Two Week Plan (Badass) – tWP

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35 thoughts on “Two Week Plan (Badass) – tWP”

  1. Great work. I am feeling so much more focused with the longer week. My kids did a supported writing today with their materials out. The payoff of the longer week will be their freewrite. I think they are much more comfortable and the longer week enables me to really expand writings and really recycle old stuff. Are you still doing the SSR with Houdini? That will be my preferred activity to transition between the end of one set of structures and the beginning of the new structures. I plan to talk to the kids next week and talk about the new format. The garden of ideas is blooming – plenty here for the novelty the brain craves. HT Carol G

    1. Deep breath. I just wrote a book on this. The program erased it. Oh well. It was about how what we are doing now with these templates is taking us away from TPRS and into TCI. Has that ever happened to you? Dang it.

      1. Yes Ben!!!!!!!!!!!! I took many deep breaths and used them to form expressive language! ;o) I’m learning to write anything over a paragraph long in Word, then copy and past here lol

        with love,
        and watching the huge snowflakes fall!

      2. The text I lost had to do with the templates/modules blue chip ideas, etc. that we have developed over the years.

        To me they are like big instructional blocks that we can play with and arrange in any arrangement we want. We thus become masters of our lesson planning, not victims of the book. We thus align with Krashen’s Natural Order of Acquisition Hypothesis more.

        And the big blocks of blue chip ideas that we have created together here over the years are now all supported by jGR/dGR for classroom discipline and assessment and that rubric rains down on all the other blocks.

        In any week, we can arrange the blocks in any way. We are not teaching lists and other useless minutiae, but fluid, vibrant, moving language within structures that work. This give the brain the interest it wants.

        When we get to arrange our instruction in any way we want, we totally align with the four skills and the national standards. Yes, we use the three steps of TPRS as a base (it is too awesome not to) but we rif on it more with the blocks. We arrange them in ways that reflect us as people.

        We start the week with TPRS, yes, but we finish it by choosing from Embedded Reading, R and D, RT, IMT, Textivate, TQ, dictation, freewrites, Textivate, you name it. Like you said, chill:

        …the garden of ideas is blooming….

        That’s the basic idea of the text I blew away. We use our ideas here, each template, with its sure and safe steps reminding us in each and every class how to do it, so we don’t have to worry, and we thus arrange the blocks/templates of blue chip ideas in such a way that we are in full command of our instruction, our classes, and our planning.

        But we can’t call the placing together of these new ideas in wonderful ways “TPRS” anymore*. TPRS is just the base. What we do is TCI, for lack of a better term.

        *the name has become caustic nationally anyway.

  2. Okay, What the heck is IMT and BSITL?

    I have been so out of the loop lately as I have been coaching skiing and I feel like my teaching is showing this lack of focus. My poor students. I wish I had 3 more hours a day to sit and read about being a better teacher and then make the plans to be a better teacher. deep breath in.

    1. don’t forget to exhale!

      BSITL is BS-ing in the target language. i can’t remember IMT.

      keep breathing. even though your energy is diverted to your team, remember that they are getting the benefit of being with you for this season! I coached track for years and years, and now I have to say I miss the closer connections with students that happen on a team. This seeped into the classroom and overall made me a better teacher. Not because my language classes were anything great, but because I felt more connected so I connected more. Make sense?


      1. In Denver we say Teaching (using or with) Comprehensible Input.

        I’ll explain TQ sometime. Maybe on video. I can’t write it all out. Too complex. It may be something that may not resonate with everybody, I don’t know. Still testing it. Has lots of potential.

  3. Hi Jennifer. No. I seem to let the SSR to start class go when we are in the new biweekly plan. There is just such an overwhelming need for every minute without the SSR reading with stories. Now, to be clear, if I am not working with a story, but with a novel, then the SSR is de rigueur.

    It is a tough call. 50 minute classes, with those SSR periods, go by in what seems like 10 minutes. I need a block class every day, really, to honor the potential of this new bi-weekly schedule.

