It’s Not About The Story

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32 thoughts on “It’s Not About The Story”

  1. I agree that the story is not sacred and I know that some gifted teachers stay in PQA all the time, just chatting with their students. But I also believe that the story structure is inherent to the human brain and helps us by giving our students a container for all those repetitions. It’s the difference between : What did you talk about? Oh, this and that. / We talked about a boy who wanted to sing on the Voice…..

  2. No doubt. That is what is so unique to this practice. The story is sacred. The story is not important. Both are true. CI is fraught with all sorts of contradictions, and that is o.k. Thank you Judy.

    1. Cool to see this this morning about paradox in what we do. I was just reading about paradox this weekend in Parker Palmer’s book “The Courage to Teach” (If anyone hasn’t read this yet, I highly recommend it). In fact in chapter 2, entitled, “A Culture of Fear – Education and the Disconnected Life”, he talks all about the root of silent students/acting out and messages that kids receive that turn them into broken chilren who end up acting out in our classrooms.

      But anyway, in chapter 3 (“The Hidden Wholeness – Paradox in Teaching and Learning”) Palmer offers 6 of his own personal principles of paradox that contribute to his pedagogical design. I think they are very applicable to what we all do and what we’re aiming to “become” next year. His six principles of paradox are:

      1) The space should be bounded AND open.
      2) The space should be hospitable AND “charged.”
      3) The space should invite the voice of the individual AND the voice of the group.
      4) The space should honor the “little” stories of the students AND the “big” stories of the disciplines and tradition.
      5) The space should support solitude AND surround it with the resources of community.
      6) The space should welcome both silence AND speech.

      He then goes on to talk about “Holding the Tension of Opposites” which I think we have to do every day especially as teachers (and just as humans). We can add to this list “We are gentle with our students AND we confront them immediately with an iron adult will when their behavior is not what it needs to be.”

  3. This last quarter, my focus has been on pqa and reading. Last story I really did was in March. Maybe it is where i teach, maybe it’s me, but this year has really turned me off of stories. I just don’t enjoy doing stories anymore, might also be the discipline issue as well, I don’t know. But I’ve been preferring doing 2 days of PQA and 2 reading, sometimes more reading than PQA. Maybe I just need this summer so incredibly badly right now, counting down to June 6.

    1. Chris,

      Let’s be honest with ourselves. It is extremely hard to ask/tell stories, when we are restricted in what we can say b/c we have to focus on hitting a certain number of structures endlessly. It is very contrived, limiting and possibly frustrating.

      Narration evokes imagination, free flow, unrestricted access to language, which is the opposite of what we do.

      I ‘m still doing stories for all kinds of reasons, and I think I’m getting better at it with practice, but I can totally relate with what you are saying.

      I still have a hard time with letting the kids say no more than two words in English when it comes to feeding the story. But the moment you let them say more (and the reality is that they need to b/c they are so imaginative) , then English creeps in and there goes discipline down the drain.

      It’s like you re doom if you do , and you’re doomed if you don’t.

      I don’t think I added much to the conversation here, but I vented, which is good for me, haha!

      1. Thanks Sabrina…your vent has echoed with me! I think I’ll also apply your quote to the mere fact that we’ve all chosen teaching as a profession: “It’s like we’re doomed if you do, and you’re doomed if you don’t.”

        1. Hi Gregorix,

          I’ll mail the paper this week, just need to find it in the dozens of binders I have. Also my son wasn’t able to get the video straight so I ‘ll just send it as is. You can just listen to it and get dizzy from watching it upside down.

          I wanted to film today for you but forgot my camera. Oh well, I stilll have three more weeks to do it (we finish on the 25th, yuk).

          Enjoy your last days Greg, and thank you for sharing your book reading with us.
          I just love the idea of paradoxes, b/c we are surrounded by paradoxes everywhere, all the time and it’s really unsettling when you think about it.

          But if you let it go , at least intellectually and just embrace the fact that nothing is black or white, and surrender to the fact that paradoxes will never go away, then may be you can start finding some solace in your everyday work.

          1. Ha…”Gregorix”…that really does crack me up.

            Thanks Sabrina, looking forward to reading that. Also I cannot wait to see that video. I’m really happy you were able to get one filmed -and thank you! I’ll just turn my computer sideways to watch it…no prob. Now that we have sGI (is that what it is?) about needing thousands of reps, I could easily see your Monday routine to start class evolving to take up an entire class period every Monday. What a great way that would be to increase reps bigtime on those high frequency structures you have to use to talk about your weekend. A weekly Monday chat for the whole period about everyone’s weekend (or one kid’s weekend). That makes Monday a nice day to ease back into the week : ) Or maybe you already are taking up a whole period with your Monday routine? It seemed like something you use just for a warmup type thing, no?

