Monday, October 3, 2011

TPRS Sp1: El Diccionario / La Mochila

Today I tried something different in presenting the stories. I wanted the students to fully concentrate on listening to the story. They didn't need to add anything to the story or help create it, nor did I want them to write anything the entire time I told the story. There were 3 new words that they hadn't seen before: el pasillo, el armario, and está furiosa; and 2 new grammar structures: la (used as a direct object pronoun), and the yo form of verbs.

Since the whole story was presented verbally with less circling techniques than normal, I kept a close watch on whether or not students used the signal for not understanding. The phrase "teach to the eyes" came to mind so I searched their eyes and, lo and behold I did see one girl that looked like her eyes, and her head, were spinning. I understood why when, a few minutes later, she asked to go to the bathroom because she felt sick. (It's amazing how much you can connect with the students when you're really concentrating on making sure they understand and "teaching to the eyes" and not just trying to deliver the content.)

After I finished telling the story, I put the students in groups of 4 so they could read the story together, first in Spanish and then in English. Then I gave each student a slip of paper and they wrote a question about the story in Spanish. I asked the questions in Spanish and they tried to be the first to answer. On the back side of the paper I had another story: same vocabulary, same grammar structures, slightly different scenario.

I had a paper with questions in short answer style ready as a follow-up activity to check on their comprehension of the 2nd story, but we ran out of time. Their homework was to read the 2nd story to their parent in English.

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