vPQA Update

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46 thoughts on “vPQA Update”

  1. Here are a few thoughts, Ben.
    I’ve played around with HaikuDeck a tiny bit with my own account, but I just haven’t gotten any momentum. I like the idea, but something is getting in my way. I’m not sure what. Maybe it’s summertime, doing what it’s supposed to be doing 🙂
    In the next couple of weeks I will try to make one on our shared account. I will also try see what it’s like to copy and adapt one that’s already there.
    Here are a few things that I thought about or came up against when I was trying it out a bit:
    – It’s not always easy to find pictures that really show what you want the kids to see and understand. The picture needs to convey the meaning you want and not have all sorts of alternative interpretations.
    – You can’t add little things like arrows and speech bubbles and play around with the photos and layout. At least I don’t think you can.
    – I haven’t found a way to transfer a slideshow from my own account to our shared account. I don’t really want to share a slide show until it’s finished.
    – Someone could unintentionally edit someone else’s slideshow.
    – I am used to PP and google slides. It’s relatively fast and easy. I have a page with a bunch of links to open source free pictures. I will use only these in the future. If we use those, we can share PPs as much as we want. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Gu33S1OJb7LN2nD4vy1ar42Bs1Xn2iso6FFXb1IQblA/edit
    – The gallery is confusing with all the slideshows, and there aren’t even very many yet. Imagine navigating it if we get lots of slideshows. The titles should just be the target structures and the person’s name.
    I would love to hear what people who have already made and used slideshows on HD think.
    Ben, are any of those yours? Have you made one yet?

    1. Looking again at the gallery, I see that some have titles that are the targets. The ones with the targets in English are good so we can quickly see if it’s something we want to copy and adapt to the language we teach.
      And some HD photos are really good. I need to spend more time before I really know about it. Above are just my first impressions after a little use. I don’t mean to sound negative, if I do.

  2. Not negative sounding at all, Ruth, those are important points you raise and we must absolutely agree on what the best platform for this important endeavor for our group this year might be. I am ok with embracing PP w/ Google free images. We just need to decide and start getting slide shows in one place, if we are to realize our dream of instant lesson plans all year with vPQA.

  3. Personally, I prefer using Powerpoint (or Google Presentation) with Creative Commons images because it’s more flexible and for some reason I can’t even use Haiku Deck at school (the images are blocked).
    I’m planning on making some Visual PQA presentations this year, it just probably won’t be until after school gets going. (I’m trying to enjoy my summer for a bit!) One thing with Haiku Deck is that you can download it as a Powerpoint, so if someone prefers to use Haiku Deck they still can.

  4. So let’s take these next few days to sketch out what that will look like, for anyone interested. As long as we are all using the same platform and we can have a common link to go access our various slide show presentations, we’ll be good to go. I’m ready to dump HD totally as I said in another comment here this morning. The thing I was wanting to use HD for was the danger of law suits so as long as we can use PP and be safe, that sounds like the best, right?

  5. Ben wrote in a different post, “Ruth I think it is time to drop HD and go with PP w/ Google Images and try to have a common set of lessons labeled by the verbs they are intended to teach and the author. . . So for those of us who want access to a PP lesson plan back using only free Google images we can try again maybe. . . ”
    Ben, let’s say that we need to use Creative Commons images rather than free Google images.
    Here is a link to a site that lists a bunch places to search for free images: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/where-to-find-free-stock-photos-online.html
    I haven’t checked them all out, but it is a place to start.
    Bryan, do you have a favorite way to find CC images or other images you know are really free?

    1. Another source for images is anything put out by an agency of the US government. All government publications, including images (e.g. from NASA), are in the public domain.
      Wikipedia images are another good place to look. Most of them are licensed under Creative Commons or GNU, but many are also in the public domain (either because the copyright has expired or because the owner has released the image).

    1. Craig or Bryan or Ruth how can we set that up? Of course Creative Commons should be used. What we need now is a detailed PP vPQA plan that even people with my challenged tech skills can follow. Who is willing to write up a tutorial for vPQA including links and steps to get to a common pool of slide shows, which is the ultimate goal here? I would do it, but I can barely tie my tech shoes.