  4. We have to stay on the structures. It doesn’t matter if it’s CWB, OWI, PQA, stories, L & D, whatever. We have to limit the structures and we have to stay on them. Lots of reps on a few structures is the goal, as per the acronym named after you, sBI. Just do sBI. Whatever keeps the spontaneity in there, do it. On one day it may be one thing, on another it may be something else. CI is CI. We try for lift off and spontaneity in each class, and we think we suck at this way of teaching if it is not all fun and games, which is stupid. We are not stand up comics, but we can at least make sure we get the reps. I don’t know if that addressed what you said but it is my contribution. We only have 4.5 hour per week, realistically 3 hours, and so we just can’t be going all over the place landing here and there on different structures. We have to stay on the structures in spite of your statement that doing so may be “contrived, limiting and possibly frustrating”. It is better that it be contrived and we stay on the structures than have it be a hippy party on 50 different structures that only a few kids in the room can keep up with and the rest get the deer in the headlights look and we lose the class. Keep the comprehension available to all the students all the time.

    And I no longer allow two words of English. Just for the record. It was a mistake. No English for my kids. I stopped that years ago.

  5. The point to keep in mind is that we religiously connect whatever targets we use in doing sBI/PQA to the reading targets and not get distracted by others. We can keep looking for energy in a stale target. It doesn’t have to be boring. Look at Jason Fritze. He could make fun out of a mothball. In case mothball were an AP target, for those who still think that the AP exam counts for anything and the things that the AP writers choose to focus on have importance – it doesn’t and they don’t.

    Points to Ponder:

    1) The targets have to be connected to the reading.
    2) We can make fun out of anything if we try, always looking for an opening to connect the target to what we have learned about our kids via the Questionnaire or in CWB at the beginning of the year.
    3) We don’t just connect targets to the story, but all the way through to the reading.
    4) We can go anywhere in PQA as long as we are thinking about the reading/song/poem/passage from Montaigne/Schiller/Cervantes/Cicero*.
    5) We totally get reps via sBI with every intention to indeed get thousands and not hundreds of reps. That will keep us serious about no English.

    *this is unrelated but I read this astounding sentence on Wikipedia about Cicero: According to Michael Grant, “the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language.” Good Lord, ya’ll!

  6. I am starting to formulate an upper level approach, since I have my first bonfafide CI trained level 3 class next year (i.e. they can pass the AP exam). This may interest people like MB who are thinking about how to do upper level CI instruction next year which is on our San Diego itinerary.

    And James I could see the content of this comment and the one above becoming a kind of upper level template if we worked on it, because in my view it contains a secret for doing upper level CI instruction that doesn’t apply to lower levels as much as it does to upper levels.

    The basic idea is in point (4) above where we extract a pertinent passage from an author and go batshit on sBI Step 1 circling to prepare to read it. We just go nuts getting creative reps on ONLY THE TARGETS IN THE WELL CHOSEN reading. We just drop the bulk of the target text.

    Do you see my point here? That going shallow and wide with a piece of literature or a song is really stupid. We use sBI to absolutely crush the reps on a small passage that we go narrow and deep on during sBI/PQA.

    Doing so could really shine up the diamond that the text is and, if it is from great literature, or is a great song, the rewards will be kids who aren’t mildly pissed at having to read Canion/Ray/Gaab.

    The rewards will be looks in kids’ eyes of shock and awe with the wonder of the pithy passages, not pissy passages from truly shitty authors, that we have targeted from the great authors/poets/songwriters of our own disciplines.

    Then will those authors live again in our students, as they do in David Maust and John Piazza and so many of us here, our true loves, and we will do them honor once again, and their work will breathe the air of this century.

    Because of this thought, I have confidence in how I want to start focusing on teaching upper level CI, with no stories at all. Who needs stories when Rabelais and Pascal and all those other home boys have already provided me with interesting content to target?

    Hell, the entire concept of teaching upper level CI trained kids is a potentional gold mine that doesn’t even involve stories. I can see one day, if we practice our craft hard enough, college classes where CI trained kids in high school are given CI trained college professors to read the classics.

    I can just see Mark Knowles striding around the CU Boulder campus throwing flyers at everyone if we could get this going, advertising CI based literature courses up there, as long as the kids had had the CI training in high school.

