Carol sent this email this morning:
In case you want to view photos:
President, TPRS Publishing, Inc.
[ed. note: the first photo – that is Kristy Placido on the left and Diana Noonan in the center and behind her is Laura Friesen. Most of the photos are of Mark Mallaney – a totally kick ass young Spanish teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School and then there is one of Annick Chen and one of me at Abraham Lincoln. Mark is the big guy in black and that is Kristy Placido in red acting (I forgot what she got to be in that class – I think it was a proctologist). I am pointing at the work of my artist as we finished up our 9th period story. Thank you Carol!]
CI and the Research (cont.)
Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could
5 thoughts on “Carol Sent Photos”
Thanks for posting those photos. As you mention in the word wall posting above, it really helps to see what is on the walls of other teachers’ classrooms. What words, how large they are written, translations, etc. For those of us who are new to CI strategies, even these little details are complete mysteries to us. So when you experienced teachers are talking about what you do, even down to the objects and signs on the wall, please be as specific as possible. Pretend you are describing these things to your students in L2.
Also, would people be willing to post photos of their classroom walls? This in itself could be a helpful discussion about what students see and don’t see.
It’s a great point. This blog and my books started out with no other purpose than doing that – I saw no one describing in simple terms what we were doing as each year morphed further into new things. Of course it is all changing, and there never will be a method that we can say is “the method” – which is precisely why we know this is for real because if it isn’t always changing it isn’t alive. But your point is well taken John. One of the biggest daggers in the chest of this method has been the lack of common understanding of basic things. I asked Carol about that when she was in my classroom and she said that there are tons of teachers claiming to do the method who simply don’t, not even remotely. That is why Diana is so well-placed in this district. She works towards uniformity of the basics. I didn’t even grasp going out of bounds, for example, for the first year or so when I came to DPS three years ago, even though she was yelling it in my right ear every time she visited because I am so right brain dominant. But, because we know and trust each other, we like being together, we learn and grow together, there is no stopping our growth and our keeping true to what we all define together as best TCI practices.
Is there a way to post photos? I’ll post mine if you post yours.
If you send them to me I can paste the link like I did with Carol’s. That is a good idea, a great idea, Drew. It will help build community here. Carol’s photos from her observations in DPS this past week were great and there is no reason we can’t just do that all the time here. I will say that I had never really gotten to know Carol and Kristy before this past week and they are two really ultra fine people, working so hard to help kids with what we know IS BEST FOR THEM. Honestly, I know why I am going down there now, in a few minutes, to be at ACTFL. It is to be with my friends. What greater thing is there in life?
It was a Carol Gaab workshop last February that led me to seeking out anything I could find on the subject of “story asking” and what Krashen refers to as the necessary comprehensible and compelling input. That search led me to your blog, Ben, and the treasure trove of valuable information and the community of support that I was desperately seeking.
My efforts are those of a novice, and maybe I was just a really lousy teacher before with a somewhat traditional approach, but without asking my students to give “output” they are using more Spanish outside of class this year (my upper level students on sports teams with first year students are telling me this) and producing incredible free-writes willingly in class, than classes ever did with the traditional approach.
I’m looking forward to seeing data that compares growth between students in traditional programs and CI programs. In my humble opinion the output folks can talk output, but in the end, there cannot be real output without real, comprehensible input.
Thank you for hanging tough and fighting the good fight out there and taking on friendly fire, that probably is a misnomer because there isn’t much friendly about it.