Brain Breaks – Ide Kreatif

This year I have decided to return to a  3 day week instead of the 4 day week I have done for the past few years. Thus, here I sit at my dining room table on a Monday morning after a physically active weekend, throughly enjoy a calm and relaxed start to my week. It is the perfect way to mentally prepare me for my upcoming teaching week.

I scrolled through my WordPress reader this morning (something I don’t do often enough) and discovered a few great posts about brain breaks. Last week, upon reflection, I realised I didn’t incorporate anywhere near enough brain breaks into my lessons, especially for my younger students. It is always tough at the beginning of a new year remembering that all the classes are new and that the year 2/3 class is still really only a 1/2 class and will need a lot more movement and action in their lessons to keep them engaged and focused.

Brainbreaks are so important for a variety of reasons, not least because they give the poor brain a rest. Annabelle Allen has a terrific blog worth exploring and in it are quite a few posts about brain breaks. She recommends that they are done often and before students get restless, not as a result of restless students!! Looks like I will have to change my ideas about my 50 min lesson plans. Up until now, my priority has always been the class story however I think I need to rethink that and consider that student engagement should be the higher priority. If students are engaged and having fun (in Indonesian), everything else should fall sweetly into place! Do you agree? 

The key though is coaching students that brainbreaks are a quick break (like a commercial) and when it’s finished, they all return to their seats and we resume from where we were with no talking or discussion. 

I’ve got a brain break word document saved to my USB that I’ve been compiling over the past 2 years. Each time I read of a brain break that I think would work with my students, I add it to the list (if you’d like a copy send me your email address). The beauty of this is that when I am planning, I can just open the document and then scroll through all my ideas and pick out the ones that best supports the target structure, the time of year &/or the student cohort. I then add the ideas to my lesson plan so that I can quickly run my eyes over the suggestions and go with what is best for that moment. If I don’t do this, I’ve discovered that my brain goes on auto pilot and all I can think  of are; Bu Cathy berkata & satu kaki which may lead to these brainbreak activities loosing their novelty if I’m not careful.

Here are a few new brain breaks I have just read about and am now looking forward to using in my classroom:

Class Selfie (Annabelle Allen) – using your phone/ipad, say, “Ayo, selfie!” then count backwards from sepuluh to satu, and then take a class selfie. These photos would be awesome in school newsletters, on class blogs and Annabelle also suggests using these photos to crop student faces for using in power points!! Isn’t this idea just ingenious!

Manikin Challenge – (Annabelle Allen) – 

During a scene reconstruction for a story retell  incorporate as many students as possible from the class and then the teacher walks around the tableau who are frozen and not speaking or moving one little bit to record it. Any students who can’t have their image uploaded, need to have creative ways in which to obscure their faces.

Double this, Double that – 

I’ve been wracking my brain for weeks now ever since discovering this awesome hand clapping rhyme for an Indonesian phrase that work. Here is what I came up with this morning as I think ahead to this weeks target structure of ‘sayang’:

Sayang, sayang I, I

Sayang, sayang bu, bu.

Sayang i, sayang bu

Sayang, sayang ibu.

And it could also be then done with other family members including bapak/ayah, and adik/kakak:

Sayang, sayang a, a

Sayang, sayang dik, dik.

sayang a, sayang dik,

Sayang, sayang adik.

and the best one to finish with :

Sayang, sayang, kak, kak

Sayang sayang kak, kak

Sayang kak, sayang kak

Sayang sayang kakak!!

Binatang – (still searching for where I found this) students in groups/rows each choose an animal. Students can not talk, they can only make the noise of their chosen animal. Then when they each have an animal, they have to arrange themselves in a line from largest to smallest, again not saying a word, only making the noise of the animal!! Finish by choosing one line and having the students sound off down the line with their animal sound!

Charades – ask for 3 students to come out the front. Show them a word/phrase in the target language. They then have to act it out so that the rest of the class can guess what it is. Class then votes on whose acting was the funniest. 

