Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How to "TPR" Your Classroom; Here's What I Did!

No, I didn't say TP your classroom, people, I said TPR your classroom.  Y'all know what I'm talking about; using total physical response to teach a foreign language!
I've used some version of TPR for years to teach vocabulary, but never did it daily and ALL OUT, FULL ON TPR until this week.  How did I do it? Here's how:
I purchased two books to start and read them as fast as I could. The first book is of course "Learning Another Language Through Actions" by James Asher

and the second is "Instructor's Notebook: How to Apply TPR for Best Results" by Garcia Ramiro.  

After reading both books, I took the examples in the book and made myself a script (see below for the first two days worth of scripts).  When I went to class on Monday, I put a table in front of the room (I happened to have one that I moved from another area) and three chairs in front of the table.  There is an open space in front of the table with sets of desks facing in, towards the middle of the room.  This area started as the "stage".  
I sat down in one of the chairs and  I told the students we were going to learn in a new way.  I said I was going to tell them what to do in Spanish, model it and then have two volunteer actors follow along.  I told them we were not going to repeat or translate anything, only listen and do what the teacher does.  I told them that after I felt like my actors were catching on, that I would stop modeling and start directing the actors.  I told them that is was important to listen and watch because I would be calling on them to act out commands too. They were all excited to get started and in most classes I had multiple volunteers to be the actors.  
We got started and acted out commands for the entire class period! They LOVED it!  There were times when I felt they may be getting bored, because I started getting bored saying "point to the door" "walk to the door" over and over again, but they had a blast!  We followed the same format again today, only we reviewed with the whole class acting out commands from yesterday, then some individuals acting them out, before we started learning new commands.  

Where am I going with TPR?  How will I teach grammar?  How will my students learn to read, write and speak?  GREAT questions!  I'm still working out the kinks;  I'm not sure where I'm going or how I'll get there exactly, but I have confidence that I'll figure it out, and the students will enjoy the ride!  Stay tuned for more reports as I TPR MORE in my classroom!

Here are the two scripts I used on day 1 and day 2.  I adlibbed a TON, but this was a great guideline for me to start and pull from.

Let me know how you use TPR in your classroom!!

1 comment:

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