Notes from Justin Slocum Bailey’s (@indwellinglang) session:
This featured Justin modelling a lesson using Latin. One thing that helped me as a “student” with a new language is that Justin would point to the word on the board everytime he used it. When the teacher moves to physically touch the word, it also forces the teacher to slow down and give the learner additional processing time. As teachers we tend to think our students are processing faster than they are. When it is a new language for them, they need processing time and these visuals are especially important. Even after hearing a word maybe 10 times in the lesson, I still needed the teacher to point the word to me.
One of his lessons was about talking about an individual student talent. This is something I have incorporated into Special Person interviews which I will be blogging about soon. Justin leads a class discussion about what a student is good at. Phrases that you can use (in the target language):
- Class, who wants to see (Student) do the activity? (For example, who wants to see Jill dance like Elvis?) I want to see it. Do you want to see it?
- Class, do you think (Student) can do it?
You can then ask several students if they agree with someone’s answer
- Ask student: Can you do it well? Can you do it really well? Can you do it here/today?
Justin suggests using “Minute to Win It Games” to give a student a challenge to see if he/she can do it. These games are quick (minute or less!) and you can use the Target Language to discuss what is happening. The kids are so engaged in wanting to see if their classmate can do the challenge, that they don’t even realize the actual goal is just to be understanding and listening to the language. You can google “Minute to Win It games” and get a whole bunch of ideas like on this website. We’ll post a few that are easy to implement and are classroom appropriate:
Give each player a feather and have them blow it across the room into a bucket. The feather must be kept in the air at all times and no body parts may be used to help the feather. An easier version of this is to just keep the feather in the air for 1 minute without trying to move it across the room.
Place a small amount of beans on a table and give each
person a straw. Place a bowl on a table about ten feet away.
Give the contestant one minute to suck a bean onto the straw
and run it to the other bowl. Whoever can do the most in a
Place six uncooked pieces of penne pasta near the edge of a table. Give the player an uncooked spaghetti noodle to hold in his/her mouth and use to try and pick up the penne noodles.
See who can thread the most fruit loops onto a pipe cleaner
only using one hand.
These are just a tiny sample of the ideas you can find. But think of the language you can use in the target language: Do you think this is easy? Do you think this is hard? Can you use two hands? No, you can only use one hand. With two hands it is easy, but with one hand it is hard.
For the feather one, you can time how long a student is successful. Have two students compete. One idea is to keep the times secret and then ask the class: Who do you think did it longer? Was Student A more or less than Student B? What time do you think Student A had? Do you agree with this time? Do you think it is more or less? One digit is 6. Do you think the first number is a 6 or the second number is a six? Who thinks 6 is the first number? How many students think 6 is the second number?
Have you done any challenges in your classroom? What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!