Circling Demo Videos 

Thanks Karen for your comment about English circling demos. Nothing like watching a demo in either English or a lesson for raw beginners in an unfamiliar language to fully grasp the skills of circling. 

A few points to remember firstly:


 I’ve done a quick search on YouTube and here are a few that I recommend. I’ll keep adding to this collection as I find more!! 

Watch and let me know what you think!! 

Here are a couple of videos of teachers teaching a class for their first ever language lesson: firstly Michele Whaley teaches Russian: 

Here is Eric Herman teaching English: https://youtu.be/nRu-3TR8A2M

Coaching Students ala Alina Filipescu

It’s a fact! I love watching Alina Filipescu’s TCI  YouTube videos. When I discover a new one, I watch it repeatedly, picking up new ideas each time. She is a true master in my eyes. I am in awe of her TCI skills and the rapport she has with her students. 

This is my latest favourite video as it clears up the mystery for me of how she coaches her students to respond to her various cues. I’ve always wondered how she did that. 

Enjoy….

TPRS Step 3: Reading

Our Inaugural SA TPRS conference has just finished. It was 3 days full of information, explanations, demos and coaching. My brain is full to bursting and my body is absolutely shattered (note to self: participating in a language class is a physically and mentally exhausting brain workout) I am now in a particularly weird emotive state where I would just love to be heading back again this morning for another day of listening to Terry & Lizette and yet on the other hand, I am so excited to have some time to start thinking about the ways in which I can incorporate the skills that were demonstrated over the past 3 days into my teaching.

What an outstanding team Terry Waltz & Lizette Liebold are! They work together seamlessly and complement each other beautifully. Terry skills as a presenter dovetailed nicely with Lizette’s coaching skills. Combined they have countless years of TPRS teaching, in fact Lizette is one of the original pioneer TPRS language teachers who hopped on the TPRS train right back when it first began and has consequently attended all NTPRS conferences bar one!

Terry’s skills as a presenter are remarkable. While this was her 3rd consecutive Australian conference, delivering (I assume) exactly the same program, at no time did I feel that it was rehearsed or a repeat of a previous presentation. Terry’s manner assured us that she was genuinely enjoying her time with us and that we in no way compared poorly against previous cohorts. Which is exactly what happens in a TPRS classroom! While the target structure may be the same with consecutive classes, each class provides different details which lead us in different directions each and every time.

My brain is reeling with all that I heard throughout the conference and thank goodness I took notes, because right now it is still aching and overwhelmed. If I reflect on the biggest take away for me from my 3 days at the conference, it would without a doubt be the clarification of the 3 steps of TPRS. I now understand that the stories I’ve been using for the story asking are in fact the final reading text.

Terry demonstrated this with two very different languages; Hawaiian firstly and then on day 3 with Mandarin. Being unfamiliar with both languages, I was incredibly fortunate to experience the 3 steps of TPRS as a student twice. This really helped me consolidate my understanding and appreciation of the 3 steps which are:

  1. Establish meaning
  2. Story asking
  3. Reading.

Prior to the conference, step 3 for my classes was the story the class had created and revolved around various TCI activities to keep it engaging while achieving repetitions within that one story. I completely understand now the value of reading a different story (the original story or maybe another modified class’s story) for step 3.This enables students to consolidate the acquired language in a totally new setting. Depending on the level of your students, this final step also has the potential to provide your student with longer stories with a variety of the newly acquired target structures in it, each targeted separately prior to the final reading in steps one and two. This understanding is going to turn the way I plan upside down and I am sooo excited. Can’t wait to get started to experience it!

To clarify:

If the story is this one with the Lucy wants a jacket story
(credit Judith Dubois):

Ada perempuan.

Nama perempuan Lucy.

Lucy dingin.

Lucy mau jaket.

Lucy tidak pakai jaket.

Lucy lihat laki laki kecil.

Nama laki laki kecil Will.

Will punya jaket tetapi jaket Will terlalu kecil.

Lucy lihat Pak Hudson. (principal’s name)

Pak Hudson punya jaket tetapi jaket Pak Hudson terlalu besar.

