Basics: Current Ideas & Summary of Recurring Blog Posts

All Of My Daily Activities, etc.
– input-based strategies & activities
– how to get texts

Now, here are the practices fundamental to my teaching, making the daily stuff possible:

Grammar
Textbooks
Curriculum
Grading
Course Grade
D.E.A.
Assessments
Speaking & Writing

Continue reading for explanations of each…

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Tense Test

The latest addition to my Quick Quizzes is the Tense Test. Rather than testing knowledge using multiple choice, form-manipulation, or fill-in quiz on tenses, stick to a simple either/or comprehension check, then get back to providing input and encouraging interaction…

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#teachersunday

It’s always depressing to hear how teachers spend their Sundays. For many, their weekend is over early that morning with school planning weighing on their minds. For some, that weight is felt every night of the week.

Enough, already!

This tweet from Angel Wilson appeared in my feed:

Angel is talking about super teachers; the ones who are seen to be praiseworthy models of education and teacher expectations. Those expectations are unreasonable. How about the teacher who’s effective day in and day out, but also has a personal life beyond the classroom?! Why aren’t we praising consistency resulting from a healthy, balanced work and personal life?! Students are keen to diversify their resume for college acceptance (no one wants someone too focused on just one thing, right?), so why aren’t we modeling that as well? Why are teachers working on the weekend?! And remember that we can plan so we never have to do that, right?

So, on Sundays, I’ll be tweeting (@magistermrp) pics of what I’m doing under #teachersunday and I encourage you to do the same. Join me starting next week to show the world that successful teachers are leading healthy, balanced lives by enjoying their weekend just like everyone else! Here’s a snapshot of my day:

Morning espresso and reading.
Skype w/ a friend.
Late afternoon brew & snack next door.
Movie #1 of…2…3? Because after this is sleep, then starting work in the A.M. (but not before).

Organizing

The most practical daily practices aren’t really taught to teachers. None of us received training in how to best take attendance, minimize the paper trail, organize digital files, or transition between classes. The lucky teachers have found a good system. Unlucky ones are still searching for more efficient systems, or don’t even know that alternatives exist at all! This is a companion post to How To Plan So Your Plans Never Get Messed Up with some tips on organization…

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How To Plan So Your Plans Never Get Messed Up

On any given day, it’s common for teachers to have wrenches thrown into their plans without warning. Sometimes these wrenches appear during the very class teachers are required to plan for! Other times, it feels like the whole damn tool chest is being tossed our way! This post offers tips on how to structure your planning so those wrenches have absolutely no impact, whatsoever…

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Most Vivid Scene (MVS)

MVS (mūs = mouse)

One thing that can bog down a great story is spending too long on many small details. At least that was my experience when taking 2-3 days to ask a story, finding that kids got bored with all that lack of action and stopped caring where the story went. Still, there’s something great about a vivid scene that’s often lost in otherwise simple, action-packed stories. Thus, I present Most Vivid Scene (MVS)…

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Input Hypermiling Combo: 1 Activity, 6 Days, 24 Texts, 76 Storyboards!

Back in 2016, I wrote about five follow up activities based on one story. I’ve certainly been thinking differently since then, though I haven’t so much as changed my tune as I have changed keys. I’m now cautious of doing many activities over and over using just one story. Despite any novelty, the context remains the same. Surely, that can’t be ideal for acquisition, right? After a while, the student is probably just working with an understanding of the story from memory. Similarly, I’ve been highly critical of Latin teachers for remembering English translations they’ve studied and/or taught over the years instead of actually processing the target language itself. Because of that KEY change, I’ve been looking into creating new contexts with minimal planning effort. Here’s a workflow to hypermile your input:

1) Get a text
2) Read that text
3) Do a new activity that gets you a) more texts, b) drawings, or c) both
4) a) Read those new texts, b) Picture Talk the drawings, or c) both
5) Compile texts, drawings, and glossary into FVR packet

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The Full Glossary Experiment

Yesterday, close to 10 students across all classes asked what auxilium meant. Oh, and here’s the excerpt from that text:

Capture

With questions like that, how often are students aware of all those glosses I intentionally put into class texts?! In the same classes, I also noticed that students were working much slower than I’d expect during Read & Translate. Surely, if they’d been reading at home the process would be much easier. Could it be that comprehension support during class time isn’t helping students read independently at home? Also, it just so happens that two new students began school this week too, so those in-text glosses certainly weren’t much help with almost every other word unknown. At what point might those in-text glosses make a difference, and what could I do to help these new students begin reading on their own?

Based on all those questions, I’ve decided to experiment…

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