I’m happy as always after meeting some colleagues for our monthly CI/TPRS meeting. We had some stories to share and then we watched videos. The first was part of the 2010 Beginner’s Track at NTPRS in Chicago with Donna Tatum-Johns. It may seem strange, but all of us can use the careful explanation of the basics, and Donna is a master. After about half an hour, we discussed what we’d been leaving out of our classrooms. She had managed to cover brain theory, the elements of TPRS, and methods of classroom management in the first 30 minutes of a three-disk video! We agreed that we needed to return to slow speech when introducing new structures. A “structure” can be an entire sentence long, by the way…something I’d forgotten. My structures are more often one or two words, and I’ve been defining those as structures if they translate into two or three words in English. The other part that we’d been losing, as a group, was the laughter. We got reminded that language lessons must include the happy emotions. At this time of the year, those can fade.
(We also remembered that it’s time to sign up for the two big conferences: NTPRS and IFLT!)
Then we did a MovieTalk demo, followed by ideas on how to work MT into the usual classroom. We watched several of the cute videos on different lists. I’d never seen Chicken or the Eggs; that got us all laughing. None of us have time to watch a bunch of little films, but we could see how it would work to MT a short video at the end of a class period, especially if we know one that will work with the area we’re emphasizing.
I love hanging out with other teachers crazy enough to meet on a Friday afternoon. I get so much energy from them! Maybe some of that energy comes from Yan’s wonderful noodles. Whatever the case may be, I highly recommend getting together with colleagues and enjoying the sparks that come back into our classrooms after meeting.