Lucy lihat Jane.

Jane punya jaket dan jaket Jane pas.

Jane kasih Lucy jaket.

Lucy pakai jaket.

Lucy berkata, “Terima kasih Jane.”

Jane berkata, “Sama sama.”

The first task is identify the target structures your students will need to acquire to read and comprehend this story. When I do this story, the target structures are grouped and ordered like this:

Group One

  1. topi
  2. sepatu
  3. jaket

Group Two

  1. dingin
  2. panas

Group Three

  1. terlalu besar
  2. terlalu kecil
  3. pas.

Because my students have acquired the remaining language from previous stories, I can incorporate it into fun songs and TPR activities to target each group of target structures one by one. I usually begin with panas/dingin which is easily incorporated into the roll call if the weather is extreme and the students come in hot and sweaty or conversely wet and cold! My lessons generally begin with a roll call asking “Apa kabar?” This in itself is an awesome opportunity for circling. Kelas, Joe panas! Joe dingin atau joe panas? Joe dan Mary panas dan Betty dingin!

If you look back through this blog, you’ll find various songs that I’ve made up which my students have enjoyed singing and then acting out. The one I love the most is sung to the tune of baa baa black sheep:

Lucy dingin.

Lucy mau jaket.

Will panas.

Tidak mau jaket.

Will kasih Lucy.

Lucy pakai jaket.

Lucy berkata, “Terima kasih Will.”

(NB names are substituted with the names of the actors)

These type of activities are then repeated for each list of target structures. which are each targeted separately because each set may take several weeks till acquisition.  For target structures like the ones in group 3, I love looking for weird and wacky pictures on google images that incorporate familiar and popular characters from recent films/books/tv programs and then use them to create a powerpoint. Harry Potter is reliably popular and easily identifiable by all year levels at my school so one powerpoint had a page with harry potter wearing a tiny hat, the next page with him wearing an enormous hat and the following page showed Harry wearing a hat the perfect size! Thus I was able to consolidate ‘topi’ while introducing new structures! The following pages were pictures of familiar characters or cognate animals (orangutan, komodo) wearing oversized, undersized or perfectly sized jackets, hats or shoes. My students are generally riveted to the screen, wondering what kooky picture will be next. It also provides opportunities to circle using mau and punya. Billy punya topi pizza besar? Billy mau punya topi pizza besar?

After the structures have been acquired to my satisfaction, I move on to step 2 – story asking – using actors. The actors help in a variety of ways; they make the story engaging for the class (& me), they help me circle each part of the story (especially if the acting requires more expression – I love OTT acting – sneaky way to get reps), they can also be a tool for me to measure class acquisition. Story asking is incredibly important as it allow classes to create unique stories through collaboration, its how students buy into the story. Afterwards, the class story can be written up to be used in a variety of ways as listed on the TCI activities page.

Then finally step 3 (the one I will work on this year) is reading together the original story as printed above. I loved how Terry did this. She had a powerpoint ‘book’ that the class could read together and each page had a line of text with a quirky picture that provided opportunities for circling, popup grammar, funny stories/gestures to help students remember conjunction words (eg. tetapi = point to your but) or other useful words that need a boost. (imagine the ‘cultural’ story you could create for bercakap-cakap!!).

For me as a student, this final step was incredibly powerful. It made me feel super confident that I could read it and understand the story even though the characters and setting were not familiar. With those changes, the story felt foreign yet still achievable. Soo cool. It truly demonstrated for me the concept of  i+1. Fully comprehensible yet stretching my acquisition just the right amount.

With this text, there are a variety of reading activities that can be done with students to further consolidate acquisition. With Terry, we choral read the book on the tv screen, firstly in pinyin and then with Chinese characters. Boy, did this hit home for me how fortunate both my students & I are that Indonesian is a roman alphabetic language!!

Here are a list of the reading activities & games  that Terry shared with us:

  • kindergarten reading
  • whole class choral reading
  • group reading
  • Echo reading (teacher reads in TL and students read in English)
  • volley ball reading
  • paired repeated reading
  • readers theatre

Reading games:

  • Musical readings – students in pairs each reading a sentence each one by one with each student double checking the sentence was read correctly & if not, the sentence is reread. The teacher plays music and when the music stops, whoever is not reading gets a point.
  • Reading Bingo – each student has a 3×3 =grid. In each box, the student writes a different word from the story in each square. Students cross out the word when they hear it.
  • Stupid Teacher (Guru Gila?) teacher reads the story and deliberately says a word not in the story or changes one word. Students in pairs, competing against each other, tally up the mistakes and compare tally at end of reading.
  • Comprehension Questions – to measure comprehension, ask the questions in English. They could include true/false questions, short answer questions, multiple choice questions, cloze from story with multiple choice options for each cloze empty space.

Now all I have to do is decide which story I want to begin with this term!! What story are you using?

Meeting Blaine Ray in Sydney

Annie and I are heading home after 2 unforgettable days in Sydney with Blaine Ray. What an amazing time and I still can’t believe how fortunate we have been.


Firstly how lucky were we to have Blaine Ray to ourselves almost for 24 hours! We did share him on Tuesday with Stef and her son Daniel, but considering that she is heading up to the conference in Brisbane this Friday, this was a bonus! We were able to pepper him with questions and then listen to his explanations while taking notes. It felt like our own personal workshop specifically tailored for our needs and level. Words simply cannot express how amazing this was and we’ll always be indebted to Blaine for his kindness and patience. 

Secondly, we were able to practise our note taking skills ready for next week’s inaugural TPRS conference on the Fleurieu Peninsular with Terry Waltz & Lizette Liebold! It has been fascinating comparing our notes and seeing the huge gaps in my notes where at times I must have become so engrossed in the conversation I forgot to write anything down! Annie has diligently cross referenced both sets of our notes and created a version that incorporates everything and then on top of that has presented it out beautifully.

(This is from Blaine’s advice that whenever you get universal agreement with a response, never accept it. Choose the opposite and surprise them! Never accept the obvious; eliminate the expected!) 

And thirdly, it was simply a lovely break spending 2 nights in Sydney and being a tourist in such a beautiful city with like minded people. We spent most of our time together either walking or eating along the scenic waterfront. Except for the initial trip to our hotel from the airport, all of the travel we (Annie & Cathy) did in Sydney was either by ferry or by train and this is definitely the best way to travel. The ferry system is efficient and relaxed. It was just lovely sitting or standing on the ferries enjoying the gorgeous scenery and the cool breezes with the added occasional bonus of sea spray. The trains too were great. So much quicker and took us directly to the domestic terminal which was in direct contrast to our long and tiring trip on arrival which took at least an hour of zig zagging throughout the CBD streets of Sydney. I’m so grateful that Annie talked me into exploring alternative travel options for our return to the airport!


What a generous and gracious person Blaine Ray is. He happily and enthusiastically shared his knowledge with us and was genuinely impressed to discover that we are 2 of 3 language teachers on the south coast who have been teaching with TPRS in since 2014. He told us afterwards that he had presumed we had only recently heard about TPRS and therefore surmised that our discussions would lack any deep TPRS connection. In fact we spent every single minute chatting about various aspects of TPRS and Blaine answered all of our questions and gave many demos to illustrate his points. He also encouraged us to share all that we learned; a huge relief because I couldn’t wait to write up this post!  I particularly appreciated his personal stories which clearly illustrate his open mindedness towards improving TPRS, unlike others who have created a successful model and then constantly ‘protect’ the model/concept fiercely. Blaine told us of several instances where he had witnessed or discussed with a practising TPRS teacher a successful idea of theirs, which he  immediately saw the value of incorporating it into TPRS procedure and then gave that teacher full credit for that update! Alina Filipescu is one such teacher and after seeing several of her youtube videos, I fully understand why Blaine Ray would be impressed by her teaching.

His explanation and demonstration of the 5 steps of teaching a sentence is a procedure I aim to focus on this upcoming term. I particularly would like to work on this to ensure that I am story asking rather than story listening. I can finally understand how we can create a class story based on the target structure. His advice of writing out a script beforehand with a few planned surprises (should the student ideas be too predictable) would help as my mind goes blank when I am in front of a class. He did reassure us though, by saying that once you get started and students get the hang of suggesting the unexpected, we will begin to build up a bank of great surprises perfect for our cohorts that can be drawn upon when needed. I liked his mantra of rejecting the expected; I can fully understand now that choosing an idea that is sooo off the planet ramps up the class stories to make it even more compelling. Blaine demonstrated this with us all at Watson’s Bay with a sentence about a chicca called Annie. He circled this sentence using his 5 steps with us as the class. Whatever we suggested, he would shake his head and reject it with a disappointed look on his face and so we would dig deeper to outdo each other to come up with even better unpredictable ideas. However he continued to reject our suggestions and would then use his own which were always better than ours. I also loved his comeback when I told him that his story didn’t make sense to me; “This is my story and if you don’t like it, go and write your own story.”

Here are the 5 steps of teaching a sentence:

  1. Annie was a girl.
  2. Annie, are you a girl?
    (If the actor doesn’t have the language to answer in the target language, she/he can either read it or mouth it while the teacher provides the voice.)
  3. Yes, I am a girl.
    (The actor must answer in complete sentences confidently as this provides input for the class and is also a clear indicator of the extent to which the whole class ‘gets it’. Any errors or hesitation are indicators that more repetition is necessary.)
  4. Yes, you are a girl.
    (teacher verifies the response)
  5. Class, Annie was a girl.
    (Teacher speaks to the whole class)


This leads on nicely to Blaine’s comments about actors. He made it very clear that choosing good actors is critical. He explained about having auditions to select the best actor which is an idea I’ve tried but not while focusing on the target structure which would be an awesome way in which to add additional input, rehearse the structure and develop student confidence. A good actor must be enthusiastic, must want to try and must have the mindset that this is a cool class. We loved his line that actors have the opportunity to be in the movie rather than to just watch it!

If however, the actor is not performing (maybe he/she is shy or reluctant to act in an exaggerated fashion), try whispering in their ear hints or even demonstrating the required action and if they are still unable to act in the engaging manner required, it may be necessary to replace them. Choosing a bad actor gives negative messages to all the students about our subject. Blaine’s statement that every teacher has a battle for the students hearts resonates for me in my school where we can have up to 5 specialist teachers on top of their class teacher and other support staff. He says the way to win their hearts is through comprehension and play!


Our meals with Blaine were spent juggling our plates & cutlery with our notebooks & pen. Meal times were perfect times to focus on specific aspects of TPRS. The first evening, Annie took notes while I hesitated to pull out my book. Afterwards back at the hotel, I quickly wrote down all that I could remember and was horrified at how much detail I couldn’t remember. From then on, as soon as Blaine began talking, I would whip out my note book and note down the salient points using some of the shorthand I haven’t used since teachers college lectures! 


Over our first al fresco breakfast in Pyrmont, Blaine discussed circling. Questions are the backbone of TPRS and are the key difference between TPRS teaching and everything else. He told us of studies which showed that TPRS teachers ask 3-4 questions a minute whereas legacy teachers rarely ask ANY questions. Questioning is critical because it gives students the opportunity to rehearse while giving the teacher the opportunity to get repetitions on just one sentence.

