Fortnightly Focus #11 – that group again
Busy week here, so my Wednesday post has turned into a Saturday post!
I’ve been trying a new behaviourial (points) system with this group which is having a positive effect on a number of them. I found I was constantly juggling giving points for participation with rewarding the weaker learners when they did something well and trying not to unfair to the strong learners who would be streaks ahead in points at the end of the lesson. Each time I needed to award points, my focus was away from the learners and I was feeling a lack of control. Now, everyone starts the lesson on maximum points and the idea is not to lose any points during the lesson – they’re divided into sections for things so that as well I can see why people are losing points – not sitting properly, annoying classmates, chatting in Spanish and so on. As I say, this means it’s now clearer for the class why an individual is losing points, although it does mean there’s perhaps less incentive to participate as points aren’t awarded for taking part or getting answers correct.
The fabulous Jill also re-introduced me to a fun activity which she does with YLs to keep them engaged and listening – each day there’s a magic word and if the teacher says the word, the learners have to stand up, turn around and sit down. I’ve tried it a few times and I’ve found it works well with high-frequency, easy-to-spot content words.
I used “what” the other day which was highly amusing as I was asking lots of questions during the lesson…which leads me on nicely to my next Fortnightly Focus – I’m going to be thinking about questions: questions I ask my learners, questions I ask myself, questions learners ask me…