A Mischief of Mistakes

Original title: Art can be distracting

Today I was trying to rush a story through my intermediate class with some new structures. Just as I wrote this, I realized that I had not PQA’d the new structures at all, and of course that word “rush” is always bad, so what I was about to say may really be more about the preparation than the art. Maybe tomorrow I will remember to get some leading questions up on the board as a sponge activity a la Martina Bex.*

I have a great new artist, but another thing I haven’t done is talk with her about the rules of TPRS art:

*no words in English
*the artist draws what the teacher has said and then stands back and waits while the class establishes the next piece, rather than continuing to draw and attracting more attention.

During the creation of a story about a pink tiger who lives in Canada where he is surrounded by mountains, the artist kept drawing and drawing, and her details and stray words made people laugh, but since they didn’t all match the story even though she kept erasing, kids got really distracted. Kids were concerned about the ratios in the map, whether there was a fire in the car that broke down, and what color the RB can was. Those were not questions I was asking! I could have been leading them, had I been looking at the picture at the same time.

I think it’s time to use the secret board (a child’s paint easel with a white board on one side) and let everyone else draw their pictures on their own. The (fifth?) problem I just realized is that we’ve used the same artist too many times and used a single artist too many times as well, so it’s time for some variety.

Good thing I have a blog, or I’d never recognize my mistakes! I will do better with this group tomorrow!

*Did you all notice that Martina had a beautiful baby on Boxing Day? There’s a sweet picture on her blog.

3 responses to “A Mischief of Mistakes

  1. Rushing through PQA, working in vocab, artists, quiz writers, music and rushing in general. I can not wait to hit the reset button after exams next week!


  2. I have a bunch of newbies too. Really young! I think having multiple artists would be a great way for them to record the stories. We actually started writing our own yesterday learning structures we learned from last month, but new artwork from the computer. They came up with their own original sentances and I am going to add that to the power point I was using. Things are starting to get fun for me as a teacher, and I think that may be where our “rush” comes from. We push ahead because it isn’t so challenging and novel to our brains.


  3. That’s certainly part of it. But also, it’s just that I forget to look into the kids’ eyes sometimes and check whether they’re with me. If they aren’t with me (and if I’m not with them), there’s no point in doing this.


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