Sunday, January 30, 2011

AR Verbs - a Breakthrough

I'm finding that I'm better at knowing Spanish than explaining it.  I don't have a lot of talents in this world - and for some reason, this has given me a lot of patience with teaching - FOR the MOST part.

I'm finding that I assume too much when it comes to Spanish.

For some reason, I feel rushed with the students.  I feel like they lost  a lot of time when their teacher was ill and must make up for it.  I'm not sure why I feel I'm in a race.

We are on Chapter three.  Granted, my students lost four weeks of learning.  Also, we've lost time just adjusting to each other.  I think the kids were really wondering if I was going to stick around for the rest of the year.  It took the first test for the kids to get that I knew Spanish and wasn't afraid to teach it.

As I was saying, we are on Chapter three. The book introduces 18 AR verbs; verbs that have an AR suffix.  For example - trabajar, escuchar, hablar, y comprar.  I've been having the kids conjugate over and over again explaining to them that it's just like taking piano - that the more they practice, the better their Spanish will be.

The only thing is, I'm not sure that they understood that all these verbs have the same suffix.  Did I just think they should magically know?

It was Wednesday, second hour - the assignment was activity 8 on  page 103.  The students had to take a paragraph and conjugate the verbs according to the subject of the sentences.  Oh my - you should have heard the pure agony.

They thought they had to look up each verb from scratch instead of just memorizing the AR stems.

They're brains shut down.  They wouldn't stop and listen.  They were done for the day.  They were having a language acquisition shut down.

I thought long and hard about where their confusion was and was ready for them on Thursday.

"I need you to be quiet.  This is difficult.  I'm sorry I didn't remember this is hard.  Please listen."

And as I explained that all the stems were exactly the same for all the subjects, I could hear sighs of relief.  I saw light bulbs forming above their heads.

And phew......  we had our breakthrough.

No comments: