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2 thoughts on “Reading”

  1. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    Not exactly this exact issue but fairly related.
    I tried to come back from the 6-day T-giving break (we had a snow day on Monday – WOOOHOOO!) and try an adapted version of Truths and Lies (inspired by Ben’s post). I thought through how to uber scaffold it for my 3rd and 4th graders. I used a little graphic form and told them to write their lie first. First I gave them sample lies; I gave them starter verbs (in Spanish), such as: I went to; I ate; I played; I slept; and demonstrated how to build sentences based on those.
    I noticed that my Ss were having a really hard time coming up with a LIE – any T-giving LIE – in English or Spanish. Having to use my starter words (I don’t usu do stuff like giving starter words) didn’t really help – they were stuck on the ideation in English. So that was Major Obstacle #1.
    Then, I noticed that their writing and spelling is pretty atrocious (for many kids in 3rd and 4th) – making it hard for me to read or comprehend the lil Spanglish sentences from which I was going to spin the Truths and Lies convo.
    I was the only one who knew which was true/false, so it was fun to play a sort of elimination game out of it – “Ahh – you both ate 3 slices of pumpkin pie – but did YOU play 7 hours of Fortnight?”
    My point is, sometimes the tasks are hard enough (in my case prolly TOO HARD) in L1, let alone kicking it up to L2.
    I think if I ever try to play anything like this again, I’ll make up predicted truths – ‘I slept til 11:am;’ ‘I wore my pajamas all day;’ ‘I love mashed potatoes;’ and mix them in with other LIE sentence strips: ‘I ate turkey at Mickey Mouse’s house;’ ‘My family first eats the pumpkin pie, then we eat the turkey;’ etc…and then as a participant pulls the charade out of the hat, s/he reads (I help), we circle, compare/contrast, see who finds it true, see who will play with me on the outrageous lies…
    Bottom line: My novices don’t have enough of an L2 foundation to create with the language – or to infer. It’s above & beyond their level of acquisition. Neither the linguistic base nor the automaticity is there.

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