First Day Lesson Plan 2013 Reflection

On August 14th I posted about my First Day Lesson Plan for 2013 and I wanted to give everyone an update.  Here are my thoughts:

1. I LOVE teaching using TPRS methods!  My students were hooked!  I’m not sure if it’s because they got to throw around balls, because we were speaking Spanish already, or if it was because I was the only teacher not going over my syllabus on day 1.  Which ever it was, I don’t care!  My students are excited and that makes me excited!

2. Go SLOOOOW and REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT.  Most of my classes seemed to “get it” but then I got to an afternoon class and their blank looks said it all.  I needed to repeat more (I was too excited from how well the previous class had done) and I had to go slower. I also recognize I need to restate the sentence AFTER students respond so that they hear the structure even more.

3. The TPRS circling method is MUCH easier now.  I finally understand how Scott Benedict stated he got 27 repetitions from 1 sentence.  The whole subject-verb-object pattern makes sense to me, and I’m beginning to change up the question order so my students don’t notice the pattern.

4. I targeted the kids that I know would have drove me crazy last year with misbehavior.  By targeted I don’t mean that I bullied them, instead I focused on them for day 1.  I described their hobbies and interests, made them laugh, had them help me with minor things like turning out the lights, overly praised one when he caught an error I made.  I’m pretty sure I have the “naughty” kids in my pocket as of today. :::Knock on wood!:::

5. Students kind of surprised me with how much they understand.  At the end of the day, I asked students to show me on their fingers how much they felt they understood (5 fingers meant they understood almost all of it and 1 meant hardly anything).  I had very few put a 1 or 2 in Spanish 1 levels.  How awesome is that!  On their very first day students could follow my stories about their peers!

6.  Surprisingly, my upper level classes even enjoy this style of teaching.  They understand “the rules of the game.”

7.  I won’t lie – I am utterly exhausted when I head home.  I’m unsure if it’s a schedule thing (I now teach for 5 class periods straight due to last minute schedule the day before classes started), or because I am so much more involved in the process.

8. However, I am SO happy I made the switch, and I know it shows in the way I am teaching.  Students who had me last year have stated that I seem so much happier this year – and that’s because I am!  I would highly encourage any teacher considering TPRS/CI.  It’s worth the risk!

I apologize if this post is somewhat of a rambling, but I wanted to let everyone know how it went.


4 thoughts on “First Day Lesson Plan 2013 Reflection

  1. Pingback: Spanish 1 Curriculum | La Clase de la Señora Dentlinger

  2. I am so so so scared to make the switch from “traditional” to “TPRS/CI”. I’ve been reading TPRS/CI blogs about success stories and fun and learning all summer. Do you have any advice / suggestions / comments that might help ease my anxiety? Thank you!

    • Natalie,

      Kudos to you for making the switch! I think the first thing that helped was doing what you’re doing – reading from others who’ve done it. I found so many great ideas or know where to check back if I need motivation in the future. I really found the Circling with Balls activity helpful for the first day – it sold me hook, line, and sinker that this was the way to go. I had students switching into my class because I was the only one having fun on the first day!

      I don’t know if I have the perfect words to ease your anxiety. You’ll make mistakes and that’s OK. Sometimes I kick myself over mistakes I make, but I have to remind myself that I make mistakes in English even! Students will appreciate that you’re trying to meet them on their level and that you’re working hard to make them communicate. Have fun – stop class and laugh with them when the bizarre things happen. Try the leveled readers! I recommend reading them “just for fun” as well as a core part of your curriculum if possible. They’re just that invaluable! Put as much culture into your curriculum as possible and students will be hooked – plus you’ll have fun learning, too! For example, I really didn’t know that much about bullfighting until I forced myself to do a unit on it. The kids and I both learned a lot!

      I feel like this response is all over the place, but rest assured that you’re making a fantastic change! Feel free to email me if you’d like to – eldentlinger at gmail dot com =)


  3. Pingback: Beginning another year | The Comprehensible Classroom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s