New PLC member Jeremy Jordan talks about how CWB is working for him and has a question for the group about scheduling things in the first part of the year:
I’ve read your books since starting TPRS/CI teaching 3 years ago, I just started reading your new one as well as joined your PLC blog! I can’t thank you enough for all of the gems of wisdom that you have been able to offer in those during my first few years of this paradigm shift.
I have really appreciated how you’ve helped me make the first part of my classes so enjoyable for all of us with the PQA and “Circling with Balls”.
I have used it many times in high school and in a middle school exploratory class that would meet for 9 weeks then rotate in new kids.
I found that for those 9 weeks, we could usually use almost the entire time developing their own sort of identities and images just starting with the first PQA. From there we could develop them into scenes and I even found myself sometimes linking some together.
So if a person watches tv, I would always throw in the possibility that someone would do something and they would be watching (more repetitions). They would usually say “no” when I asked them “Do you watch ____?”
I also wanted to point out that in Spanish, the “s” they were hearing at the end of the action just means “you”. Slowly introducing a new form or two and helping them decode it.
Sometimes we might even incorporate multiple students into a scene from all of their different activities and then act it out a little bit. It provided for some great times!
After most of the first PQA days, we would do a quiz, occasionally we would do some “educational activity” (what some might call a game but I tell my students we don’t play games in my classroom).
I wanted to thank you for helping my first quarters explode with such a positive environment, and warm atmosphere to help reduce the affective filter in my class and help me to build a relationship with my students in those pivotal first weeks that invest in the emotional bank for the rest of the year.
In addition to thanking you, I also had a question for you and hope you will be able to answer because I am a little apprehensive about this coming year.
I will be teaching block scheduling this year (90 minutes) for predominately Spanish 1. I know what I would do for most of the year. But during the first quarter or so, I wanted to do the circling with balls activity. However, I could probably only keep it going for 40-45 minutes and then we would need to change activities. So I thought maybe 20-25 minutes of TPR to work on body parts and then something else in the last part of class.
But I was really curious what you would do in my situation for those first weeks. I know that later on, block scheduling will be fine because we can do some PQA and a story in the same class, or a spoken story and even a reading in the class.
Any advice would be incredibly appreciated as I find myself increasingly more nervous with the start of the school year approaching this coming Wednesday!
Thanks again for all you do!