Here’s a little video that Leanna in Fairbanks found for us:
I think it could still work (we’re not at school again ’till tomorrow) for a post-Valentine’s day story. It’s sweet.
Separately, I found a note that Erik sent me about some things he observed in Betsy’s classroom. First of all, he noted that Betsy works on indirect error correction, having read all the research that says direct error correction doesn’t work. She analyzes her students’ speech and writing and lets those guide her in structure choice. Her practice dovetails with Ben Slavic’s advice to try to use the current structure in almost every teacher sentence on a given day. Such heavy input, followed by student story-telling or writing in which the only requirement is that structure, should help to correct errors…as long as students are ready to have acquired the information. If it’s late-acquired grammar, the teacher will still have to keep pounding the structure and making sure to repeat it in comprehensible input.
The other point Erik remembered from watching Betsy was the 100-word write that students had to do to make up a missed day. I used to do this, and hadn’t for a while, so was glad of the reminder. It’s easy because we don’t have to recreate an assignment or the whole lesson. We can give students a couple of the current structures, perhaps something to read, and then ask that they write using those. It’s so much easier than trying to re-run a day in class. And it’s effective as far as letting us know what the student still needs.
I wish we could all continue to do observations in one another’s classrooms easily. When it’s just in our own school, it’s sometimes possible to arrange. But there’s no more professional day release time for observations now. Too bad. Most people say that observations teach them more than anything else could.