This is a repost. It is a way to fill two weeks of classes with CI. Chill uses it and speaks highly of it. That right there is enough for me to repost it and give some ideas to newer teachers who may not have seen it and who are looking for ways to get through their classes effortlessly:
It finally happened. We got so many new blue chip ideas in the past year that the old Weekly Schedule (2013), which was basically the three step of TPRS, is turning into a big TCI event spanning days that for me now takes two weeks to complete. Chill take note bc you have been doing pretty much the same thing.
Why do I like the” doubleweek”? I like templates. I like lesson plans that are basically just big water tanks to hold lots of water, the fluid, moving, spontaneous water of comprehensible input. I don’t want to have to plan everything out precisely because in normal speech nothing is planned, but there IS usually a pattern to follow, to stay within, for emotional safety during class.
I respect people’s preference for free ranging CI, but, for me, I need limited structures (the three target structures of step 1 of TPRS) to keep the train on the tracks. My planning starts with just a few structures and expands. With the train tracks of the three structures, I can make CI happen effortlessly for weeks on end.
What are those train tracks? What does that new bi-weekly template of a schedule look like? What’s that sequence of blue chip ideas that make my job almost effortless as long as I know how to circle and ask questions and do a reading class based on Reading Option A?
Here it is in very rough form. It will change. It’s only going to grow as I learn to incorporate more and more blue chip ideas into the mix:
Monday – PQA – with dictée mixed in as an option to give more practice in writing (not for level 1 classes). [Do a math brake at any time during this class – see http://www.benslavic.com/blog/2013/02/21/math-bail-out/]
Tuesday/Wednesday – Story – with artist’s drawing. Also the option to have the kids fill out the story script with their cute answers before the story to get ideas as per David Maust/Laurie Clarcq/Michele Whaley. Maybe give a quiz at the end of the second day of the story.
Another option at this point in the two weeks sequence is to do what I call Verb Aid, where we do what is described here: http://www.benslavic.com/blog/2013/06/02/verb-aid/
[Do a math brake at any time during this class – see http://www.benslavic.com/blog/2013/02/21/math-bail-out/]
Thursday/Friday – Reading – usually Reading Option A. I suggest that we use Reading Option A for readings of stories and we use R and D for reading novels. Maybe give a quiz at the end of the second day of the reading. [Do a math brake at any time during these classes – see http://www.benslavic.com/blog/2013/02/21/math-bail-out/]
Monday – IMT of the story, then the Quick Quiz written by the Quiz Writer to start class. (the Quick Quiz could have been given the week before anytime as well.) Then if time Dictée – tried and true. [Do a math brake at any time during this class – see http://www.benslavic.com/blog/2013/02/21/math-bail-out/]
Tuesday – Finish the dictée if you started one, then do IMT, this time at a higher speed than the day before. Mojificate off the reading, using more R and D. I’m starting to have fun bc now, seven days into working with the same three structures, the kids understand everything so well because of all the repetition in different settings. [Do a math brake at any time during this class – see http://www.benslavic.com/blog/2013/02/21/math-bail-out/]
(It sounds to them like their first language by now. You got ’em where you want ’em – in pure high acquistion mode. We couldn’t do this when our template was only one week long and was only TPRS. Now we are in the heady waters of pure TCI, wider tracks, bigger train, more stuff to do.)
Wednesday – Tric a Quiz! (TQ). It’s a regular quiz but they are trying to tric it. They take pride in disagreeing with me on every question on the quiz on the story. A new story is born. If they succeed in making TQ work for the whole period, everyone gets a 10 on it. Huge buy-in from the wall flowers. This is the highest energy day of the sequence and the most fun. Why? Because, again, it all sounds like L1 to them bc of the massive amount of reps we got in the week and a half leading up to the snarky TQ funkathon that replaces the real quiz. [Do a math brake at any time during this class – see http://www.benslavic.com/blog/2013/02/21/math-bail-out/]
Thursday – 10 minute freewrite based on the original three structures for this sequence. Or you can beef up the writing assignment with this idea:
Kids write because they heard it and read it first. Sometimes I will pull 30 or so words from a reading that has previously been embedded and studied in class and give the kids this assignment:
Choosing from the following words (you don’t have to use them all, they are merely suggestions), write an original story on a separate sheet of paper. Write for 30 – 35 minutes. Use the information on the walls of the classroom as well as the words in the list below. Specifically, use the list of prepositions, the list of connecting words (the story will be hard to read without them), the Word Wall, and the Little Words poster. No English or Spanish words except for names. Use words you already know. Get your story idea ahead of time. Use lots of adjectives to give substance and interest to your story. Add another character when you get stuck. Illogical stories are o.k. Here is the list of suggested words: (30 words in the list).
Then I will take samples of student work the next class and put them on the doc camera and just read and discuss what various kids wrote. I formally grade each effort using our district writing rubric.
Any other writng things, please help me decide. [Do a math brake at any time during this class – see http://www.benslavic.com/blog/2013/02/21/math-bail-out/]
Friday – Textivate. Another quiz maybe. Then a self evaluation using dGR or doing some work with the kids doing some self-reflection to end the two week process now ending. [Do a math brake at any time during this class – see http://www.benslavic.com/blog/2013/02/21/math-bail-out/]
This thing is still being built. The above is just a rough frame for a new longer schedule template.
