Consequences Poster Discussion (About Rigor) 3

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14 thoughts on “Consequences Poster Discussion (About Rigor) 3”

  1. I really like this. I had a conversation today with my Spanish I class. Must be that time of year where we’re all opening up to our students! My Exploratory classes have gone pretty good this year as they change each quarter so I get 4 years packed into one where I get to restart each quarter with new kids so I’m able to see what works and what doesn’t and refine my TPRS skills. So I’ve been doing a lot of CI and personalization in my Exploratories. Spanish I is a different story. Since it’s all year long there are no re-dos, just trudging through.

    So here’s my confession to this group that ties into the discussion with my Spanish I students today. 1st quarter I was doing TPRS out of Cuentame Mas. I was a complete newbie at TPRS, not really having a clue what I was doing, but they were acquiring a lot. 2nd quarter did Pobre Ana with a little bit of TPRS stories and a little bit of traditional crap. 3rd quarter did Patricia va a California and traditional stuff, out of the textbook. 4th quarter, a lot of textbook and workbook.

    Why the regression when I’m doing so awesome in Exploratory? I got scared. I got nervous about them going up to the high school next year. I doubted myself, I doubted my abilities and skills in TPRS, thinking I wouldn’t do a good enough job to prepare them for next year. In retrospect I know I was dead wrong and I shouldn’t have allowed myself to regress. What I was doing and would have continued doing would have been enough, they would have been more prepared for Spanish II than the students in the other classes. It’s my biggest regret this school year. But it’s that fear that drives me to want to change the curriculum, so that I don’t have to worry about being afraid of whether or not my students are on par. It’s that fear that makes me somewhat hostile, why I got so angered by the discussion last month. Laurie was right about fear.

    I’m glad the school year is nearing an end, just 2 and a half weeks left. Next year is a new year. After talking to Susan Gross in March about TPRS and traditional curriculum, I’m not going to allow that fear to paralyze me next year. Plus, I’m a lot better at TPRS now than I was at the beginning of the year. My confidence is a little higher now. Susan Gross told me to not worry about all the low-frequency crap in the textbook, they’re not going to see it next year. So next year, I’m going to do my thing, deliver CI, teach them using this wonderful method and not give a shit about what other teachers are doing.

    I apologized to my Spanish I class today. I feel bad that I allowed the fear to allow me to give them a crappy Spanish I class. They’ve even asked a few times “why can’t we do things like we did 1st quarter?”. So I told them today that I would have loved to continue the way we did things 1st quarter. I told them the reason why the class changed so much is because I got worried about them being ready for Spanish 2. I’m not going to let that happen next year though.

    Phew, I feel better confessing. Am I forgiven?

    1. Chris I did that, we all did that. We cow-towed to the high school grammar gods. OK so let it go. This is not an easy change. It’s been a great year for you, for a lot of us. But Rome was not built in a day.

      Those exploratories are so great for learning the method. I had eight years worth of them from 2000-2008 when cutting my teeth on the method. So much better than trying to learn the method over the course of an entire year with high school kids.

    2. Dear Chris,
      I did *exactly* the same thing !!! I feared that I would not have them prepared well enough for Spanish 2, so I resorted to the textbook, worksheets, and grammar teaching. I see in their faces, in my stress, in my lack of desire to wake up early and go to the gym before school that I have trudged down the wrong road!!!
      We only have 3 days of school this week, 4 the next, and 4 the next, then the seniors are gone, then a full week. I am finishing up the Spanish Civil War this week (watching Carol’s Journey). So, next week I am going to start CI again, and use that to have fun. I will have my “artists” draw the stories, and my superstars write them.
      thanks for reminding me that I still have time to “practice” for next year while giving CI. Bottom line: I am so tired now, and just found out this past week that I have to start a graduate class tomorrow night – will last till the week after school. So, what better time to re-energize than to tell stories with the kids! (Instead of the energy sucking worksheets, which I will then have to look over and grade!!!)

  2. Ok, this is just freaky. I have been thinking a lot about grading and how the A-F system does not equate with what we do because of the whole subconscious process and the fact that each kid has his own processing speed. Maybe about a month ago I thought that since I could not tie the A-F to the proficiency level of the student, nor could I give an A-F grade on progress because these are things the student can’t control. So I was left with thinking about the only thing they can control or “work on”…their interpersonal skills. So…when I read this post just now, it was like reading a write up of my internal dialog.

    And…earlier this evening I read Robert’s post and thought “hmmm, maybe tomorrow in my metacognitive discussion, I will have the kids reflect on the specific ‘work’ that Robert highlights in the post.” The active construction of meaning vs. being passive or pulling away from the conversation. I loved the wording of it so much, and I wondered how the kids might assess themselves in terms of the ‘rigor’ or intention that they are bringing into the group.

