Modeling, modeling, modeling. I know. I am getting repetitive. But I don’t care. One thing that I see as being most helpful in almost any situation is modeling. Think about it. If you want to fix your car but don’t know what to do, you go to YouTube. You may even find yourself watching several videos prior to beginning a task. Even modeling your thinking has benefits. In fact, I should probably model my thinking while trying to say something in another language. This may help my students be more willing to make mistakes and try words they have only heard up until this point.
Today, I was reminded that everything needs to be modeled. I know that seems obvious. But when you have students who aren’t even organizing their binders, you suddenly realize that you even have to model how to organize handouts. Mostly, I am seeing that my students need more modeling in writing, especially thinking before writing. I need to model taking notes and keeping my story organized.
Tomorrow, I am going to try an experiment. I want to take notes on my thinking and reactions when I cannot communicate an idea in another language. I need to think of ways to get my students to make attempts, even when there are going to be mistakes in grammar and vocabulary selection. I can already hypothesize that one of my strategies is going to be substitutions (saying floor when you mean ground), drawing pictures, and using my L1 intermittently to get specific information out. This way, I can model exactly how to get around scenarios where you are struggling. Of course they could use Google translate or a dictionary app. But translate is not always effective and you cannot look up every single word in a sentence. I’m also trying my hardest to get the kids away from translate. It’s become a serious crutch.