What Does Rigor Look Like Poster 2012 – Spanish- Clarice

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27 thoughts on “What Does Rigor Look Like Poster 2012 – Spanish- Clarice”

  1. I am not clear on a couple of these:

    What does “feeling aware of the stream of conversation mean”? I can’t figure that one out.

    I have a feeling that “confident” needs more explanation. Confident that they understand? confident when answering questions in class? confident that they are doing well? Not sure what this one means either.

    Starting to come together–yay!

  2. For me confident means that they understand most of what is going on. And that makes them aware of the conversation.

    I’m o.k. with it but by all means send in options. This is much less important, in terms of what I personally will use to align my class with the three modes and ACTFL, than the Rules 2012, which to me is the real gold mine, the breakthrough to tie learning goals, activities, assessments with habits of learning.

    Does anybody have a feel for whether this document should actually be listed under (downloadable) posters on the new site or just placed under (nondownloadable) “Useful information” for cutting and pasting as the need arises?

  3. Can you explain what “aware of the conversation” means. Does it mean “understand the conversation”? I don’t think you mean “know that a conversation is happening” which is what I understand for the word “aware”. I’m trying to understand the terminology. Thanks.

  4. One of my student in my level 2 class wants to skip level 3 and jump into AP. After all of the drama in my department about the AP classes being geared 100% to grammar after all of our work in 1-3 to make them more CI-based and “AP” like, I am dissuading level 2 students into joining this foolish class where comprehension is “taught” through grammar. I asked Timmy why. He said he wants a challenge. I asked him what he thought about my class and he said it was easy. I said thank you, that’s a big compliment. He looked shocked and told me he thought I would think it was horrible. I said acquisition is easy, learning is hard.
    I need to put these posters up… My accelerated class is supposed to be “hard” like the impossible Honors World History and Honors English.

    1. Drew, do you teach Spanish? If so, the AP world is going to change, just as it has with German and French. The German and French AP Tests are now designed around the Three Modes of Communication, and for the 2012-2013 school year the Spanish Course and Test will be re-aligned. Nowhere on the new test is there a single discrete-item grammar question. It’s all about interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication. I talked to an AP Reader who took the training for the new test, and she they were specifically told NOT to grade down for grammatical errors per se, only things that indicated either a lack of understanding or an inability to communicate.

      At the AP Institute I attended last summer for the German course and test, a number of the teachers were extremely worried and uptight about what’s going on. I was saying to myself, “Finally! They are starting to get it.” Future years will refine the exam – there were a few “clunkers” on the practice exam – but if they continue as they have begun, things will improve. I did note that some of the non-native speakers in the course had difficulty with parts of the test because they were not used to communicating in the language rather than about the language.

      Once the revision has occurred, you should try to get together with your colleagues and discuss vertical teaming. Since the new test will concentrate on the Three Modes of Communication, everyone feeding into AP should be emphasizing them as well.

      The new Course is designed around the Six Course Themes (Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, Beauty and Aesthetics. You might be interested in viewing the German Curriculum Framework (the French is identical except for language-specific references):

      1. Yes, Robert. The new and rerevised Spanish course is due out for the 2013-2014 testing cycle.
        I’ve been studying the AP exam to try to incorporate themes into level 3 to branch off to the AP. The problem is that the AP teachers haven’t gotten the memo to stop teaching grammar. In fact, at our last department meeting they made a presentation to us about how her students are asking for more subjunctive, preterite/imperfect, accent marks at the lower levels. Her suggestion was that we start hitting grammar harder in levels 2 and 3. Then she did a demo on what the kids are expected to do–comprehend radio interviews, read newspapers, and respond… and how is grammar supposed to help? My words are falling to deaf ears and it frustrates the hell out of me.
        You aren’t the first person to tell me that grammar isn’t weighted that hard. How do you prepare your IIIs and APs?

        1. I have heard this talked about, we all have, in casual speech, but not read it expressed so clearly. It’s been like a rumor, a longed for dream, for me (not having taught AP in ten years), and here it is. Bam! We thank our Robert for making it so clear.

          I’ll have to make a new category for AP and this will be the base post. This prompted me to go back in my notes from Jason’s workshop and I can share what he said there as well.

          Bravo, Robert! You made it so clear! I can send this to the IB principal who blasted me so hard over a year ago now when the blog was public. Maybe he’ll forward it to his 10 grammar teachers, whose kids used to pass the exam largely because, as IB kids, they were smart as hell, but now?

          1. Ben, the IB Standard and Higher Level exam does not test grammar. It tests comprehension, vocabulary, and thinking. The “grammar” might be something like: En las líneas (17 a 25) ¿a qué se refiere “lo” en la frase…”remontádolo para llegar a Manaos. (línea 17) What does “lo” stand for in line 17 of the text? The exam would also have “lo” underlined. (The “lo” might not be underlined in a HL exam).
            If you would like, I can send you the rubrics for the speaking and writing that IB uses.

