Sra Cottrell

Myth #6: Memorizing vocabulary

For my original post about the myths, look here.
foto por Micheo
Myth #6 is this:
Students learn vocabulary in long lists of isolated words (or, we just went over bosque, why can't they remember it and remember it's masculine?).
What a mistake I used to make, and textbooks make. To think that we can give students a list of vocabulary, tell them there's a quiz on Friday, and somehow think they'll

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Trending topic = authentic comprehensible input

foto por Scott Beale
I keep the Mexico trending topics as a column on my Tweetdeck, because you never know what will come up there. One great thing about Twitter is that you can only get so complicated in 140 characters, and when someone gets it in their head to get a topic like #4palabrasqueduelen trending by thousands and thousands of people, the text gets even simpler. So of course I had to

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Got the rubric!

After making my first new assessment description, I've finished the performance assessment rubric. It took a long time to make but hopefully it will be adopted for every assessment from 6-12 grades at my school. Again, I stole most of it from the great people at @JCPSWorldLang (with a special shout-out to @tmsaue1 for all the sharing they do over there). They got it all on one page, but I

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New year, new units, new assessments

At last I've turned to working on my own classes (after looking at Spanish 1 all summer for our new teacher) and I'm (once again) re-doing my Spanish 3 units. This year I'm trying to make them more realistic. I've been heavily influenced on this by a particular #langchat last year on making assessments authentic. My assessments were fun, and used a lot of language, but didn't have a whole lot

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Jumping on the Animoto bandwagon

I've heard a lot about Animoto but it's always been filed away in that "I'm sure it's great, but I'm on technology overload here" part of my brain. This week I decided to finally jump in and make on.
If you stick with the basic account, it's more than mildly annoying that you can't do anything past 30 seconds without a paid account. But thanks to @ckendall for the heads-up that you can apply

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Rethinking "late" work

foto por George Hatcher

After a busy but fun month of traveling here and there on vacation, it's back to school and back to the blog! We teachers have been at school this past week, and the kids come back Monday. Where did that summer go?
One goal I accomplished this summer was reading The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn. While I do not share Kohn's apparent view that kids are generally angels who

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A song made for early Spanish 1

photo by Bogdan TociacuLast week Luis Fonsi's new album Tierra Firme came out - and it's good. It's worth the whole download, I promise. The Deluxe version came with the video for Gritar, as well as acoustic and ranchero versions of that fabulous song.As I was listening, this song called "Me gustas tú" came on. The more I listened the more I thought, Seriously, did Fonsi write this song for

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photo by Steven

photo by Steven de PoloSo, about informing our students on proficiency.One of the great ideas that came from that PD I went to was this 'taco' activity. It's designed to be done in the first days of school, preferable on the first day unless your first day is taken up with 'administrivia.'Divide students into four groups, or tell them to divide themselves into four groups.Tell students that you

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Proficiency levels shouldn't be a secret

photo by SamikRCI had a wonderful PD opportunity last week to sit in with the truly vanguard Jefferson County Public School world languages department. They have spent at least the last two years developing communicative, proficiency-based, performance based units, assessments, and rubrics at levels 1 and 2 for Spanish and French. I have been so inspired by them that even though I put in a lot

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Flipbook illustration

This post is part of my project to get rid of old (but useful) papers that have been sitting on my bookshelf.This is another literacy idea I got from a grad school class on teaching literacy to ELLs.Materials:3 sheets of 8 1/2 by 11 blank paperstaplerdrawing toolsDirections:Place the three sheets of paper on top ofeachother, and overlap leaving a small margin at the bottom of the paper.Hold the

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