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The obvious is difficult to see

Gregory Bateson is the person I am quoting in my title.

Recently, one of my cheer leaders for Small Changes e-mailed me to say that his students–3rd year English majors keen to become English teachers–had great difficulty understanding the audio on my videos. My cheer leader had to spend much of each class aiding the students in understanding what I was saying.

I listened to the videos again and had no problem. But of course I was listening to myself most of the time and just a bit to students interacting.

So I decided to transcribe the videos–something I advocate all teachers to of recordings of their classes.

I am pleased with the result because now I can share not only the transcriptions but also Remarks after the fact since I have had comments and questions from teachers about the videos.

So I have embellished the transcriptions with Remarks–a PS for each one.

Why didn’t I transcribe the videos from the beginning? Well, the obvious is not easy to see!

That is why all of teaching and learning is a joint enterprise between colleagues and teachers and students.

Enjoy, enjoy.

John

Transcript of Video 1

Descriptions of Videos (0:00 to 05:10)

John: In many chapters, you will see an URL address that will connect you to a video clip which illustrates the activities that I write about.

In almost all the videos clips, you will see a teacher with just a few students. When I initially show these clips to teachers, they say that they teach classes of from 15 to 50 students. They say it’s easy to do activities with just a few students. And they begin to be a little skeptical about whether the activities will have similar results in large classes.

As you can see in the photograph you are looking at, there are more than a few students. But they’re all engaged in one of the many activities I urge ou to try.

I and others have done these activities with many large classes. If you want to see a video version of the class that this picture is taken from go to You Tube John F. Fanselow-f a n s e l o w

The participants in the picture you just saw were looking at are completing this introduction.

