22 September 2014

#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge Day 22: My PLN

What does your PLN look like, and what does it to for your teaching?

It looks like Twitter lists and hashtags.

It looks like a wikis and Google Docs.

It looks like Google Hangouts and a YouTube playlist.

It looks like Google Communities and blogs.

It looks like late night Skype planning and Facebook back channels.

It looks like conference buddies and co-presenters.

It looks like family.

21 September 2014

Mucha Basura: my first PBL/TPRS story

I want to combine the principles of PBL and TPRS, so I have written a story about trash in preparation for a unit on saving the Earth. Students will be working in groups to make a plan to reduce the impact of one material that negatively affects the environment (you can still join in to compare, contribute, or compete!), so my story is about a girl who needs to change her ways.

A David le gusta reciclar.
I have picked the brains of Carrie Toth (@SenoraCMT) and Martina Bex (@MartinaBex) through blogs and LangCamp hangouts. I kept this tutorial and these examples from Martina pulled up the whole time I worked on my story, too.

I focused on the target structures tiene, lo tira a la basura, and puede ayudar. We will be frontloading vocabulary from relevant infographs, maybe doing a little cloze with authentic videos for kids on the environment, and then, I'm trying STORYASKING.

Here's my story and my questions. Please send me suggestions before I crash and burn!
Lena es una muchacha muy desordenada. Tiene mucha basura: en su cuaderno, en su locker, en su carro y en su casa. Tiene papeles importantes con papeles del semestre pasado en su cuaderno y su locker pero nunca los tira a la basura. Su profesora, Sra. Sexton, puede ayudar, recomienda el reciclaje, pero Lena no quiere. Lena tiene una botella de plastico con la comida pero no la recicla: la tira a la basura. Va a McDonald’s mucho y tiene mucho papel del restaurante en su carro, pero no lo tira a la basura. Su madre puede ayudar con la comida o la basura, pero Lena no quiere ayuda. También, Lena usa mucho petróleo cuando va en su carro a su trabajo o a jugar al fútbol. Los amigos de Lena pueden ayudar y usar sus carros, pero Lena quiere ir sol@. Lena puede ayudar el medioambiente pero no comprende la importancia. Entonces un dia, Lena ve un muchacho guapo, David. Su amigo, Paolo, puede ayudar y presentar Lena a David. Pero David es un muchacho muy ordenado y no le gusta como es el carro de Lena. A David no le gusta como Lena usa tanto agua y poliestireno y energia. David ve cuando Lena tiene una lata de Coca Cola y la tira a la basura y no la recicla. Entonces el número de Lena David lo tira al reciclaje.

Storyasking questions:
  1. ¿Quién es la muchacha? ¿Cómo se llama?
  2. ¿Dónde tiene basura? ¿Su locker? ¿Su carro? ¿Su cuaderno? ¿Su casa?
  3. ¿Quién es su profesora? ¿Sra. Sexton? ¿Srta. Strader? ¿Sra. Obama?
  4. ¿Qué tipo de envase tiene con la comida? ¿Lata? ¿Caja? ¿Botella?
  5. ¿De qué material es el envase? ¿Plastico? ¿Vidrio? ¿Metal?
  6. ¿A qué restaurante va? ¿McDonald’s? ¿Sweet Frog? ¿Bojangles?
  7. ¿Qué tipo de basura tiene del restaurante?
  8. ¿Dónde tiene basura del restaurante?
  9. ¿Quién puede ayudar con la comida y basura?
  10. ¿Qué usa la muchacha cuando va?
  11. ¿En qué tipo de vehículo va?
  12. ¿Adónde va en su vehículo?
  13. ¿Quién es el muchacho guapo?
  14. ¿Quién es el amigo de los muchachos?
  15. ¿Qué no le gusta al muchacho?
  16. ¿Qué usa la muchacha que no le gusta al muchacho?
  17. ¿Qué tipo de envase tiene la muchacha?
  18. ¿Qué tiene la muchacha en el envase?
  19. ¿Qué hace el muchacho? 
Think it'll work?
Image adapted from fanpop

#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge, Day 21: A life outside of teaching?

Do you have other hobbies/interests that you bring into your classroom teaching? Explain.

Years ago, my AP US History teacher affirmed that he thought I would be a great teacher, which meant a lot coming from Mr. Priest. He cautioned me, though, that I would need to have a life outside of teaching. "That won't be a problem for you, though," he assured me.

I think I have failed you, Mr. Priest.

Back then I was swimming, playing cello, doing drama and debate, joining environment club and mock trial. I don't get out much anymore, partially because of work, partially because of parenting, and partially because, well, I'm a bit of a homebody at heart.

I do pin a lot...realia and teaching ideas. I tweet and blog excessively...about teaching. I read and research frequently...about language acquisition and educational policy and current events in Spanish-speaking countries. I shared some of my writing that got published with Creative Writing last year...about teaching.

Is David Bisbal a hobby? David Bisbal should be a hobby. I definitely bring him into my classroom at every opportunity. My 9th grade French teacher, Madame Kultgen, for whom my daughter is named, had Robert Redford to demonstrate Il est tres sexy. And he didn't even speak the target language! I think class boyfriends could count for bringing interests into the classroom, and it made me feel a little more linked to Mme. K.

I used to knit and crochet quite a bit and was kind of an obsessive scrapbooker and jewelry maker before my daughter was born. There just doesn't seem to be any room--in the house or in my schedule--any more for those sorts of things.

But there is at school.

It's not a class, per se, but one of my favorite parts of the week is Art Club on Friday afternoons. I took art classes in 8th and 12th grade. I dated an art ed major in college. Otherwise, I am totally unqualified to lead such a club, but I love it anyway.

I have drawers full of yarn and paints and other crafty things. Just the other day, I got to bust out my old finger crocheting skills with some freshmen in the club. Sometimes I sketch along with my little artists or demonstrate skills I haven't gotten to explore in years, like oil pastels and shading. And it feels good.

I haven't even had all of the Art Club kids in class yet, but some have decided I'm probably going to be their favorite teacher already. We share a passion, and we get to play together.

It might not be outside of school, but I think Priest would be proud.