Episode 39: Top Three Takeaways from SCOLT 2023

conferences podcast scolt Mar 29, 2023

SCOLT23  was in Alabama this year. It was both inspiring and exhausting as most conferences tend to be. I am always very intentional about having three specific takeaways for my classroom. I recorded them in this episode for you! If you were at SCOLT I would love to hear YOUR takeaways!

Here are the links mentioned in this podcast:

Episode 9 of Teaching La Vida Loca
Conferencing Intentionally Conference Pages
Claudia Elliott
Señora Chase
Señor Ashby- Locura de marzo
Video of our fun at SCOLT with Amazing Race
Amazing Race in your classroom- Shane Goodpasture
30 second dance party

Connect with me:

My Blog

My YouTube

My Instagram

My Website 

My TPT store



Welcome to Teaching la vida loca, a podcast for World Language Teachers seeking inspiration, unapologetic authenticity and guidance in centering joy, and facilitating language acquisition for the people who matter most our students, I'm your host, Annabelle. Most people call me la maestra loca. And I'm an educator just like you and inspiring teachers is. what I do.

Let’s Talk About SCOLT  

Hey there, welcome to episode 39 of teaching la vida loca, I am feeling reenergized and joyful and grateful after an amazing weekend at SCOLT. SCOLT this year was in Mobile, Alabama. And it was really wonderful and more needed than I realized to be surrounded by so many amazing colleagues, amazing educators who were hungry for inspiration and tools for engagement. And really, really powerful for me to reconnect with some of my friends, who are also presenters and leaders in this field. And I really needed that connection. So, if I met you or engaged with you at school, yay, that was so much fun. If you are listening to this because you discovered my podcast at school. Oh my god, I'm so excited. You're here. And if you were not there, but you're eager to hear about my takeaways to see if you can glean any ideas or any new inspiration from them. I am thrilled you are here. 

 Episode 9 

In Episode Nine of teaching la vida loca, I talked about conferencing intentionally. And I recorded that podcast because for years and years, I went to conferences, and I left feeling super inspired, freaking exhausted and overwhelmed out of my mind, but really excited about going into the classroom, and trying some of the amazing things that I saw. And nine times out of 10, literally 90% of the time, I wouldn't do anything. Not a thing, not a single thing that I could learn, or that I learned. And it wasn't because I wasn't super impressed, or super excited, is because I had so many ideas and so many takeaways. I couldn't even remember where to begin or which one to start with, or even the details about the ones that I liked. Because there were so many things, so many notes, so many takeaways. So many Google Drive folders, so many whatever, right. So, a few years ago, I created these conference sheets for teachers to use during conferences, it's free, I'll link to that resource as well. And they were to help teachers be a little bit more intentional about how they were listening, and thinking about a workshop or a presentation, and then help them think about how they can apply it to their own classroom. 

 Three Things 

Now, obviously, a lot of you already do that, right? The trick is, you must physically write down either handwrite or write it in an email to yourself, just three things, only three, not 10 things, not 20 things, just three things, three things that you want to bring back to your classroom. So, you can go and listen to episode nine later. Because in that episode, I talked about how to hold yourself accountable to actually doing those things. But this one, I want to tell you about my three takeaways from the conference. The last thing I did before I left on Saturday was, I open Google Keep. And I wrote down my three takeaways to be able to podcast about and actually implement in my classroom. 

