Michael Elsen-Rooney

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3 thoughts on “Michael Elsen-Rooney”

  1. Hello Michael! Welcome to the PLC :).

    I totally understand the anxiety that you’re feeling as, in the beginning, I also felt that way about TPRS (thinking long term, assessments, and curriculum). We’ve had some good conversations about all of those things on this PLC — I would check the categories to the right and see if some of those posts can help you at all.

    But, just a couple of thoughts from my perspective…

    1. As far as long term planning goes: since language learning is an unconscious process and there’s a natural order of acquisition (i.e. learners acquire certain parts of a language before others, and don’t do so until they’re ready — Krashen talks about this, but also VanPatten) it’s difficult to really know what your students have reliably acquired, and honestly we have so little time with our students that we have to be realistic in our ideas about what we can accomplish. I think, as long as you continually provide students with comprehensible input that is personal to them, understandable, and interesting, you are doing all that you can to further their ‘fluency’. So, then, you come to realize that curriculum mapping isn’t as important because there’s no real way for you to say ‘oh, we used these structures in this story, so they have acquired them… might be true, might not be true’. Though of course we have to ‘play’ the education game, so people will do various things to explain their curriculum: i.e. copy all the structures that they do in a year, or, I divide my instruction up into ‘themes’ or units or whatever (All About Me!, for example).

    2. As far as assessment, we do a lot of short quizzes over the stories / readings. My views on assessment have changed over this year as I explore more fully Standards-Based Grading, so I have some (maybe) radical ideas on this subject, haha. But, people before have assessed over the structures in class, vocabulary, comprehension quizzes (T/F, Yes/no). There are a lot of different options and I’m sure there’s information in the Categories about that.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts. I hope that helps some! Of course, if you have any current issues that need solving, don’t hesitate to post / e-mail Ben. We always like to help :). Welcome again!

  2. “This year has pushed my own limits in terms of the room I have in my mind for just sheer organizational thinking, emotional energy, and admitting failure and reaching out for help. But I am proud of many of the decisions I have made, including taking the risk of trying out comprehensible input. It already feels so clear to me that this is the direction I want to go, and I am willing to work to make this sustainable for myself.”

    That’s really well written and will be in my mind for a while. Welcome!

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