    That would be a hell of a thing, wouldn’t it? Kids trained from 9th grade doing CI – not necessarily four percenters but also kids going on to other careers – kids with more sides to them than four percenters, who would be reading literature in college seven and eight or more years after starting their study of a language.

    Damn that would be cool. No more bullshit fake looks from four percenters barely hanging on to seminars given by distant scholars. Real student participation with real students in real and rich and vibrant language settings.

    Bob Patrick go sell this idea to UGA next time you go over there to Athens. Or Rome. Just sell it. We have a dream. They have the perfect testing ground. Sell them the dream.

    1. Hey Ben,

      I too will be teaching a level 3 next year and would LOVE to be a part of this upper level conversation…. Could we start the discussion from scratch under the “upper levels” category?


      1. Ben,

        when did you introduce sBI? I don’t remember reading about it. Are you talking about Stephen Krashen?
        What ‘s the gambling image?

        I thought perhaps you had changed sGI (Sabrina’s Great Insight) to sBI (Sabrina’s boring, bland, bogus or blabla Insight) or better yet: Sabrina’s Brilliant insight, haha!!! Too many acronyms, my head is spinning!

        1. Hee hee. I made up one – Stephen’s Bright Idea is a total fabrication meant to shed a little humor on the acronym gazing that we’ve been doing lately. You went for it. Hee hee again.

          And the sBI/sGI confusion was just my error. Originally I thought of your idea as “brilliant”. I said to myself when I read it, “That’s brilliant!” But then I didn’t know whether to call it Sabrina’s Great Insight or Sabrina’s Brilliant Insight. So, for the record, it is now, in my mind at least, Sabrina’s Brilliant Insight.

          When the acronyms finally become too complicated, I will drop them. But for my right brained self right now I need them, in the same way a coach needs a play book on the sidelines during a game.

          1. En effet, tu m’as eue!

            I’ll get you back in San Diego!

            All jokes aside, I love your acronym idea, it is very helpful for a right brained person like myself as well.

            Don’t drop them, please.

          2. Ultimately the acronyms are very much like training wheels on a bike. The process we are involved in, whether we like it or not, and a severely left brained teacher would not like it at all, is about moving conscious teaching into our bodies.

            We need to learn to make this entire thing of TPRS/CI into one that we are not even aware – it is ultimately something that resembles the process experienced by a professional athlete who doesn’t think about the mechanics of the sport at all, but who just brings it.

            I can only say that because I have been doing this for thirteen years and I am aware that the Circling process, for example, has for me become an unconscious rhythmic thing that accompanies my questioning of the kids withoiut my being aware of it.

            At first, I had to learn the process consciously, during the training wheels period, but now I’m not aware of how the bike stays up – it just does.

            The same is true for much of the classroom managament stuff. I have become very diligent about teaching to the eyes and monitoring every kid via jGR but it is not something I do in my mind. I just do it. This frees me up to just enjoy the story and the funny little possibilities that happen.

            But Sabrina I have two other points to ask you about:

            1. When are we ever going to fit in this upper level discussion in San Diego? I’m teaching in the mornings, and the afternoons are for that coaching stuff. I am not against working in the evenings. We may have to, because, as we can see from recent comments here over the past ten days or so, a lot of us are going to be teaching upper level kids* next year and chill and you and a few others will be the only ones there from our PLC, so we have to bring them back something to post here from San Diego for those who won’t be there. We need to bring the PLC something on upper levels. We could write it out and I can hassle James with yet another request for a flow chart/template for upper levels.

            *By the way, when I say upper levels I don’t mean kids in level three and four classes who have been traditionally trained. It has become abundantly clear to me over the years that the vast majority of upper level kids who are traditionally trained are in no way bonafide upper level students. How could they be if their minds haven’t been focused on THE LANGUAGE over those 250 hours in the first two levels? Most of them don’t know shit. My definition of an upper level kid is one who has been trained in CI since day one. Many CI kids are testing in on the ACTFL Proficiency scale at Novice High after two years. That’s where they should be. There are lots of Intermediate Lows. That’s after two years. I know – it’s badass.

            2. You had mentioned that you described the differences between CI and TPRS to your visitor from Kansas. She must have been impressed, by the way, if you were doing the third location of Afraid of the Package, since that is a truly rocking story. Anyway, please share that with us here. What are those differences, or a few of them? I am still having trouble using the term TCI, because I feel that Blaine’s original idea of:

            establishing meaning

            is really what TCI is really all about. I’m still in confusion about those two terms. So I just say TPRS/CI when I’m talking about it. I don’t want Blaine’s invention to be taken away from him.

