Follow Up Questions from Laura

A few more questions from Laura. I would ask others to respond as well:
Hi Ben,
Thank you for answering and posting my questions about participation and circling.
I have two more:
1. I re-read a post of yours back from February 22 in which you had changed your rules. In particular:
“Use notebooks to suggest cute answers.” Did you enforce this? How did it work?
My response: That didn’t work at all and I never enforced it and removed it. Those rules keep changing. You can see how fast they change if you followed the five finger rule discussion her this past week. Now we as a team will post the same rules in all our classrooms. How much will the admin team in our school like seeing “common rules” up in each WL classroom? That means we all agree on what we are doing and what we are asking our kids to do it and how we are going about teaching! I know, I know, it’s almost unthinkable that an entire team of eight teachers would think enough alike to post and enforce the same rules. Then, Bryce just told us recently about that his idea of posting standards (HELLO!). So now, with the new rules charts and the standards up in every classroom and the five finger rule in force, and then the Administrator Checklist hanging by the door, these admins will be able to walk in and have every question they could possible dream of and a whole lot more answered by students or wall charts. More on this later as we get the year started. But no, that one rule sucked.
2. What do you/others think/do about instructions in the TL? I give all instructions in English because I think it’s a waste of time and effort doing them in Spanish at the lower levels. I give simple instructions in Spanish as they have more language but still use English. I think that if instructions in English don’t take up too much time it helps move things along faster.
My response: Yes. Totally in English all the time. It’s not just that it saves time – since when do we get off speaking to our kids using incomprehensible input? Plus, those instructions in the TL are about as interesting/compelling to them as a root canal. I don’t do activities so I don’t give instructions.  I just speak in L2 to them – PQA or stories. Who has time for games and activities and instructions when there is reaL WORK to be done, real ACQUISITION to be doing? Activities and games don’t work.



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