Squirrelly Classes

I’ve got a Squirrelly Class this year. Actually, I usually have one most years, I think. There’s always one class full of the ADHD kids, the ones that are (or should be) on the autism spectrum, that can’t sit still, that can’t be trusted to have anything in their hands (don’t even think about plastic swords as props!) let alone get up out of their chairs to act.

What’s helped the most in making that particular class work was for me to focus on getting them good input, rather than worrying about whether I was doing “proper” TPRS with actors and moving around the room and all that.  That, and merciless application of the rules, PLUS a few tricks from PowerTeaching (especially the Chinese version of the Class-Yes to refocus them after they do snappy pairwork in the “Teach Your Partner” mode).

Using these little things like chocolate chips in a big cookie dough lump of language input allows the kids who just can’t handle “regular” TPRS for some reason to get the benefit of it. In fact, the “problem” class is getting to where it’s outstripping the “stars” these days, just because they’re really focusing on what’s going on now.

That, plus — of course — teaching less material (officially at least) and making sure to recycle with stuff that is not identical, but really, really similar.

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