Visual PQA – 6

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27 thoughts on “Visual PQA – 6”

  1. Me too. We could have them in various languages but I want to know how the editing tool in PP works, so we can switch out languages as well. It feels to me like we will all need a little time to get this big bad strategy working but it will be worth it.

  2. Thank you for sending this Ben! Of course seeing this PP brings many questions to mind: Does Julie ever do stories? Does she have a script writer, quiz writer, and counters when she is doing this Visual PQA? (Reading? Quizzes?) How long does Julie stay on one particular slide show? How many slide shows does she create in a year? These are a few of the questions that popped up right away.

  3. Q. Does Julie ever do stories?
    A. Yes. She does them sometimes before this work, to set up the Visual PQA classes. She could probably use the slides to set up a story for later. There are no rules. But I know she told me that she does stories as part of the process. I think it is fantastic. We now have the option to take three structures and do the regular three step process from a script (Julie doesn’t work from a script – again, it doesn’t matter), and that would take three or four days, and then do the slide show. Hey, I just realized that if Julie did a story before the slide show that would explain all the output from the kids, since they had like three days of extra input before she got to the debate, which is kind of the final step of the entire Visual PQA process.
    Q. Does she have a script writer, quiz writer, and counters when she is doing this Visual PQA? (Reading? Quizzes?)
    A. Yes and we all need to totally keep in mind that those jobs you mentioned are universal and key to our success, so we would use them all the time. All the time for everything.
    Q. How long does Julie stay on one particular slide show?
    A. Average of two minutes for each slide. A little less for the simpler slides, up to three or even four minutes for the more complex ones.
    Q. How many slide shows does she create in a year?
    A. A lot. But once we get the google folder up as a hard link we won’t need, nor would it be proper, to lean on her for slide shows on three targets. Julie’s husband told me she spends far too much time at home doing these. We need to make this VPQA data base our own by all contributing our own PP slide shows as well and so maybe help Julie save some time herself. Send them to me as soon as you hit your first home run class with this stuff.

    1. Ah, now it’s a possibility because you said: “We now have the option to take three structures and do the regular three step process from a script (Julie doesn’t work from a script – again, it doesn’t matter), and that would take three or four days, and then do the slide show. Hey, I just realized that if Julie did a story before the slide show that would explain all the output from the kids, since they had like three days of extra input before she got to the debate, which is kind of the final step of the entire Visual PQA process.”
      I have to front-load the auditory piece before we look at characters. Done after auditory input, though, it would work for me. In fact, I do that and did that today with Chinese 1. PowerPoint slides with pictures and two or three statements – true/false but often more like inference and opinion discussion points. An excuse to read about somewhat fun pictures. But I got that one ready in about 15 minutes.
      Vent: I am wiped out! This afternoon’s classes were the hardest to manage all year, as far as I remember. I sent a kid out of Chinese 2 – my most immature student in any class – because he wouldn’t stop doing stupid stuff. I’ve written to his parents and it’s entered in the behavioral notes on him. (Here’s hoping they don’t get the kid’s version and believe that instead.) I will not do another Kahoot for them for a long, long time (a request of theirs – Kahoot is an online question format using cellphones to pick an answer, and scoring can allow for a “winner”). Chinese 1 was much more cooperative but chatty and flaky. Friday afternoons are the hardest always, and with the younger students it exaggerates that. But Friday afternoon a day after a snow day… it might as well have been the day before a vacation! Whew. Thank you, vent over.

