jam-packed sessions full of valuable information to over 140 participants from all over the US (and even from Switzerland). She was extremely gracious and kind and humorous too (bonus!).
I didn’t want to come off as a creepy stalker so I limited my interactions with her to an introduction and a selfie, which turned out quite wonderful if I do say so myself. I hope that if she ever reads this post, or my blog in general, she will know how influential she has been in regards to my teaching career and making the switch to TPRS® and CI.
So, after my initial, “OMG that’s really her and OMG I’m really here!” moment, I got down to the business of trying to soak up every bit of information that came my way. Since my head is still processing all the information (yes, 5 days later!), I’m going to list 5 main takeaways of information that stood out to me to be essential and relevant when it comes to comprehensible input as I understood it.
Disclaimer: To reiterate, these are my “notes” from the information provided as I understood them.
Ultimately, if you ever have a chance to see Martina Bex at a workshop, Do It! The amount of information, tips and tricks to create impactful CI units, and experience that she encompasses are invaluable. For her to impart such knowledge is a genuine treat. I can say I am well-prepared to continue my CI journey, and I feel pumped about it. No matter where any teacher is on his or her CI journey, there is always something new to learn. I was happy that I walked away with tons of new perspectives.
In a nutshell, I am grateful and blessed that I could attend this workshop. And after two days of cramming my brain full of great information and fresh ideas, it was time to leave. You know there’s just no place like home!
Important Note: The hashtag for the workshop was #CIwizards. Search this hashtag if you want to see what others have posted via twitter.
I woke up this morning feeling super pumped about the Follow the Comprehensible Road to Proficiency workshop being given by Martina Bex that’s happening in just three days! This 2-day conference in upstate New York is focused on how to infuse a range of Comprehensible Input (CI) strategies into one’s respective, existing curriculum(s). At a time where CI strategies and methodologies are being explored and spreading like wildfire, it’s important to really understand the “why’s,” “how’s,” and what’s” of CI as Ms. Bex puts it.
I’m also super pumped because it has been a while since I have been to a conference. If you are a conference-goer, you know how much excitement, knowledge, and fun conferences can be! Additionally, there’s such a rush when a group of like-minded professionals get together and explore this whole CI thing together. I’ve missed this, especially since last year I was not a Spanish teacher. This conference is also happening at a great time—late in the summer (leaving plenty of time to plan), but close enough to when school starts.
In regards to Ms. Bex, I have followed her blog for many years and have been using her resources throughout my teaching career. Her SOMOS curriculum really helped me out when I was transitioning to be a more TPRS® and CI oriented teacher. Thankfully, I met Blaine Ray and his son Von Ray during the TPRS® conferences that I have attended. Now I really look forward to meeting Ms. Bex in person and learning her tips and tricks firsthand.
Currently, I am working on planning my school year (big picture/units) so that I am better organized and have a more complete idea of what I am going to cover and when I am going to cover it before the conference begins. I look forward to receiving wonderful new insight on the how by attending the conference. A goal this year is to have units that are infused with more culture. Therefore, I look forward to creating more culturally rich materials and resources.
Eek! I can’t wait! I'll tweet conference highlights and moments.
Are you going?
I have literally gone bonkers with Gran Hotel! I never tire of Julio making googly eyes at Alicia, Diego's (and Doña Teresa’s) psychopathic resolve to be in control of nearly everything, or Ándres' delightful facial expressions like the one above. Sigh. Well, since I’m practically in love with the series, I set out to create various activities that supplement the first episode of the show. I wanted to create resources that could be used with any level of Spanish and supply substantial amounts of comprehensible input in novel ways. I came up with an assortment of game activities, which can easily be differentiated for any class.
COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT WITH A COMPETITIVE EDGE
I created a bundle of 5 games and activities that can be used in a variety of ways for a variety of purposes. The purpose of these resources is to enhance the video and give your students continuous amounts of comprehensible input (CI) with a competitive edge. Through game play students will receive lots of repetitions centered around vocabulary and target structures (if you use them). Additionally, your students will improve their understanding of key events that happen in Episode I, as well as the essential characters (12 total) that are introduced.
WHAT is CRISITINA HIDING?
A bunch of secrets obviously! I created a previewing guide to help students build a solid foundation and to understand the premise of the series. The guide provides contextual reference points that will spark discussion and intrigue as you introduce Gran Hotel. This guide also jumpstarts vocabulary and target structure dissemination. For example, students can begin their journey into the world of Gran Hotel by analyzing the letter Cristina wrote to Julio.
WILL JULIO OLMEDO AND ALICIA ALARCÓN EVER BE TOGETHER?
HOW ABOUT READING EXCERSISES?
Well, since I’ve created a previewing guide and an assortment of game activities, I guess the next step is creating some impactful readings for episode I. Since I just wrote that down, I’ll have to follow through! Expect reading guides and activities in the next couple of weeks! However, I do want to mention that Mike Peto and Kara Jacobs have developed wonderful readings for a few episodes of Gran Hotel, which are great for upper-level classes. My readings will be geared towards lower-level classes.