Today I was fortunate to participate in EdCamp Maryland World Languages. It was so nice to meet people who work right by you! We were also fortunate to hear from Paul Sandrock at the beginning. Here are some of my takeaways from the event:
- Paul mentioned initially that we need to be aware that we are preparing students for the world and using the language; we are not preparing students to receive a PhD in linguistics. That does not mean that we need to disregard everything that we have taught, but we need to refocus it.
- Also, when we are starting a unit, it is easy to start listing everything, but it can be extremely hard to limit the list. Be mindful of how many items your students actually need to know.
- My first session was about tech tools. Many of the tech tools I use including Quizlet Live, Kahoot, Seesaw and Zaption/EdPuzzle. One teacher mentioned using EduSync which is an online teacher planner that integrates with Google Calendar. If you are interested, sign up now! They will not have a free version after August 1!
- Also, one teacher recommended using Kahoot for Parent Night. I thought that was such an interesting idea because parents sometimes wonder why students use technology in the classroom and how they use it.
- My next topic was authentic resources. Whereas many teachers try to find all of the authentic resources themselves, some teachers have students find their own authentic resources and write what they have learned for homework. Many times a teacher may feel that it is too difficult for the students, but the students can really understand more than we think.
- I mentioned that teachers should Google the images when looking for authentic resources to get resources for novices.
- Also, we discussed how using authentic resources can increase anxiety even in higher levels. One teacher suggested that students can start drawing what they understand. This lowers their anxiety immediately. She also starts with smaller groups of six kids when doing authentic resources to help each student.
It was a great day to network! You can read through the notes, too. For many people, it was their first EdCamp, and that is always exciting. I encourage EVERYONE to participate that attends an EdCamp. Each teacher there has something to add. If you are someone who LOVES to participate, I encourage you to listen, too. Make sure that everyone has a chance to equally share ideas.
Finally- a shout out- If you live close to New Jersey, I would encourage you to sign up for the EdCamp WL there! I am sure that you will learn just as much as everyone did here.