Wednesday, August 17, 2016

NTPRS - day 5 - Embedded Reading, Closing Ceremony, Tahoe, In & Out, & Videogames,

*this is my attempt to keep track of what happened while I was at my very first NTPRS in Reno, Nevada 

Embedded reading presentation
In the morning I went to Michele Whaley's presentation on "Embedded reading: A Literacy Tool".

It was really neat to see! I have been using embedded reading now (or trying) for three years.

If you aren't familiar with it, it's simply creating a simple version of a text and then a harder (bottom-up) or using a hard version of a reading and making it more accessible in different versions (top-down).

Michele Whaley did a good job breaking it down and I could see how important it really can be to help kids be successful. So thankfully it reinforced what I did for my classes.

I also really liked a story idea she had about a girl who sees a boy, he doesn't look at her, she walks towards him and he pees. Then as she fleshes the story out in future versions, he turns out to be a dog!

I tend to leave out the ending until the last version. But I liked the twist here to give the ending but make it more of a detective story where they want to read more versions to see WHY it happens.

She also talked about some different phrases that Justin Slocum-Bailey likes to throw into Embedded readings such as:

  • But this was only half true
  • she turned and smiled to herself
  • he had no idea how wrong he was
  • the truth had never been good enough for Calra
  • he didn't let he see the tears forming in his eyes
  • that moment sealed her fate
  • Juliet would never be the same again
  • then, for the first time in her life, she lied to him
  • in a plush office across town, a look of triumph crossed the face of Don Cornelio
  • this was the beginning of the end
  • But it wasn't
  • but it was
And I liked how she gave different activities that we could do between versions of embedded readings to help break them up:

  • Choral/Individual translation
  • Questions and answers
  • Translate
  • illustrate
  • point to a picture
  • act it out
  • parallel story
  • powerpoint/smart board
  • read and discuss
  • predictions

We used Quizlet live to review the story in groups. I admit I have heard of it, but tend to shy away from technology, especially if it will only be for word level type discourse. But she put lines in the story and the groups had to find the correct translation (in English) of the Russian sentences from the story! I might have to try this in the coming year since we will have 1:1 chromebooks.  Anything to get an additional pass of the reading material!

Closing Ceremony:
So I was helping with the AV at the closing ceremony because there might be a need for someone since since the super talented renaissance man, Michael Miller, is retiring from doing AV at NTPRS after helping out for (I want to say) 16 years?!

It was stressful as always, but Mike Coxon and I were sitting up on the floor near the stage making sure everything went well! Minus a video hiccup or two, we got it all to work and I thought it was a nice close to a really special week.

I would have liked to sit with teachers I had met over the week one last time, but it was an honor to help out.

Tahoe, In & Out
Tahoe around sunset...
Later on in the day, some awesome people were going to Tahoe, so Mike Coxon and I went along after some much-needed down time.  It was a great way to end the week, with some interesting people, still talking about what we do in our classes. I swear I have never met so many teachers  who love what they do so much that they talk to others about it whenever possible. It was so refreshing to not feel crazy for thinking about my classes and trying to be intentional with storytelling, CI, etc.

At In & Out

Afterwards we went to In & Out for dinner. It was awesome as usual and Mike taught us a secret code to order french fries with all sorts of extra stuff on them.

It was especially nice because I haven't had In & Out in a LONG time. It's awesome (even if people doubt that I ate my hamburger).

Here's a pic of our group (Mike isn't pictured though for some reason)!

Jackson and I were photo bombing in the background!

We got back to the hotel and Mike and I met up with my new colleague, Bess Hayles.  We ended up playing video games in the arcade. It was way more fun than a casino would ever be for me and we played a 3d shooting game. It was intense. See attached photo of Mike and Bess!

All in all a good end to the week with awesome, intentional educators who inspire me to keep doing what I believe is right in my classroom for my kids to acquire the language.

But there was one more highlight to my trip as I left for KC the following day!


  1. We just had Martina Bex at our school for professional development for my awesome World Language Department and we discussed embedded readings. I have to admit, I have been teaching for 12 years, creating my own materials, readings, short novels and such and I thought that embedded reading was actually making the vocabulary accessible or passages comprehensible to students! To my surprise, this might have been comprehensible input, but not embedded reading. Now that I have the true definition of embedded reading, Manos a la obra!

    1. I used to think embedded readings were just readings. I didn't realize they had to do with scaffolded versions of lesser-->greater difficulty!

      Glad I figured it out because they have really helped my kids to learn way more than previous years, and be more successful with reading!

  2. By the way, I love all of your videos.