Sunday, August 22, 2010
My Goals for This School Year
As a jump start to the new school year, I decided to reflect on my goals. These past three years, I have learned so much about the language learning process and have come across some innovative ways to teach a foreign language. Here are some of the things that I have planned for this year:
1. Global and National Collaboration Projects
Over the past few months, I have connected with other elementary Spanish teachers across the United States. My goal is to have my students connect with other Spanish classrooms in order to put their language skills to use. From learning songs to retelling stories, I want both classes to equally exchange and participate during our sessions. I also plan on maintaining a relationship with our abroad contacts and continue our discussions about culture and life in their countries. One project that I am excited about is exploring popular music in Spanish-speaking countries.
2. Integrating More Technology
Throughout the summer I have been playing with several Web 2.0 tools and brainstorming ways to integrate them into my curriculum. I feel that these kinds of tools create opportunities for creativity, collaboration, and application of language skills. Some of my favorite tools include Animoto Slide shows, Glogs, and Vokis. My students seemed very excited when I described these projects and I am as eager as they are to get started!
3. Out-of- School Learning Experiences
Due to demographics and geographical location, my students have limited exposure to Latino cultures and the Spanish language in their home communities. For this reason, I feel that it is important to expose my students to as many cultural and language experiences as possible. So far my absolute favorite event has been the Latin American Performance by the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet, which presents folkloric dance from various Spanish-speaking countries. This company schedules a performance in our city every year, and I would love to continue taking our students to enjoy it.
Another event I plan on organizing involves visiting a language institute that is part of our local university. This institute has native Spanish-speaking students who volunteer as guest speakers as part of their community outreach program. Last year, we had these students come talk to our students about their home countries, history, and culture. This year, I would like to duplicate those same activities but host the event at their institute.
4. Hands-On Learning Experiences
Last year I used learning centers to reinforce vocabulary. I plan on continuing these centers but would like to include activities that involve language that goes beyond single words. Incorporating arts and crafts is also on my to-do list along with including engaging ways to learn grammar concepts.
I also used many games to reinforce vocabulary. Although I liked the concept of using games to practice language, I did not have enough games to work with. After doing some research, I have come across many that can be adapted to fit different themes and proficiency levels, which is important in my teaching setting.
So these are my goals in a nutshell. What kinds of projects do you have planned for the upcoming school year? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
Posted by Elvira G. Deyamport, Ed.S. at 9:01 AM