Suggested Observation Lesson Plan

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13 thoughts on “Suggested Observation Lesson Plan”

  1. I think this is great as it will show the power of setting up reading and showing what interacting with a text can do. I would be worried they may find a quick true or false quiz might be too easy, maybe something else as an exit ticket that day. I am assuming they do not understand rigor like we do here thanks to Robert Harrell. I would not want to do anything like output but these people need to see writing. That’s how I convinced dept they had to see the writing gains. They will never go back now that their kids write in real authentic Spanish. Even just growth, I had a student about a month ago write literally zero words on our speedwrite but this time she got 14. When we do our next one in a month who knows how many words she will get. My tuned writing is only 5 min because I don’t want to take any more time than that from input.

  2. Yes I agree that they need to see writing. Don’t know what to do about that. Maybe show them some free writes in the post-class de-briefing period, if she can set that up. I don’t see the reason to just be observed if they don’t talk about what they saw. Even if they can’t do a pre-class meeting, they should at least do a short de-brief after the class. The free writes are easily one of the most impressive artifacts that we produce in our CI classes each year. Our kids write much more with better spelling, connecting words, and, most of all, authentic, not stilted, syntax, not to mention that almost all the kids, if not all of them, can write well, as opposed to only the few in classes where they only talk about the language.

    And Russ as you say it would be a fine thing to discuss rigor with them in terms of how the U.S. Department defines it. There would certainly be some heads withdrawing back into turtle shells if that happened.

  3. I think your 5-step lesson plan for being observed is great, Ben, to show what a CI teacher can do! You do suggest throwing the teachers a grammar bone, and Russ suggests throwing a writing bone. I think those are important to consider.

    I would also suggest throwing a student-to-student interactive bone, like some sort of movement Brain Break in between #2, finishing the story-asking, and #3, processing the artwork. Perhaps a Brain Break like having students turn to a neighbor to write on their back with their finger a word from the board. The student who is getting the word written on their back has to guess the word as they feel it being written on their back. Make sense? (I got that idea from Diane Neubauer’s list of Brain Breaks.)

    These different and interactive brain breaks seem to be what many observers in my room remember more than anything.

    Then again, maybe your observers, Tina, already see you as interactive and engaging. They’re going to want to see how she teaches grammar. That just might help them feel more comfortable opening up to your approach.

  4. I was just observed and did a Movie Talk (Oktapodi), did a “blind retell” (Bex) and put up a Textivate skeleton story for assessment and to prompt the retell. Smash hit, great evaluation. I deliberately did the MT bc I wanted the movie structure to carry the story, not have to create on the fly, even though I’m good at that. Happy to share my notes with anyone who wants them.

    1. I would LOVE to see your notes! I am getting observed the day that we get back from Thanksgiving and it always stresses me out to develop something that will work with what my students are used to and what will look good for checking the boxes on the stupid Danielson Framework Rubric.

    2. The MovieTalk is not something I would do but that is my own personal preference. We all do what we feel we resonate most with. If it’s input, we can do no wrong.

      (This is ben Lev in Sebastopol, CA north of SF who has been our wonderful colleague here for I am guessing since the beginning of the group ten years ago or more. Lower case b helps us not get confused).

      What is most clever is how he knows that the observer is looking for output and gives it to them. It is a better idea than mine of doing a story as usual bc the observer will get confused – she will want output, being uneducated about how people acquire languages.

      So we see the blind retell there and the observer is happy to see them speaking. And the Textivate (worth the $40 per year) is there to get some nice grammar looking stuff going on using technology but really it is great reading input.

      This plan will certainly get the boxes checked.

      ben can you refresh on Martina’s “blind retell” technique?

      And don’t forget to send me the write up of this MT observation tool ben to share with all. By the way, we are riding in 60’s and 70’s of Colorado sun warmth since October. And my lungs actually work after a year in New Delhi!

    1. I actually thought about suggesting a blind retell because it looks like the groups are really working together when all that is actually happening is that students are rereading the text. But I have moved away from it because I find that there are better ways to spend class than output. I haven’t even done any retells in L2. The research from Dr. Mason about how kids who retold stories in their L1 made bigger gains. I am thinking we could have a sort of ‘Threetell’. Here is my idea and somebody tell me if this is good or bad. (I know that’s subjective that’s why I chose those words): A student or the teacher reads the text aloud. Another student acts it out (gestures). Another student translates into L1. I know that translation is not very ‘in’ right now, but we want to show observers that they ‘get it’. They go line by line and read, act, translate. They could take turns if you want switching roles. Or get in different groups. I like that there is zero output and it engages the body as well as multiple people. But most of all it’s got that whole pair work/peer-to-peer engagement that observers seem to think is necessary. If anyone has thoughts on this or has done this in class let me know.

  5. Sounds great ben – I bet you’d get some takers on your notes for that observation. Can you send me that in the form of an article and I will post it here? I think our category for Observations is getting better!

  6. One way to get oral & written output is by captioning either screen shots in a MT or in the lil boxes on a storyboard (under the doc camera), by asking volunteers for the captions in real time. So with a piece of artwork, you can ask volunteers to write down a response to a question (Describe the octopus; or ‘how many legs does it have?’)thereby building a paragraph. After every volunteer shares out, you write a version of the response on a growing document that they can all see (live onscreen, or on paper a la Tina). You add until y’all deem it’s done, then you can have sides of the room alternate reading it sentence by sentence; or volunteers; or different voices reading it (like an opera singer, like a baby., etc)
    I think some clueless or legacy adminz would enjoy your 4 Skill Fest more if there was some entertainment, n’est-ce pas?

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