This morning at 8 o’clock started NTPRS14 in the Sheraton in Lisle, Illinois. We gathered in the ballroom and Lisa Reyes opened NTPRS14. Blaine did a few words and Lisa presented all the teams and all countries and US-regions had to stand up in order to show with how many they were. The big group from Turkey is also present at NTPRS.
This year NTPRS has special workshops for :
- the beginning TPRS teachers,
- The intermediate TPRS teachers
- the advanced TPRS teachers
So there is one level more: the intermediate TPRS teachers. The advanced workshop has, unlike last year, one presenter and the intermediates also have one presenter, one of which is my roommate Michelle Kindt. The workshops are longer now: there’s a part in the morning and a part in the afternoon.
I first went to the workshop by Carol Gaab: Reading, an advanced workshop. Carol’s workshops are always a delight to attend. They have a lot of variation, you learn a lot of interesting tips and tricks and they’re fun. I made a lot of notes and hope to use it all the coming schoolyear. See the link for her hand-out.
During the lunch, Diana Noonan held her keynote speech. She told that she’s not the type for speeching and that she didn’t want to do it, but finally she gave in. She told us how she got into contact with TPRS and how she introduced it in her district. She started small, one teacher at a time. She invited a lot of TPRS presenters. The teachers can choose if they come to the professional or not. The next piece was assessment, because you have to prove that you are improving the students. They had funds and the teachers came together and started writing. They have the data: thousands of students did the tests. Diana filmed 9 teachers and put it on Schooltube. Teachers ahve to be able to observe each other. At the end Diana gave the message: Do what you know what is best for kids. If you meet roadblocks, remember (she finished with a cute video): “don’t stop, don’t give up, keep trying, keep trying (sung by of a cute little girl).
After lunch Carol’s workshop continued and besides new tips and tricks she also gave us pages from TPRS novels in order to prepare a readers theater lesson.
After Carol’s session I went to Gary DiBianca: Big picture planning: how to use CI to make meaningful; units filled with content and culture. He gave an overview of backward planning, how to reflect on personal and professional passions to engage students, how to present so that students acquire, learn and manipulate language. He gave the ACTFL 5 C’s: Communication, Connections, Culture, Community, Comparisons. He adviced to make cross connections within your lessons and units – do not isolate them.
What’s your students base knowledge in and with the target language? How do you adapt or retool your in-class target language usage? Is it all comprehensible? How do you organize instruction/content/language?
What is your passion that you could share as a teacher? CONNECTIONS. Think about “Teach like a pirate” by Dave Burgess, who mentions 3 passions.
At 6 there were two showcases by Blaine Ray and Michael Miller and after it a research masterclass, I’d have loved to attend to them, but I was too tired to attend. It was a long day already…