    1. Thank you for noticing, Ben. I think it was maybe my least favorite afternoon of teaching at my new school. Which is to say, I’ve had worse! Lots worse! Ha ha! I was tired, kids are tired at this time of year and on Fri. afternoon, and especially right after a snow day. We have 4 weeks before spring break. A colleague spoke this week about how these next 4 weeks are annually the most difficult stretch of the year. I think I might agree this year.
      Nope, they’re not allowed English except if I ask for translation, or they have a question about meaning that they can’t otherwise ask, but they care less about their grade (jGR) than about talking sometimes and I think sometimes they just don’t buy in. I’m speaking of Chinese 2 here. A LOT of them do get it & I’m happy to recall that now. We were reading today (which means occasional English in checking comprehension). Some are totally great and openly critical of classmates who blow it. But I realize two things:
      1. The disciplinary aspect of teaching is my least favorite. I thought it was standardized tests last week, but no, and it’s not grading either – it’s classroom management. I have been praying directly about that class and being the teacher they require. One thing good about today: I never lost my cool once. When they talked over, I stopped, I waited. Then we went on, repeating whatever they talked over until they hadn’t spoken over me. But I didn’t enjoy myself for most of class. (I’m speaking of Chinese 2; really Chinese 1 was just a typical Friday last period, just squirrely.) I have to make this feel more fun somehow. Maybe I will keep a silent tally of times I have to stop and wait before continuing, and let the kids wonder what I’m tallying. That kind of thing makes it more fun for me.
      2. I still have unconscious fear about enrollment, and therefore my job security. It’s not a conscious fear, and mentally I reject it (hey, I can find another job) but when I reflect later on about days like today, there it is, a really nasty fear. (Used to be worse!) I have small class sections. That almost everyone in the school’s second question to me is, “How many students do you have?” doesn’t help! It feels like asking how many months a cancer patient has been told to expect. So far no one seems to get why that question bothers me so much. I feel judged by it. Subconsciously I think that drives me away from being tough with the kids who need to be more respectful and decide to enjoy the lesson plan without side comments in English. Perhaps I am the only teacher asking that of them?? How can that really be.
      On a more positive note, I didn’t get back to see your & Michele’s comments until late because I sold tickets & then watched playoff basketball games at school. Both girls and boys won, and the boys’ game started out looking like we’d lose. Turned around and there were some really great plays.

      1. This addition to the blurting thread is important. Your prioritizing classroom management as the biggest of our concerns is significant.
        So are those Chinese 2 kids sophomores? That would explain a lot right there.
        Diane you said:
        …they’re not allowed English except if I ask for translation, or they have a question about meaning that they can’t otherwise ask, but they care less about their grade (jGR) than about talking sometimes and I think sometimes they just don’t buy in….
        So maybe we need to re-evaluate jGR as a classroom management tool. After all the hoopla, does it even work for the majority of the group who utilize it? It may not. And if it doesn’t work, is that because it is flawed or because we fail to implement Do we need to chuck it and rely more on our own gut-based personal power to keep the blurting from happening?
        I am in agreement with you. Classroom management is the big deal. L1/L2 thing is everything. Simply put, I think that when we allow small amounts of English this permission becomes more English than we can handle. Clearly we haven’t resolved this discussion, which now has 179 comments.

        1. Hi Ben,
          Sorry to have hijacked the vPQA post here.
          9 of 11 of them are sophomores; another is the most immature freshmen boy I teach (reminds me of 6th grade issues with noise and attention-getting); another is a powerhouse (in buy-in and in language progress…wow) of a junior who likes her classmates, but sees the benefits and talks in Chinese almost all the time.
          The first day of school (!) one of them told me that they were chatty and weren’t going to be easy to handle. This wasn’t voiced like an aggressive challenge (plus it was already obvious on day 1 he was being descriptive). Apparently, last year when 10 of them were in Chinese 1 together, they were pretty awful for that teacher. So I had a class culture to enter and change. Somewhat has changed, actually.
          One problem with jGR is its percentage, which I cannot change: 30%. Not enough. Keeps their overall grade a bit lower but not enough for some of them to be bothered. (Those who are bothered by not getting an A have changed.) Another problem: I don’t think that these kids think it’s a problem when they say something in English supposedly “in response” to what the Chinese is. Some apparently did this last year and feel they’ve done well in the language anyway. This isn’t a quick blurt of excited English. I know that one boy who is a stronger student doesn’t believe he needs to stop the English and only speak Chinese (we’ve talked). I assess it as he thinks he’s doing well enough (but not all his classmates are yet, and he’s hindering that – plus how much more would he get? he thinks it’s enough now and would rather disrupt).
          My response needs to be different, too; I have never to speak in English to do classroom management stuff, which I have wrongly been drawn into as a bad habit. Like elementary teachers, one of my major opportunities to use Chinese with that class is in redirecting them. Two things about that: they “don’t hear” Chinese and it has been a reason I would switch. So then it’d be a language battle that they won instead of me. No good. This is what I meant about being the teacher they need. Not letting up on what is right, and thinking long-term instead of short-term about each opportunity in class.

