Reading and Writing


I was so excited today when two students in Year 2 handed me two little stories written at home for our Indonesian classroom library. I just had to read them, even before the roll was marked! I read this one out aloud. (See transation below) I guessed what was coming (even though I dreaded it!!). Ibu Anne kissed Donald Trump! Aduh! The kids were laughing so much at my reaction. I was having a ball pretending to be horrified, even though we all know I would just love to be kissed by Donald Trump (not). They understood every word! What a cute story, and so clever for Year 2!

This just happens to be one class where the students and I seem to have a lot of trust and I feel I can really relax and have a bit of fun with them (not all my classes are like that!).

One boy said “Read it again! Read it again!” So I did. Same wonderful reaction. I told them that I was very happy with their first ever writing attempt last week. They did a 10 minute write. I explained the rules: no talking, no asking Ibu Anne for words, no English words and only use words you know. I also suggested three different ‘levels’ they could aim for – simple sentences about anything, sensible or silly, a rewrite of our latest story or a story of their own. The students did a great job. I typed up some stories from each class and ended up with about ten pages of student written stories and sentences. I photocopied 25 of each, then added the pages to clear plastic display folders which I purchased a few weeks ago. I made sure I had enough so each student would have one to read. I also added some stories from last year and a couple we had read recently.

Today we had our first 10 minutes of silent reading time. Students had two minutes to set up in a space on their own. Then I put on the timer. They were so engaged! (They were not even aware I was taking photos!) I should have asked them for some feedback, but will do so next week or perhaps after the next reading session. I aim to have this 10 – 15 minute reading time every second lesson.

I have been reading recently about how some C-I teachers are not making their lessons as structured, just ‘chatting’ with students and going with the flow. This scares the heck out of me! But today with this class I began to see just how it would work. While I was interviewing the student in the special chair, one of the questions was ‘Do you like singing?’ Yes, they answered. I told them I did too. I told them about my two boys – their names, ages and how they always say ‘Mum, be quiet!’ when I sing at home. I could tell they were with me by their reactions. We also came across the words ‘ganteng’ (handsome) and ‘cantik’ (beautiful) in a story written by a student whose mum knows a bit of Indonesian, so I explained what they meant. I said ‘Ibu Anne cantik’ and waited for the reaction I knew would come! ‘Tidak!’ I have a feeling we are going to have some funny stories in the coming weeks!!!

Translation: There was a girl. Her name was Ibu Anne. Ibu Anne wanted a hamburger. There was a boy. His name was Donald Trump. Ibu Anne and Donald Trump ate at a restaurant. Ibu Anne and Donald Trump ate ice cream and chocolate and hamburgers. Ibu Anne kissed Donald Trump. 



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