Flow Chart

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29 thoughts on “Flow Chart”

  1. I am a very visual learner and that chart is really helpful to plan out each day! Thank you so much!!! I still can’t wrap my mind around the tric a quiz, though – like I said, I need a visual for EVERYTHING 😉

    1. Tric a Quiz happens rarely but I did try to describe it Brigitte, lacking any videotape of it:
      Tric a Quiz is a regular quiz but the kids suddenly, without announcement, start questioning the teacher about the details in whatever questions the teacher asks on the quiz. If the teacher asks “Were there fourteen clowns in the car?” (everyone in the room knows that the answer is yes because it was repeated so much during the story), one of the students says, in disbelief: “Fourteen? Fourteen clowns? No! Not fourteen clowns! There were ten clowns!” This is the dropping of the glove, the indication to the teacher that a game of Tric a Quiz is on.
      The students know that if they can get the teacher to agree to their claim that there were only ten clowns, thus backing down, the students earn a point. Of course, the teacher must do this. He must act puzzled, as if he doesn’t remember, and ask the Tric a Quiz instigator in the TL if there were really ten clowns.
      At that point, the way the game works, is that the instructor has to back down and agree that there were indeed ten clowns. Point (on the board by a student) goes to the class.
      The rule is that if the students can do this for most or all of the questions on the quiz, the entire class gets a perfect score on the quiz. Of course, when the teacher seemingly backs down reluctantly on each point, the purposes of the teacher (more reps and more student output) are being met, so it’s a win-win situation.
      As the game continues, the game is immediately stopped with the first words of English from the class. But most classes stay in the TL because they take pride in disagreeing with the teacher on every question on the quiz. It’s what teenagers do. The game is for points.
      Of course, the game gets gnarly when the teacher refuses to back down right away. The teacher could say that they weren’t clowns but puppets. This would require real focused listening from the kids. The word puppet might have to be taught. Eventually the teacher always backs down.
      Here is another example of a Tric a Quiz question. If the first question is “Yes or no, the boy is unhappy.” and the answer is yes, normally on a regular Quick Quiz the students just answer the question. But in Tric a Quiz, some superstar might just say that. “That depends….”.
      The trickster who said that might say that it depends because of some weird reason connected to the story. Then you and the class would just start talking about that. They think they have tricked you into not being able to continue on with the quiz, but you have tricked them into communicating with you in the TL. If the girl successfully makes her point that it depends, and she usually does because the job of the teacher is to back down, then the teacher awards the class a point and praises the trickster.
      The teacher would then continue the quiz by asking the next question, asking, say, if the man is 47 years old, also true. But again, in the funny atmosphere of Tric a Quiz, some kid may insist that the man is 27. Again, the teacher asks why. They make something up. The teacher gives in; the man is 27 and the class gets the point.
      Since the Quick Quiz is generally given right at the end of class, this light banter, such good CI, only usually lasts five minutes until the end of class anyway, but it is better than the quiz in terms of language gains, so I do it.
      This strategy probably wouldn’t work in level one classes because of the need for so much output from the kids.
      Corinne Bourne’s students have ramped this whole idea of Tric a Quiz to another level. Corinne does Tric a Quiz slightly differently in that she fights for points with her kids. She reports:
      “My students like the name! The game lifted our second semester spirits. Along with textivate.com and imtranslator.com, it has given us so many more opportunities to reread because we generally write up what we create during TQ. It worked with both my French and Russian classes, even those who are not doing well usually in interpersonal communication skills.
      ”Once I knew the game was on, I didn’t just ask the questions I was given by the Quiz Writer – I looked at parts of each sentence that could be variables and then at my question word poster for inspiration and variety. I sometimes told them that I knew extra information about the story, and told them the new detail. Other times I read an existing detail and said it could not have happened like that, then told them the alternative “truth”. Then I asked them: do you accept that or do you dispute it? An agreed upon dispute won them a point.
      “I set up the scoreboard, the class against me. In one class a student wanted to “give me a point”, but everyone else squealed “Non!” when I walked to the board to reward my idea.
      “Many times there was more than one student suggestion, so I insisted that they come to a consensus which argument they would put forward for the point – hah! More interaction in L2! More opportunity to circle the sentence with the two suggestions to see which they thought was more plausible.
      “Of course there were some who were not so directly involved, but I counted involvement as looking like they cared what would happen, reacting to the back and forth of the game and giving any appropriate ideas in context even if partly in English.
      “If I can, when deciding to do this again, I shall prepare some ideas in advance, but that’s almost cheating. I think this had such power because the classes saw me having to think on my feet too. It was a genuine competition, not an educational activity masquerading as a game.
      “I should have filmed it all!”

  2. Just to add to the above description, and I know that this is an outlandish idea but one of my purposes in life is to shred the concept of what a classroom even is:
    Basically Tric a Quiz is a shouting match between the teacher and any one student or combination of students during the time that is supposed to be given to the quiz. The teacher asks a question and instead of the room remaining quiet, as in a regular quiz, a student openly and loudly disagrees with the teacher on whatever questions they wish, stating that something other than what the teacher said is true.
    Question 1 by the teacher: True or false, class, there were 21 monkeys on the roof? (the real answer to this question could be true or false – it doesn’t matter.
    Tric a Quiz response from some student (with a bit of vehemence and even disrespect in their tone as they throw down the gauntlet): Yes, there were 21 monkeys, but they were on the ground floor!
    Response by teacher in defense of her original position: No, they were on the roof!
    Response of first student or any others who want to join in: No, they were on the ground!
    Teacher: On the roof!
    Students: On the ground!
    What is this insanity? It is nothing more than a good circling session in which the kids are being tricked into outputting the language. They think that they are trying to win an argument and trick the teacher into backing down so that they can get a free perfect score on the quiz for everyone in the class but really it’s a camouflaged mega circling section on each question.
    Each time, the teacher either backs down to the students’ claim or not. After each back and forth volley on any one question, the teacher may give up and shake her head as if defeated, or keep yelling until the kids back down. Each point is fought to that point of one side giving up their position. The longer the argument, the better.
    A student (the Tric a Quiz scorer) would go to the board when the argument starts and then keep a running score during the quiz of who has how many points. Of course, by that time the actual quiz would be entirely forgotten amidst the heat of arguing each point.
    If the students get more points, the students all earn perfect scores on the quiz. If the teacher gets more points, the students get nothing and the teacher then starts the regular quiz over and the kids are scored as if the argument never took place.
    This kind of argument requires that trust and a sense of fun exist between teacher and students and normally takes place only with upper level classes. It’s also a good way to let off steam. The first word of English voids the game.

  3. That’s genius, now I “see” it!!!! I am truly grateful that you took the time to answer in such great detail (and I feel bad, too, that you had to do that because of me). I will definitely add this to my “go to” activities, especially this time of year when the kids are starting to get twitchy and new things are in order to keep things running (as opposed to grinding to a near halt).

    1. I needed that more complete description to get it, too. Did this organically emerge from a class with an especially sassy and vocal (used positively) student? Obviously something that can’t be forced. I could see Chinese 2 enjoying a good argument with me, but they’d probably never figure out this was possible.

      1. …Did this organically emerge from a class with an especially sassy and vocal (used positively) student?….
        Yes. The cool part was that he brought others with him and because we loved each other in that class they felt safe and so we had fun with the arguing part. The scorer just kind of figured out who won. I let them win a lot. Not for every class but you nailed it Diane. There is a certain kind of kid who would start such a thing. Not for every class, certainly.

  4. Awesome, Ben. I really need to start getting more deliberate about saving these ideas and then meditating on them over the summer. This year started out well for me but has sort of petered off. Like I said, I feel mediocre at my job often now at the end of the year. Charts like this may be my answer to stop this from happening again.
    I’d add a fourth step, though. Call it “culmination” but really what it is for me is “worksheets/digital assignments to give me something to grade and hang on the wall in my hallway and to show adminz”. Stuff like 10 questions on a reading with quotes to justify your answers, or drawing pictures about a reading with captions, or a freewrite. Those fit it really nicely after your first three steps.

