Compelling and Comprehensible from Day One – DEMO + CHECKLIST

I spent part of my birthday with a dozen educators here in Nashville, TN for a two-hour workshop entitled “Compelling and Comprehensible from Day One”. It was so much fun! Since one of my participants was absent and several teachers had asked if this session could be available online, I decided to record the demo I did in German.

The purpose of the workshop was to demonstrate and practice keeping our interactions with Novice students 1) comprehensible 2) interesting 3) structured (with key Classroom management procedures) from DAY ONE. It is very powerful to experience a demo in a language you don’t understand because you can put yourself in your students’ shoes and also really realize the power of providing comprehensible input.

After the demo, we debriefed and came up with a checklist of all the techniques the participants observed during the demo. We then moved on to a coaching session where participants could try out some of these techniques in a safe environment.

Feel free to use the checklist to:

  1. Watch the video and check off the techniques you observe
  2. Make a video of yourself teaching and use the checklist to self reflect
  3. Have someone observe you using this checklist

This is by no mean a be-all-end-all demo + checklist but I hope it will help teachers gain more confidence in their skills. If you are interested in joining us face-to-face for our next two-hour workshops, visit this page.


PS: if you happen to be a German teacher, please be kind with your comments about my German. German is my 4th language 🙂


  1. You are a rock star!! And in German!! Thank you so much for posting this video. I just finished watching it, and I can’t wait to watch it again and look at the checklist, so I can implement some of the techniques 😃
    Two questions 😉
    If you have young students who are pre-readers, do you just say the English instead of writing the words?
    Would you high five young students, too? It’s not really done in our “peaceful” school (not really peaceful all the time, but that’s the goal 😉), but I really like the way it connects you to your students.
    Tausend Dank! Merci!!

    • Thank you for always being so encouraging, Kate! As you know, I only taught Elem one year but YES, with pee literate students I did not write as much. I wrote some key words for my K-1. I used more L1 orally, as you correctly assumed. Also, we did do high fives, I agree that it could “rile them up” , so I made it a special treat. Finally, I could never sustain 20 min of conversation with young kids so our “conversations” were always brief and then I would get to THE story! I hope this helps.

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