Pre-Observation/Evaluation Resource

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12 thoughts on “Pre-Observation/Evaluation Resource”

  1. Yes, TPRS Books materials have greatly improved. My guess is that Se├▒or Jordan is designing all of their materials now. He is really a talented guy and is great at graphic design.

  2. The thing that I learned is don’t get too much into the targeted vs. non-targeted stuff with admin (they will lean towards wanting to see targets). In this case I tell them the goal of everything is working the Sweet 16 Verbs.

    1. I feel so odd – odd man out (nothing new for me) – because I am against the class novels and against focusing on those 16 verbs bc I have found that those verbs in the Invisibles system just don’t need it. In NT work it’s not about number of reps but visceral engagement of the verb, bc of interest, not frequency. But I will admit that telling an admin coming to observe that that is your target is a good way of making them happy.
      Maybe I’m doing it the wrong way. Maybe I need to go back and study Krashen some more, to see what he says about the Sweet 16 verbs.

  3. I’ve found that w NT the verbs aren’t even noticed by the students. I thought that was what research said was the way to do it. Because when we try to get lots of reps on certain verbs we draw the conscious attention of the students to the verb and away from the message, bc the interest wanes when we do that.

  4. You’re definitely right and aligned with the research Ben. My admin loved the open and organic story making process. What he wanted was evidence of learning daily. So, I just put in exit ticket–summaries of the story of L1, and even forced writing with the emergent words (or supports) on the board. Then this year some of my students rebelled and went to the admin because they couldn’t handle communicating in a class community or with an adult. So then my admin wanted me to assess the students “to make them feel successful” every week. I went about my business and include a couple of projects to allow them to decompress.
    As for the sweet 16. There are verbs there that I never use in my normal speech with other native speakers of French or Spanish. Lastly, any targeting would be fake, forced and un-fun. When I went to an SL workshop, Dr. Mason said that the power of SL is the vocabulary that was low-frequency that pops up naturally. Krashen also made mention of the value of Non-targeted rich Comprehensible Input. I think that the ol’ guard of TPRS folks were a bit disappointed. However, at the end, Krashen did make mention how we should use any tools at our disposal. In a fight, you can even use a telephone to attack– interesting analogy.

    1. That’s why I do a true/false/no sabemos quiz nearly every day. Then I have a ton of “data”.
      The Sweet 16 will help you to head off problems at the pass. Many admins and teachers just can’t handle hearing talk of how we can’t control acquisition. Even students will complain if you don’t have something that looks at least a little like conscious learning going on. I’ve had students complain that I don’t give homework for example. The system is VERY suspicious of teachers who go against the grain…until of course they see kids enjoying learning.
      I suppose on the T/NT spectrum I am somewhere between Scott Benedict and Ben Slavic, but lean towards Ben. I only “assess” content, not verbs, and I don’t put things on a timeline.

      1. Steven Ordiano

        Yes. My attempt to educate students in SLA was helpful for many students. Though there were still some who hung on to their beliefs and others who were full on converted to the research and the WHY of teaching with Comprehensible Input. The most success was in my French 1 classes. They appreciate that I do not test them with discrete items because they are always tested with results of failure and success. Getting students on board from level 1 seems essential–at my school where we teach levels 1 and 2.
        Looking forward, I imagine using benchmarks to have students reach–but without telling them. This is really just for me and admin. It is amazing to see my current French 2 class who have been rocking NT CI for two whole school years. They understand so much, it’s ridiculous. A report from the field is in order.

        1. Steven said:
          …getting students on board from level 1 seems essential….
          I agree. It’s the key to everything. Teachers who try to change kids trained in worksheets in previous years will fail and should not try. It never works. This is a fact, not hyperbole.

  5. Good idea to get yes/no quiz grades every day, Greg. Of course, deciding to collect such grades depends on how hounded we are by the people we work for. After awhile, I just stopped doing it, because I could – the school allowed me to not worship at the altar of grades. Too bad that we have to collect grades when we all know that just interacting with our students is enough to “read” – quite well – what they can do.

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