Monday, November 15, 2010

Día 61 - Weekend Activity

If you've noticed, I've stopped doing a daily blog because I was almost blogging at times for blogging's sake and decided instead that I should only write an entry when I had something to talk about.

Today I feel like I have one of the best jobs in the world.  This is what TPRS teaching feels like when it goes well.  You forget for a brief period that you're a teacher because they kids are enjoying the language and they're trying.  It's true that most students do try to say things in the language when they have felt comfortable with it.  But for almost all students, this comes with lots of repetitions.  We must not forget to give them the repetitions needed in order to help them understand the structures of the language.  And some of my students are amazing me at the language they produce when before they never really did.

But TPRS gives them a chance to shine like never before.  And they can be funny in the language which helps a lot of them because you're telling stories and those can easily be made funny.

We did another Weekend Activity today.  It's really just a warm-up for the week and we can get in some preterite practice.  That is, one of the past tenses in Spanish,

So today I came up with the following true-ish statements about my weekend. (Sometimes things I think will produce great language flop).  But today I was on.
Durante el fin de semana: (During the weekend)
  1. Maté una mosca (I killed a fly)
  2. Mi gato me pegó. (My cat hit me)
  3. Cociné (I cooked)
The language from the first sentence alone made for an interesting story and numerous parallel stories.  I had students killing elephants with their tongues and killing deer with tree trunks in the zoo.  It was great practice and we also threw in some colors, days of the week, places and other random objects to kill something with.  It was great.  In one class, a student was supposedly pregnant with 21 babies from a previous storyline and one of the students ended up pushing him down a staircase with a friend and killing the babies (IN SPANISH).  Sure, it's a tad violent.  But not all of the stories are violent.  And to cure the manic Monday feeling, you gotta do what ya gotta do.

Today has been sensational so far.  I think it helped that I was able to pick something that students wanted to talk about.  Although with all the details you can add in a story (with whom, with what, where, when, how) any story can become somewhat engaging if you can get your kids to add the right details!

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