        2. How do you prepare your IIIs and APs?
          I do very little specific preparation, but over four years we do do look at the kinds of texts students will encounter:
          -for four years we look at the Bundesliga (soccer) standings and interpret a table; we also look at other graphic representations of information
          -we do map work
          -we have German camp participants give interviews, and students write a report
          -we read various online reports of current events
          -we listen to interviews
          -we synthesize movie plots
          -we compare books we have read with movies we have seen (as early as Poor Anne)

          I have never emphasized the AP Test because I have never believed it serves the interests of most students. I still don’t. It does, however, now represent a more realistic test of acquisition. Most of my students are not looking for the things that passing the AP test offers (e.g. fulfilling the foreign language requirement of their university) or can get them another way (e.g. taking their university’s placement test for free rather than paying $84.00 for the AP test). Many of my students – particularly in the current economic climate – are going to go to a community college first, anyway, so the AP test is irrelevant to what they plan to do. In addition, many of these students are taking three or four AP courses and prefer to concentrate on the exams for those courses. As a result, I have an extremely low number of students who take the exam. Last year no students took the exam; this year three have said they plan to do so. This does not bother me at all, and so far no one from the administration has made comments about it. Our district does not pay for the exam for students and under California’s constitution cannot require students to pay for any part of their academic experience, so they can’t say much about students who choose to save their money.

          1. It sounds like we do similar things…
            I wonder if I could some sit in your class eines Tages. I bet I can get my principal to let me leave in the name of comprehensible input.

            Does your Deutsch IV class count as an AP/Honors class like ours does?

          2. I have a combined 3/4/AP class and a separate level 3 class. (It was the only way to make it even possible to offer a level 1 class this year.) 4 and AP are different levels. Of course, since we don’t offer German below 9th grade, it means students have to take 1, 2, 3, AP.

            Where are you located? How close to Orange County or the Inland Empire are you?

    2. “I said acquisition is easy, learning is hard”

      Nice “re-framing” of the issue Drew! I hope you don’t mind if I steal this line for my own defense sometime.

      Funny though, and maybe this has to do with being in a small school, or maybe because I explain the theory behind my teaching, but my biggest supporters are the very 4%ers that I would probably have to worry about if I were jumping into a program half-way through, or at a bigger school. They understand the acquisition/learning difference once I explain it, and support it from there on. The ones who don’t like it are the ones who are resentful that I make them “show up” to class and do their 50%.

      Just trying to remind myself that our school environments can play a huge part in how our students respond to what we’re doing. I’m impressed by all of you in the bigger schools.

      1. The ones who don’t like it are the ones who are resentful that I make them “show up” to class and do their 50%.

        This is true in bigger schools as well, Jim. (At 1,850 students we qualify as a bigger school, although 4,000 is not uncommon here.) My fifth period is full of students who are not used to “showing up”, and I have wrestled with them for the entire year. Fortunately a couple of the worst offenders have left the school, but the entire class has a non-existent attention span – even when we are talking about them. A student will ask me a question, genuinely wanting an answer, and before I can open my mouth to reply, the student has turned to a neighbor to talk about something else. I have to have a very structured class for them to be able to pay attention. (Dictees work very nicely.)

        1. Thank you very much Robert. You say that you need a very structured class for the students to be able to pay attention and that dictées work very well. I agree. I am struggling with discipline and I know some of it has to do with the fact I am fairly new at this. I noticed as well that structure such as doing a dictée brings some quiet time, some focus, and hopefully acquisition. Not that I mind the noise, it is a language class after all , but english noise versus French noise bugs me. I have large classes ( 31 to 34) and many of the kids just don’t seem interested, even if it is about them. At least not for 50 minutes for sure. I too have many students who just show up occasionally for class and what is one supposed to do with those kids ?

          1. …I too have many students who just show up occasionally for class and what is one supposed to do with those kids ?….

            I used to get upset on the inside and sometimes I couldn’t keep them from seeing that their absences got to me. We all experience this. It’s the nature of the game.

            But over all these years I have come to realize on a pretty deep level that it is what it is. Why fight it and why get upset? Frequent absences lead to a failing grade. Simple. That oppositional energy that we manifest in class, that little look of disapproval, only serves to curtail learning and doesn’t help the absences.

            The kids (except for the Pigs) are not trying to piss us off. The greater challenge is to not manifest the upset internally, as in “Why can’t so and so get it together in my class?”, and the answer is “Because they are kids and trying to grow up.”

            We could write a book about how there is that invisible curriculum of control over the kids, and how, in many teachers, it takes over the relationship which is then defined in terms of the invisible message of disapproval sent to the kid, “Why aren’t you good enough?” That attitude is a disaster.

            In my view it is a certain thing that:

            a. we all have kids who want to make noise and not pay attention. No exceptions there.
            b. in comprehension based classes, we enjoy by far the greatest potential to realize our goals of quiet and focused classrooms. All we have to do is tap into that potential. It is there.

