Top Resources: The Mexican Revolution

In considering how to teach the history of the Mexican Revolution I started here:

1. PBS Learning Media (search “The Storm that Swept Mexico)

  • Revolutionary Women
  • Revolutionary Leaders
  • Revolutionary Art

2.  The University of New Mexico (unit outline, plans, resources)

3.  UTEP Center for History Teaching and Learning

Assessment and Planning in Foreign Language

Tons has been written on the subject.  Here I am, to sum it up for myself again:


Assessment is meant to measure our progress towards a goal.  In order to determine which assessment to use we must think backwards and start with our goals.

The Ohio Department of Education has many great resources for planning and assessment, start with Backwards Design!

As such, one must ask:  what do our pupils need to know?

In planning, first, think about the big picture, then determine your tools for assessment that go along with those big-picture goals.  Break overarching goals into objectives later to help build your activities.

When developing assessments, keep the following in mind (according to Baldwin, Keating, and Bachman, Teaching In Secondary Schools, Pearson 2006):

  • The interest of the student is paramount (do they understand why they are being assessed, are they reflecting on learning
  • Assessment is meant to improve teaching and learning
  • Assessment must allow for critical inquiry through writing, debate, and discussion
  • Assessment must be fair
  • The consequences of assessment determine validity – any assessment procedure which does not contribute to teaching and learning and does not promote inquiry or critical thinking should not be used.
  • The teacher is the most important agent of assessment and should be transparent in its process and product, constantly enhancing measures of understanding for students.
  • Formative assessments to assess factual info, concepts, discrete skills necessary to build understanding
  • Summative assessment involves analysis, synthesis, or evaluation of info in order to make judgments, form opinions, explain concepts

Once the assessments have been selected, one can move onto planning daily activities and exercises that will be measured by your tests, quizzes, etc.




Embedded Reading in Spanish

Having just learned about embedded reading from Laurie Clarq at the most recent Central Ohio TCI meeting I encourage anyone interested in improving reading comprehension in their students to visit:

Here is my take:

Teaching reading skills in a foreign language can be tricky.  We are wont to teach students and expect them to use task-based strategies that include finding keywords and using context clues to break apart the text.  I agree that these skills aid students and help with comprehension of particular parts of the text.

Unfortunately, students with lower level reading skills are often intimidated by big chunks of text and often shut down in the face of a paragraph.  Our job is to build the confidence of the student and task-based strategies often undermine our attempts to do so with struggling readers.

Enter embedded reading.  By working with a text from the bottom up, starting with basic phrases and building a story, we can meanwhile fortify our student’s confidence and scaffold them to success.



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