While summer is a great time to rest and spend time with family, it is also a time of planning for teachers. Many teachers use their vacation to reflect on the past year and begin planning for the upcoming school year. Our teachers at Language Teacher Cafe have reflected and have come up with the following changes they plan to implement in their classes this year:
I want to get my students talking in a more unscripted fashion. The only way to do this is to create engaging lessons that make students WANT to express themselves. I plan to use some of the "spicier" cultural topics to do this.
-Spanish Sundries of www.throwawayyourtextbook.com
This year I'm looking to implement even more "hands on" materials into my Spanish classroom to better engage students. I'm taking old worksheets and looking for ways to revamp them into task cards, flip books or games. Also, my goal every year is to give students more speaking practice than the year before, so I'm always on the look out for ways to integrate these opportunities. From an organization perspective, I'm going to continue a project that I started at the end of last year. I'm cleaning out years of paper file folders and categorizing the papers into 3-ring binders, separated by topic with dividers.
A renewed focus on immersion in the target language in my classroom. Immersion is the best way to learn a language. At the beginning of the year, I model speaking English out with my friends in the hall, but then changing to Spanish as soon as I enter the classroom door. It's hard to discipline yourself to speak only the target language, even when you're tired or an activity is tricky to explain, but if you stick with it, your students will learn so much more.
I re-organized my room from rows to groups - I want to do more cooperative learning activities this year, and I'm hoping the new flow of the room will help facilitate that. I also plan on changing how I approach homework. No more worksheets for homework... I want to give them practical, meaningful things to do.
-Frau Leonard http://germansektor.blogspot.com/
My primary goal this year is to do more partner and small group activities. Long gone are the days when kiddos at the early primary level could sit and take turns without behavioural issues cropping up. I am looking at logistically how this can happen in my classroom- setting up partner and group mixes ahead of time so I am not using class time while 5 year olds run around trying to find a partner (seems so easy in theory lol). My secondary goal is to incorporate more cooking/taste tests with my students. Given my load of 400 +/- students and no kitchen available for cooking, this should be interesting!
-Mundo de Pepita
I plan to have students create portfolios of their work and how it progresses over the course of the year. In addition to writing samples, I use a GoPro camera to record them while speaking in class and then splice up the footage by student into digital files. It is a time consuming undertaking, but as with anything, I am sure I will figure out some time-saving tricks along the way!
- Spanish Sundries
What changes do you plan to implement? Tell us in the comments below!