    I have not come to any conclusions on any of this, but it is a “coincidence” that you had this discussion today!

  3. Blurting/Talking Over – 2nd offense – O for the day (after one warning)
    Blurting/Talking Over – 3rd offense – student is removed to a colleague’s room (after two warnings)

    Are these warnings a daily thing? You get one, after that a 0 for the day. Clean slate tomorrow? Or is it once they get their warning, that’s that for the entire grading period?

  4. Kids always need a clean slate or there’s no way nor reason to improve. At least, that’s my thinking. A warning can be a hand signal or some other innocuous thing that takes no time from instruction nor creates ill will in the room.

    When a kid gets the 0 in my class, they are required to check in with me at the end of class for a short pep talk/connection moment–a chance to make eye contact, apologize, make amends, talk it out for a minute. I want them to know my expectation for them will remain high, that there is no ill will, and that the slate is clean for tomorrow’s class. I tell them that I know they can do it. I often ask if there is any way I might help them with this problem.

    I have to tell you they come up with some pretty good suggestions. One kid was insightful enough to know that it helped him if I would check in with him right before class with some quick positive reminder or touch on the arm—something that reminded him of his importance in this class, what my expectation was, and how his behavior could positively impact the class. Doing that daily check in helped me to regain a more positive attitude toward him, also (I was beginning to dread seeing him every day.). In addition, the fact that it was he who came up with a helpful “solution” gave him more investiture in the outcome. Subtle, but powerful shift. Even if they can’t think of anything I can do to help, the fact that I ask them shows them I’m interested in OUR relationship.

    We have OUR expectations engraved in our consciousnesses. They don’t. That stuff goes off their screens so fast. I am much less personally insulted now than I used to be when they don’t appear to remember these important things. It’s my job to get the expectation back up on their screen–that’s all. They decide whether they will follow through or not.

  5. I’m just learning the last paragraphy which I will time stamp for reposting here every few weeks the best I can remember. We will need that one next year if we are to try this instant karma thing with the consequences.

    I honestly had never thought of that idea and yet I see now what a no-brainer it is that they really don’t know what is in our minds and, if we don’t tell them, how can they know? Isn’t it logical that rules must have consequences?

    We don’t work in a Mary Poppinsky-like vacuum. This gives me hope. Dry run in all my classes tomorrow and all week as we do Read and Discuss on Houdini and maybe a story for the CI part.

    Those like MB with that class in the p.m. until June might be interested in this nice softie (on the teacher) schedule below where you get the CI in but it is buffered by SSR and Dictation, both of which one could hardly call work for us:

    1. 10 mon. of SSR with music.
    2. 15 min. of CI Time.
    3. 10 min. of Dictée (content – whatever the CI was about, use notes from story writer).
    4. 5 min. Quick Quiz (written by your best quiz writer, five questions is just fine).
    5. 5 min. of Socratic Circle on Metacognition discussion if time allows.

    You can always omit one of them, like Dictée, if you are running low on time. Better to be running low on time than the opposite with the kids as they are now, right?
    This give you comprehensible input the whole class but with nice transitions to differeing forms of input.

  6. Again, I really like this and I may use this next year. However, could it be argued that this is “grading behavior”? And this would probably clash with a pagame system as well right?

    1. Just popping in for a comment – I’m in Spain and thoroughly enjoying my time.

      In one of the threads someone commented that we are “grading behaviors” (plural), not behavior (or as it used to be called, “comportment”). The ACTFL Guidelines delineate certain behaviors that are part of the interpersonal communication piece. That is what you are grading, not their general behavior in class. Of course, the two are interrelated, but one is a citizenship and work habits grade, the other is an academic grade based on guidelines provided by our parent professional organization (and state standards in some places).

      If you stop and think about it, grammar-based grading also grades behaviors, just a different set of behaviors. (Manipulating the language is a set of behaviors; producing certain sounds involves a set of behaviors of the vocal mechanism. We are looking at more holistic behaviors in terms of their impact on interpersonal communication.)

      1. And just one more thing…if any of your schools are jumping on the national bandwagon of RTI (response to instruction), you will find that it requires many things of teachers that are going to be hard for a lot of people: personalization, differentiation, and frequent, small assessments in class to direct instruction. I almost laughed when I was reading the federal guidelines. It’s like they were written to support TPRS. On top of that, a big piece of the RTI puzzle is behavior management…just crazy. We’re ready for this. In Anchorage, we’re planning to fight those who are trying to cut language programs by videotaping how we in language classes follow the RTI model. (There’s a bunch of stuff in there about reading too, but we do that as well. It’s going to be a slam dunk.)

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