Friday, October 8, 2010

Día 35 - Children's story

Today I didn't really want to start a new story and decided to start a children's story with the class entitled, Un dinosaurio en peligro.  The book is about a dinosaur that worked and played in a small town and he had a snoring problem so the town had to solve it.  It's one of my favorite books of all time in the Spanish language because it's simple but also humorous.

I originally used it with my Spanish two classes as an example of the preterite versus the imperfect, which are two past tenses in Spanish.  But since we're using those with storytelling interchangeably without really mentioning it to the students, I decided that I would just use it today as a sort of fun activity.

Yesterday I watched a new show produced by A & E called Teach: Tony Danza.  Tony Danza, an actor I grew up watching on television now around 60 years old has decided after a short boxing career and longer acting career that he wants to help make an impact on the next generation.  He goes through a baptism by fire summer in which he takes professional development classes and I just watched the first episode where he is teaching at a big diverse school.  He's teaching English and he comes off as an exciting and genuine guy.  From what I can see, he has passion to become a teacher, but like me, I think he struggles with the question: "Am I really cut out for this?"

I do enjoy teaching students and getting to know them.  I've enjoyed using TPRS because it often feels more like playing with the students and less like a traditional class.  But there are days where I am met with such laziness and resistance on their part.  In the clip of a future episode of Teach: Tony Danza, he can't take it anymore and walks out of class.  There are many times I wish I could do that.  My students can be some of the rudest and negative people, but they are most likely only reflecting what they've grown up learning from their parents and family.  Nevertheless, it makes for teaching them very draining because I try to be pumped up and positive and they aren't making an effort to help me stay pumped up, which is what I ask of them every day.

So today I got excited about sharing one of my favorite stories with them and it flopped.  I don't care for the physical room that I teach in too much.  There's not much room for flexibility with the giant desks.

  1. My first hour class was paying attention to the book and they were answering questions that I made about the book.
  2. For some students it's good to have pictorial representations while telling the story.
  3. Due to the size of my class and the smallness of the book, I scanned the pages into a Powerpoint to show them while I was going through the story and walking around the class.
  4. I tried to walk around the class via Fred Jones explanation in classroom management while reading the story

  1. It's not the greatest setup and the desks are too huge.
  2. I didn't pace myself very well and didn't finish the story in any of the classes.
  3. Students felt as if they didn't have to think during the story because it was a story
  4. many laid their heads down as if it were nap time instead of story time
  5. some showed complete lack of interest as if one of my favorite stories could be [gasp] LAME
  6. some students probably didn't follow because I didn't go slowly enough or use a teachery reading voice
  7. I got offended when my students didn't show interest
Next time:
  1. What I should have done was to have them come in and maybe I could have the desks all moved against the wall and they would have to sit on the floor.  This would have helped them buy into the 'storytime' mindset
  2. possibly bring in milk and cookies or some small treat for them to buy into the storytime
  3. maybe don't circle as much as I did because it is storytime and try and get through the story as long as I can make sure that it is comprehensible
  4. keep in mind that students often are bored in an activity; I can try to reach as many as possible but some students will still be hard to reach; not that I should keep trying, but I need to grow harder skin
  5. encourage my students and remember to go slowly when needed
*If you are a teacher and would like to see the Powerpoint I created for the book just leave your email in a comment below.


    1. Hi there Sr. Jordan... I've been loving your blog as I get started teaching a semister long beginning spanish for middle schoolers! I'm going to try using TPRS this year and have very much appreciated your willingness to share all of your trials, tribulations and successes!

      I would love to see the powerpoint... thank you!


    2. Hi Sr Jordan,
      I've just started using TPRS - love your blog
      Keep it up!

    3. I am only just now learning about TPR and TPRS by reading your blog. I grew up overseas in Panama so did not have the same challenges that my students are facing where I am teaching Spanish. The hispanic community is not as large as other areas in the US which means they do not have much contact with Spanish other than in class.

      I am thrilled to be able to learn more about TPR and TPRS. This method sounds much better than just going through a textbook.

      Thanks for this blog and your website. Do you have any more videos showing TPR or TPRS being used? Thanks

      LizAnn Jordan

    4. Hola I would love to see your power point for the story Un dinosaurio en peigro. I believe my elementary students would love it.

      Elena lopez

      1. Hello! Could you email me at jeremiasjordan at gmail...?