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Language teaching and learning

Comprehensible and compelling input

The biggest impression Carol Gaab has had on me as a teacher of novice language learners has been that the input that learners receive should be comprehensible and compelling and delivered in a novel way (be repetitive without being boring).... Continue Reading →

Fluency circles

Today I did fluency circles with my 7th graders. The classes are big so they were actually fluency lines. We did a class story on Tuesday. We read the class story on Wednesday, and then drew 6-frame storyboards. On Thursday... Continue Reading →

“Deskless” Classroom

For the past few years at the beginning of the school year, I've watched many teachers share photos of their deskless classrooms, and this year I finally gave it a try. At first a deskless classroom sounds gimmicky so I... Continue Reading →

CI and FVR baby steps

Today I post a long intro about why I'm uncomfortable with the term CI and about my experience trying out FVR, but before that I want to share a few pictures of the beautiful organization that some parent and student... Continue Reading →

Literacy Strategies

Even though it's the end of the school year, it's worth noting literacy strategies that are new to me and that I'd like to use next school year. Here's my plan to use three literacy strategies that are either new... Continue Reading →

Minimal preparation activities

Here is a collection of blog posts featuring activities for language classes that require minimal preparation (e.g. low-prep, no prep): 10 minimal preparation games to enhance phonological awareness and decoding skills by Gianfranco Conti Seven minimal-prep/high impact techniques to focus students... Continue Reading →

Personalized Question and Answer Alternatives

For most teachers a TPRS unit starts with a Personalized Question and Answer (PQA) class discussion. The PQAs typically involve the target structures. Quick side note: I like Carol Gaab's clarification of PQA. We're not necessarily asking personal questions (sometimes... Continue Reading →

Additional Resources for Esperanza

I'm about to start Carol Gaab's Esperanza with my 8th graders. I did it last year, and I wish I'd saved the list of blogs with Esperanza ideas and materials that go beyond what's in the TM. Here's that list:... Continue Reading →

The Invisibles go to Colombia

Earlier in the school year, we finished a unit on a Wednesday, and since the following day was a Thursday before a long weekend, I didn’t want to start the next unit. I didn’t want to start a unit on... Continue Reading →

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