Thursday, June 19, 2014

The teacher writes...

Monday mornings are a great time to report back on the weekend. For the most part the students are using pre-set phrases from their conversation pages. These include 'I think' statements, 'feelings' and activity pages created from parents lists of activities the students like to do outside of school.
The challenge now is to make this an interactive/reciprocal conversation.

While creating statements of three or more sentences is now becoming natural for the students; responding to their peers, asking questions or making comments is still heavily modeled.

The class teacher will respond using phrases from the students books. This models how the students can answer appropriately. We are working on this first comment stage before encouraging further responses.

Even this first stage of commenting on a phrase from another student is a challenge. This is understandable as in the past most communication with our students has been questions directed at them, requiring the simplest of yes/no comments or choice making. With such a limited expressive vocabulary they have been unable to continue a conversation beyond that initial response.

The increase in vocabulary and interactions they are now provided with via their communication book and/or device is opening up their choices and developing their expressive vocab. I am interested to see how they begin to respond to interactions over the coming months as we decrease the modeling and increase the number of interactions within the conversation!