TCI Conference Melbourne 2018

What is the difference between the two photos? Nothing! They are both photos of yours truly with superheroes!!!!

I was so excited to have the opportunity to attend a conference with three superheroes of mine – Terry Waltz, Laurie Clarcq and Anny Ewing. I was not disappointed!

Below you will find gems I discovered at the conference. I hope some of these gems will be useful for you too!

Gaining Students’ Attention 

  • Start singing ‘If you’re Happy and You know it’, kids will start joining in with the actions.
  • Sing! Hold a note!
  • 3-2-1 Waterfall. Kids all go SHHHHHH

Four Key Principles of Teaching with Comprehensible Input:

  • make it comprehensible
  • provide repeated exposure
  • keep it interesting
  • teach for success

Rules for the TCI Classroom: (These are for teacher as well as student)

0. Naked desks – nothing on desks! Better yet, go deskless!

  1. Listen to understand
  2. Answer all together (unless I am asking a specific person/I stop you)
  3. STOP
  4. 2 words
  5. Ooh!  Aah!

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Rules explained:

Why would you ask a question of a specific person? You could be asking the ‘barometer’ (one who gets it eventually but takes a bit longer to process; tries hard) to gauge comprehension OR you could be asking a fast-processing student for extension.

If you do ask the fast processor, add “Look at me and smile if you could have answered that question.” 

Use a wait signal so kids can have extra processing time: honour the thinking.

When would you let kids use 2 words? When you are fishing. Kids can answer in L2 or us 2 words. When fishing, use the “fairy dust” hand gesture to indicate you are wanting an answer/idea from students.

Say “Please answer in L2 unless I need an idea”. Limit your own English!!!

Best to have classroom signs with picture, L2 and English.

Remember that repetition is repeated MEANING, not sound! ie Ensure students understand the word!!

Ooh! Aah! You can use these sounds as well as rejoinders such as Astaga! Kasihan! Aduh! Keren! Hore! If kids get carried away, you can use a conductor gesture to stop them, or tell them “Kontrol” or “Sudah” to develop self-control. Point to the sign, then gesture to ‘cut off’ the sound.

THINK          FEEL          SAY          DO

Feelings are so important to kids. If they can attach a feeling to a word, can learn it so much better. There is a difference between ‘requested’ and ‘forced’ output. We do not want to force output. Give kids the opportunity to opt out of answering in L2 if they are not confident. You only use L1 to see what the level of comprehension is. “How would you say…?” “What did I just say?”

Rules need to be MODELLED, EXPLAINED and PRACTISED. You don’t get buy-in if kids don’t understand why they are learning with TCI.

To communicate is to put our picture in someone else’s mind or heart.

Kids can ask teacher to STOP if they don’t understand (with a gesture). Teacher will also STOP if it is clear someone doesn’t understand. Practise the gesture for “I don’t understand”. If students see someone else doing that gesture, they do it too. (Saves individual feeling stupid or embarrassed)

Another rule could be:

6.   Grandma     Grandma means G-rated. Kids can only give ideas that grandma would approve of. Have a cool poster of Grandma. My grandma loves interesting stories. She falls asleep with the boring stuff. Swear words make Grandma angry.

The Lesson

Grab their interest in a novel way.

Give them a reason for learning – show them the gold (what will they be able to achieve at the end) eg Terry told us “At the end of this lesson you will be able to read this Hawaiian script”.

Have your new structures written on the board so you know where you are heading, as well as posters for Who? What? Where? How? How many?

Good idea to ask a colleague to survey your lesson to find out:

  • how many times do students answer in L2?
  • how many questions do I ask?

Use English ONLY for two reasons:

  • to ensure the picture is clear (comprehension check)
  • to ‘fish’ (ask) for story details

Ask LOTS of questions. Don’t ask questions unless students have the TL (Target Language) to answer. Questioning is a super important skill.

When students are in their first 3 years of learning the language, don’t worry about correcting grammar.

Teach kids how to accept a compliment. “Amelia, I am going to tell the class something about your sentence. You can accept the compliment with a royal nod or wave like the Queen.”

Make it comprehensible!

