This technique I stumbled upon while thinking of a way to practice reading our class story. I love ringing the classroom bell (a great prop, especially when teaching about the 89 year
old Paletero in Chicago who received over $380,000).
But anyway, this activity can be used a variety of ways in the TPRS classroom to go along with reading a story. Here’s how I did it:
- Students need a copy of a reading.
- I numbered the paragraphs on the reading.
- I explained in the target language that each student had to read 1 sentence and then the person next to them would continue. If there was a pause between the two people, I would ring the bell and the person would have to start reading the story from the very beginning.
- Also, if a student read more than one sentence, I rang the bell, and the student had to start at the beginning of the story.
This allows a few things, most importantly of which is to have additional reps of the story. Students are actively following along with the reading because they don’t want to be the one that makes the class restart. However, being typical students, you know that at some point, a student is going to lose track of where they are and… DING! Start again.
In this story, there were also a lot of semi-colons, dialogue, and interjections within a sentence. This lead to some students stopping too soon or reading too much. Ding! Start again.
Now, if the class is rather far along in the story, and you’ve already had a lot of dings and have repeated the first part of the story a lot, you can decide to “fast forward” and instruct the student to start reading at a farther paragraph. If you have a long text, you may want to implement this, if you have a shorter text, maybe not.
- Have the student call on the next person to read. This creates a bit more unpredictability rather than going down the line and keeps all students on their toes. Also allows for greater chance of dings.
- They have 2 seconds to call on a classmate, or- DING! Start again.
- They can’t call on someone whose already read, or- DING! Start again.
- Getting bored of having students read normally? Ring the bell and call out a new tone- read sarcastically, read sadly, read happily, read excitedly. Students not reading with proper tone? Ding! Start again.
- Throw in a little chance. As students as reading, use some type of spinner or dice to determine if they keep going or need to re-start. For example, on WheelDecide.com, click “Modify Wheel” and type in your own options, for example:
-Start from beginning of story
-Start from beginning of current paragraph
-Re-read last sentence
Then click to spin and let the spinner decide the fate!
Have other variations? Know of any other online ‘spinner’s? Share in the comments below!