Whew. It’s been a rough week. I’ve been sick, and it’s definitely affected the 3/5 days that I was in school this week.
So maybe that’s why I shouldn’t be surprised that in the midst of a writing activity where my novices were giving reasons why they do or do not like to do something, one student used one of the words to tell a friend that my class was boring.
I’m still getting the hang of this teaching business. Last year was my first year, and I struggled with 4 preps. Now, I’m struggling with having a non-communcative based curriculum, and with transitioning to total comprehensible input (TCI) to better learning for my students. For background, I have about 55 novices this year in level one, and approximately half of those students didn’t choose to take my class; they were pushed into it after they were closed out of taking Latin. Many of those students wanted to take Latin because they knew there was no speaking involved.
So, I’ve been apprehensive about going full-out TCI because I don’t want these students to shut down on me. But after that comment, I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to engage students every step of the way and I think that this is what will push these students to like what we’re doing. Sure, there will be an initial rebellion because a lot of my students don’t like to pay attention 100% of the time, but I know that it will be worth it and that I can’t back down.
So, last night, on a Friday night, after making myself a giant bowl full of soup, I hunkered down to look up some resources on how to better myself and my students at this whole comprehensible input thing. And I found both refuge and solace in the words and strategies of a respected colleague. I don’t know if I was looking at these articles with new eyes, or a new hunger to try something different, but I want to do ALL of them, all of the time.
Please don’t mind that all of these posts come from the same source:
How to increase your TL use in class: http://musicuentos.com/2010/07/5-tips-for-increasing-your-own-target-language-use/
How to help increase students’ TL use: http://musicuentos.com/2010/12/9-ways-to-increase-students-tl-use/
After I read those, I decided to dive deeper. I’ve been intrigued by storytelling for a while, but am apprehensive about some of the TPRS methods. So here are some good posts about storytelling:
How to create a story: http://musicuentos.com/2013/05/tellastory/
Storytelling tips and tricks: http://musicuentos.com/2013/09/great-story/
I was also reminded about the need for authentic resources (I’ve been modifying quite a few lately)
Novice authentic resources: http://musicuentos.com/2013/01/novice/
And last, but not least, maybe this student wouldn’t have spoken out if I’d been changing the activities up. It was a Friday after all, the students were probably restless by 7th period.
Keeping kids engaged by changing activities: http://musicuentos.com/2013/02/changeactivities/
So, these articles will be the basis of how I’m changing the way I teach from now on. What inspires you to TCI? What resources do you read to keep yourself encouraged? I’d love to hear your input.’
And a huge shout out to Sara-Elizabeth at musicuentos.com for inspiring me after a rough week. :]