I've just spent a delightful morning as the guest of Our Lady of Mt Carmel PS in Fremantle, where I was invited to give lessons for the Year One and Year Three classes. It's always wonderful to get back into the classroom and interact with students and especially wonderful if I can share some Shoebox. I shouldn't have been surprised how quickly the Year Threes picked up the content; after all, they have so much less to UNLEARN, so what we regard as strange grammatical ideas that go against the old (mythical) ideas of Noun = Person, Place, Thing; a Verb is a Doing Word etc are just regarded by the Year Threes as normal learning. Their educational storehouses have a lot more space than those of adults, and children are a whole lot more excited about filling their storehouses.
The other thing that was very noticeable, as expressed by the Year Three teacher, was that children learn much better by discovery. When they were confronted by the sentence "Playing soccer makes John happy" they worked out that 'Playing soccer' is a noun because it goes into Position One, regardless of how much it looks like a verb. They also discovered that 'is' is a verb because it goes into Position Two, never mind that it thoroughly demolishes the old standard of a Verb is a Doing Word.
The Year Ones also, apart from having huge amounts of CUTE, were also delightful as they figured out that we need Positions One and Two, that capital letters go in the Yellow box and the fullstop goes after the Red Box, just the same as the red light tells Daddy when to stop driving.
Thanks again, OLOMC!
Next Tuesday marks a rather exciting day for Shoebox as I travel down to Manjimup to address a group of teachers from 12 different schools at their network PD day. After speaking with a network principal a month or so back, who invited me to do a demonstration lesson in one of his Year Four classes, he also invited me to nominate as a presenter for the PD, which I did, and the Shoebox brochure was distributed around the 12 network schools. I was astonished to get the news that 45 teachers, principals and other staff had signed up for a 2.5 hour course on grammar!
It will be wonderful to get back to the country; I always enjoy the different atmosphere of country events, particularly from schools which have small populations of less than 50 students, and where every student's name and background is known.
The next day, after I drive back, I am booked to do two more demonstration lessons, so it's going to be a busy week!