Request for Feedback

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17 thoughts on “Request for Feedback”

  1. I loved listening to this! Thank you Angie! What struck me most about this was the silence in between the questions! Wow, you have really trained your group to listen! I heard each question clearly, then a silent pause, then the choral answers. The pace was organically slow…you clearly are enjoying each others’ company as evidenced by the giggles and your warm inflection when you ask questions and comment with “pobrecito” or show surprise, delight, etc. Everyone (from what I can tell…I heard many students responding to the questions) was with you until you asked that “who question and then realized they needed the call and response “who who!”….instant assessment and adjustment (why can’t admins notice that is what happens on a moment by moment basis…we constantly shift and adapt according to the feedback we get–but I digress).
    I also noticed how they really got into “relojjjjj” and then at the end they remembered that sound again! There was also someone who was really into “no le importa” and he (they?) kept saying that with dramatic inflection, as if he were trying out expressing different emotions using that phrase. Very cool to let them shout out whatever they can. It sounds like they can really just let loose and not fear judgement. Since they are all speaking at once and nobody is in the limelight it gives them a chance to try out the sounds in their own voices. I imagine this builds confidence. That is what it sounds like. The atmosphere was one of encouragement and enjoyment.
    What was your process leading up to showing this video? What kind of specific feedback would you like from us? I’m asking because we can use this video in a number of ways. Oh oops, Ben wrote: “Angie wanted to hear our comments on why possibly she had trouble going even eight minutes with this MovieTalk.”
    I am no expert! Here are a few thoughts that could help you expand on what you already did, which got them what I call “in Spanish mode” by your slow, playful and encouraging interaction. I agree with Ben about the compare and contrast. That usually goes a long way, when you ask various kids what “the perfect gift” would be to them. So using your targets (I think they were le da, busca and no le importa?) you could do this to personalize it a bit more. You could also elicit from the group specific names for the characters. Remember in Maine when the main character was Skip? And she went around the room talking about Skip and who was and was not in love with Skip / who Skip was in love with, etc. Then you get a whole other layer of reps (that you have already established in your original audio, and you have already gotten the students giggling and beginning to get emotionally engaged. By naming the characters it increases this engagement.
    You are right on track…MT has many layers and we are all on our personal path in terms of how many we can dig into at a given moment.
    Thanks so much for sharing this.

  2. I LOVE Angie! So brave! Always volunteering and always trying to get better!
    I couldn’t hear the audio of the video, so it was hard to tell if kids were looking at screenshots or if Angie was playing and pausing the video with the sound off. Personally, I’d PLAY that sound! I’ve been known to sing along with the soundtrack in class 😉
    Disclaimer: Obviously, we can’t see if Angie is pointing and gesturing, 2 things that could make a “new sound” much more comprehensible. We don’t know if she established meaning for anything beforehand. And we don’t know these kids like Angie to know whether or not she went out of bounds.
    There are 2 types of CI in this work and I think they both have their place: non-targeted and targeted CI. To be clear, I consider “non-targeted” to happen when the goal is to get reps on all the language we have done BEFORE and now in a new story/context, i.e. still staying in bounds. By definition, when we target new sounds, that takes up class time from getting reps of older structures. This sound byte is more of the non-targeted nature.
    If you wanted to target (and this video is perfect for targeted CI because it has a repetitive plot), then pre-select your structures and establish meaning for them (translation + gesture + optional TPR or optional PQA) before starting the video. I did this video and chose:
    looks for
    (he gives to her) a thing
    (she doesn’t want) it
    (jumps) rope
    (stops) jumping
    I put into parentheses words from my structures that have already been given lots of reps in my class.
    Angie did tons of questioning in this demo. I recommend asking the kids to make predictions. Tell the kids the boy is looking for something for a girl. Then, ask them to guess what. Do this every time he looks for something (4+ times in the video).
    The more you stop the video, the more pics you have to talk about and the less time you spend looking at the same pic. Personally, I don’t do any parallel stories and only a little embedded PQA during the MT. The video itself is plenty compelling. If you have the props from the video, then use them as you MT.
    Videos like these, with highly repetitive plots, are PERFECT for beginners. (Not to mention, this video had tons of English-Spanish cognates). I did this video with all grades, 3-8. I just got done milking this MovieTalk. Maybe there is someone who can benefit from seeing the order of my events this time around:
    1. MT the video (about 30 minutes) including establishing meaning (the video clip is only 1:12)
    2. Read a subtitled screenshot version & re-enact with students and take pics
    3. Read the Freeze Frame and also discuss/retell freeze frame stories of other class sections
    4. Play a T/F game (students play 1v1, I read a sentence, if it’s false the first student to pick up the pencil between them wins)
    5. 5 minute QuickWrite

