Calgary Teachers Convention 2014

Once again, I presented on the TPRS method to a group of teachers. This time, it’s happened right here in Calgary, Alberta! Hello to all those who attended my presentation at the convention.

In this blog post, you can download the slides from my presentation as well as the handouts. They are the same thing, just in two different formats. Most of the information from my presentation came from one of Bryce’s very informative, very detailed handouts (used with permission), and you can go visit his website here to check out all the other free stuff he has to offer!

You can find the my students’ Free Writes (one written on the first or second day of school in September and one written in October after about 17 classes total) here, and quotes from my students on why they prefer learning through stories hereThe vocabulary and readings as well as the script I used for the Mandarin demo are available in a document here.

There are so many great TPRS resources online that I can’t list them all here, but I do have quite a comprehensive list available here. The most useful things are probably a circling template originally created by Laurie Clarcq, I believe (it has information on how to circle a sentence to get several questions out of it) and a handout with some ideas for reading activities made by Michele Whaley.

Bryce Hedstrom has lots of information about reading in general – why, how, what to do afterwards, etc. Check it out in his handout here. If you are interested in finding out more about Embedded Readings, this is a great handout created by Laurie Clarcq that explains exactly how to do them and what they are all about. You can find the Embedded Readings website here, and it has tons of great readings in various languages!

For people interested in using culture to plan your stories, check out this blog post that has links to three different teachers’ cultural lessons on Botas Picudas (in Spanish). Once you see how they have structured their cultural lessons, it will be easier to think of your own ideas! Also see Martina Bex’s Teachers Pay Teachers store for some downloadable Spanish culture and storytelling units. Carrie Toth has shared her cultural unit on Corridas de Toros as well, which is excellent! Kristy Placido has also shared a fun unit on the Supernatural.

If you are interested in the easy-reader novels I was talking about, Bryce Hedstrom has created a ranked list of the novels (in Spanish only) and the levels at which they could be used. If you are looking to purchase some class sets of novels, or a Teacher’s “Preview” set of novels, or if you just want to see what’s available in the various languages, check out TPRS Publishing’s website or their brochure. Most novels are available in French or Spanish, and a few are available in Russian, Mandarin and German. They also have entire TPRS curriculums ready for you to start using in your classrooms and those are available in French or Spanish.

Martina Bex has a great website with lots of activity ideas. And if you are lucky enough to be a Spanish teacher, you can buy her very comprehensive Spanish unit plans à la TPRS on Teachers Pay Teachers. These mini-units that she creates are also really good to look at just to get an idea of how to plan your own, even if you don’t speak Spanish. She has some free stuff on Teachers Pay Teachers and lots of free stuff on her website!

Here are the links to the technology examples mentioned in the presentation:

And here are links to the rubrics I use for grading whenever possible. The speaking, listening, reading and writing rubrics are adapted from Scott Benedict at Teach for June, and the Communication Rubric is adapted from Jen’s Great Rubric on Ben Slavic’s PLC.

Find the Sentence

This great reading activity idea comes from Cynthia Hitz. This month, if you share your favourite reading activity on Martina Bex’s website (as Cynthia did), you could win a year’s subscription to Textivate. Textivate is my personal favourite when it comes to getting students to re-read a text in a fun and interactive way.

Prepare for the activity by choosing 10 sentences from the text/chapter that can be depicted in a drawing and write each sentence on an index card. Put students in groups and give each group a mini whiteboard. Choose 1 student to be the artist for the whole game or use a different student for each index card. Show the first sentence to the artist only and have them draw the scene depicted on the board so everyone can see it. Students then have to re-read the original text to find the sentence which has been drawn on the board. To get one point, groups must copy that sentence out perfectly from the text onto their whiteboards. You can either have them write the whole sentence, or just the first few words of the sentence in order to keep the activity moving more quickly.

Teachers’ Conventions

I have officially received the scheduled times of when I will be presenting on TPRS and CI methods at some upcoming teaching conventions. I will be presenting at both the Calgary City Teachers’ Convention and the Palliser District Teacher’s Convention. If you wish to attend, and are not part of either district, make sure you get in touch with someone about registering as sometimes they will refuse registration to those outside the district.

At the CCTCA (Calgary Convention), my session will be called “Engaging Ways to Provide Comprehensible Input” and I will be presenting on Thursday, February 13, 2014 from 12:30-15:45 in Imperial Section 2, located in the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

At the PDTCA (Palliser Convention), my session will be called “Teaching Proficiency with Reading and Storytelling” and I will be presenting on Friday, February 21st from 9:00-10:15 am. The exact location is unknown as of yet.

I Forgot My Phone

This funny video was shared by Andrea AskenDunn on the moreTPRS list. Could be good material for MovieTalk or a story using the structure “he/she talks on the phone”.