10 December 2016


I'm trying a choose-your-own-adventure format for my talks on authentic texts at the Texas Spanish Language Symposium today! On paper, I'm giving the same presentation three times today, but depending on which direction everybody's facing, we could go three totally different directions.

I had originally planned to get my audience interaction from Nearpod, but then I got to thinking about how hard it is to read through all of the submitted responses in a timely manner--forget adjusting! I thought about going the classic four-corners route (if you answer this way, go to the far left corner; that way, go to the near right, etc.), but I also know how hard it is to crawl over the laps of people you may or may not have introduced yourself to.

So I went to the craft store and got some big ol' pieces of felt to make traffic lights.

There are two different points in the presentation where my new amigos get to decide which way to go, and there are three options for each, designated as red, yellow, or green: 

My big red felt "light" goes on one side of the room and the big yellow one on the other: red goes at the back. So when we get to those slides, everybody has to stand (move a little--without injuring unsuspecting strangers) and face the color that corresponds with their choice, maybe greet the person they end up facing, try and persuade them to turn the same way as you. (PS you're totally getting called out if you stay facing forward.)

I'm hoping there will be a pretty clear consensus on which way we should go, but there's always the classic teacherly snap decision--and the links here to explore later!

Also, in the vein of teacherly snap decisions, I decided I might need some brain breaks too, so I have some sneaky buttons worked in at various junctures if I feel the audience lagging, and we'll decide look at some texts and decide if they're "Authentic or just awesome?" Because  
  1. I know that the term "authentic" has connotations that can be hurtful to those whose work doesn't technically fit the accepted definition and

  2. though I was asked to present on authentic resources, I want it to be clear that there's a purpose, a time and a place for ALL engaging texts.
And so, without further ado, go ahead on choose your own adventure on how you can set your students up for success with authentic texts at every level!

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