Backward Planning

I had been reading some comments about backward planning on an excellent TPRS facebook page:

iFLTNTPRSCITeaching (you must request to join this group)

and wondered exactly what it meant. After doing a little research and deep thinking (!), I came to an understanding of the term. I first looked at my powerpoint about Kucing Pete (Pete the Cat, there is a link to this in ‘Getting Ready for the New Year’). I wrote down all the vocab that my students needed to know before they could read this book. I grouped the words into verbs, nouns, adjectives and others. Wah! Terlalu banyak! I realised this book would be better left until a little later in the year.

pete cat shoes breakdown

But now I know the words and phrases I need to be working on so that we can eventually read this book. Basically the vocabulary guides my planning.  I will structure my planning  so that by the end of this term (or next!) we will be able to read the book about Pete. Along the way there will be much circling of verbs, mini-stories, drawing, listening, acting etc. For now, I will work with a much simpler book ‘Asmara pergi ke sekolah’ which has many words students are already familiar with so we should be able to read this after a couple of weeks.

Asmara pergi ke Sekolah breakdown

Because it is the beginning of a new year, I will start with Bu Cathy’s wonderful suggestion of learning/revising ‘Nama saya __’ (My name is ___) and ‘Siapa namamu?’ (What is your name?’) The year 2 and 3 groups should not need much on this at all. We can then move on to pergi ke (go to). We could talk about where we ‘pergi ke’ on the liburan (holidays).

La Campanada

Love this idea! Just what I need to start my class smoothly, especially in the morning when some kids arrive late or have just had PE and are a little crazy. I could adapt this for the younger ones by writing sentences they have to draw…

The Comprehensible Classroom

My high school Spanish teacher called the daily bellwork/entry task for her classes “La Campanada” (the ring of the bell), and I like the way it sounds, so I use it as well. The Campanada is a key component of my lesson plans because it helps with classroom management (students have a task to complete as soon as they enter the classroom) and it helps them access background knowledge and prepare for the day’s lesson.

  1. As students enter the room, they sit down at their seats and begin the task outlined on the Campanada (with some encouragement from me, of course!).
  2. As soon as the bell rings, I take attendance and then walk around the room with my seating chart and mark which students are satisfactorily completing the Campanada and which students are not.
  3. If they are not working on their Campanada, I mark a little X on the seating chart…

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Four Square Vocabulary

Source: Four Square Vocabulary

I love this idea from Martina Bex to give to CRTs when the teacher is absent. But for my young ones, I think I would write the prompts in English, have them write the Indonesian word in the middle and around the outside have sentence, translation (word in Eng), drawing and challenge ( with a star picture or something). Challenge would be a translation of their sentence.

Here is my version: Four Square Vocab for young kids


Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Here are some fun ideas for Valentine’s Day in your Indonesian classroom…

  • Review numbers by hiding lots of little ‘hati’ around the room (cut out red ones, or use heart shaped post it notes). Use to review/learn cari, hati, berapa
  • Make a “Saya cinta kamu” card with hati for someone special.
  • Review family words by telling a story about a boy/girl who tells each person in the family ‘Saya cinta kamu’, even the dog and cat! Great way to teach ‘cium’ (kiss) and ‘peluk’ (hug)!
  • Use the clip below for some Valentine’s Day movie talk..

Valentine’s Day movie talk

  • Write a poem:

Bunga merah, bunga biru.

Saya cinta ___ (ibu, bapak, adik, kakak, nenek, kakek, _____ (friend’s name))

Dan kamu!

  • Use a Pete the Cat love story!

Hari Valentine

My TPRS in 2015

I started using TPRS last year after being really unhappy about the amount of English I was using in the classroom. I assumed it was to do with my medium proficiency in Indonesian (I felt so embarrassed when students asked me for a word that I didn’t know) but then I started reading about TPRS.

It just seemed to fit totally with my philosophy of teaching. So I read up on the methodology, watched many video demos and started using TPRS in the second term of 2105, initially just with Year 2s. The best part was the input is controlled!!! So it does not matter if I don’t know a word – I can look it up for next time, and learn as I go!

In third term I jumped in with all my classes! Even my lowest students were writing simple sentences and putting words together to tell me in Indonesian. ‘Ibu Anne nakal’ one told me cheekily! (We had a story about a naughty student who would not follow any teacher directions, so in the story I pretended to hit the naughty student, much to their delight!)

Below is the piece of writing that convinced me that TPRS was a winner! It totally blew me away! Granted, she is a bright student but this is a Year 2 piece of writing – one of the early ones.

I found it more difficult using TPRS with the younger students in Prep and Year One, but began using blocks and connecting links to teach them colours and numbers while they were busy with their hands. I started bringing in toys from home and asking students to give them to others etc so they were moving around. We played a game outside after learning some movement verbs where they had to ‘lari ke merah’ (run to red) or ‘berjalan ke biru mudah’ (walk to light blue). Keeping them moving seems to be the key…

They also loved being the ‘anjing’ up the front while I asked the class what colour the dog was and what its name was.

I had a very talkative Year 4 class that I struggled with all year, but had some success with timing them to see if they could stay in Indonesian for longer than the other Year 4 class!

I must mention that I gained much inspiration and advice from Bu Cathy’s blog. Bu Cathy also teaches Indonesian, but in South Australia. As far as I know Bu Cathy and her colleague are the only ones using TPRS in Australia apart from myself.

A picture drawn by a Year 1 student as I told the story about Lucy and the anjing that bit her. In the last picture she cries.
This Year 2 free writing blew me away!

Getting Ready for the New Year

Recently I found some great literacy activities on lots of different websites using the books featuring Pete the Cat. The text is quite simple and repetitive. My students like hearing stories about animals and I have a cute ‘anjing’ in the classroom that we use a lot in our stories. I thought it was time for a blue cat to join in! So I aim to translate the books into simple Indonesian and use ‘Kucing Pete’ to engage the younger ones.

kucing pete

The first book is about Kucing Pete who starts off with ‘sepatu putih’ and steps into different things, turning his shoes different colours. What a great way to teach colours to the Preps!

This year I will have eight Prep classes, seven Year One classes, three Year 2 classes and four Year 3 classes. I think I had better start conserving energy!! Because of this, during 2016 I aim to write about ideas that work for me with younger students.

I managed to find lots of literacy resources online for Kucing Pete, many of which I can convert and use in my Indonesian class.

I purchased (online from Amazon) two books  – Pete the Cat I Love my White Shoes, Pete the Cat and his Groovy Buttons and the toy as well. I then photographed the pages and translated the story, simplifying it if needed. I then purchased ‘Too Cool for School’ through iBooks as I realized it would be much easier to edit that way.

Here are the two powerpoints I made to use with students. Obviously much oral work and mini-stories will need to be done before we can progress to the books.

Kucing Pete dan empat kancing

Kucing Pete sepatu Putih