Monday, November 10, 2014

Pictures for CI: What's Wrong? and What's Different?

Ben Slavic ( describes a procedure, he calls it Look and Discuss (L&D), in which the teacher leads the class through describing a picture that is projected on the board. The goal is to get comprehensible, compelling repetitions on target structures. It works really well.

How about adding these two activities? The inspiration came from my curriculum director. Both involve projecting a picture on the board and leading the class through a discussion in the target language in order to provide comprehensible input. Of course the normal rules apply: The teacher is trying to speak comprehensibly in the target language and is using circling and personalized-question and answer (PQA) throughout the discussion.

1. What's wrong with this picture?
Focus the kids on the wacky stuff in an otherwise normal picture. Here are some good pictures to use:

2. What are the differences between these pictures?
Say what is in one picture but not in another picture. Some examples:

These ideas need to be tested in the classroom; I have not yet tried either. These are popular "for kids" activities, so they have the potential at least of being on the level of our new language learners.

Some more brainstorming: (for number 2 above) For more discussion, you can ask something like: "Is the girl happier in the first or the second picture? Of course! In the second picture, because in that picture she has two scoops of ice cream!"

Or how about: (for number 1 above) "Would the boy be happier if the fish tank were on the ground? Of course he would! He wants to feed the fish but he can't reach them up on the ceiling!"

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Rigor Posters

These are hanging in the front of my room. Basically they are classroom rules, but I have tried to phrase them in positive, productive terms. They are based heavily on various sources, mainly from Ben Slavic's wonderful community (

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Newest Standards

The problem with my old standards was that they were too limiting. I was not able to use a wide variety of assessments and I started to feel really stifled toward the middle of the year.

I just finished the second draft of the standards I will use next year:

I tried to make them more general so that they would allow me to use a wider variety of assessment. They should also work for any level of any language at any school that offers the standard four year course.