    Honestly, I have never seen anything that flies so well. The new biweekly schedule is a 767 jetliner. I don’t have to plan a thing. Day after day, it takes the stress out of teaching, eating up the nautical miles which, when on the ground in February, seem to go by way too slowly when using traditional TPRS ideas. Time flies by with the wonderful activities found in that schedule. They unfold as a taxonomy each day a little higher up the scale with this plan, resulting in genuine higher order thinking in the second week.

    We need to keep in mind that we can’t just order up a serving of higher order thinking for our students. We must spend enough time at the lower end of the taxonomy with the basic three steps of TPRS to set up the higher order thinking, which can then be wonderfully applied to the most challenging aspect of what we do, output in the form of writing and speaking. How can we do those things unless there is a strong foundation of a story and a basic (first level embedded) reading to serve as a base for the output work?

    With the new biweekly schedule, there is virtually no planning. The template runs the two to three week period of working with that single story born of the two or three structures. It’s Bloom’s on steroids. In a good way.

    Tric a Quiz is a new idea I’ve had and mentioned here but not had time to post on. I’ll get to it. It’s cool. I like it, anyway. I’ll get to it here.

  4. Corinne Bourne

    Ben, the two week plan has been a God-send for me. Multiple levels of two languages had nearly seen me throw in the towel at Christmas, maybe because I was trying so many new ideas from this PLC that I had made my life too complicated. The whole two-week, three structure concept seems to fit my need for freedom with just enough guidelines to keep us on track towards reading our goal stories from Carol’s Raconte-Moi Encore! and Davantage!
    I was intrigued by the idea of Tric-A-Quiz and in the absence of specific instructions, I decided to experiment with my classes today, using stories they’d just created and embedded (making three versions each).
    I explained that the point was to argue details with me as a team then wrote “Madame” and “Classe” on the board for the points. I started re-reading the story on the screen, adding a somewhat BEP detail. I invited them to accept it (in which case I gave myself a point) or dispute it. It took only a point or two for them to catch on and wow! We really did have the most animated lesson so far this semester, in all levels of French. It simply did us good! I realized after a while that actually we were doing the old “parallel story”, which I couldn’t ever get anyone interested in, but this was so fun, I was energized and even the too-cool kids were energized as well. And there was just no difficulty staying in French. They suddenly became creative, they were okay with repeating the structures again and again with the new suggestions and it did seem like they didn’t notice the whole thing was in French!
    So, maybe it wasn’t quite as you envisaged it, but it was fabulous anyway. They all deserved a 10/10!

    1. Tric a Quiz is small potatoes compared to that. All I do is invite them to argue with me in the TL about whether the question has any truth to it. If they can argue a point, any point, in relationship to the question, and it goes on for awhile, then we have a discussion in the TL and that is better than a quiz so we dump the quiz and do the discussion. So I’ve “tricked” them into arguing with me in the TL but they think they have tricked me into getting out of a quiz. I can see how that led to what you did. What I want to know more about is what you did. Can you just extend that descripion out a bit and repost or send it to me as an email. I want a piece of that going on in my classes!

    2. This sounds really cool! What is BEP?

      I would really love to know more details on this! One awesome takeaway that I will use in other “games” is the class vs. me! Sometimes I have 2 teams and then I get points for random things like too much chaos, etc. But I love the idea of the whole class as one team!

      1. The idea of competing with the class for points and a victory is all over DPS with some of our younger superstar teachers. It’s odd that you mention it jen bc I was just talking with Diana about this last nite.

        She was telling me that Mark Mallaney has a deal where the kids keep score and if Mark uses English they get a point and if they use English he gets a point. Annick Chen used this as well during her Learning Lab yesterday.

        Diana told me that, if used well, it can be a powerful tool for discipline. And she would know bc what she mainly does all day is visit classes of TCI teachers.

        She also told me that she is now finally seeing the results of all her work since she became DPS WL Coordinator in 2004. She notes an upswing of the exponential kind in at least ten classrooms the kind of TCI teaching that she has always wanted to see. These are always young, unexpectedly talented teachers in their first few years of teaching basically kicking ass in their classes with CI. She is very happy.

