Saturday, October 29, 2016

FLAM / KSWLA Presentation

So I gave my presentation first thing on Friday morning after the kick off ceremony and I was told that there was a mix-up and I was going to be presenting in the big banquet room.

I tried to explain that I had previously only drawn crowds of 15-20 people.

Nevertheless, I was told to just have everyone scoot over to where I would be presenting.

So in the banquet room, we all ate breakfast and there was a middle stage area, and two projection screens and I figured that once it was my turn to begin, I would just choose a projector to use and everyone could move over.

As it was time for me to start, I noticed that quite a few people didn't seem to be leaving from their tables.

I figured they were still deciding where they were going.
I picked out a projector and was told that I would be able to use both projectors to which I responded, well once everyone goes to wherever they are going to go, I'll just be over here though. To which someone responded, "They are where they want to go".

And it occurred to me that there were a LOT of people that wanted to hear about different tips and tricks to teach in the target language.

I was floored that there were so many. In my estimation, the room was packed beyond my humblest of expectations.

But I gave the presentation, interacted with the audience a little bit and afterwards a lot of people thanked me for it and seemed to really have enjoyed it and gotten something from it.

It was very encouraging. I think next year, Bess Hayles and I should try to do some actual TPRS presentations/demos that build off of each other to really help people interested.

So thankful to everyone who came, participated, talked to me afterwards and let me know how it was helpful to them!

And here are some pictures I took of the crowd to give you an idea of what I was looking at while I was presenting so you don't think I am being hyperbolic!

It felt like I was giving a keynote or that I was way more important of a person than I am!
My left side
in front of me

my right side

Also you can download my presentation keynote here in pdf form with all of the links to the resources I mentioned.


  1. Jeremy, you may be the only one surprised by this crowd. Teachers are searching for ways to make the language comprehensible to their students while teaching in the TL. I'm so excited for you that they are learning from you because you have a LOT to share!!!

    1. You're right! I must have underestimated the thirst for people to hear about such topics since last year my presentations drew much smaller (but awesome, engaged) crowds.

      And thanks for the vote of confidence!

  2. I absolutely loved your presentation. Thank you so much! You've given me so many new ideas to use that will help keep my kiddos in the TL!

    1. Thanks Kimberly! I am so glad you enjoyed the presentation and found some useful strategies. Please let me know if you have anymore questions via here or twitter or email! ;-)

  3. I had an awesome time at this conference! I was super-surprised to learn that you would be leading our meeting. Who knew you were "a local!" Thought you were just some random YouTuber out there in Spanish Land! Thanks for all the great videos you post. We really do use them frequently in class to supplement what we are learning. Bravo!

    1. So glad your time at the conference went well and I was able to surprise you by being there! Glad the vids have been helpful as well! :-)

  4. I was at your presentation as well and I've already tried a few things I learned in my classroom. I have a question. What types of assessments do you give?

    1. Tina,
      Every year I experiment with assessing in different ways. I am far from vocabulary matching and explicit grammar points at this point.

      Since I use a lot of whole-language type teaching, I tend to give 5 point quizzes or 8 questions quizzes at the end of class each day as an exit ticket. I started off doing those all Yes/No. But in the previous school I was at for standards based grading, they told me I had to do some higher-level-thinking with those so I did:
      5 yes/no
      2 (who, what, where, how, when) - one word'ish answer
      1 (why) - longer response

      This would show me the breakdown in a different way and would help me see. I would still give all points to a kid with lower language level who could still answer the why question with 1-2 words correctly. But I always loved to see the emergent use of language from the kids who absorb faster and might answer in a sentence or multiple sentences.

      In the past I have given finals over a novel we have read per semester and in my last school we experimented with assessing the 4 different areas:


      While speaking is my least favorite to proctor and grade (and for many kids to take), I think those four areas were neat to see with standards based grading and that each kid was growing throughout the year albeit at their own paces.

      I hope that gives you some ideas!

      But my particular philosophy for my own sanity:
      lots of quizzes over each day is showing they are learning the language.

      I would rather test them over their knowledge via the language than over their explicit knowledge of the language.

      At the end of the day, we are trying to teach them things through the language to trick their brain into learning to use the language for success in the classroom.

      I hope that answers your question! Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions as assessments can be somewhat tricky and everyone is in a different place in their teaching journey!