Here are his 7 rules of circling:

  • Never circle in the same order (too predictable)
  • Use either/or on any part of the sentence (subject, verb, object)
  • Always have a bias towards asking negative questions as they are more challenging
  • Use your question words and point and pause to give processing time
  • Add information to the sentence to create a new sentence. Either circle the longer sentence or part of the longer sentence; whatever is necessary for your students and this is evident through your actor. Eg. Girl wants a monkey, Girl want a big/small monkey, Girl wants a big monkey that speaks Chinese/dog,
  • add a new character (parallel character)
  • add yourself (teacher)

It’s all about asking different people different questions based on the same structure. If it feels boring, ramp it up by adding another character, a celebrity, a celebrity’s pet cat. Adding something new makes it more interesting. Speak to each character. Eg. Are you a cat? What languages do you speak? You are very clever. Each new piece of information can be added to the sentence being circled or just circle the new addition depending on the level of actor confidence and continue till the actor ‘sooo gets it’! If a student actor hesitates or has errors in their answer, this indicates that the class also needs more circling on that sentence. Blaine requires actors to respond in complete sentences to provide further output for the class however class responses are limited to one word responses. In this YouTube video you can see him demonstrating this:

 https://youtu.be/9DRblDN2sXY

Just as critical though are student responses. He told us about Alina Filipescu who coaches her students to give powerful responses. I am definitely going to investigate that idea as I agree it is a skill that needs explicit teaching. 

Answering questions demonstrates comprehension and understanding.
Blaine has 3 procedures for evidence of student engagement

They are:

  • Respond to new statements with ‘ahh’.
  • If I ask a question, respond in the target language.
  • If I ask a question and you don’t know the answer, guess in the target language. Surprise me with your guess and if you don’t surprise me, I will surprise you!

This conversation led us neatly onto the 2 Rules for Students in class:

  • NO social talking
  • Never speak negatively about this class.Regarding point 2, Blaine recommends teaching early on a phrase such as, “I like this class” (Kelas Bahasa Indonesian keren) and whenever a student speaks negatively about the lesson or class, insist they repeat this phrase while reminding them of rule no 2. Personally I can’t remember anyone stating publicly in class that they dislike my classes or lessons, I just get occasional glowering glares or disengaged expressions which I usually do not draw attention to and work harder to turn their attitude around. For one student this happened when she became the class artist.

 

A major theme that underlay every discussion we had with Blaine was student confidence and teacher patience. He highly recommends all language teachers experience learning a totally new language to fully enable us to  empathise with our students. Teacher thinking about language learning is usually wrong. We have forgotten just how it feels to be a learner and why students want and need patience from their teacher. Teachers can not make their students learn any faster, the only way we can help with their acquisition is to provide more repetition.

Always respond with love and patience until your students CAN:

C= Confidence

A= Accuracy

N= No hesitation.

 

We want new language learners (slow processors) to become confident fast processors which is the goal of TPRS. Writing translations up on the board can make a big difference with this. Did you realise that your brain starts from the point where it is confident? How much sense does that make! It explains why we can hear the same talk/ explanation several times and yet pick up different facts each time! This is relevant for language learners too! Each time we repeat a structure, it solidifies in the learners mind and helps them become more confident. Every learner is different and begins at a different point. TPRS students are at one of the following stages:

~ understanding

~ getting it

~ soo getting it.

Obviously it the final stage we are aiming for with our students!
 

Post Script:

This post is my grasp of Blaine’s explanations. I hope it is true to his understandings and should there be any errors, I fully accept that they are evidence of my ongoing and constantly developing comprehension of TPRS. 

Student Work – Books vs Folders?

When I first arrived at this school, piled up in the bookcase were huge piles of student workbooks from the previous year’s teacher – most of which had been barely been used. I then repeated this pattern myself for the next few years!! I always felt uncomfortable at the end of each year sending the books home. If the books were not full of book work, did parents  assume students had not done anything? Would I and/or my program be judged if student work was untidy or unmarked or if there were incomplete tasks? After a few years of this dilemma, I trialed ordering students a folder each instead of a lined book.  At the end of that first year, instead of sending student work home, students took out all their work sheets, and put them together in the back sleeve of their folder with a back sheet stating their year level and the calendar year on one side and their front cover in the other. We discovered early the following year, that it was best to staple this together to prevent pages falling out mid lesson and also so that work doesn’t get mixed up from year to year. I have been doing this for nearly 10 years now, and over the last few years, it has been lovely handing the folders to my graduating year 7’s as it contained work from each and every year they have been here at PEPS.

