I’m a little late in gathering up a list of my second marking period favorites, as our second marking period/first semester ended in January (oops). Mieux vaut tard que jamais, as they say.
You can find here as well a list of my First Marking Period favorites who have continued to serve me well beyond October!
TheFrenchCorner: Samantha Decker blogs over at TheFrenchCorner and there’s just something about it that’s not your typical teacher blog. I can’t quite put my finger on it – but I like it! I love having more French teacher blogs to follow; the majority of the ones I read are written by Spanish teachers who are fabulous, but it’s nice to encounter some of my own content area, too. Most recently, Samantha has posted some GREAT roundups of activities and assessments she’s done in her class, grouped by unit. She’s also done roundups of her favorite blog posts from around the web, which is an awesome resource if, like me, you have the attention span of a gnat and can’t spend too much time trying to find specific blog posts without falling down the rabbit hole.
#langchat: If you’re not participating in the Twitter-based PLN #langchat, you really should be! Something I think is really lacking in the (otherwise great) district where I work is the opportunity to connect and collaborate with my colleagues. Other than one in-service day in August, I have no time to get together with the three other French teachers in the district (who do not teach in the same building as I do). Fortunately, #langchat offers an amazing opportunity to collaborate with language teachers all over the WORLD! It’s something I look forward to each week because I never end a session without an idea that can be implemented almost immediately. #langchat takes place at 8PM Eastern Time on Thursdays and 10 AM Eastern Time on Saturdays.
The Together Teacher by Maia Heyck-Merlin: In July, I learned from one of my administrators that I would be teaching a full class load with no prep hour all year long. While this was great news because it meant my program was growing, I was also very nervous because I am NOT a well-organized person and I was concerned about what the loss of my prep hour might mean for my productivity and efficiency. I found this book on Amazon because I wanted some tips on how to stay more organized and manage my time more effectively; while I can’t say that I’ve been perfect about consistently implementing the strategies that Ms. Heyck-Merlin suggests, I can absolutely tell that I am more productive and efficient when I have my “Weekly Worksheet” filled out and ready to go on Monday!
Class Dojo: I realize I am probably the last person on the planet who knows about Class Dojo, but I used it consistently throughout the second marking period as a target-language management tool (for the students) and have really come to love it. In the past, I used a marble jar as a way to reward students for speaking French during class – whenever somebody used French without me having to remind them (silly things like “Bonjour” and “J’adore Mademoiselle/le français” don’t count, even in level one) I would put a marble in the jar. When it got to 20 marbles, we could have a food day, watch a movie, whatever. Unfortunately the students either a.) couldn’t come to a consensus on how to use their marble rewards, b.) were moochers in cases of a food day and c.) sat around looking at their phones instead of partaking in “fun day” activities so I clearly needed a better system. Plus, the marble jar allowed a lot of students to just sit back and let those high-achievers do all the work, yet they were still able to reap the benefits. With Class Dojo, those issues have been mostly resolved – the students love earning Dojo points for speaking French, and it allows them to “compete” with one another which means I have kids literally FIGHTING TO SPEAK FRENCH WITH ME. Come on.
So, there you have it – my Second Marking Period favorites!