  • establish meaning
  • support meaning – write on board, posters (pause and point!)
  • comprehension checks

Provide Repeated Exposure:

  • ask questions
  • confirm answers (Brad Pitt’s house)
  • extend answers (Brad Pitt’s big house in Melbourne)
  • parrot/repeat in ‘conversation’

parrot

Get a kid to be the parrot and repeat funny/important bits throughout the lesson.

Choose one new structure plus any/all of what they already know. A structure is a chunk of language with meaning, preferably high frequency.

You can plan using a full story, or have a story skeleton with minimum sentences and students will fill in the details. Keep it interesting!

Excellent Eight

  • mau
  • suka
  • di
  • (pergi) ke
  • punya
  • ada
  • beri
  • ambil

Sweet Sixteen

The above, plus:

  • lihat
  • bisa
  • berkata
  • pulang
  • pakai
  • dengar
  • datang
  • tahu

Ways of Assessing

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Putting it all Together – Laurie Clarcq

Learning is:                                                                 Acquisition is:

  • difficult                                                               easy
  • conscious                                                            unconscious
  • fast                                                                       slow
  • soon forgotten                                                   remembered
  • for the ‘smart kids’                                           for everyone!

all about how the L2 is used                               is all about what is being said

Ideas for Kursi Luar Biasa (Special Chair)

  • have other students ask questions of the special student
  • have 2 KLB and ‘fans’ of each person. Pump up the fans and ask them about their ‘special person’. Keep their attention by seeing which fan group is being more responsive.

Student has to listen to understand. Teacher must speak in order to be understood.

The Process of Language Learning

  1. Hear it (nothing happens if you don’t hear)
  2. Recognise it (Get kids to write/draw word, then translate)
  3. Understand it
  4. Connect it (input/output)

Ask S (student): Where are you in the process?

When teaching structures, put things that are hard to acquire (eg verb to be) with things that are easy to acquire. eg “is” a teacher

Krashen’s i + 1

input that grows language = stuff already acquired or accessible + 1 new structure (high frequency)

Game to practise output

Get kids into 2 circles, inner and outer, facing each other. One person stated a structure from the story eg “Ibu Anne punya ular” and the partner had to react with a rejoinder “Astaga!” “Keren!”

Fishing

Go fishing where there are fish!

Only use circling for new information and for fishing – it is like swearing, use it appropriately!

Have a signal for ‘whole class answers”, such as hand up or arms spread wide.

Honour all the answers kids give. Ide bagus! Be positive. Practise and use a thinking face. Vote and count to choose the character/place, or pull from jar. Close eyes/cover eyes to vote.

3 fer – three reps in a row, such as Is Bob a teacher?

  • Yes, Bob is a teacher. Bob is not a dentist. Bob is a teacher.

Machine gun Nos – park on the No

  • Is Bob a dentist? Is Bob a doctor? Is Bob a hairdresser? Is Bob a fisherman?

Primary Teaching – Anny Ewing

Tell kids “Your job is to look, listen and understand.”

My job is to make it easy for you to understand.

Keep the rules simple (see photo above).

For comprehension checks:

Close your eyes and hold up from 1 – 5 fingers to show understanding. Five fingers is complete understanding. Have a written comprehension check – five questions Yes or No. Or have different actions for yes and no and students move to show understanding. Jump up for YES! Crouch down for NO!

Reading

Purpose-written TPRS text is:

  • connected
  • written by a fluent speaker (gulp!)
  • written with a goal of 100% student comprehension

A parallel text can be used for assessment.

First Reading of Story 

  • Read as a group.
  • Circle during reading.
  • Recap in English at the end. eg (Is Kevin’s house big? Where is Kevin’s house?)

Reading Activities

  • Group reading on powerpoint.
  • Put sentences in order. (Gesture and read slowly first. Write your sentences so there is no one correct way to order them – encourage discussion eg How could you change the ending so it would make sense?)

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  • Put students in pairs and then get them to put sentences in order.
  • With your partner, read the story in English
  • Ping-Pong reading in English (or give them a choice of L2 or English)

Embedded Reading

Embedded Reading (Laurie Clarcq)

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BASE READING

Base story is usually very short and simple.

This is Laurie. This is Jose. Laurie and Jose go to Las Vegas. Jose is happy. 

  • Show sentence by sentence with pictures.

