Sometimes making just a small tweak in our teaching can deliver big results. But what are the tweaks we should be making? John Fanselow is a man who knows, in fact he’s written a book about it. Here’s just one of John’s many examples.
Mariko thought that when she gave dictations, all of her students wrote exactly what she said, because there were never any errors in their notebooks. However, when she looked at a video clip of her class, she saw that the students were erasing and writing while she wrote the correct sentences on the board. She had told them to compare what they wrote with the sentences on the board. But instead of only comparing, they were rushing to “fix” without time to process or question.
The next day Mariko asked them to keep their erasers in their pencil cases. After she said, “I like ice cream.” three times, she did not write the sentence on the board. The next time she checked the students’ notebooks, only 10 out of 40 students had written, “I like ice cream.” Instead, she read such phrases as “I cream; I ice; I spring; like ice.” After that, she asked the students to correct what they had written with a different colored pen. This would allow the students to compare their mistakes with what was correct later on and allow the teacher to find out what the students could understand and not understand.
So a tiny change like using a coloured pen brought great results. John is giving a course about many many more of the useful changes we can make in our classes. It runs on iTDi all through this month. Here is the course page: http://itdi.pro/bigresults . You can download the entire preface to the book there, and you even get the whole book if you join the course before it’s available for sale. But this is going to be a great course, even without a free book.