    1. Eric said:
      …videos like these, with highly repetitive plots, are PERFECT for beginners….
      I agree Eric. It’s easy to take it for granted, but not many people are able to convey a sense of calm, good pacing with excellent space between utterances, and all the intangibles that I also remember noticing when Angie worked in the War Room last summer in Denver. I mean, look at the one word answers jen mentioned. Hello! How many of us get constant one word choral responses in our classes? Really well done. I wish I could get that into my teaching and also convey that sense of calm to my students. It is natural to Angie.

    2. These steps are awesome, Eric:
      2. Read a subtitled screenshot version & re-enact with students and take pics
      3. Read the Freeze Frame and also discuss/retell freeze frame stories of other class sections
      4. Play a T/F game (students play 1v1, I read a sentence, if it’s false the first student to pick up the pencil between them wins)
      I’ve done #2a but not the photographing of students. Must do that.

  3. Alisa Shapiro

    As it happens, I’m just wrapping up this Valentine Google Doodle jump rope MovieTalk as well. I did it with grades 1-4!!
    Search/es; looks for
    Offers- cognate
    Goes away/leaves- just add ‘se’ before ‘va’
    Continue/s- cognate
    Later (once the primary structures were in place) I added ‘know/s’- he doesn’t know how to jump rope and the cognate ‘is busy’- she’s not mean or evil, just busy jumping rope.
    Other recycled structures and cognates:
    Is happy/sad
    Is nervous
    I brought in a jump rope and we had lots of contests. Boys and girls jumping rope. Counting how many jumps. Jumping in slo-mo, jumping backwards and jumping rope around the room…
    Jumping in funny ways was often part of my brain breaks during the few weeks that we worked on this MT. I never played the fab Tony Bennett soundtrack til we were completely finished milking the video clip. I didn’t even make freeze frames for this movie talk! It was slow enough that I could control it by just pausing the action. Note: on the 33rd second if you freeze it just right you can get the balloon popping in little pieces all over the kid’s face…
    I have lotsa Valentine’s Day swag in class from years of doing faculty ‘Secret Valentine.’ I mobilized my artificial roses in a vase, my many size (empty) heart-shaped candy boxes, an old sweater with a plastic dinosaur and lots of silly boy and girl costume elements such as a clown’s necktie, headband with Pippi Longstocking braids on it, and some funny men’s hats.
    I used my props/costumes to dramatize lil sections after circling, viewing and predicting. My personalization Qs were about whether my kids gave their mom or dad/Brothers, sisters, classmates valentines candy and heart-shaped boxes or red balloons or roses…and whether they had received any of the special gifts on Valentine’s Day, what they wanted.
    When he offers all of those gifts in a heap, I asked lots of questions about almost every item. I have a piece of fake pie. I have some fake cognate food. One student said she wanted asparagus pie on Valentine’s Day.
    In each class they named the boy and girl. In one of my classes the boy was Bruce Wayne and the girl was Cinderella (Oh yes, I have a tiara.). In another the girl’s name was Chelsea but you HAD to pronounce it, “CHEL-say!”
    Every time he offers her something in the video clip, I have the boys pretend to offer that thing to the girls, the girls offer that to the boys, one person accepts, the other does not, etc. We reenact almost every action in the clip for reps.
    Yesterday they drew on dry erase boards. Some volunteered to do a retell under the doc cam. Today I had 20 statements in Spanish- the Ss picked a number from a hat and had to dramatize that statement…everyone wanted to wear the green tutu while jumping rope. I will do some more extension and finish up on Friday. I just completed an embedded reading for 3rd and 4th graders.
    I don’t have a Textivate account, but I think it would work great for this clip.
    My Ss loved this MT- When I taught, ‘he hugs her’ (lo abraza,) I got a spontaneous group hug from seventeen 2nd graders!