First Takeaway 

I've already implemented one of them. I implemented it first thing on Monday morning. And I was very intentional about that. The other two I plan to implement by the end of this month, I give myself little deadlines and accountability checks so that I actually implement new things. So, I can continue to learn and grow along with all of you. So, the first thing, the first takeaway that I already implemented, and I actually just played at my last class was boom, I got this idea from Claudia Elliott's presentation. I saw her present twice at school this year. And it was just a tiny little nugget she shared, not huge, she said she learned it from an Emiree Chase, so I'll link to both of them in the show notes. But Claudia shared her version, and I've even tweaked it again. In Claudia's version, kiddos put their hands above their heads, since I find that that can be triggering for some students in some cultures. I had students put their arms out to their sides, and they paired up with somebody to make it more brain break feel. I had them pair up with somebody different every two to three questions. So, I would stand at the front of a classroom. Kids are standing throughout the different throughout the class paired with a different person. And I state a question and this question is to review whatever information has just happened in class. We've yesterday and today we've been doing special person interviews. And today we did the write and discuss of the special person interview.  And so, at the end of that, I had everybody stand up, find a partner. And then I stated a question. For example, what is this person's favorite holiday, or celebration? And then I count down, I say, the tres, dos, uno, boom. And then as soon as I say, boom, they bring their arms, which were right next to their sides together, and clap. And then they say the answer. The goal is to say the answer faster than their partner does. Now, eight times out of 10, it was a tie, especially if the students are listening and engaged during the lesson. I mean, that's your hope, right? That they're all able to answer correctly. If they tie, they do Uno, dos, tres, dale. They play Rock Paper, Scissors real quick in the target language. In Spanish, I say uno, dos, tres, dale. In French, you might say it that way. They play rock paper scissors to find the winner. Now you ask the next question. You have to have them get silent quick. So, you could do like a countdown, you could do your call response, whatever you want to be able to ask the next question. After the next question. You can have them find a new partner, I count down from five I say cinco, cuatro, tres dos, uno, and they should have a new partner, the way they can quickly do this as they put their hand up in the air. And when they find a new partner, their hands come down. So, everybody's walking around the room with their hands up until they find a new partner. You can also put music on to make this more fun, whatever, you also don't have to change partners, I just wanted them to have a little bit more movement because my middle schoolers are not teaching metal anymore. My elementary students are moving already. And their bodies are kind of like live. So giving them the opportunity is built in little brain break a little movement. It doesn't have to be a game every time it can be walking five steps to a new partner. Should that that be the brain break of the episode? No, that would just be cruel. No, that won't be the brain break of the episode. Have no fear, I will give you a new one. Okay. Now, boom, has been fantastic. I've really enjoyed it. It is loud, it was energetic. It is a test for comprehension. It is also a way that they are all hanging on to my every word as they are waiting for those questions. Because they're waiting for the boom, they're waiting to be able to answer the question. It also allows everybody the think time to be able to answer correctly. So, I'm able to repeat it three times if I want. That way. I know everybody has a fair chance to answer it. Right. So that was a great takeaway from Claudia that I've already implemented, and I'm very grateful for it. 

Second Takeaway 

Then next one, my next takeaway was something that some of you are literally going to roll your eyes about. And I feel competent in that and that's okay. Roll away. I have never done Locura de marzo. I know everybody's like what? Okay, Locura de marzo. So, for those of you who don't know, is, was created by Senator Ashby, at least I think it was. And it's kind of like a March Madness bracket. But for music. So, if you're into basketball, then you know that there's this bracket thing where team goes up against Team until one team comes out the winner. Everybody plays and it's eliminated bracket by bracket until there's two teams left to compete and there's an ultimate winner. So Locura de marzo is that with music. And the reason I have never done it, is I am really intentional about doing a song of the month and using songs as authentic resources in my classrooms and to teach about culture and current events. And I'm very intentional about how I pick songs, and how I teach songs. If you want to learn more about that, that I will link to a podcast episode that I did with Bertha Delgadillo on music, and I will link to a blog and our music course resource for you. We have a whole course that she and I did together about how to use music in the classroom. It's like five hours of content, a million ideas for how to use music as authentic resources to inspire and engage your students and to infuse more joy. So, if you're interested in that, check the show notes. But that's the reason I've always avoided it Locura de marzo, I'm like wait, you want me to cram in how many songs into one month? No freakin way. No way. Plus, my belief was that it was always like, of course it would consume my entire month. That would be the only thing I could do. And my brain like no way could I only do one thing for the whole month. And I have had people tell me for years that they could not believe I am not a huge fan of Locura de marzo because it is so engaging and so incredibly joyful. And I mean, I've seen videos of high schoolers and middle schoolers screaming, jumping up and down speaking in Spanish, talking about these songs outside of school, like why wouldn't I want to be part of that. But again, I had a very, very specific thought in mind of how that would have to play out in my classroom. 

Hold On! What? 