  5. It’s an old term but a goodie – Bizarre/Exaggerated/Personal – from the early days when they were figuring out that the stories had to have some elements of weirdness in order to be able to attract the attention of the kids.

  6. I thought I would bump this post and just add my own glowing, beaming, full-hearted THANK YOU to everyone here, and to Ben especially, for working toward this kind of simple planning. I am at the beginning of my spring break and was thinking this Wednesday morning about what I will do starting next Monday. So I came up with the three best structures I could and set them into a story script. And then I realized that with just that little bit of work, probably 30-45 minutes total, I have done the hard part of planning for the next two weeks! Everything else will build from these three structures:

    wants (something)
    in order to find
    goes/comes back, returns

    …and the super simple script, The Errand, I’ve written to accompany them:

    _ wants a _. _ says to _, “I want _. Find _ for me. After you find _, come back to me!”

    _ hurries to _ in order to find _. But _ doesn’t find _ in _. _ is scared because _ wants _. _ doesn’t go back to _.

    _ hurries to _ in order to find _. Finally _ finds _. _ goes back to _. _ gives _ to _ and says, “You wanted _; therefore I found _.” _.

    And just like that I can relax and enjoy the rest of my spring break. Of course before TCI, if I wanted to start class on the right foot after the break I would need to spend HOURS during the break prepping cool activities/projects/powerpoints/games that would probably only last for two class periods. NOW LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCE! I have at least two weeks of rich language prepared after only 30-45 minutes of work. How cool!

    1. I figured I would give a Latin version of the script here, too, if any of the Latin peeps are interested.

      cupio (+ acc.)
      ut inveniret

      _ _ cupit. _ _ dicit, “ego _ cupio. inveni mihi _. postquam tu _ invenisti, redi ad me!”

      _ ad _ contendit ut _ inveniret. sed _ _ in _ non invenit. _ est perterritus/a quod _ _ cupit. _ ad _ non redit.

      _ ad _ contendit ut _ inveniret. tandem _ _ invenit. _ ad _ redit. _ _ _ dat et dicit, “tu _ cupivisti; igitur ego _ inveni.” _.

  7. This two week schedule looks fantastic and a completely dream scenario for me. What would you do if you only saw your students once a week for 60 minutes, or twice a week for 40 minutes and 30 minutes?

  8. The New Two Week Schedule as written covers ten 50 minute classes. It goes through from three structures (knowledge/content) to application and even synthesis. So it is a taxonomy.

    For me, the first 250 minutes I have in the first week are for the Three Steps ending up with the reading. Then in the second week I put in IMTranslator and Textivate, throw in some quizzes here and there, do some dictee, etc. etc.

    You can do all those things in half the time. You have only 120 minutes (60 min. per week once) or 140 minutes (70 min. per week twice). You have about 1/3 rd of the time I have. So would you cram all those things into that much time?

    I would. Follow the taxonomy but just do less. The one thing you want to avoid is feeling like you need to rush things. That is the enemy of CI. (You could leave out dictee – it’s a tosser.)

    Just adjust, follow the order of the taxonomy, but just do less. Like you can certainly do the three steps in the 60 min. you have in the first week. Just pick a shorter story.

    Try to follow the taxonomy but do less, and stay slow.

  9. I have really been out of the loop. Can someone translate the two week schedule into a list without the acronyms? I need comprehensible input!! CI??? please

  10. I need to revisit IMT to see if the quality has improved. I continue to love this schedule, but with 40 minute periods and not teaching a full week since Jan 5th including exam week and snow, SSR gets ignored. I do like Textivate with the fillin the boxes and put the story back together.
    Currently working Jena Lee song with French 1, but I have used it with all levels to the point if I hear it once more, I will scream. I took some screen shots and just discuss using the structures I want to teach it’s an easy one to parallel with the kids. I type up what we do every day and just expand the reading. Boyfriends, girlfriends, portrait physique, bullying, stereotypes. When it loses energy, we will move on. This has been a tough winter.

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