Category Archives: Speaking & Listening

Doing Student Led Conferences with Flipgrid

Since the Saddleridge Fire caused my school to cancel Parent Conferences in October, I offered students 100 points to record a conversation with a parent about their grade on Flipgrid. I gave them this prompt: Lead a conversation with your parent(s) about your 15 week grades. How many graded assignments did you complete? How many were missing? How many were late? Which assignments did you struggle with? Which did you learn the most from? Describe your work/study habits and explain how you are going to balance assignments in the future with all of your other responsibilities. Share an assignment from this class that you are proud of & describe how you created it.
Stu Led Confs Flipgrid.pngOverall, 49 students (33%) completed a video and 23 of them (15%) improved by a full letter grade in time for the 15 week marking period. Since I have a total student load of 154 students, this means that five students (3%) went from a B to an A, nine students (6%) went from a C to a B, eight students (5%) went from a D to a C, and one student (.6%) went from an F to a D. All of the videos demonstrated students improving their self-awareness and taking responsibility for their learning with the added bonus of parents figuring out how to better support them. These videos warmed my heart. I will definitely do this again in the Spring before the parents come in for Back to School night. Now I just need to start recording my responses. I’m going to try and do five per day so that I get to them all. Please be patient life outside of work is very hectic right now.
15 Week Grade Dist F19-20
In short, this assignment improved grades for one-third of my students. Fifteen percent of students moved up by a whole letter grade. Further, this assignment reduced my D/F percentages from to 24% to 18%. I need to give more thought as to how I can motivate this group of struggling students to engage and learn how to ask for help. More importantly these videos showed me that even in secondary school where engaging families is difficult, most parents are working hard to help their children succeed academically. Thanks Flipgrid for bridging this communication gap and giving me valuable insight into the families I serve.

https://flipgrid.com/+petri/ce927ddf?embed=true

One of my favorite videos came from a 10th grade softball player Jazmin and her mother Ana. I loved it because this mother asked her daughter questions about her life in school, i.e., What do you like about this class? & What’s your favorite type of assignment? Plus, at about the 3 minute mark, the Mom actually DABS because she is so proud of her daughter. Jazmin’s reaction made me laugh out loud. The two of them seem more like friends than mother & daughter. I doubt I would have seen this sweet side to their relationship had this been a traditional parent meeting in my classroom. Educators new to Flipgrid can read their blog and check out their Discovery Library for ideas to get them started.

 

Mix Iron Chef Into Reading and Writing

Students in my 11th grade US History class typically read four non-fiction books in addition to their History textbook. I have noticed that their note-taking skills, attention to detail, and recall of historical figures in the text need to improve. As students advance through upper-division work text complexity increases, yet the amount of reading instruction decreases. This can result in real problems in college where professors expect their students to do three hours of reading in the subject-area for every hour they spend in class. This post will describe an instructional sequence that helps students focus on the historical characters in a nonfiction reading using an Iron Chef protocol, a Who Am I? narrative writing technique, and a video response system that improves student speaking and listening skills.

Iron Chef

Eduprotocol authors Marlena Hebern and Jon Corippo developed this tool to help students flex quick research reps in 15 minutes or less. For this pre-reading activity, I listed the historical figures in The Professor and the Madman and assigned them via number on my class roster. Students research the individual, note key details and page number(s) they appeared on in the book, and for the secret ingredient add what we should know/remember about this person. The slide below is an example of what a student can create in less than one class period. Students build their own study guide that they can refer back to and add to as they read.

Iron Chef Pics

Who Am I? A First Person Protocol

The next step is to have students turn their slide research into a first person narrative. Even if students mostly copied information from Wikipedia into their Iron Chef slide, now they have to do the literary heavy lifting of converting it from the third person into the first person. This student has done an excellent job with a minor historical figure from The Professor and the Madman and has even slipped her own confident personality into her script. I can’t wait to see what she does with her video.

Iron Chef Pics (1)

Flipgrid – Engage Your Students in Speaking and Listening

The last step involves using Flipgrid, a free video-response platform that helps students learn via their own videos. For this assignment, the students have to speak for one minute giving the viewer clues as to the historical figure’s identify. As the grid populates with videos, students can view them, take notes, and learn who is who before they take a quiz made up of ten randomly selected videos.Screenshot 2019-09-21 at 5.17.58 PM

This video shows how students can be creative and have fun when engaged in this instructional sequence. Flipgrid tracks the analytics for each grid, which allowed me to see that my students viewed each others videos a total of 2,764 times prior to the quiz. That adds up to 43 hours of study time on the characters in a book they haven’t read yet. What do you think will happen when they encounter each character in the text?

Big Takeaways

What I like about this instructional sequence is that each day builds on what students created the day before. If they didn’t try very hard with the research they put into their Iron Chef slide, then they will struggle to write a Who Am I? speech. If they didn’t put some effort and creativity into their script, then they will have trouble making an interesting video. If they didn’t review their classmates’ videos, then they probably won’t do very well on the quiz.

Teaching students to show up and work hard every day is the most important work we can do as teachers. I have used this instructional sequence to help my students learn about Historical Eras, Enlightenment Philosophes, and people in the Civil Rights Movement. These activities have increased effort and engagement in my classes. Feel free to remix them for your class and subject matter. All I ask is that you leave a comment or tag me in a tweet @scottmpetri and let me know how they work for you. 

WWI Podcasts

This post will showcase 11th grade US History students’ podcasts on a person, place, or event from the Great War.

WWI Banner

This WWI Podcast assignment was adapted from an NWP article detailing how to conduct a First Person Research Paper  by Cindy Heckenlaible (2008). First students listened to a 15 Minute History lecture to understand why the US joined WWI and then they used the resources provided to brainstorm topics. To see the directions for a previous assignment, look at Vietnam War Narrative. You may listen to three earlier student examples: The Orange Mist Protest Becomes Tragedy, and The Last Moments of Elizabeth Hall.

Decide to work with partners or work solo. Then use this spreadsheet to declare your narrator and story (topic). Each narrative must be at least three minutes for an individual assignment, add 1.5 minutes to your story for each additional person involved in the project. The five components of this project were worth 50 points each.

1) Produce an Annotated Bibliography in MLA format with at least six sources. If a historical detail is not included in your annotation, then you cannot use it in your narrative. 92% of students turned this in on time.

Use the details from your annotated bibliography to write your script. Document the historical details in your story by underlining them and including a (parenthetical citation) immediately after. The theme of your story should be — What is a moment in history that all students should learn about? You may use sound effects and soundscapes, but NO MUSIC!

Tools
BBC Audio http://bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk/ 
Soundscapes https://city.ambient-mixer.com/

Make sure you study the tips in this presentation as you plan your narrative and 2) use this format to submit your story in writing.  81% of students turned this in on time. 3) Create an Annotated Timeline that includes maps of where your story takes place. 37% of students used their time well enough to complete this on time. 4) Write a 5 question Quizizz to share after your story has been heard by the class. Emphasize the most important historical details in your questions and include facts that you would expect to see in a history book. 74% of students turned this in on time. 5) Submit your narrative recording to get all the points. 44% of students made this deadline. 65% of students were able to complete all components on time.

Debrief/Reflection

Describe how you managed your time and completed each component of this project? Which of the resources provided did you find most helpful? What does this piece reveal about you as a learner? What would you change if you had a chance to do this project over again?

CA USH Standard: 11.4.5: Analyze the political, economic, and social ramifications of World War I on the home front. CCSS: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

 

Listening & Speaking Workshop

Integrating Listening, Speaking & Writing in the Social Studies Classroom

Los Angeles County of Education

Tuesday, November 6, 2017

Here is the presentation for today’s workshop. Feel free to make a copy and repurpose it for your instructional program. 

8:30 – Listening Instruction

  • Teacher Survey
  • Overview of Research
  • Julian Treasure – RASA
  • Listenwise

9:30 – Listening Drills

  • 15 Minute History – Scramble for Africa
  • Note-Taking Drill
  • Quizizz Formative Assessment

9:45 – 10:00 Break

10:00 – StoryCorps

  • The Great American Listen
  • One Small Step
  • 9/11 Oral History Project
  • Vietnam Veteran Interview

10:30 – Socratic Smackdown

  • Social Darwinism & Laissez-Faire American Capitalism
  • Rules/Scoring
  • Coach/Instant Reply Cards

11:00 – Discussion Models (whole class, small group, individual)

  • Constructive Conversation Skills
  • Historical Talking Tools
  • Speaking Scaffolds (Confidence Monitor/Teleprompter)
  • Classroom to Classroom Video-conferencing

11:30 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – Civil Conversation

  • Social Darwinism & Laissez-Faire American Capitalism
  • Tracking conversations
  • Reflection/Debriefing
  • Curriculum Library

1:00 – Creating Speaking Assignments

  • ACOVA
  • PVLEGS
  • Flipgrid

1:45 – 2:00 Break

2:00 – Assessing Speeches

  • Progressivism & Imperialism
  • Openings – SignPosting Language – Closings
  • Rubrics

Improving Speech Openings

Author Erik Palmer is fond of saying “Most teachers don’t teach speaking, they assign speaking!” As a History teacher, I have been guilty of that in the past, but thanks to Chapter 5 (pp.35-44) in Well Spoken, now I have some tools that help me TEACH speaking techniques that help students become better orators.

well-spoken-cover

For this assignment my 11th grade US History students will research an Imperialist-Progressive event/person and create an Ignite Talk that explains how that person is an example of a Progressive leader/movement or Imperialist leader-event-action. Presenters get 11 slides (no more than 5 words on each slide), which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The last slide must be a Works Cited card.

