Thursday, September 2, 2010

notes from today

I did have class with 1-A today, but only 4 kids came to school from 1-J: somehow, along with 1-G, they thought the teacher protest was today instead of next Thursday (which is also what I thought, until two days ago), so only a handful of kids came in from those classes. The poor kids who did show up had to stay the entire day, with no classes. I stayed in the room with them as a favor to Marcela, because, hey, why not, she has at least 40 classroom hours per week, and I had no plans for the afternoon, and I just started reading Siddhartha for the first time.

We did have a nice moment in 1-A. Adding to our dialogue questions, we practiced
1. What do you do for fun?
2. I like _____.
and they fill in the blank with a short list of hobbies we learned: things like tennis, soccer, video games. After some practice, I had them get up in pairs and do it from memory.
Kevin: What do you do for fun?
Ignacio: I like you.
Which was pretty awesome, not just because of their insinuations that someone else is gay--I don't know if Ignacio was being sincere, or allowing himself to be part of mocking someone else, as I often do--but because it highlighted a growing flexibility in the students' use of language. For example, I also had them do the entire 4-question dialogue:
1. What's your name?
2. My name is ______.
1. Where are you from?
2. I am from ______.
1. How old are you?
2. I am _____ years old.
1. What do you do for fun?
2. I like _____.
That's how I intended them to do it. Here's what they did:
1. Where are you from?
2. I am from _____. And you?
Somewhere in their past, they learned to respond to "How are you?" with "I am fine. And you?". And now they have suddenly generalized "And you?" to other sentences! It feels like they're actually speaking English, putting things together in a way beyond what I've taught them.

1 comment:

  1. I love it when the students try to apply things we've taught in new ways. It's that lightbulb moment that makes teaching special.