was I can with people right in front of me!

So I think I'm going to start with the "Million words or fewer" assignment. I haven't really needed it in a while, since I got to observe and hang out with kids for a year in 9th grade before I taught them in 10th, but having parents email me anything I should know about their kids--in a million words or fewer--would surely help establish connections a little more firmly. And then maybe I need to implement the weekly random discussion board I learned about at Camp Musicuentos, to keep millions of words flowing and connecting us.

4) Differentiate Directors

My NOT-online Spanish III kids are really native speakers who will be earning Spanish III credit by doing mostly the same thing as the rest of the Spanish II class, just a level up on the AAPPL scales. This time, though, I have requested to have all of them in one class, not just for my own sanity when entering grades. My plan is to have them become the writers, choreographers, and directors for our winning skit, song, and even trivia at the language festival this year.

That way all of the tough stuff that is really not novice appropriate--like negotiating topics, developing storylines, and planning the moves--can actually be delegated to, well, NON-novices. And the novices can use what the Spanish 3's come up with as input!

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