21 April 2017

#SCOLT17 CI Struggles and Solutions

I've been on a bit of a CI roller coaster since iFLT last summer. I kicked off the year with some kickin' PQA that kids really seemed to get into, a little of the ol' "persona especial"--which they got into less--but which still had some positive effects.

Then I was a kind of adrift.

That's actually a pretty consistent pattern with me--starting off like gangbusters, thinking I've got it, then trying to coast just a little too long, and inevitably hitting midterm chaos.

Midterm chaos last semester involved actual tears that I'm starting to think traumatized me even more than the students during IPAs. Aside from revamping interpersonal assessment, my first impulse was to scrap the invention marketing project altogether: it was simply too much for novices!

But then SCOLT happened, and I got a set of fresh CI spectacles.

SCOLT introduced me to Hot Seat session obsession last year and this year really captured the uncon-within-the-conference session with their Disney-like "Fast Pass" sessions. I was lucky enough to join one with the South Carolina Teacher of the Year (and my #langchat amiga), Keith Toda, and Bob Patrick (CI dream team, right??)

Among the revelations in that session were:
  1. infomercial movie talks
  2. possible collaboration with Sra. Giles (#CarolinaBorderDreamTeam)

So my plan for next year is to find some infomercials to movietalk through for input, instead of relying strictly on the "authentic" (read: translated) advertisements I'd tried in the past. Also, bouncing ideas off of my upper level (but lower state) amiga so our kiddos can test out their ideas on each other along the way perhaps.

On the subject of #langchat amigos, Sr. Fernie's non-uncon-conference session also helped shed a little light on one of my other CI struggles: storyasking. I had developed a marketing story last year, but it didn't have the flexibility, the OOMPH that I was looking for.

Really, what it comes down to, it seems, is having a basic premise that the kids can mold. Protagonist needs something, what? (I could steer them toward some common problems I'd had them brainstorm/blog about before...) Protagonist can't find the something in 2 or 3 tries. Then protagonist finds the something. Yay!

But the secret? The secret apparently is that there's not much freedom in the first one. You gotta build up to that. You stick to the need-then-three-tries formula, but the first story is yours. THEN they retell and THEN they can add variations.

Sr. Fernie also had some other cool input ideas that I think would also oomph the invention marketing unit, like mad libs and describing a picture (like movietalks but much less...move-y). I also like the idea of students listing words to describe a picture themselves, then turning that into a story (how much fun would this be with wacky inventions??)

So SCOLT wasn't exactly a Space Mountain emotional input roller coaster like iFLT, but it filled in some essential input pieces to perhaps keep me cruising along a little longer, without the big emotional midterm dip.

The jungle cruise was probably my favorite ride at Disney anyway.

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