While there's no exhilaration like doing something for the very first time, I am really enjoying the experience of revisiting and tweaking my "old" thematic units this year. Knowing the arc of the year and having a bit more distance allow me to see redundancies and gaps, and let go of even more "vestigial" vocabulary and grammar still remaining from my textbook.
Coming back to these units also means seeing how rough the first ones were when I first taught them. I hadn't yet discovered the power and beauty of holding group conversation assessments with the TALK rubric; hadn't routinized student accountability for Can-Dos via regular "check-ins"; and was creating interpretive listening guides and graphic organizers on a daily basis. What a hot and happy mess!
This year, I'm helping my students organize all the amazing resources that I've created for them by binding them together into a unit dossier. The idea to create booklets for each unit of the year - nicely stapled together with a sturdy oaktag cover - comes from my Spanish colleagues Eileen & JJ. We presented on "Bye-Bye to Teaching by the Book" at MaFLA in October and exchange ideas across the language divide pretty regularly, from the practical to the philosophical.
Here are links to the booklets I've created thus far this year:
La Vie en Ville
Les Vêtements et le shopping
Les Loisirs et la qualité de la vie
La Nourriture et la faim
Who's that dame?
Middle school French teacher obsessed with building students' proficiency via thematic units & authentic materials.