My Chinese Coteacher said, “I don’t think they’ll be able to do this. It’s too many directions and they still don’t know the words.” She said this after the first day. I replied, “give them some time with it already. You can’t expect them to do it perfectly the first day and you can’t stop them from trying just because they won’t do it perfectly. They have to learn how to do it on their own.”
It’s now a week later. She insisted I reread the whole thing with each class before putting together this week’s part of their little “flip book”. She was amazed that they were reading it! Not only were they reading the books, but when they had to do partner work and mingling, even the “slow” kids were doing it!
One week of pushing through with my plans instead of listening to all the naysayers, and there’s already progress. All I’m asking them to do is practice daily. All I’m giving them is a reason to and a way to make it fun.
They are taking ownership of these little books because they are writing them. They are personal, not “text” books. AND they’re reading them to their Pets.
I used the pets at my first school with amazing success. I wasn’t sure if it would fly at this school, but it IS. It’s still a novelty, so a few of them play more than read, but very few. The main point is that they’re speaking and reading in English with confidence and with smiles!!!