Elicia Cardenas

by | Feb 13, 2018

I am so excited to be presenting at Comprehensible Online. I am a middle school teacher who has been using TPRS and CI for about four years.  I teach 7th and 8th grade in a deskless classroom. I will be presenting about how to bring reading to life.  I decided to present about this because there is one thing that is a constant in my class- getting up and acting it out.  Another constant is when I give student surveys, they always respond that acting it out is the thing we do that helps them learn the best.  Every year.  So I guess it’s worth doing!
It turns out that almost any text where someone is doing something can be dramatized, even dry non-fiction. (With some enthusiastic participants.)
During my presentation, I will include some videos where we bring to life some non-fiction texts that deal with culture, specifically the tradition of a Quinceañera (a ceremonial 15th birthday celebration for girls) and the competition of building human towers in northern Spain.  I hope to include some text from a beginner novel (Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro) and some short fiction that is just fun to act out!
However, I am finding out that it is really hard to encapsulate all the things I do in my classroom to make dramatizing successful- it turns out that work I do at the beginning of the year (to create community, to set expectations, and more) is as important as actually acting out texts.  With this in mind, I am going to discuss some of the tips and tools I use to manage my classroom in order to make these activities possible and successful.
I think it is important to see different levels of classes, so I am filming my faster-paced classes (Spanish 1 and 2) and my standard classes (Spanish 1 spread out over two years)  I also think it is important for folks to see that I coach- in English- to make the scenes more interesting and easier to follow.
I am looking forward to seeing all the amazing presenters (many who have been huge influences in my teaching practice-I bet you can spot some of their techniques!) and I hope our viewers will gain some confidence in how to bring reading to life!


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