Baring my Soul

Thought it might be interesting to find out what students think of my teaching. I made up a simple indonesian-survey to do with Years 2 and 3. Here are the results:


Seems I need to work on keeping kids moving more, going very slowly when introducing new words, ensuring lots of practice hearing new words (and anything else to help them remember) and playing a few more games. Guess they are over the ‘pinguin’ dance!! I find this information really useful. Comments welcome!

EAL students

Today I had a Spanish boy in my class. It was his first visit to the Indonesian room. He is in Year 1 and has almost no English. Luckily I have Spanish and I gave him a quick run down on how our class works. I usually tell new students to just listen in and copy the others, and let them know that they do not need to speak until they are ready. It was a busy lesson, with me occasionally translating explanations into English and Spanish!

Anyway, I was really surprised when, during a game of ‘Di mana Bobo?‘, Nestor raised his hand. I asked him “Nestor, di mana Bobo?” and he said, “Putih”. Oh, we all celebrated by clapping. I told the class, “Nestor pandai!” He offered another answer during the same game and this time said “Jingga” with no prompting! I was amazed. I have taught EAL kids before, and usually they do not raise their hand in front of the class, especially when they are so new. I would hazard a guess that his hand will not be raised in his homeroom for some time yet. But because of this beautiful method of teaching with comprehensible input, he felt safe, heard controlled vocabulary repeated many times, and spoke when he felt confident. I love this way of teaching!!!!


Fun Reps for Prep – 2

I invented a new way to get repetitions on story vocabulary (including high-frequency words ‘have’ and ‘give’), questions and numbers! Very simple and kids loved it. I used some pictures of vocab from last term’s story  – Elsa, harimau (tiger), pohon (tree) and rumah (house). There were nine of each item.

Firstly, I told the students there were sembilan (9) of Elsa, harimau, rumah dan pohon. Then I told them to close their eyes and listen to a song. I quickly moved around the room, ‘hiding’ the bits of paper. Then students were asked to ‘cari kertas’ (find the papers). I also asked them to be kind and to give one to someone who had not found any.

Students walked around the room searching for the pictures. I could hear them using the vocabulary as they moved around!

Then we all sat in a circle and I asked “Siapa punya harimau? Beri Ibu Anne harimau.” (Who has a tiger? Give Ibu Anne the tigers). They handed me the tiger pictures and I placed them on the ground as we all counted them. We repeated with each picture. It was easy to see which ones were still missing, but I said “Ada satu harimau lain. Cari satu harimau, kelas!” (There is one more tiger. Find the one tiger, class) Off they went again to find what was missing! We also used “Di mana harimau?” for any cards that were difficult to find.

Lots of repetitions in such a fun way! Try it with your kids this week. I would love to hear how goes.


Whole Class Acting

When I visited Bu Cathy in South Australia some time ago, she told me how she sometimes asked all her students to act out a story while she narrated. I thought the idea sounded great, but was reluctant to try as I imagined chaos in the classroom. But I was getting tired of doing the same thing each lesson (using only a few students to act out the story) and also tired of them complaining they weren’t getting a go! So I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. We were working on Caterina’s Snake story. (see below)

I changed the names in the story to Murid Satu and Murid Dua. I put students into groups of four. Each student had to decide whether they were going to be Ibu Anne, ular, murid 1 or murid 2.

Then I explained to them that we were doing a special silent play. The only noises allowed to be made were the snake vomiting and Ibu Anne exclaiming ‘Aduh!’ We discussed how to use actions to show others what to do if they forgot their parts, instead of using our voices. The ular had to stand with feet spread apart, making a ‘mouth’ with their legs. When M1 (murid 1) was eaten, they crawled through this tunnel and then stood behind ‘ular’ and stood with their feet spread apart, so M2 could later be eaten. We used red unifix cubes for the chillis. As the students were vomited out, the snake made the vomiting sound effect!

Students loved it and even Preps were able to follow directions and act out the story in groups! It gave me great feedback about how well students understood the story and followed instructions. It had them all listening and moving and best of all, they ALL got to have a go! We did it over and over, each time swapping roles. They probably would have been happy to do this for the entire lesson, getting lots of valuable reps and having fun. Give it a go, I am now a convert and you should be too!

Snake Story for Preps (Catharina)

Ibu Anne punya ular besar.  (Ibu Anne pats Ular on the head)

Murid 1 mau lihat ular. (Murid 1 goes to ular and looks)

Ular makan murid 1! (crawl under ular’s legs)

Bu Anne berkata, “Aduh!”

 Murid 2 mau lihat ular.

Ular makan murid 2!

Bu Anne berkata, “Aduh!”

 Ibu Anne beri ular lombok. (places/throws cube under legs)

Ular muntah murid 1. (as child crawls through legs, ular makes vomiting noise once)

Ular muntah murid 2.