VERSION 2

  1. Introduce new vocabulary.
  2. Play with new structures.
  3. Show story with pictures.
  4. Show text only.

VERSION 3

Wins a chicken

  1. Put something wacky or unexpected in the reading.
  2. Act it out.

VERSION 4

Add one word eg fantastic. Add the word wherever it makes sense in the reading. Ask students, “Where else could we have ‘fantastic?’ Read the story out loud to a partner. Every time you say ‘fantastic’, they make a noise/action.

Laurie started an embedded reading by using a story written by a student, with bits added from other students to build up different (more difficult) versions.

Tip: when kids are reading, get them to fold over the paper and use edge of paper for ‘dropping and dragging’. It helps to avoid them getting distracted. They can also fold it to mark their spot in the reading. You can tell kids to “Park the Car” when they have found 3 tricky bits.

Translate to: clarify, check.

Steps:

  1. We read together.
  2. We read and discuss.
  3. We read and wonder.

GOOD stories have: a strong character, a relevant (to students) setting, the situation (use focus language) must be interesting and visual.

Great tip for reading: One sentence of reading per year of language study.

BASE

Grandpa was at a party. He forgot to wear pants. He covered himself right away.

To extend the story, ask yourself questions such as WHEN, WHO WITH, WHAT KIND?

Yesterday/One day, grandpa was at a party with his friends.

Stop and use speed sketching. Encourage kids to “Share and enjoy” (not point and laugh). Then talk about pictures. Who is grandpa with? What are his friends doing at the party? What can you see at the party?

Made to Stick – book about stories that ‘stick’.

Wired for Story – writing great stories

Instructional Cycle

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Backwards Planning

Ask yourself:

  • What do I need to do with my S in order for them to be able to …?
  • How can I get them to do that?

It is not about data, it is about students!

Backwards inspiration: how do I feed the students? (the baby doesn’t grow because you weigh it!!)

Think about your end goals: I want them to read novels, examine and report, summarise chapters (for example).

What do I want them to be able to do at the end of the year?

  • Listen and comprehend (mini and macro goal) ____.
  • Read and comprehend ____. (familiar sentence, short story, novel)
  • Speak and ______. (Retell a familiar story)
  • Write and _____.

If there are things  you need to teach (such as weekend activities), put them into stories!

Accessible language is language the teacher gives (points, posters, on board)

Make sure your lesson fits the “lens test” – look at it through eyes of the principal.

Plan with question words.

WHO    VERB PHRASE     WHAT     WHERE     FOR WHOM/WHAT     WHEN

Opening activity of lesson should always be about building community.

Closing activity: leave them (and you) feeling good –  breathe, play music, turn and tell a joke, dance, heads down and relax, dead fish.

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Great prose to read when you are too scared to try something new!

Laurie-isms

GTS – Google that Stuff

Voluntold -When you ‘volunteer’ but actually you are told to do something!

You are where you are supposed to be.

Round of Applause: clap around in a circle

Progress, not perfection!

Be an authentic teacher with passion.

Hands-on TCI with Unifix Cubes

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This is a fantastic hands-on CI activity to teach the words ‘ambil’ (pick up), ‘taruh’ (put), ‘di atas’ (on top of), colours and numbers. Students are totally engaged because each has their own little snap-lock bag with all nine unifix cube colours – white, blue, red, pink, brown, green, yellow, black and orange. At the beginning of the year I only included 5 colours and slowly added more over the year. I do this activity with Preps, but it would work with other beginners.

I start with asking all students to ‘lingkaran, lingkaran’ and make a circle shape with my hands.  They get it, and sit in a circle. Then I say laki-laki, perempuan, laki-laki, perempuan (boy, girl, boy, girl – makes behaviour management so much easier!) – they sort themselves out (mostly). I sit in the circle too, usually next to the most challenging student 😉

Then I give out the ‘tas’ (bag) by sliding them across the carpet to each child. This seems to impress them no end! I show them what I do with mine – I tip them all out in front of me and then say ‘tas di belakang’, while placing bag behind my back.

