Just finished a German I class where I asked somebody to keep track of how often I used each target phrase.  The day before I had 71 reps of the first two phrases (looks for, finds), but I was seriously slacking on the third (gives) with only 13. We were talking about what costumes people will look for when Halloween comes, and got a great variety, but never got around to giving out the candy (or whatever else they people might give out when going door to door; hmm–maybe it’s better we didn’t go there).

The thing that I like about keeping track with the numbers is that this creates logic that works for the students.  I went into today letting them know up front that I needed to rock the “gives” a lot more because we didn’t get to it much the day before, so we jumped right into what people would give a good looking girl/boy.  That particular scenario is a power-PQA setup, as Laurie would describe it, and there was crazy involvement all day.  One guy gives out chocolate and flowers, somebody else tickets on a cruise ship (we decided he was working a bit fast there), somebody else handed out bathtubs (we had to seriously mock that guy).  And the reps for “gives”?  103!  I checked in about every 20 minutes to see where we were at, and after awhile they started helping me amp up the reps.

Thanks for the idea MJ!  That counter person makes it us against the number.  Game on.


One response to “103!

  1. Wow. 103 is seriously awesome. I think that “us against the number” is part of what makes it so successful–they really start taking ownership of the class.

    Today I was looking at our structures for the week, and realized that I’d forgotten one (“forgot about everything”–irony there somewhere), and so we went back to our story about a student being late to every class. First we retold that story adding in “She forgot about everything,” wherever it was possible, and then we retold in past tense, adding that line again. I’m not sure that we got anywhere near the 103 count, but when we went to read the story, the kids almost all showed understanding. What made it even better was that it was a first version of an embedded story that I’d typed up for them to read together before hitting the story in their readers. Now I know that on Monday, our next class day thanks to blocking and report card workday, I can think of something else to do (like maybe draw a mural??) to get them to re-read the story and then they’ll be able to retell it before they read it in the books. Hmm… maybe I can have my advanced class read the story tomorrow and make me a storyboard that this group has to add captions to.

    I love teaching this way. It’s forgiving for teachers and kids. If they miss, we just need to have extra reps to make more of the lesson comprehensible. If we miss including something, we can have an extra couple of days or weeks ourselves.

    And if we’re creative or if we have a good list of stuff to do, we can think of ways to keep spinning out a particular reading, especially when we’ve sunk time into it!


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