Report from the Field – Bradley Donaldson

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3 thoughts on “Report from the Field – Bradley Donaldson”

  1. Bradley one time some years ago I had one of those quiet students but that are real smart. He just never said anything. Then, at the end of the year, I think it was in April, I asked a question and he answered in rather flowing French with a sentence that had at least, at the very least, fifteen words in it. It seemed like an effortless response. I said excuse me and ran into the hallway where I allowed the tears to come. He just took me by surprise with that French. I never knew he talked! Then I said the hell with it and walked back into the room and told them why I went out there. I told them, trying to see them through my tears, what happened in my heart and why I ran into the hallway. It’s funny, back when I was teaching the old way, that never happened to me.

  2. Bradley,
    I just started explaining the ground rules for “storytelling” yesterday with an 8th grade class (this was our 4th meeting since school began, I only see them every other day). I explained that the class should respond with Aaahh or Ooohh when I make a declarative statement. I launched into a story using a student actor. I started with statements such as hay un chico…el chico se llama Shane…el chico quiere ir al bano…because I’m trying to reinforce the classroom commands/requests (puedo ir al bano, por ejemplo). Anyway, after about 10 minutes one of my students, Mollie, said “we sound like Chinese tourists oohing and aahing”. Well, everybody, including me, burst into hysterical laughter. One girl literally fell off her chair and remained there for the rest of class. Between my chuckles I told Mollie that I would use her description when I explain the ground rules to other classes. At the end of class when I distributed the billetes de salida (a new thing I am trying this year), I got back written reflections such as “best Spanish class EVER” “I remember that Shane is a boy” “storytelling is FUN”. Now, I just hope they are actually internalizing some Spanish structures while they are entertained. Only time will tell.

  3. Bradley, isn’t it the best feeling? My students were so bummed when we had to spend three days testing instead of “chatting”! Have fun and keep going SLOWly!!!!

    Best wishes,

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