Navigating Project-based Learning in Level 1 Spanish Classes

Project-based learning sounds very daunting to do in one's native language, let alone transferring the principles to a second language classroom. Can project-based learning be accomplished in the world language classroom?  Yes, it can and many teachers engage in this level of learning at the higher level. However, the vexing question for me was: can PBL be accomplished and sustained with my Spanish I, Novice-mid-intermediate students?

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When I attempted to "solve for x" I was overwhelmed with crushing amount of information that I thought students had to know, in order to "PBL." At the heart of Project-based learning lies a problem. This was essentially my PBL, and the questions inevitably led to an instructional shift, a "can do" attitude (yes, ACTFL pun!), and a curriculum whose currents intersected at the nucleus of a student-centered curriculum. This nagging question of student …

Dipping my toes in FVR: My first FVR reading time #awesome

Dipping my toes in CI: My first Free Voluntary Reading Time #awesome

For the past few years, I have been learning about teaching in a more comprehensible way. This makes sense since we want to give students, even more, access to the curriculum. Although I have always taught very comprehensibly, in some way, shape, or form, these last few years, I have been treading in the deeper end of the pool of Comprehensible Input (CI).  About two years ago, our department decided to add to the wonderful repertoire of strategies garnered from tinkering with IB principles, ACTFL guidelines to create a more student-centered language-rich environment. We upped the ante by adding the specialized expertise of Brycehedstrom one year, and Martina Bex the next. They taught us about Embedded Readings,Personal Interviews, Kindergarten Read, Movie Talks and Free Voluntary Reading. This extra tools really made gave me that "kickboard" that I need to stay afloat. Although I have written several novels…