The French Corner 2019 Recap

Well, 2019 is coming to a close, and at the end of the year I usually reflect on what new things I tried and what new experiences I had in the classroom.  Here's what happened with me in 2019.

This year I attended the NYSAFLT (New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers) Annual Conference in my hometown of Saratoga Springs.  Conferences are a great way to connect with other colleagues and gather new ideas.  I came away with lots of new ideas and had a chance to connect with other teachers I hadn't seen in awhile.

Martina Bex
The amazing Martina Bex came to my school to talk about comprehensible input in November.  She gave us lots of really great ideas, including one I'll talk about below.

Card Talk
Card Talk is a no-prep, fun activity that Martina led us through in her workshop.  She explains it in detail in this blog post.  In summary, you ask the students a guiding question (such as what is their favorite activity or food) and the students draw their answer.  The teacher shows the class the students' responses and uses it to introduce new vocabulary and prompt a discussion.  This can then be used for a variety of future activities.  I had students draw their favorite food and used it to introduce some new vocabulary at the beginning of the food and meal-taking unit.

Earlier this year, after attending several workshops on the topic, I began developing IPAs (Integrated Performance Assessments) for my students.  Each exam consists of an interpersonal task, an interpretive task, and a presentational task, centered around authentic resources.  While there are a great many resources and sample IPAs available online, I ultimately ended up developing them in collaboration with my colleague, because I wasn't able to find any that tied in properly with our curriculum and learning objectives.

Secret Phrase
I started using a password or secret phrase with students as they enter the classroom this year.  It has proven to be a very effective way to reinforce key vocabulary and increase student engagement.  I blogged about using a secret phrase here.

Norming with Students
I learned about the process of norming with students here on Annabelle Allen's blog, and I tried it for the first time this year.  I blogged about it here.  Essentially, norming with students allows the students to take ownership of all the ideals you already wanted them to practice.  I was so encouraged that the norms my students came up with were essentially all the things I was going to tell them anyway.

Positive Notes
I started handing out positive notes to students when they do a nice job on something.  It's a nice way of letting students know I appreciate their efforts.  I usually make out the note right there during class and hand it out.  I also made a note to hand students that are misbehaving to invite them to conference with me, but my students have been so well behaved this year, I haven't needed to hand any out yet!

Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth Book Read
This past fall, my colleague Sarah led a book read on the book Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth.  Not only did it give me a chance to read a great book and pick up some new ideas, but I got to connect with colleagues from across my building and partake in some great discussions.  Have you ever done a book read at your school?

For the first time in the spring, I had my students write poems about themselves.  I loved seeing their creativity!  I blogged about it here.

My colleague Sarah introduced me to GooseChase earlier this year.  It's basically an online version of a scavenger hunt.  I had my students look through French books and find images that represented various adjectives in French and then share them for the class to look at together later.  I blogged about GooseChase here.

SuperHero Comic Book Maker
When it seemed all the cool apps I used to use were no longer working, a Twitter user tipped me off to SuperHero Comic Book Maker, a great way to assess students' speaking.  I blogged about the app and shared some examples of student work here.

La main verte
When I was in St. Pierre and Miquelon this summer, I picked up a new book for my classroom called La main verte.  I read it in some of my classes this year, and my students loved it.  They loved how strange it was, and the images accompanying the words made it fairly easy to understand.  Do you have a favorite book that you read to your students?

Well, my 2019 was filled with lots of new things.  Here's wishing you a happy new year from the French Corner!
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1 comment:

  1. Cool blog! Just a recommendation for your next Book Read: The Subtle Side of Teaching just came out in December. Great book!


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