Saturday, October 8, 2016

TPRS year 7 - secret password tweaks

Here's the evolution that I have had in my teaching.

4 years ago, I decided to stand at my door to greet students.

3 years ago, I continued to do this.

2 years ago, I thought it would be great to add in a handshake while greeting students.

1 year ago, I decided to try out a secret password with my students so that they could get in my class. (see post)

This year, I have continued with the secret password, but continue to experiment.

While I think they really helped me have something else to play around with during targeted and non-targeted comprehensible input during class last year, it also just added that extra element of fun.

Nevertheless, the way I did it last year made it a little disjointed.

As I have been reading on Bryce Hedstom's blog, I have found that there are passwords that are almost call and response. Or they are an interaction that kids have to go through before they can enter.

Last week, I tried out, "Of course!" (Claro que sí).

But I asked them as they were walking in (while I tried to be as super excited as possible): Are you ready? (¿Estás listo/lista?)

I found that it was fun and lighthearted and students would often smile as I asked them in an over the top way, "are you ready?" (with a smile on my face).

Now it has become an expectation for class. If I ask the class if they are ready for something, they are to reply, "¡Claro que sí!" (Of course if we are chatting about their lives, that would be the exception).

This week, I toyed around with the phrase, "pobrecito" (poor thing / poor baby!).

I started out with having the students respond to me talking about what a horrible teacher I am or what a loser I am, etc (based on typical class insults).

They then responded to, "¡Pobrecito!" and I let them go in.

But as the week continued, I decided to make it a little conversation. I didn't tell tell them that it was going to happen that way. It just turned into an interaction where they had to figure out what to do to be successful. I liked this. I found my Spanish 1's figured it out a lot quicker than my Spanish 2's. Most likely because my Spanish 2's have more baggage from a previous teacher while my Spanish 1's are incredibly used to my personality.

Here was the interaction in the target language:
Me: Good morning / Good afternoon (shake their hand)
Student: Good morning / Good afternoon.
Me: How are you?
Student: I'm fine/ok/bad/tired/annoyed/etc
Me: [if needed, waiting]
Student: And what about you?
Me: I am terrible. I am terrible because I am a terrible teacher. I live in a yellow bathroom. I play the guitar alone.*
Student: Poor thing!
Me: You may pass.

*my last response depended on the previous input level of class for what I could say.
Spanish 1: In __'s opinion, I am a terrible teacher/ugly/a big loser/dumb/boring/not interesting.
Spanish 2: ___ thinks that I am a terrible teacher/ugly/a big loser/dumb/boring/not interesting / I don't have any friends.
It also varied on the student I was talking to. and inside jokes we might have already had.

It was a fun way to start class!

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