Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday's Torch Story

Seeks painted trifles and fantastic toys
and eagerly pursues imaginary joys.
~ Mark Akenside

I have a new toy and I am ridiculously happy with it! It is educational software that allows me to create interactive spinners. I can select the number of pie pieces on each spinner and create whatever labels I want. Above you can see the first activity I created - for a practice drill on conjugating regular verbs. One spinner selects the pronoun, one the verb and one the tense.

I was SO excited to unveil it this week, but then on class night we had a bad storm with a tornado watch and almost no one showed up. Oh well, next week...

Overall, I think it's going to be an excellent prop for lots of exercises and activities! It's so cool! ;)

In general, the semester is off to a good start. Basically all of my students have returned and I've picked up some new ones too. While not everyone comes every single week, I now have about 15 serious students.

Our first small group discussion went pretty well. I had assigned the question before the holidays - I asked people to be prepared to talk about their favorite family holiday traditions. I sat with my weakest students and our "discussion" focused on the holiday dinner. Most of them were able to mention several of the foods that they have during the big holiday meal and to tell me how many people attend this meal. We also touched on who did the cooking (or, at least, how many helped with the cooking) and whether or not they used recipes or were able to cook without recipes.

I think this is going to be a very powerful activity and I know that I need to make it a priority each week. Other than that, we chugging along. We're in the middle of several lessons on verbs and the song we learned last week was "Turn, turn, turn: To everything there is a season" by the Byrds - the lyrics are taken from the book of Ecclesiastics (Bible) and are just chock full of verbs! ;)

So, next week I'll get to try out my spinners! I'll let you know how it goes. :)