Brillante Viernes: November 10, 2017

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Happy Friday and a happy early Veteran’s Day!  I am a proud wife, daughter, granddaughter, daughter-in-law and sister-in-law of many people who have served our country.  Although I saw my husband’s sacrifice up front, I always like to reflect on how much time he gave to our country.  I am so proud of them.  Don’t forget to thank all of our veterans this weekend.

In a professional part, I was the guest moderator for #langchat last night!  We discussed how to prepare for ACTFL, and how to follow along from home.  Some of my favorite tips were:

  • Reflect on what you think that you need the most help with and attend sessions based on that topic.  You will have a more focused view on how to improve when you go home.  This is my favorite post on how to do make a plan.  Also Valerie mentioned that you could do this at home.  It is tempting to read ALL of the sessions when people share them, but many times, I leave the tabs open for too long.  Think about what you want to focus on if you are scrolling through Twitter at home.
  • Don’t be afraid to take breaks and NOT attend a session.  Take a long lunch, sit down on the couch and chat with a friend.  There are PLENTY of sessions, and you are regaining your sanity by taking a break.
  • Also, go and hang out with Noah Geisel at the unconference!  It is called ACTFL Un-Con from 4-6 on Friday and Saturday.  I did that a few times last year.  It gives you a structured place to just talk with your friends.  You can share what you learned at other sessions.  I met a new friend who lived in Maryland that I now have seen at many subsequent conferences.  I also learned how to play around with Snapchat in the classroom via Noah and Laura and Kara Jacobs.  I used that tip within the first few weeks of returning to school.
  • It is HUGE.  Keith Toda mentioned this as well.  I thought that when I attended, I would run into my virtual friends right and left, but you almost have to hunt them down!  I sent SO many PMs to Laura Sexton to finally meet her in person last year.
  • Don’t be afraid to go to a session in another language if it looks interesting- thanks Bethanie!  This will probably be easier if the language is close to your own language- or you could ask a neighbor to help you translate.
  • Also, don’t be afraid to leave a session!  I know you think that you may offend someone, but many times, they don’t notice.  Last year at NECTFL, one of the sessions I left, I went to another session about avoiding Google Translate by Amanda Robustelli-Price.  It was exciting to meet her, and I was able to incorporate the suggestions immediately.
  • In order to implement change or share your ideas, Señor Pardi suggested having a presenter Skype in to your department meeting.  This is an awesome idea, and I was thinking about doing something similar!  (Do you want me to Skype with your department?!  Let me know- I’m in!)
  • John Cadena also shared how he implements change.  He chooses one idea to implement immediately, one idea to work on a bit before using it and one idea to “percolate” and try later.  I think this is a great idea for how to implement small change without going crazy post conference.
  • Also, you can share your ideas on Twitter or in Facebook groups.  I am loving the information that I am getting from the various Facebook groups that I have joined.
  • Señor Pardi also mentioned that you have to take time and reflect that attending a conference can be difficult.  Many times you feel like you are surrounded by all of these AMAZING teachers doing AMAZING things, and you aren’t.  I am here to tell you that you are doing amazing things in your own classroom.  No one is perfect- not even the Teachers of the Year.  Everyone you meet at ACTFL has problems in their classroom and boring days, but you can also learn from everyone there- from the first year teacher to each presenter!
  • Finally, bring your sweater and water bottle!

Here are my favorite posts from this week:

  • Check out this alternative that will give students’ definitions of words in L1 when they are reading from Noah!
  • I used a variation of this from Laura, and it was AMAZING!  SO many of my students kept talking and the next day, they independently had a 21 minute conversation!!
  • Another thing that I want to try ASAP- this goal reflection sheet!
  • I am addicted to Google Add-ons!  Check out this list of 25!
  • My friend and co-planner for EdCampCIVa Lynne shared this post on Facebook about how to plan a Crime Scene Investigation.

Flashback time!

Whew!  And if you made it this far- thanks for reading it!  🙂

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