Important New Grant Link

Those of us who have been making the time to watch the links from Grant – see previous posts – have been learning a lot. In return we have been sending him back educationese-phrased sentences that he needs for his current run at Central States Teacher of the Year, which run is in full swing right now.
Grant tells me that he has heard from lots of people and our group efforts to help him codify and parse out all that video is working and that he is very grateful.
This is our last chance to really help Grant get this together. So take a bit of your weekend if you can. We will be too close to the deadline in a few weeks and anything we send him then will be too little too late.
Send your feedback to:
or do so in a comment field below.
Here is the new video being released today:
Again, Grant asks that we:
Look for segments that demonstrate exceptional teaching. If you need guidance, search for sections that touch on the following topics:
Any of the 5 Cs (including discrete ways Culture is infused)
Personalization and customization of curriculum
High engagement, good classroom management
Quality example a particular CI technique, for example One Word Image or Look and Discuss
Sections that demonstrate collaborative leadership model – teacher directed but student driven
Sections that demonstrate culturally relevant teaching
TL 90+
Effective use of student talk
Then, simply comment on the thread with the name of the video, the start and end time you’ve selected, and a short blurb about why you’ve selected that section of video. OR, if you know how, you could even capture and edit that clip yourself and send it to me for posting ( I think that can be done).
1. If you are adept at the art of speaking in a way that helps others outside of the TCI arena to understand what we do and why, this is a time when that skill is helpful.
2. Categorizing clips would be helpful. Areas I of course have to address include the 5 Cs. But also I’m interested in addressing the 6 “core practices” that ACTFL adopted this summer:
Use Target Language 90% + – Students AND teachers use the target language 90% and up as the vehicle (means) and content of learning, by creating comprehensible input, contexts, and interactions between and among learners.
Design Communicative Activities – Teachers design and carry out interpersonal communication tasks for pairs, small groups, and whole class instruction.
Plan with Backward Design Model – Identify desired results as functional, communicative goals THEN determine acceptable evidence (what learners can do) THEN plan learning experiences (lessons and tasks).
Use Authentic Cultural Texts – Provide interactive reading, listening, and viewing tasks using authentic cultural texts with appropriate scaffolding to support construction of meaning and interpretation (without translation).
Teach Grammar as Concept – Teach grammar as concepts and within meaningful use in contexts; learners focus on meaning before form.
Provide Appropriate Feedback – Use a wide variety of corrective feedback in speech or writing so learners reflect on and self-correct their understanding or output.



7 thoughts on “Important New Grant Link”

  1. Personalization and customization of curriculum:
    One student says “The teacher said you are lazy” and other kids’ hands shoot up to add “lo que sea” (they are obviously invested in this “teen” language (“whateverrrr”)
    It is obvious that Sr. B personalizes the story for each class, and incorporates kids’ ideas, because he points to the board and says that the detail he was thinking of was in a different class’ story. Kids are invested in THEIR class’ details and want their writing of the story to be accurate.
    AKA Legend–this is obviously an inside joke, keeps the classroom personalized by giving kids an authentic identity in Spanish not a name from a list of Spanish names on day 1 of class.
    High engagement, good classroom management:
    Absolute silence unless it is an appropriate time to speak, and then over 95% in español.
    Kids are not just robotically sitting there waiting for permission to speak. They have obviously internalized the expectations of when it is OK to respond and when one person should be talking and the others listening.
    Kids practicing the pronunciation of G without being prompted.
    Kids’ mouths moving as the student spells Gertrude
    Students unprompted saying rejoinders in español
    Student unprompted saying “todo es posible”
    All eyes on the writing in front of them, not needing to be reminded, genuine curiosity evident.
    Sections that demonstrate collaborative leadership model – teacher directed but student driven:
    He never responds to the “Cómo se dice” without first putting it out to the class, he is not the repository of the knowledge, demonstrating to the students how much they have acquired, how much knowledge resides in the class’ brains.
    Teacher spelled the word with student input. Teacher uses student errors in a humorous way to increase students’ comfort (modeling it is OK to make a mistake, you just move on.)
    TL 90+:
    Except for the translation piece and very effective, embedded, contextualized, quick pop-up grammar lessons (her nose or the nose? The ó is like -ed.) which takes three seconds, and a short (7 sec.) discussion of past tense vs. present temse, kids/teacher are all in Spanish.
    Kid wants to ask in English. Sr. B helps the kid to reframe in Spanish.
    Kid says “es” and B reframes that to está without explanation. Just reframes the utterance and moves on.
    The expectation is so clearly established that all Sr. B has to do is make a noise with his mouth (of surprise and dismissal mixed with some disgust) when a student begins responding in English and the kid quickly recasts the utterance into the TL
    Interruptions (an inevitable part of classroom life, and life in general) are handled in Spanish (e.g. the Kleenex incident)
    Effective use of student talk:
    Evidence of student humor (¡Cuidado! when the kid tells her teacher to quit talking and “¡Adios Gertrude!” when Sr. B writes that in the story). Kids are able to use humor and still remain in the TL.
    Asks a student to repeat the -aba (inperfect) ending though he correctly produced it the first time, so that the class’ attention is called to the grammatical structure, without using English.
    Has a student clarify (in English) very rapidly that “su nariz” means “her nose” not “the nose”
    Has students read to their partner in English, students transition rapidly and accurately. Kids help each other with meaning “I think it is just small…”
    Student asks “cómo se dice Z” and Sr. B starts to respond, catches himself, uses it as a moment to share leadership of the class, asks “alguién sabe?” and has a kid supply the response. This takes a while, would maybe be FASTER to just say the answer, but Sr. B sticks with it and so the learnign will be “stickier” because the kids co-created it.
    Follows this up with a whole-class choral response: “Cómo se dice Z”
    Using students’ errors to engage students.
    Students are using the TL to clarify, to be more specific (no, tenía un pelo MUY largo)
    Having the whole class repeat the spelling together to reinforce letters, spelling
    Negotiating meaning:
    Student says cortas piernas. He thinks the kid is responding to the question Cuántas piernas. When he realizes the kid’s error, he rephrases the utterance: Tiene piernas cortas , then has the kids touch their legs to reinforce the vocab. for all learners, then follows up with short physical activity (Yell at her leg) to inject humor, engagement, and movement into the lesson. Then he is back to the question at hand: “Cuántas piernas”
    Kid says Qué asco” and he just helps the kid to restate by asking “Qué asco” like he did not understand, the kid restates “Qué extraño” and they move on. No embarrassment, no explicit teaching of why that was wrong, kids have obviously acquired both and this was a simple error in selecting.
    Spelling in context, reinforced daily throughout the year, in realistic contexts. Also using numbers in context.
    Kids eager to volunteer and speak in complete sentences.
    Student is eager to make sure the class’ story is accurate. The hair is not on the head, but in the nose. Shows ownership and risk-taking. Sr. B intentionally makes mistakes (Vete a la caferería…and the class says, no, no, a la oficina!) and then asks the class to tell him, and this is an opportunity for a little output and a mini-break from listening. It also builds community, cohesion, and group identity.
    Students created more work for themselves in putting the story into past tense, but they are eager to participate and have obviously gained control over the past tenses (imperfect and preterite tenses). One student used fue (preterite) to narrate and then the others use the imperfect to change the description passages to the past tense. Students are obviously flirting with Intermediate proficiency, to be able to narrate in past tense.
    Students have investment in the story, as evidenced in the animated discussion of what class Gertrude has first period. They are not being prompted to answer, but there is a debate brewing. And despite the high emotions, the class continues talking in Spanish.
    When there was a particularly complex sentence, Sr. B had the class chorally translate it in English (Toda la clase trabajaba, pero Gertrude no hacía nada)

