Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Responses to Comment - Pacing and Lessons

The following is part two of a response to a comment.

Someone recently asked on a comment:
Hola Jeremy - this is really funny and I've very impressed. I teach Spanish I and I'm in awe at the complexity and level you're introducing to students. I'm really interested in knowing more about how you pace your content and your lessons (in 90 min classes and shorter periods). Just a suggestion for a future blog post. Gracias!

Part #2: " I'm really interested in knowing more about how you pace your content and your lessons"
So what I worked on doing (as you can probably see in my blog) is that I worked at Backwards planning through TPRS novels last year and the previous years to help my kids be successful.  The idea was to load the kids up with Comprehensible Input (via PQA, TPRS, etc) all semester so when they got to the novels, they could read most of it with ease.

Then this year, due to some departmental ideas and past experiences (i.e. the novels CONSUMING my class time and my not getting as far with students as I wanted), I decided this year to work on using the New edition of Blaine Ray's Look I can Talk which contains story scripts and has a nice progression for those starting out in storytelling (a la TPRS).  But I have strayed from that to tweak some min-units that I came up with last year (and invent some new stuff).

Nevertheless, I can only ever really plan a week or two at a time (effectively) with block scheduling. And I find that I always over plan and never accomplish as much as I would like.

I see my students every other day for 90 minutes.

And so I pick out some story structures, and then I might do the following in a 20-40 minute chunk during class each day for two weeks.

When planning out a story skeleton, I can just look in some different resources and bend them to my needs, or I can look at what my kids don't know yet (that Spanish 2 teachers want them to know, or will show up soon in our novel) and I can create a story skeleton.

A story skeleton consists of 3 or so story structures (could be a verb or an entire phrase) that I want to practice over and over again.

There are times I plan the story skeleton based around a movie, short, commercial, song, etc (see celosalmaguy in bedI have an app for that)

And it's always important to teach new words while re-contextualizing old words (and presenting first/second person of older words as well!)

Once I determine my story skeleton, here's what I do.  The idea for how I pace my storytelling is based around Ben Slavic's block plan (if I remember).

usually day 1:
Step 1: TPR of phrases (establish meaning/gestures/practice/stand up/move around)
Step 2: PQA (ask the students questions using targets structures... either as fodder for a story, or simply to chat with them)

day 2: (do step 1 again as needed)
Step 3: tell spoken story in Past tense (establish character, problem with structures if not more)

day 3:
Step 4: review story from previous day and try to solve problem in multiple locations/days/etc

day 4: review story/finish story,
Step 5: additional pass(es) of story in some way
     have students retell partner,
     look at drawings of story,
     write a retelling of story,
     draw scenes I dictate,
     maybe even do an embedded reading of THEIR class story in past tense if needed.

day 5: review story (as needed), review TPR phrases (as needed)
Step 6: have them read a similar story (my original story skeleton or another classes' story but in the present tense)
Step 7: present embedded versions of story to them
Step 8: ask questions during reading, between paragraphs, ask about them/their lives, etc
Step 9: act out if needed

This isn't a perfect system. There are interruptions in my plans constantly.  I have been known to try to tell a spoken story for 4-5 days this year only because time isn't my friend and I have so many other things I am trying to do with them.

In the other parts of class we have different warm up activities each day as well.

And whenever possible I try to bring in Music (via a kids' song with gestures or maybe a Señor Wooly song or a pop-song).

Oh and I always have to do PAT on Fridays.

No comments:

Post a Comment