Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Día 13 - Weekend Activity

In my free time, I've been trying to read more about TPRS and different strategies other teachers implement to find success in their classroom.

Last week, I remember either reading in some random site or on moretprs.net about an activity with the weekend for class.

After the weekend, the teacher writes up a few options on the board of what they did.  Then they can talk about students and what they did on the weekend with yes/no questions.  Each week you could slowly introduce more terms and vocabulary catered to what your kids might do.  But even if they don't do the things, you can still have them "play the game" of storytelling through lying about what they've done.

Today I decided to try it.  With TPRS, you should be able to turn anything into a story if your class participates.  But it REALLY depends on the class.  It doesn't matter what the teacher does, if the students don't want to participate, class drags on and on.

I started off my classes with some of the question words and the following on the board:
Durante el fin de semana
   During the weekend...
     1.  Fui a San Luis
           I went to St. Louis
     2. Vi la televisión
           I watched tv
     3. Comí en Macaroni Grill
           I ate in Macaroni Grill.
From that, I introduced the information and then started straight into asking questions about other people.  If you're not sure how I did that, see the previous entry on circling.

By the time I got to the last statement, a few other people in class should have been able to include themselves.

Third hour did a fantastic job today.  I reminded my students that it was their job to make the class fun before we started.  I then proceeded to start class. By the end of the class, a student had gone to Mcdonald's in Texas with Dora the Explorer to eat overweight, ugly and smelly children.  Another student went to Narnia with Gary the snail to Mr. Tumnus' house to eat Mr. Tumnus.  Another student ate brownies in the gas station bathroom with Justin Bebier.

Fifth hour also made the class incredibly fun.  The hilarious thing about TPRS is that you never quite know where it's going to go during class.  You can always have an outline of things that you'll be doing.  But each class can take such interesting turns with the structures and make it their own.  During fifth hour, two students showed up late and it turned into a romantic situation later in class.  One student went to Texas with Dale Earnheardt Jr.  Another student went to Japan with Peter Parker.  I evidently went to St Louis with Samuel L. Jackson.  One student watched Pokemon while another student watched Spongebob.  The teacher watched Dr. Phil.  The teacher went to Macaroni Grill.  Another student went to Subway with the student she arrived late with to class.  Suddenly, we had a romantic situation in class that I hadn't foreseen!  I took advantage of it and asked what she ate her food with.  She ate her food with his hand.  Finally, he kissed her on her hair.  The students were yelling out suggestions but I wanted to go with a less obvious choice.  He was a good sport and kissed his hand then touched the girl's hair.

Did I show up to class today knowing that a student ate fat, ugly, smelly children at McDonald's with Dora the Explorer or that two of my other students enjoyed a romantic dinner at Subway?  You never quite know what will happen in TPRS when the class does their part.

Room for improvement:
It's funny because I was doubting the usefulness of my approach to the weekend activity this morning because it flopped in the first two classes.

The students acted as if they had not slept at all during the weekend.  No matter how much I tried to get them to enjoy class and to wake up, they didn't try as hard.  I tried to remind them that I could only do my half and the class was only as interesting as they made it.  Nevertheless, by the time I got to third hour, I just found myself kind of drained of energy.

This just helps me realize that I need to help the first two hours to get a little more goofy with their stories because they don't quite have it mastered on their own like 3rd hour and 5th hour.

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