Blurting Idea – 2

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10 thoughts on “Blurting Idea – 2”

  1. This is absolutely the one thing that nobody understands about this process. Not the kids, not our colleagues, not parents, and certainly not admin. I am eager to hear about this for a number of reasons.
    Thanks for piloting this. I can’t do that w/ my group but I suppose it would be just as valuable to try to have a hidden video camera so kids could see themselves in action.

    1. …I suppose it would be just as valuable to try to have a hidden video camera so kids could see themselves in action….
      In my opinion it wouldn’t change anything. They are not able to change without repeated constant and consistent redirecting that is emotionless and without blame.
      But that is nothing compared to my need to not even breathe a word of English for what is usually for me a 30 min. target but often goes far longer. If you try just that one thing, jen, of explaining to them for the next 15 or 20 or 30 min. or whatever that you are not going to use a single word of English, and that if they do so they will be set outside the group along the wall to observe the entire rest of the class with a phone call in the waiting to your colleague down the hall to be put into that class with a reader and Bryce’s Dual Entry Journal, and then if you really stick to your own English guns, you will see something. Try it.

  2. This is extremely valuable. We just had the blurting discussion reinforced. This also included viewing some Mark Mallaney, so that we could observe the classroom behaviors of the students.

  3. I wanted to jump in and share a success story about controlling blurting.
    In the past I found classroom jobs of TIMER, ENGLISH POLICE, AND ENGLISH ABUSER to be useful tactics for keeping blurting at bay. As I transitioned this year from large high school classes to smaller middle school classes things were starting to go sideways on me. I was losing control of my classes and stories. 7th grade girls and 8th grade boys were taking advantage of my patience and I had to do something.
    Most people know a bit about Blaine’s Págame system or others like it. I printed some play money and put various 7th and 8th grade teacher faces on them along with various colors of paper. Each student received 100 dollars in Classroom Cash.
    I reward and take away various quantities of “money” in order to keep things moving in a rhythm conducive for acquiring. This system has had an amazing change to the learning environment. Before you judge the merits of positive and negative rewards and penalties when learning…I am with you. I never wanted to do something like this in my classes but I was desperate.
    This system is used in a very nice and kind manner. If I ask students to PAY ME I do so with a smile every single time. I do this at my discretion in order to foster a desired behavior in class.If I pay out a $1 it is because I value the student contribution to the activity. I want them to explicitly know what I expect. I hope to not be using this system in a few months but I will ultimately do what works for creating the environment I need to engage students in stories.
    In general, I dislike how this even sounds as I write but it is working very well with middle school student mentalities.
    Students must follow three important rules in order to keep there 100 dollars which represents 100% in their weighted 20% participation category. (For the record I care very little about their grades but they care VERY much).
    a. Students must act engaged in class.
    b. Answer questions in the target language.
    c. Act appropriately and do not distract others form acquiring Spanish.
    Blurting has never been more controlled since I started my version of “Pay me” System.

    1. I get it, Mike, & I’m glad you shared about this. Middle school is different from high school, and small, private middle schools are different, too. Glad you’re finding some things that help improve your classroom and keep you from frustration with the kids.
      I like hearing this in part because I’m on a kick to find my personal style of classroom management: one in which I do not become crabby in implementing it, and which works in the school and with the students I have now.

      1. Diane,
        Thanks so much for the affirmation. I think part of me writing that was have this idea accepted by others. Like I mentioned, I’m not really into rewards and punishments per se in class. I think it is something that cheapens what we do.
        It would be ideal if others waned to learn and acquire something new just because it changes everything about them but unfortunately not everyone enters our classrooms with that mentality. Most of the time the students are conditioned to earn grades and meet objectives.
        Anyways thanks for the affirmation!

  4. I can’t do pagames. I think it depends on the individual teacher’s personality. My problem with pagames is that, again, the kids see me as needing something from them and willing to involve barter to get it. Classroom respect of the rules must in my own CI world come from within all of us.
    With my middle school kids, I have noticed that since I have stopped speaking ANY English and requiring them to write their comments and questions that come up during class on a colored 3×5 card for later, THEY sense a fairness in the fact that, since I am not using English, they shouldn’t either. (They are very much into their middle school definition of fairness as all middle school teachers know quite well.)
    So my way of keeping the peace is to not use English and my example brings the results, along with the doubly whammy Two Strikes threat, which is a bear. I can say that for the first time in 15 years I am controlling blurting. I can’t believe it.

    1. We’d like to think we can just stop class every time and read the rule (which we should do), but that would not be enough. There have to be consequences. Ben’s “2 strikes,” “págame,” some version of responsive classroom “time out,” etc.
      A relationship with the kids is at the center of it all. And in that respect, I have a leg up, because I see the same kids 5 years in a row!
      I showed my 8th graders a little bit of Sabrina’s TPR demo in which I was the volunteer and I talked about what it felt to be in Anne Matava’s German demo and I leveled with them, telling the class that I felt the challenges. I told them there were many times
      – I couldn’t respond as fast as everyone in the group,
      – how I felt myself zoning out,
      – how I would sometimes just join the choral response and not know what was going on (one of my students yells out: “Fake it till you make it! I do that!”),
      – and how I did not feel comfortable signaling in front of a room of other people.
      This opened up a can of worms and all the kids wanted to admit their challenges.
      Then, yesterday, I can’t remember how it came up (probably because there was too much English talk happening), but I told the 8th graders that if this were an immersion school, then they’d be allowed to speak English, until they felt comfortable responding in Spanish. But I said we can’t do that, because we have way less time and I wanted to maximize the time they are hearing Spanish. Again, there were nods that they understood.

  5. I’m pretty frustrated with my 6th grade class because I have about 9 boys and a couple of girls that just don’t stop blurting (roughly 27 total). Class is so disruptive and as a result really boring (then it is a bad cycle – disruption-boredom-disruption, etc.)
    I’m ready to just give them quiet work to do on their own but of course I want it to be as much CI as possible but they are beginners (maybe 90 hours of Latin). I don’t know what to do but I’m done with this group at the moment.

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