What did I say?

A good teacher is always looking for ways to vary his or her assessments. Administering varied assessment types allows for differences in student strengths and weaknesses and provides novelty. Novelty is important because it makes the assessment feel less like an exam and more like an activity, which reduces anxiety and lowers the affective filter, … Continue reading What did I say?

Running Dictation Extension

Julia developed an awesome extension for running dictations (click here to read how to do a basic running dictation)! Instead of having students record the events on a single piece of paper, she had the secretary write each event on a separate square of paper. After the secretary recorded it, he or she passed the paper … Continue reading Running Dictation Extension

Authentic Listening Texts

If you haven't noticed, I've been trying to use more authentic listening texts lately 🙂 Well, I was, until the school year ended. While I was out on maternity leave, my awesome substitute was a native speaker from Puerto Rico. My students were overwhelmed (and discouraged) listening to her speak in Spanish, and became whiney … Continue reading Authentic Listening Texts

Story Elements Glove

Here is a fun idea that I learned at a 'Stellar Strategies' workshop with Liz Warner several years ago here in Anchorage. It was a great workshop, and I walked away with many ready-to-use strategies for teaching vocabulary and language in general. I've never actually used this idea because I've not had the forethought to … Continue reading Story Elements Glove

Same and Different

This is a great reading activity that will give students experience with 'testing vocabulary' and require them to use higher levels of thinking. You could also use it as a listening activity, but you'd probably want to have done it with a reading first since the immediacy of listening would make it more challenging. Begin … Continue reading Same and Different

Varied Listening Assessments

Each quarter, I try to get three or four grades in the book in each grade category (speaking, reading, writing, listening, culture, citizenship). I learned from Scott Benedict that this is a good number because you are not spending so much time doing summative assessments that you never actually have time to learn new things, but it also … Continue reading Varied Listening Assessments