Two years ago I attended the training to teach AP Spanish. After a week, I realized that the curriculum at my school needed to improve, and that I needed to find a way to incorporate more listening and speaking activities in class every day. My problem was I wasn't sure how to go about doing it, and since the AP training was the week before school started, I didn't have time to revamp everything I had been doing. My colleague and I worked on making the curriculum more relevant and made the more to thematic units. It took almost an entire year to complete the process. Last year, I embarked on a crazy journey with a science teacher from my school to go to the Flipped Class Conference in Woodland Park. I spent 3 days surrounded my mostly Math and Science teachers, but finally connected with another Foreign Language teacher! After the conference, I realized that flipping my class was the way to find the time that I needed to increase student fluency. It wouldn't look anything like how a Math or Science teacher did it, but I knew I could make it work. At the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, the new curriculumWith my new thematic curriculum created, I made videos for my students to watch at home. The videos covered all of the grammar concepts that I normally covered, and I created some vocabulary practice as well. Students did practice in class as well as lots of conversation, listening and reading. The students fluency rate had increased, but I was sure that I could improve my classes even more. That was when I discovered PBL. This summer I have presented about the flipped classroom to a variety of groups, but most notably at the Flipped Class conference in Chicago. There was a ton of discussion about using the "found" class time to introduce PBL rather than other..less focused practice. Now I am in the process of rethinking all of my past assignments and trying focus on PBL in my classroom. I have some crazy ideas for projects, but the element of PBL that I have struggled with is finding an appropriate audience. The last #flipclass chat gave me some great ideas including having students create a piece that describes themselves to me and the class. Also having the students demonstrate their knowledge of our first unit by creating a video/skit to be able to show during Back to School night and email to parents that do not attend. (Since I teach mainly upperclassmen, my attendance is spotty at best!) I am so excited to have joined this group and I look forward to being able to continue to learn from my peers and increase my PLN so that I can be the best facilitator possible in my classroom. If you want to know more about me and my flipped class journey, check out my blog at http://spanishflippedclass.blogspot.com/.
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