1. Quizzes can be given at any time all through this sequence of activities.
2. I also have the option of doing L & D for the first five minutes of any of the classes in this two week schudule. Or SSR. But mainly this. Find all the details on how to start a class for the first five minutes, as part of this overall two week plan, at:
http://www.benslavic.com/blog/2013/04/03/25574/ (look at the blue and red template)
3. This sequence relies heavily on the reading created from the story. Everything in this plan emerges from the original three structures. That gives us the train tracks, which keep us from going out of bounds as we might do in BSITL. The power of the reading comes from doing all manner of R and D from the reading. Today I did an entire paragraph of the story we read the day before. It just spun out in a few further directions, but not off the track.
4. TQ is something I will explain when I have time. It’s pretty badass. It’s the coolest way to assess a class I’ve ever seen. For me anyway.
5. SSR can continue to be done in the previous Weekly Schedule 2013 way. With tests on the two Fridays after the 10′ of reading to start each class.
6. I want to state again the value of this template for me. It means that I can literally not plan a class for the two weeks that I am using it. I just remember where we got to in the schedule each day, keep all my classes in the same place, and plug and play the next thing in until we get to the last day stuff. As mentioned, doing the entire schedule may take up to three weeks or more, or it could take a week or even less. We get to decide how much time we spend on any one of the suggested activities. It is a zero stress deal. That’s what I want in my job – simplicity and no planning. This bi-weekly schedule gives that to me.
7. We also need to keep in mind that we can’t just order up a serving of higher order thinking for our students. We must spend enough time at the lower end of the taxonomy with the basic three steps of TPRS to set up the higher order thinking which only then can be applied to the most challenging aspect of what we do, output in the form of writing and speaking. How can we do those things unless there is a strong foundation of a story and a basic (at least first level embedded) reading to serve as a knowledge base for the output work? This schedule allows us to do that, to move up the taxonomy in a real way.
8. I do seem to let the SSR to start class go when we are in the new biweekly plan. There is just such an overwhelming need for every minute without the SSR reading with stories. Now, to be clear, if I am not working with a story, but with a novel, then the SSR is de rigueur.
9. It is a tough call. 50 minute classes, with those SSR periods, go by in what seems like 10 minutes. I need a block class every day, really, to honor the potential of this new bi-weekly schedule.
10. Honestly, I have never seen anything that flies so well. The new biweekly schedule is a 767 jetliner. I don’t have to plan a thing. Day after day, it takes the stress out of teaching, eating up the nautical miles which, when on the ground in February, seem to go by way too slowly when using traditional TPRS ideas. Time flies by with the wonderful activities found in that schedule. They unfold as a taxonomy each day a little higher up the scale with this plan, resulting in genuine higher order thinking in the second week.
11. We need to keep in mind that we can’t just order up a serving of higher order thinking for our students. We must spend enough time at the lower end of the taxonomy with the basic three steps of TPRS to set up the higher order thinking, which can then be wonderfully applied to the most challenging aspect of what we do, output in the form of writing and speaking. How can we do those things unless there is a strong foundation of a story and a basic (first level embedded) reading to serve as a base for the output work?
12. With the new biweekly schedule, there is virtually no planning. The template runs the two to three week period of working with that single story born of the two or three structures. It’s Bloom’s on steroids. In a good way.
13. This schedule just flows. We want flow in our lives! Teaching is a process and when we focus on outcomes we get crazy. Just look around. The intense focus on outcomes, uniform outcomes no less, and the data collection game, is driving everyone crazy.
Corinne Bourne has this to say about the schedule:
…the whole two-week, three structure concept seems to fit my need for freedom with just enough guidelines to keep us on track towards reading our goal stories….
We need a more process oriented way of teaching, and this biweekly schedule offers that. It’s like the Lazy River at the theme parks. We come to a bend in our inner tubes, we go around the bend and there is something new to look at and laugh about with our kids. This is what I have tried to create in designing the above plan.
IMPORTANT NOTE: JENNIFER IN NJ ASKED ME HOW THE IMPORTANT NEW NOVEL READING IDEA CALLED “COMPACT R & D” – DEVELOPED IN MAY OF 2013 – CAN BE MADE TO FIT INTO THIS SCHEDULE. IT CAN’T.
THE ONLY THING IS TO MAKE READING A NOVEL A SEPARATE THING WE DO FOR A WEEK OR A MONTH. USING THIS IDEA, WE WOULD DO THE TWO WEEKS AS PER THE SCHEDULE AND THEN DO THIS AS A KIND OF SNOWPLOW THING WHENEVER WE WANT TO READ A NOVEL (THAT’S WHAT SUSIE TEACHES – SNOWPLOW MEANS SNOWPLOW; YOU LITERALLY PLOW THROUGH THE BOOK), BUT NOW WITH COMPACT R & D WE WOULD HAVE THOSE PAUSES FOR THE ONE PARAGRAPH IMPACT DAYS AND IT WOULD SLOW THE READING OF THE NOVEL DOWN BUT THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THAT. I GUESS THAT IS MY ANSWER ON HOW IT (DOESN’T) FIT INTO THE 2013 SCHEDULE.