Report from the Field – Craig West

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12 thoughts on “Report from the Field – Craig West”

  1. If you have six kids trying to speed you up it could ruin it for the others. We all know that. And we know that it is next to impossible to get them out of there. We’ve talked here and in the books about how to handle native speakers, but I can’t remember all the details. But I remember that the best is to give them the top jobs of artists and story writers and quiz writers and videographers and Profe 2.

    The thing about those native speakers is that they think they’re so cool and it’s good for them to have a class where they dominate, but they also need to know how to learn from you what they need, bc they need the proper reading and writing experience, but they won’t do it on their own, so you have to incorporate that into the jobs, which is the only way I ever solved the native speaker problem, bless their hearts and ours.

    1. Oh so you don’t verify with 3rd person? I don’t know where I heard or learned that step I thought it was something that should be done. I guess they’ll just read the 3rd person when they read the review text right? It does disrupt the flow in a way. I think I was doing it to kind of bring students back in. Direct questions to the class and provide more “repetitions” or whatever.

  2. Yes Craig re: 3rd person why not put it into the reading. In the Star Sequence in Phase 4 there are lots of activities in which 3rd person is made auditory, so why do it in the Create phase? All that does, bc the Phase 1 is all auditory, is make it more boring and cause the native speakers to get shitty. Make them read, make them write, make it real for them by grading them on writing and reading. That should keep their attention. How else do you give them a decent grade and not wste their time?

  3. Hello,
    I don’t understand what you all mean by verifying in third person???
    How do you do Card Talk or OWI or anything at first if not in 3rd person???

    1. When you ask a student a question then direct that same question to the class. Laura do you like rollercoasters? Class does Laura like rollercoasters? Yes or no?

  4. Laura it’s true that Card Talk and OWI and ICIs all are done in the 3rd person. But Craig was questioning his students based on Mike Peto’s interview power point so he was asking 1st/2nd person questions.

    I’m with you in that I would not do anything in 1st/2nd person. Here are my reasons for that:

    1. I always felt that the direct question/interview approach was too hard. Made them nervous, made me nervous.
    2. Kids don’t know the line between imaginary and real questioning. Craig is probably in that special club of teachers (like the fantastic interviewer Sabrina Janzak who can melt the hearts of her students simply bc she genuinely cares about their answers) who can pull off interviews.
    3. A lighthearted question from us could be misinterpreted as a real life question. It can freak a kid out who is going through the normal travails of their teen years. We’ve all done it and it sucks. I say avoid it by not doing interviews
    4. Since the research tells me that output is going to happen at the individual kids’ at the right time, I don’t want to push it.
    5. Just by reading the stories in Phase 4, with those 11 fantastic activities, the kids will slowly hear the differences, osmosis style, as it happens naturally.
    6. The exception if the early first year “Questionnaire” by Anne Matava, which somehow works for me when the other interview question styles don’t.

  5. With some introspection I realize that for some reason, maybe all the native speakers in here, I was getting this feeling that I wasn’t “doing enough”. For some reason I felt like having the projector on and eliciting these choral answers I was actually doing something. The truth is though, that I was actually doing far less than I thought. Yesterday I put up the reading from the interview I thought went so well and saw that the voice of the kids that actually need the slow pace was swallowed up in the bedlam of the choral responses. Made some changes today and things have gone much better.

  6. Craig I definitely think you should form a subgroup of Heritage Learners (HLs) rather than keep them in the mix, if they’ve already demonstrated that this class isn’t meeting their needs, and is messing with your flow and ability to serve the target students (we know, the HLs don’t belong in Level 1).

    Here are the basic steps I think would work – of course, adapt to your needs:

    1. Do an individual basic reading inventory on every HL. Have some graduated texts marked with a post-it from easiest children’s book to authentic/age-appropriate. At your discretion, have the student read for you privately – noting decoding, reading fluency and comprehension. Jump up to the instructional level you think they are at. You will see who has lagging literacy skills and will be able to zoom in if you have various leveled texts to ‘assess’ with.

    2. Provide level-appropriate material

    -Student can bring from home (you eyeball it for level and content appropriateness);
    -low level – use our novels, or maybe Martina’s stuff – she has some lil magazines, a new thing called Garbanzo;

    -use ‘authentic’ children and teen lit, comics, the library, online, books, plays, newspapers, songs, poems – the key is to make sure it’s not over their head if their reading lags behind their comprehension & speaking… (and audio input – see below!)

    3. To monitor (if you must) the HLs without a ton of extra work, you can use worksheet-ish general templates like these Literary Elements ones – ‘ayudas gráficas’ at eduplace dot com. Or look for others online…

    4. HLs can have a log/folder that stays in your classroom (or not) and do some written reflections on their reading during or after a reading – you decide all those details…

    5. For the low/lagging literacy students, (anyone really) I cannot overstress this wonderful tool: a simultaneous audio track. So the HLs have eyes on text AND earbuds or earphones to listen to the text being read to them. Audiobooks, playaways, certain websites, Reading A-Z (Spanish – has audiotrack) News in Slow Spanish latino edition

    other sources that have the text PLUS audio.

    6. Have HLs use their earphones during class so as not to distract /be distracted while you are teaching the level 1s.

    I think this is one way – if you can pull it off – to differentiate for the diametrically different groups and needs in your class. Who wants to teach addition & subtraction and calculus all in one class?

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