IGNITE: Native Language Conference

Day 1

You can come here to read, review, and find links to my presentations that you observed throughout the day! Thank you for joining me! I have so enjoyed learning about your culture and your incredible language! 🙂

Our morning “classroom” session was fun. We did lots of PQA (Personalized Questions and Answers) and learned about each other in the class. Durbin, our wise Cherokee linguist, turned out to LOVE Taco Bell and have an ENORMOUS sense of humor. We created a story together about a BIG MONSTER TACO (named Durbin). Since my classroom was made up of Native and Second Language Cherokee speakers, these citizens didn’t have prior knowledge of Spanish. By the end of the class they read (and comprehended) an ENORMOUS paragraph of Spanish! WAHOOO!

During our debrief while talking about the importance of teachers using their eyes to read their students, we discussed a very important piece of the Cherokee culture. It is disrespectful to make eye contact with people, especially while having a discussion or listening to someone. OH MY GOSH!? So I just spent the last 2 hours disrespecting all of the people in my classroom!? As I stared them down and FORCED them to make eye contact with me so I could check for their comprehension. We then discussed the importance of also reading for input.

Here is the Movie Talk presentation from Day 1 in the afternoon. (The links are inside to the lists of Movie Talk ideas)

Day 2

IMG_0523.jpgWhat an incredible day!

In order to make sure we could get the immersion school teachers in on our trainings, we decided to invite the students of the immersion summer camp to join our classrooms. I had three 4th graders join me in my class, along with 15 adults, who are all teachers, students and some Native speakers of Cherokee. Together we created a story using our “Taco” from yesterday. We laughed and laughed (which is such an important part of Teaching and acquiring a language). Durbin (yes!!! Master Cherokee linguist, often referred to as the Jesus of Cherokee linguistics)  came back to my class and starred in our story when I asked him to get up and act. Brain Breaks were everyone’s favorite part of class. Though, some students said that I need oxygen tanks installed in my classroom for post-brain breaks.

Here is a link to my Picture Talk presentation.

Day 3

In the language classrooms today, all of the instructors modeled storytelling. The Cherokee and Creek cultures are rich in storytelling. In fact, I have heard countless tales since I arrived. I told a story using pictures from my Chupacabra Unit and I also told a fictional story using story cubes. I find that on storytelling days, the amount of Brain Breaks that I use increases.

The final afternoon I gave an entire presentation on Brain Breaks which you can find here.  It was SO much fun! We modeled and practiced over 30 different Brain Breaks and I STILL had more to give them! 🙂

We are working on finalizing a YouTube channel for the IGNITE participants. When it is finalized I would imagine that Wade will share the link with you.

Thank you so much for attending and for being so brave and open to new ideas! Thank you for sharing your passion and culture with us! We enjoyed every minute of our time with you all!

Until next year! 😉



La Maestra Loca


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