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Posts Tagged ‘Teaching’

Students are very restless.
Teachers are even more restless, but try to hide it.

Students are lazy with their work.
Teachers are also lazy with their work, but maintain a facade.

Students would rather go  outside.
Teachers would rather go outside, too.

And yet, somehow, we are still engage in that supremely human endeavor: learning.  Somehow, we are managing, like pulling great big teeth from shiny, grabby gums, to work ourselves out of the darkness of our ignorance into the light of truth and grace.

Help!

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Update:  If you are a student or teacher, consider this article and the tips at the bottom for combatting spring fever.  Although these tips are somewhat silly, I think they acknowledge the reality of any teacher’s situation.  Also, don’t forget to get out and smell the roses!

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I was just reflecting on the lessons I have learned on foreign language pedagogy as I headed back from Des Moines today.

One of the things I was thinking about is how stories stick. I read that in Tools for Teaching, by Fred Jones – he suggested that when you are lecturing, make sure to tell stories with detail and imagery because those two things help us create more dynamic memories. I’m sure you’ve also heard of those memory tricks where you create an image – let’s say, a house – and create other things in that house to help remind you of certain things you want to remember. I’ve heard that certain cultures really rely on this type of memory device.

So, I was bemoaning the fact that I didn’t have a resource to introduce Spanish vocabulary in the context of a story. Wouldn’t it be great if there were some lively stories with Spanish vocabulary that were easily understandable? My sister uses a vocabulary series called VocabuLit – vocabulary, in this way, is learned in context with passages and short stories.

Our next chapter in Spanish II is celebrations – birthdays, weddings, parties, etc. As I was unpacking today, I glanced in my black plastic file holder and the yellow book caught my eye – El cumpleaños de Arturo – Arthur’s Birthday. It’s a book a purchased two years ago but never found a good chance to use. When I picked it up and glanced through, I realized it happened to use some of the vocabulary from our new unit, matched the theme perfectly, and used the past tense which my students wouldn’t have been able to understand until this year.

Now the challenge is to use this book in a way that’s actually helpful. We’ll see what happens!

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I have the back to school butterflies.  I’m going to pretend, for a moment, that I actually have a readership, and ask the question: are you going back to school?  How do you feel about going back?  What are you looking forward to?  What are you not looking forward to?

Also, a quick prayer from St. Thomas Aquinas:

Grant, O Merciful God, that I might ardently desire, prudently examine, truthfully acknowledge, and perfectly accomplish, what is pleasing to thee for the praise and glory of thy name.

Before I go, one link I’d like to pass along to the USCCB’s daily video reflection on each day’s Mass readings.

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