After they have all done this, I count the ‘balok‘ one by one and get them to join in if they can. I tell them ‘Ambil merah. Taruh merah sini. Ambil putih. Taruh putih di atas merah. Ambil kuning. Taruh kuning di atas putih. (To be honest, with my Preps I don’t use ‘taruh‘ in case it is too much new vocab, I just leave it out, but you could use it) I say this slowly, and I do it as well,  so that if a child does not know the colours yet, they can just copy me and let the language soak in. I do this with all colours, then start at the bottom and repeat each colour while pointing to each block.

Then we sing, ‘rusak, rusak, rusak – rusak, rusak, rusak’ as we break them all apart. Then I ask ‘Siapa duduk baik?’ (Who is sitting nicely?) and I pick that person to pick/say the colour we will start the next tower with. Sometimes they say it in English, that’s OK. I just repeat the colour and pick that block up. I pick a different child to say each block. All up we build about 5 or 6 towers, following the same routine and choosing children to say the next colour. Amazingly they don’t get bored!

With one class, I had an Indonesian child who kept saying ‘Sudah!’ after he had broken up his tower, so I incorporated this into the lesson and I said it as well, over and over, every time I finished breaking up my tower. If the kids said ‘Done!’ I said, you have to say ‘Sudah!’ which they did. By the last tower they were all chanting ‘Sudah! Sudah!’

When I have had enough, I line all my blocks up and count them, to make sure they are all there. They do it with me. Then I ask them to ‘ambil tas’ (pick up your bag) and we put them in one by one, listening to the colours I say aloud. I tell them ‘Tutup tas’ and they zip up their little bag. I walk around the circle and collect all the bags, saying ‘Terima kasih‘ to each child.

Such a cool activity and they are as good as gold because their hands are busy!

Then I hand them out a ‘tower building  worksheet, which has six towers of six blocks each.  I will add the attachment so you can download it and use with your own classes. (just give me time to get to school tomorrow to find it!)

I tell them we are going to colour in towers just the same way we built them, from the bottom up, and then I say ‘Warnai balok satu merah’ (colour in block 1 red), ‘Di atas, merah, warnai biru’ (on top of red, colour blue) etc. They enjoy this and you can see straight away who has got it and who hasn’t.

Try this with your younger students! They will love it and so will you! It’s fun to sit on the floor and play.

PS I have lots of plastic dinosaurs, cats and dogs too. It would be fun to create a little story where dinosaur walks to red, runs to yellow, jumps to blue etc or goes to orange with dog etc! Please add any other ideas you think of!

PPS Thanks to Bu Cathy who found these photos of me with my students ‘playing’ with blocks.

Sneaky Extra Reps using youtube Videos

 

Watch and learn how to get in some sneaky extra reps with your students – it is painless and fun!

I used this as a pre-writing activity. After listening to the story over and over, it was fresh in the students’ minds and they were able to write great stories, even at Year 1 level!

I did this at the end of my “Cerita Ular” unit. Just click on the ‘settings’ icon in the middle at the bottom right hand corner of the youtube video to adjust speed, as shown in my video above. Let me know how it goes for you!

Making Movies

For a while now I have been making movies to enable my students to have some Indonesian input outside of class. I also use them in class as an introduction to a topic (‘Ular’ – you can see this movie on my YouTube channel, link provided below), at the end of a topic to pose a question/reflection (see ‘Nick’) or just to provide an additional five minutes of input if I am exhausted or need a couple of minutes to pack up!

I used to spend hours making a movie, but hopefully these little tips will make it easier and much faster for you to make your first movies!

I make movies in two ways – one is by using a story already made in Powerpoint, and secondly by uploading photos or videos into iMovie and then adding audio to either method.

Let’s imagine you have a great story opened up in Powerpoint, such as my example ‘haus’. Click on file, then ‘Save as Movie’. (What a great option!!! Does all the hard work for you!)

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Choose where you want your movie saved. I suggest you create a new folder called ‘Videos’.

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Save the movie, then close Powerpoint, no longer needed!

Open iMovie.

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Click on ‘Create New’, then ‘Import Media’. If you are making a movie with photos/videos, this is the stage you need to import them!

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Your movie is in your new Video folder, remember? Click on it, and select ‘Import Selected’.

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So far, so good!

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Now if you click on that little tiny video dated 6 June 2016 as seen above, it will have a yellow border around it. Once it has that, you drag it down to the bottom where indicated. You have to do this in order to manipulate your movie.

