Good tech day

Had a fun lab day with my intermediates today. That was b/c I had all the four-level questions that my advanced kids wrote for the seniors about the book Tom that is already on line.

After I warmed them up with a fun on-line vocabulary quiz site, I put them into pairs and let them start working on the questions. They had to download my google doc, change their font to Cyrillic, and then each pair got to use the printed-out book (and the on-line document) to answer the questions. They worked very hard, and it was just another way to get back to the reading! Like Misty Adoniou says, “the same but different.”

I told them that the point was to understand the questions (taking my cue from a Martina post a while back), so that they were to ask me right away if they didn’t understand a question, and that I was less interested in full-sentence answers in Cyrillic than I was in their re-reading. That made it easy for them to ask me questions, even though some kids wanted to prove they could do it on their own, and it also helped that I was openly encouraging them to skim for answers to copy-and-paste into the document. Such a tricky teacher! No! Don’t come up with the words yourself…read through the book, then find the section in the on-line, and you won’t have to type at all if it’s there. Of course, that doesn’t help with level three and four questions (“author and me” and “about yourself”), but at least I looked kind.

One interesting result was that I finally learned how to teach two of the little words that come up in questions all the time. Before this, I’ve always told kids that there is no word for “do/does/did” in a question, but I found out that there is indeed, a word that I’ve always translated as “whether.” And it was the same case for the little particle “бы” that translates as “would,” in a question. Once I put those two words up on the board and helped them understand in context, everything was a lot more clear.

If I didn’t use TPRS philosophy, I don’t know whether I’d still be learning things about how to streamline this teaching of language. I love it!

The upshot of this was that the kids were reading questions together, figuring them out, re-reading sections of the book, and having a nice time together. All I did was walk around and facilitate their reading. What a joy!

Seven more days.

I’m not counting down or anything.

But I can’t wait to see some of you!


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