            The real value of the term TCI is that it doesn’t bear the stigma of being a method that lacks discipline, which is due to so many teachers not having classroom mangagement, and not due to any fault in the method, which I mentioned here yesterday.

          3. Ben,

            The reason I stay away from using the TPRS acronym is b/c of the pejorative connotation it carries. I find that it evokes negative reaction in people and brings forth visceral negative reaction in teachers.

            You know me well enough to appreciate the fact that I steer away from negativity at all cost. I have no time, neither room in my life for it. Furthermore, I think that I can invite people in my CI bubble through diplomacy much more easily then flashing the TPRS banner.

            I’m a lover not a fighter (Credit Mickael Jackson) but if I need to fight for what I believe in. I don’t like it and it’s not pretty when I do. It makes me feel sick to my stomach when I have to fight to defend what I’m so passionate about in our work, but sometimes (less and less I admit) it is a necessary evil.

            So I’d like to reiterate what I often have said on this blog : we attract flies with honey and not vinegar. BTW, it works…

            Now, I also think that the term TPRS has become too limiting in describing what I, and most people on this PLC do on a daily basis.

            I prefer to describe my practice as one that embraces comprehension-based teaching or TCI. I think that TCI for me is more than just stories.

            Look at some of the things we’ve experimented together this year, as well as shared on this virtual world of ours (and thank you very much from the bottom of my heart!):
            OWI, CWB, L&D, cRD, movietalk, Y&D, RT, embedded readings etc….

            TCI has become an umbrella under which all these new possibilities have emerged making CI teaching an ever evolving art.

            Of course we need to credit Blaine for his brilliancy in coming up with his TPRS idea, without which none of us would be talking here today.

            And yes the steps of:
            establishing meaning

            are still the foundation without which it would all crumble .

            But I also think the term “story” has also evolved ( at least for me it has). So when we look at a picture and discuss it, a movie, a you tube video, a poem or reading, we in essence create a story.
            These are the new kinds of narratives that we can create with our students.

            There, I hope I clarified it for you and I would hope you agree with me, but if you don’t let’s talk about it some more. We’ll never figure it out anyway.

            As for San Diego and the upper level discussion, we can devise a plan, starting now as to how we can bring back to the blog what we’ve learned and share with everyone. We have a lot of things we need to talk about and a lot of work to do…. but it is good work.
            I will bring my video camera so I hope I can film.

            Ben, please don’t over-extend yourself. Sorry but you are not superman. You are teaching in the AM, coaching in the PM. I and am sure others here want to have you around for a long time to come! I think you should just rest in the evenings. But I will help you in any way I can. Just let me know where, when and how, OK?

            I want to finish on a cute story by telling you how my kids continued with the “afraid of the package story”:

            So you remember this guy named Qui that receives a package from this owl named Who and Qui doesn’t want to open it b/c he is afraid of owls. So he goes to his mom named Me and asks her to open it but she doesn’t want to open it b/c she too is afraid. So he goes to his dad whose name is You and kneels down and begs him to open it but You doesn’t want to open it either b/c he too is a chicken, but he pretends to be strong and tells Qui to “man up: which I translated with “ne sois pas une femelette”.

            The Spanish teacher from Kansas who was observing us loved it and followed along just fine! I was the one getting mixed up but again the kids kept me on my toes. That is how I know they are acquiring b/c this is confusing stuff but they kept their facts straight. I just adore these kids. They are awesome.

          4. Good answer.

            I prefer a term I started using about five years ago as a blanket term: comprehension based instruction. Makes it sound less like a method. Even TCI invites a rebound effect in people.

            It’s just so ridiculous. Here Krashen has definitive research over thirty years now, nobody has any research like it, or even approaching it, in a fraction of the quantity. I’m going to say that again. The eclectic people have no definitive research. Hell, they don’t have ANY research. WTF? That’s why I have been so aggressive in showing Met and Curtain to be shills. Because they are. They work with governments and textbook companies. That is their research.

            They bring Krashen in because they have to, but they bring just enough of him in to make his work serve their interests and skewed view of language acquisition. It is a bold insult to the greatest language scholar of our time.

            They distort Krashen’s view that language acquisition is unconscious. They do that because they are four percenters who cannot grasp the radical change Krashen really brings. It is too much for them. They believe that the world is still flat.

