Lynn 2

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4 thoughts on “Lynn 2”

  1. Then I got this last email from Lynn just an hour ago to kind of cap this subject:
    … so, what i’m hearing is ….shorten the scripts, repeat (which I think I get) and slow down and check…which i haven’t figured out what will work for me.
    if there’s one thing i’m really beginning to understand it’s that there’s LOTS to try before we land on what works for us and with us and for the kids…yeah?

    I say yes to that, and, for me, “slow down and check” means point and pause and the ten finger comprehension check. I didn’t do that once, in San Antonio last summer – I just forgot – and it screwed up the whole thing. That ten finger check is a big deal.

  2. I am not Susie or Ben, and I have yet to be able to get my kids to feel comfortable enough to let me know they are lost immediately. Some kids yes, some kids no. But, I do slip in several different comprehension checks regularly so that I am not relying on their signals all the time.
    I stop and ask a student what I just said. I usually pick a barometer student for this job, but I also try to vary who I am calling on so nobody gets too self-conscious.
    I change seating charts based on quiz results. I don’t tell them this is how I make my new seating charts, but the kids who consistently score lower somehow find their way to the front of my room where I can be more conscious of them.
    I circle statements until I get a strong response. If I get a weak response several times, I stop and ask for a translation.
    If I am getting weak responses, I slow down. This is very hard. As Blaine pointed out in the green book, I assume that once the students have acquired the structure that I can speed up because they can process it. But, just because they understand the structure and can use it on their own does not mean they can hear it when I speak faster – the sounds still blur together, and they aren’t processing *that* quickly yet!
    I try to do a “fist to five” a couple of times a class (a comprehension check with five fingers instead of ten). It doesn’t feel fake, although some days I really have to consciously remember to do it. I just slide it in the same way I ask kids to translate a sentence. It’s a quick little thing, just I just pause the story (or other activity) and say “Zero to five, show me how well you are understanding this.” I get honest answers from zero through five, and if I see less than threes, I slow down and recycle checking in with those kids for more direct comprehension checks more often.
    I was observed during a reading lesson. I had typed up a longer version of the class story, and we were reading, acting and translating. I used each of the above strategies several times during class. During my post-observation my principal mentioned how amazed he was because it was like I was doing a constant assessment throughout the class! (How awesome was it that he noticed???)
    On the other hand, I have noticed that some low scoring kids do not make good barometers. I do not know if the student in question is or not. But, some of my students are deliberately not trying. No matter what I do to include these students they do not respond and do not show more than a zero or a one on comprehension checks. I keep inviting them to participate, I talk to them outside of class, etc. but I am not willing to stop class forever to cater to them. I just check in with the kid who is trying and is still processing slowly.

  3. Yeah Jen I have those kids and believe me, if they ain’t gonna be reached, they ain’t gonna be reached. I had three or four in one class today. I checked with each one after class, and all but one told me something alarming about their home life. So what if they were lying? The fact is that these are not easy times to grow up. They bailed on me, and, like you, I had to let them go. It sucks because they suck energy out of the class, but what the hey who said that life is easy.
    Fist to five? Two thumbs up!

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