As part of my direct instruction, I include this presentation which contains numerous resources that help my students practice writing and sharing grabber openings, identify signpost language, and execute strong closings. Students have one class period to discuss the techniques, choose one, and write their opening. They post these on a discussion board so that I can read and react to them individually before the next day in class. Because they are short (50-100 words), it is easy for me to read them and offer some advice for revising. 

Palmer offers eight different grabber openings in the excerpt I give to my students: 1) the challenge, 2) the provocative question, 3) the powerful quote, 4) the surprising statistic, 5) the unusual fact, 6) the poignant story, 7) the unexpected, and 8) the teaser. If a student doesn’t apply one of these techniques in their speech opening, I know they haven’t done the assigned reading. Another benefit of having all of these openings in an open forum like a discussion board is so I can spot trends and see what they are struggling with. The majority of my students used #2 the “Provocative Question” technique. Many struggled applying the technique to their topic and I needed to provide additional clarification the next day in class.

First, I googled the definition: A provocative question. Provocative questions are those that encourage a stakeholder to think creatively and laterally. They help to uncover any perceived constraints, and can help to evaluate whether those perceived constraints are real or imaginary. Next, I found another blog that provided 10 more examples of provocative questions. Then, I refined the definition to make it more specific to this assignment — informing an audience about a Progressive or Imperialist person, event, or action in US History.  A Provocative Question challenges the beliefs your audience holds about progressivism or imperialism and helps them think differently about the topic in order to improve their understanding.

Below are three examples of my students’ work. I am interested in knowing which sample you would rate as above the standard, which you would rate as meeting the standard, and which you would rate as below the standard.

Sample A

How would most of you feel, if your country fought for its freedom from one country only for another to take its place? Would you fight for your country’s freedom or let them rule over you? Well, Emilio Aguinaldo born in the Philippines on March 23, 1869, fought against the Spaniards and the Americans for Philippines independence. In 1896 and 1897, he attempted to resurrect the Philippine during the Spanish rule however, he ultimately failed.

Sample B

Let’s say one of your peers was nothing out of the ordinary, doing exactly what you do in school. However, they are favored by an administrator as they have wealthy parents, and follow and enforce everything said administrator has said and asked them to do. But the thing is, this administrator is not employed at your school, they actually work at a far superior, private school. Other schools and the one you attend wish to be like this school and take what they say seriously. So when the administrator advocates for your peer and says that they should become the Student Body President, that they should “rule the school” there is no other choice. Adolfo Diaz was a Nicaraguan president that served for two separate terms. He was only placed in his position of power because he fell under what the U.S. government’s standards were for a good ally. Because he followed what the U.S. told him to do and became their puppet, the U.S. effectively ruled a country that they should have had no power over. 

Sample C

Have you ever experienced an instance where someone you trusted turned their back on you and took your enemy’s side instead? How would you feel if you were put in that situation? Would your perspective on that person change? Well, General Victoriano Huerta, did just that. He betrayed his successor, Francisco Madero, forcing him to resign his presidency, in order for Huerta to take charge and initiate a military dictatorship. Huerta’s tyrannical way of ruling caused opposition to his rule and ultimately led to his downfall.

Please leave your opinion and some justification for that opinion in the comment section below. Thanks again to Erik Palmer for pushing my thinking about how to teach speaking in Social Studies. I love using your work in my classroom.

Listening & Speaking PD

Integrating Listening & Speaking into Social Studies Instruction
Glendale Unified School District
October 9 & 10, 2018

12:00 – Listening Instruction

  • Teach Listening First
  • Julian Treasure – RASA
  • Listenwise
  • 15 Minute History
  • Find content for your class

12:30  – StoryCorps

  • One Small Step
  • Vietnam Veteran Interviews
  • 9/11 Oral History Project

1:00 – Socratic Smackdown

  • Emoluments Clause
  • Scoring Coach Cards
  • Grading standards-based reflections

1:30 – Civil Conversation

  • Curriculum Library
  • Reflection/Debriefing

2:00 – Creating Speaking Assignments

  • Discussion Models (whole class, small group, individual)
  • Speaking Scaffolds (Confidence Monitor/Teleprompter)
  • ACOVA

2:30 – Assessing Speaking Assignments

  • PVLEGS
  • Flipgrid

The presentation can be accessed and copied here.

LACOE

It is always a pleasure to come and present to risk-taking and proactive educators at LACOE that want to increase the amount of speaking and listening in their classrooms. Most of the work I am presenting comes from the books of Erik Palmer and the course I taught with him and Corbin Moore on Canvas Network.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vQUz2x-9v44o8uKiAUjSPYXUScBxKRoXSVqdvNlnGAvgKHbpDj5KodKSR5f6K_tbDzaNkrkqrWgVzyP/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000

Feel free to save the presentation to your Google Drive and use whatever parts you find useful.