Friday, August 26, 2011

year 2 - TPRS week 1

So I started at a new school and I have a lot of neat things going on at the new school.  I decided to label the new entries based on what weeks they happen in if possible.  I don't feel the need to blog as much as I used to since I'm doing a lot of the same things.  Now I have to pay attention to some different things since I feel more comfortable with TPRS itself.

The following are some things I've been working on this week:

Native speakers:
I was really excited when I interviewed with my new principal because I know that the school had about 40% of the students, Hispanic.  Many of them are bilingual while a few don't know as much Spanish and know more English.  I know some of the students at the school and always asked them about their Spanish teachers and always heard how boring the class was.  This always made me fearful of teaching there because the Spanish-speaking students have to take the class even though they already speak Spanish. 

In my interview I talked about how the native speakers might still enjoy my TPRS classroom more than a traditional classroom because it's all about interaction and we work on literacy as well.  So he was convinced and gave me the job.

I decided to offer the Native speaking students a few choices (since I learned in Love & Logic that choices are a big deal for students' empowerment):
  1. do what everyone else does and pretend
  2. read children's books / chapter books in Spanish and write 2-3 sentence summaries
I also let them know if they cause problems, they have to do option 2.  I would be happy with either option because they can help me in option 1 and they can help themselves (in their literacy) in option two.  So for me, it's a win-win.

None of the students really took me up on the reading.  They have told me that they actually like my class because we're speaking in Spanish for most of the class and we are saying interesting things (Thanks TPRS!).

So for now, I'm really excited about having the native speaking students in my class to help out and offer some neat perspectives (especially when we get more conversational)

Attention spans / rebellion:
I've been doing my best to call students out on their attention problems and rebellion during class breaks and different things.  Since I am somewhat confident in my TPRS and PQA abilities, I can now focus on students individually and  teach more to their eyes than I used to. 

So I've talked to a handful of kids that I've noticed slacking a little in class and I've asked them if they're doing ok and if I am not going slow enough for their individual needs.  I also have been doing my best to build a rapport with the students to help squash potential rebellions later by being more approachable.

Thus far, it's been a great first week and I'm excited for the rest of the year.


  1. Hola Senor Jordan,

    It was interesting to read your comments on having Spanish speakers in your class. I wonder how do you plan lessons in terms of differentiation? Is it difficult to keep students motivated in the classroom? How do you ensure that learning is taking place when you have such a mixed ability group? I'm sorry to ask so many questions but I'm curious. I teach Spanish to adults and have seen your Youtube videos. I think they are great fun! I have no problems teaching beginner but when it comes to more advance students????

  2. I made a new post responding to this question here: