14 October 2009

Caminando, caminando, caminando - PARA!

Today, I taught a group of 10 K-3rd graders at Opal School. This is an active, eager group of children and today was class #4.

As we finished class and walked down the hall to the space where parents pick up the students, Eliza spontaneously started saying "Caminando, caminando, caminando..." (This means "walking, walking, walking" and is part of a game we've played at every class -- a kind of Follow the Leader type game.).

I was thrilled! Within seconds, all the other children were chiming in, "Caminando, caminando...." Suddenly, Jackson called out "¡Paren!" (Stop!) and all the children stopped in their tracks. They continued like this for a good way to our pick-up spot... Caminando, caminando, ¡Paren!.... Caminando, caminando, ¡Paren! Until Tyler, again de la nada (out of nowhere) calls out, "¡Marchando!" and the whole group starts marching and saying "Marchando, marchando, marchando...." in unison.

Then, as they were picked up by ones or in twos, they screamed goodbyes to each other (with an almost alarming amount of enthusiasm!) "¡ADIOS!" and "Adios Danny! Adios Jazlie!"

It was exactly what we hope for as teachers: concrete "proof" that the children find our activities intrinsically motivating, AND that these activities also help us achieve our ultimate goals:

1) Have fun & foster motivation (this game IS fun!)
2) Build confidence (whether its participating as a group member or taking lead)
3) Speak Spanish (especially outside of the class setting!)

It made my day!

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