House Interview

Angie has come up with something timely. It fits in with the big shift into really compelling personalized input in the form of focused interviews with students that started over ten years ago with the “Special Chair” strategy from Jody Noble to the new and wildly popular Star of the Day strategy from Sabrina. (I remember being in Sabrina’s room a year and a half ago to see it and the look on her face was like, “Well, who needs stories now? Not me!”) The personalized interview process now appears in the form of a series of questions not about the student’s interests, but of their house. A fascinating and significant idea that provides us with an easy “CI based thematic unit” from Angie:
For those of us still tied to thematic units, here’s an idea that I came up with after watching Sabrina’s inspiring Star of the Day presentation in Maine: My theme is “The House” (insert ominous music sound track). Thrilling!!! Here’s what I did: I started with a L&D slide show to introduce the names of a few rooms, including some PQA of course. Then I created a spreadsheet of questions similar to the Star of the Day, except they are all house related. i.e: Where do you eat in your house? Who cleans the bathroom? Do you like your house? Where do your pets sleep? Do you live close to another student in the class? etc. Every kid has a copy of the spreadsheet and it’s also projected on the screen. I got a kid up front and you could have heard a pin drop as I interviewed her for like 7 minutes or so. I’m sure I can go longer as we get better at it. The summative assessment for this “unit” is that they have to write personalized essays, so this is going to set them right up for it.?
Anyway, here are the links since I know you all understand that these are works in progress….
Angie adds:
I have to add to this – after interviewing 2 students for my “House of the Day” adaptation of [the] “Star of the Day” activity just now in a class, students were asking “Can we do another one?” and wanting to be next. Amazing!!! I adopted a low-key interview style and had the student sitting on a stool. Somebody said to the kid, “It looks like you’re in a documentary”. It’s an incredible opportunity for high-output students to get some air time, but also one-word answers are fine. One kid blew me away this afternoon explaining all in Spanish about how he enters his house through the garage, which is connected to the basement, and then he goes upstairs to enter the house. After trying this for 2 days, I can already feel that I’m improving in my interview style and comprehension checks.



3 thoughts on “House Interview”

  1. Angie, I wanted to let you know I adapted your house interview for my French 2 class last week and this week and it went so well! I had students sit on the stool and we treated it like it was a tv interview. The class was absolutely silent (rare) because they were both listening and notating what the interviewee was saying. I was posing the questions and writing the answers as well, which I projected on the screen. The students were able to answer all the questions and more. We found out about who cleans up Rocco’s (the dog) poop in the yard and much more. Most confident output I’ve ever seen at this level.

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