Troubleshooting Video 1 – Visceral Circling

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24 thoughts on “Troubleshooting Video 1 – Visceral Circling”

  1. Very helpful! I like being taken through the process step by step. Just this one short piece helped me realize several errors I make constantly, the main one being that I do everything as a question! No wonder it all spirals away from me. And of course I go too quickly. And I don’t repeat the sentence enough, because I am going too quickly and trying to ask a new question.

    I love the idea of making all of this visceral and the conductor analogy / intonations/ gestures really help with that. Personally I think I am three steps behind. I need to go back to scripting.

    Can’t wait to learn how to “school” Archie 🙂

  2. What a great way to learn! Thanks so much, Ben, for taking the time to show/tell us again how it’s done – and with a cliffhanger no less! I’m curious, too, how you make Archie come around – and you will, this much I have learned from you already.

    1. Archie is like anyone else – he wants to be the center of attention and liked and admired for who he is and what he does. I will post the next clip real soon. As we all know already, we get Archie to show up in class by talking about him. There is nothing more compelling to Archie and his friends than Archie and his friends. He’s got to listen so he can understand what we are saying about him! But we never leave any doubt about who is in charge. And thank you. It makes me happy to know that we have some instructional potential with these little troubleshooting vids.

  3. I’d also like to be clear that if I start putting up more of these troubleshooting videos, they are in no way meant to represent some kind of expert way of doing things.

    Rather, they are the way I myself have come to see it all, how it all has developed for me over the past twelve years of intense self reflection and trial and error in the classroom.

    I present these in exactly the same way that I present the blog content – as fodder for discussion, argument, focus on details and growth.

  4. Watching and re-watching, there are some gold nuggets in there for me:

    Feeling / Tone of voice.
    Gentle insistence on full participation — no opting out
    Taking the whole class with you back to the beginning, like going back to get poor lost Archie who got left behind.

    And you’re looking pretty buff there! Looks like you’ve been getting in some good miles on the bike.

  5. It’s called Old Man Buff. Not really buff, but I did have a good winter until the pollen took out the month of April. The pollen this year gave new meaning to the word road snot. People ride all winter here!

    And don’t forget, everyone, that Leslie Davison is organizing rides at iflt. And Ben, bring that awesome folding bike you brought here last summer if you can make it. Did you talk to Grant about rooming with him?

    Everybody bring your bikes! We’re going up Copper Mountain!

  6. Thanks for the helpful reminders. The body language is so important, being aware of your own and that of the students. I have forgotten about keeping my ears on the entire class, but my EYES on the barometer and/or difficult students. Recently my attention has been mostly on the cooperative students, because I want to give them my attention and I feel like I have been focusing too much on the difficult students lately. But it’s those other students who really NEED my attention to be on them. Not being afraid to start over, to go back, and make sure the class knows you are doing it because Archie won’t get with the program. He is now getting the attention he so desperately wants, but not on his sterms, or in the entertaining ways he had hoped. And his classmates are less impressed with this “rebel.”

    1. John,
      Have you been in my classroom? I feel like I have been doing the same thing lately.
      Tuesday, in the middle of our crazy state testing schedules, I got a new student from another school district. I don’t think he has ever heard Spanish being spoken. I had to push my reset button. I felt myself slow down and I could feel the “kethunk” as I settled into my body while circling. By going more slowly for this new student, I found a boy, who I thought was being uncooperative, who suddenly was leaning forward, answering in simple sentences in Spanish, not being uncooperative, but leaning forward and giving energy to the class. Not sucking the energy out.
      I believe Ben’s video, as always is timely, but is also a wonderful reminder to take the PQA into our bodies, so we don’t have our mind racing everywhere. When we do that I think we can really see that kid Ben talked about in the video and deal with his crap, which may really be fear; fear he won’t be cool, fear he doesn’t understand. And with one less thing to be “thinking” about maybe we can let go of our fear.

  7. Jeffery Brickler

    This video was great for me. I didn’t realize how fast I was going. By watching the video, I was able to use some of those techniques today! They were great! I really had some progress. Students were really interested. Even in one class, my most difficult student participated. We did a story with Star Wars. He loves Star Wars. I didn’t know this tidbit, because I am new to these ideas I have never PQA’ed with him. I’m willing to share if anyone wants to see it. Ben, thanks! BTW, you and my 8 month son share an awesome name!–though I call him Benjamin. 🙂

    1. Robert Harrell

      A friend of mine is a librarian. One time she was working the reference desk when a middle school student came in with a question. He had to do a research paper for early American history and couldn’t find his assigned people. Could the librarian help him find books on
      Ben Jamin and
      Frank Lin?

  8. Great video!!! thank you so much for taking the time to post this!!
    Every day I wonder if I am doing the “right thing” and doing right for the kiddos (my first year dipping my toe into TPRS!) I sure could use these great little tidbits on a regular basis!
    Thank you “Benny”!! 🙂

  9. Thank you. It’s just my style, not necessarily the right style, but if it helps at all it is a good thing. The idea is to get the basics, share, then adapt that to our own style. There never was and never will be any one way to do this.


  10. I like this idea Carol. I could just turn the camera on and explain stuff in the book.

    Oh, last summer Ben Lev came out to Boulder and he and Bryce and I went for a ride and Ben actually brought one of his bikes that folds up for easy travel. I thought it would be kind of clunky but it is actually a sleek machine.

    1. I agree, making videos explaining things in BOTH of your books would be amazing. Question: this summer there is going to be a poster page for members, right? For the metacognition and all of those other posters that have been discussed but I don’t remember all of them.

  11. Yeah I have a good idea of what exactly I personally want to start next year with in terms of posters. I’ll get to that by August so we can each pick what we want in the way of posters. Basically for me:

    Word Wall
    Question Words
    2010 Rules
    2012 Metacognition Points
    What Does Rigor Look Like?
    Location Posters

  12. Thank you, Ben. Now I have a little more courage to tell my students if they put their heads down. I am always afraid to confront a student if he/she is not paying attention because I feel like the whole class might challenge me and gang up on me.
    I also like the tone you used in the video clip and I hope I can get the students more attention by using it.

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