  6. I am probably the worst tech person on the planet. This is why I have not chimed in on any of these threads. I love the idea of using images, vPQA, etc, and I keep telling myself I will play around with it to get some practice in, but the reality is that I don’t. I know I will need to make it a priority and I’ll have to shift something.
    In the meantime I will rely heavily on anyone who can help with a tutorial. Ruth linked me to some things, which I can see would be simple enough to change the language. As much as I want to do this, I also know that for me the excruciating amount of time it will take me is a trade off. And I like getting sleep at night, so….
    Probably right now, in the next few weeks though it won’t be a priority bc of harvest season, start of school and infrastructure and newness, squeezing the juice out of last days of summer, an impromptu visit from my sister, Wrap up and processing with my Costa Rica group, etc. Not necessarily in that order. It’s all ebbing and flowing. 🙂

  7. Jen – you are going to love vPQA and you don’t have to make a single PP slide show. We will all share. Ruth is the anchor on this thing. I just wrote a new plan on this topic. We’re going to have the best downloads in our computers and all we have to do is download them when someone has one to share that is Creative Commons based and use them. Dude. Trust me on this. You don’t have to do a thing. It’s going to be a massive improvement for our day to day teaching. vPQA is the cat’s ass.

  8. Thank you! I know I will love making them once I get in the groove. I have seen a bunch that Ruth shared with me and it definitely looks super fun and engaging and right up my alley in terms of being able to be my wacky self and infuse everything with my weirdness. Heh. Probably good that I don’t “go there” right off.

    1. Hey Jen, the slide shows I shared with you weren’t strictly vPQA as we are defining it and trying to stick to. They supported my various versions of Special Chair and Star of the Day that I was doing in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades for the last few months last year. Those interviews and the circling and extraneous whatever were great but they did take a long time to give each kid a turn. The kids love it when it’s their turn even if they (a few) act bored during someone else’s turn.
      Remember the 8th grade girl when you visited who shared her drawings and design coloring, and I played her favorite (lucky choice on my part) Jason Aldean song?
      You’re going to have a blast!

      1. …vPQA as we are defining it and trying to stick to….
        Ruth thanks for saying that phrase above. In my view it is super important to make a distinction between what Julie has done – a sophisticated taxonomy that leads kids to mastery of the verb in a way that regular PQA cannot because of the sequencing of the slides – and “regular” PQA with slides. That has been done for a long time, of course, but when I saw what Julie had done I had to point it out to our group as different, more powerful, more quick to lead to speech output, etc. Lots of people from Linda Li to Diana Noonan tell me it’s “just PQA” and “we have been doing that for a long time”. I don’t think it is. So Ruth when you say vPQA “as we are defining it and trying to stick to…” it helps me make my case for doing PQA with slides that are organized in the way Julie does. When I see something great in this work, I fight for it, and in this case the sequence Julie has come up with is worth fighting to define as separate from the more shallow and wide “regular” PQA with slides. Just sayin’ that vPQA is not PQA with Slides.

  9. I like what I’ve seen with vPQA and I think it is great with literate students and alphabetic languages from Step 1. At present, though, I am still finding it to be something like what I’ll do not to introduce new structures, but to begin step 3 reading.
    Sometime I might try vPQA as part of Step 1 and use familiar characters but new words only in pinyin. That’s not my usual way to do Step 1 though. But since I’d like to do is keep familiar reading in view more, it may be worth trying.

    1. Diane, Liam is the only other Chinese teacher that’s a PLC member I can think of, and we haven’t heard from him in a long time (granted I believe he’s got little kids at home). I admire your dedication despite being the lone-wolf at times!

  10. Just thinking some more here about verbs. I think Ben’s idea to limit vPQA slide shows to one verb/structure is a really good one, for the reasons he gives, but…
    …for me, vPQA isn’t for all verbs. I want to pick verbs and structures for vPQA that need the power of vPQA and that are worth the time spent making a slide show. I don’t think I want to spend the time making slide shows for verbs that are more easily introduced and explored through TPR or CWB or something else, in other words, a lot of the action verbs and maybe even some of the Super Whatever Number. I can see using it for verb phrases or reflexive verbs, things that are harder to grasp and different from English in some way rather than those good old action words.

