Yesterday we had our final video study group meeting of this year and I’m looking forward to how this will help me going forward next year. The video itself didn’t work out this time, so we spent our time reviewing and discussing Laurie’s facets of embedded readings, followed by looking at her great choose your own adventure powerpoint. One group member who teaches three section of Spanish I noted that having students in each section develop different parts of a given embedded reading would really be helpful in not only adding variety to her sections but in building a compelling storyline.
One thing that Carla reminded me of was that Laurie’s first embedded reading were based on student writings instead of entirely self-generated, and after all I did with writing in my class this year, I think I could use them as a useful follow-up to reading novels. My upper level students complained incessantly towards the end of the year that they didn’t care so much for my novel selection, and I never found a method of doing parallel stories that really satisfied me. I wonder if I could use the first levels of embedded readings to more or less recap those stories: have students write up summaries for me as well as variations. Then after reading the first couple of levels that basically recap the basic story, I could trot out several different level three and four embedded stories for a) increased repetition, and b) finding ways for them to give the stories their own flavor.
Finally, and something I’m going to spin out further in an upcoming blog post, Carla is starting to organize a PQA wiki that would allow us to work together in coming up with power approaches to creating PQA for specific vocabulary words. We brainstormed a few possibilities together with some nice results. I’m looking forward to seeing how this will turn out.