I’m beginning to feel like a broken happy record. I love this mix of SL and TPRS. I think it’s what we need to get kids to the transition to continuing language education. Today my little class of advanced kids got down on hands and knees and put our current sentence into place. We had cut all the morphemes off, and they were saying aloud the words to be able to spell them. (I got the book, and found the bits I’d forgotten, so we couldn’t do writing just yet. That will be tomorrow.) Every kid had the right grammar as they said the words; every kid was saying the words correctly, and they were happy as little clams to be manipulating these words and their endings. Even the level 2 kid who is in there by a scheduling problem was helping put the jigsaw together. These are high schoolers, all down on a terribly grubby brown rug that is so old it is disintegrating.
Warning…SL doesn’t really have kids putting the sentences together anywhere I can see. I wanted to do “transformations,” during which you either rearrange the sentence and/or take out words to discuss the effect that those rearrangements have on the meaning. It’s pretty cool. If a person had a sentence-strip holder and proper sentence strips to write on (or a SmartBoard), she wouldn’t be taping sentences to the board or having to lay them out on the floor. But I needed the sentences to be in shape for arranging, so the kids got to do it.
We started with FVR today, did the sentence thing, went to reading our difficult story (in which they were responding to subjunctive like nobody’s business), and then they discussed whether the journalist had been being polite to open a locked door in a stranger’s house and whether they’d do that in another house.
We followed by creating a quick skeleton story around some song vocabulary and then reading the four levels that I’d created for the other class (in which the little girl got lost in the woods and ate the wolf before finally taking the flowers to her grandmother)
So now I’ve got the embedded story that they created and the other class will be able to read theirs, and we can expand on all of this…
Another random thing that happened today was that after we finished FVR, we were talking about what was interesting to them. One boy was reading about Strauss-Kahn and his visit to the IMF in a newspaper, and the specific word for “visit” was new to him. Another girl had the same word that she picked up in “The Blue Carbuncle” (sp?) and she told us that it was curious they both had that word. Then the same word turned up in our reading! HF vocabulary. . . I guess maybe I should add it to the list.
Darn. My English word collector had 36 words by the end of class.