Bryan Whitney offers perhaps the best bail out move I have ever seen, better than dictee maybe because that only lasts ten to fifteen minutes, posted below. I call it Write Their Little Butts Off.
For those who don’t know what a Bail Out Move is, it’s just a way to end something that isn’t working during class, either because of classroom management chaos or just if we don’t feel good about where the story is going, etc. and we need a break right there in the middle of class.
Usually we need a bail out move when we have “one of those classes” but they can be used at any time if you feel tired or whatever. College teachers teach 8 classes a week or so; we teach at least 25 – some of us teach 35 and up. That is too many.
So here is Bryan’s contribution. I love it. It is inspired:
I have them read, write and translate. This gives them CI, but is easy on you, and keeps them working on the text. I would let them know that they can do more interactive activities once they can show you they can handle them. [Ed. note: notice how tricky this is. Not only does it give us a break in what we are doing to a much easier level of how hard we are working, it also sends them the message that they will be doing a LOT of this kind of writing until they move into a more compassionate level with you of being able to honor your efforts in bringing them auditory CI – they have to EARN it.]
Have them write their little hands off. I would also do daily quick quizzes at the end of class, or at least weekly/every other day dictées or translation quizzes. Let them feel the pressure. I’m in the same situation with my last class of the day. They’re totally getting this because they can’t seem to pull it together and show me (or each other) the respect that is required of a full-on CI class. Thankfully, my other classes are great, but I’m not going to put in more work and get all stressed out just because they aren’t showing up and putting in their 50%.