Dr. Baros is a dedicated researcher, educator, and LGBTQ advocate. Her areas of expertise are proficiency-based language teaching and creating inclusive environments for LGBTQ students and people.
Last year, I was introduced to the Kagan Cooperative Learning method. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first. However, as soon as I saw it in action, I was hooked! I knew I could get more engagement, more comprehensible input, and more communication happening in my classroom if I could successfully transfer Kagan principles to my classroom.
Although I had some success incorporating Kagan into my classroom mid-year, the real strengths are showing this year now that I've had a summer to think it over, truly dive into my lesson plans and modify them to be Kagan-based at least a few times each class, and set up my classroom both physically and with expectations/procedures. Here are a couple of examples of activities that we've done:
Objective: Read an article in Spanish.
Objective: Write sentences in Spanish.
If you are interested in Kagan Cooperative Learning, I highly recommend starting with their book and the Kagan Structures for Engagement Smart Card. I also prepared a one-page handout to share with other teachers who are new to the method. I'll be attending the Kagan 4-day workshop in February and cannot wait to learn more!
I could not be more happy about this! The new Señor Wooly website exceeds expectations and then some. I am so excited to be able to share this with my students this year!
There is now a complete curriculum and you can assign "Nuggets" for each song to students for homework, then monitor their progress. It does not let them progress until they have achieved 100% on the assignments. Easy grading and differentiation! Speaking of differentiation, the website also allows you to set not only the class proficiency levels, but you can adjust the proficiency levels of individual students so the tasks meet their abilities. The only downside to all of this is that I'll have to re-think a few of my original lesson plan ideas as they were based on the supplementary packets and many of the same activities are now in the "Nuggets". However, that also means I can reserve my class time for the higher-order thinking activities, such as Movie Talk, writing and speaking activities, and more organic language as students get the basics down from doing their homework.
I cannot recommend this website highly enough - it forms the backbone of my curriculum (more to come on that soon), and this just made everything even easier, more interactive, more focused on comprehensible input, and overall more exceptional than ever. Thank you Señor Wooly!
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