Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 2, 3 and 4 TPR

Well, I am continuing with Total Physical Response (TPR) probably for the next week or two.  So far the students have really responded positively to it and they can remember the words very well.

I am also glad that I can come to class with minimal planning and rely on my understanding of the language and creativity to make the students point to things and act out different things in their head that I say so that they can perform them.

If done correctly, it is stimulating for them as well as entertaining.  I like to offer fun and goofy things for the students to do.  For example, today we went over 'señala el libro' (point at the book) and I later added 'señala al profesor con la lengua' (point at the teacher with your tongue).

When the entire class did that, it looked like they were spitting their tongues out at me and I said with an offended expression: "¡Clase por favor!" (class please!).  To which many of them laughed.

It's incredibly engaging too.  Certainly students have been complaining here and there because they want to sit down and they claim to be tired.  I caught a few trying to lean up against their desks or the wall.  I try to keep them pretty active though so this doesn't happen.  In addition, I make sure to model the behavior that I expect.  I point out to them that if I stand, they can too.

I think that this teaching style really fits my personality better than others I have tried because I can be a positive person as well as goofy and teach the students.  I am also not worried if students try to complain because I will just respond by telling them that instead of complaining or sighing, I want them to say "yippee skippee" or something to that effect with enthusiasm so that we can build on the positiveness.

In my last hour class, I decided to start trying out a little TPRS with my 7th grade students because they need a less traditional style class at that age.  The junior high class has always offered me something to be desired regarding classroom management. I've been reading "TPRS in a Year" by Ben Slavic which can be found on his website.  In it he mentioned used Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA).  Long story short, yesterday I tried it for the first time with my 7th graders.  It was their first day of class due to assemblies during the first week.  I challenged them to learn with me and I started an activity that Ben did in his class.  I wrote down a sentence about myself on the board "El profesor toca la guitarra." Then I circled and asked questions with "Who plays guitar?" or "What does the professor play?" in Spanish.  Then I had the class draw a picture about something they like to do.  When I went around the class, I started teaching things about the students based on their drawings and Spanish.

It was incredibly effective!  A para-professional in the classroom told me later that it helped keep her awake and was fun.  Not only was  the adult in class enjoying it, the kids were all paying attention!  They might have drifted once in awhile but I could get their attention back pretty easily.  I am nervous and excited to try it again in an hour to continue learning about them.

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