    1. That makes a lot of sense, Ruth. It reminds me of Eric’s slides for high frequency verbs he shared with us some time ago. The images he selected do not confuse but are pointed visual interpretations of the verb structure.
      It does take time to find the right image to match the vocab. I think that’s partially why creating this vPQA folder for everyone to share can be extremely valuable.

  11. …I can see using it for verb phrases or reflexive verbs, things that are harder to grasp….
    That’s a great point right there Ruth. If we use “plays” all the time, which we do in those first weeks, then we certainly don’t need to vPQA it. If you find the “to worry” slide presentation made by chill in French, that to me is a perfect example of what we want a lot of in a few months, if this thing works.

    1. Ruth and Ben, any chance you can share that “to worry” slide presentation by Ruth? It would be nice to work off this model example. I’m ready to start contributing.

  12. Larry Hendricks

    I went to the Creative Commons site. Where do you find the images there? I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
    Also, I’m wondering about the “Debate” factor of the vPQA. Some structures don’t lend themselves to debate. I put together a deck, for example, on weather expressions. How do you debate “It’s sunny,” “it’s cloudy,” “it’s raining”?

    1. Larry, perhaps we need some sort of context in order to engage in a debate using these weather expressions. Say, for example, if you’re from Seattle and you see the sun peeking through some thick clouds, you might say it’s sunny. Whereas if you’re from SoCal, you’d definitely say it’s cloudy. I’m thinking these contexts could come up during the in-class conversations as we go through the vPQA, then we could quickly write the debate questions in class when the appropriate time comes.

    2. If you think only in terms of fact, it’s hard to do, but there are some subjective aspects to weather as well. Is it cool, pleasant, warm, hot? Which weather is the best: sunny and cold? raining and warm? sunny and hot? sunny, hot, and humid? snowing and cold? Why is that the best weather? There’s your debate.

    3. Larry, here is the search page from the Creative Commons website:
      (To find it from the main page, you scroll down a bit to where is says “Find CC material” and a search bar.)
      It’ll take you to a list of search engines. Once you choose a search engine and subject to search, it will give you pictures that are either CC or Public Domain or somehow free to use. They remind you to check, though, to make sure.
      I have to get myself used to this, too, at least for things I plan to share with others. I’ve been pretty lax in my use of Google images for my own use, up until now.

  13. Is it better when it rains on Sundays or doesn’t rain on Sundays?
    Should tomorrow be a snow day?
    Is it more fun to watch a football game played in nice weather or nasty weather?
    Should you use an umbrella when it rains or not?
    When is it good to have snow during vacation?
    Is it better to live where there are 4 seasons? 2 seasons? 1 season?
    Is it fun to drive in a blizzard?
    Do you prefer to watch storms from inside the house or on the porch?
    Which is scarier….a tornado or a hurricane?
    with love,

  14. Plus Larry vPQA has no rules except the suggestions that we keep things tracked with the Julie narrow and deep taxonomy of questioning, so we avoid ice skating around on the surface with too many words and not enough downward vortex type of circling.
    Not feeling a debate? Don’t debate! Although here is one question that I’ve been thinking about lately. When it is cloudy in Delhi is it really sunny? Or is it really cloudy?

  15. Larry Hendricks

    I printed off your sequence post, Ben, with the sentences in red, of Julie’s taxonomy. I agree we need to go narrow and deep. vPQA is not just PP with slides. I do find, though, that aside from the main point of a slide, I can still circle other objects in the slide.
    I don’t think I’ll have a problem debating, now that so many of you gave me ideas above. But I do have one question. Surely you don’t do the whole debate in the target language, do you? I could see where you’d have to bring a whole lot of L2 in bounds just to have the debate. Right?

    1. First of all, I think that if you can get your class, especially a level 1 class, to a place where you can even play around with just one of these debate like questions, you rock like Mick Jagger. The thing is, we have colleagues here that not only rock like Mick Jagger but more like Muddy Waters and James Brown and Janis Joplin. Outta sight!

