Go Deep! (Patricia va a California, Chapter 3, Part III)

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7 thoughts on “Go Deep! (Patricia va a California, Chapter 3, Part III)”

  1. Bryce, this post is golden to me. I really love exploring the concept of parallel story. For me, reading the novels is so much more than “reading” (decoding and comprehending). The process you describe in your work with Patricia (novel) parallels what I quote in the following paragraphs. If you all don’t know who Alma Flor Ada is, please ask.
    Alma Flor Ada describes the reading process as follows in her article, “The Creative Reading Methodology”:
    Descriptive Phase: During this phase of reading/learning, the content
    or information is shared by teacher, text, media, etc. This is the initial
    phase and focuses on the content to be learned. Comprehension of
    new knowledge is the goal. This phase serves only as a springboard to
    students’ interaction with new knowledge.
    Personal Interpretation Phase: Students grapple with new information
    based on their lived experiences. This phase moves us beyond what,
    where, when, how, who questions to questions which invite reflection of
    the new knowledge. For example, students are asked: Have you ever
    experienced this? Does this relate to your family? How do you feel
    about your new understandings? During this phase the new knowledge
    is linked to the lives of the students.
    Critical Analysis Phase: After comprehension of knowledge and the
    creation of linkages to the students’ lives, the students are now
    encouraged to reflect critically, draw inferences, seek implications, and
    analyze. Is the knowledge valid? For whom? Always? Why? Is it
    applicable for all cultures, classes, ethnicities? Is it gender-free?
    Creative Action Phase: This is the action phase of learning. How can
    students take the theory or new knowledge and use it to improve the life
    of the community? How can learning move from the classroom to the
    real world of the students?
    Jody resumes: I think TPRS has intuitively covered the first three when actually practiced by us, the practitoners. The “creative action phase” is exciting to think about. I wonder what ideas this group could come up with?
    Profe Hedstrom writes:
    So we have the problem and we know the direction of the story—convincing the parent to give her the money. We also know when the story is done—when she convinces the parent to give her the money the story is over.
    Jody: Geez, everybody. This is IT! These are the essential elements that makes parallel stories work:
    • the student knowing that there is resolution to the interesting problem (they will win, of course)
    • the fact that the students have prior experience with the problem (successful or unsuccessful–all kids have wanted money from their parents–maybe haven’t asked for it, but have wanted it),
    • the cultural subtleties that can be explored, compared, contrasted with the
    the character and with each other. This is juicy.
    Profe Hedstrom writes:
    I pick a girl to act because in the novel it is a girl and her father and this sounds crazy, but I think that some of my slower students will be able to read and understand more easily if they see a girl acting and then read about a girl in the story. Maybe I am not giving the slower students enough credit, but a lot of them HATE reading. I think they might hate it for many reasons, but one reason may be because they have rarely connected with a text. I am trying to flesh out a text for them. Our acted out story is going to connect them experientially to the text.
    Jody writes: This isn’t crazy to me. This is IT, again! I know that a lot of this is intuitive for you, but I like that you mention it here. I believe that we can make these kinds of things more intentional in our teaching if someone like you them for us and states them. This is really our job–tuning into the kids and their needs, experimenting with ways “to get them IN” to reading, to listening, to thinking, to enjoying learning.
    Can I be in your class?

  2. I have this weird editing software on my computer that deletes stuff without my knowledge.
    The sentence should read:
    I believe that we can make these kinds of things more intentional in our teaching if someone like you helps us to conceptualize them as you have here.

  3. I really got a lot out of that post, thank you Bryce, and Jody, for your thoughts.
    Bryce wrote: “The ability to ask for money is a real skill that will help them in their lives far beyond my silly class… If I point it out and we talk about it, almost all of them will see how this could help them and that will help with engagement and attention.”
    One problem I sometimes run into (and maybe it’s not even that big of a problem) is making it clear without specifically saying so, if I am looking for goofy answers or real-world answers. Sometimes I feel like my students aren’t sure which they should be providing. Anyone else experience this?

  4. “One problem I sometimes run into (and maybe it’s not even that big of a problem) is making it clear without specifically saying so, if I am looking for goofy answers or real-world answers. Sometimes I feel like my students aren’t sure which they should be providing. Anyone else experience this?”
    Amen. I am finding that some of my student groups seem to breathe a sigh of relief when we get out of the “silly” mode and talk about real stuff, be it cultural content or discussions of the kids’ ideas for their futures. I know that bizarre is more memorable, but sometimes it adds stress for them to try to come up with something weird, especially for my high school students who want to appear sophisticated. I’d say that if it feels like you’re forcing details, then you probably want to back off and get a “real” personal story from a student. In this instance, lots of my students could come up with a situation in which they asked for money and succeeded, or asked for money and failed. Maybe it doesn’t have to be wacky to be useful.

  5. Bryce Hedstrom

    “Maybe it doesn’t have to be wacky to be useful.” I agree, Jennie.
    One thing that helps make learning memorable is the unexpected. When we are always bizarre and cute that oddly can become routine, so it can help to change things up from time to time. I think we can tell students with our body language and facial expressions that this is real–of course in storyland it is all “real”, but some stories are more real than others.

  6. True!
    Today, with a couple groups of seniors, I talked about who “is going to stay” in town after graduating. Total interest and engagement, no wackiness at all.

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