          1. Yes we have certainly been over the percentage of jGR thing enough. 65% is needed, as skewed as that sounds, in my opinion.
            Also:
            …I don’t think that these kids think it’s a problem when they say something in English supposedly “in response” to what the Chinese is….
            That supports my recent position that no L1 use from the kids is a very valuable thing, a great thing.

          2. …he thinks it’s enough now and would rather disrupt….
            This is bad and needs fixin’. See that is my point again. I know from personal experience that that kid, or the many like him whom I have taught, would have had to have been stopped in the first five minutes of the first class. That’s the point I’ve been trying to make but I’m not getting much love on it here from anyone.

          3. …I have never to speak in English to do classroom management stuff, which I have wrongly been drawn into as a bad habit….
            When we speak to them in English while telling them not to speak English we destroy our credibility. They see it and act accordingly. It’s vicious and they take no prisoners. The inmates end up running the asylum.
            Here again, we see the value of just staying in L2 and that’s the end of it. Directions in L2, class in L2, time out for INFREQUENT team building in English, but never mixing the two languages, which leads to kids giving themselves permission to say whatever they want whenever they want because that’s what they see the teacher doing. Our modeling – and no amount of admonishing can prevent it – sets up their behavior.

          4. Yor are right on that when we mix languages it gives them permission to do it also. I have been working on my language and am seeing less blurting. One more positive is that there is less class time with the same people and others are stepping up. I let them know that I had allowed some of this problem and take total credit for the problem but now I am holding myself and them to a higher level. It is not easy but many worthwhile things are not easy. I don’t want to fail my students by not giving them what they need. I have had some success and some failure with the 10minute deal. I have found a couple of students watch the clock and it has sent the wrong message that it will be over soon. So I don’t use it any more. What I have done is have a bail out move ready. I know that this late in the year it is difficult but every minute we lose is a wasted minute. Because of this, I thank you for keeping this conversation alive.
            Large classes have issues like really small classes. The other day I had a couple of classes with 8 or 9 absent. These days were much easier to stay in Spanish. Do you have other advice to help with large classes?

          5. Thanks for sharing this, Melissa. Agree with what you said about both use of language and the 10-min. deal. 10-minutes helped me for about 3 days, I would say, then one or two decided it just meant they still could blurt and just wait longer for a break. That irritated classmates though.

          6. Large classes need more frequent seating chart changes. They will grouse, but there is no choice. It is not natural to work with a group of 30 or 35 hormone cases (teenagers) at once. Therefore, frequent moving around, certainly allow no cliques to form, and especially don’t let them try to guilt you when you move them. They cannot be allowed to use the size of the class to get away with anything. This is about personal power – ours. It sure makes the case for allowing no L1 from kids.

          7. Yes, agreed and I did catch this kid on day 1. But it was the whole class there at the beginning of the year. It was a class culture to talk whenever they wanted. I do think that a lot of problems yesterday were worse because of other factors (one being my fatigue, which I still feel).

  4. Hope it’s better now, Diane! We’re headed to spring break after next week…same sort of craziness going on!
    I haven’t been part of the conversation, so I’m wondering whether this (non-story, really boring reading that I was jazzing up) powerpoint presentation will be interesting or worthy as part of the discussion:
    https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1T6vw3TiImty5Luir8R1v93ukv2E6_resY5XCrBz4KBQ/edit?usp=sharing
    If you put it into presentational mode, you can see that we would talk about each slide for a while and then the kids would decide which of the answers is correct. Wrong answers make you have to re-read and remember the right answers. If you have computer access and need a day to let kids tinker and read slides, they can come up with alternate realities for stories the class has already written.

