#iFLT17 “Comprehensible Input the Easy Way” with Nelly Hughes

I love Nelly Hughes!  I have been getting to know her on social media for the past few months and I finally got to meet her in person at iFLT17!  She is so enthusiastic and easy to talk to!  Her presentation today was as awesome as she is.  She gave us a ton of fun games to provide comprehensible input in our classes.  The best part is that she always finds a way to get all students involved while she plays a game.  Sometimes I am guilty of having only a few students participating while the others watch, but Nelly has found brilliant ways to keep all students accountable while engaging in fun!  Below are some of her ideas with a brief description.  

Write and Draw:

With this strategy, students draw the image.  They show her what they can see when they are reading.  I like this in Smashdoolde format too when students draw as you read them a story or piece of a novel.  Here is a post from the incredible Martina Bex about Smashdoodles if you are not familiar with them.  Another way to use this strategy is to illustrate representations of quotes from the novel.

Citation Hunt

First she writes a description of what she visualizes in her head when she reads a scene from the novel, chapter or story.  Next she gives the descriptions to her students.  They must go through the novel/chapter/or story and find the excerpt that gave her that mental picture.  They then copy the excerpt and glue it under the description provided   

Observe → Think → Question:

Observe:  Students first observe a picture.  Then they say what they see such as  dog or house.

Think:  Next students say what they think.  This pushes students to provide output that is beyond one word.

Question:  Now when students look at picture, they begin to formulate questions about it.   

This activity can be input or output.  Nelly varies the activity by giving students a paper with the three  columns of Observe, Think and Question.  She give students sentence strips with text about a picture and they have to glue strips to the correct column.  Nelly recommends using sites like http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/  or Ellen’s website to find great pictures!

Arcoiris – A Dice game

This was adapted from Keith Toda.  Nelly’s variation includes colored dice that you can find on  Amazon.com.  You create groups of four and each student chooses a color on the dice.  If your color is rolled you need to shout your color.  You will then get a card with a description.  Students must match the description to a picture that can be projected.  If they get it correct, they will get a point.  If the student is incorrect, another group member can yell “arcoiris” or “rainbow” and steal the points.  

Story quilting:

This is something I will be using using with novels this year in my classroom.  First students read a story/chapter/novel.  Then they receive five post its to illustrate the five most important events of the story.  When they finish they stick their post it notes on construction paper, which represents a quilt. Then students exchange their quilts (the construction paper).  The student they exchanged their paper with now writes a description of the illustrations that the first student drew.  When Nelly finished, she realized that she had a ton of awesome writing and pictures.  So she decided to take the post it notes off of the quilts and hang them all over her classroom.  The next day when students came in, she gave the students the construction papers with the writing.  They had to get up and find the post it notes to put the quilt back together.  The best part is that they do not even realize how much reading they are doing!

Scavenger Hunt Secret Phrase:  (This is free in Nelly’s teacher store! YAY!  Check it out here!)

Students have to read a card with a description about a scene of the story that they read.   Then they have to find a picture card that matches that description.  The picture card will have a letter.  This repeats.  At the end if they do this in the correct order, the letters will spell out a secret message!  Nelly has her students compete to see who the winner will be.

El que sabe, sabe  

The goal of this activity is to be the closest to the numerical price without going over.  She has a representative from each team write the price for the item that she projects on the board.  Each student writes their guess on a white board.   Then they bring the white board to the front of the room.  Now the students have to look at the answers of all three teams and decide which price was correct, over and under.  To indicate this they wrote a star for the correct answer, a triangle over the price if it was over and a triangle under the price if it was under. Each team has a different marker to distinguish who is writing what.   The activity allows the teacher to get a lot of repetition of numbers.

Hollywood Game Night/ ¿Adόnde vas?

This was one of everyone’s favorite games!  Nelly told us she needed a taxi driver and 3 passengers.  The passengers jump in car with the taxi driver and say “ where are you going”?  The volunteers represent a team.  They have cards that Nelly gave them of different places.  They need to use circumlocution  to explain what the card says.  If the student/passenger does not explain  the word well, the taxi driver has to kick them out of the car and say, “fuera”. The goal of the team is to get as many words explained to the driver as possible.  The driver is the only one who can pass.

A variation of this can be Who do you see?  Or What do you see?   The students who are not involved in the round must write their guesses on white boards.  I love that she used a prop of a paper plate to show who the cab driver was.  

Story cups tower

With this game, you prepare 20 questions ahead of time for the content you are working on.  Put the kids in groups of four.  Each student has a white board and a dry erase marker.  They will get collaborate with their group and answer a question.  Time them and have them show you their answer.   All students  with the right answer come to the front and get a cup.  You repeat again with with question 2.   They are supposed to create a tower with the cups they earn.  At the end, the group who makes the tallest tower without destroying it is the winner.   After answering their comprehension questions, they build their tower for 30 seconds.  If it falls they can not touch it until after answering next question.  

You can put pictures or sentence strips on cups for your stories so then when they build they will have to build based on story!!

Blog post by Arianne Dowd, official guest blogger of iFLT17!

 

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