  4. Thank you, Angie! You ARE brave! And calm and friendly and slow and real and clever and not afraid of silence and your kids must love you.
    I appreciate you asking about this in such an effective way. You got some good responses for all of us. Thanks!

  5. Angie’s soothing, calm, and beautiful voice is inspiring. What a gift. One can hear the happy responses of an engaged group of students. The atmosphere sounds lovely, warm and unthreatening. One can sense how successful the students feel when they know every answer to Angie’s questions.
    I wonder if over time, after doing this clip over and over, we can make the conversation last longer? I couldn’t go beyond the 8-10 minutes either, even with my adult group.
    I structured the language around liking/indifference/wants to play. I was afraid to overwhelm with “jumps rope”. I -tried- to make it into a lesson on love/empathy and the importance of doing things together. With the little L2 my students know it was not easy. Asking Why? here and there helped.

  6. I agree with what’s been said about Angie’s calm voice, obvious firm but gentle control in the classroom, high response from students, and staying in Spanish. I noticed the 10-minute deal at the beginning.
    I would really need visuals to understand the Spanish more. I could catch a word here or there only (some cognates) because I have little exposure to Spanish.

  7. I loved it. I found something magical about there being no video, just audio. I didn’t need the video because I understand Spanish and saw this video at the Maine conference in October. There is a stressful sounding math class being taught in my room during my prep, and I just plugged in my earbuds and got transported to Angie’s classroom. Thank you!!

  8. So great to hear this, Angie! ¡Gracias! And great comments from all. I love the idea of playing it the second time and seeing what output emerges. I am going to do that next MT. Thanks!
    In terms of prolonging the experience, I, too, like to ask for names and background info on the characters. Some questions I often ask are: what is s/he thinking? How does s/he react? and why? (These obviously require more language than simple yes/no, but I’ve found even beginner adults can answer these…)
    With this particular MT I teach “looks for the perfect gift” so then I ask the students if each of those is the perfect gift for them.. and what is the perfect gift?… I also use this to teach “finds” – so the kid is looking for the perfect gift and finds… chocolate, etc.. also “still” is a good structure for this video– she is STILL jumping rope! He is STILL in love! She STILL doesn’t care, etc…
    I’ve been away from the blog (in CUBA!) and am happy to be back and every time I come on I remember why I want to make more time for this in my life 🙂

  9. Thanks everyone for listening to the clip and responding. I’m glad to hear that my voice sounds calm and clear, that’s something I work on a lot…being alert to when there’s urgency, strain or pleading in my tone. Ben has written before about not NEEDING them to understand, just knowing that what we offer is useful and laying it out as a gift, with enough indifference to allow teenagers to approach, but also enjoying the lovely sounds and feel of the non-native language. I have been working also on cutting down on English, especially now that norms and routines are more established. Sometimes I want to speak English to speed things up and then I think, if I slow down, point and pause, etc…could I do this in the TL? The group that I recorded is especially kind and fun. My “firm but gentle control in the classroom” that Diane wrote about is really thanks to that luck of the draw. I have a lot more problems with other classes. One thing I am thankful for at this point is being able to be at peace with where I am in the process of learning to do good CI work. Each of your comments gives me fuel to go forward and try new skills as I develop my own way of talking with students. I can give myself latitude to have a learning curve because I know that as long as they are talking with me and reading, they are acquiring language. We can’t help ourselves!! I wish I could easily send you all a recent free-write from a profoundly disadvantaged and autistic student I am working with. He sits alone in class, deliberately away from anyone, refuses all pair work and rarely answers any of my questions. He often complains loudly about school and other people. Nevertheless, with words running together and in a semi-legible hand, he wrote an 8-sentence recap of one of our stories that was coherent and comprehensible. He just “picked it up” from being in the room. Sweet.

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