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The Voces Summer CI Conference 2021
Prep, Plan, and Carry On

The Voces Summer CI Conference 2021 is a five-day virtual experience with session topics ranging from platform training to Comprehensible Input-based strategies to lesson planning for the '21-'22 school year.*

The Voces Summer CI Conference will be held on Zoom from July 26 through July 30, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET on Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. ET on Friday.

$50 to Register
Free to All Voces Subscribers
(Subscribers: Email [email protected] if you need the code.)
*This conference aims to support those teachers using the Voces "Our Story" Comprehensible Input-based curriculum series. Even if you use a different Voces curriculum series, you are still welcome to attend! The first day of the conference, focusing on the Voces platform, will be the most relevant to all Voces subscribers, no matter what curriculum series they're using.

Schedule
(*All times are Eastern Time)

Monday, July 26, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Overview: Meet the Voces Team and learn all about the Voces platform and tools.
10:00 AM Welcome to the Summer CI Conference!
Erin Almeranti, Kris Warshefski, and Others
Meet the team, learn about the many updates we made this summer, and get a sneak peek into what’s in store for you this week!
11:00 AM Getting Started with Voces
David Wilson
This session will cover everything you need to know to get started using Voces in your class, and introduce you to some of the tools explored in our other discussions. We will also explore the differences between a teacher's account and a student's account.
12 PM - 12:50 PM Special Event Stacia Ford, Spanish teacher and musician, will be joining us for live music and some advice for the new school year. Plus, we will be having a prize drawing! See you there!
1:00 PM All About Assigning and Grading
Kelsey Lewandowski
In this session, you'll learn everything there is to know about assigning work to your students and grading that work. A live demonstration will include how to assign work to full classes or specific students, how to use the assignment parameters to make your assignments more or less formal, and other key features in the Assignment Portal. You’ll also learn where to go to grade student work, and once there, how to adjust auto-graded activities, manage teacher-graded assignments, give feedback, and generate grade reports.
2:20 PM All About Editing
Erin Almeranti
Learn about the Voces editor, including the Quick Edit tool, and find out how to build your own activities and content anywhere in Voces. You will also learn how to share content and collaborate with colleagues and other Voces users.
3:30 PM Open Q&A
The Voces Team
Before leaving, join the Voces Team for open Q&A and breakout rooms where you can learn more about Voces games, specific Voces titles, syncing Voces with your LMS, and more!

Tuesday, July 27, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
CI training begins!
Our goal over the next four days is to give you the big picture of how to deliver instruction using the target language while keeping it comprehensible for students to acquire the language. We want you to leave this conference with a clear understanding of what Comprehensible Input is and how to use the power of stories to bring language to life for your students. Since there are so many elements to a rich world language classroom community, each session during this conference will introduce you to the skills needed to create a 21st-century world language community that integrates culture and meaningful communication.
10 AM - 12 PM Overview: A 2-hour morning introduction session, with discussions about comprehensible input and demonstrations of CI techniques and strategies.
Introduction to Teaching with Comprehensible Input
Gary DiBianca
This first session will help you understand WHY the “Our Story” curriculum is a great vehicle towards language acquisition. followed by a demo lesson in German by Eric Richards so you can feel the power of acquisition yourself.
Demonstration of CI
Eric Richards
After hearing from Gary about the “why,” you will see Eric’s demo lesson in German so you can feel the power of acquisition for yourself!
Fostering Classroom Culture in a CI Classroom
Bryan Kandel
No CI strategy or technique is effective unless we first establish a positive and dynamic classroom culture. When students enter our classrooms, they must feel confident, empowered, and motivated to use the target language. We will explore practical ways to transform the settings for our lessons. We’ll discuss student engagement, setting expectations for TL use, the importance of variation, customizing lessons for each class, and other techniques for bringing classes to life.
12 PM - 12:50 PM Special Event Join us to play a game of You Decide, a story-based game in Voces. This is a fun, and sometimes funny, game you can do with a whole class. Let's try it all together! Afterwards, we'll have prize drawings!
1 PM - 4 PM Overview: A 3-hour afternoon session, with presentations on introducing vocabulary, establishing meaning, and engaging and learning about students while you do it!
All About TPR
Laurie Clarcq
Total Physical Response (TPR) is a strategy that helps boost acquisition by creating a link in the brain between language and action. By associating an action with a word or phrase, students will have a deeper and more significant interaction with the meaning of the word or phrase. This process mimics the way that infants learn their first language.
Learn tips for doing TPR and explore the ways that TPR supports acquisition and more!
All About PQAs and “Our Class, Our Story” Interviews
Allynn Lodge and Darah Harper
Talking to students about their likes and dislikes, their weekends, and their lives in general is what gives us - and them - so much joy! In this session, learn how you can leverage this fun and joyous experience to improve acquisition. Allynn Lodge, a Spanish teacher, and Darah Harper, a French teacher, both teach at the same school using the “Our Story” curriculum series, and together, they will discuss and demonstrate the Personalized Questions and Answers technique and the Student Interview technique - two ways to “justify” talking with your students in the target language!

