TPRS Workshop in Calgary

Blaine Ray Workshops is holding its first ever workshop in Calgary, Alberta! I am super excited about this workshop finally coming to Canada and have even convinced a few friends and colleagues to attend. The workshop is taking place on July 6, 7 and 8 at the Comfort Suites Inn on McLeod trail.

From the Blaine Ray website:

TPRS Workshops consist of presenter demonstrations of the key skills and parts of TPRS. Since TPRS skills are best learned not just by watching but also by practicing, there will be opportunities to practice in groups.

The workshop will also address key topics such as homework, grading, timed writings, classroom management, lesson plans, and more.

All participants will receive a certificate of completion stating the number of hours completed (6 hours per day). Daily lunch is included.

Find out more details about the conference and register by clicking here.

Palliser District Teachers’ Convention 2015

This year I am presenting once again at the Palliser District Teachers’ Convention. I will be presenting two sessions. Below I have posted the details, along with a summary of each session and links to handouts that will be provided at the session.

Using Easy-Reader Novels to Teach Second Languages
Thursday, February 19 from 2:50pm-4:00pm
Glen 210, South Building, Calgary Telus Convention Centre

Using novels in the second language classroom is the best way to show students how much language they have acquired over the course of a semester/year. This session will discuss where to find the best easy-reader novels in various languages, how to plan to teach them, and fun activities you can use while teaching any novel in a second language classroom.

Teaching Second Language Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling
Friday, February 20 from 12:00pm-2:45pm
Glen 210, South Building, Calgary Telus Convention Centre

Teaching Proficiency with Reading and Storytelling is a method of teaching based on the theories of Stephen Krashen that uses a mixture of reading and storytelling to help students learn a foreign language in a classroom setting. This session will introduce the method and many engaging ways of providing comprehensible input to students, including MovieTalk, embedded readings, novels, children’s books, and cultural stories.

Credit: Thanks to Bryce Hedstrom and Carol Gaab for much of the information in the two presentations. Thanks to Martina Bex and Betsy Paskvan for other information contained in the presentation. Thanks to Laurie Clarq, Martina Bex, Victoria Gellert, and Michele Whaley for the circling template. All information within these presentations is used with permission and cited accordingly.

NTPRS 2014

I had a wonderful time at the NTPRS conference this year in Chicago. I had a great roommate and the presenters were as inspiring, as always. It’s hard to believe that I will be going back to school in only 3 short weeks, but luckily after this conference, I feel re-energized and ready to do some serious planning. Over the next few weeks, I will also attempt to share as much as I can from the sessions I attended. I always take a lot of notes from the sessions, but it takes me a while to make my bulleted notes coherent and actually post them, so be patient and bear with me!

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.

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.