  5. Larry Hendricks

    Boy, I wish I’d had this in my bag of tricks when I was teaching. I could see the students having a lot of fun with this, which fits right into my style. Making the classes fun.

  6. I do this a little bit on the “Forgetful Teacher” days, but I haven’t tried it in a quiz format. This morning we were reviewing our story, and a sassy student tried to change every little detail that we had established the day before. Thankfully, I had just read this post, and, rather than becoming annoyed I saw the opportunity for extra reps and engaged the student. As soon as he spoke English, I decided that I had won, and wrote the original detail on the board. Thank you to all of you for inspiring me to aspire to look for opportunities instead of annoyance in those sassy students.

  7. …aspire to look for opportunities instead of annoyance….
    In those words lies one of the great truths about being an educator, a truly lofty goal of the highest order and one almost impossible to attain. It’s a short version of the St. Francis Prayer.

  8. Matthew DuBroy

    It is helpful for me to have those activities listed like that, but sometimes it is hard to distinguish between step 1 and 2 because with step 1 often can turn in to a “workout” of reps on those targeted structures.
    Also, I’m not familiar with all the activities yet. I wonder if some activities in step 1 set up certain activities in step 2 or do you think you could just pick anything from step 1 and then anything from step 2?
    Free writes seem to me to be more of a step 3 – something I do after stories or even better maybe like a step 4 where it is after the whole process and it is a pause before we start the process again, but I’m very much a beginner here!

    1. Matthew DuBroy

      I also just noticed on the forum that seems to be pertinent here on an alternate way of explaining the three steps written by Diane on Feb 21, 2015. I don’t want to copy the whole thing here Ben but maybe if you think it is relevant you know an easy way to do that. It is in the forum on specific questions.

    2. …do you think you could just pick anything from step 1 and then anything from step 2?….
      Yes, within limits. Each strategy is not built to flow into the next. Some will do better than others. What we need to keep in mind to keep this approach to teaching from becoming a formula to be blindly followed is just remember that each of the three steps can contain limitless forms and possibilities. Some we will develop ourselves, just as this group has created most of the ones on that flow chart in the past few years.
      This will prevent teaching using comprehensible input from becoming a method and will preserve the interfacing of our own personal teaching artist personalities to keep things fresh. In that way, we can enjoy careers of 30 years or more without turning into blocks of concrete.

  9. Yeah the third column in right. I noticed you had some of the stuff I suggested, like Freewrites, in the second column. I think all writing/speaking (okay, not much speaking) from the students needs to be in the third column, after TWO ROUNDS of input. Typically, for example, I’ll do a freewrite AFTER we have done PQA, made a story, and read the story.

  10. Matthew DuBroy

    Would dictees also be in the third column since they are after the story? Are they supposed to be before reading too? If so then it is kind of in between I suppose.

    1. Matthew DuBroy

      Hmm I thought OWATS in the 2nd column fit because it was about creating a story. It seems to me you wouldn’t want to do this activity with a story you just finished. Though in some ways I suppose it could fit in the first column because Bob explains it that he works backwards with the story/reading that he wants to do so it is a kind of preparation for story/reading he wants to focus on eventually.

      1. Matthew DuBroy

        I think my “final answer” is column two because it prepares for a reading so I would do it in place of a normal story and then do the reading that I originally had in mind and which the activity was preparing them to read. Does that fit with what you understand about it and steps 2 and 3?

  11. I made a Primer for this bad boy. Easy reference. It might be nice to have one lying around the classroom in laminated form on a piece of colored paper as well, to pick up between classes to get our bearings, as it were, since teaching using CI can sometimes seem like being out in the deep blue sea with high waves and no paddle.

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