Brain breaks that won’t break your brain

A Brain Break is a pause in instruction to let students refocus, I’ve heard said that we should take our students average age (16 let’s say) and divide it by 2 (8) and after that many minutes you should change activities or take a break. I In a class of 45 minutes that means weContinue reading “Brain breaks that won’t break your brain”

Spoons! The classic card game with a reading twist!

I think we might all be familiar with the card game Spoons. Players pass cards around, trying to get 4 of the same card with a few spoons (one less than the number of players playing)in the middle of the table. When a player gets 4 of a kind they grab a spoon from theContinue reading “Spoons! The classic card game with a reading twist!”

Podcasts for Intermediate Learners

I got this idea today thanks to my new Department chair, Monsieur Jacobs. We have alternating Wednesdays at my new school. Classes are longer, but students only go to half of their schedule. For teachers, that *could* mean that their class sections are split, and starting the school year that could mean if you continueContinue reading “Podcasts for Intermediate Learners”

BuzzIn.live/A No-Prep Reading Game

Recently I found the website buzzin.live BuzzIn is an online buzzer system, similar to a QuizBowl or Jeopardy style game system. Students use their phone or computer to enter the game code, and then they can buzz in. The teacher screen then shows the order in which students buzzed in. If you get the premium(whichContinue reading “BuzzIn.live/A No-Prep Reading Game”

Embedded Readings as Leveled Assessments

If you aren’t familiar with Embedded Readings, a term coined by Michele Waley and Laurie Clarq, the gist is that the teacher creates a series of readings that build on each other to help build reading fluency and support comprehension. A very brief example: Base readingBill is a teacher. Version 1Bill is a Spanish teacher.Continue reading “Embedded Readings as Leveled Assessments”

Verb Charts are the New Word Wall

I’ve had a lot of thoughts recently about what the role of conjugation charts is in my class. If we believe (I do) that verb forms are acquired as whole words rather than stem and ending (Bill VanPatten has a great, short read regarding this HERE) then the practice of filling out conjugation charts mightContinue reading “Verb Charts are the New Word Wall”

CardTalk: Personalizing vocabulary for EVERY Student

CardTalk (previously, Circling with Balls) is a super easy, no prep activity that you can do with literally anything. A lot of people have written about how to do CardTalk (Click here to read Martina Bex’s overview) but to save you some time here’s a quick step by step process: Give students an index card(henceContinue reading “CardTalk: Personalizing vocabulary for EVERY Student”

Silver Lining: Learning to SLOW DOWN in hybrid teaching

Hybrid teaching has its own challenges. For me it’s that I only see my high school students two or three times a week depending on the week. I see my middle schoolers every day. Right now my middle schoolers are a week ahead of my high schoolers. For my sanity, I don’t like that, becauseContinue reading “Silver Lining: Learning to SLOW DOWN in hybrid teaching”

What did you learn today (Update)

Last year I wrote about how adding a simple question at the end of class “What did you become more comfortable with today?” helped show students that even though class might not FEEL like learning sometimes, learning is happening. When learning feels passive (all I have to do is listen and read, I don’t doContinue reading “What did you learn today (Update)”