James has some good thoughts here in his field report today:
Last year I struggled a lot during Step 1 of TPRS, the PQA step where we introduce what everything means and get reps before the actual asking of the story. Of course we write the target structures on the board with English translations and ask questions about our students using those target structures. That’s where the personalized reps come from. But last year it felt boring and like I was working too hard to pull teeth, oops, I mean reps from my students.
It still feels like that sometimes, even often, but I have experienced some relief by using actors during PQA. But they aren’t actors, really, because they play themselves. So today I had the word “went” we were working with and I wanted to talk about how a student “went to school today” and whether he did so “slowly or quickly” and “happily or sadly”. It helped a lot to bring the kid to the front of the room and model a slow, sad walk to school in front of everyone. That’s just one example, but I hope it’s clear what I mean about actors during PQA. It feels like it gets the kids more in the their bodies, if you know what I mean.
And sometimes it ends up feeling like one or two of my three structures turn into One Word Images (OWIs). So I bring a kid to the front of the room and we keep adding details about how he does this or that, when, maybe with whom, etc.
Anyways, PQA has never felt this good and I thought I would drop you a note about it.
My response is that this is really a good idea. Just standing the kid up is helpful. (Actors never do anything, and that is a good thing – they just help us “see” what is going on). Plus, the fact that a fellow student is up there brings a jump in class focus.
Jody Noble has a version of this that most readers here probably don’t know about because it was posted a while ago but, like so many older posts, should be posted over and over because many of those posts contain lots of power to change our classrooms for the better.
Here is the link: