Friday, November 8, 2013

Magic begins with AIM!

Language learning magic begins with AIM. I am living this truth each and every day! It was another magical day today in French class! I am teaching with the Accelerative Integrative Methodology by +Wendy Maxwell. The students are thriving and they are very obviously loving it. With all the laughs, smiles and loud excitement all period, it's hard to misjudge that they are happy learners!

First, we started with a little TLSE (Teacher Led Self-Expression). I expressed myself through gesturing while the students spoke for me. Sounds a little 'different' to a non-AIMer, but this is just one of the many wonderful techniques built into the methodology that allows students the chance to actively participate in learning by speaking from bell to bell. Students in an AIM classroom very rarely sit passively listening to the teacher. Instead, the teacher gestures what she wants to say, preferably with her mouth silent, like I did today. I said a couple words that were newer to them aloud, but for the most part, I gestured, they spoke...then we all laughed. I was telling them about how I was so excited about the weekend, because we don't have one day or two days, but we have three days this weekend. Then I went on to explain how I am frustrated on weekend days because my children do not understand that we don't need to wake up early. Of course I gesture this with a lot of emotion...I have to admit, that I get a little crazy with my TLSE. We always end up in stitches, though. I think I was born to teach middle schoolers...we just click and have so much fun together!

Second, was the song and dance practice. Oh my, this is getting really interesting! First of all, they are really learning the words to the song. The song is basically a story re-tell of the AIM play we are learning. If you'd like a sneak peek, check this link and scroll down in the video section to "Mon frère Henri."

I play the video with the French subtitles, they stand up and dance and sing. I turn down the music and let them carry the tune at several different sections to see how well they can do. They are really, really getting into this. It is so much fun to see how far they have come since the first day I introduced the song!

Third, we have started answering partial questions, both orally and in writing. I am blown away at how well they are doing with these. They are able to compile complete thoughts in French both orally and in writing at a level I would not expect after two months of language learning. It is AIMazing!!!

Lastly, was our play practice. The students got into their groups and starting practicing the play together. The pronunciation and ability to say their lines is really impressive. They are getting a hang of the play and I simply cannot wait to see what sorts of videos and presentations we come up with next month!!

It was another AIMazing day in my AIM classroom! I cannot wait for the next one...although I am going to enjoy this weekend in the meantime...hope you do the same! :)

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