Each year, we begin the program with a front cover for their folder. This front cover has many uses but the main one is to ensure quick and smooth distribution during lessons, therefore their names must be bold and eye catching! When I taught thematically, there would be 4 boxes on the front cover, each one representing the 4 terms in our school year. In each box there would be either an illustration for each term’s theme or it would be blank for the student to draw their own picture inside it. At the end of the year, this front cover is stapled strategically facing the back cover, so that reorganising the folders at the start of each year is made slightly easier.

Since beginning with TCI/TPRS, our front covers has changed significantly and the main reason for this is that week one of each term is the best week!! It is the week when students are most settled, most cooperative and most are absolutely delighted to be back at school so it seems absolutely crazy to spend that week colouring in!! Now, the front cover is only done in the first week of the year and it helps me to gain greater insight into my students likes and dislikes which hopefully strengthens our student/teacher relationships.

My first cover in 2015, was based on the expectations of students in the Indonesian classroom and was a great way to introduce Teaching Proficiency Through Storytelling to students. Last year, after discussions with Sharon & Annie, We all used the front covers to collect information about students that could be used in class stories. Unfortunately my design was too ambitious and  was only completed fully by a few classes. As the week progressed, each class’s front cover was tweaked more and more so that for those classes that only had that one Indonesian lesson that week, the cover could be completed in a single lesson and didn’t run into week 2!


This year, I plan to have another go with a basic interview styled front cover, but with the option for slower students to write their information instead of only being able to illustrate it!! Hopefully that will reduce the amount of time needed for completion! Here are the front cover drafts I’ve created so far:

 JP firstly then MP & UP. 

Tweaking a pre TPRS cooking unit – again…..

For the second year in a row, I finished with a cooking recipe instead of a story for the year 6/7 classes. This cooking unit is a tradition with my year 6/7 students and it is the only pre TCI/TPRS unit I haven’t binned! This is for several reasons: Firstly it is a food based theme which students constantly love and therefore hopefully is becomes a memorable final unit for my year 7’s before they head off to high school and secondly it ties in nicely with our annual end of year school pasar (market).

As this is a unit I have done with my upper primary students for as long as I can remember, it has been tweaked significantly over the last 2 years as I continue to make it more TCI friendly. Last year was my first attempt which you can read about here. This year’s tweaking though was much more successful (in my opinion) which I can only put down to my ongoing reading and listening to all things TPRS/TCI.

The biggest improvement came quite simply; tweaking the recipes that the unit is based upon.

I always begin this unit by asking each class to brainstorm for recipes they would like to cook. Then the class votes on them all, knowing that the recipe will  be cooked twice; once for students to eat and enjoy themselves and then again to sell at the pasar.  Students suggested dishes are usually based on food they have enjoyed at previous pasars’ or dishes they enjoyed eating that had been made by visiting Indonesians. This year the 3 6/7 classes chose 3 totally different recipes; mie goreng telur Ala Ibu Mia (yummy savoury noodle pancakes), dadar gulung and klepon.

Once each class has decided on what they want to cook and sell at the pasar, I find a recipe for it because the unit of work for each class is then based on that recipe.

This year when I dug out the recipes, I was horrified with the amount of unfamiliar vocabulary each recipe uses! This became my first job – to pare down the recipe to its most basic form and to incorporate as much acquired language where ever possible. Unfortunately with recipes, what cannot be altered, is the list of ingredients and one recipe had 10 ingredients, most of which were unfamiliar!

Here are the stages that the method part of the dadar gulung recipe has changed over the past 3 years:

Pre TPRS  Dadar Gulung Recipe:

2014

  • Aduk kelapa, gula jawa, air dan garam. Goreng sampai air hilang.
  • Taruh tepung, telur, pewarna, santan, garam, santan dan air. Aduk sampai halus.
  • Panaskan wajan. Mengisi sedikit minyak.
  • Tuang 2Tb adonan dadar. Goreng sampai dadar kering. Angkat.
  • Ulangi sampai adonan dadar habis.
  • Ambil satu dadar. Mengisi satu sendok makan intinya. Terus lipat dan gulung.
  • Ulangi sampai dadar dan intinya habis.
  • Selamat makan.

