Pancake Batter

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5 thoughts on “Pancake Batter”

  1. When next year you basically do just PQA with your 1st year students, I suppose your weekly schedule, more or less à la Blaine Ray, will be Mon. & Wed.: PQA; Tue. & Thurs.: Related Reading and discussion; Fri.: Fun with French. Yes?

  2. Frank I hadn’t thought about that. I do know that in the interests of variety I may not be able to PQA my way through the whole year. The longest I ever did was like up to Christmas. I guess I’ll see what happens. Certainly the PQA would only be for level one kids anyway.

    I just remember so many really fun, carefree kinds of classes in the fall, getting to know the kids, hanging out, not worrying about anything like stories. Maybe that’s why I said that. Susie said that initially the plan in the early 1990’s was that – to just talk to the kids and then people wanted a plan so Blaine and Joe came up with the idea of stories. To make it look like a method. And then at one point we had like 7 steps and then maybe 12 or something and then it ended up at the three we have now.

    Don’t forget that we have a category on Beginning the Year. I’ll go in there and see if anything needs to be updated. The old concept that I started doing in 2005 hasn’t changed – I start with the Circling with Balls cards and the Word Lists, along with the Word Chunking and the One Word Images and at some point all that personalized CI morphs into stories – somewhere in October usually, sometimes earlier and sometimes later. It’s a really good plan and it works for me, instead of starting stories out too early.

    Now I know the answer to the question of whether I will make PQA work all year. It depends on if the class energy moves there. So much of this is intuitive, being responsive to what happens, not ramming instruction down their throats to align with some forced, highly unnatural curriculum.

  3. I really like the idea of PQA all year. I think I tend to leave it too early, wanting to jump into stories before I really get to know kids. What I’ve learned lately from Betsy’s classroom is that if you can have text about the kids up with pictures of them, they will start reading really well. And if someone needed more structure than circling with balls, they could check Scott B’s adaptation for thematic circling with balls. It’s possible he doesn’t do that any more, but it looked really good to me. Unfortunately, I can never stick to a theme, but if I could, Scott’s way of doing it would be my choice.

    I agree totally about the class energy being what will make the choice of PQA.

    Ben, I have been looking through DVD’s for some footage of you doing your chunking game. I have read the directions on the handout and in various posts over and over, and I still don’t get it. I think I have to see it. At some point, could you share that again? Or tell me what the DVD that has it says?

  4. What I meant by that last line was, “Tell me what it says on the DVD that has the Chunking game.” I have about eight DVD’s, which probably means that a couple of them are duplicates, and I have been cycling through them looking for the chunking game, certain that it has to be on one of them.

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