From Beth--my CT felt that the web-inquiry needed to be very structured because it is difficult. She already heavily uses a class website and has podcasts students listen to off the web-page and felt this was a helpful way to help students of all achievement levels. She was a big fan of using games and competition to engage students as well as using mnemonics and synthesis. The reflection time she felt was necessary and as simple as turning to a partner to explain concepts (think-pair-share). She felt performance-based assessment was a good idea. She also suggested using jigsaw based activities.

From Cati--My CT thought that the most important way to differentiate instruction is not necessarily technology-based but involves going from simple to more complex material and taking students up the levels of Bloom's taxonomy. He said I should always ask myself: who are my learners? what am I hoping that they will able to learn and do? what resources do I have to get them there? Re. our specific ideas: Concept formation works better for content-driven subject areas (history, English, science) than skill-driven (math, foreign languages). The "4MAT" approach to designing lessons is good and involv es a lot of discovery, he's seen it used successfully in history classrooms. With this idea as well as web inquiry lessons and a class blog, his big question was whether this could be done in the target foreign language or not... if not, some of the benefit is lost to students who are supposed to be exposed to the target language as much as possible. He thought that the extra copy of notes on a class website was a good idea for students who didn't understand too well the first time around. Re. using games in class, he said to "be careful" because games usually stay at the level of knowledge (1st level of Bloom's taxonomy) vs. asking for higher-level thinking. He thought that giving time for synthesis and coming up with mnemonics in class was a good idea, and suggested using advance organizers, jingles, and rhymes to help students learn. He uses performance-based assessment regularly, asking students to perform original (extemporaneous) dialogues and monologues with a certain unit's vocabulary and grammar.

From Tom--
My CT cited the reading level diversity as a major roadblock. She wonders if there is a way to differentiate the way information is given out to students. She believes it is much easier to differentiate what students do with the information once it is out there. My CT really liked the class website idea and thinks that it would be a unique “extra” for students to put work on the site separately. Many of her students that she is worried about not being challenged enough are kids with computer access at home. She thinks it would be a good tool for higher level learners to plug in to content with. She loves mnemonics particularly for lower level students. She has had good experience with students being tasked with finding the “cue or trick” to help remember something. She also really likes the ideas behind using performance based assessments because it lets students take the material to a level they are comfortable with and it is a good way to affirm that they “got” the information. She likes how we are thinking it all through and trying to be reality based.

From Clifton -- My CT has not given me specific feedback on our ideas. We have talked about several of our ideas before in the context of what he does in his classroom. I will go through what we have discussed item by item. Concept formation lessons can be very effective. They are a lot of work to put together. Concept formation lessons are not necessarily reuseable from year to year. If you are going to use them make sure that they are an effective use of time. Web Inquiry can be effective if it is structured. Low achieving students need more structure not less structure. Blogs can work. My CT has said that he feels like students are only willing to do so much work outside of class. If you ask students to write on blogs expect them to count it against the amount of werk they will do outside of class. My CT prefers to make information available in class, rather than on a class website. He says that one of his purposes is to teach students responsibility, and that having copies available in the classroom is equally or more effective than a class website. My CT does teach some mnemonics. He rarely uses performance based assessment. We have not discussed performance based assessment.

From Lizzie --
My CT did not provided very detailed feedback on our ideas, but what she did say was positive. She thought that they were all great ideas for making the curriculum and your instruction both accessible and engaging for all students, which is definitely a challenge in a heterogeneous classroom. She also mentioned that class websites are excellent tools for providing students with extra support outside of the classroom. My CT said that she has used some form of all of the ideas we generated, with the exception of blogs, in her Spanish classes and has found them to work well. I have observed many of the activities, like games, mneumonics, and performance-based tasks, successfully at work in her classroom.