I ran out of time with the beginner class’ presentations yesterday…only got one group in. Listening to that group gave me an idea, because one kid talked for a long time, and another talked less but threw in sentence connectors (because/but/and). I put the list of ways to fill out a story on the board: connectors, introduce the back story, explain the place, and add dialogue. It was very interesting to hear how much some kids said, as well as being a great look at their acquisition. If they were struggling to hold on to just the “This is the dolphin. He wants an ice cream,” piece, they couldn’t add more. But many kids did something like: “This is a dolphin. He is in the ocean. His name is Ivan. Ivan wants ice cream because it is summer. Ivan has a problem. Ivan doesn’t have ice cream.” Blew me away! I want to do more embedded readings with them to just flood them with more language, but maybe their greater linguistic ability is from the flood that they get whenever we do Movie Talk. They’ve got much more active vocabulary that comes out than previous groups have, and I’ve been amazed by my previous groups.
What’s also a bit weird is that I’ve had this group speak far less (this is only their third time in nine weeks) than I’ve ever had groups presenting. It’s a great measure for me.