#iFLT14 Conference Wrap-Up

BtGdcshCQAE6OfkI attended the iFLT Conference in Denver in July.  ( I just got back from Costa Rica so now I can post this)  Every day my mind was blown.  Every day I got a multitude of fantastic activities.  Every day I was in awe.  The conference was all about teaching with comprehensible input and TPRS®.  There were awesome workshop sessions about a variety of topics.  What made it even more powerful was observing master CI/TPRS teachers teaching actual students.

Here are my “take aways” from each day: (you can see what attendees tweeted about during conference by searching the hashtag #iFLT14 on Twitter)

Day 1:

Dave Burgess author of “Teaching Like a Pirate” gave the keynote speech (check out his website).   Find your passion and include it in your teaching.  Your passion in your subject, your passion in your profession, and your passion outside your profession.  Hook your students.  As Dave Burgess says, pre-heat the grill.  Get your students fired up and deliver the content at their peak engagement.  An immersed teacher is swimming with their students, not being a lifeguard. When you are teaching your students, you are doing nothing else. Completely immersed!

Big question: Would your students buy a ticket to attend your class?

Carob Gaab:  CI + TPRS + BEST PRACTICES = SUCCESS!!  If you slow down you will engage everyone.  Nobody should know that you are circling.  Every 4th question should be an individual question. Put in one zinger a week.  The brain craves novelty!

Day 2:

I attended Martina Bex’s session titled “Stretching the Story.”  She gave so many great activities to continue the input, included blind retell, top 10, story strips, team windows, running dictation, and pick the pic.

Then I attended Jason Fritze’s session called “Language Acquisition: It’s elementary!”   Languages can’t really be taught, you can’t teach language, you just use languages in ways that people understand.  The #1 under used activity in lang class is re-reading.  Chunks of language=formulaic sequences that can be learned as wholes or may be fused together, they build fluency.  You need to coach the procedures from the beginning of the year.

Martina Bex session “Creating vocabulary driven culture units”
  • students get sick of silly stories: they want to talk about real life
  • step 1: determine structures and content, step 2: write cultural reading, step 3: vocab: intro, write the story, plan activities, create story reading, step 4: create assessments, plan activities

Day 3:

UBD Novels with Carrie Toth and Kristy Placido–Backwards panning for success
  • Include your passions into your classroom; not only backwards plan for a novel, also for a topic you are passionate about

  •  What are your goals?  What do you want them to acquire?  Think big. How will you assess students?  What will be sufficient proof that they have acquired what you want them to acquire? How will you “hook” students?  What will get them excited about the unit?

  • What do I want my students to take away from this unit?  Lasting impressions…Life changing lessons

Other forms of Input–Kristy Placido:
  • Readers Theater: short and sweet, use props!, make it cheesy and exagerrated
  • Weekend chat
  • pair/group activities
  • Stations (learning centers)
  • use authentic resources
  • invite a guest
#authres, so easy a novice could do it–Martina Bex:
  •  to make comprehensible: introduce the resource, interact with the resource, and investigate the resource (dicussion)
  • different #authres: audio speaking, song, infographic, story in the TL, video in the TL

Day 4:

QAR Strategies–Martina Bex:
  • QAR #1: “Right there” the answer is found in the text
  • QAR #2: “Think and Search” the answer is found in several parts of the text
  • QAR #3: “Author and Me” the answer comes from combining info from the text with the opinion or knowledge of the reader
  • QAR#4: “On my Own” answer is not in the text


What makes this conference unique is that we are able to observe master CI/TPRS teachers teach real students.  I will post about within the next few days.



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