Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tools for Thriving by Jason Fritze

I have heard Jason's name a lot as a dynamic presenter and wonderful guy, so I really didn't want to miss out on his session Tuesday afternoon.  And he WAS dynamic.  We were all on the edge of our seats to see what he would be doing next.  He had a TON of ideas and not a lot of time, so some of these tips aren't very well fleshed out, but I'm sure that if you contact him, he would share everything he has.  He's that kind of guy :)

So, the main things that I took from this session are some things that I need to make part of my routine.  First is to get noisemakers to call attention to myself when the kids are doing group or partner work.  I've tried the silent hand in the air while counting down, but it just seems like it takes too much time and it's not really my style.  I like the idea of noisemakers better (and Carol Gaab said that we should have a bunch of different ones so the kids don't start ignoring it).

He also used a lot of gestures.  I haven't been using gestures very much because I don't really like them, but they added a quick brain break and got the kids moving.  I think I'm going to start using them.  Jason told us that we were going to all show him "says" at the same time and then he watched us and picked the most creative one and then thanked the student who came up with that and had all of us thank that student also.  In this way, he is not saying no to anyone's idea...he just picks the best one.

He also broke the audience into two sides (Mexico and Spain) and would ask each side to do different things throughout the day.

These are all kind of muddled because Jason just talked so fast and was so energetic that my notes are all scrambled...sorry!

He showed us a backward planning template that he uses.  He starts with a text/story and looks at the new vocabulary.  He breaks the high frequency words into three columns: first, the words that can be TPRd, second, the words to put into TPRS or PQA, and third, the cognates or words that will be taught during the reading.  On the far right are the low frequency words, which are pretty much ignored (translated quickly during reading and then never talked about again).  I really need to get better about backward planning...maybe this year.

Finally, he showed us these shower curtain maps that he uses for TPR (land the plane on Paris.  Sit on the Atlantic Ocean, etc)  I'm not quite sure I'm going to do this, but I love the idea of having kids see the map and work with it.

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