Don’t Mess with DEA!
2. Sit up, shoulders square and make eye contact with the teacher or whoever is talking at any given point. I can see in your eyes whether you are understanding or not, and if I cannot make contact with your eyes, you are messing with DEA!
3. Signal to me when you don’t understand, need me to repeat, slow down, stop, do understand, etc. I am constantly looking for hand signals. If I never get hand signals from you, you are messing with DEA!
4. Respond when I call on the whole class–loud, clear, enthusiastically!
5. Respond when I call on you. Be clever, funny absurd with your responses if you want to (that keeps things fun). Telling me “non intellego” or “confusus sum” or giving me a hand signal to let me know that you need help counts as a response, too. Staying silent when you are lost is messing with DEA!
6. Don’t have side conversations in English. (If you can have a side conversation in Latin, go right ahead, but don’t disturb what we are doing). Speaking in English while we are speaking Latin is a HUGE messing with DEA!
7. People who blurt out in any language are messing with DEA!
8. Keep an attitude of good will toward everyone in the room. Bad attitudes and bad will towards others is messing with DEA!
9. Have nothing on your desk, in your lap or in your hands while we are speaking in Latin. If I have to ask you to remove things, you’re messing with DEA!
10. If you take notes on anything without being asked to, you’re messing with DEA!
DEA will work for you every single time, but just mess with DEA, and you won’t learn any Latin. Got it?
- The core of how I manage a classroom has been and continues to be respect. I still make that point, and I ask students if there is anything in the D.E.A that is not really about respect–which is always a two way street.
- I give students a 100 point DEA grade every three weeks. I keep a clipboard with the current class roster on it, and anytime I see a student violating one of the DEA agreements, I simply put the corresponding symbol in the daily space for that student. At the end of 3 weeks, I subtract 5 points for every symbol. Most students keep their 100 points. Those who are really struggling will almost always have multiple symbols and a low DEA grade. In other words, there is a direct correlation between the DEA agreements and acquisition of language using CI. Therefore . . .
- It is crucial to understand that this is not a daily participation grade or a behavior grade. This is a daily assessment of students engaging in language acquisition or not. Each item on the DEA is correlated with principles of CI. If students do not join me in the agreements, they will not make progress in the languages.
- I say often: I am only here for your success. I want you to be successful. When you __________, I cannot help you be successful. (this is my one on one conversation with a student who is routinely violating the DEA agreements.
- I have long been opposed to grades that are based on behavior and in using grades to control behavior. That is not what this is about and if you should find yourself thinking of using it that way, then back up and reframe your way of thinking. This is about helping every kind of learner be successful in Latin.
To create a CI daily assessment tool like this, you have to take CI principles, your local setting and requirements, and get creative. I borrowed some of this from Ben Slavic and others on his PLC. I created other parts of it our of my experience and local concerns and needs. If you think this will work for you copy it, use it, adapt it, jump off from it. One thing for sure: you cannot ignore classroom management in a CI classroom.