I've heard it said that people can pay attention, typically, one minute for every minute of their age.
My students are 14-18.
I teach on a 90-minute block.
Which means that on average, after about 15 minutes, my students are physically incapable of paying attention. I teach on a 90-minute block. 90/15 = 6.
6 changes in tempo. 6 breaks in the action. This was a daunting number to see. I use a lot of activities in class, I work hard to engage students. I've even considered myself creative from time to time. But to do 6 changes of gear during one class period?
What if what...
This year I read El capibara con botas by Mira Canion in my Spanish 1 class. We started this book on roughly our 8th day of every-other-day of block scheduling classes. Which means in a typical HS schedule, this was about Day 12. I can't stress how impressed I am that Mira was able to write a
book that is comprehensible this early in the year. There are very few books that would be approachable this early in the year. The only other one I know of is Pobre Ana by Blaine Ray.
In a workshop recently, Mike Coxon said he was told by a professor that the key to success in education was "CASE: Copy And Steal Everything".
Of course, you want to make sure to give credit where it is due and respect other teachers' copyrights and intellectual property. So in this first homage to that philosophy, I bring you the best new thing I've stolen--Strip Bingo.
No. Not THAT kind of strip. Although kids will appreciate that name! It's funny! But be careful if you send a bunch of kids home telling their parents that they played Strip Bingo in class...could...
Posted by: Kelly
August 20, 2016 |
August 20, 2016
An hour and a half. To some people the idea of trying to engage students for this immense amount of time is frightening. It must be impossible! And to do a TPRS class for 90 minutes? How does one sustain that energy?
On the other hand, there are plenty of other teachers who find themselves on the opposite end of the scale. 90 minutes would be a luxury, the Jacuzzi tub of class periods. How wonderful it must be to have all the time you want (and more) in a day with your students, instead of rushing through a 42-minute class.
No matter your comfort...
Among several proficient and reputed experts of TPRS (Teaching Proficiency Through Reading & Storytelling), there has been some discussion about how one defines oneself. There is no shortage of acronyms to go around, of course, but recently there has been a significant number of teachers dropping the TPRS label and instead referring to themselves as CI teachers. CI? No, people are fans of this site enough to have become CI teachers in my honor. In this case, CI stands for Comprehensible Input.
Comprehensible Input isn't a technique. It isn't a method. It isn't even a philosophy.
At the start of every school year, I find myself faced with a dilemma. No, not what to teach. See my post on How I started the year to see why that isn't a stressor for me. My dilemma surrounds my syllabus. Syllabi. I know there is important information I want students to know. I know that students don't want to read a long document. These are 21st century kids. Snapchat kids. Twitter kids. They want fast, brief information. How can my grading practices possibly be described in 140 characters. Well, okay,...
Posted by: Kelly
October 6, 2015 |
October 6, 2015
In preparation for an upcoming workshop in her district in Washington, DC, Amy Wopat asked teachers on the IFLT/NTPRS/CI facebook group to give a quote about what CI means to them. This got me thinking. In my journey to teach using Comprehensible Input (CI)-based methods, what DOES this mean to me? While many think of CI teaching as another name for TPRS, I think of it as much, much more.
So what does CI mean to me?
It means getting to know my students. We have real conversations. We talk about who they are. The class follows their interests. We talk about things that...
Oh. My. Gosh. You guys, this BLEW MY MIND today during our meeting! I had to share it with you immediately. Forget about my "CI in other subjects" post I said I was going to do. Forget about the post about the awesome Canadian article that is started and sitting in my drafts. This is fantastic.
Today at my department chair meeting we were told to bring with us a task. This was to have been a task that we asked students to complete that brings one of our "Lancer 9" Common Core Standards to life. Our building has narrowed the CCSS for Literacy in All Subjects to 9 most critical for our...
Posted by: Kelly
September 3, 2015 |
September 3, 2015
One of the most common issues teachers new to TPRS/CI have is how to start. The neat thing is, that there are ways to start that make it very comfortable (What?! It isn't awkward to just jump right into Spanish?!) and to help build relationships with our students. Remember, it is in these first days that students make their initial assessment about liking this class or disliking it. Sure, those impressions can change, but why not get off to a good start in ALL ways at once.
My beginning of the year is something that, like all ideas, I stole from colleagues (namely Ben...