On May 7th, I wrote a post detailing concerns I was having about the activities that my ESL students were engaged in during our class time. I surveyed the class and got some interesting responses about what was going well and what changes we could make to improve these assignments.
What follows are some of their comments and suggestions:
- My students asked for the opportunity to have conversations with each other, or with me, about a variety of topics. So, we initiated what I call, “conversation partners”. We’ve done this a few times and they have been working really well. The first time we did this, we brainstormed some possible topics so that the students would have an idea of what they could talk about with each other; we only had to do this one time. They have approximately 10 minutes for a conversation. We do pairs or trios but no more than that. At the end of the conversation time I ask each of them what they learned about their partner.
- Almost unanimously, my students did not like doing T-charts about the books they are reading. They say it slows them down and distracts then from their reading; we don’t do these anymore.
- One student suggested that instead of telling a story about themselves, they could do something else. Act it out? Draw it? Write a comic? We haven’t determined this yet.
- For listen to reading, someone suggested that in lieu of filling in a story map once a week they could share about the story they had listened to with the class. Another child recommended that we add a section on feelings (or substitute for one of the 6 areas of the story map?); we haven’t implemented either of these two ideas, yet.