Why Persona Especial Interviews Work: The Way They Want to Be Known

Here is another reason I think the Special Person interviews work so well: they allow students to create the picture of themselves that they want us to see. Interviews let students paint themselves the way they want to be perceived, rather than the way they have been known up till now. When students volunteer information about themselves they have something to live up to and this becomes a building block of community in the classroom. The crucial, hidden storytelling skill that we develop in TPRS is a big part of this: No actor every looks bad in a story. Years [...]


Get Bryce's new book on classroom passwords here. This project grew out of a short blog post. I was enthusiastic about the results I was getting with passwords with my students and wanted to share what was working with my colleagues. Originally it was just a few examples of passwords that had worked for me and an invitation to share ideas. It could have been written as a blog series, but I just kept adding to the original post. This is the result. As ideas from the original short blog post began to flow comments, questions and suggestions from colleagues [...]


It was chaotic. It was noisy. It was heavenly. When the students wanted to keep talking in Spanish, I threw out my lesson plan and let them talk. It gives me hope that this work is not in vain. These are the sentences that my fifth period Spanish 1 class came up with for a drawing on the board. Each student was to write five sentences for their “Repasito”, or warm-up activity. The drawing was based on a story we told in class last week. The only stipulation was that each sentence could use only words that we had used [...]

By | 2017-10-11T13:22:12+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Categories: Brain Breaks, Compelling Input, Daily Routine, Hope|0 Comments


Here is a fun full body movement song that you can use as a brain break: Sing the children's song "Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes" in the target language with different verbs and actions attached.  Even my high school students enjoy singing and acting it out. Here's how to do it:  Teach the body parts to the song with classical TPR. Do not let them know what's coming. Teach the body parts in random order over the course of two days. Instead of the normal TPR command of "touch", mix it up a bit by using "grab" and "point [...]

By | 2017-10-11T13:22:12+00:00 September 7th, 2017|Categories: Brain Breaks, Music|1 Comment


A colleague writes: “I've really been struggling with my ADHD kids who not only aren't getting the input they need but are distracting other students AND me. 98% of my class is smiling/laughing/engaged... so I don't think it's a problem with the compelling aspect... and I can't get my ADHD students to pay attention long enough to give them more repetitions... and I don't think there is any way to make it more comprehensible... articles... advice?” These three key practices will help with your ADHD students: 1) Let them get up and get moving. Anticipate their energy. Say that any [...]

By | 2017-10-11T13:22:12+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Categories: Classroom Jobs, Classroom Management, Reading Body Language|1 Comment


These are the results of Special Person Quiz #2, the second full week of school. This week we interviewed just three students. Since the verb "tiene" (has) had been added there were many more opportunities for questions, answers, comments, clarifications and follow up than with the meager vocabulary student had last week. Students were to write at least 15 sentences with no notes, and I told them  not to hold themselves back. They were to "show what they know" and impress me by writing as many sentences based on what had been shared in class by the three interviewees. Students [...]