So, I went to this amazing presentation by Erika Scott. She was my partner in another presentation that I'm going to talk about after my third takeaway. But then, that afternoon on Friday, she was like, come to my presentation tomorrow morning on Saturday. So, I showed up a little bit late, because mornings are hard. And she said one thing in her presentation, on her whole entire presentation was how she inspires and engages her students with Locura de marzo. And she said one thing, and I was like, whoa, I literally said, Hold on. Wait, oh, my gosh, can you rewind? I said it out loud. I said, that just blew my mind. She said, you can just introduce the song super fast played at the beginning of your class, play the second one, and then tell the kids to go and vote later, you can spend just 10 minutes a day. And I was like, wait, what? Rewind. And she said, oh, yeah, that's not all I do. We spend about 10 minutes a day on it. And then I move on with my lesson. I was like, hold the front, frickin door what? you're giving me Wait, hold. That's revolutionary. That is huge. Of course, I want to be part of something. If I can inject little bits of music and entertainment and joy and engage my students through and get them interested in new music in new artists like course, I want to do that. The option to only do it five or 10 minutes a day is beautiful. Now if I want to do it for 40 minutes a day I can, well and then I'm sitting next to my dear friend Shane Goodpasture. In June, he won Best of flava by the way. I think he should Win gold. His presentation is freaking amazing. Guess what my third takeaway is? Anyways, back on track. I'm sitting next to Shane and Eric has workshop and Shane was like, dude, Annabelle, have you not seen the resources? Y'all? Are you aware that the resources for local run and Marceau are extensive and all free and all built like teachers like you and me? Who like to submit them for others to share and use? Okay, I'm gonna stop on this because I guarantee like, everybody in that room was like, Yeah, Annabelle, when I shared my story is like, do you do Locura de marzo? 80% of people were like, Yeah, da, and then 10% Were like, I know about it. I've done it before. And then the other 10% might have been like me, but you all holy cow. Mind blown. In fact, I can still do it. I just can't do the live voting. So that's gonna be part of my sub plans when I take FMLA leave to help my mommy. Isn't that brilliant? Frickin brilliant.

Third Takeaway 

Okay, are you ready for my third and final and mind-blowing freaking takeaway? Get out your pencils. Get out something to write down this site, because oh, okay. So, this fall, I was invited to be the keynote speaker for Flava, and it made it a point to attend every familiar local session that I could find like of members who were in my community and presenting. One of those members was Shane Goodpasture. And Shane's presentation won Best of flava. And if it could get any better, it was even more fire at school. I really hope it wins best of school because it would mean that more people would be able to see this. This workshop presentation was the best I've ever seen in my career and the most inspiring and most fun by far, definitely most engaging and fun. What Shane does is he brings the Amazing Race to his classroom. If you're like I don't even know what the Amazing Race is. Basically, you need to go and google it because you'll be obsessed. That amazing race is basically an adrenaline-fueled reality TV show where teams of two race around the world. It might be a couple. It might be a mom and a son team. It might be two best friends. It might be two teachers. It's two people paired against lots of other pairs of people racing and competing in intense challenges and facing lots of unexpected obstacles while vying for $1 million. That's the grand prize. It's all takes place in stunning locations all around the globe. It's high stakes, drama, nonstop action, and it's an epic adventure series and I'm obsessed. Okay, so Shane brings that excitement into his classroom. I want you to imagine creating a thriller, the thrilling like super, like intensely thrilling. I don't know how else to describe it. I started like taking pictures. And then as soon as the activity started because Shane set it up for us at school, he literally put QR codes all around the room. And we competed in The Amazing Race as if we were his students. So, imagine setting up a truly thrilling an immersive experience for your kids, and inspiring them to learn and engage with the world in a whole new way. What Shane does is designs, challenges and tasks that like, like push students in their problem solving, and teamwork and critical thinking, and it's honestly an educational adventure. That obviously is fun, but it's also highly effective in in testing their comprehension, or Shane often uses it to intro a unit. I think my goal is to mostly use it to review something that we've done like as a final cumulative task. But whether you're teaching geography, history, any subject, this is good for any classroom. In fact, I'm like really trying hard to think of how we can get him in other classes. But World Languages, y'all, this is a phenomenal way to like to use it to expose them to global cultures. I'm like, really wildly excited about it. And honestly, what it's ultimately doing is creating an unforgettable learning experience. Shane admits that he does not do this all the time. Schade admits that he does these two or three times a year. When you see the materials that he creates, you'll be like, Oops. No, I was like, I could never put in the time. 

