Sunday, February 23, 2014

CCFLT Conference - Colorado State FL Conference

This weekend was our state World Language conference. This conference was special because it was the first one I have attended as a Board Member. I knew it was work to put on a conference, but I hadn't realized just how much. Luckily we have so many fantastic Board Members that the conference came together and was a great success!

The sad part about working the conference is that I was only able to attend bits and pieces of sessions. However, the ones I saw were full of great ideas. This year at the conference we also had presenters share their materials online, so I can share information for lots of great sessions that I couldn't attend!

If you want to check out the presenter materials that were posted, check them out here on LessonPaths. A few of the highlights that I saw are:

  • From Shannon Ruiz, our TOY for 2014, get students running to class. Create a "hot seat". The last students to arrive to class get the "hot seat" where the class can ask them any questions they would like in the TL. I think this might solve some of my habitual tardies, and is a cool way to kick off class in the TL.
  • From Real World Interpersonal Speaking - this was a session I wish I could have spent more time in. They brainstormed interpersonal speaking for various themes. Some of the ones they came up with were - Relationships - gossiping girls, first date. Restaurants - students look at a menu and discuss menu items,what they like, what they don't like. 
  • From Noah Geisel's session some interesting new tech tools. Some I have heard of, like the Aurasma app, and Class Dojo. He also showed some new apps - Kindr is an interesting way to share nice notes, but by far the most interesting for me is Sanderling . This is a new website designed for educators. It is a similar style to Facebook or a blog, but instead of following people, you can follow projects. So for instance, if you are working on plans to read Pobre Ana, you can search for Pobre Ana and see the other projects and assignments other teachers have created. This website is still in its infancy so you may encounter a few bugs, but the creators are very responsive and anxious to make the site a success. 
  • I was also able to have a great conversation with the dynamic presenter and author Mira Canion. She has written a new book called Fiesta Fatal. It is set around a quinceaƱera that goes awry. It is written for level 2 with loads of preterite and imperfect. I snapped up 25 to read after Spring Break with my 2s. I am going to read it with another idea I got from Shannon Ruiz called "Pop up Reading". Students are each given a word from the  most challenging vocabulary from the book (conveniently Mira has included the list in the back of the book) and have to define the word and come up with an action for the word. Then when their word is in the story, the student "pops up" and defines the word and does the action.
  • Jon Valentine was the Keynote Speaker and really did a great job. He spoke about how crucial World language is in creating the workforce of the future and gave some great ideas to help teachers find more support for their programs. For example, call your an appropriate consulate for your language and ask to be partnered with a sister school. Many of the French teachers were surprised to learn that in France, all schools are required to have a sister school. I wonder if it is not the same in other countries? He also suggested finding a local company with a global presence to seek their support and work on opportunities to include how important WL knowledge and international travel is to these companies. He recommended a new ACTFL publication that makes can do statements that align with the proficiency levels. It is called Can Do Statements and is available on the ACTFL website.
Overall it was a great conference and there was an energy throughout the weekend that was inspiring. I loved seeing so many teachers excited about their language and their learning.