John’s Introduction—Incomplete Information Version

=
A_ y _ _ k _ _ _ , m _ n _ _ _ _ _ J _ _ _ .
<= I _ _ _ b _ _ _ i _ C _ _ _ _ _ _, I _ _ _ _ _ _ _ s , t _ _ h _ _ e o _ t _ _ C _ _ _ _ _ _ B _ _ l s b _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ t _ _ m _ _ _ t _ _ n _ _ e o _ a j _ _ z m _ _ _ _ _ l. When you look at this picture, which was taken from a video clip, you can see details that it is impossible to see when we look at the whole class as in the first photo you looked at. If we put a mike close to the students, if we put their cell phone by the students and record what they say, we can hear in detail what they are saying to each other and how they are puzzling out, in this case the introduction. So details are central to this book. 2:10 When I talk about small changes, we’re talking about looking at details of what we do and then looking at the details of the results. And the only way we can do that is to look at a few students at a time and listen to a few students. William Blake, an English poet, and 2:35 engraver and said this about the importance of details: To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand. And Eternity in an hour. I think it’s important for all of us to put on a different pair of glasses when we look at what we are doing in our classrooms and what our students are doing. And looking at details and listening to details is one way to put on a new pair of glasses. All of the video clips in this book are short and this is to remind you of the importance of looking at details. 3:38 And I believe it’s more important to look at the same video a dozen times with different pairs of glasses on so that each time you can see something new that you didn’t see before. Now some people say “Well, you know we have to look at the whole class to get an idea of the mood, or whatever. But you know when you go to get a blood test, they take a couple of vials. If they take it all, you know, you’re going to die. So you can get a lot by looking at a grain of sand and looking at the palm of your hand. 4:10 I’m hardly the first person or the only person to talk about change in general or small changes in particular. This book called Nudge [Cover shown in video clip] (By Thaler and Sunstein), describes ways that small changes can affect health care, can affect employee’s feelings about their work, about unemployment. There are many books about change. The most succinct description of the importance of change was made I think by Charles Darwin. It is not the strongest species that survives nor the most intelligent but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin 5:10 PS Remarks after the fact After teachers see my description of Nudge, they ask if I can provide any examples of the claims of the authors. One of the examples that Thaler and Sunstein described that has stuck with me is one about job counselors who help people find jobs. They describe an unemployment office in which the usual practice had been for the counselors to meet the unemployed person each week and write down what the person had done each day to look for a job. The rate of finding jobs was dismal. And the job counselors as well as those seeking jobs were very distressed. At a meeting one job counselors suggested that rather than review what each unemployed person had done the previous week they write down a plan for the coming week. They jointly wrote down a place the unemployed person would visit each day of the next week. Some days they decided to visit two sites when they were close together. Well, when the job counselors and unemployed person planned visits more of the unemployed found jobs and in a much shorter period of time. The teams employed a theme of one of my books: Try the opposite. Another common question teachers have after viewing Video 1 is for examples of small changes in teaching. One of the smallest changes I suggest is for teachers to write the articles with nouns on the board. Universally, teachers say “a book” as they hold up a book and then write book on the board without the article. Students then copy book in their notebooks. Writing a book rather than book takes no planning and can be executed in a heartbeat. Another small change, which is the central theme of this book, is to ask students to write what we say, either as we give the direction or make the comment or from a recording. Every day for 10 days, a teacher said, either, “These two key words are easy to understand.” Or “These two/or four/or six/ key words are difficult to understand. On the 11th day, she asked the students to listen to a recording of her direction and transcribe what she had said. Here are the renditions from the students. 99. Twose key words other understand. 97. Key words very easy understand. 95. Two have very easy key word. 93. To the key word is the understand. 91. Tou the easy key word is understand. 89. To the key word is understand. In a class on tourism, as the teacher prepared his students for a field trip he said “The hotel has a dress code.” Her are what 7 students wrote: 1. The hotel have dress paud 2. The hotel 3. The hotel has a dress cort 4. . . . 5. The Hotel has dress court. 6. The Hotel has. . . 7. the hotel is gre cool. What we say and what others hear are totally different events. Recording and having students transcribe or asking students to write each sentence or question you say is another option. If we walk around the classroom we can see what students heard and what they did not hear. If we only have them write what we say of course they we cannot know how much they catch from their fellow students though. One reason I transcribed the interactions and my reflections of the 29 video clips because some found it very difficult to follow the audio alone. Now, everyone has the option of reading what was said on the videos alone, listening alone or listening and following along looking now and then at the transcriptions. If viewers and readers print out the transcriptions of course they can add comments to embellish My reflections and my PS Remarks after the fact. Transcript of Video 1 Descriptions of Videos (0:00 to 05:10) John: In many chapters, you will see an URL address that will connect you to a video clip which illustrates the activities that I write about. In almost all the videos clips, you will see a teacher with just a few students. When I initially show these clips to teachers, they say that they teach classes of from 15 to 50 students. They say it’s easy to do activities with just a few students. And they begin to be a little skeptical about whether the activities will have similar results in large classes. As you can see in the photograph you are