It is at this stage that I think you need to have a quick look at an imovie tutorial, especially if you have never used it before. Here is a link to one I found with a Google search, but there are lots that would be useful:

imovie tutorial

There are, however, three fantastic tools in imovie that I must mention! Sometimes I need to slow things right down to give me time to say what I want to say in the audio. Plus I discovered a fantastic little tool to make my Powerpoints fit properly into imovie!! The third is very important if you have finished recording your video but not happy with the volume. Sooo easy to fix, my teenage son showed me!

Tip 1. This one is very important if you are exporting from Powerpoint.

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See that funny little square shape I have highlighted with the ‘loupe’? If you click on that, then select ‘fit’, your powerpoints will fit into the movie format and you won’t have the text cut off! (Grrr, the hours I spent fiddling with text to try and make it fit, if only I had known about this little tool!)

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Tip 2. Check out the little tool that looks like a speedometer. It lets you control the speed of your movie. If you click on that, you can speed your movie up or slow it down by 10%, 25%, 50% or custom speed – very, very handy. Bu Cathy’s movie ‘Penguin Tidak Punya Kepala’, which can be seen on my youtube channel, Indonesian Fun for Juniors, has three or four different speeds. I had to do that because there were differences in the amount of text on each page and I needed different amounts of time to read it.  I was able to split the movie clip, select one section, and select the speed I wanted, then do the same for another section of movie.

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Tip 3.  If you have recorded your voice but it sounds a bit soft, you do not have to record it all over again! I do not use an external microphone for recording, just the in-built mike in my laptop. But I always increase the volume by right clicking and dragging that yellow line you can see in the middle of the audio clip upwards. I usually increase it to about 200%. That works for me.

Recording Audio

Now we have a great movie and text but no audio! If you have found a video with sound, but want to record your voice over it, don’t worry too much. Imovie will automatically reduce the original audio volume as you record. You can reduce it further, though, but that might be another blog!

So, to record yourself speaking, click on the little microphone. A red dot will appear. DO NOT PANIC! You are not recording yet, it is just letting you know it is ready!

Now click that red dot. Three numbers will magically appear to count down until you are ready for blast off! Too easy, right? If you don’t like it, delete and start over again.

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When you are ready to save your movie, go to File, but don’t expect to see ‘Save’! You will need to select ‘Share’. I always select YouTube and then my movies are automatically saved right where I want them to be. But I also select ‘File’ and then they are saved to a folder of my choosing as well, just in case I need a backup.

I really hope this blog has been useful and that it is easy to follow. I could also make it into a powerpoint and then convert into an imovie, so let me know if this format does not work for you! If you have any questions, I will be happy to help out if I can. I just jumped in and had a go and experimented along the way. I would love to see your finished products!

Ibu Anne’s Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Very Bad Day

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I usually blog when I am so excited about how well my lessons have gone. Today that is not the case. Today I felt like I was pushing a giant concrete block up a hill! I felt flat, and I was pushing myself to be engaging and fun. Why is it that when the teacher is not 100% for whatever reason, the little tackers pick up on that and run with it?!!

It seemed like classroom management was more difficult. It seemed like they were not doing their bit. It seemed like they were not getting it. My first class was with Year Three. They had seven minutes of reading time. So far, so good. All seemed very engaged and read for the whole time. Perhaps three or four of them were looking around and not really engaged in their text (stories written by other students).

Then came writing time. Usually I have one that does not write. Today there were three or four! Including one boy who wrote a great story last time! Just refused to write! Another started in Indonesian then trailed off into English (despite this being a no-no). I read their stories this afternoon and was so disappointed. What went wrong? I thought the writing would be so much better by this time of year! I thought they would be dying to write after being inspired by their classmates.

Then came my two prep classes. J decided to really play up. When I mentioned that his behaviour was not up to scratch, and that I would have to let his parents know when report time comes around, he said ‘Don’t even think about it’. I said if he was rude I would have to tell his teacher. He told me to shut up. He then proceeded to tell the students around him (who were telling him to behave) to shut up. He punched one and kicked one in the knee. I had to ring his teacher to remove him. We were all a bit shaken up after that. I thought after he had left, and because we had the wonderful snake eating up students, it would be a great, engaging lesson. Instead, I struggled to keep them quiet and listening. Then the headache from hell kicked in!

