How Many Structures?

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42 thoughts on “How Many Structures?”

  1. In a similar discussion on the moretprs list someone (I wish I could remember so I could give credit), Laurie ?, said that they use three structures, but one has been introduced before, so it’s basically for revision, and one is just a “coming feature” that they present for the first time but don’t really get zillions of repetitions on, and the third one is the star of the show and the one they concentrate on. I really liked this idea because in practice it seems that there’s always one structure that I’m able to get in an adequate number of repetitions, but the other two never have as many.

    1. Judy, I think your observation here, or at least your communication of Laurie’s? idea, needs to be taken very seriously. I have felt exactly the same thing. There is a super-star structure, a “this is interesting and new but let’s not beat it to death structure”, and a “somewhat review” structure. Wow. That really helps.

    2. Annemarie Orth

      Yes, this is what I’ve been doing! Two of the structures are quite new, and the third is one they’ve seen/heard before. After seeing Laurie C present in Maine last fall, I’m trying to introduce words together or “structures” rather than just individual words, so it works out to be more than just 2 words. A newish structure might be “wants to call.” They’ve had “wants” before but call might be new…
      I agree that it shouldn’t be more than 3. I’ve stopped introducing new words even during the story, unless it’s a super compelling detail that the students will get right away like “diapers”-all of my students know this word because it’s ridiculous (to them, anyway.) My whiteboard is much cleaner these days,

  2. I worry about this “number of structures” since I teach on the block schedule. I feel like if I stick with 3, my students are learning half of the structures as a teachers who teach full year classes. Anyone else think about this?

    1. I teach on block, too. We meet every other day. So for me 5 classes is equal to another teacher’s 10. I run a “two week cycle” mostly, when we are doing stories, but for me that’s over 5 long periods and not 10 short periods. Over two weeks, though, both I and a teacher on a regular schedule using the two week cycle will cover the same amount of new structures.

    2. Megan remember the phrase attributed to Susan Gross that “we shelter vocabulary but not grammar”. To me that means that we don’t care so much about how many new words they learn as much as build in their minds the neurology of the language, if I may be permitted that term. It means that as long as they understand, their brain is arranging. So then when the soil is prepared, new structures can grow easily there. Grammar, of course, is correct speech in the TL (not the old definition of two dimensional mechanical manipulation on paper of word spellings and such) and as long as grammar is not being sheltered, I’m ok with not getting enough structures taught. We have so little time, just a fraction of what is needed to acquire a language, anyway. Plus, I don’t get paid enough to care about getting a bunch of “necessary” structures into my year. Many people fret about that, but I don’t. Increase my salary and give me less duties in the building and I will consider it. Did you know that teachers in the Netherlands make like $100K? I heard that on the news this morning. Now there I might work harder.

  3. I do 1 structure for both Spanish 1 and 2 and honestly I feel like it’s the best. I can use so many different forms of the verb and really just focus on that. It’s definitely not boring because it’s easy to do stories and circling with 1 structure for me

  4. Another angle to this is that adding too many new structures makes us seem desperate to get through some per-determined list of words. This will kill communication by making students’ affective/I-don’t-care-about-this filters go on red alert. I have found that I need to seem super calm and even a bit lazy in class for my kids to respond to me. They cannot feel like we are rushed or under any kind of pressure. If they do, then they shut will down, as Ben said, and no longer respect me.

    1. Here James you have hit on a maladie that plagues most language teachers. It’s the “look-at-me-and-if-you-don’t-I-will-do-jumping-jacks-in-front-of-the-room-and-you-have-to-because this-is-so-important” illness. When it is really important to us and we show that then it is naturally really unimportant to many of our students. It’s just that way. Plus, it’s an elective. Most high school kids see no big fire alarm to learn a language. Maybe that is why they look so bored. I completely agree with your point. I just wish I had thought about that point more thirty years ago. Damn. I didn’t need to be that good. I still would have earned my minimal wage.

  5. I vote for two, plus 2-3 new nouns and adjectives or adverbs. After my first story (the blue cats) I recycle seemingly everything whenever I can. I ALWAYS us was/were, there was/were, went, had, wanted etc.

    I am actually thinking about next year totally ditching all PQA and anything outside stories and starting the year– day 1– with stories. I’m not finding that non-story stuff gets acquired as well as story stuff. Plus I have seen Blaine and Adriana’s results, and I’ve done German demos, and it seems to me that there’s no reason not to start with stories. My only non-story stuff will be daily start-up routine: date, weather, sports, gossip, news, school.

