We did the second round of sliding-scale quizzes yesterday, but I got frustrated by the point system, which awarded points for both meaning and structure, which are obviously overlapping, but then I didn’t know where to put the scores. Today for my first-year class, I gave them the list with two extra blank columns: one entitled “Vocabulary” and one “Structure.” Then when we graded the quiz, kids put a point down for the meaning and a point or two down if they got aspects of the structure right. An example:
pashol: (he) went (by foot)…if the kids put down anything about going or walking, they got a point in the vocabulary column. If they put “he” and a past tense form, they could get two points in the structure column. That way I can tease out the structure and the vocabulary difference. Some words just had vocabulary points (“family,” for instance).
Next I tried the real form of horizontal conjugation with another group. We drew pictures for an old story, retold it in pairs, and then we told it from a new perspective, writing in just the new forms as guide words. One advanced student retold it as a model for the whole class. Then the group told it in pairs, and then volunteers told it to the class. I didn’t get to the step yet of erasing the guide words completely, but I was stunned to hear that this way of retelling, which sounds so simple, is so effective. I got a later e-mail from Susie, and she said that at the end of a month of doing re-tells from perspective (third-person singular and plural into first person), the kids had to do a POV change in writing. I don’t think I have this as organized as Susie did.
What IS it about this TPRS stuff? Every time I think I have the basics down, I realize there’s another piece I have to learn. And then of course I forget the basics again. There are a lot of balls to keep juggling. (If anyone from Fairbanks is reading, maybe you’ll think twice about asking me to come talk to you!)