Report from the Field – Leigh Anne Munoz

Leigh Anne reports from California:

Wow, what a difference the new jGR and jobs has made for me and my students this year!  Final exam time and I had 150 French I students applying themselves like I have never seen in my classroom in my life!  Thanks again Ben.

If I could paint a picture for you, you would see row upon row of students reading and translating their own stories and listening and drawing their own stories for 80 minutes without complaint.  They seemed so proud of themselves afterward!



7 thoughts on “Report from the Field – Leigh Anne Munoz”

  1. Sabrina Sebban-Janczak

    Leigh Ann,

    Moi aussi je suis d’accord avec Ben. C’est trop badass (whatever that word means, but since I see it all the time on this blog it must mean something nice, right?).

  2. Severely badass, LeighAnn, thanks so much for sharing yet another success story. We seem to have more and more of these on here as of late – this is just so inspiring.
    Quick question for you: just wondering if I am reading this correctly – your final consists of your students reading and then translating a story they created in class, and listening to (read by you, recorded…?) and then drawing another/the same story? That sounds like a terrific idea and reflects exactly what we are doing in class on a daily basis.
    Again, you da bomb!

  3. Yeah, so cool! Could you provide a bit more detail of the process / protocol? And what age kids are these? Thanks and congrats!!!

    1. These 150 French I students are freshmen, sophomores and a hand full of juniors, all mixed into 4 separate sections of French I. I have approx. 38 students per class, in a typical Southern California mix of socio-economically and racially diverse kids from a large suburb 45 minutes east of Los Angeles and 45 minutes west of Palm Springs. Without jobs and jGR, these kids would have ended up like all my other previous generations of students — out-of-control answers, heads on desks, kids not responding at all, etc. [You know!]

      Anyway, I just bought Anne Matava’s stories this past October, and they *really are* nice b/c somehow we are actually able to finish them in one class period and they lend themselves to cute answers from the students. The students tolerate them well, and I do consider them essential to the success of TPRS in my classroom this year.

      Those are the stories that I am referring to in the original post.

      I took the first paragraph from each Matava story that we did in Semester I and posted it onto my blog, so the kids could study if they wanted. Then, I just made up an original story with some elements of each Matava story [regular format w/ 3 locations] .

      I tried to model my final like Ben has described his in the past: 1 listening section and 1 reading section. The kids just got out two pieces of notebook paper and stapled them together. Then, they listened as I numbered events from the made-up story and then they drew what they understood. This section was about 20 minutes long, and they drew about 20 pictures.

      For section 2, I just projected the blog onto the overhead screen for them to translate onto their notebook paper in English, and told them to concentrate on the quality of their translations, not on their speed. So, even the more advanced students slowed down in order to get the sense of the story, as well as the details.

      At any rate, the results of the finals this year were more consistent across the board, and the less ‘academic’ and ‘language-y’ students did reasonably well.

      I am truly appreciative of the advice and nurturing that has led me and my students to this point in our year.

      [As a side note, my first day of the new semester went without a hitch today, and the students were looking forward to a new story with new concepts and vocabulary. What a great way to gently move the students forward, and all as a group. No one got left behind this past semester!]

      Here is a link to my French I blog (if you speak French, you will find errors — oops!)

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