  16. I have checked HD and could not get anything going with it. It was extremely limited in the amount of images one could find and therefore very frustruating. It is already time consuming enough trying to find the right image for the right verb on the open internet. Plus, as has been mentioned, HD is not as versatile as PP.
    Another limitation I find is that the verb combinations from those that shared weren’t what I was trying to work on. This is not such a big deal bc they’re easy to modify/delete.
    Maybe we could start a graphics data base: different folders in which to post images good for different verb (like a folder named “To arrive”, another “To search”, etc. This could significantly reduce the production time we put into these vPQA PPs. Once you have the image, the text can be quickly inserted to one’s liking and language.
    Right now I have a few PPs but all the images are taken from google images without the least concern for copyright. I wouldn’t mind sharing but can’t get Ben in trouble for this.
    Finally, the way I found vPQA to be useful after a few tries was ONE verb per PP. I put in as many images as I could find. Then I circled around each image until the energy died down. I never finished using all the images. Having the extra ones in there gave me a comforting sense that I would not run out of material. Also, I spent entire classes on just one verb without it getting to be overwhelming. For the first time for example I have been able to establish the difference between some always confusing verbs in Spanish such as dijo-dejó or sale-deja.

    1. That’s a good idea, Laura.
      I had another idea, too, to help us out as we are thinking about what to do. I started a list of verbs (French) that I think are worth spending the time it takes to make a vPQA slide show. I commented earlier that some verbs, like many action verbs, are better and more simply acquired or introduced through other means like TPR or CWB or CWC and there’s no need to go to all the work of making a PP. The ones that are harder to gesture, harder to get, reflexive, or whatever are good for vPQA.
      Here is the link to the page I started.
      If anyone wants to add to it, you can let me know and I’ll add you as an editor.
      Does that seem useful or is it just one more list to never look at 😉
      It was at least useful for me to think about the difference.
      It would be good to have a list in each language rather than in English because I don’t think the lists will be the same fo reach language. I think of these when I am thinking of French verbs not English verbs. No what I mean?

  17. So you guys can we turn the above posts from Laura and Ruth, since Ruth it is so wonderful that you are anchoring this thing, into specific steps that we can use to have the kind of instant access to all the wonderful slide presentations we each make by a few clicks?

  18. I’m not sure how to accomplish the folder idea or even if it is what most people would like. For me the most difficult part of vPQA is the time spent finding the images, and that’s where I would see the sharing as useful more than finished PPs.
    Would there be a copyright issue with this? I don’t understand the copyright on images. If the owner doesn’t want it used then they should just upload them with a watermark and that, to me, takes care of that.
    I think Ruth that you are right about a list for each language. I looked at yours and don’t understand most of it.

  19. Larry Hendricks

    I’ve got a few presentations in Spanish, Ben. But where do I send them so that everyone will have instant access to them? Like the one Sean made for “looks for.” Where do we send them?

  20. Could people please look at this folder and see if it would be a useful way to share free images, slide presentations and other things related to vPQA? I hope the link works.
    It’s a basic beginning and can be reorganized or whatever if need be. I have some examples in each folder.
    If you are interested and wanting to contribute, let me know in a comment.

    1. Your vPQA folder looks just fine to me! Thanks for organizing this for us, Ruth. I think it’s a worthy endeavor even if it takes us a few months to get a dozen slideshows up there.

      1. Thanks for checking it out, Sean. It seems like it’ll be worthwhile. It probably will take some time to get going, as you say, and to figure out exactly how it will work. It’ll probably go up in the Resources tab once we’ve settled on doing it. I’d love to hear what others think, too.
        It might be tricky for people who aren’t familiar with Google Drive and how to navigate it and make copies and share and all that. Anyone really good at writing step by step instructions? Ben and I have a draft going, but it gets kinda cumbersome trying to describe each step, so I don’t know where that will go. Maybe people will have to just figure it out or find someone to help them learn, face to face.

          1. The only thing is that Ruth has kindly given lots of her own private time to take us this far, keeping this thing alive. People have been largely silent. We need a volunteer to take the hand-off from Ruth and, if they are even necessary, do some deeper explanation of the entire tech side of the vPQA process. I have been very surprised in the low interest from the group, given the monster technique we potentially have here. Where do we go now? Will we fulfill our dream of having hundreds of cool slide shows on hundreds of verbs in different languages a click away from us when we need them?

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