Report from the Field – Keri Colwell

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5 thoughts on “Report from the Field – Keri Colwell”

  1. Keri, that’s a great report from the field.

    There are a lot of places you could go with the backpack story. Just a couple of ideas:
    1. Interview each person in the story: does mom suspect anything? is Ariane okay with being in the backpack? what else does Jake have in his backpack?
    2. Have other students guess/decide what Jake has in his backpack and how/why it got there.
    3. Following up on that last question in #1, you could “unpack” Jake’s backpack with the class. Does he have books? What kind/color/size/etc. books? Does he have a refrigerator? Does he have a sofa? (In a TPRS classroom, this is a distinct possibility.) If “Jake” is willing, you could actually pull stuff out of his packback. Does Jake have a cell phone in his backpack? Whom does he call? How often does he call? Where is he when he calls?
    As long as there’s interest, just keep it going. When the interest wanes, do something else.

  2. Keri…you rock!!! And so do your students. What a great day!! What you have realized, right away, is that a winning day is not about the “perfect” story….it’s about ongoing positive interaction between you and your students using the language. Bravo!

    with love,
    Laurie

  3. Here is a follow up email from Keri, adding to her report:

    Hi Ben,

    Just a quick note to tell you that I actually did do a story the second class. It was a success although by the time I established the routine and explained to students what I expected, introduced target structures, gestures, practiced sentences with structures on individual white boards, reminded them that the reason we are counting reps in PQA is because you need to hear a word 70-150 times before it becomes part of your permanent vocabulary ( the students, in fact, remembered that fact from the syllabus), then we did PQA which was easier than I thought! I got 88 reps of “fue” for “went” in under five minutes! The kids were all listening and making eye contact with me as I explained to them that they need to talk with me through their eyes. Then, finally, the story!! We only had about 35 minutes left if class but and we barely got through the first paragraph. It wasn’t a homerun story but all kids were involved and 36 out of 42 got “100” on quiz! Two received 80 and four received 75. (I had to give a very short quiz with only four questions in one class.). So, overall I think it was successful and you are right! 84 minute classes are still not enough time! I could have used another hour at least!

    Again, I would appreciate any feedback and I am looking forward to the reading class!

    -Keri

  4. Hello! Thank you very much for the comments! They really are helpful! I just have one question. Should I leave the 3 target structures up with their English translations during the quiz or should I erase them?

    Thank you,
    Keri

    1. Hi Keri, I think that’s up to you. You might decide you want to find out what students know without any supports, or you might decide that the students will have enough to process getting the whole statement (or question) and using the support of the target structures up would be fine. At least, I’ve done both. I try to make the quiz into something that a student who was predominately engaged and responsive would find successful; I don’t ask tricky things if I can help it.

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