Designing Learning. Building Assessments. Focusing Lenses.

Toni Theisen

Loveland High School
Loveland, Colorado
Connect with me -Toni Theisen: email
Connect with me on Twitter: tonitheisen Facebook

Abstract for today's workshop:

Our 21st century learners need a multi-sensory learning environment designed around authentic learning experiences that encourage collaboration, creativity and critical thinking, all essential 21st century skills. So how can world language learning be designed to be meaningful and engaging? How can focusing lenses be used to shape the instruction of a thematic unit? Participants will explore and create learning activities, thematic units and assessments using the concepts of focusing lenses, while aligning to the ACTFL 21st Century Skills map. Participants will finish by examining and experimenting with technology tools that can enhance communication in all three modes.



Essential Questions

  1. How has learning changed?

  2. How has teaching changed?


  1. Introduction, goals and learner targets
  2. Let's play for a moment
  3. What is ACTFL? ACTFL Position statement and the connection to advocacy
  4. ACTFL 21st century skills
  5. Focusing lenses
  6. Rigor and Relevance framework
  7. "Designing a lesson" with a new focus
  8. Thematic units with learner targets
  9. Authentic resources-Pinterest, TES, Infographics
  10. Performance assessments-learn and d
  11. Closure

Take action and participate

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Videos from today

Lead with Languages video-ACTFL promotion video
  1. Lead with Languages

Thematic Units

1. Terrill-Theisen UbD Hunger Unit and other units
  1. Terrill-Theisen Hunger Unit Wikispace
  2. French V AP/IB "papiers et sans papiers" unit: "Papiers et Sans Papiers"unit
  3. French V AP/IB L'Alimentation: Goût et Gaspillage
  4. French V AP/IB L'éducation
  5. French IV La Mode: L'économie et les politiques des vêtements
  6. French IV Les Problèmes sur la Planète
  7. French III-La santé
  8. French II- Paris et l'art
  9. Used for all levels to start the year-(activities modified for each level) Expanding our cultural perspectives
I can understand how to build a meaningful unit such as
"from the café unit to the hunger unit in Level 1", as well as design others.
2. Thompson School District world languages site-my district
  1. TSD WL Wikispace with thematic units, etc.
  2. TSD Rubrics
  3. TSD Curriculum maps, scope and sequence, UbD backward design units, learner targets, learner bubbles, goal shee
How can I see others' work to help me with mine?

Important documents and links

1. National World Language Standards refreshed 2014-World-Readiness Standards
for Learning Languages
How are our standards refreshed to meet the perspectives of the 21st century?
  1. World-ReadinessStandardsforLearningLanguages.pdf
  2. ACTFL Position Statement: Building our advocacY:
    How do we CONTRIBUTE to the overall growth of our learners?
    ACTFL Position Statement:
    ACTFL Position Statement -Final - Languages as Core - May 2013.pdf
2. ACTFL 21st century skills map
What are 21st century skills defined through the eyes of a world languages context?
  1. ACTFL 21st century skills map Wikispace
  2. More ways to see the ACTFL 21st century skills map
  3. ACTFL 21st Century Skills maps on Pinterest
  4. ACTFL 2011 P-21 worldlanguages skills map.pdf
3. ACTFL Proficiency guidelines
What are the performance levels?
Describes what language learners can do regardless of how the language was acquired.
  1. ACTFL Prof. Guidelines 2012 update with samples
4. NSCCFL-ACTFL "can do" statements
What can students do?
States what learners can do specific to each communication mode and level of proficiency.
  1. NCSSFL ACTFL Can-Do_Statements.pdf
    NCSSFL ACTFL Can-Do_Statements.pdf
5. ACTFL performance descriptors
How do I explain performance levels to my students?
Describes what language learners can do based on instruction in an instructional setting.
  1. ACTFLPerformanceDescriptorsLanguageLearners.pdf

6. ACTFL Crosswalk aligning document with the Common Core
What are the connection between the WL standards and common core?
  1. ACTFLCrosswalkFinalAligningCCSSLanguageStandards.pdf ACTFLCrosswalkFinalAligningCCSSLanguageStandards.pdf
  2. Common Core ELA Standards:CCR_Anchor_Standards.pdf

7. Bloom's taxonomy charts with questions and activities

  1. Bloom's taxonomy chart.pdf

8. Rigor and Relevance Framework
How can we make instruction more rigorous and relevant?
  1. Rigor and relevance framework

9. AP/IB Comparison chart
How can we make instruction more rigorous and relevant with attention to culture?
  1. AP/IB Comparison chart:AP-IB themes comparisons chart 2011.pdf

10. Thompson School District world languages site
How can I see others' work to help me with mine?
  1. TSD WL Wikispace with thematic units, etc.

Pinterest Boards-Resources

Resources from Pinterest Boards
How can I found some other authentic resources for class?
  1. French board 1
  2. French Board 2
  3. French Board 3
  4. French Board 4
  5. German board 1
  6. German Board 2
  7. German Board 3
  8. German Board 4
  9. Spanish Board 1
  10. Spanish Board 2
  11. Spanish Board 3
  12. Elementary Spanish Board 1
  13. Dual Language Spanish Boards
  14. Chinese Boards
  15. Arabic Board 1
  16. Arabic Board 2
  17. Japanese Boards
  18. Latin Boards
  19. Teaching World Languages Board
  20. Technology for Teachers Board


TESConnect-UK-free lesson bank and resources-
need to register
How can I found some other resources for class?
tes connect.png
tes connect.png

Google searches in many languages
I can use a variety of technology tools to enhance student learning.
  1. Google sites in many countries
  2. Search in many languages
  3. Google maps in other languages



Performance Assessments

Interpretive assessments
Sample performance assessments
Integrated Performance Assessments (IPA)
  1. Theisen and Henderson French examples
  2. Ohio WL IPA
  3. New Jersey FLENJ sample IPA
Performance assessments-different modes
  1. Jefferson County, Kentucky samples
Colorado Dept of Education Assessment Resource Bank
  1. CDE Assessment resource bank

Integrate technology to transform instruction only in a well-designed standards-based thematic unit using backwards design.

Resources for locating images and photos
1. Tag Galaxy
Search for photos from Flickr
2. Fotopedia
Collaborative photo encyclopedia
3. Goggle Art Project
3D art tours of many museums
4. MorgueFile
Lots of free photos

Using images and information to make stories, comics, books, magazines and speaking activities
1. Wordle
word clouds
2. Tagxedo
word clouds in shapes
3. Bubblr
Comic strips using Flickr photos
4. Piclits
Creative writing using images
5. Five Card Flickr Story
Create a story from 5 random pix
6. Issuu
Make a magazine or newsletter
7. Storybird
Collaborative Storytelling

Technology to enhance speaking and writing Presentational communication
1. Glogster
Digital Poster
3. FaceinHole
Put your face in pix
4. Blabberize
Make picture talk
5. Make Beliefs Comix
Make comic strips
6. Padlet
Digital post it notes

Other great tools to impact learning
  1. Wikispaces for Education
  1. DropBox (filesharing)
  1. Slideshare (share powerpoints)
  1. Scribd (share documents and pdf’s)
  1. Polleverywhere
  1. Google Docs
  1. Quizlet-create and use flashcards
  1. Remind-a safe way to text students and parents
  1. Kahoot-game-based blended learning