Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Open week at Luna

Classroom questionnaire - involve mums!
 I love Open Week!

This is the chance we get to show mums and dads how well our students are doing, and how they are doing it. In the last year we have made big efforts to share our work with Edmodo, but there's nothing like an actual peek around the classroom door. (Of course, parents are welcome to come and see what's going on anytime...we wish even more parents could come, because there's so much cool stuff we want to show them!)

On Tuesday afternoon, nearly all the mums came to see Jim's busy class, which uses the Primary Colours coursebook. As we had a decent roomful, it was a great opportunity to move around more than usual and get unexpected answers. It also meant mums were as engaged in the activity as their children were, and got a feel for the language/interaction instead of merely looking over shoulders. Frees the teacher up nicely too, to soft pedal any classroom management issues.

Mums on the spot
This class has covered topics like numbers, colours, and school bag/household items lately, and can handle questions from the teacher if they are in context. I wanted to put them in charge of the questions today, and deal with answers they had not heard before. eg Japanese children (maybe all?) want to tell you every single colour that might be on their t-shirt/pencil case/socks...funnily, today mums did the same. Thank you. There was only one 'space' for the answer to go in, so they had to rationalise the answer! (And everyone realised a simple answer works best).

Each child had a slightly different questionnaire to complete, asking everyone else "What colour is your...toothbrush/bike/bag etc?". They then wrote the name of the respondent (all up on the board to copy) in the right row/column (itself something this class needed to be taught to do, which astonished me at the time). Once finished (only just in time) we coloured our charts as a nice bar graph. Mums got a first hand experience of their children speaking English in action (not the odd word or out of context) and were able to assess for themselves pronunciation, memory, letter formation, interaction and behaviour.

We are looking forward to seeing more parents through the week, and are really keen to give face to face updates on progress, problems and praise. Come on and see what's going on!

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