Teaching with Comprehensible Input (T/CI) is at its peak when you have a group of students that are willing to play "the game". By playing the game I am referring to having a group of students that come up with funny story suggestions, enthusiastically play along with said suggestions, and love to dramatically act out stories. I hit the jackpot with my fourth graders this year! They are constantly raising their hands with interesting story suggestions (in Spanish nonetheless), and they all love to act stories out. We are having so much fun!
Last week I did a mini story with my fourth graders to prep them for my Cade meu Rango? MovieTalk. My plan was to tell the mini story for around 15 minutes and then start the MovieTalk, but my students were so involved in the story that it lasted for the entire 30 minute class period. It was awesome to watch all of my students participating and engaged in the story asking process!
This mini story preps the students for the MovieTalk by focusing on the following words/structures:
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Many of my students referred to my classroom word wall to create endings for this story. Watching my students refer to the word wall made me think of a thread I read on the moreTPRS listserv debating the usefulness of word walls. Some teachers argued that having a word wall was pointless because you are posting words that the students should have acquired, thus they shouldn't need to refer to them. Other teachers argued that they served as a reminder to recycle vocabulary throughout the year. My word wall has been up for less than a year, so I am still experimenting with its usefulness in my classroom. I have found that when I ask my students for ideas on what happens next in a story the word wall helps them take their complex thoughts and articulate them using language they know. Even though most of the words are structures that they have already acquired, the word wall serves as a great tool for students to focus their thoughts in Spanish.
Do you have a word wall in your classroom? If so, do you find it useful? I would love to hear other teacher's ideas on the usefulness of word walls in the T/CI classroom.