Video Report from the Field – Angie Dodd

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14 thoughts on “Video Report from the Field – Angie Dodd”

  1. Angie I like it although only six minutes in – it’s classic PQA, going with the flow of where the questioning goes and I have just enough Spanish to see you staying in bounds.

    What I would do to take some pressure off of you a little would be to not stay with one kid too long on the questioning. Like at around a little before 6:00 you have engaged one kid. Why not engage more to keep the others guessing and on their toes?

    Like the kids to your left you can bring in simply by contrasting and comparing answers with the kid you are talking with. Put the second newly added kid in a position of agreeing or disagreeing with the statement since it is suddenly about them.

    Say random lighthearted things – embellish facts they give you into the level of the slightly absurd. Use the same vocabulary you are using when talking to the first kid. It keeps them on their toes if you randomly say that “So and so doesn’t collect shoes but so and so does.” And as stated the comments should be mildly ridiculous which can often morph right into a story.

    So some kid, instead of having the luxury of making you sweat by not helping you emotionally (these kids are not trained in human kindness) is alway in danger of hearing you say unexpectedly, “Hey class! Sarah collects shoes but Tom (the one you want to bring into the discussion) collects soccer shoes (if he plays soccer, etc.). Then don’t leave it. For that I have a board behind me for any clarification.

    And believe it all deeply. And never go into a single personal thing that is not strongly positive for the kid. Their teen personas are paper thin as we know. It’s a game of rope-a-dope, pulling them into the discussion with a kind of “I know a secret” look on your face. Play them like a violin.

    So in PQA I randomly say things that may or may not be true. I do this with anyone who may not be engaged. It forces a response. An extreme case of that is this:

    Thanks for putting yourself out there. We can all learn a ton from this. I’ll watch all the rest in the next week or two. I love how we share. Here we get a year round conference.

    1. I’m going to read this over a few times and see if I can acquire this advice. I know it’s good and sound, but my mind can’t figure out how I would DO it. I’m terrible about saying things about kids that are absurd. If THEY bring it up, I’ll run with it all day, but I’m still shy about doing what Anne Matava does so effortlessly, bringing everyone along into the realm of the absurd before you even know what is happening. Thank you so much for watching and for offering your suggestions. I think I”ll grow into them with time, and with more chances to watch people do that kind of magic. It means a lot to know that you watched so thoughtfully in order to help me out. Big love!

  2. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    You relate to your students with such calm warmth & respect. It’s the most important aspect – the relationship – as we know!
    I have a few Q’s. (remember I teach elem…)
    Do you have to provide an agenda of “what we’re going to do today” at the beginning? I ask because when Ss know it’s “review” they may turn off their attention. (David Sausa’s research on primacy & latency – do the new/exciting first… – where interest/attention is highest)
    Are you allowed to just mention the new/novel stuff that will transpire later as a teaser, and launch into the review discussion w/out naming it first? I’ve been attending a Learning and the Brain class – if you have a preview of the new item from the get-go to refer to – a stuffed guanaco/llama (or image of one) to incorporate right away so that it’s already a friend when you show the MT later…it’s like an injection of excitement – when will this guanaco ‘come up?’ in the MT?
    THe other feedback is something that’s been itching me in my own classroom – giving directions in English. My Q is, can we scaffold and circumlocute a way to explain yesterday’s popcorn translation in Spanish? Maybe the only new word would be popcorn – palomitas – but I’ll bet the rest is comprehensible, especially since they just did it yesterday…
    I am trying to avoid extended chunks of English for instructions in my classroom. I have mastered the “how to distribute materials” instructions, and am working on others…

    I also got lots of great ideas for posters from your classroom video.
    Thanks so much for sharing and inviting us into your awesome class!

    1. I do post the agenda…when karen was filming around the room it was part of that at the beginning. I like your suggestions, especially about pacing and ordering of presentation. At this point, I feel okay giving certain instructions in English. Certain things I just need to get across as quickly as possible, so English or Spanglish gets us all back to work again. Instructions like that are kind of high-stakes in terms of functioning in the classroom, and I have enough kids on various plans and with various levels of anxiety (not to mention my own anxiety), that for now it works best for me. But I always revisit this with the hope of having more and more TL in the future! Someday when I’m a badass CI veteran teacher (this is year 2 for me!) I’ll be giving instructions in the TL!!

      1. If it helps you feel better, I find that instructions in the TL pointless. They include a bunch of vocab you only need to know for school, which is boring, and if we have to give instructions anyway, maybe we’re not doing something clearly enough.

        Someone asked Bill VanPatten today about the role of metacognitive, life, and organizational skills in the language classroom and his advice was that the kids need to focus on language, which is enough as it is.

  3. Steven Ordiano

    I just borrowed a camera from a colleague, a digital media teacher. I was told, “as long as the kids cannot be identified by parents”. There are students who know how to film already so I’m set.

    I’m watching Angie and I am seeing some awesome interaction. I also see a bit of “bail out/staying sane” moves. This work has MANY manifestations.

    1. To some extent, yes. We have a series of thematic units which I have to address, and common assessments that involve students being able to write and recite essays from memory about their lives, families, houses, etc. There’s also lots of room for stories and CI.

    1. I’ve watched your vimeo videos many times, so glad I could offer something back Joseph! I got that reading idea from Betsy Paskvan and Alina Filipescu last summer.

    2. I love that you called it ping pong reading. I think I missed the way it was done though. Angie, can you describe it?

      I thought you looked in calm control, confident, and your students seemed to understand very well.

  4. Angie, I was struck by the calm confidence you show in your interactions with each student.

    I think we’ve all had the kind of groups you describe, where there are a couple kids that dampen the mood for the rest of the class. I think your choice of activities with such a group, based in reality vs fiction, is sane.

    I also enjoyed your poster tour. And particularly if you have thematic obligations to cover, those seem to be great reminders for you to include them regularly.

    As I watched your PQA with “buys”, I started thinking about our discussion last Fall stimulated by the Hermanator re gesturing and dependance on it. I realized I am STILL using the gesture for “buys”, even though I’ve used it enough times that it should be acquired by most if not all kids. At this point I should be delaying or omitting that gesture. And I think your gesture for that verb is more with the times that mine (I do a handoff of cash with one hand and then take the purchased item with the other hand). 🙂

    1. I was noticing as I watched the video that I was tossing off gestures right and left, not with any intentionality but just…well, I don’t know why. I can’t imaging those half-hearted gestures were helping anybody. I think I imagine that my slower acquirers still need them but if that’s the case then I should really stop and make them clear. Or maybe it’s the time in the year to let them go, as you suggest. Yeah, the credit card gesture came from a German exchange student who took Spanish last year. I was like – oh yeah, that’s what buying looks like!

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