Reasons I love the Blogosphere

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I’m sitting here this morning, the last true day of Spring Break (I’m not counting the weekend, as I will actually have to start planning for the school week), drinking coffee while watching HGTV and pouring over the Blog world.  I am in the “home stretch” of year #2 in the classroom, and by all accounts I should be run-down and exhausted.  Let me tell you, a week ago that is EXACTLY how I was feeling!  However, this week I spent a good amount of time pleasure reading (I read or re-read virtually the complete works of John Green because he is my favorite author and has a way of just sucking me into each book so that I can’t put it down), and when I finished pleasure reading I spent a lot of time on Pinterest, TeachersPayTeachers, and the Blog world!  I wasn’t truly planning any concrete lessons, but more just THINKING about the direction I want to take my classes in, both for the rest of this year and into next year.  Since I am the only World Language teacher in my building, I do have the flexibility to try out new things now, knowing that they won’t have to end at a necessarily certain place for next school year.

Specifically on the Blogosphere, I have found a TON of things that I am excited about trying to incorporate in my own way (I’m the kind of girl who never truly follows a recipe without making my own spin on it):

  1. What got me into blogging in the first place, and now back into blogging (though I don’t yet have my own mastermind insights to post) is The Creative Language Class.  Even though I’m kind of late to the game on this one, I am pretty confident in saying that I have read every post (many times literally taking notes!) and looked at every attachment.  I even modified my own curriculum to follow what they have posted showing what they follow.  It made so much SENSE and it makes me feel like I have so much more of a “plan” than what I have been doing.
  2. Martina Bex really made us think about CI/TPRS and the Common Core this week in this post.  Not only was I excited about what she mentioned in this post, but it made me rethink some of my ideas about CI/TPRS.  Obviously, CI is what we always want to strive for in World Language classes, but I have a hard time personally with TPRS.  For me, it is more of a mode of presentation or a single method, rather than an everyday thing.  However, even though I don’t consider myself to be a TPRS or Storytelling teacher, this post made me realize “Hey!  I do a lot of that stuff! Rock on!”
  3. Elizabeth Dentlinger posted an AWESOME Choice Board project for the novel Esperanza by Carol Gaab.  The project can be seen here.  I LOVE how she is actually teaching Bloom’s Taxonomy to her students in the project.  So often, I feel that we as educators use things like Bloom’s Taxonomy, but as a “behind-the-scenes” idea. I really like that the students were learning the Taxonomy ALONG with doing the project.  Even more brilliant, is her organizational project folders.  I’m wondering if I can incorporate these next year as the student’s general in-class folder.   For example, rather than the proposal stapled, could I staple a Unit-by-Unit “I can” overview and student reflection page? (The Creative Language Class gave me this idea, but I can’t find the exact link.  Sorry!)
  4.  A new Blog I discovered and LOVE can be found at Aventuras Nuevas.  The authentic resources that she posted here and here for her (current?) in-class unit really have me inspired to make more handouts that include authres and, honestly, just aesthetically-pleasing visuals!  Her handouts just LOOK fun (both to create and receive!).  My project for this weekend will be to think about what I am teaching next week and try to make a few of my handouts modeled after these.  I can bet my students will be excited by them!  Also, in the first post I linked here, she talks about vocabulary lists, which have been quite the “hot topic” in the virtual teaching debate world.  I love (and completely agree with!) how she explains their use:

Recent #langchat conversations on Twitter have discussed the use of a vocabulary list. For me, a list is like a map of a place you’ve never visited before. Without some guidance from a map, you’d be lost, and it’s hard to get an image of your surroundings if you only can rely on asking others for directions. So a vocab list for my classes is like a tourist’s guide. It has some key places (phrases) that you probably don’t want to miss, as well as some general directions where you might want to go. It also has options so that you can tailor your adventure to your personal preferences.

 

Obviously there are SO many more reasons and resources that I was able to list here; these are mainly just the ones that have truly got my head spinning and engaged right now.  It has been really nice this week just to get EXCITED about what’s happening (and what I hope will happen!) in the classroom! I guess the point of this post is really a giant THANK YOU to those who are constantly sharing great ideas!  You are appreciated, and this teacher is feeling a lot more confident and excited thanks to you all!

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