More Washington Post/Krashen

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  1. What a great synopsis of Krashen, by the way. And his response was calm, indeed. And kind.

    As far as how I start the year, it is very simple and I hope it is described sufficiently in the various posts in the Beginning the Year category in the right column here. I also have a very compressed version of how I begin the year in my lesson plan for the three days I have with students next month at iFLT in Breckenridge. (This is not the one I put here three weeks ago for that conference but an updated and more thoroughly thought through version.) Here it is:

    (Handouts for teachers attending iFLT will be the ones of my weekly schedule and reading class information like I do for DPS learning labs, in case I don’t have time to do enough reading in my sessions.)

    Tuesday (Day 1)

    1. TPR/PQA four words from the Word Wall. Play with those words (allows me to teach the rules of engagement).

    3. Word Chunk Team activity to bond kids in a group/tribe and have some fun. This will be limited, obviously, to a) the four words we TPR’d, b) the concept of not (the sound it makes in French), 3) maybe a few numbers thrown in, 4) the question words.

    4. Circling with Sports Balls cards. For the rules and for personalization, and only thirdly to teach French.

    5, I want to do that really simple story that is one of those first stories that skip used in the spring. (Not the Linda Li coffee one that she and Krashen have down to a routine, which is PQA.) The two at this link:

    Once I start a story, and I hope to do so on the first day, I have to remember to ask one of the teachers to write the story out in French for the actual reading class which will occur later, which, since the workshop classes are only 2 and 1/4 hours long, will probably happen on Wednesday. Of course, in regular beginning of the year classes, Bob, you would have time to get the reading together after you so your first story, but let’s be clear, I am doing as many stories as I can at iFLT, even with only those three days with these kids. (Normally in the school year I would do the stuff described above with no stories for months.) I want to make it clear that in a workshop it would be irresponsible to not model a story because the entire process from PQA to the reading (the Three Steps of TPRS) are absolutely brilliant and hold the key to the entire method. The other thing that I want to remember, besides having a reading created from the story, and also maybe from the first day PQA, is to have the artist, story writer and quiz writer at work, and maybe the metacognition poster. I will ask jen about that, whether I should try to cram it in.

    Wednesday (Day 2)

    1. Review the four Word Wall words, play with them, add a few more, hang out with the words and the kids.

    2. Maybe do some more Word Chunk basketball game but probably not because of time.

    2. Box Guessing Game. This is where introduce four verb form of to choose. This is to get mega reps each class on va choisir, choisit, choisissez, and a choisi (near future, present, command form, and past tense. This is a way of getting their deeper mind to experience those four verb tenses daily while they are not focused on it, but rather on the box game. I am attempting here to drive into the unconscious mind four verb tense archetypes, their archetypal sound patterns, for later when those sounds occur in other verb forms. It is a game of choosing a box from a choice of two. It would take too long to describe here and I may not even use it. I am just very much into setting archetypal sound resonance patterns in the kids, as something to experiment with next year. More on it later. It could be a lot of hot air thinking; it wouldn’t be the first time. To experiment with it at a national conference may be kind of stupid. Maybe I’ll wait until the fall.

    3. More cards, but I won’t have time to get to many of the kids. Oh well. I may, probably will, use the cards as PQA facts to go into a story right there, one that will grow from the cards discussion and therefore not have a script. Just see what happens. If I need to bail, I have the second story from the above link, the one skip wrote up. Or I could go to a Matava script, if the kids are rocking it.

    4. Again, need a teacher writing up the story for reading on Thursday, or Wednesday if time allows. Also need the three kids as artist, story writer and quiz writer.

    5. I have to model the quiz process, the process of dictée for the teachers and the end of class on Wed. is the time to do those two things.

    Thursday (Day 3)

    I would love to do a straight Matava story day with modeling of the three steps and esp. the transition from PQA into a story, but time may not allow. I may have to start class with the reading of the story from the previous day, because it is important at these conferences for observors to see all the things we can do with reading, esp. spinning out stories. I’ll have to wait until Wed. afternoon to start planning the Thursday class. But, Bob, the sequence of things above is pretty much the meat of what I do for the first months of the year, of course, within the framework of my weekly schedule, as per:

    The point being that I am trying to compress in just under 8 hours of iFLT instruction many months of beginning the year work. Hope that addresses at least to some extent your question, Bob.

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