Update – 1

When all the back posts (almost 6,000) and comments (44,000) are protected, the appearance of the blog will return to normal. We can only protect 250 at a time so it won’t be done for awhile. But in the meantime we can read new stuff and some comments. I know it’s weird. Give it a week and it will be back to normal again.

At this point we have a serious backlog of PLC articles. I will post them when I can.

On a personal note, and I touched on this last week, I feel that I have found – for me in my own CI classroom anyway – in the “Invisibles” concept what may be the biggest breakthrough in TPRS ever – no hyperbole there.

When we start a story with “Class there was a (insert a character/clay model that they created/own/drew on a portable whiteboard)” instead of (a boy/girl), it ratchets thing up in a bodacious way. Then we go to “where”, then “with whom”, then we get a problem and boom off we go much faster and with much more student involvement than the old way.

I just want to say that here again because I didn’t see a lot of discussion about it when I published that article two weeks ago. I know Alisa is looking at it. Trust me, it’s knocking my class up about fifty levels from the kind of TPRS I used to do. I will present it at iFLT and Agen.





4 thoughts on “Update – 1”

  1. The basic idea behind The Invisibles is to collaborate to create a character. Then, that becomes a class character to be used in future stories. Right?

    I think it’s a riff you have been on Ben, since the idea of The Realm. Similar idea behind Dungeons & Dragons, I think (I barely have a grasp on D&D). I’ve been thinking lately of how I can adapt storytelling games and role-playing games for my class. Mafia is another such game.

    The issue becomes the output demands during the games. We have to find a way to be the narrators, or in the case of D&D, the “Dungeon Master.” 🙂

  2. Not quite the same as the Invisibles, but maybe some of the same good feeling added to class:

    This reminds me of class inside jokes: recurring characters, or locations, that the students keep suggesting within a particular class over the school year. It’s so great when that happens.

    There are some little Playskool people and small stuffed animals in my room. They’re there to be general props as well as characters in stories. In my upper level class, one of the boys is very good at keeping track of which Playskool character is which (remembering details from last school year, too). There’s Taylor Swift, a character known as Xiao Pangzi (little chubby — a nickname in China), a purple hippo, a cow named Winston…

    I’ll introduce them to Year of the Monkey little mascots tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing what they’ll be called & how they’ll get use in class. I bought beanie baby-sized monkeys at a thrift store, super cheap. For the Year of the Sheep we have had Huhu (“beardy”) and Karl (a female sheep – her parents were confused about what a girl’s name or boy’s name is). We toss them around the room at times, too.

  3. Yep! I have “Fish-Bear,” a small blue teddy bear that just two days ago became fish bear because he has a scaly pattern on him. One of the 8th graders said “his father was a fish.” So we got that going.

    Back at my old school I had these super cheesy creepily ugly ceramic “track & field” statues that I used to use for “trophies” at the end of the season in middle school track. “Trophies” aka winning team from “goofy relays” got to pose for a photo with cheesy statue. They are wearing 70’s style “track uniforms” with ridiculously short shorts their faces are “Chucky” like. Ew.

    In French class the girl became “Colette Junior” and I would break her out when things got dull, much to the horror of the students, who would be genuinely terrified (nooooooo! ). Or one of the kids would shout out “Colette Junior” whenever we needed a female character. Ownership and belonging definitely ramp up with this stuff. Of course you cannot write it into your lesson plan / unit template bc it is actually real.

  4. I have characters in my stories that keep showing up again and again: a huge fat stuffed cat named Pacer; my own version of Joe Nelson’s “Bebé Malo” which is a baby doll that some kids marked up with red and black markers, creepy and scary; a funky little gnome named Gnomen Clature who gets in trouble but is kind-hearted… they like that these guys keep showing up, maybe it’s reassuring to see them over and over and watch them evolve in our weird stories…

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