The next Prep class would be good, I thought, we haven’t been upset by J’s behaviour. But although it was better than the last class, it still felt like hard work instead of fun.

Last lesson was Year One. We began the snake story. The snake ate some kids. Then we did it again with different kids. Aha! This is more like it! By now the headache from hell had really kicked in and I was praying for the day to end.

What happened? Did we not have enough action? Should I have used more brain breaks? Were they picking up on my ‘flat’ mood? Why was the writing not as good as expected? Should I just resign and be done with it?!!

I guess the lesson is that we all have bad days. I hope you can relate to this post. As Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day”.  Let me know if you have had a similar day! I will be going to bed early with my new book ‘While we’re on the Topic’ by Bill Van Patten.

Any advice welcome!

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Fun Brain Breaks!

A couple of weeks ago, I attended an Indonesian Immersion Day to improve my language speaking skills. I learned a few great games in the process, so thought I would share. These would make fantastic brain breaks. I especially love ‘Komodo’ for its unique Indonesian flavour! Thanks so much to Ibu Kasenya Grant, who taught us how to play these games.

sakit

Saya Sakit (I’m Sick)       Give out plastic counters to all students (any colours, but only 3 of them are yellow – or whatever colour you choose). Instruct them not to show each other what colour they have. Only 3 students will have yellow counters. These are the students that are sakit (sick). Students walk around the room, asking each other “Apa Kabar?” (How are you?) They may give any answer eg I’m tired, I’m angry, I’m very well etc – in the L2, but ONLY those with yellow can answer “Saya sakit”. When a student asks and gets the response ‘Saya sakit‘ from one of the three, the asker has to fall down dead. The original 3 sick people cannot die. Wait until about half the class are dead, and line up the living and the three sick players together. See if the ‘dead’ students can guess who the sick three students are. Or play until only the original three remain standing!

komodo

Komodo   This one is sooo cool! A variation on the theme of ‘Saya Sakit’, but this time the person affected by the komodo’s bacteria has to count to 10 slowly in their head before they ‘mati‘ (die). This makes it much more difficult to identify the komodos! You can also change the questions to suit the topic you are teaching, with one chosen response as the ‘killer’ response!

 

blindfold-table-find-game

Marco Polo      Marco Polo is ‘it’. (Or choose a more culturally appropriate name for your language) The students stand in a large circle, close together or holding hands. Choose three students to be in the middle, and one more to be ‘it’. Blindfold Marco Polo (MP). Spin MP around 3 times, with the class counting to help. Then MP has to say ‘Di mana? Di mana? Di mana?’ (Where are you?) and the other three have to respond ‘Sini, sini, sini!’ (Here!) The three students may not move their feet, but they can crouch down and lean over when MP approaches. With older students, you may let them move around slowly. When MP tags someone, the game starts again with four new players.

Free Writes

Recently I had a look at Scott Benedict’s successful-quickwrites-handout-1.

I thought it was brilliant, but a bit too advanced for my Year 3 students. So I tweaked it a bit, and with Scott’s blessing, would like to attach here a writing proforma and assessment rubric for you to use/tweak as you see fit. Please credit Scott as the original creator.

I made one page for writing, and explained to my students why it makes counting words so much easier to write on every little line, then simplified the rubric and photocopied the pages back to back so students can see where they are headed.

For my Indonesian students, I used four levels, Tidak ada (Not There Yet – if they wrote nothing), Berjalan (Walking – for those just beginning), Lari (Running – where most kids probably are) and Lari Cepat (Running Fast – for advanced students).

I think students can understand these levels easily. After writing, I had them assess themselves using the rubric on the reverse side of the sheet, and reflect on how they could improve.

I also spoke to Ibu Sharon from the SA TCI hub and expressed my concerns about students struggling with writing. She gave me a great suggestion, to let these students copy from the original story (best to give them a photocopy at their desk). I had not been doing this, but can see how it would give them more confidence. I will also permit them to use words they know before encouraging sentences. Maybe my expectations were too high. Thanks Sharon for your advice. Happy writing everyone! Hope these documents are useful to you. Let me know!

Quick Write Proforma

Quick Write Rubric

Still my favourite student story (see below)! chiom = cium

cium!