    1. Michele, I think this looks like a cool way to discuss a story or novel after reading. It’s a way to revisit a story (even a boring one) and get more language reps in an interesting and different way, when you otherwise might just be done with it. I haven’t quite figured out the links part, but will look again. It also made me want to learn Russian.
      How did it work for you and your students? Did you do it both ways, as a class and with kids on their own computers?
      I’m going to ask Ben about sharing other materials like this in one place, like we are doing with the Visual PQA slide shows. It’s really hard to find links in the comments.
      It’s another example of something that takes time to create and would be great to share. Thanks!

  5. Hi all! Julie here. I wanted to take some time to respond of the questions you have raised about exactly how the visuals are utilized in my classes and how I facilitate the Visual PQA…
    Don,
    (Of course seeing this PP brings many questions to mind: Does Julie ever do stories? Does she have a script writer, quiz writer, and counters when she is doing this Visual PQA? (Reading? Quizzes?) How long does Julie stay on one particular slide show? How many slide shows does she create in a year?)
    Everytime I teach new vocabulary structures, there will always be some sort of story to follow. Sometimes I do have a quiz writer or script writer and counters, but not always. The quiz writer and script writer would be used when I am asking the story or circling. The counters would be for the PQA process. I will show you what the format is like that I have in my 6,7 and 8th grade classes:
    Day One-Introduction of the new structures-establish meaning and gestures, etc.
    Depending on the structures and how my students react, what they give me, etc-I may spend anywhere from 15 minutes-2 days on one single structure. My goal is natural conversation and high-interest and engaging contexts, so my goal is to frame the new structures within a context that I know students will be able to “go somewhere with them”–all the while facilitating the conversation and question asking to maximize the reps and for students to continue to get to know each other even better in the class. Compare/contrast is a really rich tool in this step of the process, because you can constantly be comparing and contrasting the information the students give you with each other and even yourself. The amount of slides I create–good question–I would say…enough! The first slide shows the structure in the first person present, third person present and the third person past. That way we can speak about ourselves and each other. I have an image linked to the slide where students can see the word and have a visual to connect with. From there, I just think of high interest connections and situations to supplement the teaching of the structure while also affording a natural context for them to see it in. An example would be for the structure play. After establishing meaning and gesture, I would show a slide with kids playing sports and would teach the word “deportes” as well and then I would have a following slides with the question-Which sport(s) do you play? And I would have a list of the sports with small images. From there I would field their answers and compare and contrast them with each other and maybe even go so far as to compare them to famous athletes using better or more. Do you see? The goal is natural, engaging conversation that allows the students to almost forget they are hearing the TL the whole time and just to be engaged!
    How many slides do I create a year? I teach 6,7 and 8 grades at my school. I am the only teacher and have completely created my own curriculum. I teach between 3-6 structures a week for each of my classes. Every time I introduce new structures, I create a slideshow in this manner to have them be prepared for the next step (the story). My slideshows typically have between 20-30 slides. I guess from there you can just do the math, haha. The beauty of it is that once I have created the slideshow, it’s done! From there, I am able to go back and adjust for future years and classes!
    Once the PQA piece is saturated for reps, we move on to the story. I also have a skeleton plot-line for the story (the bare bones of the story and problem). From there, I have student volunteers adding in and offering up ideas as we co-create the story. This usually take a day to complete. From there the writing and reading options are diverse–I have my students rewrite the story using pictures I took, they may just retell the story with the pictures, we could read the story together as a class, individually, in pairs, using story strips, etc! The options are endless. Then comes the novel or authentic text reading day-this is a supplemental activity but nonetheless very powerful. Students are given yet another opportunity to engage with the language and the target structures. From here, I simply plan more comprehension activities to work with the text.
    I hope this explanation helps. Please let me know if any of you may have questions. Suerte!

  6. Hi Julie,
    Thank you for your PQA PowerPoint and your explanation!
    I understand your sequence to be as follows:
    1. Choose 3 structures from a novel or authentic reading.
    2. Create the PP PQA presentation.
    3. Do the PP PQA.
    4. Ask a story based on the structures.
    5. Give a quiz and read the story.
    6. Read the novel or authentic reading.
    Is this correct?

  7. Don, this is all correct. The amount of structures may vary depending on the time we have and the difficulty of the structures. There are weeks where I do up to 5 or 6.

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