  2. I love when the students “correct” the story…especially when the student specifies that the hair is in Gertroo0d’s nose. That was a beautiful moment. Negotiating meaning, student taking ownership of the story, unforced output at level of acquisition. And the unbelievable level of engagement and cooperation among students. This is just phenomenal. They are so WITH you and each other.

  3. I agree with Angie that the moment when kids came back from the partner-pair retell and you ask students, “Hay problemas?” is when you get the kind of high engagement that the big bosses might be looking for. I would say, in particular, around minute 12:06 when one student wanted to change the 1st class location to Math class… students were responding with higher levels of engagement (disclaimer: more students were responding vocally. Of course, we know that high levels of engagement in a CI classroom often are demonstrated with nothing more than clear eyes and good posture, or relaxed posture) in that many students are responding all the while avoiding English. We see many students wanting to add to the story, or change the story. And you are there, Grant, helping make what they say comprehensible. Not much more.
    You’ve created the classroom culture where all students value their peer’s input… their perspective… their (plug in Danielson Framework language here). It’s obvious in those minutes especially 12:00 and onward.
    I love how you respond to kids, Grant. At times you let them blurt, and then wait for them to quiet down. They respect the “Avoid English” rule. The respect that you want them all included in the conversation, especially with the example of when you had another student fetch the kleenex for another instead of letting the student who needed the kleenex get up and maybe be distracting.
    I hope you win this award, Grant. We NEED you to win this award. You deserve it and we want a leader like you to represent us!
    Is there anything else we can do?

    1. Sean, et all,
      It’s total and complete CRUNCH time.
      I took two days off to be w/ my family. But I’m back on this thing tonight and tomorrow.
      This particular post, with all your thoughts have helped convince me that I can submit this video as one of the two student samples.
      The process includes reflection on three questions :
      1. demonstrate current best practices of language teaching and learning, including the integration of the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (5 C’s);
      2. Encourage the proficient use of the target language by the teacher and students;
      3. Provide effective use of feedback, including but not limited to rubrics.
      I’ll have to break down the 5 Cs pretty specifically. Not quite sure about that part yet.
      use of the TL should be a no brainer.
      the rubric I’ll be talking about is my adapted jGR rubric.
      I also have to specify a second example. I’m considering a second video with more active engagement. Not sure about that. Still have to look at what I’ve got.
      Thanks again to all! email me from here on out at grantboulanger at gmail dot com with additional comments or if you want to be a proof reader.

  4. I just watched again Grant, and reread everyone’s comments. I can’t think of anything else that has not already been stated. This is simply inspired teaching and community building.
    One thing that jumped out at me, was that moment 8:44 where Nage (sp?) jumps in to give the detail about the hair in the nose. I recall from the first video that Nage was a new student. I don’t know the chronology, but it seems relevant to point out her complete engagement and integration into the community after (? x ? ) days of joining the class. This is huge and demonstrates the power of the CI classroom.
    Then later (16:30) she chimes in with the detail about Sr. Z, which was not quite at the right moment. She is completely safe and confident to add to the discussion. Outstanding.

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