53 Reasons Why I Prefer NTCI

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13 thoughts on “53 Reasons Why I Prefer NTCI”

  1. Interesting reading as always, Ben. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    I must admit I do word lists from stories I told the way Beniko Mason does or from stories we do with OWIs but I’d rather not. The thing is, the kids get in their second FL (Russian) grammar execises and word lists and I wouldn’t want parents blowing down my neck. I’ve written a letter to the parents explaining why I don’t do grammar exercises but not giving the kids vocabulary lists would probably be too much even for the most understanding parents. Furthermore, the kids themselves expect this kind of ‘learning’.

    Anyway, I’m much happier with my teaching since I discovered NTCI. Thank you ever so much!

  2. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    Like so much of what many of us do, we can document our work…after the fact.
    So say you use a Mason-style ‘prompter’ – that’s what she calls the word list that she uses as a sort of road map as she tells and draws elements of the story.
    After you actually tell the Story Listening story, (in my case you may have the opportunity to repeat again and again, refining and adjusting each time -since I usu teach 6-9 classes per day!) you can decide then and there which of the many many words, verb chunks, phrases, etc. you want to include on the ‘vocab list’ that you are obligated to produce and send home, winnowing out the ones that are outliers that you really only needed for that particular story (spinning wheel; beanstalk, basket, etc…).
    You can add them to a google doc table and with each story, input the story title/date, and the new words or recycled targets from the story. Thus you have a school-looking curricular document without hardly any extra effort… You could even have ‘have to know’ and ‘nice to know’; or “core” and ‘ancillary’ designations and columns. I don’t really have to do this much but somehow it allows everyone to breathe when requested and produced. My point is that we can do it AFTER THE FACT, once we see which ‘targets’ are really at play…

    1. Yes after the fact is real nice, Alisa. Ben, I use gestures for my own self mainly. I tell students, I’ll use this gesture whenever i use any version of Faire. If i throw it behind me, itll be in the past tense. I do make studenta geatire as a class because I need the break to go slow and maybe think about recycling the story. Lastly, i do ask questuons of interest to my atudemta individually. I do this after i have done card talk with my more extroverted students, when trust has developed and I have seen shy studenta laugh. I am genuinely interested if they sleep well, if they stress abiut grades or if they play video games like their friends. It is never a got cha moment when i use to make reading from the back of the room seem like an interrogation.

  3. Ben, you talk here about not using celebrities in stories.
    I’m wondering if you ban them outright? When I ask “with whom”, kids invariably want to give names from the popular culture. My rule is I have to know the person, which eliminates about 95% of it, but (sadly) even I with no TV and very little internet use know who who the kardashians, etc. are. When the only suggestions I get from kids are celebrities I don’t know what to do.

    1. Hi Anne. I would just use the existing OWIs you have made in class. Model by suggesting them as you ask students “who came?/arrived” or use the “Un Secreto” move where you are the one taking over and saying “Class! _[insert OWI] arrived!”

      For me, the problem with celebrities is not knowing how they act and students get in an uproar for the ones they do not like. They blurt out!

  4. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    My colleague comes up with a list of legit pop culture characters for stories with her Ss during the first few days. She tells the Ss that she will vet the characters for appropriateness before ‘allowing them in’ to the story. She puts them on a big list after she vets them -not on the list and unfamiliar? Sorry, can’t use it.
    She encourages them to only suggest ‘safe’ characters when it’s not a made-up one.
    I like ohe idea of creating some OWIs early in the fall, exposing the batch of characters to all the classes, and allowing these newly minted characters to be in subsequent stories…I’m gonna experiment more w/that this yr…
    Also using names of other teachers and school personnel (principal, secretary, custodian, etc…)

  5. Often what I do if a class comes up with a famous person as a character is to describe and draw (rather, attempt to draw, lol) that character on the board, asking the class for any relevant characteristics. Don’t forget about profe #2 to help you decide on a character. You can check with that profe #2 if the famous person is appropriate.

  6. alexanderegorovich

    To confirm the whole idea, I also want to add that it became crystal clear to me 6 months ago that the slightest shift in a class CONTEXT – changed moods; missing or new students; age-turning globe news – can make all your preplanned or target-based stuff fall apart.

    1. alexanderegorovich

      You kidding me, Ben!

      Thank you for the zoom class today. Another half of comprehension came when I found out a ‘pin speaker’ feature on zoom. When I had you for fullscreen, I was able to read, which turned out to be crucial. Before I thought hearing was enough.

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