This is a follow up post to my original post entitled Getting buy-in for a novel: Esperanza, written when my Spanish 4/5 class was roughly halfway through the novel Esperanza by Carol Gaab. In this post, I’d like to share some of my students’ reflections...

In-joke: an esoteric joke that is humorous only to those who are aware of the circumstances behind it; cryptic allusions to shared common ground that act as triggers; only those who have shared the common ground provide an appropriate response. (source: Wikipedia) In-jokes (aka inside jokes) are an incredibly powerful way...

  I have FVR program guidelines: 1) WHY? Students need to understand why we are devoting class time to reading. I have posters with quotes about reading above the classroom library to justify the time, attention and expense. And I point them out often (A wise mentor...

Rewind to me four years ago sitting in my first Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling® (TPRS) workshop. I was learning about great reading and storytelling techniques but I couldn't wrap my mind around one thing: how does this work in the elementary classroom? How do...

After a quick trip to Chattanooga to see first-hand the venues for this summer’s iFLT extravaganza, I am getting more and more excited for the summer get-together. Here are a few observations that might be helpful. The Chattanooga Airport is very nice. It’s small and compact and...

There are many different comprehensible input activities that can be done while reading a TPRS Publishing novel. My all-time favorite is Reader’s Theater. Nothing gets my students more excited and more engaged than acting out a scene. I find Reader’s Theater is also a great...

After many blog posts in the past couple of weeks regarding text or task, Can-Do Statements, this “camp”/ “that camp”/”your camp”/”my camp”, etc. I went on a quest to explore and clarify my thinking and to find where the Venn diagrams intersected. Where...

Circling is a fundamental skill for most CI teachers and a core strategy developed by TPRS practitioners. Although I am not sure exactly WHO ‘invented’ circling, I know that Blaine Ray, Susie Gross and Karen Rowan are at least a few of the key contributors...

Get Stories Out of the Hangar, in the Air, Through the Storm, and Safely Back Again in 25 Minutes For too long in TPRS we have been loading our stories up with excess weight, excess details, just at the moment when the plane is leaving...

Recently, a university professor posted to the ACTFL Teacher Development SIG discussion board*, expressing concern about whether TPRS materials “provide authentic language / culture” and whether “the approach is able to address all five Cs.”  I enjoyed reading the comments on the board and appreciated...

Andrea Winbigler is the lucky winner of our drawing for a free iFLT 2016 registration! Andrea says: I would love to attend iFLT because I am in my second year of teaching and already I want to completely transform my style of teaching. I have been...

 I am currently pursuing an Ed.S degree in Instructional Technology, and one of the big buzz words which is being thrown around is student centered learning. Some components of a student centered classroom are: Student-explorer, teacher-facilitator environment. The student is in control of his/her own learning,...

  When someone gets something specially customized or custom-fit, a client is usually told, “We don’t fit you to the ___, we fit the ____ to you.” Many times, that can also be said for education, and for me, morphing into Teaching with Comprehensible Input over...

I was fortunate enough to attend two exceptional conferences back-to-back and have unique perspectives on each. It’s amazing how perspectives of language instruction/acquisition vary from region to region. In Hawaii (SWCOLT), there seemed to be a large number of ah-ha moments from teachers who truly...

Are you interested in attending the 2016 iFLT conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee? We are going to hold a drawing and ONE lucky person will win a free registration** to iFLT! There are 2 steps you need to take to be entered to win! Click the "Follow blog via...

My Cultura y Civilización course (a Spanish 4/5 class) just started a unit titled “Perspectivas de la Belleza” (Perspectives of Beauty). The main resource for the unit is Kristy Placido’s book Frida Kahlo (and the amazing Teacher’s Guide). Before I start a novel with a...

Let me ask you a few questions before you decide the answer to the question above. First, are you looking for a very satisfying conference with your peers and a way to grow your PLN? Second, are you looking for a conference that caters to...

Word Clouds are everywhere. We see them in advertising, on merchandise, blog sidebar widgets, and—of course—instructional materials shared by teachers. Word clouds are a method of representing data in a visual way: specifically, the words contained within any given text and their frequency. The bigger...

We had so many awesome creative entries for the #flatbrandoncipeek contest! Our TPRS Publishing team of judges included: President Carol Gaab, Vice President Patrick "Pato" Gaab, Carrie Toth, Martina Bex, Teri Wiechart, and Kristy Placido. After much deliberation, we selected the following photo as our WINNER!   Congratulations to...

This is the third time that my fabulous colleague, Megan Matthews, and I are teaching Robo en la noche by Kristy Placido. The first time was two years ago and we rushed through it in the final weeks of school, relying heavily on the terrific...

I love teaching my Spanish III and IV classes with novels, and I have done several posts about the novels that I use. Currently, I am using Vida y muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha with my Spanish IV classes for the second time. Sometimes my...

Recently the topic of novel selection and usage in a particular class level has come up in several forums including CI Peek and the iFLT/NTPRS/CI Teaching Facebook page. I’d like to join the discussion by sharing my recent experience during which there was a slight...

The International Forum on Language Teaching is a grassroots organization inspired by Dr. Stephen Krashen and dedicated to the study and development of best practices for effective language instruction. Conference Venue : Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences 865 East Third Street Chattanooga TN...

Recently there was a post on the iFLT/ NTPRS/ CI Teaching Facebook page (join us there if you are not already a member! Great discussion!) on the topic of "failing readers." The scenario was...

In my classroom I teach 2-4 readers per year. When selecting readers, I want to choose books that are going to be at a comfortable level for the students. I err on the side of “too easy.” Books that are too hard will feel too...

Last week I mentioned how much I love and recommend Dave Burgess’ book Teach Like a Pirate. In his book, Dave recommends using “hooks” to engage students more deeply in the lessons you teach. I want to share my top ten favorite hooks and invite...

Whenever I travel to a conference or inservice, teachers ask “Can you tell me exactly what I need to do to teach a reader?” Well, I have a couple of initial responses to this question. First, there is no “wrong way to eat a Reese’s.” Second, I...

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