Many methods, strategies, techniques or activities have been discussed by people that spend countless hours in the classroom and also by people that don’t.
But it’s not always about how well you know the method in theory. Rather, it’s more about the delivery of the method and the connection that YOU make with your students during the learning session. Sometimes your perfectly crafted and polished method of getting Spanish Learners (or English Learners) to participate more effectively in your lesson will fail. It is ok to fail. Did he just write it is ok to fail? Yes, I did.
I believe that all classes have a different collective personality as well as individual personalities. Truthfully, it is extremely difficult to capture and get a feel for all your classes as a novice teacher with all we have going on. There seems to be not enough hours in a day.
There will be times in which the situation is out of your control. Maybe your students had a rough time the class period before yours, maybe it’s the Friday before spring break. Don’t disregard a method because it didn’t work that one time.
You CAN control the delivery of your method. Present your method with enthusiasm and don’t be afraid if you fail at it because that same method can work for the next class.
Getting to know your students really matters. When delivering the method, always make an effort to make a connection with your students. Creating a language survey helps with not only assessing writing but also with knowing more about your students. If given the chance, students will pour their heart out in writing; interpersonal communication has so much to offer.
Sketching does to the brain during the day what dreaming does to the brain at night. Sketching through the text is a technique that I always try to implement. Sometimes I will have my sketches prepared before lecture, other times I sketch while my students are reading. I show them how bad my sketching is and I will laugh with them as they laugh at my sketches. I tell my students that I sketch in order to connect with the material. I tell them that sketching helps me REMEMBER the information I read.
Often times, when I predict the vocabulary will be difficult, I provide visuals. Just a simple power point slide with visuals can make the text more accessible to all students.
Enthusiasm is contagious. Let your students feel how much you care about them and about their learning.