Diane N. in Chicago shows us another way to “se tirer d’affaire”, as the French say, to get out of a difficult situation in class so that no one notices, which we here in our group call going to a “bail out move”:
I needed to bail out on PQA with a class today – too many too chatty and distracting kids to keep a conversation going well. I think bail-out moves are templates. “Bail-outs” as a concept, I think, should somehow be included.
Because I’m so pleased with how my bail-out worked, I will explain further. My bail-out today was spur of the moment with my oldest class. We had created gestures & PQA’d some words for 20 minutes and I didn’t like the feel of the class. Too squirrely, too chatty, poor conversation skills from many. Monday morning, first period. I thought, “What can I do that will still cause these kids to listen to these words in meaningful context (since personalized context wasn’t going very well!)?”
I switched to having them sketch what I described – describing a scene that used all the new structures. The list of new structures was still up on the board. I had to repeat the description and gradually added a few details and used different wording. They asked me to repeat! Marvelous. Drawing slows the kids down – and made them be quieter and listen better. Then they told a partner what was in their scene. Then a couple brave souls came up front and spoke about their sketch in front of the class.
Then I gave them a comprehension quiz on which all but one student got 100% (not typical after PQA but I still had time and they had to be kept structured and active). I collected their sketches & picked two especially clear, cute ones to use at the beginning of class tomorrow as a review.