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We teach kids to speak real Spanish. For life.™

by Erica Fischer on Aug 18, 2017

End of the Year Reflection

#langchat summaryFor their final chat of the year, #Langchat participants took time to reflect and share about all they have learned from the past school year. They also discussed what they hope to change in the upcoming school year.

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Small and Large Changes Made in the Past Year

#Langchat teachers discussed the successful small and large changes they made in their classrooms this past school year. @welangley “went deskless!” while @joyeuse212 used “an all Proficiency -Based curriculum.” @WHSWorldLang shared, “I made a concerted effort to do more authentic resource listening activities with my level 4 students, in particular.” @sr_connolly found success with “fewer traditional assignments, more flexibility, and more attention to students’ needs over the syllabus.” @magistertalley said, “I stopped using the textbook as curriculum and moved towards providing a more individualized experience. I also made a concerted effort to increase my [target language] use.”

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Big AHA Moments

Collaboration through #langchat discussions have sparked some big “aha” moments for many #langchat participants. These “aha” moments have lead to growth and achievement for teachers and students alike.

  •      @MlleSulewski realized, “The world will not end if I don’t grade everything on a proficiency rubric.”
  •      @Magistertalley shared, “I realized (too late) how crucial it is to build listening skills. Similarly, I’m okay with my [students] not being where they’re “supposed” to be if they’re still learning & having fun.”
  •      @WhatDHeckman said, “Students are people, not objects to be spoken at. Get to know them personally.”
  •      “If I can’t articulate the point of the task/activity/assessment, I’m probably doing it wrong,” said @jaybeekay518.
  •      “Finding twitter as a resource for collaboration was an out-of-the-classroom AHA moment for me!” shared #langchat participant, @Kellycondon.

Taking Risks

The #Langchat community encouraged each other to take risks in the classroom this past year. Many #langchat teachers would agree that these risks paid off. @Marishawkins had “students give presentations without notecards! They were so great!” @MmeFarab  said, “tossing bell ringers aside and starting with input was scary, hard, and tiring, but so worth it.” @DMooreSpanish took a risk and “stopped banning Google Translate.” [He] “taught responsible use and alternatives” instead. @Welangley risked alternative seating while “going deskless. He felt instant regret after, but was glad he kept with it.”

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Looking Forward

#Langchat participants not only looked back at past accomplishments, but set goals for the future. What are you looking forward to ditching in the classroom next school year?

  •      @MlleSulewski said, “Ditching: CLASSROOM JOBS. Two years in a row and I could NOT make it work.”
  •      @Marishawkins shared, “ditching the TEXTBOOK and I couldn’t be happier!!!!
  •      @Welangley hopes to “get better at differentiating for high-flyers”
  •      @WHSWorldLang wants to implement “more IPAs, more authentic listening input from variety of sources, and more student feedback.”

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Questions for Next Year

As the summer begins to wind down, here are a few questions that #langchat participants hope to discuss in the upcoming #Langchat discussions.  If you have a question or a topic you hope to collaborate on in the future, please check out our #langchat wiki and suggest a topic!

  •      @VTracy7 asked, “I’d like my students to ‘spontaneously output,’ I know they’ll do that when the time is right, but is there a quick-rise formula?”
  •      @LauraErinParker wonders, “How to get more CI/TL in class – accountability for me and students?”
  •      @Magistertalley shared, “I want to make sure to have a clear idea of the end of year goals at the beginning of the year.”

Thank You

A special thanks to everyone who made #langchat a success this past school year. Thank you to our lead collaborator, Megan (@MlleSulewski) for guiding this discussion.
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Erica Fischer
Erica is the founder and CEO of Calico Spanish. Her passion for teaching her own children to speak Spanish led her to create Calico Spanish. Our mission is to give all children the opportunity to learn to speak real Spanish for life.

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