Ideas in the works!

Today was our tri-county institute.  The only workshops for language teachers are usually the ones that I offer, so I get to attend a lot of technology and reading sessions in the extra slots!  Here are some big take-aways from the day’s sessions!

1. iPads in a 1 iPad classroom with Gail Lovely- There is an app called AudioNote that allows you to record sound as you type or use your finger to handwrite notes on your iPad.  The key feature of this app is that later, when you sit down to look at your notes, you can touch any part of the writing and it will playback the audio in real-time… So if you aren’t sure why you wrote what you wrote, you tap it and you can hear exactly what was being said as you were writing!  Amazing stuff!!  Sling Note is another great app she shared!  It divides the screen into two separate pages.  On the left side you can open an internet browser and the right a note.  As you read through the website and find something you want to keep, you trace a square around it with your finger and drag it to your note on the right.  I am still thinking about uses but one that occurred to me right away was my upcoming Infographic project at the end of our narcoviolence unit.  Kids could research their topic and grab pictures and facts quickly and easily. 

2. Reading in the secondary classroom- The presenter geared this workshop toward ELA but there are so many ways it applies to reading in SLA as well.  Key features 1. Engage students in conversations that help extend their use of the language.  2. Engage in conversations WITH THE TEXT! 3. Make connections to personal stories.  4. Allow kids to talk at both the opening and closing of the lesson.  5. Consider the TAO of reading: the themes, the actions of the characters and the outcomes.

3. Microsoft office as a powerful tool with Gail Lovely again: 1. In Microsoft word, create a paragraph with several words highlighted.  Their task is to replace the word with a synonym that will not change the meaning much… This would get our kids out of the rut of saying bonita for everything! 🙂  2. Create a document with several questions and add the answers in white.  Students access the document and when they’re ready to check their answers, they use the highlighter tool to reveal the white!  3. Use PPT to create interactive activities.  Create a slide template that has a T chart.  Give each side of the chart a title and in the area around the slide (in edit mode not presentation mode), off the slide surface, place images related to your topic.  Students discuss which side of the chart they belong in and you drag the picture into the correct side.  I was thinking that this might be fun when we talk about family vs. gang in Vida y Muerte.  I could place images off the surface of the slide that reflect things a family would do and things a gang would do and as we looked at each picture, I could have students talk about what they see and debate where it belongs…  4. One of my favorite little things she did was create a slide that was 7.5×7.5, add a little message to it “what part did you struggle to understand?”, add a little clip art, copy the slide 5 more times.  She clicked on print, checked handout and 6 to a page.  She printed it as a test page first then attached a post it note over each of the 6 slides on the printed paper.  She ran the paper through again, this time creating customized post its.  These would be so cute to have when reading a novel.  I could even see creating a “parking lot” on the board where they can post parts that they’re confused about, that they were angry about, that they enjoyed….  Hmmmm… the possibilities!   5. She created a slide template that was 3×7.5 On each slide she wrote one part of a process (or for retelling a story, one part of the story).  Students cut out the slides and hook them together as a paper chain in the correct order….  This would be a great brain break type of activity… formative assessment even! 

It was one of those days where I even learned in my own workshops!  I love leaving a workshop on a “brain’s too full” high!  Any ideas for how to use all of these new things I learned today???

Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas" and "Bananas" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at gmail.com.

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