    1. Welcome to the club, Chris! I don’t PQA/CWB/etc.
      I jump in on day 1 with storyasking with one-word images, one scene of a story, or a simple Linda Li-coffee-like story. I also start MovieTalk right away. That, plus some TPR & extended stories from the TPR are enough for me teaching elementary-age students. As a separate activity, I started doing an intense PQA of 1 high frequency (power) verb. Most don’t remember the word, even after I get 60+ reps in 5 minutes. But I’ve planted a seed and established a gesture for the verbs I’ll need to use all the time.
      I’ll sometimes ask some questions about students’ lives to parallel the stories and reading. In my mind, PQA is something that could work well as the last step. Once kids have received a ton of reps, then we can use those words in multiple, personalized contexts.

      1. Eric, I love the idea of using PQA as a last step. I almost never PQA either, since it just feels so flat and forced. (I did start the year with CWB, though, which worked really well.) But tossing it in while we are R&Ding a text we’ve already circled to death? It goes better that way.

        I think another facet of that phenomenon may be that, when a structure is first introduced, students don’t understand the PQA going on about their peers and therefore don’t care. (And don’t listen. I get so many side convos when I try to PQA first!) They need the comprehension-building steps of storytelling first.

        1. This is a very valid point. Wouldn’t it be cool to just dump the PQA or wait until after the story to do it? The argument has always been that we need to give the kids exposure to the key vocabulary in the story, but is that true? Are all those reps necessary? Can’t the story just float its own boat? Just askin’….

          Chris, Erin and Eric make compelling points above:

          …once kids have received a ton of reps [ed. note: via the story and the reading, I assume he means], then we can use those words in multiple, personalized contexts…. (Chris)

          …I jump in on day 1 with storyasking with one-word images, one scene of a story, or a simple Linda Li-coffee-like story. I also start MovieTalk right away…. (Eric)

          …PQA is something that could work well as the last step. Once kids have received a ton of reps, then we can use those words in multiple, personalized contexts….(Eric)

          …I get so many side convos when I try to PQA first! They need the comprehension-building steps of storytelling first…. (Erin)

          Let’s see if this idea of reversing the steps of TPRS gains any traction here. I’m not tied to the idea of PQA. The only reason I wrote that book about it was because it was so obtuse that I had to write a book just to figure it out. Not that I don’t love a good PQA session, even in spite of that , but I’ve always felt slightly scared when doing PQA. There always seems to be a little vein of fear running through it that makes me feel that I don’t know what I’m doing. Yet, whenever I did a story, as long as I had a strong script to work from to keep the train on the tracks, I haven’t felt scared and I have always been amazed at the power of story scripts to make the class fun and interesting.

          Thanks Chris and Erin and Eric for loosening up that boulder on the top of that hill.

          1. I guess we all favor the things that we feel most comfortable with. For me, it’s PQA. I can go for days on end PQAing just the three structures. Sometimes, I just write up a story that evolves from PQA and that becomes our reading. If I could do just PQA, I would be a very happy camper. Actually, the thought of jumping right into a story without PQA scares me.

          2. I did something new last week along these lines… I started in using new words with the kids in Look & Discuss before showing them the words next to English meaning as I usually do. I made the words comprehensible by pointing at the photos & gesturing. I had talked to a couple of boys in the hall to get ideas for whose photos to use (I wanted to talk about clothes, in part, & they said Beyonce – guess what, lots of easy “short in length” reps!). Along the way in L & D, I asked the kids questions about themselves, too. There was a perfect coincidence: I was introducing expensive, long & short, and one of the boys had a dramatic haircut since the previous class.

            After about 15-20 minutes, we stopped with the photos & I said the Chinese words & checked their meaning with them. Confident shouts about the meaning of all of them. Then I showed them the pinyin on the board so they could be sure of spelling.

            Some words wouldn’t lend themselves so well to that, but I wanted to keep a step ahead of the kids who expect a high degree of variety.

          3. Excellent point Brigitte and on another day I might have proclaimed my love for PQA over the stories, or, as is happening now, my love and respect for R and D over both PQA and stories. PQA can be powerful for language gains, as Diane states above.

            I’m just really interested in this new idea originally from Chris. DO we need to PQA structures to guarantee the success of a story as much as we think? Might it be burning minutes from other forms of CI? How valuable is PQA, really? I wish I knew.

