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Spring Cleaning: Remove to Improve

Today I am recycling stacks of paper out by the pile, and it is extremely liberating. As I have mentioned before next year I will be moving to a different school. I will still be a department of one, but instead at a small public school, which will be a better fit for my family and I. With the impending change, and the idea of moving all of the junk I have built up in the past three years (I can not even imagine how this works after 30+ years), it is time for some Spring cleaning. 
the old beloved binders sorted by textbook chapter

With three years of completely different plans and materials used, I have acquired a ton of stuff, both physically and digitally. You can see how I transitioned my curriculum over the past three years in this post. Basically I went from old school textbook, to new textbook with attempts at performance based proficiency assessments, to units based on novels and comprehensible input stories. I have multiple beautiful binders (above) made for my second year, nicely sorted by textbook chapter with laminated page protectors and vocabulary, activities, assessments and grammar activities to go with each unit. (#Confession: I Love making organized binders). At the time I thought I could use these activities for years, simply copy and ready I would be ready to go. 

I WAS WRONG. 

I barely touched the binders at all this year. Today I went through these pretty, organized, page protectors and ripped out anything that will not help us meet out ultimate goal, student proficiency. As Thomas Sauer mentions in this post proficiency "is the ultimate outcome for any language learner, so therefore it must be the ultimate guide for us to create learning experiences."

So I started going through these binders removing anything that will not move us forward in the overall goal of being able to communicate. 

  • Vocabulary lists for textbook chapters - Gone
  • Grammar activities practicing isolated grammar concepts (like picking the correct indirect object pronoun or demonstrative adjective) - Gone
  • Worksheets with "fun" holiday activities like coloring or crosswords - Gone
  • Old copied packets explaining grammar - Gone
  • Tests and quizzes without a communicative focus - Gone

It feels freeing and great to get rid of things, and physically proves I am moving forward. Also, I would like to move to everything that I actually use to digital if possible. I have a long way to go, but at least I am on the right path. 

So, my challenge to you is to purge one drawer, binder, closet, or file folder in order to #Remove2Improve. 

Finally, like the new Mis Clases Locas Facebook Page for updates on blog posts, shared resources from other sources, and general language teaching ideas! 

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