Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Musings on second year

I think that, by the second year in the TPRS classroom, some students get really tired of the same old structure that I live by.  For those classes, I have tried to give them what they are begging me for in a couple of different ways.  First off, I do not do this every day because I am still the teacher and I know what's best for them...

I have started having them write the stories based on our target structures.  They have enough language that they are able to do this.  Then, I pick the best one and we go over it rather quickly the next day.  A lot of times, their stories are based on fairy tales or movies, so it makes it a lot more interesting for the students.

I also spend a lot more time on PQA than I do with my first years.  I don't know what it is about how I PQA, but I can't get the whole class to listen to me talk about one student in the class.  They just don't care that their neighbor woke up at 6 am.  Now, in the beginning of the year, when we are circling with balls, I can get the kids to pay attention for 45 minutes of me talking about one student.  But they just don't listen during a normal PQA.  Any thoughts on how I can spice it up?

Monday, March 4, 2013

My first Movie Talk!

I had about 10-15 minutes left in each of my French 1 classes today.  After hearing crickets with my first class as I tried to get them to tell me more about their weekends, I decided to try MT with my other 3 French 1 classes.  I used this video about a boy who kicks a can and the damage that causes (I think Laurie Clarcq first posted it).  We only made it through about 30 seconds of the video as I described the boy, we imagined what the pop in the can tasted like, we imagined what kind of music the boy listened to (because my class immediately labeled him as "emo"), etc.  We predicted what would happen next...  It was GREAT!  It was a nice break from storytelling for me because I had no control over what happened next in the video. 

I did start off by explaining that we were going to try something new and that we were going to watch a movie, but that I was going to stop the video very frequently to describe what was going on.  I promised that we would watch the whole thing without stopping once we were done with doing it my way. 

The kids seemed engaged and my superstar class was picking up the new vocabulary like nobody's business...which wasn't the point, but it was great to give those superstars something new to work with. 

I highly recommend trying this!

I have to update now that I've finished watching the movie with all of my classes:  My superstar class was able to re-tell the movie using super impressive vocabulary and my lowest class was at least engaged in the activity.  I can't wait to try it again soon...but not too soon because I don't want it to lose it's novelty!