Greg’s Question Version 2.0

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15 thoughts on “Greg’s Question Version 2.0”

  1. My last period of the day has been rather funky this year, and has had some issues with being respectful of each other and myself, so they are definitely getting more reading, and grammar so that they can be more appreciative, or at least it gives me some easy (though a bit boring) teaching to do. Last Friday I had it, so I went into my alternative plan (I’ve found it very useful):

    Calm/Slow down a class:
    1. Optional: Start with an image, drawing, or text
    2. Dictée & correct
    3. Translate Dictée
    4. Grammar
    5. Read From Back (ask ?s)
    6. Reader’s Theatre
    7. T/F Quiz on dictée
    8. Free Write
    9. Illustrate Free Write or Dictée
    • Game/Activity
    • Song
    • Translate from English to French or vice versa

  2. I’m new to this and am only going through things for the first time. I’m finding that one of my Gr. 7 classes just can’t handle the stories – it’s painful for me and them. So, I told them today that we’re going back to OWIs and that we’ll try stories again when they’re ready. They loved the OWIs so we’ll do it again.

    I wish I could offer advice, but I’ll be following this carefully. I think you’ve gotten good advice

    1. Dana I get that. I was in that classroom, or the one next to it. I get those kids. Love your reaction. Don’t force stories. You can create and make up readings about the one word images all week. And with each new image you have more vocabulary for the word chunk team game and for dictee. Keep us posted. I am so glad you came to Philly this summer. I know that was a big trip for you just ahead of your trip to India, but being able to put a face with a name is really going to help us in our communication and support of each other as we go along through the year. How’s the air there? Is there any in New Delhi these days? Maybe a little? Seen any elephants in the street next to the school? Have they finished the British School White Castle?

      1. You know, I was so surprised at how I handled it. Rather than being irritated and disappointed, I was super calm and explained that obviously they weren’t ready for stories yet. I told them that we’d go back to OWIs and they weren’t disappointed. I approached it from a place of love and I hope that’s what they saw.

        I’m really thankful that I was able to come and meet you and Tina. Not only did your training help me so much, but being able to talk to you specifically about things here has been so helpful. I’m eternally grateful that you are so generous with your time.

        The air isn’t too bad yet, but I’ve noticed a decline in it in the last couple of weeks. It’ll definitely get worse in the next month after Diwali! I haven’t seen any elephants here, just lots of cows and street dogs!

        Is there any what in New Delhi? And with the British School, were they building a new one? We see a huge white building from our balcony. Looks pretty fancy. 🙂 Which apartment were you in?

  3. My first reaction to this discussion is one hoping that Carly doesn’t think she needs to create more engaging or funner activities for the kids to do. The most engaging activity we can do with our students is create stories with them. I say make the time go by painfully until they are ready to do stories with you. And know, deep down, that making them painfully suck in and swallow their negativity will help them mature and be better people.

    You have a lot going for you, especially with your admin liking your CI. Being so, you have a lot of power to make things painful for students who need a dosage of humility.

    I’ve been in very difficult classroom settings. I wasn’t able to turn all off them around. But you have some presence and power in your school to turn your funky 8th graders around. Perhaps it truly is one or two kids that are bringing the rest down. Could you also try sending those one or two kids off to a buddy room to do worksheets? It could be real nice for the rest of the class to experience what it’s like to not have that kid in the room for a day or two. Or, do you pull the kid out into the hallway to have a come-to-Jesus chat with them? Pulling the kids to the hallway, though it takes up class time, sends a message to everyone how serious you consider the behavior infractions.

    1. I’ve not done this in 15 years – made an order. But if I can do it without seeming rude, I would urge all of us to read the first two sentences of Sean’s comment between 77 and 100 times over and over. There is layer upon layer of deep truth in there.

    2. I also resonate deeply with this from Sean:

      …it could be real nice for the rest of the class to experience what it’s like to not have that kid in the room for a day or two….

      However, I don’t pull kids out. In my experience that hallway discussion merely provokes a reaction of resentment and lying to your face that they will change. We all do it differently.

      1. I hear you about pulling kids out. But when they’re out in the hallway with me I see it as more of a chance for them to hear me out. They have to hear me out, fully, with what I hope and expect and believe in them. Take it or leave it. But my message will be consistent and persistent.

        Granted, this strategy is what I’ve used when there is no body else inside or outside the building that can help me with the child.

        But yeah, I’m so done with wasting my time throwing together “fun” activities that usually end up getting kids no where. I’m more interested in finding ways to talk to kids in the L2 at greater length and creating stories is the answer.

        1. I agree. You can really talk openly in the hallway, more than in the classroom. But dang those kids can look right at us and agree and then never change a thing in their behavior.

          Totally agree on this:

          … I’m more interested in finding ways to talk to kids in the L2 at greater length and creating stories is the answer….

          It’s almost like once we’ve see stories, everything pales by comparison. Activities? What activities? They’re boring. And now there are all these TPRS activities out there. What happened? (I define an activity as a way to teach something connected to a curriculum and a strategy as as way to generate lots of non-targeted CI.)

  4. So the class in question is back to being jerks. This time it was not one kid that I really could get someone on, just generalized being jerks. I am going to the grammar book.

    My question is, how to I transition OUT of the grammar teaching and back into CI. Do I wait for the kids to beg for it and for there to be a turn-around?

    What if they ask he HOW LONG we will be doing this?

    I just want to know exactly what to say.

  5. I am very strict on this point, more than others. Once a class goes to grammar instruction, they stay there for at least a month. Or all year if they don’t get the message. Some teachers think that is too harsh and to give them another chance. Why? They have proven that they are going to be the one group this year that won’t do as you ask. That’s enough proof for me. What if you took them into grammar all year? I wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep over it. Is it the same class that you showed video on earlier this year?

  6. The thing that gets me is that the other class has kids which are known for being school-wide trouble makers but they have bought into the OWI/Invisibles, CI.

    By the way, both of those classes (Spanish 2 Studies) are kids who the other teachers just won’t teach.

    That’s what we get for tracking kids and putting all of the difficult kids in one class.

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