We Power Our Way

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12 thoughts on “We Power Our Way”

  1. I’m still trying to make a 5 day plan work for me. I’m able to do PQA on Mondays, story Tuesdays, and reading Wednesday. But I really, really, really struggle with making a reading last 2 days. And Friday? I’m usually winging it with games, a novel (if I didn’t do it Thursday, or I do it both because I don’t know what to do).

    So, since you’re doing the Talks Too Much story this week, can you give us day-by-day updates on what you did and how? I understand you did PQA today, and you’ll probably do a story tomorrow. Then, on Wed and Thursday can you tell us EXACTLY what you did for the whole period each day, and how you did it? I’ve gotta make these readings last longer, especially because I love reading days (they’re easy).

  2. Chris,

    I feel what you’re saying. I’m trying decide what scripts to use. I’m torn between LICT and Matava. The confusion comes from having read Blaine’s explanation of why he begins with those 1st five structures, concentrating on the “to be” verb and I ask myself if Matava’s scripts will help my new-to-CI students develop the core structures needed or if they will lead us off into wild stories with little focus.

    I hate that this sounds like blame because I know what happens is due to my stepping out of bounds…again though, I am going to repeat something I posted just today in the Word Wall thread (plz check it out) many of my concerns are because I’m worried I won’t be able to PROVE…somehow….how?…..that I taught what the other teachers are teaching with regard to benchmarks.

    1. I started the year off with Chapter 1 of LICT and it went well. But it’s gotten extremely confusing after that. So I”m doing a blend of LICT and Matava/Tripp scripts. I’m finding scripts that lend themselves to the structures that are next in LICT and I do some tweaks and voila, I have a pretty good story.

      As far as your word wall question, which I read…… I don’t have a word wall because I”m unsure of what words I would use. As far as the district mandated vocabulary, here’s what I’m doing this year:

      -I’m doing my own thing with LICT, Matava, Tripp, and other materials I have (novels, a level 1 Don Quijote legend, etc.). And that’s what I’m going to do and nobody’s going to tell me differently……because I don’t like being told what to do.
      -But I still feel fear, I’m still capable of that emotion (for now). I know there are words that my kids need to know for Spanish 2. So I’m doing something that I shouldn’t do because it’s not acquisition friendly, but I feel I have no other choice. I’m giving out vocabulary lists each Monday of 10 vocabulary words or phrases. On Fridays, we have vocab quizzes (translate from Spanish to English). They’re cumulative and I randomly during the week give quizzes of previous weeks’ vocabulary, just to make sure they’re staying on it. I know that this isn’t acquisition/CI/TPRS friendly at all, but I don’t want to teach those words, so I’m leaving it up to the students. I want class time to be spent on comprehensible input. And, to use a buzz word, by doing this I’m “flipping the classroom” by having them do learning outside of class!

  3. Thanks Chris.
    You get to the core of my concern very well: I want a class totally focused on CI, I know there are certain lists of vocabulary other teachers will expect my kids to know after the flame is passed, but I don’t want to teach these words nor do I want to force kids to memorize them because it is in opposition to the research on language-learning.
    That’s why I decided to take the end-of-chapter vocabulary lists from the text book and mix them out of their thematic order and put them on easel paper and call it Word Wall (as per a suggestion I read somewhere here).

    Now, I know I can just incorporate them into PQA and CI but The Fear (and yes, it should be capitalized as if it were a live thing that could eat me whole the moment I walk through the lobby doors)

  4. (Continued)
    …The Fear that tells me I should be filling up their binders with vocabulary quizzes like the ones on nationality vocabulary I spotted on a colleague’s desk. I should send them home with these for parents to notice so no one starts to gather troupes and light their fires and sharpen pitch forks.

    The Fear that began to grow around the same time I discovered TPRS and was reminded of my 1st department meeting at which we came up with percentages for the gradebook as per admin request so that “parents could see that their little Johnny was being given the same grade set up as their neighbor’s little Susy.”

    1. I say if Johnny’s parents ask, explain why you do things the way you do. Explain what the research says and that what you are doing for Johnny is best practice. End of discussion because Johnny’s parents can’t argue with research.

      I like your idea of the word wall. But I think I”m too lazy to make a word wall and hang it all up. I actually haven’t done a vocab list last week or this week yet because I don’t like it. But it’s The Fear….The Blob……..The Creature from the Black Lagoon that is driving that vocab quiz idea decision.

      Next week I might pass out a vocab list, but maybe not. I”m not sure

    1. I covered a Chemistry class today for a sick colleague and there happened to be a good number of my Freshmen boys. There is a native Peruvian in that class and do you know that my being there started them in on speaking Spanish to tell the native kid the whacky stuff they remembered?! These are “Level 1” kids. Do you know at one point the native boys says to me I’m Spanish, “Wow, you’re teaching them well. They sure know a lot and they sound good!”

      It’s stuff like that which keeps me going and I sometimes fail to mention here. You should make a sticky just for us to share those superstar moments.

      P.S. I found that song while planning my wedding 2 yrs ago. I’m glad my bridesmaids talked me out of putting it on the DJ playlist. ;0)

  5. Jen this is from Huffington Post tonite, at this link. It’s a grandad writing his last letter to his grandchildren:


    Text below:

    …be not afraid . . . of anyone or of anything when it comes to living your life most fully. Pursue your hopes and your dreams no matter how difficult or “different” they may seem to others. Far too many people don’t do what they want or should do because of what they imagine others may think or say. Remember, if they don’t bring you chicken soup when you’re sick or stand by you when you’re in trouble, they don’t matter. Avoid those sour-souled pessimists who listen to your dreams then say, “Yeah, but what if . . .” The heck with “what if. . .” Do it! The worst thing in life is to look back and say: “I would have; I could have; I should have.” Take risks, make mistakes….

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