 

Post TPRS Dadar Gulung Recipe

2015

  1. Campurkan air, garam, gula dan kelapa. Goreng dan aduk. Angkat.
  2. Campurkan tepung, gula, garam, telur, pandan dan susu di mangkok besar. Aduk.
  3. Panaskan minyak.
  4. Kasih satu sendok besar campuran dadar dan goreng dua menit.
  5. Balik dadar dan goreng satu menit lagi.
  6. Angkat.
  7. Ulangi.
  8. Taruh campuran kelapa/gula di dadar. Lipat dan gulung.
  9. Selamat makan!

 

2016

  1. Aduk kelapa parut, gula merah, air dan garam di wajan. Goreng, sampai tidak ada air. Angkat dan taruh di piring.
  2. Aduk tepung, telur, pewarna pandan, susu dan garam di piring.
  3. Panaskan wajan. Kasih sedikit minyak.
  4. Kasih 2Tb dadar. Goreng. Angkat dan taruh di piring.
  5. Lagi
  6. Ambil satu dadar. Kasih satu sendok inti. Lipat dan gulung. Taruh di piring.
  7. Lagi sampai tidak ada dadar atau inti.
  8. Makan

 

With the 2016 recipe adaptation, my focus structures became taruh (place/put), aduk (stir/mix), piring (plate) & wajan (frypan). Words like ‘inti’ are not high frequency, so I simply had the translation for that and other such words posted up on the baord to assist comprehension and reduce confusion.

My second task was to introduce the list of ingredients. With dadar gulung, there are 10 ingredients! In order to get as many repetitions on each ingredient, I created power points, showed students the ingredients, let them taste, smell & handle the ingredients where appropriate (tasting coriander was not very successful but it sure helped them to remember it), Plickers & played the drawing/matching game I outlined in my 2015 post.

I love using PowerPoint when introducing new target structures. I go crazy with the transition features whereby you can have a picture/word on the screen and then with a touch something is added or changed to the page in a quirky way.  Most pages have 3 items which with a touch are layered onto each page. This included the English and Indonesian word for each ingredient and a picture to clarify meaning. The order that each came up on the page varied but generally the English word appeared last. The PowerPoint is then not only useful for introducing a list of new words but also for reviewing the list. To keep up the interest, pictures can be changed, slides rearranged and transition styles altered. Including pictures of past students is popular although can be distracting! Here is a link to the PowerPoint I used for dadar gulung.

While the main target structures for all 3 class recipes was ‘aduk’ and ‘taruh’,  ‘piring’ and ‘wajan’ were purely support/minor target structures, I was amazed to discover at the end of the unit how the acquisition of the former was sketchy and needed a few gesture prompts yet wajan and piring needed no such prompts. In fact students were using them in their English discussions while cooking!

For the first time ever, on the day of cooking, I only handed out the Indonesian version of the recipes to groups. The only person who received an English version was the group support person if they had one. Groups that invite a support person (older family member/friend) are permitted to cook elsewhere in the school which I encourage as it reduces the power load in my classroom and hence the overload switch cutting off power! I was so impressed with the groups that remained in my room and their successful comprehension of the Indonesian recipe.

Unlike last year, I was extremely pleased with how the cooking unit progressed this year, especially considering it is such a busy time of year. Reducing the unfamiliar vocabulary down to just aduk & taruh made such a difference. While aduk isn’t high frequency at all in the classroom context, ‘taruh’ certainly is and consequently I have already started incorporating into my lessons with the younger students.

I’ve also thought about the idea of having a year 6/7 cooking text that younger students work towards in Indonesian class during their 7 years of primary school, so that many of the words like ‘taruh’, ‘lipat’, ‘gulung’ can be built upon in a more challenging text.

Dadar Gulung

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Mie Goreng Telur Ala Ibu Mia

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Klepon