We’re racing into the end of the school year here. Yesterday we started with senior finals (two kids gave their open-ended “choose a topic from the year, make a power point with 15-20 slides that you can talk about, and blow me away” by sharing a science fiction story about the environment and comparing it to environmental statistics in today’s Russia…blew me away). Today we had the AAPPL test with the advanced kids. I’m withholding judgment on that one. We are all wearing out, but MT gave me new life again today.
In my Intermediate class, where the seniors were all prepping for tomorrow’s final, the rest of us were watching a movie. I found myself asking kids questions that came up naturally. The dad was cooking, so I asked who does all the cooking in their houses, what they like to cook, who cooks well, and so on. Then the boy was in his room, and there were car posters on the walls, so I asked who had car posters and of what cars. It led into my finding out that one of our guys has pictures of classic Mustangs on his wall, and another has a car he paid for out of teaching martial arts. I didn’t know that about either one of the kids.
When I pick my three structures for PQA (Personalized Questions and Answers) in classic Storytelling, I try to come up with questions that will lead to finding out interesting things about kids, but all too often the questions are not creative enough, or the kids see it as a teacherly way of getting to the vocabulary. By asking about things that come up in the movie, it feels more natural to ask about the kids. You can feel when something on the screen resonates in the classroom.