looking at, there are more than a few students. But they’re all engaged in one of the many activities I urge ou to try. I and others have done these activities with many large classes. If you want to see a video version of the class that this picture is taken from go to You Tube John F. Fanselow-f a n s e l o w The participants in the picture you just saw were looking at are completing this introduction. John’s Introduction—Incomplete Information Version = A_ y _ _ k _ _ _ , m _ n _ _ _ _ _ J _ _ _ . <= I _ _ _ b _ _ _ i _ C _ _ _ _ _ _, I _ _ _ _ _ _ _ s , t _ _ h _ _ e o _ t _ _ C _ _ _ _ _ _ B _ _ l s b _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ t _ _ m _ _ _ t _ _ n _ _ e o _ a j _ _ z m _ _ _ _ _ l. When you look at this picture, which was taken from a video clip, you can see details that it is impossible to see when we look at the whole class as in the first photo you looked at. If we put a mike close to the students, if we put their cell phone by the students and record what they say, we can hear in detail what they are saying to each other and how they are puzzling out, in this case the introduction. So details are central to this book. 2:10 When I talk about small changes, we’re talking about looking at details of what we do and then looking at the details of the results. And the only way we can do that is to look at a few students at a time and listen to a few students. William Blake, an English poet, and 2:35 engraver and said this about the importance of details: To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand. And Eternity in an hour. I think it’s important for all of us to put on a different pair of glasses when we look at what we are doing in our classrooms and what our students are doing. And looking at details and listening to details is one way to put on a new pair of glasses. All of the video clips in this book are short and this is to remind you of the importance of looking at details. 3:38 And I believe it’s more important to look at the same video a dozen times with different pairs of glasses on so that each time you can see something new that you didn’t see before. Now some people say “Well, you know we have to look at the whole class to get an idea of the mood, or whatever. But you know when you go to get a blood test, they take a couple of vials. If they take it all, you know, you’re going to die. So you can get a lot by looking at a grain of sand and looking at the palm of your hand. 4:10 I’m hardly the first person or the only person to talk about change in general or small changes in particular. This book called Nudge [Cover shown in video clip] (By Thaler and Sunstein), describes ways that small changes can affect health care, can affect employee’s feelings about their work, about unemployment. There are many books about change. The most succinct description of the importance of change was made I think by Charles Darwin. It is not the strongest species that survives nor the most intelligent but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin 5:10 PS Remarks after the fact After teachers see my description of Nudge, they ask if I can provide any examples of the claims of the authors. One of the examples that Thaler and Sunstein described that has stuck with me is one about job counselors who help people find jobs. They describe an unemployment office in which the usual practice had been for the counselors to meet the unemployed person each week and write down what the person had done each day to look for a job. The rate of finding jobs was dismal. And the job counselors as well as those seeking jobs were very distressed. At a meeting one job counselors suggested that rather than review what each unemployed person had done the previous week they write down a plan for the coming week. They jointly wrote down a place the unemployed person would visit each day of the next week. Some days they decided to visit two sites when they were close together. Well, when the job counselors and unemployed person planned visits more of the unemployed found jobs and in a much shorter period of time. The teams employed a theme of one of my books: Try the opposite. Another common question teachers have after viewing Video 1 is for examples of small changes in teaching. One of the smallest changes I suggest is for teachers to write the articles with nouns on the board. Universally, teachers say “a book” as they hold up a book and then write book on the board without the article. Students then copy book in their notebooks. Writing a book rather than book takes no planning and can be executed in a heartbeat. Another small change, which is the central theme of this book, is to ask students to write what we say, either as we give the direction or make the comment or from a recording. Every day for 10 days, a teacher said, either, “These two key words are easy to understand.” Or “These two/or four/or six/ key words are difficult to understand. On the 11th day, she asked the students to listen to a recording of her direction and transcribe what she had said. Here are the renditions from the students. 99. Twose key words other understand. 97. Key words very easy understand. 95. Two have very easy key word. 93. To the key word is the understand. 91. Tou the easy key word is understand. 89. To the key word is understand. In a class on tourism, as the teacher prepared his students for a field trip he said “The hotel has a dress code.” Her are what 7 students wrote: 1. The hotel have dress paud 2. The hotel 3. The hotel has a dress cort 4. . . . 5. The Hotel has dress court. 6. The Hotel has. . . 7. the hotel is gre cool. What we say and what others hear are totally different events. Recording and having students transcribe or asking students to write each sentence or question you say is another option. If we walk around the classroom we can see what students heard and what they did not hear. If we only have them write what we say of course they we cannot know how much they catch from their fellow students though. One reason I transcribed the interactions and my reflections of the 29 video clips because some found it very difficult to follow the audio alone. Now, everyone has the option of reading what was said on the videos alone, listening alone or listening and following along looking now and then at the transcriptions. If viewers and readers print out the transcriptions of course they can add comments to embellish My reflections and my PS Remarks after the fact. Another reason is that in Video 16 Transcribing, I urge teachers to introduce transcriptions. The activities in Video 16, illustrate some of the

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