Encouraging Shane  

I would want to as a perfectionist as an Enneagram, type three, I would want to put way too much work in this and I don't have the time. So, I immediately was like, Shane, you have to come and present for familia loca at what she did in January. And then he did this whole virtual, Amazing Race for us. And we competed in teams, and it was epic. And then at SCOLT. I was like, Shane, you need to put these materials out to the world. Well, he finally did, he started a TPT store. And all of his templates, and some of his full-blown games are available. I really want you to go and read about some of these, if you are even semi interested, because I am telling you we did Palladius grid is that what it's called Palladius grid puzzles. We did word searches. We did. It's incredible. It's incredible. And the potential is insane. I'm most excited, I'm going to get all of his amazing race resources. But the one I'm most excited about is the templates, because I think I can really use those to make them to scaffold them for my novice learners. And to make it better for my elementary students. Shane teaches high school Spanish, and he teaches on a 90 something minute block. So when he does that amazing race, it takes up the entire period. And he does, he has them race in pairs. Students love it. He builds in the brain break ones like literally builds in a detour just like the show. If you're familiar with the show, where students have to either do one task or another task, they have to choose between two. He's done it so that one of the tasks is like tasting baby food and guessing what they're eating. And another one where they were tasting different like sodas from Spanish speaking countries. And teaches, he teaches for acquisition driven instruction. So, the tasks that they're doing at the stations are in Spanish, they're reading in Spanish, they're engaging with audio files or, or texts in Spanish to solve these puzzles. And dang y'all, I'm just so excited to try this in my classroom. I'm so excited to share it as one of my three top takeaways from SCOLT.


If you're interested in, I'm going to drop his incredible TPT store in the in the show notes. It's actually I think that there's still a sale going on right now if you're still in late March then there might still even be a sale going on for 25% off. Either way. You can grab that link in my show notes, or you can go to TinyURL how was that again? maestro. tinyurl.com forward slash Amazing Race TPT all lowercase Again, that's tinyurl.com forward slash Amazing Race TPT and that will take you to my amazing friend's store with two already built games in English, an amazing race around the globe to learn about different world cultures and world history, an amazing race to learn about inspiring women from around the world. And I know it may not be up there right now, but he also made an amazing Latino heritage month. Amazing Race. Did I say amazing again? Yes. And that's really phenomenal. And I know that that was done in Spanish. But there's also those templates there that you can use, regardless of whether you use his stuff or not. I would love if you would consider the idea of bringing this amazing game to your classroom. I'm going to share some pictures of how much fun it was at SCOLT to give you an idea. But man, bring it into the classroom, it's going to be on a whole other level. When I get to do with my students, I'll make sure and record and get their feedback as well so I can share that with you. That's it for today. Before I go, let's do a little brain break. 

Dance Party 

Okay, so I want to tell you about the one that we have been a little obsessed with in my classroom. I did a Tuesday tip with La Maestra loca on it recently, but basically, it's just called the 30 second dance party and it's a giant yellow button that you can buy online at 30 sdp.com. I will link it in the show notes. And you just push the button and dance. Are you ready? Are you ready? Here we go. 30 second dance party

Dance with Me! 

You better be dancing with me. That's it. That's it. It's a 30 second dance party. How Epic is that? By the way? Oh my god. My friend Pat bought that for me right before Hurricane Ida. And then I took it to hurricane Ida and my son was obsessed with pushing the button right before the beat drop every time. And my my husband who was an ex-raver was like, just let it play. Oh my gosh, this poor man. This poor man just wanted to hear the beat drop, and he couldn't. So, there's your there's your brain break, 30 second dance party. Epicness, right. 

Thank You!

Okay, Teacher. That's all for this time. If you want to learn how to conference more intentionally, go and listen to that episode nine. I'll link it for you. And then find a plan, create a plan for accountability for actually applying these things in your classroom. I'm super excited about what I learned at school. I'm super happy that I've already applied some things. And I can't wait to continue doing so through the rest of this month. And what I mean by the end of this month, I actually meant April when I said that earlier, I was like holy cow. It's almost the end of March. Can't do that. Okay. Have a great day, teacher wherever you are a great evening. And until next time, I'll be teaching la vida loca. And I'm sure you will be too. take care. Bye bye.

One Last Thing

Hi, it's me, it's me, it's me. You already know what I'm gonna ask of you. If you really liked this podcast, please send it on to a friend who could really use it. Who could really like to hear about the amazing race or something else for the classroom. Hey, thanks. Thanks for letting me drive to work with you or drive home or run with you because running with you is the only way that I'm ever going to run. So, thanks. Thanks for running with me. Thanks for the exercise. Take care teacher. Thank you for supporting me and thank you for sharing this podcast. It really, really means more than you know to me. Gracias. Love you.

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