We finally have a dedicated website for the Fluency Course materials. It’s very embrionic at the moment, but eventually will have digital samples from all the books, teacher guides, order forms, etc.
I will still post updates here and write about how we are running our Academy classes, etc. but for the latest information about the Fluency Course textbooks please go to our website.
Kaizen, kaizen, kaizen
Another month, another evolution in the Fluency Course. We’ve been playing with professional printing and design, and in the course of that have figured out that we probably need to change some of the components of the Fluency Course.
We started out with monthly texts for the students, which worked well but were time-consuming to print and somewhat fiddly.
Then we moved to 4-month texts, which worked well as the content for years 1 and 2 levels up every four months.
However, once we take printing costs and possible end uses into account, it seems to make sense to split each year of the course into two 24-unit volumes.
Not only will this reduce the cost of printing considerably, it will also allow some schools to use a single volume with their students, working at a slower pace or maybe splitting each unit over two weeks.
They could also use 1A with first years and 1B with second years, for instance, or any other combination they like.
After this change, the components of the Fluency Course are as follows:
Fluency Course Level 1
Text 1A -24 units, approximately 220 pages
Text 1B -24 units, approximately 220 pages
Workbook 1 -48 units, approximately 110 pages
Quizlet files (48 units)
Audio files* (120 texts)
Student record sheets (12 monthly)
Student reference sheets (12 monthly)
Conversation cards (240 index cards -one set needed per 2 students)
*audio files not yet available
We should have some prototypes of the professionally printed materials by the end of this month. Exciting stuff!
I promised to make a video introducing the Fluency Course materials for people considering helping us trial it.
So, er, here it is. Please forgive the shakiness, I was holding the camera in one hand and manipulating the materials with the other 🙂
Here is the full list of materials:
- Question Cards: 20 per month, you need one set for each two students in the class
- Reference Sheet: one per student per month
- Workbook: one per student
- Textbook: one per student
- Record Sheet: one per student per four months
- Verb answer sheets: one for every one or two students
I hope you found that useful. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments!
Perhaps more like three tendencies of teachers
I’ve been thinking about teachers a lot recently, and my own teaching experiences.
I’m starting to believe that there are three teachers archetypes. Few teachers will embody just one of them, but rather will be a mix of the three in different proportions. Maybe something like the introversion-extroversion scale.
So I believe there are ineffective teachers, individual-focused teachers, and system-focused teachers. Each of the points of the triangle above could be labeled with one of these, and all teachers could be shown as a dot inside the triangle.
In my experience most teachers (whether they are effective or not) tend to be individual-focused. They tend to think about the learner or relationships with learners. A few teachers are system-focused. They tend to think about curricula or classroom management.
The best teachers, the most inspirational, the ones that change lives, are highly effective individual-focused teachers.
The teachers that impact the biggest number of learners are highly effective system-focused teachers.
If I had to put myself on the triangle, I’d probably put myself here:
(the top point is individual-focused, the left ineffective, and the right system-focused)
After 17 years as a teacher I like to think I have become more effective, and I have definitely been drifting down and to the right recently.
I’ve been lucky to work with a highly effective system-focused teacher, Dan E., for the last few years. I’ve learned a huge amount from him and am still in awe of his skills and experience.
We’re currently working on a new project for junior high school students that is the most exciting thing I have ever done. I’ll be writing about it more as we get closer to completion.
So what do you think? Have you noticed the three types of teachers? Where would you put yourself in the triangle?