Spinning PQA 1

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11 thoughts on “Spinning PQA 1”

  1. Robert Harrell

    Today in level 1 I wanted to work on sentences with “gern” (expressing like) and had some things planned out. The class meets right after lunch, and one of the students came in with a “spicy chipotle burrito”, so I went with “who likes spicy chipotle burritos?” and branched off to other foods people like and don’t like. Part way through the PQA I heard the following exchange:
    -Are we really doing a lesson based on someone’s lunch?
    -Yeah, weird, but just g0 with it.

    Perhaps I took a small step today toward convincing this class that we really can talk about anything as long as we do it in German.

    1. I find having a SMARTboard is helpful. I write down details as we go along (to keep them in bounds) and then you can save the file and have those details readily available

    2. I don’t even try. I just enjoy the conversation. The spirit of all of this is just to have fun. When we enjoy a nice dinner with friends, can you imagine what a pain it would be to have to remember what we talked about? This stuff is very much about being in the moment. I know it sounds odd that we should be able to relax and have no stress in our jobs. It is a big leap for most of us, although I got a great email from La In WI today about how her stress is going down fast*. Besides, we have jobs for that. There is a story writer (can write down the PQA if we want) and then we have it if we want to write it up for a reading. See the category list on this page and click on jobs for more on that topic.

      *Hi Ben,

      I just want to thank you and everyone in this community. I learn and reflect SO MUCH from you all. As the semester progresses, I find myself a happier person (still stress occasionally but not as bad) so as most of my students. It just made my days when a senior student talked to her friend how she loved the class and that this will be the only class she missed when she leave high school. Yesterday, several kids were talking how they unconsciously mixed up speaking Chinese to their peers in other classes. Even if they’re simple words or phrases like “no, it’s incorrect” or “I don’t want it”, it just made me really proud of them.

      Next I’m going to learn how to cook up the grade book and to let go some stuff…like projects. Though I admit that sometimes I have students do projects just to fill in between lessons, to “show off” the program (it’s the first year so not many people know that Chinese program exist), to please the administrators and parents-kind of a fake “achievement”, etc.

      I wish I could go to iflt! I’ll be on the beach in Thailand so that’s ok. I’m sure I’ll keep learning from all of you 🙂

      Merci beaucoup!

      P.S. Sorry for the grammar mistakes, I learn English on the streets.

    3. I have 16 different classes (3 for each grade 2nd-5th and 4 for 1st) and I haven’t figured out how to take notes to the SmartBoard and still stay present to my students, so I’ve started using my cell phone or flip camera at the end of each class to take a picture of what’s on the board before I erase it for the next group. With my 4th and 5th graders, I even had them pose under the board so I could remember which group went with which story. Then, I could either transcribe the story for reading, or, in the next class, I could put the picture up on the SmartBoard and we could pick up where we left off.

  2. My French 2 PQA did not turn weird; quite the opposite. I was working with Anne Matava’s script – report card, showed, found it (thought it) funny. I just asked the question to a girl who had been in Florida to visit her grandmother and I asked her if her gm showed her something. She told me yes, a movie, Midnight in Paris. I worked with that for a while then asked her how she found the film – Tu l’as trouve amusant? Worked that PQA around for a while and when it started to lose energy, I asked the class what teacher shows a lot of movies in class. They really for a few minutes forgot that they were talking in French about two movies that they really liked and found it stupid, boring interesting, etc. Even got in some lequel and celui-ci. The trick is finding the part of the magic lamp to rub to get the genie out of the bottle. This is the intuitive/art part . Some days are better than others. They almost seemed super tuned in – their opinions were expressed in French and I think they impressed themselves. The day when PQA did not turn into a story.

  3. I can’t say that I’ve ever been able to do long stretches of PQA, since it often turns into a crazy story almost immediately. Of course, once it starts to shift part of the fun is the back-and-forth between the subject of the PQA and the rest of the class over who has control over the details of the subject’s (imaginary?) life.

  4. I honestly suck at PQA– we usually circle our way into crazy stories–so these posts have inspired me to try it out more. And today with my 3rd graders we had a moment like Carol mentions: we never got to the story and we were just hanging out chatting! The structures were “has to/doesn’t have to” and “likes/doesn’t like” and “fair/unfair” and I was asking “who has to cook at home?”. Well I started comparing and contrasting kids who have to and kids who don’t. and then I started asking, “who at home says you have to cook? Oh, clase, is that fair? “…and 25 minutes later, no story but LOTS of CI and what looked (and felt like) relaxed hanging out but was actually really amazing. I have discovered PQA for reals! I think with elementary my impulse is to go for the crazy story since it keeps them enthralled but it turns out that PQA can work with the little ones too!

    1. OK, so my challenge with elementary schoolers is that when I do PQA, they ALL want to be the center of attention, and if I don’t ask them all if they have to cook, someone gets hurt feelings. I started off the year keeping track of who I’d spotlighted, promising that I’d get to everybody eventually, but not all in the same class, but I’m a total failure at that sort of record keeping.

      Kate, your 3rd grade chat sounds great! Did you get everybody’s input, or just focus on a couple of kids? How’d they handle sharing the spotlight?

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