Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Story re-telling with Cuisenaire rods & OUP Story Tree

I am posting this

from my iPhone today as Blogger is not working on any of our school PCs. Odd? Yes, but at least 140 other users are complaining about the same issue today...excuse the rough formatting.

OUP Story Tree (Green series) "Grandma" presented itself as an ideal Cuisenaire Rod moment, especially as I was having to deal with 75% absentee rate in a class of 4 - curse of the ubiquitous (and superfluous) "school club activity" killing off my super reading class.

Can I whinge for a moment? This class has done especially well in reading & spelling (yes, I am biased but I am pretty good at assessment) so to loose out to volleyball or anything else on a Monday evening is galling. I am busy six days a week, and if they can't have Jim at 7pm they quit...

Prepositions everywhere in "Grandma" as she takes the children to the Fun Park, jumps on a Bouncy Castle & goes in Chip's room etc. Buy the pack if you really can't live without the rest of the plot!

This was homework checking and comprehension, analogue review, time-filling, listening practice (T > ss and ss > < ss), reading practice & peer support. All in one go?!

As I repeatedly bleat about these packs, the workbook is the (magic!) key, specifically designed to mine the most out of each title. Usually, a simple vocab set or thread of course, but just as often a key grammar target such as singular vs plural nouns, putting an 's' on verbs for he/she/it subjects (present simple tense) etc.

The light green rid represents the bouncy castle from the story; Grandma's (old but good) car is blue; there are 5 children; Grandma is blonde (yellow); her 'things' are red; home is purple and the fun park brown; other characters are generic green! I asked my readers to build the scene & refer to it as they "check" "homework" - pointing at speakers & actuating movement.

I didn't decide - Yuu & Mayu did. I did insist they were consistent though, using the same rods etc. Also the first time we have really come across direct speech (requiring the new skill of flicking ahead to the end of the parentheses), and the need to follow direction as well eg so and so "shouted/whispered/said" etc also performed!

It worked a treat; we re-read & re-told the story variously, recycled the language and made things move appropriately eg through doors not over, play football with others, not alone.

And then Mayu, who turned up late, announced this was her last class. Staggered; she has been with me/this class since she was half her age, worked tremendously well and picked up so much (especially confidence). I couldn't say goodbye properly or manage a "stop, don't do it!" because I was legging it to my next class....great lesson, dire outcome :(

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