CWB Detail

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6 thoughts on “CWB Detail”

  1. Larry Hendricks

    Ben, do you have a list somewhere — or is it in a book by some author — of some basic structures in Spanish that we should begin the school year with? I’m sure the lists exist somewhere, but could you point me in the right direction?

  2. I’m sure the group can help with this oft-discussed topic. I am on the hippy side of it that it doesn’t matter, but others here feel strongly about targeting certain things above others. As a Krashenista, as Michael called me and thank you for the compliment, Michael, I believe in the natural occurrence of the structure at the right time and so I can cross off the need to be in control of what Krashen calls a natural process in spite of the view of most people in the group that we need to control and orchestrate the flow of structures.
    My thinking is if they are high frequency they will occur in my class anyway as long as I keep speaking the language. Call me crazy. But last year when Diana went around to dozens of her best CI teachers she realized that no matter what teacher it was, they had all covered the same structures by February, even though there is no list of what structures to cover in Denver Public Schools, as we have discussed here in the past. (The “words” vs. “structures” plan in DPS needs clarification and I will do that and report back here at some point.)
    You can start with the Primers list about 2/3 of the way down the list to find the DPS most common 100/200 words, but I don’t think you want words but (verbal) structures, correct?
    A few articles from years past on this topic:
    For more such articles, put “Krahen” and “natural order” in the upper right hand search bar here and you will find a ton to read on that. Or google those terms. Natural emergence of language. I don’t know, it just makes sense to me. The only issue with it is that we don’t have “natural” but limited time, and years and years ago I brought that factor up here, and there are lots of articles on that topic. In the end we have to decide for ourselves whether to target certain structures to start the year or not. Call me lazy but I’m not doing that. That puts me in a minute group here with Leigh Anne Munoz and Anne Matava and that’s about it. Oh well.

  3. Larry Hendricks

    I agree with you, the structures are going to come up naturally. The main thing is to use the high-frequency verbs, verbs we use in L1 on a daily basis. I’ve already introduced several verbs in just the CWB activity.

    1. And something I should have added on this earlier, Larry – the verbal structures we use in DPS were all painstakingly taken (every June for many years now for an intense two weeks) from the novels. The only problem is that they came from Blaine’s novels and everybody is using Carol’s novels now. But they were both written from pretty much the same source lists, I am sure. So a DPS teacher who is in a department in a building will work with her colleagues usually on the same novels, and so they will create stories using those structures, from that novel. Just to be clear that in DPS that is what they do. Leigh Anne and Anne and I and a few other hippies just use Anne’s stories because we find them more fun that making up stories from structures chosen from the novels. A lot more fun. But in general that’s how it works. I personally truly wouldn’t concern myself with the 100/200 most common word lists. Those get taught early on. If I’m not using those in class, then I’m not doing my job of staying in the TL on in through the fall. I might add that the beauty of CI with the 100/200 word lists (on the primers) is that kids trained with CI can identify them when they hear them and read them, whereas kids trained by sad sacks can’t – they can only identify them when they are on paper, and even then only for a few days after the test.

  4. A happy teacher is a happy class, no? At least it’s a start!
    If you (I) crave a road map (list of targets) for whatever reason- to plan for reading a novel, to create mini stories to get reps, to prepare for common assessments across teachers/schools, to vertically articulate across grades, to fill out department curriculum documents, to create a syllabus or homework assignments, so be it!
    We are going to use the teachers guide for BB wants a dog to do much of the backwards planning for next year. While we’re going to read the book in third grade, we can insure that 1st and second graders get lots of the structures too. These ‘anchors’ narrow the pool of must do’s, and that helps us feel more in control, more able to fulfill the school obligations and paperwork, facilitating conversations with our colleagues at other schools. It isn’t necessary, but it might make our work less overwhelming (albeit constrained!)
    When I joined the list I offered the Winnetka’s grades 1-6 WL target list, though now we’d prolly add some particular BB words to it:

    1. Alisa when you update the Winnetka list pls. let me know. I have included it in my new book and would like to have the extra BB terms in there – no rush, I will be updating it anyway because of all the cool new ideas that hit these pages all the time.
      Brandon Brown Wants a Dog is simple and I advocate simple. I believe that the less effort required for a kid to read, the better. I’m talking almost zero effort. Total confidence builders. Thus I teach level 1 books in level 2 and on up the ladder.
      My own plan for level 1 is Brandon Wants a Dog, maybe Isabelle and the first three chapters of PA, because after that it is not palatable. What do they read in level 1 in my classes? Stories, using ROA. I will see Diana and the DPS crew tonite and will inquire about what they think of this. Some do as many as four novels in level one. I wonder where their thinking on this is now, if it has stayed the same.

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