How Does it Work?
We take journeys around the star. The basic pattern for each journey is the same:
Step 1: Start in the Create Phase (12:00 on the star). Here you create an image.
Step 2: The Review Phase (2:00 on the star). Here you review the image.
Step 3: The Write Phase (5:00 on the star). Here you write out what was said about the image.
Step 4: The Read Phase (7:00 on the star). Here you read what was created.
Step 5: The Extend Phase (10:00 on the star). Here you do extension activities using what was created.
The plan is simple. At any point in class you will be at any point on the star. You will always know where you are in class and what you have to do next.
It is the step-by-step routine that we want to convey in this book, so that the teacher can put her classes on “automatic pilot”, so to speak, and not have to endure the constant mildly frantic feeling in her work that she can’t keep up because of all the “stuff” that she has to do during the day.
For an extensive analysis of all aspects of this new concept of what a language curriculum even is, the teacher who is new to CI is asked at this point to read Supplement 2 before reading any further in this book. Doing so will provide a thorough foundational understanding and guaranteed pedagogical command of all the details of the Star Sequence activities that follow.
There is also a Facebook page called “Ben Slavic’s Invisibles” open to teachers who are working on putting the Invisibles approach in place in their classrooms.
The Student Jobs
Before you start a journey around the Star Sequence Curriculum, you need some student helpers. They are separated into groups based on what kind of help they are providing. I refer to those student job groups as Hubs.
In Hub A there are five students whose job is to help you create and maintain information. They sit to your right and collaborate with you and each other during class. Hub A is the creative hub.
Hub B has four other students whose job is to help in the actual day-to-day functioning of the class. They sit directly in front of you. Hub B is the practical hub.
On your left as you face your students, in Hub C, are three students whose job is to make your comprehensible input instruction come to life. Hub C is the fun hub.
Hub D is a not an actual hub where students sit together physically like they do in Hubs A-C. Their job is to fulfill tasks having to do with technology outside of class to prepare for the end of the year celebrations. Hub D is the technology hub.
When all the jobs are filled (this is rare unless the class is a really strong one), they provide you
with a “student police force” that is of immense help in classroom management. This topic will be expanded upon in Supplement 8. There is also, toward the end of this book, a printable download showing a seating chart of how the student job hubs are set up.
If this information about the student jobs is new, the reader is strongly encouraged to spend some time familiarizing herself with Supplement 8 and the printable download before reading on about the Invisibles. This is because how the classroom is set up plays a huge role in the overall proper functioning of an Invisibles classroom.