          2. “We could write a book about how there is that invisible curriculum of control over the kids, and how, in many teachers, it takes over the relationship which is then defined in terms of the invisible message of disapproval sent to the kid, “Why aren’t you good enough?” That attitude is a disaster.”

            I wish that message were invisible, but even though I try to not show it, I’m pretty darn sure it comes out anyways. I’m trying to get over this too, and just let the kids know that I will like them, even if they are not doing well in my class or have a hard time following the rules. This is Kohn’s advice in the latest piece of his I’ve read called Unconditional Teaching. It is also what Grant was telling us about in that recent post by him.

            It’s so hard when the “invisible curriculum” turns us into wardens so to speak. I’d rather just use my skills and knowledge to help people learn a language, not to haggle them about getting stuff done and appearing attentive. But we’re working double duty, language teachers and wardens. Oh yeah, I forgot the 830 other things that Laurie compiled, we gotta do all that too.

          3. And Laurie don’t forget to send them. We want this list of teacher duties to top out at around 1000. I keep adding a few every day. I should make it a separate post before we lose the thread.

            Jim the warden role is truly steeped in illusion. We are not wardens. The stinkin’ thinkin’ is that teachers have that role. We don’t. We can’t change other people. We can’t force people to do things. We are here to help them, not control their actions and behaviors. We can get them to think about their behaviors, as per the 2012 poster, and if change occurs that is great, but we cannot change behaviors. If we do, it won’t be real and they’ll find a way to get back at us under the table.

            For me, learning this fact this late, that just wearing the teacher and the encourager hats is quite enough, it saddens me for all the lost years of being the warden as well. Yes, I teach, yes I encourage, and finally, now at the very end of my career, I realize that the warden piece, completely counterintuitively and against everything I’ve been told by everybody in education, is total bullshit.

          4. I am soooo tired of being the “cop.” I have turned into this growly woman. We’ve had three weeks of clouds and rain. And in Florida we natives all have light deficiency issues. Plus no excercise for the ADHD among us.

            This morning I told my kids that I wanted to be on a mission of greeting others with a smile and I wanted them to help (they were getting ready to go into a morning of achievement testing) so we all thought of something that made us happy and named them. By the time they left for their other teachers we were all smiling and had plenty of Heart Armor to shield us from the BLAHs.

          5. Reading this “invisible curriculum” reminded of what one of my profs in teacher training told us — if a kid is absent (esp. a lot), when they return, walk up to them and quietly say, “hey – it’s good to see you. I’ve missed you – class isn’t the same without you.”
            At some point last year I remembered that Ron taught us that (and I remembered bc I realized – thanks to TCI – that it was OK to be “nice” and show concern to the kids) That kid kept coming back to class.

  5. Drew, my brother – you are talking to a brick. Timmy doesn’t get it and his parents don’t get it. They want THEIR version of rigor. I’d tell him to move on up.

    If he is happy there, he stays, and the grammar makes him “smarter” and the teacher gets to claim another pass on the AP at the end of the year on your back.

    If he hates it (read: if he is still in touch with his childhood) then he’ll be back soon enough. Otherwise, you end up having him think all year, “I could be in AP!” And that ain’t good.

  6. Just a note here- I put up my revamped RULES poster beside my old (2010) one and asked kids. They said that the old one is clearer and more succinct, thus easier/better for them. This is just from two classes already this morning. I’ll ask the others as well.

  7. I hear that Grant and I agree. That is why I’m not chucking it (the 2010 Rules poster. Heck, it took me ten years to come up with.

    But this new poster is not really a poster at all, it just happens to be on the wall. It is a study guide, as it were, that I will put up for convenience in our L1 self reflection discussions at the end of each class.

    Over time, they will come to know it and, in my opinion, it will have deep effects on how they go about their business of being in my class.

    But, yes, the 2010 rules are much clearer, and, of course, I am not trying to standardize anything here – just sharing what works for me. I am a big taxonomy/TOK/metacognition guy anyway.

  8. A couple of weeks ago, I started sitting down during class and I started to notice more kids who wern’t following the class rules. Ussually before, I would be walking all over the class and couldn’t sit still, but now I’ve found that remaining calm and still frees some of my attention to really focus on kids in my class, teach to the eyes, and keep kids accountable to the rules. Some kids even said that it is just easier to make eye contact with me when I’m sitting because now I’m at their eye level. I’ve also noticed that the classroom energy has gone down some too since I’ve been pirching myself in a stool, so I’m not sure if this is going to make things better or worse. A new quarter starts in 2 weeks and so I’m going to start the year sitting and see how things go with kids that don’t know any better. It could be that students were so used to me walking around and getting away with things that now that I’m not being as cool as I used to, that they’re all pissed and have a bit of attitude. Also, a lot of the past weeks’ discussion about the rules and the method have really deeped my understanding for why we do what we do with regard to or method and madness, so it makes it so much easier to enforce the rules now that I’m all learned up.

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