It didn’t start out to be this way. I was happy with my classes, the units and how they were “all ready to go” for the year. And then…#langchat did it to me again. If it wasn’t Amy Lenord challenging me right up front to reconsider my ‘vocabulary’, Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell daring me to drop the textbook, Laura Sexton continually showing me how I could innovate, or Catherine Ousselin and her amazing technology tools, it was some other member of the #langchat PLN leading me to being a better teacher.
It all came together for me today during my afternoon long block with Yr2. Oh what a class – 30 students in Grade 10 – 21 of them young men – all very vocal and keen to interact. We were into the song of the week activity doing a wordcloud of the lyrics and I saw it – a concept I usually don’t approach until Yr 4 (interrogatives) and this song was full of them! Some students had found the meaning for “someone” and “something” and it was an easy extension to the other some~ words in the song. And then I asked it – “So what if the singer was looking to “somehow” find her way back to her lost love – how might she say it?” And 1/2 the class – yelled it out. Correctly. No big explanation from me on ‘how to construct it’, no over-coaching. Just a concept that made perfect sense to them. Why? Because it was key to understanding the song they were enjoying and because it was a natural extension of what we were already doing. It was language in context…not a context for the language.
This year I learned to let go of deciding what I think they need to know and started to collaborate with them on what they want to be able to express. It’s a phrase that has become, courtesy of the movie “Frozen” way over-used these days. But it’s true – let it go – and see your students fly.
Thanks (again) #langchat!