            The fact is that, since language acquisition is a completely unconscious process, their entire approach is completely shot apart in that one statement. If they were really to look at what Krashen has done. they would have to resign and admit that their eclectic approach simply doesn’t work, as proven by a generation of people who don’t know shit after years of “study”.

            These people, then, as you say, get real protective about what they do, showing real visceral and negative reactions, instead of just accepting that they need to use input that is comprehensible and stay in the language with their kids, and not use books and computer programs, because those don’t bring comprehensible input. It’s so strange to see people misleading so many teachers and nobody is even challenging them.

            It is amazing to me how they still cling to ideas that a person can learn a language by focusing their conscious mind on it. It’s just so stupid. So you are right, TPRS is a lightning rod. But I just don’t like TCI as a term.

            I was sitting there when Meredith Richmond made it up. We were meeting one June morning in a school downtown about four years ago waiting for Diana to bring donuts to our writing team and discussing how we had to stop using the term TPRS. We literally brainstormed lots of possible new terms for about fifteen minutes and Meredith said TCI and that did it. It stuck. Diana brought in the donuts, we told her the new term and that was it.

            And I suppose the term is the best. But I may try using comprehension based instruction more and more. It’s less inelegant. Oh well.



  7. I think we need stories– but not a ton of them– because as noted you need a “container,” and second cos I can get more teacher-free reps out of them. Adriana R. is basically on a story-a-week schedule and one of the steps– the translate into writing (or cartoon-it)– is another set of reps for the kids plus a break for the teacher.

    Regarding creativity etc– I have not found this to be a problem, because– beyond the targets/structures and a skeletal narrative– the kids are pretty psyched to provide details (current 2nd year story: Adolf Hitler, who lives in hell and is married to one of the kids in the class (the kid suggested it) wants to become a pro boxer and defeat Mike Tyson). The last story involved a different kid in the class going on a date with Megan Fox, who first rejected him because– unlike Ryan Gosling, who they met en route to the Bellagio in Vegas– he wore poor clothes and had to change, and who then got explosive diahrea (date fail). Who could fail to laugh their head off at these situations?

    I think it’s REALLY important also to circle where only you need to. With my 2nd years, I basically never circle the setups. I will ask a couple of questions to check they get it, but no need to bore people: circling is for targets only.

    Finally, we need stories for reading. I would be pretty psyched for Ben to show us how you “read” when all you’ve done is PQA.

    Oh, and one more thing: I am starting to experiment with social justice themes in stories. Our last story was “The Racist Ogre,” about a family who buy a pet ogre who turns out to not like black, Russian or Chinese people. The ogre is eventually cured when, at the New York Central Library, Smauel L Jackson gives him a book called “The History of Ogres” which basically shows him thatnhe’s got rrussian chinese and black ancestors. I guess I have Dr Seuss as a subconscious model. (Structures: odiaba a ____, tenĂ­a antepasados rusos/chineses/negors, and era racista contra _____).

    To a certain extent

  8. There is also the multiple intelligences factor: I always seem to have a couple of kids per block who are “slower” language processors but awesome at other things, and I find that stories allow them to tune in more via acting music sound effects etc. A kid came up to me 4 days ago who will be in intro next year and said she’d heard I play mandolin in class (I do…songs…can you say “easy reps”???) and she asked if she could use her guitar. FARKIN’ A SHE CAN! We could have her sing bits of dialogue– the possibilities are endless– but main point is, these kids thrive when we get away from just seating and talk/read.

    Much of this also has to do with teacher temperament: I am a born ham, I can verbally improvise on the fly– not everybody is like me. My French teacher neighbour said that TPRS “looks fun, but it’s too weird for me,” and we CI people do need to be mindful that it isn’t TPRS that’s the goal– TPRS is a METHOD– but comprehensible input.

    I know Blaine has said that lots of brilliant CI teachers don’t do stories so here you go Ben, a new acronym:

    SfCI: story-free comprehensible input

    Now show us how!


    1. Chris we all have our relationship with free form CI, based on our individual personalities. My deal when I do PQA is to see what happens. I follow what is interesting with no set plan and just see where the energy goes, making sure each sentence that I say has at least one target in it.

      Now, when you say SfCI – story-free comprehensible input – to me that doesn’t mean that there are no target structures. I have to have target structures in all the CI I do. If I don’t have a story to frontload, then I have a reading, poem, song, something like that. I skip Step 2, as it were, but I am still setting up something auditory or visual with all the PQA frontloading work.

      You asked somewhere else in this thread how I would go directly from PQA to a reading. That’s my answer. I just skip Step 2. I isolate target structures from the reading or poem or song and PQA those, foregoing the story. Does that make sense? I am aware that we often use terms here that not all of us agree on in terms of what they mean, so I’m trying to be clear with what works for me (not necessarily for others, there are no experts at this, which makes it a lot harder to learn because we have to do it ourselves).

      So let’s say that I want to teach “se rejoint” in French, which carries the feeling of “meeting up with”, like with a friend after school. I want to teach it because it is common in the poem I am now frontloading in this PQA. So I ask a student, Heather, if she is meeting up with anyone after school. All I want now is comprehensible reps that are interesting to the kids, and I want those reps by the thousand if I can get them in that quantity. I try for a thousand, let’s put it that way.

      So Heather lacks energy. She always does. So I look for someone with energy who knows how to play the game. It’s Marco, my go-to guy when I need help. He is always ready to make something up with me. So what I am trying to say here Chris is that I am looking for someone/something that has energy that uses the term “se rejoint”. That’s all I’m doing.

      Marco tells me over the course of a five minute segment of class that he is meeting up with his mom at Taco Bell after school at 4:00 for a Mountain Dew. She’ll probably have a Pepsi. Now that sounds simple but in those five minutes I get 25 reps of “se rejoint”. I just double down on the target expression and if I have no Marco to answer my questions (PQA) I just go to making kids either agree or disagree with my statements (PSA).

      When Marco goes along, it’s like the two of us are playing hacky sack. We try to keep the hacky sack in the air with our repeated exchange of my questions and his single word, usually yes/no answers. Of course, I bring in the rest of the class to verify stuff as it occurs. I have no idea where it is all going. I don’t need to. I am only doing one thing in PQA – getting reps on targets. One question in PQA that doesn’t have a target in it is a wasted sentence. That’s how I look at it.

      There is no need in the PQA process to hit a home run. I want tons of reps of a target structure about a student in my room – that’s it. PSA works better than PQA for me to those ends when the class is a bit flat, as I said. PSA has this year been an excellent addition, one of many, to our list of choices in how we choose to do CI personally next year.

      [As stated, everything on this site is just a suggestion, not meant to be gospel in any way, shape or form. We only use what works for us. It’s a personal adventure. Not one idea on this site, out of the hundreds, represents anything that is meant to be conveyed in any other way than as my opinion or the opinions of others about stuff that works for us.

      That is one of many answers to your excellent question. But I would caution to avoid doing free form PQA that is not setting up targets to prepare a text or something. PQA is always a frontloading activity for me. I tried it without targets for a few years about eight years ago. Not a pretty picture. The train kept going off the tracks into the sand.

      1. This clarifies a lot: PQA is a frontloading tool that gets us ready for the “meaning containers” of stories or readings. The derailing train that is “goal-free” PQA has also been my experience. Kids want to know “why are we doing this?”

  9. I totally agree with the heavier emphasis on reps. I love asking stories, but the reps are the thing. In a new, desperate attempt for more reps and less unnecessary work, I recently started class off with a word problem (super easy one)…Mary walks to the market. She buys 4 tomatoes and 12 carrots. The tomatoes cost .55 each. The carrots cost .35 cents (euro cents, pesos, whatever) How much does Mary spend at the market?
    This was a great “break” for me…I just sat back and watched the kids (4th and 5h graders) work and think. No English was spoken…except for when they asked why we were doing Math instead of Spanish. Ha.
    I bet the possibilities for word problems as vehicles for reps/warm-ups are endless…Mary eats 157 cookies. Sally doesn’t eat cookies. She eats 192 apples. Who throws up first?

  10. An important tidbit with a HT to the more list. In this month’s issue of the “The French Review” Vol 98, Number 6, May, 2013. “Goodbye to the Grammar Syllabus”. “If we are finally to rid ourselves of the grammatical syllabus, where does it leave us in developing French curricula?” The author, Jason Martel, suggests CLI – the learning of L2 through content. He wants to marry the two traditions of content-based instruction (CLI), which originated in North America, with the content and language integrated learning, which originated in Europe.”
    ” CLIL is a dual focused educational approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of content and language. That is, in the teaching and the learning process; there is a focus not only on content, and not only on language. Each is interwoven, even if the emphasis is greater on one or the other at a given time.” Sounds very close to the idea of using the content of a film, for example, and using the additional language to parse. The idea of the grammar hitchhiking along with the story. I need time to process this, but if any of you get this publication, please read. He quotes heavily from Myriam Met, so….. I will scan the article tomorrow and share with whomever!

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