I made some big changes to my classroom so far this year and want to make even bigger ones. I was so inspired at a join conference for NCAATF and NCAATSP back in the spring of 2019 and decided that since I only have about 10 years to go to retirement that I wanted to go out with a bang and be the best French teacher I could possibly be. Who knows? If I really like all these changes, I may teach longer than 10 years!
So, I studied standards-based grading this summer and have implemented it in my classroom this fall because I have the luxury of only having one prep. That’s a rare thing for me so I have been playing around with French I. I really like standards-based grading but I find it does take more time to teach for mastery. So now, I’m scrambling with only a few weeks left in the semester to cover what I need to cover for these kids to go on to French II.
I have some friends who have switched over to teaching with comprehensible input and I have been inspired by them and the teachers I see doing this online. Comprehensible Input is based on research on how language is naturally acquired – it’s acquired through reading and hearing the language, not by grammar charts and vocab lists. I have dabbled a bit with this, doing a movie talk to introduce description (it went really well I think and the kids really enjoyed it) and using calendar talk on a daily basis to cover the date, the season, and the day of the week. I read somewhere that some people add something juicy like what is the national day for that day (There is a National Day for Vichysoisse!) which leads us into little mini-discussions (using likes/dislikes, other questions). I need to add weather to it as well. I applied for and was awarded a grant through Delta Kappa Gamma to help provide training and resources to learn more about how to implement comprehensible input in my classroom.
I am on a new learning journey and it’s fascinating to me to learn about all these techniques and philosophies and then try to implement them in my classroom. I have been energized and excited to take on this challenge.