          4. I think there is some value to “getting their ears used to” the new sounds before starting a story. I am GUESSING that might help them come up with cute answers more readily. But PQA isn’t the only way to do that. Like Diane I sometimes replace pre-story PQA with L&D and it works well.

            Now if the students are further along in level 1 and especially if they are levels 2/3/4 I find sometimes they don’t need any intro to the new sounds before a story. Maybe that’s because they have something a “neurology” of the L2 already built? They’re just more mature and/or used to the process? Who knows…

          5. James, you mentioned two points that resonate with me a lot–after having taught a million years:

            1. “the value of getting their ears used to the new sounds”

            Having mostly taught 10-14 year olds (but adults, too), it is my perception that when material is brand new, the brain + personality seek to isolate it, grab it, chew on it, and have a little security in attaching meaning to it–a new sound byte.

            Because a PQA-like intro activity provides that little island of safety for the brain–isolation of the structure, repetition, customization/personalization, short, simple, etc., it has worked better for my students than just launching into a story–although I notice adults seem to roll more easily with that (*see below). A story is so much more dense and requires the brain to hold onto sequence, plot, characters, setting, blah, blah, in addition to the structures themselves. Doing PQA afterwards, to me, is more like an assessment of current acquisition and a change of state from storyasking. All good–I just think it really depends on the needs of the group.

            2. “Now if the students are further along in level 1 and especially if they are levels 2/3/4 I find sometimes they don’t need any intro to the new sounds before a story.”

            I’ve seen this over and over having taught the same 50 students over three consecutive years for 16 years total. I have decided the acquired target language and native/other languages, that a student possesses, creates an invisible infrastructure, an evermore complex web of language connections, freeing the brain to relax more and take things in more easily. The stuff does not “fall through the sieve” as I tell my students. There seems to be some sort of threshold level where this starts to take place. I’ll be dead before anybody figures this out, but I find it intriguing to think about.

            I think you’re right. *Developmental maturity could, also, have something to do with this. The older the student, the faster this happens. Krashen has always said, “Older is faster.”

            I do think the early adolescent period (11-12) can be really slow for language acquisition–depending on the “thickness” of the student’s affective filter which she/he may need just to get through a day with their peers at school.

            I always appreciate your insights and comments, James H.

          6. I agree about students with more experience mentally grabbing the new sounds more readily. I find this even with some 11-12 year olds who’ve been in my classes for a couple of years already. I think the mind has a feel for the language’s sound system so it doesn’t feel so foreign. Just recently, I have had some 8th graders (in year 3 or 4 with me) who seem to need fewer reps to recognize a new sound and connect it to meaning.

          7. ..I think the mind has a feel for the language’s sound system so it doesn’t feel so foreign….

            In my opinion that “feel” is the unconscious mind which we constantly jam when we consciously analyze the language.

            As Pascal has said,

            …le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point/the heart has it’s reasons that the mind cannot know….

            He was speaking, perhaps, about the life of the spirit, but the idea can apply to language acquisition. If we learn languages simply by swimming round in oceans of words, not really aware of them but just focusing on the swimming, we absorb the words, but it is only when, precisely, we don’t focus on the words (focusing rather on the meaning/absorbing the water) that we actually learn the language. It’s so against what the mind wants, to be in charge and all that like Pilar’s daughter’s teachers, bless their hearts.

            So the heart/body/deeper mind are the places where the language is absorbed, and the conscious mind “cannot know” how that works. That is how Pilar’s daughter got so good at the language, and how, when her teacher’s told her to start conjugating the verbs, it all fell apart, and her motivation.

            That is like a crime. A crime of education, if you will, to make people feel stupid for something that they shouldn’t be able to do in the first place and that has no value to them. I was so sorry to read that from Pilar this morning.

            What Pilar shared with us makes me want to fight even harder in the cause of comprehension methodology, because at the end of the day we all are responsible for the mental health of our children. If that’s not a good reason to keep draggin our tired asses into work each day no matter how beat down we are by the system and by the daily invisible struggle against so many people like Pilar’s daughter’s teachers, then I don’t know of one.

          8. Jody said above:

            …I have decided the acquired target language and native/other languages, that a student possesses, creates an invisible infrastructure, an evermore complex web of language connections, freeing the brain to relax more and take things in more easily….

