A teacher on the Invisibles FB page has written something about the value of non-targeting that I’d like to share here. Sean Griffin writes:
I am enjoying being relatively stress free these first few weeks of school, thanks to just going with creating tableaux using…whatever. First, I photocopied the pages 192-194 in The Invisibles to have in front of me, in case I need a prompt myself. I have used the students’ cards, I used a Matava survey question, and yesterday, when I couldn’t figure out where I had put down the folder for a class, I just started asking kids questions in German, that they could answer by raising a hand, then I used one kids answer to start building a tableau. Of the 5 sections I am teaching this fall, I am teaching two large sections of combined levels 2, 3, and 4. I am convinced that this could end up being really cool, instead of really stressful. I have found so far, that with just the tableau level questions, we can include in our tableau language that is totally comprehensible for the less experienced (because I can make it comprehensible with images, acting, or words on the board) and we naturally include more complex language, just because I ask ‘why?’ For example, to add theme and mood to our tableau, I may ask ‘Why does John play the oboe with his feet while underwater in a bathtub at midnight on September 20?’ Which leads to all kinds of other things. I am coming more and more over to Ben’s perspective, that I don’t need to target structures or vocabulary, because if I allow the students to make the conversation continually more interesting, all that stuff is going to show up. Best part of all – ALL the kids are following along and learning, not just the rock star five kids who ace every class.