Wednesday, July 28, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
10 AM - 12 PM Overview: A 2-hour morning session, with discussion on asking questions and circling, a demonstration of the skills we’ve covered thus far, and a reflection.
Asking Questions Using a Story Script
Gary DiBianca
Since storytelling has been at the crux of entertainment throughout history, it has also been one of the strongest and most effective ways of educating students in all disciplines. We also know that, as teachers, we must actively engage students through questioning and participation.
This session will show participants how to effectively tell stories while engaging students using questions and student ideas to create a unique class story. Using the “Our Story” Story Scripts, teachers will learn the important skills of asking questions to enhance language acquisition and many other strategies for making stories come alive in the classroom. Eric Richards will again help you experience this in the German language and then during today’s afternoon session, you will practice your newly acquired skills.
Demonstration of CI
Eric Richards
After hearing Gary’s session about using questions and student ideas to engage students and support acquisition, Eric will again demonstrate this in German so you can experience these techniques and have a better understanding of your students’ experience.
Reflection
Gary DiBianca and Eric Richards
Gary and Eric will reflect on what was discussed and demonstrated.
12 PM - 12:50 PM Special Event
Amy Silveston, musician, artist, and humanitarian worker, will be performing LIVE from France! Her music is amazing! Don't miss the chance to hear her play! Afterwards, we'll be announcing our newest French reader and holding a giveaway.
1 PM - 4 PM Overview: A 3-hour afternoon session, focusing first on reading and then breaking out into smaller workshops where we will synthesize the steps/lessons from today and yesterday.
Reading and Best Strategies for Using Stories
Bryan Kandel
Reading is an essential source of input in all world language classes. However, engaging students in the reading process can be a challenge for teachers. How do we provide texts that our students want to read? How do we expand a text into cultural discussion in the target language? How do we create a classroom culture in which reading is accepted and enjoyed? We will use materials from the “Our Story” curriculum series to demonstrate effective reading strategies.
Now, All Together! Workshop time! We will split up into breakout rooms where each group will have a presenter there to help guide them on reflecting on,synthesizing, and trying out the topics from yesterday and today’s sessions. Be prepared to participate!

Thursday, July 29, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
10 AM - 12 PM Overview: A 2-hour morning session, with presentations on culture and assessments.
“Our Story” Curriculum as a Springboard to Culture!
Linda Temby
Whether it is a story or an “Extra! Extra!” activity, there are many cultural elements woven into the “Our Story” curriculum series. Many of these elements can be used as springboards with which you can dive deeper into the culture, while others offer students a passing glimpse of the products, practices, and perspectives of the culture being discussed.
In this session, we’ll discuss the importance of both surface and deep culture, and explain how the “Our Story” curriculum series can help you achieve both.
All About Assessments
Bryan Kandel
Assessment is a vital part of any World Language class. However, assessment can be difficult in a CI classroom, especially for new CI teachers. In this session, we will examine the assessment options in the “Our Story” curriculum series. We'll discuss assessment goals and strategies, as well as techniques that guide all we do, and we'll demonstrate how the “Our Story” curriculum series can help to implement those strategies and meet our assessment goals.
12 PM - 12:50 PM Special Event
Kelsey, our customer experience expert, will teach you how to make a WhatTheMelon drink while we play Blooket! Blooket is a game in the Voces Game Center, one which students will beg for once they discover how fun it is. Let’s try it all together! Prizes will be awarded to all winners!
1 PM - 4 PM Overview: A 3-hour afternoon session, where we’ll discuss the foundations of a CI classroom, then unpack elements from the “Our Story” curriculum, and discuss pacing. Lastly, we’ll break out into workshops where we will apply what we have learned to our personal pacing models.
Building Blocks of a CI Class
Gary DiBianca
When making the move to help all students acquire and learn a language, most teachers complete a similar training cycle to the one we have developed over the past two days, but then they are left with the overwhelming dilemma of what to teach and how to put all of the pieces together.
Fortunately for you, the “Our Story” curriculum series will help you put all of the pieces together while guiding you on how to deliver the content so your students all find success while learning a language.
In this session, we will bring together the world language and Comprehensible Input strategies and skills, lesson planning, assessment ideas, and classroom community logistics in order for you and your students to have a successful school year.
Unpacking and Pacing with the “Our Story” Curriculum
Erin Almeranti
In this session, we will unpack the “Our Story” curriculum series so you know what’s in it and where it is - and get a solid understanding of the logic behind the curriculum’s organization. Once you understand the logic, we will consider the question: What elements will you keep, what elements will you add, and what elements will you drop?
Now, All Together! Workshop time! We will split up into breakout rooms where each group will have a presenter there to help guide them on creating custom pacing plans using our template. Groups will also reflect on what it means to be prepared, the importance of routine, and what to do if something goes wrong. Be prepared to participate!

Friday, July 30, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
10 AM - 12 PM Overview: A 2-hour morning session focused on setting realistic expectations for the school year and discussing ways you can be creative and customize the curriculum.
Biggest Fears and Frustrations
Erin Almeranti, Gary DiBianca, Laurie Clarcq
Learning new teaching methods is hard. Learning new programs and curriculum is hard. Heck, TEACHING is hard! That means you will likely feel exhaustion now or later, and it means you may fail or be frustrated at times.
In this session, we’ll be addressing these possibilities, talking honestly about them, and discussing ways we can prevent burnout. The more we can prepare now for these moments, the better our reactions will be when they happen. We will also brainstorm ways we can support each other when the school year begins.
Voces as a Blank Canvas
Erin Almeranti, Linda Temby, Allynn Lodge
You learned how to use the Voces Editor, you learned how to “do CI,” and you learned how to pace the curriculum. Now, it’s time to customize the “Our Story” curriculum!
In this session, we’ll discuss ways you can use the Editor to personalize and customize the curriculum, reaching your unique students more effectively and also giving you a creative and purposeful way to connect with your students. Linda Temby and Allynn Lodge are both avid “creators” within Voces and their classrooms and will be sharing some ideas.
12 PM - 2 PM Overview: A 2-hour finale of fun, reflection, and collaboration.
Concluding Remarks and Q&A

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