More Conference Notes

The other day weIMG_8390 had training on Danielson, part 3b. In the middle of it, I sent this picture to Mira. Her ACTFL session activities, part of which I described in the post before this one, help teachers meet the demands of 3b.

Here are nuggets of wisdom from the Tea with BVP session:

“If you read a thousand books, your words will flow like  river.” (Lisa See)

BVP: “Second language acquisition is like rock climbing.” It doesn’t go in a straight line, and progress can seem excruciatingly slow.

On what good is output, Stephen Krashen: “If you talk, you might get comprehensible input back. Also, if you talk, you control the conversation.”

BVP: “Expect appropriate responses for the given level.”

SK: “Writing makes you smarter.”

Back to some of the activities Mira Canion shared:

  1. See/Think/Wonder: students respond to a picture by filling in three prompts: I see, I think, I wonder. Then they share with one other person.
  2. Silent conversations: on large paper, write a question for each group. Every student writes their answer, and then the groups rotate. Students can come up with the questions in their groups, answer them, and then move on. At the end, everyone can do a gallery walk.
  3. I used to…now.. Mira had us discuss possibilities about a picture and come up with our own story. Then we read a short piece about it. After students have learned about a picture from the culture, they write, “I used to think (riding on a freight train) was…/Now I think it is…” Mira suggested using a word bank for the novice level.
  4. Three pictures make a story. Mira reminded us that when we see three pictures or more, our brain begins to connect them. We can then tell a class story, using pictures from a newscast, illustrations from a book, or pictures from a variety of sources that will call out creativity.
  5. Vanishing story: Once students read a piece about a story, the teacher can leave the picture up, but take out more and more of the words about it. Pretty soon, there are only occasional words  left, and students are telling the story.
  6. Quiz, quiz trade: Each student gets a card with a unique question. Students in pairs ask each other the questions, then when the questions are successfully answered, they trade cards and find a new partner. Eventually they may run into the same questions again, but that’s okay.

And finally, a note about Google Voice. I mentioned that I had my students call me to talk about Shostakovich. I’m going to include a Google Voice call as part of my final too. When I got the text messages from the two classes, I didn’t realize what was going on at first. Here’s one:

“Never issue concert West High school auditorium your apartment 3 concert. Please can you please call me later just a coverage does all his story was just to go over it with changes to this new stuff. Yes gold or associates going to the sea. How’s the studying you yes to go to see you?”

Huh? I thought someone had my number and was prank calling. No, it was D calling to say (in Russian) that he’d attended a concert at our school, and it was very interesting to learn that there were codes in Shostakovich’s music that Russians then understood, and the troubles that Shostakovich had during the time of Stalin. It changed his mind about what music means, and he will never be able to play classical music again without wondering whether there are messages he’s missing.

I wonder…does it do the same thing when students call and speak Spanish, or does it know Spanish? Is there a Google Voice that understands Russian?

PS The kids loved looking at the “texts” of what they had said.



One response to “More Conference Notes

  1. Pingback: ACTFL Report from Michele Whaley – Alaskans for Language Acquisition

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