Question from Lori

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17 thoughts on “Question from Lori”

  1. Thanks so much, Ben. That helps considerably. Our school calls them “SLO’s”–student learning outcomes–but otherwise, this seems very similar. Both of your SGO’s are output-based; do you have input-based SGO’s as well or is the very nature of an SGO output-based?

    My students will be year 2, but their first year is project-grammar based, so I guess I will still use that first assessment as ground zero for the year, right?

    I suppose that those rubrics are property of DPS and you cannot link that, but this still helps. Many thanks.

    1. ah, now I just noticed the rationale for out-put based:

      “Since input (authentic learning) is hard to measure (it occcurs in the unmeasurable domain of the unconscious mind), the easiest goals are measurable goals and that means measuring gains in the output areas of writing and speaking.”

      And–as far as I can see, we do not get paid extra if we do this; all teachers are expected to do this next year. Part of Indiana’s RISE model with the new criteria for teacher evaluations.

  2. Grant Boulanger

    This is a very good strand to initiate here. If we are not on top of this game, others will be determining how we measure growth.

    Personally I think we have to find a way to measure input and acquisition if we’re going to claim that it’s what’s important. But, like Ben said, it’s hard to measure. I don’t have an answer to how to measure it. But I do know that if we don’t come up with some good ideas the Kings and Queens of Scantronland, Multiple Choice-Ville and Fill-in-the-blank-dale will come to reign supreme.

    I was asked to show growth this year w/o advance notice. We’re in the process of building into the structure here. What I did was to have kids look at their freewrites. We documented date, # of minutes of writing, # of words written and then calculated # of words per minute. Before doing this, I made them go through and strike any English words that were not proper nouns. We also calcuated the percentage of growth from first freewrite to last.
    There were many many kids who increased over 200% from first to last with Words per Minute increasing from 5ish to 20ish in some cases.
    What was even more interesting for me was that I didn’t ask them to do any writing until December. So, writing was already emerging in the fast-acquirers. Had I done a true baseline in September the growth would have been even more.

    I know this is not a measure of _quality_ of writing, but more of writing fluency. But I wonder if there isn’t room for this type of growth assessment as a measure of what learning looks like – “I can write more words than before” Not sure how we could easily measure “I can build longer sentences” or “I can create more interesting images”

    1. You da man, Monsieur le Chevalier du Nord. I just hauled those from school today and was fixin’ to try to scan them for Lori and there you found them. If you really study them they are pure gold. Thanks, my man. We should all be using them to keep in line the “Kings and Queens of Scantronland, Multiple Choice-Ville and Fill-in-the-Blank-Dale”. Those rubrics are as water to the Wicked Witch of the West. Watch them get into the assessment piece now and watch them kick ass. The fact is, in less than five years the traditional teachers are going to wish they never saw these. But they will, bc we will have shown them to them.

    2. Ah, these are simple. I hate rubrics–especially writing my own–but these are user-friendly. I, too, wonder about rubrics for levels II and III.

  3. I checked out those rubrics, too. They are super straight forward. With these APPRs coming down the pike in NY (probably in the rest of the country, too), we better have a leg up on the game as per Grant. Thanks to CI, my kids have soared in the writing department as well. That used to be the area I struggled with most. I used to chew my colleagues’ ears off, trying this method and that and never getting any satisfactory results. Now, all of a sudden, amazing writing seems to emerge all on its own. So, at least in this mode, progress would be very easy to prove.

    1. Last year my writing scores were extremely high from kids who have little English, poverty backgrounds, and who did very little actual writing in class or out of it. They learned how to write by listening to stories and reading in class. That’s how it works. They listen a lot and after years they can speak. They read a lot and after years they can write. Try reversing that process and see what happens. You will have low overall scores, bored kids, and job loss fear. We’ve said it before but it bears repeating that when we focus on writing in and for itself, esp. when that is done too early, writing scores invariable go down, as per Krashen, Annick Chen, etc.).

  4. I had one of my slowest writers today write a sentence that I know came straight from all the auditory CI he had heard this year, and he nailed the spelling as well. It reflects what you said, Brigitte, that “amazing writing seems to emerge all on its own”. Gosh, maybe Krashen is right about that natural emergence stuff!

    Let’s be clear -he heard it, he processed it, he went to sleep each night, his mind parsed in a lot and refused some of what he had heard that day, his sound-based vocabulary base built up slowly, he then tried to write and, in order to do that, he accessed that sound base, it turned into writing, and he barely had to sweat, bc the writing was so natural.

    Had I spent the year teaching him to analyze the language with his conscious mind, his writing would have looked like the crap that the non-CI teachers in DPS (40 of them) gave us to grade last weekend from the scattered, rule-fed, fill in the blank scrambled minds of their students.

  5. As for input pre- and post-testing, we give our students the New York State Proficiency Exam (the listening part only) the first week of school, and then we do a post-test at the end of level 1A and 1B (7th and 8th grade). We also give interpretive readings 2-3 times a year. The end of year reading for 7th graders is one that I’m going to start giving at the beginning of the year and the end of the year. We have our kids fill out a chart, but I really prefer good ol’ translation. Couple of input ideas if it helps…

    dori in CO

  6. I think a CI-Revolution is happening – my chairman just sent our whole department a list with venues for TPRS workshops this summer 😉

  7. I feel as if the tipping point has been reached. Can’t say why. Just a feeling. Of course, this person only did that bc he/she has seen you, seen the others, is not stupid, has decided on a way forward for your department. It didn’t just happen. You worked for it. Good on you!

  8. Are all of your students year-long students? I only have students one semester at a time. The time span between semester 1 (French 1) and semester 2 (French 2) can be a year or more later! Can TPRS and CI still work under these conditions?

  9. CI knows know limits in time. The more the better. If it is an evening college class that is 10 weeks long, once a week, then doing comprehensible input during each available minute is the best. Nine week exploratory courses – same thing. One semester and one year long classes – same thing.

    Note most carefully – CI is the ONLY THING that can work when there are long periods separating formal study as you describe above. Why? Because the language goes deeper, to the right part of the brain, with CI, and so something real is there. The gains are real with CI, not false as when teachers try to get kids to learn a language by memorizing rules and such, which is akin to trying to learn yoga from a book while sitting down the whole time.

    It’s like if you teach a kid how to ride a bike from a book, then a year later they are no better off than they were when they started studying how to ride a bike from a book. But if they actually rode the bike every available minute and then got off it for a year, they can get back on after the long break with ease.

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