Latin Stories Videos Series: Mīnōtaurus

This video series is inspired by Mike Peto’s straightforward Story Listening videos in Spanish, and Eric Herman’s structured English Class videos, both shared by John Piazza last month in an effort to get ones like these in Latin. Here’s the Minotaur myth retold using 21 unique words. The story is 229 words total in length.

Mīnōtaurus
1) Class
2) Story (Google Doc link found in YouTube video description)
3) Questions

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NTPRS 2017 Takeaways

Before having the opportunity to present a couple workshops, my mind was blown quite sufficiently during the week. Overall, the Advanced Track with Alina Filipescu and Jason Fritze got me thinking about aaaaaaaall the things I’ve forgotten to do, or stopped doing (for no good reason) over the years. Thankfully, most of them are going to be soooooo easy to [re]implement. As for the others, I’ll pick 2 at a time to add—not replace—until they become automatic. This will probably take the entire year; there’s no rush!

Jason referred to high-leverage strategies—those yielding amazing results with minimal effort (i.e. juice vs. squeeze), and I’m grateful that he called our attention to everything Alina was doing while teaching us Romanian. ce excelent! I’ll indicate some high-leverage strategies, and will go as far as to classify them as “non-negotiable” for my own teaching, using the letters “NN.” I’ll also indicate strategies to update or re-implement with the word “Update!” and those I’d like to try for the first time with the word “New!” I encourage you to give them all a try. Here are the takeaways organized by presenter:

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NTPRS 2017 Resources

Here are links to my Thursday and Friday NTPRS presentations, and related posts for a) those who attended and are interested in reading more, b) those who slept in past 8am (I am slightly envious of that), but wanted to attend, or c) those who weren’t at the conference at all, but find the topics interesting just the same.

Presentations:
NTPRS 2017 – No Prep Grading & Assessment (PPT)
NTPRS 2017 – Same Skills Different Game (PPT)

Related Blog Posts:
No Prep Grading & Assessment

Same Skills Different Game

NTPRS 2017: 10 Workshops On Assessment & Grading!

Assessment & Grading is, by far, the most frequent topic I’m asked about, and this year’s National TPRS Conference features 10 of those workshops on Thursday and Friday! Based on the descriptions, there’s a mix of proficiency people, skill people, tech-tool people, speaking people, rubric people, and more! I’ll be presenting one of those workshops, and have noticed that my thinking is a little different. I do recommend getting to as many of the 10 as you can, so in case you miss out on mine, here’s a brief look at what I’m about…

RLMTL
I have a very simple approach to assessment because the answer is always RLMTL (i.e. Reading and Listening to More Target Language). That is, there is NO assessment I could give that WOULD NOT result in me providing more input. Therefore, my assessments are input-based, and very brief. In fact, what many consider assessments—for me—are actually just simple quizzes used to report scores (see below).

I prefer to assess students authentically.

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Assessment & Grading: Game Changers

When teachers complain about their certain practices that create more work for themselves and take time away from students acquiring the target language, my response is usually “well then, don’t use them.” Follow the logic below to arrive at why you need to wrap your head around changing Assessment & Grading practices so that you can use your prep/planning time, and personal life,  for more useful and enjoyable endeavors…

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Drum Circle Brain Break

After listening to Annabelle Allen on episode 4 of Teachers That Teach, I’m interested in using more Brain Breaks that are shorter.

Despite how awesome some Brain Breaks can be, like Evolution (i.e. the rock/paper/scissor variation of egg–>fledgling–>dragon etc., most of my high school students are “too cool for school” to do a lot of them. Annabelle’s advice of “just do it anyway because he brain of those who don’t participate is still getting a break” only works if there are few who don’t. Even though I warned my students that they’d wear out their favorite ball-tossing Brain Break, “Mumball,” they didn’t listen and now we’ve killed it. At this point, nearly half the class chooses to just sit instead of participating. So, instead of coming back from the Brain Break re-energized for more Latin, energy has dropped to an unacceptable level, at least for the rigor needed to sustain focus in a second language. It’s time for novel, shorter Brain Breaks.

Drum Circle
Stand in a circle, and in place begin stepping side to side at a comfy 70 to 80 bpm (beats per minute) to establish a group tempo. This should feel more like a dance and less like a march. Begin a pattern together, call and response, this side/that side, and/or individuals add on to the pattern—the sky’s the limit!

This shouldn’t get old as fast as other Brain Breaks because of so much variation. Remember, you can tap, clap, snap, rub hands together, and use your thighs, arms, etc. to make sounds. You could also count in the target language (e.g. “ūnus” <step, step, step> “ūnus” <step, step, step> etc.).