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.
- Thanksgiving Conversation Topics
- New EdPuzzle videos
- A way to practice vocabulary using Marzano strategies
- I love using Quizizz!
- A baseball song and authres for La Liga Venezolana
- A tool that I used with SMARTBoards, but I also love for any projector
Whew! And if you made it this far- thanks for reading it! 🙂