Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to attend a three-day training by TPRS Books in St. Louis. I wanted to take a second to share some of my biggest takeaways from the conference:
- CI/TPRS is not story asking 24/7. There are so many different activities you can do! If story asking seems overwhelming or just not your style, no worries! Try something else! I thought that Movie Talk was a great “gateway” because the story was already there for me.
- These activities can be used at a variety of levels. This method is definitely not just for novices! Bess (@MmeHayles) modeled some ways she uses one resource with all of her classes and it was very eye-opening! If you’re a department of one, that could be great because it means less prep. To me, it sounds like a great reason for the rest of my department to explore CI.
- Writing activities can be very sneakily disguised reading activities. Seriously. Eric Richards has a whole book of them that’s totally on my wish list. If you’re familiar with running dictation, some of them are similar! Activities that get students moving, re-reading, and writing are his game, and I’m sure students love “playing”!
Super short and sweet, but how else do you condense three days of learning into a blog post?! I also really enjoyed the coaching provided at the conference and the chance to get up and practice some techniques in a safe space.
Possibly the best part of the whole conference? My co-worker and I got to practice our German during the “student experience”! We had our first lesson at a training in March and hadn’t practiced since. After a few more hours we did a free write and I was so proud of how much I was able to say! The very last day we were looking at some of the books they had for sale and we actually read an entire novice reader in German. A WHOLE BOOK! After like..four and a half hours of class time! I was so excited and proud. I felt SO successful! It really made me want to bring these strategies into my own classroom so my students can feel that same excitement and success with the language.
If you’re considering doing one of the TPRS trainings, I would definitely recommend it. What’s your favorite training you’ve attended?