As the new year starts and the second semester gets underway, I am more committed than ever to using Comprehensible Input (CI) strategies to improve learning outcomes for my students. I gave up my textbooks a few years ago, and CI allows me the freedom to explore student interests and still teach vocabulary in context. For me, the key is “in context.” Vocabulary lists alone will not improve fluency. As children, none of us sat down to study a list when we were learning our first language, right?
It was hard to “let go” in the beginning, of course. Change can be really hard! Sometimes my students don’t even realize they are being taught. I know, however, that those repetitions of vocabulary and structures are working their magic. Time will tell.
My students have been using the CI novels in class. We generally read one as a class. Many times, I’ll have them follow along as I read and act out the story. In some classes, students want to act out scenes. Usually, hilarity ensues!
My plan is in place for my classes. I hope I’m up to the challenge.
Delilah and her siblings were found under the preacher’s house during the summer. Her mom was doing her best to care for the four kittens, but they needed homes. Now the kittens are all grown up—at least teenagers now—and they are loved. My pal, Crystal, was the driving force behind the rescue. Another friend, Lania, stepped in to take the beautiful momma cat and the boy (now Bastet and Kal). The girls—Delilah, Ellie and Gabby—are now permanent residents at my house. They all plan to have a happy new year! There are no resolutions.
My pard, Char, made our horses some tasty candy. Our girls heartily approve, so we decided to set up a table at our local craft fair. Attendance could have been better, but we were mighty proud of our table. I freely admit that Char is the creative genius behind it all.
I went riding again (!) yesterday. Laura had me going up and down hills that I never would have tackled alone. I have SO much to work on so I can improve, but riding with my friend gives me confidence. Thanks, friend!
P. S. Next time I will reward myself with a soak in the tub.
Now, I realize that this wasn’t that long ago, but it’s a day I love to recall. Friends+horses=happiness. It’s a simple equation.
Time with my horses is never wasted.
Meet our latest addition to the family. She was adopted from a kill pen in Oklahoma at the beginning of June. She spent a month in the quarantine facility, and then my friend, Jeannette, took me to pick her up. Here you see our first meeting, her freedom ride and Topaz at home. She’s a very sweet mare, and she knows she is loved.
Teachers are not the best-paid professionals in the United States, but some of the perks can sure make a difference in our attitudes. I feel like my school district is getting a lot right.
I’m glad to say that our administrators back off and allow us to do our jobs. Our school is also great when it comes to investing in staff. I’m talking about professional development. I feel that my school excels in investing in its teachers because there are no hard limits placed on PD days; we can make a case for an important conference just about any time. That matters a lot to me and my colleagues. I make an effort not to overuse professional development days. That being said, I also do not hesitate to mention opportunities featuring skilled teachers/speakers that I need to attend to improve my own skills.
I’m fortunate to be able to hone my skills and learn from masters. When a school district invests in its teachers, students reap the rewards.