            And then this:

            …I do think the early adolescent period (11-12) can be really slow for language acquisition–depending on the “thickness” of the student’s affective filter which she/he may need just to get through a day with their peers at school…

            So there are two factors:

            1. the existence of “an invisible infrastructure, an evermore complex web of language connections” (more active and strong in older kids or kids who have a previous second language)

            2. a low affective filter

            that aid in language gains. Motivated older kids would then be the best to work with using comprehensible input, or adults, for obvious reasons that they are not in a school building, which can REALLY get in the way of real learning as Jim’s story above illustrated so nicely.

            So to go back to the question of whether to do PQA or not, or whether to do it before or after some other form of comprehensible input (but to look at it in terms of those two points you made Jody) what do we do? (Sorry my question is so dense but I am trying to work through something about PQA.)

            So what do we do? If it is true that motivated older kids might not need that “island of safety” as much as younger kids who may have less of a developed “web of language connections” and a higher affective filter, then do we suggest that CI teachers of younger kids use more PQA? Chris, I think, who started all this by saying that he doesn’t do PQA, I believe works with some older talented kids. I’m not sure about that.

            I certainly am not trying to prescribe anything with this question, or make up some kind of rule, because we all must decide what aspects of TPRS/CI and other strategies like those suggested on this site we employ in our classrooms as individual teaching artists, but I would like to know if PQA is necessary for me, so I can decide on its value to my students.

            My students are mostly from Mexico and seem to flow really well with stories with or without PQA. They just flow into whatever I say. It’s amazing. So I am just thinking out loud here – maybe I just don’t need to do all that PQA because my kids fit all the criteria you listed above – they are older, their language infrastructure rocks and their affective filter couldn’t be any lower.

            The one thing they don’t really like is reading, and that is what they need most. I’m talking about reading novels. But reading based on a story (using ROA and the Step 3 TPRS kind of reading) is great for them because they already did the story and so can read so much better.

            What might that imply? That TPRS and the Three Steps are more effective tools than reading those novels/chapter books? I think that the more we re-invent TPRS – and there has been a lot of reinventing over recent years – the more we return to its core principles. Hmmm.

          9. I teach grades 3-8 and one of the reasons I skip PQA is because discipline is the worst during this step. There’s lots of possible reasons for that:
            – I need to get better at PQA
            – Stories are more compelling
            – Young kids are squirmy and have a harder time listening when it isn’t all about them
            – Grades 3-4 don’t get grades from me, so we use ICSR/jGR, but it isn’t tied to a grade.

            I know there’s a lot of ways to enhance PQA:
            -Put the student in the “Special Chair”
            -Use Visuals, props, gestures, drawings, etc.

            I always feel a little nervous with PQA when it is unscripted (doesn’t have to be, because I could have some prepared questions and prepared PSA). I think most of all, as Krashen cautions us: targeted input has greater potential to constrain interest. I think too, that it is harder to get “lost” in PQA, harder to enter that state of “flow” in which we are zoned in on the messages, because the kids sense our obvious ploy to teach a phrase.

            I still do some PQA and I have done CWB with success, but usually as an unrelated activity, not followed by a story and only sometimes by a reading. With my younger kids, I establish meaning for a story via TPR, rather than PQA. In the end, if the goal is reps, then get those reps in whichever way is compelling enough for your students to sit still and listen.

            . . . I’ve been reading novels with my classes. Grades 5-6 are reading Isabela and we do it as a read-aloud and short RT when possible. In my 7-8th grade classes we are reading Brandon, but we’ve been doing it purely as a read-aloud. I narrate and different students speak the parts of the characters. In all classes, the students stomp, clap, or make a funny sound to stop me when they are unsure of a word. We are plowing through, not stopping to discuss and R&D, but the books have natural repetitions of structures and the kids understand most of the language. The more like a read-aloud, I think the more it feels like play and not work.

          10. 1. “the existence of “an invisible infrastructure, an evermore complex web of language connections” (more active and strong in older kids or kids who have a previous second language)”

            is in reference to James’ point about kids who already have some acquisition regardless of age. James says: “Now if the students are further along in level 1 and especially if they are levels 2/3/4 I find sometimes they don’t need any intro to the new sounds before a story. Maybe that’s because they have something a “neurology” of the L2 already built? They’re just more mature and/or used to the process? Who knows…

            2. The older is faster thing is Krashen’s.
            Young kids don’t have affective filter paralysis, like early adolescents, but they acquire much more slowly than older students.
            My early adolescents (11-12) often acquired very quickly depending on how high that emotional filter was.

            My experience has been that PQA works very well with younger adolescents. They seem to need a longer intro to really work a story without too much pain (conscious learning or just confusion).

            I guess #1 and #2 are kind of connected, but it’s tricky. And it’s late. I’ll think some more tomorrow. 🙂

            I just had my brain saturated for three hours with the “communicative approach” in my night class. I feel more than a little ill.

          11. To clarify: when I say I use TPR, I am using it more like PSA, to make a sentence-level statement with the target structure and the student(s) act that out. I can then circle what the student(s) is doing, but I have to use circling sparingly, because I think it’s a buzz killer.

          12. Ben, if your students pick up on PQA/ Story Asking with you real nicely, but are challenged by the reading activities more, then do you spend more time with them reading? I’ve sort of been thinking about the 3 Steps as giving equal class time to each step, which probably isn’t the right way to think of it. Do you give more class time to reading than to the other 2 steps?

  6. It’s a good point Chris and I think you can do succeed greatly with stories to start the year. The only reason I made up all the CWS/personalization stuff to start the year is to be able to build that web of connectedness with the real kids before starting stories. But you can probably do that via stories too. It’s all an individual thing. Your point about stories bringing better gains is valid. The kids remember more from stories. My level one kids remember names I gave kids last September that I have long forgotten, and they remember the story the name came from and where the actors were in the room. Stories have power. And the Three Steps have most power. I know it’s not a popular thing to say these days, but Blaine invented the formula for Coke and should be so credited. It’s not just CI and TPRS is not under the CI umbrella. TPRS includes CI. I hope Diana doesn’t read this because I have to work with her on Scope and Sequence for six hours tomorrow.

  7. ^ You gotta work with what and who you have ^ If your kids cannot handle stories first, then don’t do them first, I think is great advice. I will do say 2 blocks of basic input before stories– I will need them to know a few adjectives, nouns and colours. I won’t care if they will have acquired them; all I will want is recognition so that when first story starts, we can develop characters.

    The more I do this, the less “stuff” I want to throw at them. This year I ditched my Word Wall, my numbers list and my rules poster. All I have now are question words and my colour-coded, Spanish-only list of colours, and fewer new words in each story. The “Ikea” class is BANG-ON.

    1. That’s great Chris that you are at that point–what Blaine calls TPRS pure. When I first started TPRS (before you did), I remember getting that feeling I used to have in my stomach when I made cold calls for life insurance. I needed the training wheels (steppingstones and so forth) to help me back to doing what I believed was the best thing going in languages (TPRS). I had seen improvement right away in my students. I saw amazing fluency gains with 20 hours of TPRS in French in both me and my colleague. But so often it was just hard to step to the plate. I had to get away from asking stories to learn what story asking was really about, CI in the interpersonal mode.

    2. Chris, by going straight to stories don’t you feel like your students miss out on conversations about themselves; their talents and interests and things? Or maybe all those personalized touches come out in the stories?

      1. I think PQA post-story will be the way as suggested above. Also parallel stories using kid characters. I need to sit down with Adriana and Leanda and really go through this stuff step by step. I know that pqa– which involves their oral output plus listening to me– isn’t giving them much.

  8. I am seeing more and more that TPRS is best when it is x + 1. We can only walk our short-legged students up one stair at a time. They will hold Daddy’s hand while they look down and focus on the stair. Once we successfully climb that stair then we can go on to the next. But it takes a lot of time, energy, and focus to get up that stair. We have a choice to focus on getting up the stair. We may feel pressure from other stair climbers for us to move up faster. After all, they have places to get to and they all happen to be up at this point in time. We may feel an inner temptation to hurry the process along. We could just pull him up. But why not just enjoy the moment. It is part of the process. He needs Daddy’s guidance and direction. He needs some steadying at times. But he does not Daddy to do it for him. He needs to chance to succeed where he can. He needs the relationship. He needs the challenge.

  9. Anyone who’s ever tried to teach too many structures, faces the harsh reality of student memory loss and delayed output. More new structures means fewer reps. It is amazing how many times over an extended period of time that the students need to hear the same words in order to internalize them! . . . and then think about more traditional methods that assume the students can play the flyswatter game and study their flashcards in order to build aural knowledge. Ha!

    I know we are the “no curriculum hippies,” but I do think that if stories could build on previous structures and constantly recycle these structures then student retention and output (acquisition) would be better. Looking at LICT books, you see stories with limited vocabulary, but a lot of grammar. I think this is the power of novels. The novels put it all together, so the kids get the year’s structures in 1 story.

    1. …it is amazing how many times over an extended period of time that the students need to hear the same words in order to internalize them!…

      If I could only convey one message to a new teacher, that would be it, right there. It is the most important message to send to new teachers. Another way to say it is “Cool your jets, ski cat! Where’s the fire?”

  10. Sean you asked this above:

    …Ben, if your students pick up on PQA/ Story Asking with you real nicely, but are challenged by the reading activities more, then do you spend more time with them reading? I’ve sort of been thinking about the 3 Steps as giving equal class time to each step, which probably isn’t the right way to think of it. Do you give more class time to reading than to the other 2 steps?…

    Sean I am starting to see how this thing about reading is very tricky. Right now in DPS we are all about reading. We know the research, we know what Krashen says, and we have put a lot of money into purchasing materials in the form of those little Ray and Gaab novels so that our kids have plenty to read. We are even basing our entire district-wide Scope and Sequence on those novels because what else could we base a curriculum on?

    But reading emerges from sound, in my view. So to just pick up a book and start reading it with a class, of course, can’t work without lots of what I call fronloading (backwards planning based on the structures found in the novels).

    Today, based on the recent thread here on this topic, I experimented. In my level three class we were reading Les Yeux de Carmen using R and D. Boring enough. The book said that that Daniel took photos in South America that resembled the ones he took in California. I asked the question. The kids responded. Boring.

    Then we came across the structure “to wonder” in the book and I said, “Class, I wonder wonder wonder wonder who…who wrote the book of love?” It turns out my student Edna wrote it. Two years ago when she was fifteen.

    Long story short, during the fifteen minutes of talking about who wrote the book of love and who read it (Edna’s five boyfriends) and yes, with moi repeatedly and in a loud voice singing that song in French, I was very happy in my French teacher soul. In the arrière-petite-chambre (cf. Montaigne) of my mind there was a little kid bouncing around back there LOVING PQA. The book was boring, the PQA was fun.

    Where am I going with this? I don’t know, actually. I am a right brain freak who doesn’t want to target vocabulary but, in the case of this class today, had so much fun because “to wonder” WAS A TARGETED STRUCTURE. To target or not to target?

    Answer – we target. But do we target structures in novels? I say no; there are too many. Do we target structures before doing PQA and a story? Totally.

    I better stop here because I don’t really think I have a real point. But there is something in this nonsensical rant. Perhaps it is this – every time I go too far afield from the brilliant format that is the Three Steps of TPRS, I return to how tight it is, how functional, how it allows me to do all the things I want to do. You take a structure or two or three, you repeat it in PQA as long as it works, then you do a story using the structures, then you read it.

    Then you write it, if it’s a third year class or above.

    Then you do that sequence again, perhaps throwing in some of the other filler activities found in the Two Week Plan here. Yes, I’m loving the ease of the novels and R and D right now here late in the year – it’s so unlike work – but I am believing less and less in those novels while believing more and more in the power of the Three Steps.

    Sorry about the rant. That’s all it is – a rant. I think that at the end of the day we must do what works for us, and over a period of years we will find ourselves leaning more on one aspect of CI and less on another, but it will change as time passes. This work we are all into here together is ever changing. To me, that is another blessing of it – we will never be bored doing the same thing all the time like so many of our colleagues who work only for and with a very few of the kids in the school.

    One thing I have learned from this blog this week, a Chrisz-initiated idea, is that PQA is not that big a deal. We get what we can from it, even it is just a minute of CI. But stories are a big deal, and reading based on stories is a really big deal, but reading based on novels may not be such a big deal.

    1. Yeah, and I’m learning from this thread the benefits in being flexible with how and when we implement any one of the 3 Steps: slide in some PQA during an R&D; throw down a Story-Asking session after a little PQA; PQA as a brain break while in Story-Asking mode… I’m learning how to feel the room – how to read the audience and their energy level – and adjust the CI accordingly. I imagine this ability to provide CI that best meets the interest and energy level of your students at any given time is why you say teaching is so unwork like for you these days.

  11. …I’m learning how to feel the room – how to read the audience and their energy level – and adjust the CI accordingly….

    Yes Sean it is so true. We adjust to and follow energy. It doesn’t mean that we leave the rails, forget the rebar (see Rebar category – important to this thread). We still have our structures, but we are not hammering our instruction. Our instruction becomes a dance with what is actually happening with the kids that day, not what we want to happen.

    It is the nature of conversation, if it is to be authentic, to reflect what is said in this article I keep referring to from the French:

    https://benslavic.com/blog/lart-de-la-conversation-and-tprs/

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