Quick Quizzes: Piantagginish

The more recent open-book style Quick Quizzes completely changed how I assess for the better. To recap, I used to say 4 True/False statements in the target language about something that happened during class. Kids either remembered the details, or didn’t, or didn’t understand what I said in the target language. Now I say the statements in English and the target language is projected (or printed) so students READ the text during the quiz. This has led to an interesting take on the whole “quizzing” idea.

I’ve often heard teachers claim that their “assessments are part of the learning process,” but in almost every case, their practices just don’t back that up. Here’s a look at how you can really get it done with Quick Quizzes using a fake language, Piantagginish, since the best way to really understand how practices that support CI work is to become a student yourself. Imagine you’re a kid who’s been out of school for a couple of days and at the end of class there’s a Quick Quiz. Normally you’d panic, but not in my class. Here’s why…

Projected Text:
Derek laba stan kuit meznid.
Me as teacher:
“OK class, number one, True/False…Mark runs out the door quickly.”

Guess what, you don’t have to know what those words mean; I only said one name, and that name wasn’t in the projected text. Since you know that I only change ONE detail when I give Quick Quizzes, you would write 1) False, Derek. Before you think this has nothing to do with understanding language (which so far is correct), keep reading.

Projected Text:
Derek laba stan kuit meznid. Derek laba stan kuit meznid; ne laba stan glok meznid.
Me as teacher:
“Number two, True/False…Mark runs out the door quickly; he doesn’t run out the door slowly.”

Again, you hear the name “Mark” but read “Derek,” so clearly this is false. Since I only changed one detail, it’s Mark who’s running out the door quickly and not slowly. You would write 2) False, Derek. By now you might be able to read what is on the board so far because I have established meaning through obvious answers to quiz statements. Let’s keep it going.

Projected Text:
Derek laba stan kuit meznid. Derek laba stan kuit meznid; ne laba stan glok meznid. Derek laba stan kuit meznid li Joe smek.
Me as teacher:
“Number three, True/False…Derek runs out the door quickly and sees Mark.”

Remember, if the statement is false, I’ve only changed one detail. It doesn’t matter that you haven’t seen a couple words. Clearly, Mark has nothing to do with this sentence. You would write 3) False, Joe. It’s JOE whom Derek sees. So, go ahead and reread the projected text. Do you understand the gist of this already? Interesting, eh? Let’s wrap this up.

Projected Text:
Derek laba stan kuit meznid. Derek laba stan kuit meznid; ne laba stan glok meznid. Derek laba stan kuit meznid li Joe smek. Joe ne Derek smek.
Me as teacher:
“Number four, True/False…Joe doesn’t see Derek.”

You would write 4) True. All this would be an example in which you, as a student, have absolutely no idea what’s going on before taking the Quick Quiz, but then are able to understand some language by the end. Have you acquired “runs quickly,” “towards the door,” and “doesn’t see” in the Piantagginish fake language? No way, but you DID receive a few understandable messages. By the fourth (and final) True/False statement, you could read the projected text. Obviously, your kids will have more going for them, and the purpose of every Quick Quiz is not to establish meaning, but there is an added bonus when it happens. The next phase to the Quick Quiz would be to put your pencil away as the Red Pen People hand out red pens, and “correct” the quiz, which is actually just time to provide CI. Here’s what that looks like…

Projected Text:
Derek laba stan kuit meznid. Derek laba stan kuit meznid; ne laba stan glok meznid. Derek laba stan kuit meznid li Joe smek. Joe ne Derek smek.

Me: 
“Classen, #1. me shka (I said) ‘Mark laba stan kuit meznid,’ Truen ku Falsen?”
Class: “Falsen!”
Me: “djee (yes), Falsen. Mark ne laba stan kuit meznid. Derek laba stan kuit meznid.”
Me: “Classen, #2, me shka (I said) ‘Mark laba stan kuit meznid li Mark ne laba stan glok meznid,’ Truen ku Falsen?”
Class: “Falsen!”
Me: “djee (yes), Falsen. Mark ne laba stan kuit ne glok meznid! Derek laba stan kuit meznid.”

You would also do some Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA) here, maybe act some of this event out with TPR (e.g. Sam, run out the door! Class do you see Sam? etc.). The point? The point is that I use Quick Quizzes as a way to provide more CI, and that you, as the student who had no clue what was going on before entering class, took a quiz and then heard understandable messages from the quiz during the Red Pen “correcting” phase. The best part is that your score is reported in the gradebook (e.g. 3/4) in a 0% category, NOT averaged into your overall grade. You have nothing to lose, and only language to gain.

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5 thoughts on “Quick Quizzes: Piantagginish

  1. After you do your quick quizzes and enter them into the gradebook, do you hand the papers back to the students? I’ve done of these in the past week and I have been trying to get the papers back to the students, but I am not really sure they are all that helpful for the student to have back, since they don’t have the original question sentence written out. Do you have them write out the sentence that you asked them? Or do you just recycle the papers once you’ve entered the grades?

    • Yep, gotcha! I figured I would just start tossing them, but I wanted to see what others did. Thanks! I’ve seen the great opportunities to re-assess through the correction phase and the awesome ability I have to tie input into that time as well.

  2. Pingback: NTPRS 2017 Resources | Magister P.

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