Report from the Field – Julie Quenneville

Hi Ben,

Just sending along a fine first free write:

I gave the topic, some coaching to the class on how to keep it simple…we had our lists of connecting words and our running list of action words from September…and ten minutes. This boy really stuck to what he knows and didn’t resort to English or sentence structure that would be too challenging! I will also add this to CI Liftoff.

This never would happen with my themed units last year.

Regards,

Julie

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3 thoughts on “Report from the Field – Julie Quenneville”

  1. What I like most in this sample is the accuracy of 3rd person spellings. Not that that is all that important, but clearly by confining a lot of your instruction to third person, as we do in stories in level one, the kids are not bothered by the other five forms so much. Then they have a starting point for recognition, during reading, of the other forms, and slowly, with all the reading, they become familiar with them, and no verb chart memorization is needed.

    Correctly spelled forms above are: cherche, voit, marche, sourit, dit, regarde, court, rit, mange, habite and this is the student’s first attempt at writing.

  2. Yes, and this kid is by no means at the top level of ability…I would say middle of the road. BUT…his engagement in this activity proves that with a few items in his toolkit, focused attention and all our input to date can easily result in great writing. He’s also adding voice in there, with his “Bonjour” and “Au revoir” dialogue…this kid is quite witty, and I can picture the tone of voice the characters would have! This is really exciting Ben!!

  3. And Julie when you say that the kid is middle of the road and witty, we then see a strong sense of academic success from an average kid who is now able, because you know, because you have perceived in him and let him know that you have perceived it, that he is witty, his experience becomes one of: (a) no longer being seen as average academically by his teachers (sometimes that’s all it takes to turn a life around), and (b) no longer being seen as a cardboard cutout of himself by his teacher (which is what most kids experience in foreign language classrooms), and (c) being a valued part of a community instead of a mere observer. This is what you are doing. It is nothing short of a revolution. Admins keep clamoring for reform in education, but don’t know where to look. I say, look our way. We’re not just studying the label on the medicine, we’re providing the medicine*, one class at a time.

    *Tina’s image

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