Aug 21, 2008

first day

Our students came back on Monday this week. But, my first real class was yesterday. And, I bombed. I was asking circling questions and nearly everybody was staring at me with that dazed look on their faces that says "we already *get* this, why aren't you going on?" But, when I did my comprehension checks, I wasn't getting very strong responses. I don't see that class again until Monday (testing schedule), but I think I will spend a little bit of the class time re-explaining my participation expectations and that I won't go on again until I hear that nearly all of the students understand a concept.

Today I had two new classes, and I made a more concerted effort to give unexpected responses every once in a while. We did some TPR for a while. Then I did the circling with props activity. We got through about three students in each class. In the circling with props activity, each student has drawn an activity they enjoy doing on a piece of cardstock. I selected one card and spoke at length about that student and that activity. That student is, of course, the best in the world at that activity.

I picked some of my barometer and my "may be trouble later on" students to focus on today. They were better soccer players than David Beckham, better guitar players than Jimi Hendrix, better actresses than Julia Roberts, etc. And then one of my students likes to sleep on the roof of his house all the time. Another student plays volley ball in the swimming pool. Another student skis down the mountains at 3 a.m. it was just enough to keep them guessing, and I had students participating, guessing what their peers do.

I have two classes where I can see that the students just are not as willing to play this game. Yesterday's class and the class I had this afternoon. Yes, I got cute answers and participation today. But it was like pulling teeth, and there was a lot of sighing, eye rolling and talking in English. I introduced the concept of págames and told them that begins on Monday when we next see each other. Hopefully the págames and the continued circling with props with unexpected answers will get them to participate more willingly.

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