Suggested Block Schedule B

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2 thoughts on “Suggested Block Schedule B”

  1. Bernie Schlafke

    DANKE, Ben, for sharing these reminders about keeping things simple, fun, clear, and connected. Even though I don’t have a block schedule, the description of how and why you divide up your time with CI coming from something other than stories, is very helpful.
    This year, I’m experimenting with more ways to teach visually, using the wealth of pictures up on google maps—along with The Big Picture (Danke, Nathan). These authentic pics are amazing to discover, and highly recommendable for teaching with pictures. PLUS you get the added benefit of teaching geography visually as well.

  2. I agree Bernie, that using images in whatever way we can in our classrooms is a guaranteed winner. It’s almost like we can now see the unfolding of Blaine’s work in a million ways, the use of images that Nathan and Jim and others started talking about this year being no small piece of that. And Paul Kirschling did that session in Los Alamitos about using google images to teach culture.
    Many of us are using such images routinely now in our CI. I will use a hidden artist probably all the time now. It is just cool to be able to share with the kids, after a long time of creating CI, an actual picture of everything we just talked about during the class. Those visual retells that occur in preparation for the quiz are powerful and they shower praise on the artist.
    However, we must use caution. We must not focus so much on the new developments in CI that they lead us away from the powerful sequence that Blaine created in suggesting the Three Steps, which can be used in/applied to/bent towards any CI activities we choose, not just stories. Are we not at some point in our classes doing at least one of the following things at any given moment? –
    – establishing meaning (Step 1)
    – gesturing that meaning (Step 1)
    – asking personalized quesions about the terms we established meaning for and gestured (Step 1)
    – applying those things to the creation of interesting CI in forms like stories (Step 2)
    – creating a reading ideally from what was generated in Steps 1 and 2 (Step 3)
    While doing an hour of CI in the form of a one word image this morning I was quite aware of stopping at various points in the CI to ask personalized questions around words that came up during the creation of the image.
    For example, the word “hates” came up in class. I asked the girl who played Aicha in one of my classes if she hated anyone. Another kid immediately said in L2 that yes she hated the singer of the song because he did not see her as a person.
    So we PQA everything we can whenever we can. We gesture whenever we want, to clarify. We chant if that happens. We play with the words if the energy is there. We don’t force this language. We let it all emerge. Naturally. We talk about the picture, yes, but largely in terms of the kids.
    Remembering to do that keeps the wall between teacher and students from growing and blocking our bond with our kids, as we make the mistake of thinking that the language/image/story is more important than the interaction with the kids. The only thing that can keep our class going in L2 is the personalization that we constantly bring in at all times. The kids will lose interest if it is not about them.
    (They will also lose interest if they don’t understand, so we always return to the bottom rung of our CI ladder – we go slowly and circle. We go more slowly than we want to. We circle more slowly than we want to. Only then can they understand.)

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