Developing Threads (2013-2014) – 1

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12 thoughts on “Developing Threads (2013-2014) – 1”

    1. I agree: L & D and MovieTalk-style approaches to videos are really great, and really easily differentiated. You can keep it interesting and CI without much effort.

  1. We have talked about how critical it is to reign in all these ideas and to organize them so that we have them in one place and can use them to best advantage in our everyday planning. I am actively working on this with James as we speak. If you haven’t seen what he can do with a flow chart, click on the link below or above on the “templates” link. That’s just the beginning.

    1. argh! Except I’ve since updated it to be “Reading Option A” once I realized the difference between R&D (now cRD) and ROA. When these flowcharts are straight it’ll be awesome, but it’s quite tangled at the moment.

      1. I was wondering what the possibilities might be of getting a reading template from you. There are reading activities that I do and find really effective that may not be on these flowcharts or things on the charts I prefer not to do because they don’t work well with my kids. It would be pretty cool to be able to “personalize” the charts especially for those of us who don’t teach high school. BTW-they ARE beautiful.

  2. jeffery Brickler

    These flow charts are going to be bad ass. They will save my life I can pull them out each day until I make the process second nature.

  3. Nice work James! I also like the idea of L&D as an acronym (so I can scribble down on my lesson plan book to further simplify my life). But I must say, some of the acronyms are beginning to lose me, I haven’t been keeping abreast. Who would’ve known jGR would have started Ben on an acronymical rampage.

  4. jGR …….something to weave into it = ENTHUSIASM – and I thought of it after Ben spoke of the “PROCESS” of learning versus what one can “do”. Because frankly, I don’t care too much about what one can study for and cram and do on the final, but how they were a positive influence in the class adding to everyone’s good experience and acquisition.
    This is why I am thinking this: I had a student this semester, I’ll call him Jack. Jack was a freshman. He was pretty non-descript in class. Never was a problem, but never participated unless he was called upon. Then he would get nervous and be unsure of his answer. He didn’t like to put himself “out there” and take chances and act. He was, however, a normal freshman boy who liked to interact with his friends …not in an annoying way, but if given the opportunity to chat with friends rather than do “work” when a sub was present, he would.
    Now, I had a sub in the beginning of May – had to leave for two days for my aunt’s funeral. I left book work – very simple stuff, with clear explanations in the textbook, and stuff we had done in class before.
    Few students did all the work. He only did a few of the exercises. I graded this work wholistically 100=you did it all and got it all right; 90 = you did it all and got some wrong; 80=you did most and got some/all right; 70= you attempted but got a bunch wrong or didn’t complete; 60 – 0 = lack of trying.
    Well, I gave him a 70 on each of the exercises because he clearly didn’t try.
    He told Mom, who came to argue for him after school one day, that “I never taught them this, he didn’t understand, and I wasn’t there to answer questions.” I explained to Mom that #1. I would NEVER leave work for them to do that I had not pre-taught and had confidence they could do; and #2. the other Spanish teacher was right next door the whole time and always available to help, and the sub knows that….Jack probably didn’t speak up!
    Bottom line: most of the class was bitching because I graded it; the sub told me that some of them were saying “why bother doing this she won’t grade it anyway” so I did!!!
    I allowed students to stay after and make up the work. Jack’s mom complained that the textbooks weren’t allowed to go home. I was tired and fed up, so I allowed Jack to take home book. He re-did the work (amazing how he was able to do it at home!!!) and I adjusted his grade — but only to a 90 and only on one section (I forgot about the others, honestly)
    Then the other day Mom emailed me saying that she checked the portal and I had not “fixed” the other grades – could I please take care of that before the final, because Jack cares very much about his grades!!!!
    Point of my story: Jack cares ONLY about his grades — NOT about acquiring Spanish!!!! last week when the students learned that we did away with the “A” and “B” sections of Levels 1 and 2, and that they will only need ONE semester of Level 2, he finally SPOKE!!! He said, “Oh sweet! I only have to take one more semester and then I am done with Spanish?”
    That attitude really sucks and ends up sucking the fun out of the class!!!! It needs to be squashed from the get-go, and will only work if tied to a grade for these “grade-grubbers.” AND….most of that sucky attitude comes from parents who #1. only care about the grades themselves so their child can get into a “good” school and with a scholarship, and #2. don’t see the value of learning another language because they are uneducated ego-centric Americans who think it is just another stupid required course to just get another grade and credit from.
    Thanks for letting me rant! 🙂 (I’m also ticked off because this attitude caused us to lose a Spanish teacher in our district because the numbers went down. )

  5. Ben you can move the above to a more fitting location or delete – I just wanted to express that we need to weave that point into our grading next year, for the sake of the whole class.

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