Sunday, September 28, 2014
This year I'm "floating," meaning I'm without classroom and travel from room to room with a cart. Thankfully, the school has arranged it so that I don't have very far to travel (across the hall, two doors down, etc.). It has been a true lesson in efficiency and, since managing a classroom takes a lot of time and effort, it has freed up time for me to work on other things and it is where I work that I want to write about. I was given a desk in the back of another teacher's classroom (my old room) where I could lesson plan and grade papers. As it happens my planning and lunch period do not coincide with his and, as a result, I am often at my desk while he's teaching. While I won't speak for him, for me, this has been an fabulous opportunity for me to learn from my fellow teachers. I am picking up all sorts of strategies on classroom management, formative assessments and delivering instruction. Among these was a remark I overheard him make to his class the other day: "In this class, we always write in complete sentences." I know it might not sound like much, but as a novice Comprehensible Input language teacher, I've been primarily preoccupied with my students' comprehension and haven't focused as much on their productive skills. I often give comprehension questions in which the students are writing one word answers in either English or Spanish (this because my primary objective is to assess understanding) and it occurred to me that having them respond in complete sentences in writing would be a way of supporting productive skills while assessing comprehension.